8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 25, 1994
Continued from page 5
Taking samples from Prince's "I
Wanna be Your Lover," Nice &
Smooth used their remixing genius to
produce the bad ass "Return of the
Hip Hop Freaks." "Doin' Our Own
Thang" gots some sweet bass, and I
haven't heard any beat boxing in a
lpng time. Of course, the Human Beat
Boxer of the (ex-) Fat Boys is better.
"Jewel of the Nile" does have its
tad elements, though. In "Old to the
1ew," our duo claims they're comin'
out with some new sound. Lie! The
entire CD is nothing but the same old
same old with a new name attached.
Lucky for Nice & Smooth that same
old same old is in this year.
"Jewel of the Nile" is not great art.
It's not a real disappointment either.
If you don't mind a little of dat same
old same old, then this CD would be
a fair investment. If you're tired of the
old, keep looking.
- Eugene Bowen
The Loved Ones
Better Do Right
With a fair amount of new Ameri-
can bands continuing to pattern their
sound after the most undesirable ele-
ments of Seattle grunge or, in efforts
to produce something more univer-
sal, turning out mass quantities of
nondescript jingle-jangle, the pros-
pects of- get this - a neo-mod band
from San Francisco seem pretty re-
freshing. The Loved Ones do not
merely flaunt mid-'60s English pop-
art and fashion gimmicks the way so-
called mod-revivalist bands like Blur
do-- this four-piece plays gritty au-
thentic R&B in the same vein as the
Who and the Yardbirds.
Most impressive is guitarist Xan
McCurdy's playing (best exempli-
fied in the instrumental "Xan's Night
Out"), which is innovative, but also
tight, never sounding too flashy for
the simple format of the Loved Ones'
Vocalist Bart Davenport is some-
times successful in belting out the
blues, but frankly, sometimes not; as
a soul singer, he's by no means as
irritating as Michael Bolton, but the
Yank doesn't sound nearly as raun-
chy and American as Mick Jagger.
Davenport pulls it off in "Everything,"
the kick-horn groove of "What is
Love?" and "Can't Stop Me," which
rocks brilliantly, but there is this little
matter of the silly 12th track, "Bow
Wow," in which he howls about what
a drag it is being bitten by man's best
friend, etc. (the title of the song is
basically the chorus, so needless to
say, it's pretty embarrassing).
Those itching for the cream of the
new mod-rock crop are best off stick-
ing with the Jam, but in general, "Bet-
ter Do Right" is far from a bad album,
and far from commonplace.
- Thomas Crowley
rise and shine
So you feel like playing in the
Caribbean, huh? Aswad takes you to
the sunshine with their solid vocals,
horns and drums. It is a mix of synthe-
sized and acoustic instruments which
does not ignore but is not overtaken
by hip-hop and dance hall influences.
From here the story takes two
tracks. They begin the album with
three good pop oriented tracks, their
voices are strong and the messages
are positive. But beginning with "2
makes 1" the groove turns into sap.
The melodies which sounded sweet
get another dose of sugar with lyrics
that most 14-year-old girls would find
poignant. A couple other tracks like
"World of Confusion" serve to prop
up the album, but the weak and corny
themes stand out and seriously hurt
their credibility. All in all, it is the get
away that us Michiganians want from
reggae, but the reminders of gushy
middle school relationships put a
- ----------- - ---- galggoljI
damper on the vacation.
- Dustin E. Howes
Any rappers out there looking for*
your first big break? Your best het is
to send a demo to Rap-A-Lot Records.
If Big Mello's sophomore effort,
"Wegonefunkwichamind," is the best
Rap-A-Lot has to offer, this label
must want badly for some new artists.
be renamed "Wack." It's easier to
pronounce, and its more accurate.
From "Intro," the dumbest rap intro
of 1994, down through "Southside," *
the entire CD sounds like a collection
What's really sad about this CD is
not that it's slop; it's 18 cuts of slop.
You'd think the guys of Bone Hard
Productions would have been too nau-
seated after making the first three
tracks to make any more of their sick-
eningly sour songs. If their rapping
was half as strong as their stomachs
must have been, this CD may have
turned out half decent.
Luckily, rap in general isn't fol-
lowing Big Mello's poor example. If
it ever does, God help us.
- Eugene Bowen
21 ... Ways to Grow
Returning to the world of music
with a new ... uh, look (as her picture
on the CD's front cover will show) is
Shanice Wilson. A little older, and
wiser (?), this CD probably won't
make the sort of waves Shanice would
hope for. Honestly, "21 ...," for its
various good points, ain't all that.
Shanice has a nice voice, and songs
like "Don't Break My Heart" and "I*
Wish" are beautiful. However,
Shanice has a limited vocal range; it's
powerfully plain, if you will. If she
would spend less time trying to lure
us with her unimpressive attempts at
vocal dexterity, maybe "21 ..."
wouldn't have been bogged down with
obvious failures like "I Like."
"Ace Boon Coon," a "rappish"-
farce written by Shanice, is without a -
doubt, the biggest fiasco of the CD.1
Shanice should stick to her element
and let the real rappers rap. There are
enough imitators out there; the rap
world doesn't need another.
If there are indeed 21 ways to
grow, then I would suggest that
Shanice start implementing a few of
them. I know she can do better than
"21 ..." This isn't to say that this CD
is bad; it has a lot of good qualities4
It's just that Shanice has let down all
who expected more from her.
- Eugene Bowen
You're a fashion-
You know you are. *
Like any fashion-
what to wear thise
What's in, what's
out, what's hot,
Daily can help you
Look for our fall S
fashion edition, this