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October 08, 1997 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

fhe Michigan Daily -- Wednesday, October 8, 1997 - 9

Aqua's debut 'Aquarium' is all wet

Aqua
Aquarium
MCA
No stars
This album is mind-numbingly bad.
*'s awful. Sugary, fake and especially
predictable. Because all the songs
sound almost exac:ly like all the other
songs. Things change in them. A little.
But it's like having two different Barbie
heads and a Barbie and a Skipper body.
You can mix and match, but it will
never be different. It will always be
exactly the same. Just like this horren-
dous album. Squealing Euro-woman's
voice, irritating high-pitched synth and
me pale male Swede (or maybe a
an) )vho's trying to sound like a reg-
gae guy. Over and over. It's the record
they play in Hell. Or in low caste Yuppie
offices.
You'll notice Barbie is mentioned
above. Barbie is of course the reason
you've heard of Aqua. "Aquarium" has
a song on it called "Barbie Girl." It has
lyrics like "You can brush my hair /
Undress me everywhere." Mattel is up
@ arms over it. As well they should be.
Of course, they hate it because it's sex-
ual. They should hate it because it's just
awful. Awful awful awful. The album
will make you want to hurt people and
break things. Avoid it like tainted blood.
Ted Watts
AC Breed
Flatline
Wrap/Ichiban records
Ever since he put Flint on the hip-hop
map with "Ain't No Future In
Your Frontin," Ichiban
artist- MC Breed has
been struggling to find
qn identity for him-
elfin rap music. His
latest effort,
"Flatline," continues
the pimp/player iden-
tity that he has been
using lately. The image is
hardly believable, but in
allying himself with top-notch
talent, he has managed to put together a
solid album that is a worthy addition to
'ny music collection.
The first positive thing Breed did was
realize that he wasn't a very good
writer. The DOC co-writes three of

Breed's songs, and the metaphoric "My
Dove" is just an example of the clever
lyrics for which the two have become
known as of late. Most of the music is
produced by Erotic D. and Ant Banks,
and creates an effective blend of home-
cooked down-south funk, West Coast
G-funk, and the trademark Oaktown
sound. This music is strictly for driving
through your neighborhood at 3 miles
an hour, with the
stereo playing at
full blast. From he
bouncy "Floatin'
Through The
Cosmos," to the
sentimental
"Dreamin," to the
spaced-out "Duce
Shot," Breed and
his guests (Pimp
C, Erotic D. and
Too $hort) deliver
solid songs all
around.
The most obvi-
ous thing about
this album is that
it is not for every-A
body. "Flatline"
won't win over Ain't no future in hi
anybody who keeps It real on "F
doesn't already
like West Coast or Southern hip-hop,
and some of the tracks, like the Twista-
esque "Lakeside 'Lude," the hokey
"Guerrilla Pimpin" and the melancholy
"Dear Lord," are entertaining but
extremely out of place within the con-
text of this album. The songs are for the
most part too short, as just when you
really get into a song, it's over. That
shouldn't happen. Also, it's almost
impossible to imagine MC Breed as a
pimp, so the whole believability of the
album is questionable.
While "Flatline" does have
its inherent flaws, it does-
n't detract from a solid
musical effort on the
part of Breed and
company. This is a
perfect album to put
into the tape deck or
CD player while
you're cruising through
your city in the middle of
summer. This album is solid
enough for you to at least pre-
tend that MC Breed is a pimp, and
enjoy his music for an hour.
JuQuan Williams

Moxy Fruvous
You Will Go To The Moon
The Bottom Line
Any band that makes fun of the
Michigan Militia while carrying a tune
is fine with me. And Moxy Frivous,
with its new album "You Will Go To
The Moon," definitely qualifies.
On its fourth
release, the
quartet gets back
to its quirky satir-
ical roots and
showcases real
musical innova-
tion. The album
houses inter-
galactic favorites
- in August,
astronauts on the
Mir shuttle were
woken to strains
of the title song,
an ironic future
telling about
expansion of our
frontin': MC Breed (as they call it)
tilne." "orbiting ron-
delle."
It's no accident NASA chose to wake
up its weary space travelers with an a
cappella carnival ride with lyrics like
"You will go to the moon / A paradise
to rival Cancun / And one side's always
sunny / You'll be raking in the money /
Ah, you'll get paid on the moon." Moxy
can definitely provide a lift that the bro-
ken ship can't, I'm sure.
The album is peppered with silly
gems. In "Michigan Militia," a militia
member expounds on his life over a
banjo back-beat and mimicky moog
and wurlitzer, poking fun at the "anti-
government compound" lifestyle with
just a few simple chords. "Your New
Boyfriend" features a disgruntled ex's
cheerful lament that his girl's new guy
is a "right-wing shit," followed by a
cheesy-but-wonderful retooling of the
BeeGees's "I've Gotta Get A Message
To You."
What sets this album above the prior
three is that it incorporates all the
aspects of the Frifour - allowing the
folksier, acoustic sounds to emerge
without stifling their poppy charm, like
they did with the depressing all-or-
nothing folk ethic on the 1995 album,
"Wood." It's Moxy's talent, tempered
with a bit of lunacy, that makes "You
Will Go To The Moon" memorable.

Versatile lead singer Jian Ghomeshi's
percussion smolders on the sultry
"Sahara" and "No No Raja," and
Murray Foster's bass vocals and guitar
make "The Incredible Medicine Show"
just that. And "Boo Time" shows Moxy
gone noir, with dischordant accordion,
saxophone and electric guitar abound-
ing.
If any other group sang that people
who stole your parking space, that guy
who wrote that book about the Bell
Curve and telemarketers calling during
supper "deserve a great big kick in the
ass," it might sound contrived. But
Moxy's subtle a cappella renderings
make "Kick In The Ass" a catchy
anthem that makes you want to knock
the crap out of the next chick who calls
from Ameritech while you're eating
your SpaghettiOs.
Whether you follow through on their
exhortations or not, make sure you get
your hands on this disc. It might not be
selling on the moon just yet, but you'll
probably find it at Tower.
-Stephanie Jo Klein
The Poster Children
RTFM
Reprise
In the increasingly corporate world of
rock, it's rare that one finds a band that
is simultaneously innovative and enter-
taining.
The Poster Children have been mak-
ing such music for more than 10 years,
virtually invisible to the ears of com-
mercial radio. Such obscurity is both a
blessing and a difficulty to the Illinois
natives: they don't have to pander to the
common denominator but they have to
tour 10 months out of the year to make
ends meet. This live experience, howev-
er, combined with the band's freedom to
experiment pays off with "RTFM" - a
highly accessible album that finely
straddles the line between innovative
and formulaic rock.
At the core of "RTFM" is a concept
that is becoming increasingly cliche in
today's music scene: standard guitar-
centered rock with electronic embell-
ishments. But where bands like U2 and
Radiohead use this mixture to make
melancholy, reflective music, the phi-
losophy of the Poster Children is all
about jumping around and having a
good time. "Attack!" combines a dri-

Aqua may sing "Come on Barble, let's go party!" But their album isn't fun at all.

ving beat with bleeping synthesizers,
creating a vibrant mix of '80s synth
pop and punk-rock crunch. "21st
Century" is highlighted by the robotic
march of electronically enhanced
drums, forming the perfect backdrop
for singer-guitarist Rick Valentin's
attack against modern society. The lead
track "Black Dog" showcases the ulti-
mate in loud/soft dynamics with quiet,
atmospheric ambiance shattered by
heavy metal power chords.
The Posterkids don't alienate their
past days rooted in straight guitar rock,
however. "Music of America" is fast
and fierce, while "Speed of Light"
showcases the complex rifing of broth-
er guitarists Rick and Jim Valentin. The
slower side of the band is represented

on tracks like "Dream Small" and
"Happens Everyday," both of which are
propelled by the fine vocal interplay
between Rick Valentin and bassist Rose
Marschak.
All of these songs are based in tradi-
tional guitar pyrotechnics, but still
sound fresh due to subtle electronic
touches. The album's few misfires (the
generic pop of "0 for I" and the bland
"Sleep") come when the band sticks too
close to standard formulas. Its hard to
hold a few mistakes against the Poster
Children, however, when every song is
delivered with an overabundance of
enthusiasm. "RTFM" injects energy
into the increasingly bland world of
modern rock.
-Rob Mitchum

EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITYm

On Sale Monday, October 6
EMU Box Office
noon - 5:30 Window Orly
By Phone, Tuesday, October 7
313/487-1221
EMU Student Tickets $8
Non-Student Tickets $12

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600 East Grand Ave.
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