The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 17, 1997 - 9
Sarah McLachlan surfaces with stunning CD
Continued from Page 8
The CD breaks up the monotony of horrible dance
songs with an even more horrible selection of R&B
We lame beginning of 1-305's "You Straight" is
enough to make you want to avoid the entire rest of the
song, and JTL's "Work That Body" is an inept attempt
to add dance song cadences to a slow jam.
The remaining songs on the CD are supposed to be
more traditional hip-hop songs. Unfortunately, these
songs only succeed in being traditionally wack.
Jiggie's "Don't Be Afraid" is cliche at best,
Underground's "Ghost Rider" is a weak rip-off of
Smoothe the Hustler's "Broken Language" and
Father's two pathetic contributions to the compilation
t4 make you wonder what he was smoking when he
decided to come out of rap retirement. The CD insert
even goes so far as to call him "the artist formerly
known as Father MC" - like anybody cared.
Furthermore, "Luke's Peep Show" claims to be an
"enhanced CD, but putting it in your computer will
only get you a short movie clip promoting Luke's Pay-
Per-View TV special. As a whole, this album has no
redeeming qualities whatsoever, and should be avoid-
ed at all costs.
- JuQuan Williams
If you have a problem with addictions, you may not
want to listen to Sarah McLachlan's recent release,
"Surfacing." Like a Lays potato chip, you can't eat just
one - the first innocent sampling turns into a tempes-
tuous two- or even three-week love affair with your CD
From the sumptuous opening strains of "Building A
Mystery," the listener gets hooked. The overlay of
Sarah's luscious vocals over rhythmic acoustic strum-
ming and distorted electric guitars is in itself enchanti-
ng. Nevermind that it sounds as if she's read a few too
many Anne Rice novels, with all the lyrics about vam-
pires coming out at night from church. "Mystery" feels
like a three-course meal - bountiful and deli-
cious, but not so overly abundant that you
couldn't have just one more little nibble
of the main course, in this case, the
Invariably, your ears will give in to
the album's best and definitely most
sensual song, "Sweet Surrender."
After an eerie electronic beginning,
Sarah's voice emerges, trilling on the
title words. With the kicky backbeat
behind her, you want to give in to her
appeal: "It doesn't mean much / It doesn't
mean anything at all / The life I've left behind me is
a cold one / Sweet surrender is all that I have to give."
For the rest of the album, the inimitable Ms.
McLachlan relies on the staying power of her sizeable
talents: vocal, piano and guitar. In contrast to the first
few songs on the album, which are fortified with extra
voltage, the second half is considerably more subdued
Barenaked Ladies' Jim Creeggan complements sev-
eral songs on the upright bass, including "Witness,"
"Do What You Have To Do," "Angel" and "Last
Dance." The infusion of Creeggan's energy adds espe-
cially to "Witness," which might otherwise have been
bogged down by the repetition of Sarah's wails.
"Black and White;" at the end of the collection,
brings back memories of "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy,'
with a tomb-like echo, mixing with the story-telling
lyrics that define McLachlan's allure.
"Surfacing" can't help but be a smash success,
because of the desire from the artist's rabid following
for something or anything at all that she can give.
Although her vocal style is as heartfelt as ever, the
song-writing and arrangements seem less inspired than
usual. The quiet album cover, with McLachlan sitting
luminous in front of a black backdrop, seems to inno-
cently agree, suggesting she's resting up until her next
The 10 tracks on "Surfacing," are notable less for
their originality, more for the fact that they were creat-
ed by a goddess among musical midgets. More of an
addictive drug than medicinal antidote, you won't be
able to stop on first listen. You won't be able to escape,
so enjoy it.
- Stephanie Jo Klein
Dots and Loops
Imagine a late '60's French spy-action movie that
jets through Parisian night clubs and seedy bars full of
eccentrics and beatniks.
Now allow a soundtrack to waft through your head
that would sequester your mellow leanings yet satisfy
a pop-hungry subconscious.
The score you'd hear would surely be Stereolab's
ninth and newest album, "Dots and Loops." Images of
turquoise vinyl love seats, puce shag rugs and bottom-
less martinis spill from "Dots and Loops" like the
lemon-lime light of a glittery gold oval-latticed globe
lamp hanging from the stucco ceiling of a musical
bachelor(ette) pad. This well-groomed kitsch has
enough orchestral brio and lounge style to set
a new standard of cool for the well-
groomed jet-set of the late '90's.
P t[Many songs on "Dots and Loops"
rove around moog-synth keyboards
and blip-blop pops while being
tastefully accompanied by the
satin-smooth vocals of Laetitia
Sadier and Mary Hansen.
"Refractions in the Plastic Pulse"
perfectly demonstrates Stereolab's
complex musical structuring and sleek
pop crafting by morphing many aural
tapestries into a rich, undulating pasture of sound
that lasts an impressive I 7-plus minutes.
Another integral slat in the danceable woodwork of
"Dots and Loops" is the horn-ribbed and xylophonic
"Ticker-Tape of the Unconscious." Interestingly
enough, the track starts off with a techno beat and con-
tinues with a mechanistic drum beat while supporting
a seething farsifa organ and crisp vibraphone stutter.
The mellow horns breathe a Mancini-esque air into
this piece which in turn introduces a cinematic space
within a modern scale.
Peel back a deeper layer and listen to the first single
from "Dots and Loops," "Miss Modular." She's a mild
temptress, yes she is. "Miss Modular" sneaks around
with electric rum-soaked bass loops, mink-collar
organs and frilly French vocal cunning. Watch out!
"Miss Modular" is a randy gal aching to spin hoops
around twinkling keyboards and beatbox stammerings
while you're hypnotized into following along as every
note pulses and purrs.
It's amazing that a modern album of this caliber
sounds so much like a musical masterpiece from the
pastel-flowered past. Stereolab has certainly perfected
the cocktail party pastiche by seamlessly blending
current audio technology with the classic instrumental
ensembles of the '60's. "Dots and Loops" bursts with
ingenuity, panache and classy cattiness. Can ya dig?
If you can, then dig into Stereolab's new album,
lounge, relax and realize that the clean minty feeling
you get when listening to "Dots and Loops" isn't from
the peppermint schnapps cue tips you've been using,
but from a fresher wave of consciousness instilled by
this innovative sextet.
Quick! Look over there! it's the dell-
clous new swinging synth-pop sounds
of Stereolab In 3-D Smelt-o-VisIonl Left
to right: Laetltla Sadler, Richard
Harrison, Tim Gane, Mary Hansen and
Leadership exists throughout campus...
Come see future and ongoing TEAM projects that affect your
campus life. This is your opportunity to share your ideas and
help shape the future of the campus
At the Michigan Union
You'll sweetly surrender to Miss Mclachlan's charms.
T 1';l/ .c. r t -+,c7t/ -tr ,, 41,lc2t t ET r'l -yCpc l
Pianists Katz and Nel get in tune with
Chamber Choir at Hill show tonight
In 1881, Brahms wrote of his
"Liebeslieder Walzer," "for today and
for further beautiful and joyous
That evening is tonight, as the
under the direction
of JerryBlackstone, P 1
n esent the
Waltzes" with fac- Guest Pianists
ulty guest pianists
Martin Katz and
The inspiration behind the program-
ming of the concert was simple.
According to Blackstone, "We knew
we wanted to program Brahms. I heard
a recording of the Liebeslieder on the
wdio and I thought 'we could do better
nthat.' So I spoke to Katz and Nel,
and they are overjoyed to be playing."
The poems in the "Liebeslieder
Waltzes," first published in 1869, come
from "Polydora" a popular anthology
F of traditional European folk poetry. The
"Liebeslieder," or "Lovesongs" them-
selves vary from comical to sublime.
1997 marks the 100th anniversary ofj
Brahms' death, and the programming
seems a fitting way to commemorate
genius of the composer.
Other works on the concert include
Lauridsen's "Mid-Winter Songs," a five
movement piece for piano and choir.
"This is a great new 20th century
work for and piano to be coupled with
the Brahms," said Blackstone. "The
piece talks about a protest against win-
ter, and a longing for the warmth of
spring and summer. It seemed especial-
ly appropriate, considering one move-
ment is called "Intersession for Late
Martin Katz & Anton Nei
Tonight at 8 p.m.
T h e o d o r e
Ligeti, two very
colorful A Capella
to the challenge of any piece presented.
They can do anything," he said.
The talent of the performers was
especially evident after last Thursday's
rehearsal with Katz and Nel, the first
time the choir was paired with the
"It was a remarkable experience,"
Blackstone explained. "There was such
a high level of music making. It can
only get better."
Blackstone continued, "Several stu-
dents spoke to me after rehearsal the
other day and said it was so beautiful
they had to stop singing. They just
wanted to listen."
The Chamber Choir will perform 18
of the "Liebeslieder Waltzes," which
Brahms said could be performed with
"I think they are even more beautiful
with the singers," said Blackstone. "It's
going to be a very special concert
because of the artistry of the two
pianists. Brahms' 'Liebeslieder' will
not be played any more beautifully than
by these two."
A MN N A R B O R
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The 54 members of the Chamber
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majors in the School of Music. The
ensemble practices for 50 minutes
"It's a great challenge working with
these students. The can make any tim-
bre the music calls for, they have expe-
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