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September 08, 1994 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-08

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Page 13

John Mellencamp
Dance Naked
Polygram Records
John Mellencamp has always
struck me as a great songwriter with a
penchant for writing some incredibly
atchy music. However, he's always
Ooduced just enough cheese to stay
off my personal hit list.Ironically, the
catchiest song on his latest album is a
cover of the Van Morrison classic
"Wild Night."
"Dance Naked" is no different than
any other Mellencamp album with its
musical ups and downs. "Another
Sunny Day 12/25" is an excellent
acoustic ballad with great words cyni-
1 of modern day doom sayers. Sure,
s been done before, probably bet-
ter, but here it adds a welcome change
ofpace to the harder-edged rock. "Too
Much To Think About" is the best
track on the album, catchy and light
without a bass.
On the other hand, "L.U.V." is
truly dreadful with its drum machines
(a Mellencamp dance song?!) and
Warmy chorus. The title track is some
the worst song-writing Mellencamp
has ever penned -check out this line

- "I want you to dance naked/if you
like I'll join you/I want to enjoy your
body." The images conjured by this
line alone are terrifying.
Mellencamp is a word warrior for
the working class. Stating the obvi-
ous in lyrical form for Jethro and the
boys in the sandal factory. This time,
the theme is the Garden of Eden,
redefining the fall of man for a gen-
eration that has long since lost its
innocence. Sure, it's cheesy, but some-
how Mellencamp gets away with it.
- Matt Carlson
Esquivel! Space Age Bachelor
Pad Music
Bar None
Esquivel was a bandleader in the
1950s and 1960s who pioneered and
made the most of stereo recording,
used bizarre instruments like the
buzzimba in his arrangements and
whose stage shows included choruses
of nude women. But it is his music
that is the most important, most memo-
rable, and strangest thing about him;
his arrangements (derangements?) of
chestnuts like "Sentimental Journey"

and "Harlem Nocturne" are hilarious
and deliciously cheesy. His originals,
like "Mucha Muchacha" and "Surf-
board" break all known boundaries of
camp. Sounding like a warped cousin
of "The Jetsons" theme, Esquivel's
space age bachelor pad music will
send you into orbit.
- Heather Phares
House of Pain
Same As It Ever Was
Tommy Boy
No, this isn't a Talking Heads
cover album, so don't get your hopes
up. Even though Everlast mentions
every annoying person or group on
the planet (from Dio to Pearl Jam,
blah), David Byrne has nothing but a
reference the group may not have
even intended.
Oh well. Even with this hackneyed
reflexivity of stupidity, "Same As It
Ever Was" is a pretty good album.
Everlast's voice box is burly and bear-
ish, and the music is pretty laid back
with some heavy driving forces un-
derlying and strengthening it. There
is even some innovation on the re-
cording, such as on "Word is Bond"
which has some cool background vo-

cals that sound like the airy singing
from the original "Star Trek" theme.
Let's end with a reality check.
Everlast sings on the song "Same As
it Ever Was" that he's the same
motherfucker that he ever was. Now
go out and find his sort of poppy solo
album with him being a pretty boy
dressed up like a boxer. Laugh like
hell whenever you hear him saying he
was always a badass.
- Ted Watts
No matter what can be held against
Deconstruction, Eric Avery's and
Dave Navarro's side project after the
fall of Jane's Addiction, it does have
one thing going for it- it's not Porno
For Pyros. While Perry Farrell is busy
shooting junk into his cock, halluci-
nating about how his little alternative
festival and shitty rock band can take
over the world, Deconstruction will
stand as a testimony to what hap-
pened to the art of Jane's without
Farrell's direction.

In short, it ballooned and became
artsy-fartsy, too long and very bor-
ing. Take for example the photographs
taken to represent each band member.
Avery is some sort of automotive
doodad; Navarro is a pair of spark
plugs; drummer Michael Murphy is
an oil filter. I suppose it's some sort of
intrinsic message about each member
being a part of a more powerful ma-
chine. Whatever.
Take for example the many differ-
ent musical verses, choruses, breaks,
jams and solos that make up each
song - after awhile the song seems
lost without any sense of wholeness.
Whatever. Take for example the frag-
mented lyrics - different words and
phrases splotched together to form a
mood not a message. Whatever.
Avery's bass playing is decent,
but his voice is not too special. He
half moans, half hums his jumbled
lyrics sounding as little like Farrell as
possible. Navarro's guitar work
sounds good like usual, but he's off to
join the Red Hot Chili Peppers so
Deconstruction appears to be a one-
shot deal.
- Matt Carlson

Various Artists
"Forrest Gump" Soundtrack
Epic Records
A huge, 2-disk 32-cut collection.
the "Forrest Gump Soundtrack" is no
less profound than the wisdom of
Gump's mama. And with the excep-
tion of Alan Silvestri's "Forrest Gump
Suite," the songs are very familiar to
us all.
If you saw the movie - and most
likely you have - you were probably
drawn to a couple of the songs you
heard; when you hear them playing
you remember how great such-and-
such a song is.
Songs like Aretha Franklin's "Re-
spect," the Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn!"
and Buffalo Springfield's famous
Vietnam song "For What It's Worth"
(you know, "Stop, yeah, what's that
sound. Everybody look what's going
down ...") are contained in this
soundtrack. You can also find Willie
Nelson's "On the Road Again," "the
Four Tops' "I Can't Help Myself'
and even "Raindrops Keep Falling on
My Head" by B. J. Thomas. These
See RECORDs, Page 14


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