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September 15, 1998 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-15

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 15, 1998 - 9

BRILLIANT 'BURGLARY'

Love digs new Hole

Gone are the days when a Jimi Hendrix, or a Jim
Morrison, or even a Kurt Cobain could turn a nation
upside down with originality, brilliance, swagger and
(gasp!) talent. Indeed, the concept of the rock idol has
seemingly evaporated from today's music scene as we
know it.
Or has it?
Although not nearly as universally popular as the
aforementioned Rock 'N Roll Hall of Famers, thank-
fully, there are still a handful of meaningful-yet-aging
rock icons out there refusing to let their die-hard fans
down. Leading the- way for the last of the famous
international heroes is the ever-enchanting Stephen
Patrick Morrissey.
While none of the tracks on
"My Early Burglary Years" are
new in the sense that they were
written within the past three
Morrissey years, several of them will
My Early Burglary appear new to even the most
Years knowledgeable Morrissey fans,
Reprise/Warner Bros. simply because of their rare
Reviewed by and virtually impossible-to-
Daily Music Editor find nature.
Brian Cohen Starting way back in early
1988, at the very beginning of
- is solo split from The Smiths, "My Early Burglary
Years" chronicles the untraversed nooks and crannys
of Morrissey's solo career, highlighting the b-sides of
nine of the singer's biggest singles, as well as reintro-
ducing a handful of previously released album tracks
from three of his past albums.
Indeed some of Moz's most intriguing material is
anthologized here in convenient, easy to savor fash-
ion. The 1995 single-without-an-album "Sunny"
stands out as one of the compilations prime cuts, and

other sonic details.
"Nobody Loves Us" is the perhaps the most
anthemic song that Morrissey has yet to croon, mak-
ing it all the harder to believe it was only previously
released as a b-side to the 1995 U.K.-only RCA sin-
gle "Dagenham Dave." At last, the song, which could
have easily been its own single, finally unfurls its
gifts for all to hear, as Moz champions, "Call us
home, kiss our cheeks/ Nobody loves us, so we tend
to please ourselves."
The only song on "My Early Burglary Years" that
has never appeared on any previous release is a live
version of T-Rex's "Cosmic Dancer," which provides
a fitting testament to Morrissey's obsession with the
glam-rock scene of the '70s.
With rumors currently flying around about every-
thing from his abrupt parting of ways with Mercury
Records to his alleged distancing from collaborators
Alain Whyte and Boz Boorer, Morrissey seems yet
again to be knee-deep in controversy. But strangely
enough, despite his infamous evasive tendencies, it
appears that Morrissey is surprisingly ready to get
back on the road. In a recent interview with a west-
coast radio station, Morrissey revealed his wish to
bring a small scale tour to select American college
towns, much to the jaw-dropping delight of the
singer's younger cult-following contingent.
Regardless of whether or not such too-good-to-be-
true notions will actually come to fruition, anything
new even remotely smacking of Morrissey is usually
enough to get the diehards' mouths watering. And
even though some might view this latest release as a
tactless milking of the Reprise back catalog, "My
Early Burglary Years" is sure to incite a fair share of
drool, especially for fans who have never been privy
to the exquisite rarities contained therein.

is also accompanied by its b-sides "Black Eyed
Susan" and "A Swallow On My Neck," the latter of
which contains one of the most gorgeous melodies in
all of Morrissey's expansive discography.
With its narrative lyrical wit, ebullient bass line
and scathing social commentary, "At Amber" is
another of the album's gems, plucked from the ultra-
rare 1990 U.K.-only EMI single "Piccadilly Palare."
Here Mozzer relays the occurrences and observations
of a grimy night spent in "... the foyer of the Sands
Hotel, where the men and the women are acquainted
quite well"
Although present on the 1993 live album
"Beethoven Was Deaf," the studio versions of both
"Girl Least Likely To" and "Sister, I'm a Poet" show-
case the songs in their original, fully fleshed-out
glory, polished with layered guitars and buffed with

Rock goddess-turned-starlet Courtney
Love is ready for her close-up.
And Hole's "Celebrity Skin" is her
very own "Sunset Boulevard" - a
glamorous, campy, but ultimately dark
look at life and love gone wrong in the
city of angels.
Love & Co. have apparently been
brushing up on their Califomia pop
since releasing its raw grunge master-
work "Live Through This" in 1994, as
"Celebrity" is Hole's "Rumours" its
"Hotel California."
It's a masterpiece of poppy beats, gui-
tar-driven grooves and top-down, skirt-
up SoCal folklore, all the "beautiful
garbage" willing to sell their souls to the
daily grind of Love's new adoptive home.
She may now be glamourous and well-
behaved on the outside but she's snarling
on the inside.
Inside and out,
Love, with her
catchy choruses
Hole and tales of big
.t dreams and no
Celebrity Skin small depravity,
Geffen has dug a brand
Reviewed by new Hole and
Daly Arts Writer you'll dig it, too.
Bryan Lark A sound best
exemplified on
the aptly titled "Malibu" and "Boys on
the Radio?' "Celebrity Skin" is ground-
ed in lush, mid-tempo ballads that still
rock as they stick in your head.
"Malibu," along with the rollicking title
track and three other songs, were co-writ-
ten and produced by Billy Corgan, who is
no stranger to the SoCal sound himself.
The well-crafed arrangements of the
Corgan tunes on the album fit nicely with

Love's brilliantly trashy lyrics, wonderful-
ly displayed in the title track's "No second
billing, cause you're a star now/Oh,
Cinderella, they aren't sluts like you."
Love and Hole are having so much
fun on "Celebrity Skin" one could easi4
ly overlook the emotional core of the
album, as these are the first songs the
former Mrs. Cobain has written since
her husband's suicide four years ago.
"Hey you were right," Love sings
painfully to her beloved co-conspirator
on the very Nirvana yet extremely con-
fessional "Reasons to Be Beautiful,"
"Named a star for your eyes. Did you
freeze, did you weep?/Turn to gold, baby,
sleep."
The band brings together both sides
for some serious fun on the album high-
light "Awful," which combines incisive
lyrics with happy hand claps and on the
similarly outstanding "Dying," on which
Love breathily sings what may be the
L.A. concept album's most telling line:
"I've had it all forever, I've had enough."
In the words of the Eagles, open up, Ms.
Love, I'm climbin' in, let's take it easy.

R delivers sexy sounds of true romance

Once, twice, three times upon a time, there was a
*mor that the name Lionel Richie was synonymous
i some small countries with sweet love. Whether
tis is true or not may never come out, but the mes-
Vge remains clear and true: When sexy sounds are
,alled for, all you need is Lionel.
In his new album "Time," Richie continues his
- ,exploration for the perfect love
is, song. One that lets the ladies
know that he's their man and he
***k is truly devoted to their rela-
tionship. It might sound a bit
Lionel Richie trite, and it is. This album is
just a re-hashing of old Richie
Time themes, (Hello, Lady, we'll go
Mercury Records all night long and be dancing
Reviewed by on the ceiling. Oh, what a feel-
Daily Arts Writer ing!) At the same time, it is still
Aaron Rich an aural pleasure, as only
Richie can give:
The album opens with "Zoomin'," a funky ode to
ghetto children. The socially aware lyrics are a bit out
of the ordinary for Richie - who usually only

previously unfamiliar to Richie fans.
The tune "Touch" takes the artist back to his mag-
ical skill of love making. This song has everything
you need: Lionel's voice singing barely above a
-. whisper, background singers, and overly melodra-
matic guitar solos. It's an immediate classic.
Straying far from his pop roots in the song "To the
Rhythm," Richie takes a backup role to spoken word
performers Da Boogie Men, who, regardless of its
name, sound exactly like the Last Poets - well, a
poppy Last Poets.
It is rare for a modern pop act to write a beautiful
song - but indeed Richie's talent is rare, after all.
The song "The Closest Thing to Heaven" brings
R 1beautiful synthesizers, percussion and guitars togeth-
er with a strong voice. Who could have doubted
Lionel's monopoly of the great love song market!
It might have been nice to hear some new sounds
\ a from Richie, but why should he bother? He has
proved and proved again that he can write soothing,
croons about the bedroom - but he pulls it off with timeless tunes. It is clear that, as his classic song
relative grace. The highly percussive nature of this says, Lionel Richie is your night in shining armor
tune kicks off an album full of beats and rhythms and he loves you.

'Can-I-Bus' flies high

When you ask any hip-hop listener
what the most anticipated debut album of
the year is, chances are the answer will be
Canibus - or "the guy who dissed L.L.
Cool J,"if they can't remember his name.
Calling out arguably the biggest star,
icon and sex symbol in hip-hop is with-
out a doubt a sure-fire way to get public-
ity. In Canibus' case, however, the hype
was well-deserved; Canibus is one of the
most talented rappers to arrive in the hip-
hop scene in the past few years, and both
fans and critics alike had lofty expecta-
tions of his debut album. With his debut
"Can-I-Bus" Canibus tries his hardest to
live up to all of the hype.
It's hard not to be impressed with
Canibus's lyrical ability. A thinking
man's rapper,
:5i. Canibus combines
*** metaphors with
Canibus heavy doses of
Can-I-Bus science (the
prophetic
Group Hame! "Channel Zero"),
universal Mathematics (the
Reviewed by I a i d- b a c k
Daily Arts Writer "Niggonometry")
Quan Wiliams and wisdom (the
angry "What's
going on"). It becomes evident even
from the intro that Canibus is thinking on
a level that the majority of rappers have
not yet reached.
That may also be the main problem
with this album. It isn't often that a lyri-
cist as gifted as Canibus comes on the
scene, and those who know of him
expect nothing less than a perfect album
out of him. Therefore, rappers such as

Classic Hootie doesn't stop on 'Chairs'

Like it or not Hootie and the Blowfish
is one of the defining bands of the '90s.
The bands simple, emotionally-charged
rock has led the
way for such
** bands as Sister
Hootie and Hazel and
Matchbox 20. Just
e Blowfish like the Bee Gee's
Musical Chairs were blamed for
atlantic igniting the disco
Reviewed by 'revolution, many
Daily arts Writer people hold
Curtis zimmermann Hootie and the
Blowfish respon-

sible for rock's mediocre state.
Regardless, the bands latest effort
"Musical Chairs" contains a few decent
singles that will be played constantly,
reminding everybody why they got sick
of the group in the first place.
Those who still admit to liking the
band and those who claim they don't
(despite secretly listening to their worn
out copy of "Cracked Rear View") wjll
definitely appreciate this album. The
band's sound remains true to its previ-
ous releases. Simple rock and country
melodies blended with Darius Rucker's
captivating voice make for a catchy

combination as usual. Songs like "I
Will Wait" and "Las Vegas Nights" fol-
low this same pattern with just a touch
of lyrical maturity, perhaps aimed at the
bands now-older audience.
The words "I'm only lonely on the
inside" are essentially the chorus for the
albums strongest piece. The track "Only
Lonely," complete with a string ensem-
ble backing up the usual acoustic
melody is sure to be the getting-
dumped anthem of 1999.
Besides these songs which will most
likely be top-selling singles, "Musical
Chairs" displays little else.

Canibus are measured on a much tougher
scale, especially when songs like the
experimental "Rip Rock," or the hokey
"Let's Ride" fall short of expectations.
The album's stripped-down produc-
tion, while solid, is by no means spectac-
ular, and the braggadocio songs like
"Patriots' a"Get Retarded" and
"Buckingham Palaee" arc good, but they
still fall in the huge shadow of "How We
Roll" and the Cool J-bashing "Second
Round K.O." which are the earliest -
and still the best - of Canibus' record-
ings.
The truth is that Canibus suffers the
same fate as Common, Rass Kass and
Organized Konfusion. While Canibus
has succeeded in delivering a worthwhile
album that is a fitting addition to ary
music collection, he has failed to deliv r
the revolutionary, groundbreaking album
that rap critics wanted from him. This
makes you wonder if we in the hip-hop
world place our expectations on these
guys just a little bit too high.

But for a band everyone thought was
washed up two years ago, it really isn't
all that bad.

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