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September 10, 1990 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-10

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 10, 1990 - Page 19

RECORDS
continued from page 18
ting the right notes. Psychedelic
funk man Jesse Johnson deserves
ko os for forcing black radio to eat
s distortion. But reunited with
erry Lewis on bass and Jimmy Jam
on the boards, the groove is back
with a,vengeance. "Skillet" (defining
the band's sound as apart from the
m~crowaved sound of '90s pop) is a
4rude piece that fuses funk and rock
the way it should be done. Its churn-
ing rhythms and key guitar progres-
sion are Living Colour's worst fears
reAlized. "My Summertime Thang"
*&the band just throwing the kitchen
sink in there as well, the kind of all-
ont gutfest that fans awaited for six
long fucking years.
4.) Cunning - On the all-out
ropk jam, "Blondie," Morris decries a
woman "who'd be dangerous/if she
had a mind." On another cut,
"Donald Trump (Black Version)," he
tells a sackchaser what it is she
4 peds in absolute terms. Morris gets
e girl in the end, by the way. He
always does.
-Forrest Green III
The Beautiful South
Welcome to the Beautiful
Sputh
Elektra
Peats International
Let Them Eat Bingo
)ektra
t Since the Housemartins broke
up, Paul Heaton has lost some of
his sense of humor. Maybe he was
so entranced by the form of socio-
political expression exploited by
preachy Natalie Merchant and
the10,000 Maniacs that he decided to
form a new band that sounds just
like his old one but with even more
ocial (and occasionally political)
onsciousness. He's not nearly as
bad as the so-called First Lady of
Eco-Pop--just more serious (mature
perhaps) than he used to be. Thus
this album continues in the vein of
his old band but with none of the
ironic merry sounds of "Happy
Hour." The acrid lyrics are even
more biting and thoughtful than the
('?)Martins: "It's 7:00 a.m. and
we're coughing up the
7)phelgm/Spitting out the taste of
night before/And we'll vomit and
we'll choke/Just to climb their tatty
rope" ("From Under the Covers") and
"I wasn't sure if it was Marx and

Hitler that was in this year/...I'm
out tonight and can't decide between
Soviet hip and British pride/...And
nuclear power not thanks, not sure
and yes please... "("Oh Blackpool").
The smooth, jazzish pop still is
cool and melodic as ever;Welcome
could easily be mistaken for the
Housemartins third release-nothing
different and/or spectacular. The cut
that really makes it a must- buy is
only on the cassette and CD as a
bonus track. "Straight at 37" stabs at
the pop industry in stinging fashion:
"Why don't you sing "I need you
baby'/... it doesn't rhyme with the
'f' word/...Well Simon le Bon
stayed round my house before/And
he was sick on the plants and he was
sick on the floor/And he wouldn't go
home until he'd sung his song/With
a backing harmony from Paul
Young." All in all, delighful, easy
going tunes displaying Paul's
dreamy vocals and very readable
lyrics.
What Norman Cook, the House-
martins ex-bassist, has done on his
own is totally different. Beats Inter-
national is a dance/house outfit
which retains only the social and po-
litical consciousness of the House-
martins. The inner sleeve proudly
proclaims that "For moral reasons
this cassette is not available in
South Africa" and thanks musicians
like Billy Bragg for their musical
help. The group is also composed of
a proportion of sex/race that would
make any affirmative ac-
tion/politically correct group
pleased: two white men, one black
man, and one white women.
Musically, it's not quite housey
enough or dancy enough or funky
enough or poppy enough. They also
feature some touches of reggae and
the usual samples from unexpected
sources (like Abba and television).
They amalgamate these elements all
into a somewhat bland and unfocused
but fun and massively accessible
blend.
Though Norman and Paul still
share similar sentiments, Bingo is
lighter and less serious thanSouth.
Ultimately, Beats International ap-
peals to a wider audience while the
Beautiful South preaches to the con-
verted.
Annette Petrusso

rage to it as the last one I heard -
One Way - but the uptempo blend-
ing of World Beat, Soca and Ameri-
can house music into reggae grooves
still pleases, as do the more militant
of their political lyrics, which still
pervade the record despite a less righ-
teous and angry tone. It's been 10
years since lead singer Jacob Miller
died; Carlton Coffie is still the new
guy, and the band still has a drifting
identity.
The band is well served by Coffie,
who handles the diverse vocal ar-
rangements with both the fluidity
and ferocity required for the task.
Here also are new choral sounds,
most notably in the tribute to Nel-
son Mandela's release, "Freedom
Street." The song is mostly simple
celebration of the symbolic release
of the African National Congress
leader, which would be disappointing
for its commonness if not for more
strident messages elsewhere on the
record. "No Stopping Us Now," for
example, acts as a counter-balance to
premature celebration, asserting,
"The fight's not over till somebody
wins ..."
Without these outward signs of
rebellious spirit in the face of politi-
cal reality, Inner Circle's sentimental
ballads and bitter reminiscences -
like the poignant title track, about
the destruction of a garden of Black
roses - would be uncomfortably
fluffy. Even so, this record is still
pulling punches compared to the last
(back when we heard, "If a blood
make it run/If a fire make it
bum/Whatever it takes now let it be
done"), although the instrumenta-
tion, production and arrangements
have all taken strides forward.
Just gimme a little more unrefined
outrage and raunchier dub to match
the upscale modifications, and we'll
call it even.
-Philip Cohen
Doro
Doro
Mercury/Polygram
Despite the fact that Germany
seems to only produce mediocre yet
popular metal groups (like the
Scorpions), Doro, the vocalist from
Warlock, has created a somewhat
respectable but uneven solo album.
Because Gene Simmons produced it,
it could have been horribly slick and
pointless but it's not. Though
overloaded with power ballads and
almost power ballads, and often
suffering from weak song writing
and truly inane lyrics, the few decent
tracks are good enough to make it
worthwhile. But because she only
co-wrote three of the ten tracks, and
doesn't play an instrument, her
contributions, and thereby the

Morris Day shows off his spiffy threads. It may not be apparent here but the man is pretty funky, too.

Inner Circle
Black Roses
RAs records
This record doesn't have t

blame, are limited. Of the cuts she
did work on, one is the best power
ballad of the lot ("Alive"), one is a
boring power ballad ("Rare
Diamond"), and "Broken," describes
being down and out in mid-tempo,
anthemic fashion. A mixed bag just
like the album as a whole.
Doro's raspy, phelgmy vocals are
just throaty enough to express
metallic passion yet be listenable
and display her abilities. Her voice
saves everything on this record. Her
fervid cover of "Rock On"
particularly displays these smoke
deepened chords. This enticing
quality basically make the record.
She isn't particularly a bimbo-

though she is into the leather/flesh
look. Because most of the songs
were written by men, the lyrics
portray a weak woman in bad poetry
as in this line from "Only You":
"Only you/Can complete me." As if
she needs a man to complete her
existence on earth. Her own words
are more independent but not
spectacular in themselves: "As long
as I'm alive/You'll always be a part
of me" ("Alive").

The songs Gene Simmons wrote,
save his co-authorship of "Rock
On," weaken the album as a whole,
especially the last track, "Mirage."
His stuff is caught between power
ballad and mid-tempo, kind of like
the gross new Kiss. Her cover of the
stupid song "I Had to Much to
Dream" (the chorus begins "I had to
much to dream last night/too much
to dream") miraculously improved
such banalities.-Annette PetruVso

II I

JAZZ ENSEMBLE
AUDITIONS
BIG-BAND
8 SMALL ENSEMBLES
DIGITAL MUSIC (MIDI) ENSEMBLE
HORN PLAYERS AUGUST 5, 67, 10
Sign up at Room 3061
RHYTHM SECTION PLAYERS, AUGUST 10
Show up at: 7:00pm Room 1320 Moore Hall
or call 763-1321

WANTED
USHIERS
For Major Events Concerts
MASS MEETING
Wednesday, Sept. 12 7:30pm
Anderson Room, Michigan Union
VETERAN USHERS- Those who have ushered
Major Events concerts in the past.
NEW USHERS- Those who would like to usher
Major Events concerts.

a
i M
A

Start Russian now--study in Moscow next summer!
Russian 101, First Year Russian (five sections meeting at 9,
10, 11, 12, and 1 MTThF-see p. 74 of the Time Schedule)
Russian 103, Intensive First Year Russian (equivalent to
Russian 101 and 102-meets 10 hours a week MTWThF 11-1)
Call Slavic Dept. 764-5355 for further information.

t4

I / .=

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