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September 09, 1998 - Image 21

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-09

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The Michigan Daily - September, 9, 1998 - 21

Nasty' is wel
*cker MCs beware: The Beastie Boys' latest
effort "Hello Nasty" is bound to monopolize the
speakers of hipsters' stereos worldwide for the
remainder of the summer.
After a lengthy four-year hiatus, the beastly three,
rappers and stylistic auters Mike D (Michael
Diamond), M.C.A. (Adam Yauch) and Ad Rock
(Adam Horovitz), have finally released their first
full-length LP since the great-
ly ambitious and rewarding
"Ill Communication," a per-
fect showcase ofthe Beasties'
Beastie innovative and genre-warping
Boys metal/ rap fusion.
Hello Nasty Artists such as Beck and
Capitol Cornershop have since bor-
Reviewed by rowed heavily from the
Daily Arts Writer Beasties' trademark collage
Stephen Gertz of old school hip-hop, '70s
funk, hard-core and general
eirdness, and proceeded to elaborate expansively
pon it. So it appeared that the Beasties would have
kmi dable challenge to keep up with their
o ger heirs. But as "Hello Nasty" has made strik-
*gly evident, the Beasties are still the star players in
e game.
Stretching across a lengthy 60 minutes and 22
ongs, "Hello Nasty" is as artistically diverse as
burms come. The Beasties have transcended the
'rganic, punkish rap sound characteristic of the
ulk of their '90s output, with an album that
imultaneously nods heavily to their 1989 sample-
"Paul's Boutique" and treads new sonic ter-
tory
*ng structure? What's that? The Beasties allow
. eir druggy funkathon to string track to track in a
oupy free-flowing form, turning "Hello Nasty"
to one gigantic booty-moving jamboree.
Opening track "Super Disco Breakin"' kicks
pings off with a blend of outer space computer
mith makes
Elliott Smith recorded his first three albums in
he bedroom of his house. The results were
mazing. On "XO0 his debut release on
reamworks, the indie songster fails to disap-
oint.
The end result of Smith's venture into the
depths of a professional
recording studio brought
several exciting new sounds
to "XO." With a veritable
Uiot Smith stable of instruments at his
XO disposal, Smith added sev-
eral intriguing sounds to the
Dreamworks album. Instead of the tradi-
Reviewed by tional acoustic guitar and
Daily Arts Writer drum sound on which
Gabe Fajuri Smith built his reputation,
this record includes piano,
ax, vibes and strings, in addition to the unchar-
eteristic liberal use of electric guitar.
'st known for the sorrow-filled single "Miss

corned return

FOLLOWING KORN'S LEAD

bleeps and Run DMC-esque rhyme trades. "The
Move" follows with a repetitive bass lull that some-
how turns into a Bach-like harpsichord melody.
"Hello Nasty" also boasts the talents of guests as
diverse as reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry, New
York super DJ Mixmaster Mike, folk siren Beth
Orton and Biz Markie, all of whom are given free
reign on several tracks.
Of course, all of "Hello Nasty" is cohesively
strung together with the Beasties' half-intellectual,
half-smartass lyrical wit. Songs like "Sneakin' Out
of the Hospital" and the Sugar Hill Gang based "The
Grasshopper Unit" prove that the Beasties' biting
sense of humor has not been lost in the shuffle.
Altogether the cumulative whole of "Hello
Nasty" is much more than the sum of its drastically
diverse parts. This hugely creative and innovative
wonder of an album makes a sumptuous addition to
the Beastie Boys' already extensive catalog and pre-
serves their position as some of the most imagina-
tive artists of the past two decades.

During the hey-day of the grunge era, five guys out of
Bakersfield, Calif. moved south to Huntington Beach and decid-
ed to combine Death Metal's detuned guitars, hip-hop's groove
and an emotional singer in a drunken swirl.
The result was Korn; a manifestation of heavy music that
made the likes of Metallica and Black Sabbath sound their age.
In response to the tsunami of disciples trying to recreate
Korn's sound, the band follows up 1996's platinum selling "Life
is Peachy" with its third album titled - appropriately enough --
"Follow The Leader."
On its latest offering, Korn picks up
where "Life is Peachy" left off and infuses
its music with more memorable vocal
Korn lines, harder guitar riffs and electronic
embellishment.
Follow the Leader What results is 13 brutally catchy songs.
Epic/Sony Music But catchy is definitely the operating word
Reviewed by here, as songs like "Freak on a leash,"
Daily Arts writer "Dead Bodies Everywhere" and "Got the
Adlin Rosi life," which is already getting heavy radio
and MTV airplay, are exactly the kinds of
tunes that go on repeat in your head during important lectures.
Singer Jonathan Davies opts to emphasize more singing this
time around, but loses none of his sinister charm. Older Korn
fans should not worry, however, as Davies' patented manic
"Tazmanian-scat cat" vocal styling is still prevalent here in
choice places.
The guitar sound experimentation of guitarists Head and
Munky, that was in its infancy on the first album, comes to full
jagged elegance this time around. The massively detuned guitars
are again juxtaposed in songs with guitar sounds of an other
worldly nature that evoke keyboard-like and hip-hop atmos-
pheres.
Drummer David and bassist Fieldy are not to be outdone
either, as they create some of the funkiest and tightest grooves
this side of Bootsy Collins.

Complementing Korn's unorthodox heavy music approach are
a bunch of unorthodox guests on the record. Among the guests
include original gangsta rapper Ice Cube, who collaborates here
on "Children of the Korn," and Cheech Marin who appears on
the hidden track "Earache My Eye," a cover of the Cheech and
Chong classic.
With "Follow the Leader" Korn manages to stay true to its
original sound while gradually expanding it towards some pre-
viously unchartered territory.
Korn has proven themselves worthy exponents of the new age
of heavy music and is set to lead this form of music into the next
millennium.

I
I. 'I

'Misery' listenable on 'XO'

Misery," which garnered the unlikely star an
Oscar nomination (it was the hit from the "Good
Will Hunting" soundtrack) earlier this year,
Smith has become an unlikely rising star. The
single also helped move more than 250,000
copies of the soundtrack off shelves this past
year.
Despite his successes, some things haven't
changed for the self-taught musician. As on past
releases, Smith played most of the instruments,
produced, recorded and arranged "XO:'
For the horn and sting parts, however, he did
bring in outside help. While old school fans
might wince at the prospect of messing with a
tried and tested formula, Smith manages to pull
the whole thing off nicely. Songs like "A
Question Mark" are shining examples of said
new style properly executed. Smith's vocal range
gets tested on a haunting pseudo-acapella track
"I Didn't Understand."
The rest of the tracks are acoustic guitar dri-

ven, which is what Smith does best. Standout
tracks include "Bottle Up and Explode," "Baby
Britain" and the opening song, "Sweet Adeline."
Another departure from classic Smith style,
"Waltz #1," is an unfortunately sharp thorn in the
record's side.
But aside from that one strike against it, the
rest of "XO" flows nicely. While definitely a
transitional record for Smith, another release
done in this musical vein will surely attain "clas-
sic" status.
Lyrically, things on "XO" are much more pos-
itive than they have been on past albums. "Say
Yes," the closing track on "Either/Or" and a track
on the "Good Will Hunting" record gave listen-
ers a glimpse at this side of Smith, which, until
now, had now been seen in his songwriting.
"XO; some would say, picks up where "Say Yes"
left off.
Upbeat and positive tracks characterize this
record, and compliment a few dreary and

JOBS"'
FALL TERM
Apply now at the
Law Library-
non-Law Students
" Law Students
* S.L Students
Apply in person: Room S-180
in the Law Library's under-
ground addition, 8-noon and.
1-5, Monday through Friday.
AAJEOE

depressed offerings that fans of the New York-
based artist have come to expect and adore.
This record may Smith's finest work to date,
but definitely worth the $9 it will set you back
at the record store. It is a fine introduction to
the work of one of today's most talented song-
writers.

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