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September 09, 1994 - Image 21

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

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 9, 1994 - 5

Continued from page 4
third-rate Stooges rip-off, but this was
But, "The Very Crystal Speed Ma-
chine" grew on me. Thee Hypnotics'
new album is cheesy, but it's also fun
to listen to. They still wish they were
.from Ann Arbor, but now they also
want to sound like the Rolling Stones'
.style of R&B rock and roll music. So,
-they got the Black Crowes' Chris
;Robinson to produce the gooey mess.
'Someexcellent bluesy piano, wah wah
"guitar and wank 'em crank 'em solos
nimics the 'Crowes, but Robinson
-has produced an album that outdoes
many of his own band's work.
All but a few of the songs are
-energetic, playful ditties with excel-
*ent guitar work. Some of the ballads
-are a little hard to stomach, but as long
as you firmly plant your tongue in
cheek, you'll find much to like in"The
Very Crystal Speed Machine."
-Matt Carlson
Bitty Mclean
lust to Let You Know ..-
' irgin Records
Produced, engineered, mixed and
sung by Mclean, "Just to Let You
Know" is a brilliant mix of R&B and
reggae which serves as a reminder of
what real music is all about. His amaz-
ing voice, in conjunction with some
beautifully written music, is real music
"I've Got Love" and "Forever Be
Wine" are two marvelous love songs,
and "Stop This World" is a powerful
song about man-made divisions based
on socio-economic conditions and how
they're destroying us all. These songs
'simply illustrate the amazing talent blaz-
ig forth on this 11-cut CD.
Bitty Mclean is a rare find in the
musical world. Let's hope he sticks
around for awhile.
! - Eugene Bowen

replaced more power-pop than you can
shake a stick at. Material Issue have
revealed themselves to be the heirs to
the legacy of the Byrds, Sweet, and
Badfinger with songs like "Kim the
Waitress,""Funny Feeling," and "She's
Goin' Thru My Head." A slick, poppy
album in the vein of Redd Kross' work,
"Freak City Soundtrack" is summer
fun with staying power.
- Heather Phares
Various Artists
Natural Born Killers
The movie is a scream, as in funny,
not frightening. The soundtrack accen-
tuates the darker aspects of the movie.
Really, though, could you expect any-

thing else from the album's producer,
Trent Reznor?
The album is a very good mix of
some real fine music as well as wicked
clips from the film mixed over it. Any
album that has artists from Leonard
Cohen to L7 to Patsy Cline is undoubt-
edly deserving of attention, especially
when you also get to hear people get-
ting killed.
The liner notes are a mess, though.
The only numeric listing of tracks is
buried in the booklet, and the info on
the tracks appears elsewhere. Appar-
ently some of the tracks on the album
are new, but the notes are too confusing
to be certain of that.
Nonetheless, this soundtrack is a
superb collection of diverse sounds so
good that they'll kill you. Get it before
it gets you.
- Ted Watts

Various Artists
The Mask
There are few things better than
albums with a lot of horns. At the same
time, there are few things more annoy-
ing than most soundtracks. So what
we've got here is the irresistable force
hurtling towards the immovable ob-
And the winner is the irresistable
force of the '40s horn focus of the
album. The atmosphere achieved is
something like that of a Tex Avery
cartoon mixed with a U.S.O. dance in
the happy times of World War II (I
assume, since I wasn't there).
Not that the pitfalls of crap eclecti-
cism on soundtracks has been avoided
completely. No, there is a disgusting
collection of modem R&B poop pop
from Tony Toni Tone, Harry Connick,
Jr. and Vanessa Williams. Fortunately
these three offenders occur in a row
and are easily edited from the listening
experience at the mere three pushes of
a button.
The remainder of the work is pretty
darn good, though. Jim Carrey has two
different mixes of the song "Cuban
Pete" he performed with the police in
the movie here. K7 does a really good
modern version of the utterly amazing
Cab Calloway song "Hi De Ho." Hey,
Fishbone is even here with "Let the
Good Times Roll." And all these songs
and many more are peppered with more
horns than most of you reading this
probably deserve. The only improve-
ment that could have been made would
have been to have taken some of that
brass and drop it upon Connick, Will-
iams and the Tonis. I guess we can't
have everything.
- Ted Watts
Stakka Bo
Followers of the hip-hop/jazz/house
fusion movement in Europe beware;
without a trained eye, it is easy to miss
the first significant contribution from
Sweden. With CD art that looks more
like a Kroger ad then a rap album this
may slip by even the most proficient
CD connoisseur.
Straight from Stockholm comes a
flavor which is truly different - the
question is: Is this good? The album
has a little of a lot: jazz and old soul
samples which are reminiscent of old
school styles, electronic bass lines remi-
niscentof Africa Bambatta's latest ven-
tures and soaring female vocals a la the
Stereo M.C.'s. For the hard core hip-


Like most musicians who make pure pop music and don't sell any records,
Jules Shear is primarily known for his songwriting. And, admittedly, he is a
hell of a songwriter, combining effortlessly catchy melodies with sharp lyrics
(the Bangles had a semi-hit with his sighing "If She Knew What She
Wants"). Despite a string of consistently impressive records - beginning
with his psuedo-New Wave band Jules & the Polar Bears right up until his
wonderful new album, "Healing Bones" - the man has never been able to
capture the public's attention. Even hosting "MTV Unplugged" for its first
season didn't help. Hopefully "Healing Bones" will help. It's the best record
he has ever made, filled with small pop gems, including a great cover of the
Walker Brothers' classic '60s single "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore."
Check out Jules at Alvin's in Detroit this Sunday night. Tickets are $8.50 in
advance and the doors open at 7 p.m.

Material Issue '
Freak City Sountrack
Finally, after years of contaminat-
ing the airwaves with annoying but
catchy singles (with the exception of
"Valerie Loves Me"), Material Issue
have delivered the sleeper hit of the
*ummer with "FreakCity Soundtrack."
Gone are the whiny vocals anddippy
songs of their previous efforts, instead Bitty Mclean is a rare find in the musical world. Just to let you know ...

hoppers, Stakka's affected voice may
sound a bit pretentious but his lyrics in
and of themselves are not failing.
Overall, if one has an open mind
this album is sure to hold your attention
for a long time. It is rich with melodic
samples and deep with soul, especially

as found in the absolutely slammin'
"Down the Drain". So if you're in the
mood, for European soul food, be sure
to include Stakka Bo.
- Dustin Howes
See RECORDS, Page 6

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