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September 22, 1998 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-22

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 22, 1998 - 11

ISAAK UNLEASHES LUSTY LITTLE 'DEVIL

and melodies tend to lean more
toward the Beatles than Johnny Cash.
Still, Isaak excels at composing pure
good-love-gone-bad songs that are
the hallmark of the best country
music.
But the music here is not always
Western in origin. With the
gospel-tinged "Flying," the
hard-rocking wit of the
title track, and the afore-
mentioned "Breaking
Apart" (co-written by hit-
meister Diane Warren),
Isaak conveys an isola-
tion and sexual obses-
sion reminiscent of
a melodramatic
'50s film noir, but
with better beats
and catchier
choruses.;
In fact, Isaak
also seems to
have stepped out
of another, cooler
place and time -
and not just because
of his hair.
No, Isaak's
stra ight forward
sincerity and pure
s h o w m a n s h i p
make his often-sim-
ple songs all that
much more pro-

"Don't Get So Down on Yourself,"
for example. The title alone reeks of
a Top 40, self-help testimonial likely
to be warbled by the likes of Michael
Bolton.
But in Isaak's capable hands, the
song becomes heartfelt and com-
pelling as he reassures a lover that
he's in it for more than love.
Other times, however, cuddling
and companionship are the fur-
thest things from his mind.
"I like the way you shake it,
like the way you don't have to
fake it," croons Isaak over a rol-
licking bass line in the
ever-so-subtly
titled, "Like the
Way She Moves."
All his hot
lovin' and hotter
licks prove to be
Isaak's only
shortcoming,
though, as
many of the
tunes become
tiresome in their
similarity - a
problem that has
plagued many of
Isaak's albums.
At least Isaak
proves open to
experimentation on
"Devil," playing a muf-
Repnse Records fled answering machine
hris Isaak message behind the lead
devil, vocals of "Please," adding

gun shots and crickets to the album-
closing, "Super Magic 2000," and
even trying a little amp-kicking feed-
back along the way.
Strange sounds aside, Isaak is still
the same tank-topped guy who made
the sexiest video ever made, though
on "Devil" he's not quite as sensual
and haunting as on "Wicked Game,"
or even as singularly focused as on
his 1995 masterpiece of heartbreak
"Forever Blue."
On "Speak of the Devil," Isaak is
singing the praises of love, lust and
the pursuit of surfside happiness.
It's clear that whenever Isaak hits
the road, slicks back his hair, puts
on his mirrored suit, straps on his
guitar with his name in big silver
letters and tears into his latest batch
of love and loss made rockingly
good, the world will sell its soul to
Isaak and his wholesomely dirty
"Devil."

found and entertain-
ing.
Take the tune,

Courtesy of R
Retro-rocker C
speaks to thec

Real Estate has a tough sell

and boombastic drums. Enigk's voice floats into the
song, as his vocals at first are shy but later erupt into
a pulsing wave of energy. But "Pillars" is the pillar of
the album, the one decent song present on it. Too bad
it's track one and there are nine others left.
Following "Pillars" are such tracks as "Two
Promises" and "100 Million," which bring nothing
new to the album except annoyingly simple melodies
and floaty vocal pauses near the middle and ends of
each song.
Songs found on the second half of the album
include the title track and "The Shark's Own Private
Fuck," two recordings that have melodies so similar
that they are basically indistinguishable from each
other. "The Prophet" fuses together nice acoustic gui-
tars and melting chants, then turns to slamming
drums and soft electric guitar, but goes sour when
Enigk forces his pointless lyrics into an otherwise
interesting song.
Though the album does provide some enchanting
guitar sounds and happening drums, "How It Feels to
Be Something On" finds itself to be well reciprocat-
ing and dull filler. Much of this is due to the mediocre
melodies and the lyrics which play no part in the
songs.

Singing the lyrics, Enigk's vocals are somewhat
reminiscent of Paul Jago of The Gandharvas, another
once-great band that seems to have descended into
pop-alternative hell.
Sunny Day Real Estate is not far behind from join-
ing the already festering lesions like Marcy
Playground and Harvey Danger.
Drummer William Goldsmith should look to the
sunny success of his other band, the Foo Fighters,
because his Real Estate will have a hard time selling
this property.

Loaf arches into maturity with 'Trash' masterpiece

spectrum, Bachman tries to tune up for
"Dead Red Eyes" and "Slick Tricks and
Bright Lights." At times, he sounds as
sweet a song bird, but on the really high
notes, Bachman's voice resembles Adam
Sandler's, attempting to reach a ridicu-
lously lofty octave.
Bachman's most powerful vocal per-

formance is on the

Archers of
Loaf
White Trash Heroes
Alias
Reviewed by
Daily Arts Writer
Jewel Gopwani

last two songs -
"After the last
laugh" and the title
track "White
Trash Heroes" -
where his deep,
judgmental voice
recalls the pro-
found resonance
of Depeche Mode
Sfrontman David
Gahan.
Although some
of the album's

listeners to stop and focus on Bachman's
words, especially on "After the Last
Laugh," the Archers tell a cynical story of
a beerhall. "Way after the last laugh has
swollen itself shut/ and all that's left are
true beerhall drunks."
On each of its previous albums, Archers
of Loaf's guitar work stands out most
vividly and "White Trash Heroes" is no
exception. Eerie in some places and gritty
in others, guitarists Eric Johnson's and
Bachman's musicianship is easily translat-
ed into tangible greatness. On "Fashion
Bleeds," the guitars plead for attention
with high-pitched sounds that bounce off
of Mark Price's summoning drums.
On "Smokers in Love," the instrumen-
tal track takes listeners through a bad
dream. Matt Gentling initially slaps an
up-beat bass lick to engender a rollicking
state of confusion, which is finally
resolved as the track slows down to its
original pace.
Collaborating with technology on
"One Slight Wrong Move," Archers of

Loaf includes a computerized chorus.
Featuring grooved out keyboard work,
the band goes '70s on thistrack with just
the right amount of Loaf distortion.
Archers of Loaf has never been a band
to stalk trends. Instead it is one to expand
and grow with versatility. Hopefully
"White Trash Heroes" won't be the last
time these four guys let listeners in on
their musical maturity.

lyrics are not always decipherable,
Archers of Loaf's slightly melancholy,
but contemplative sincerity challenges

Breaking Records Star System

ra ****- Classic
- Excellent
- Good
*- Fair
SPoor
No stars - Don't Bo

If you missed a week of
Breaking Records,
check out the Daily's.
archives online at
httfp://www.michi
gandaily.corn

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK
Presents
The Fedele F. and Iris M. Fauri
Memorial Lecture on Child Welfare
"Challenges to Children's Well-Being in a

other

.. ru U. " -

'I "- ~ h.Wu

I

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