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November 30, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-30

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 30, 1994

Having had his fill of cocaine and sex, Brett Anderson will now amuse
himself by dragging Suede's new guitarist with him. Love that rock 'n' roll.

The London Suede
dog man star
As Suede (the boys have been
condemned to use the "London" pre-
fix in the States, thanks to the litiga-
tion of a folk-singing nobody who
uses the "Suede" namesake) prepared
to release the follow-up to their 1992
self-titled debut, they were up against
some intense skepticism. Though
Suede received an immense amount
of critical acclaim - they were
deemed "the Best New Band in Brit-
ain" before their first single, "The
Drowners," was even released-such
praise brought with it the limelight's
inevitable down-side. Their ability to
turn out material as sensational as the
songs on "Suede" was called in to
question, and in America, they never
got the recognition they deserved.
A dark cloud was cast over the
band's future when guitarist and co-
songwriter Bernard Butler left the
band this past summer, citing "per-
sonal differences." (Recently, 17-year
old Richard Oakes was named as his
replacement). Fortunately, most of
the recording for "dog man star" had
been completed, and after mixing and
production, Suede had before them,
an incredibly good album. "dog man
star" will not only silence the band's
most spiteful critics, but it will also
surpass fans' expectations with its
monumental sound.
Brett Anderson chants on the open-
ing track "Introducing the Band,"
which takes its inspiration from a
visit to a Japanese temple. "We Are
The Pigs," the second track and first
single, is an aggressive tune in the
same vein as "Metal Mickey" and

"Animal Nitrate," but its style has
been enhanced with a horn section
blaring Peter Gunn riffs. "Heroine"
and "Daddy's Speeding" concern
themselves with two American icons:
Marilyn Monroe and James Dean,
respectively. The first song is written
from the perspective of a young slum-
dweller who turns to celluloid photo-
graphs of Monroe for escape from his
sad, sordid city life. "Daddy's Speed-
ing" is perhaps the "sci-fi lullaby"
referred to in "Introducing the Band",
as the narrator travels back in time
with the intention of preventing "the
silver son" from dying in the infa-
mous'55 collision, but winds up seal-
ing the star's fate by advising him to
crash his car.
"The Power," which is the only
song Butler does not play guitar on
(Anderson proves to be an impressive
understudy), is an universal song for
the young and desperate. Incidentally,
Anderson sounds more like Bowie in
"New Generation" than he does in
any of the earlier songs that provoked
comparisons between the two sing-
ers. Also, the striking ambiance of
"The Wild Ones" reveals that he is
capable of singing in a thick tenor,
and of alternating between two ex-
tremes, as he returns to his familiar
falsetto in the chorus.
Another new addition to Suede's
song format are string arrangements
that result in a sound so grandiose,
you'd swear they were scores written
by the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
What's more, "Black or Blue" may as
well be a rewrite of Sondhiem's
"Maria" because it is a UK "West
Side Story" of sorts, addressing the
struggle of maintaining an interracial
romance in modern-day England, or

anywhere for that matter.
Following the ten-minute, "No
Quarter"-esque murkiness of "The
Asphalt World," lies the album's fi-
nale, "Still Life." Featuring a40-piece
orchestra, it is a grand conclusion to a
collection of songs about love, squa-
lor and urban decay, that are well-
written, well-executed and carry a
sound much too big to be ignored.
- Thomas Crowley
Tom Jones
The Lead & How To Swing It
I nterscope/Atlantic
First Johnny Cash has his "big
comeback," and now so-called sex-
symbol Tom Jones appeals to the
younger generation with a dance al-
bum produced by electronic connois-
seurs like Flood, Alan Moulder and
Youth. But, after 30 years, the ques-
tion remains how a sex symbol could
possibly hope to entertain.
For a modern day reference to
what Jones has done, imagine Fabio
crooning to ladies with all the subtlety
of some drunk frat boy in a room of
naked women. Or, just imagine
Michael Bolton. But on "The Lead
and How To Swing It," Jones goes far
overboard with the sentiments of love
and affection, leaving Bolton looking
like Butt-head.
Excess leads to insignificance, and
Jones shrieks, squeaks and squeals
about all of the love that he's got for
you until everything he claims be-
comes meaningless. Devoid of mean-
ing, Jones' decision to utilize dance
music as the backbone of his record
showcases a serious drought in his
mental faculties. Electronic music is
at best catchy and at worst soulless
vacuity, and with Jones manning the

helm, the album's words and music
join together to form a void.
Jones' treatments of The Wolfgang
Press' "A Girl Like You" and
Erasure's "Situation" are mixed well
and entertain as much as dance music
can, but, in the end, Jones sounds and
looks like your dad going through one
hell of a mid-life crisis.
- Matt Carlsono
Mariah Carey
Merry Christmas
Columbia Records
Mariah Carey's voice precedes
her. All her albums have hit big due
primarily to the power of her com-
manding voice. Therefore, it comes
as no surprise that she would eventu-
ally jump on the bandwagon of Christ-
mas-CD makers. Hell, Elvis and Boyz,
II Men did it. Why not her?
"Merry Christmas" is a superb LP.
(Hell, Elvis' and Boyz II Men's were.
Why not hers?) She takes a cache of
age-old Christmas favorites and adds
a little spunk to them producing Christ-
mas songs with a twist. If the Santa
suit she wears on the front cover of the
CD doesn't take your breath away,
her slow songs like "Silent Night"A
and "0 Holy Night" will. When she
hits that high note, man .
Every year, someone big comes
out with what can at least be referred
to as a decent Christmas CD. 1994:is
the year for Mariah. Her voice sum-
mons the coming of Christmas better
than anything I could possibly imag-
ine. Which would the fellas prefer:
Mariah in the Christmas suit (or birth-
day suit) or a patty-making, lightbulbo
nose-having reindeer named
Rudolph'? I thought so.
- Eugene Bowen

Wayans new film is an emi
By SHIRLEY LEE those of suicide gigs just to earn a
Where do I start? Andre Shame buck. Poised before a case involving
(Keenen Ivory Wayans) sells his ser- $20 million in missing drug money,
Shame, an ex-cop, must fend off the
I Mmenacing mob that plummeted him
from grace. Foolishness ensues.
A Low Down Keenen Ivory Wayans, creator of'
Dirty Shame TV's "In Living Color," wrote, di-
rected, and stars in this uneasy and
Directed by Keenen uneven mix of get-down comedy,
Ivory Wayans drama, romance and action.
with Keenen Ivory Foracomedy,"ALow Down Dirty
Wayans and Jada Pinkett Shame" is all but funny. For a drama,
its blatant departure from some very
P.C. business one finds in movies
vices as a private investigator to the nowadays is nowhere to be found. For
highest bidder, welcoming bids like a love story, this film flamboyantly

)arrassing 'Dirty Shame'

- -

downgrades women. Several viewers
situated next to me hit the exit when a
series of exploitative sexist scenes
exploded onto the screen. In the case
of an exploration of the action genre,
"A Low Down Dirty Shame" is creepy
as hell, literally pregnant with explo-
For those exclusive "Die-Hard"
fans, Shame is never outwitted in the
battle of wills that unfolds. On par
with the action sequences, Wayans
reduces the use of a stunt man in most
cases, taking suicidal dives. The cli-
matic showdown towards the finale
of the film involves elaborate motor-
cycle chases and commandos grap-
pling down from the roof of a shop-
ping mall structure, leading to the
film's most dramatic stunt. For all of
its fancy movements and painstaking
violence, "A Low Down Dirty Shame"
falls into the pitfall of style over sub-
stance, as with most movies based
around an action theme and with little
With all of its action-movie may-

. ,

hem and macho posturing, "A Low
Down Dirty Shame" essentially dis-
guises itself as a private-eye yarn. For
all of its nonstop activity in "Shame,"*
these action sequences, in little time,
ultimately manifest themselves as dull
and obnoxious images emanating
from every frame of film. Yes,
"Shame" is inundated with activity,
but it's all utterly predictable, rather
boring and handicapped by the fact
that the likable and lively Wayans is a
flat and wooden actor.
Is it engaging? Is it even one bit,
funny? No, it's just plain dumb. I
found myself getting a great deal of
almost illicit pleasure out of a film
which hangs together as if built from
a blueprint.
The unworkable sequences
stumble clumsily in all that Wayans
hopes to create. The comedic inten-
tions and foolishly dull storyline in
"A Low Down Dirty Shame" equal
one scary movie.
playing at Showcase.
ery and attitudes which we have to-
wards women as sexual beings, atti-
tudes which Tisdale attempts to
Yet in this "intimate philosophy
of sex," Tisdale does not claim to
establish a system independent of our*
deepest assumptions about our sexu-
ality. She analyses how these assump-
tions play themselves out in each day
of our lives. I found Tisdale honest
and realistic. As she mentioned to me,
she makes no claim to "have it all
figured out."

Price incbjdes round trip airfare from Deiok trwers
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Continued from page 5
they have everything worked out,
thank you very much," Tisdale ex-
plained. She has won most respect+
from young women, who appreciate+
Tisdale's open and neutral explora-
tion of what it is to be sexual. The only
thing that I did not appreciate about+
"Talk Dirty to Me" was its front cover;
with a subtly photographed peach,
whigh seemed to reinforce the imag-





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