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January 17, 1996 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-17

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;40- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 17, 1996
RECORDS
Continued from Page 8

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alded them a little bit of stardom with
four top 10 singles, "All That She
Wants," "Living In Danger," "Don't
Turn Around" and who could f4gt#the
pandemic called "The Sign." With their
quirky choruses and throbbing dance
beats, Ace of Base sold a mere 8 mil-
lion records in the United States alone
with four tunes that were all pretty
much, well, the same song.
But this time out, siblings Jonas,
Jenny and Linn Berggren and their bud
Ulf"Buddha" Ekberg have transgn4ed
that same old drum beat from tbeir
Casio keyboard and made"The Bridgo,"
an interesting and expansive trip into
pop music with club-minded dance ap-
peal, big hooks and sweet melodjes,
The Base's songs may not s Ke'the
problems of the world, but thei delec-
table ear candy is full of enoughc Io-
ries to indulge even the most strrctiAc-@
of-Base dieter. The album's opener
"Beautiful Life" catapults the listener
right into "The Bridge" with ititddhno
groove and beats harder and fastdfrl'ian
the more lackadaisical feel of "The
Sign." With its piano intro ang beefy
choruses, the track pulls the listener
right into the album with high expecta-
tions.
The album continues in the same
vein, with more experimentatioh with
real instruments along with the Base's
trademarked synth beats. Ironically; the
acoustic "Lucky Love" is the best track
on the album, with its incredibly warm
feel and catchy chorus. The tracktack-
les new ground for the band and cap-
tures it easily.
The rest of the album continues inthe
traditional Ace-of-Base fashihn, with
the throbbing beats and happy-gd-luky
chants. "Never Gonna Say 1'mSorry'*
carries through with the good ol' famil-
iar style, and others like "My Dja Vu"
and "Ravine." The album trails off after
awhile, going into'90s Madonna-esque
ballads that end up dragging the abum
down, but the beginning of thealbuTn is
strong enough that it really doesn't
matter.
- Brian A. Gnatt
Kenny G
Miracles
Arista Records
Kirk Franklin and
the Family
Christmas
GospoCentric Inc.
Although the Christmas season .has
come and gone, it is never too..late to
pay tribute to two of the best Christmas
releases to come out since Boyz II Men's
Christmas album back in '93,. Kenny
G's "Miracles" and Kirk Franklin's
"Christmas.""Il,
Already widely acknowledged forhis
virtually untouchable prowess, on the
soprano saxophone, Kenny G has done
his constantly growing legacy and the
Spirit of Christmas some good with hisk
I l-cut Christmas album. Adding some
of the most beautiful jazzy additions
you could imagine to our most-notable
Christmas "oldies," Kenny .G has
sparked new life into such well-known
songs as "Winter Wonderland," "Have
Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,"
"Silver Bells" and "Little Drummer
Boy." At the same time, he has rein-
forced the worldwide appeal of jazz's
catchy flava and helped to further the
genre's ability to transcend even the*
most standard songs in music-history.
Kenny G is a first-rate instrumental-
ist. His skillful note-play and the play-
fully loving mood his music will in-
spire are testaments to how Keniy G's
music, before, during and after Christ-
mas, can touch your soul and filyou

with good cheer year round.
No less beautiful and equally inspir-
ing is "Christmas," the second full-
length album by the choir simply knowr*
as "Family," directed by Kirk Franilin.
Having gained immense popularity with
their beautiful renditions of "WhyWe
Sing," "Silver and Gold" and "'TilWe
Meet Again," 'all of which can be found
ontheirdebut, self-titled LPFranklin's
Family has outdone itself this time with
an album full of Christmas songs that
may become classics in their own right.
The slow vocals of Family member
David Mann lamenting the continue*
secularization of Christmas in "They
Need to Know" punctuates an-+mppr-
tant point with the refrain "They need to
know that Christ is Christmas." As,bpau-
tifully as a sparkling clear stream into a
lazy blue river in the lush-filled Garden
of Eden, this song flows into the next
song, "There's No Christmas. Without
You." It is afull Family tribute toChrist,
the true heart of Christmas. - -
Kirk Franklin's alto voice easily fill9
the lead vocals in "Love Song," .The
jazzy remake of"O Come All Ye Faith-
ful," complete with Family member
Jeanette Johnson's spectacular leading
voice, is a true gem. The fastery -almost
secular sounding, "Jesus is the Reason
forthe Season." the veryslowand beau-

6

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