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February 03, 1998 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-03

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The Michigan Daily - fuesday, February 3, 1998 - 9

4G RECO

Pearl Jam yields modern classic

Hum renews its
fame with 'Heaven'

The majority of the music on the
airwaves today comes from talentless
bands who seem to embrace the
chance to plaster their image on every
possible media outlet. And it's truly
ironic that one of rock music's great-
est foundations has been evading the
spotlight in all possible ways for the
past four years - refusing to do
videos or virtually any form of pro-
motion.
It is true that grunge has crumbled
to the floor. But Pearl Jam has
emerged from the rubble firmly
clutching its unadulterated integrity,
with its passion unfurled. The band
has weathered the media storm and
sustained the kind of gargantuan
attention that, for a time, had mor-
phed a once chatty surfer named
Edward Vedder into a monosyllabic
recluse.
Now five albums into its career,
Pearl Jam has finally eased into- a
comfortable niche - still shunning
commercial monoliths like
TicketMaster, but at the same time
revealing just enough of its opinions
and impressions to keep listeners
watering at the mouth for new mater-
ial, or (gasp!) the chance to see the
band play live.
No clich6s. No imitations. The cur-
tains draw, and the shades go down.
Act Five, Scene One opens with a
bright flash of fire, as the furious riff
of "Brain of J" rocks harder than any
of the esteemed material on debut
album "Ten." Pearl Jam is back.
Better than ever.
The song's sheer magnificence
makes you wonder if you should con-
tinue listening to the rest of the
album, since the danger of it over-
whelming anything that follows is
frighteningly obvious.
After all, this is an album that sur-
passes all of the band's previously
recorded work. Its scope and depth
outweighs the competition in virtual-
ly all aspects of the art itself, with 13
songs worth of peaks to scale and
unlimited freedom to inhale the
splendor.
What an intoxicating aroma it is.
From the soaring "Faithful" and
inspirational "Given To Fly," to the
chilling "In Hiding," "Yield" show-

cases a Pearl Jam that has taken a
much more challenging approach to
songwriting, placing a greater
emphasis on the textures of individual
parts and the subtleties of unexpected

cho
sior
A
a d
feel
Pearl Jam all
Yield albs
fac
Epic due
Reviewed by the
Brian Cohen ima
Daily Music Editor Ved
wea
the
many strands. There is
spiritual while
"drawing angels
in the dirt" on
"Pilate," as well
as on the epic
single "Given to
Fly," where
Vedder spins the
tale of a liberated
youth, "arms
wide open with
the sea as his
floor" poised to
twist the key to
"the lock on the
chains he saw
everywhere." The
former furthers
the religious
tones, aligning
the narrator to
Pontius Pilate
underneath a
stomping base-
laden chorus.
Change is
another of
"Yield"'s recur-
rent lyrical

rd progres-
ns.
And its
venturous
. works on
of the
wm's multi-
eted layers,
in part to
consistent
agery Eddie
dder lyrically
aves through
album's
talk of the

to influence the masses: "I'm not try-
ing to make a difference/ I'll stop try-
ing to make a difference, no way."
Earlier, Vedder borders on apocalyp-
tic in "Brain of J" as he promises,
"The whole world will be different
soon/ the whole world will be believ-
ing." Ed, Ed, Ed - we've been
believing all along.
And unbridled proof is everywhere
you listen. "MFC" rolls out of the box
with traditional Pearl Jam gallop,
amidst a jockeying Who-tinged lead-
in and a pounding chorus of steady
drumming. Jack Irons has stamped
his creative contribution all over this
record, not only through his rumbling
drum patterns, but also via his insidi-
ous manipulations of rhythm and
tempo, most notably on the Beck-
meets-Neil Young "Push Me Pull
Me" and the transitory musical
puddle "The Color Red"
(denoted only as a small
red dot on the album liner
notes). Irons doesn't let
his gift clutter "Yield"'s
fast paced material, but
instead he heightens each
song's intensity with well-
timed fills and robust
frameworks. Even the balmy
balladry of the Springsteen-
esque "Low light" benefits from
a little extra percussive boost.
In fact, the musicianship on
' "Yield" maintains the original
spark of "Ten" but adds the
adventurous experimenta-
tion of 1996's "No Code"
stretching the creativity of
$ songs like "Do The
Evolution," where the
middle verse breaks
down into a evangeli-
cal choir chant of
°<" H allIeluj a h."
Closing salvo
"All Those
Yesterdays"
like a
warped
hidden
from the
" W h i t e
rma'ca'" " tnda+ A Ib u m,"

The distortion pedal has been a
favorite of guitarists for three decades.
From the fiery solos of Jimi Hendrix to
the excess of heavy metal and the angst
of punk, distortion has been most every
guitar players' favorite expression of
anger. But few bands utilize the effect
to the heights that Champaign band
Hum reaches with its latest album
"Downward is Heavenward."
Hum's previous album, "You'd Prefer
an Astronaut," spawned the minor alter-
native hit "Stars," an accessible exam-
ple of the band's trademark soft-loud
dynamics. "Downward is Heavenward,"
shows the band generally sticking to the
same sound as that album, with rela-
tively few alterations.
But it is a formula that Hum has mas-

with harmonized bridges and
expansive sequences of burgeoning
guitar from Stone Gossard and
Mike McCready.
Vedder compiles a strikingly hon-
est string of hopes and dreams into
"Wishlist" as he croons "I wish I was
a neutron bomb/ for once I could go
off" and "I wish I was the verb to
trust and never let you down." This
mid-paced gem gives the listener a
rare chance to peak inside Vedder's
swirling persona and is perhaps the
singer's most candid lyrical offering
to date.
"Faithful" spurts out an anthemic
chorus and could easily be a future
single thanks to more seminal great-
ness, marching from tame to tumul-
tuous with uplifting glory.
But as extraordinary as all the
material on "Yield" is, nothing is bet-
ter than "In Hiding" - sacred bril-
liance that can and will give you
goose bumps. With a rolling introduc-
tion and a seductive pre-chorus, this
song showcases Vedder at his best.
His tenor soars over his bandmate's
synchronicity and you can hear his
soul in every word.
Unlike the countless numbers of
listless bands in today's musical
world, Pearl Jam is one of the only
groups to successfully continue to
expand and experiment with its
musical genius as it progresses with
every new song.
There will be no better guitar
record this year - no other current
band is capable of evolving while at
the same time staying true to itself
and its purpose of creating the best
music it possibly can, loving every
single minute.

Hum
Downward is
Heavenward
RCA
Reviewed by
Robert Mitchum
Daily Arts Writer
alternates between

tered. The lone
acoustic guitar
that introduces
the track "If
You Are To
Bloom" quick-
ly drowns in
the crunch of
Hum's two gui-
tarists, Tim
Lash and Matt
Tal bott.
"Dreamboat"
an all-out wall of

These songs expose Hum's biggest
flaw: a tendency to let songs get too
long and complex. While most tunes
have enough changes and variety to
hold a listener's interest, some would be
classic if stripped down to their basic
structure. But it could also be argued
that this very complexity is what sepa-
rates Hum from the rest of the crowd.
The strength of Talbott's vocals is
also inconsistent from song to song.
Tracks like "Downward is
Heavenward" and "Ms. Lazarus" are
hurt by the weak vocal parts, with
Talbott restricting his smooth voice
to a lazy monotone. But when his
vocals shine, as with the great vocal
hook in "If You Are To Bloom,"
Talbott shows his full potential as a
singer.
Despite these flaws, the majority
of "Downward is Heavenward"
serves as an example of Hum's
strong, inventive sound, if not of
much growth from previous albums.
Though it is highly unlikely that
they'll hit the radio jackpot again,
the album shows that Hum is still a
vital part of today's rock scene.

noise and a playful quiet interplay of
effect-laden riffs.
But the downside to having such a set
formula, however, is the lack of variation
between songs. The band shows its faster
side on "Comin' Home" riding the
propulsive drumming of Bryan St. Pere,
and showing off their punk-ish roots.
But when things slow down, as on the
title track and "Apollo," the songs begin
to sag under their own weight.

Callier gives listeners
a new 'Peace' of mind

.J..-1

w

themes, most
evident on "No
Way," where
E d d i e
reveals his
contradic-
t o r y
stance on
his ability Eddie Vedder and1

Goldie explodes
Pretend for a minute that you're in the center a
oust walking along, and suddenly tions of rhythn
3meone chucks an hour-long song mentally strun
at you. It's a song that hisses and it's more cent
bites at you, a song that will bore you ning.
to tears if you aren't in a receptive Now that y
mood or doing something quietly (or maybe ski
introverted. can listen to s
The first disc of Goldie's new ly the secon
"Saturnz Return" does that to you. The with a counte
just-more-than-an-hour "Mother" amicably vio
meanders around in a daze, seemingly With some me
trying to punish you and your attention sisting of aro
van by slowly changing emotional "ohhhhh," th
ades from ulcerous to creepy to nal expressi
oppressive to suddenly upbeat. to ... guts of the "
well, you get the picture. with some w
The length of the track and the sounds. It's al
lack of chapters within it (likely this release,
intended to make people listen to the five minutes
whole damn song) make the track an That's follo
ordeal. equal hardness
This is unfortunate, because buried provided by

in simple beats

re some pretty good see-
m. The piece ends instru-
ng out again. But at least
tered than at the begin-
you've slogged through
pped) the first CD, you
something better, name-
d CD, which blasts off
erpoint to "Mother," the
lent "Temper Temper."
ean but lean vocals con-
und nine words and an
e track is like the exter-
on of the excruciating
previous CD, complete
icked metal guitar-like
lso the shortest song on
clocking in at a brief
and 12 seconds.
wed by the separate but
s of "Digital," with pipes
KRS-1. The music is

almost completely beats, with minimal
synth accents at regular intervals.
Less can be more, especially when
you've got a tool like KRS-l at your
disposal. Other selections have a sim-
ilar bare bones approach and will
conquer you. Just listen to "Chico-
Death of a
Rockstar" and
try not to like it.
' * There are

Generally, one thinks of relics as old,
holy cloths and valuable hunks of metal
that have been handed down from gen-
eration to generation, coveted and pro-
tected at all costs.
Terry Callier, a true relic of the
1970s, brings back his spirituality and
magic for a new generation of listeners.
With the release of his latest album,
"Time Peace,' Callier shows that he and
his acoustic guitar will not be left to get
dusty; he still has lessons to teach and
tales to spin.
Callier's genius lies in his creative
mix of jazz, rock, poetry and general
social awareness. Each song has its own
rather unique style - first it is tradi-
tional jazz, then sweet, soft rock and
then old-school rap. Callier takes the
listener through an encyclopedia of
music by incorporating Western and
African instruments into the groove.
Everything from organs, saxophones
and harmonicas to bongos and bells
help Callier paint this melodic portrait.
"Traitor to the Race," a pseudo-rap,
funk tune, is one of the most notable
tracks on the CD. Heavy percussion, a
trumpet and back-up singers underline
the lyrics, which actually have some-
thing important to say - a highly rare
commodity in this day.
The title track, "Time Peace/No One
Has to Tell You/Build a World of Love,"
lets Callier present his emotional, social-

ly- conscience lyrics, while Pharaoh
Sanders, the great jazz saxophonist,
wails. The mix of guitars, horns, percus-
sion, and vocals on this tune make it a

Goldie
Saturnz Return
FFRR/Polygram
Reviewed by
Ted Watts
Daily Arts Writer

some big ugly
portions of
Goldie's creative
soul spread out
on this platter.
For some inex-
plicable reason,
there are multi-

Kenny G and the Blade Runner
soundtrack.)
From the ugly sax on "Believe" to the
nauseating crooning on "Crystal Clear,"
it's like the very worst fluff from urban
radio.
Goldie is best when he keeps his
beats simple and his tracks relativisti-
cally short. When he fails in this,
though, it's time to reach for the
remote and skip to his next nugget of
joy.

Terry
Callier
Time Peace
Verve Forecast
Reviewed by
Aaron Rich
Daily Arts Writer

real gem.
As in days of
old, it is nice to
feel safe resting
behind the protec-
tion of a relic. In
the liner notes,
Callier explains
that, as the title
suggests, now is
time for peace.
Well, if what they
say about good

pie songs includ-
ed with a wretched electronic jazz
base. (I'm talking about the kind of
stuff that sounds like a mix between

music soothing the savage beast is true,
then Terry Callier has just taken a large
step toward a universal complacency.

'Morsel CD
is no 'Wreck'
Already boasting a large and faithful
local following, Morsel truly delivers
with "I'm A Wreck," its second full-
length CD to date.
A mellow and ambient undercurrent
moves through the entire album as the
*weetly penetrating voice of singer
Miriam Cabrera give the songs force
and structure. Using fierce guitars and
electronics, including a didjeridoo,
Morsel mixes dif-
ferent and oppos-
ing instrumentals
to create a beauti-
Morsel fully unstructured
sound.
I'm A Wreck Songs such as
Small Stone Records "Squeezebox"
and "Splat Mi
Reviewed by Splat" showcase
Gabrielle Schafer Morsel's uncanny
Daily Arts writer ability to blend
Cabrera's voice

- sychology
at &n0yu
* Introduction to Psychology
- Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
" Physiological Psychology
" Social Psychology
* Developmental Psychology
- Abnormal Psychology
" Personality
" Physiological Basis of Behavior
* Foundations of Psychopathology
summe r
in the z;city

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131

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