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October 29, 1991 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-29

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 29, 1991 - Page 7

Continued from page 5
Just as I'm about to fall... I remem-
ber the music. That's why I came
here in the first place. The songs
flash by like cable channels chained
to the remote control. They all run
together from one ridiculously ti-
tled track ("Slappy Dappy") to an-
other ("Whispering Dandelions").
Chavez employs the same breathy
"I'm talking, not singing" style
that borders on narration. It irri-
tates at first, infuriates by the end.
That same ambient drumbeat, those
same dense, lush keyboards, more
horrific lyrics...
I look up to see tears welling up
in Chavez's exquisite, doe-like eyes.
"You don't like it!" she sobs. "I
even put out my best Patchouli
I quickly grab the lyric sheet and
recite her own words back to her.
"Girl, you should be ashamed to
let some one do this to you/ Even a
blind man can see straight through
This makes her laugh.
"Yeah, I know that this stuff is
rather shallow," she concedes,
lighting yet another candle and
smiling. "But we had a good time,
didn't we?" Touch6, Ingrid.
-Scott Sterling
"My Love Life" (CD Single)
Moz's last single, without his
new rockabilly band, features Chris-
sie Hynde singing some "oh's" on
the chorus. "So?" you may say. So?
Weeeeeeeeell, the acoustic-guitar-
and-keyboards-based song sounds

Toad the Wet Sprocket was cast
aside as nothing more than an
R.E.M. rip-off.
The 1990 release of Pale, which
brought the band some long overdue
credit, meant the group was no
longer considered a rip-off, but
rather "similar" in style and sound
to R.E.M. Now, with the release of
Fear, the band's third album, Toad
the Wet Sprocket finally seems to
have stepped out on its own, putting
to rest a flattering, but very
limiting, comparison. The band has
shattered any doubts surrounding
its members' abilities as musicians,
who have put together their best 12
songs to date.
Toad the Wet Sprocket has al-
ways possessed the talent, but never

have the musicians been so on target
as they are on Fear. Glen Phillips'
impressive vocal range and his
handling of guitar and mandolin
duties add an almost eerie effect to
songs such as "Pray Your Gods," or
the energetic rocker "All I Want."
Randy Guss' forceful drumming,
Dean Dinning's work on the bass and
keyboards, and Todd Nichol's
experienced lead guitar work leave
these tunes dancing around in your
head long after the album is
through. The incorporation of guest
musicians only helps an already
powerful combination. With the
addition of cellos, violins and
backing vocalists, Fear has a certain
degree of substance that Toad's
previous albums were missing.

Quite possibly the greatest dif-
ference between Fear and Toad the
Wet Sprocket's first two albums is
that the band's members no longer
feel they have anything to prove.
Phillips addresses his critics on
"Something to Say," as he sings,
"You can bend my ear/ We can talk
all day/ Just make sure that I'm
near/ When you've really got
something to say." In other words,
these boys are done trying to
impress anyone. -4\ima Hodaei
Continued from page 5
gument between his parents: "Over
my head the one bulb that hung
from the electric cord was pretty

greasy... and it made long shadows
after everything and made my hands
look white and dead."
Toole does not take a very favor-
able view of authority figures.
Priests and teachers are only inter-
ested in increasing their dominance
over the town, and David frequently
finds himself victimized by them
due to his low social position.
Religion is portrayed as nothing but
a commercialized weapon used in
power struggles. The town preacher
exemplifies this image of religion
when a popular evangelist, Bobbie
Lee Taylor, comes to town: "The
people who didn't go to the
preacher's conference when Bobbie
Lee was in town were dropped from
the church rolls... Of course, there

were people like us who didn't be-
long to the church when all this
happened, and the preacher said they
were the kind that 'didn't care
which way the wind blew."' David
is an innocent observer to the
plethora of moral battles that are
fought all around him.
The Neon Bible is a well-told
story in the tradition of books such
as Salinger's The Catcher in the
Rye. Its theme is quite timely in an
age in which far too many individu-
als put their faith in the self- pro-
claimed "messengers of God" that
seem to be cropping up everywhere.
It is also a testimony to the talent
of a writer whose full potential,
sadly, we will never know.
-John Morgan


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OD. j 21

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reminiscent of "Every Day is Like
Sunday" and, maybe, "Suedehead."
Morrissey contemplates his (po-
tential) lover who is already
"attached." "Come on to my house/
come on and do something new/ I
know you love one person/ so why
can't you love two/ give a little
something," he cries. Of course,
Morrissey's love life bites it, and
life sucks, and he delightfully wal-
lows in self-pity as only Morrissey
the Crooner can - simply and elo-
quently. The sparse accompaniment
highlights the words so rarely spo-
ken in the music biz, save by Moz
himself. The touch of Hammond at
the end, with Hynde's small con-
tribution, only garnish Morrissey's
sorrow-filled, yet slightly sarcastic
The B-sides continue the theme
set by the single. "I've Changed My
Plea to Guilty" answers "Love
Life" in its piano-accompanied weep
and words - "I'm standing in the
dark/ with my innocent hand on my
heart/ I've changed my plea to
guilty/ because freedom is wasted
on me" and "If there is one thing in
life I've observed/ is that every-
boy's got somebody! oh no not
"Skin Storm," the most physi-
cally satisfying for our hero, actu-
ally has jangly acoustic guitars; the
song is lush compared to the other
two. "I tremble... you crush my
burning lips like ashes... I feel your
breath burn on my body" - boy,
Morrissey won something in the
end. His voice never quavers - in a
bad way, that is. The three songs are

for off-campus students, the SelectSaver"M Plan, lets you direct-dial the one out-of-state area code you call most often. For just
$1.90 a month, and 12 cents a minute, evenings, nights and weekends. 20 cents a minute, weekdays.* Q And now AT&T can take
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©1991 AT&T



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AT&T "It Can Happen To Me" Sweepstakes, I
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Year in school




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