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November 10, 1998 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-10

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 10, 1998

Meshu ghushes
into Chaos here .
History repeats itself. And, judging by "Supposed pointlessly through - yep, you guessed it - an
Former Infatuation Junkie," so does Alanisfs insufferable series of "how long'"s.
Morissette. This track illustrates that though she may have The fine line between sanity and
In some ways, the repetition is good in that the acquired some Eastern flavor, she thanks India in genius seems to have been blurred on
music on "Junkie" is as comfortable and enjoyable "Thank U,'her lyrics lack spice. Sweden's Meshuggah's new release,
as on "Jagged Little Pill." In fact, "Junkie" stands as It is only when Morissette goes out on a limb that "Chaosphere." The album sounds as
a continuation of "Pill"- all the familiar guitar and this "Junkie" shoots up in quality. though it was made by a group of gradu-
bass-beat love-and-life songs that the royalties from While hardly a risk in today's pop landscape, ate engineering students who decided to -
15 million copies of your debut album can buy, tai- Morissette reaps the rewards of straight-forward form a technically sophisticated heavy
bred for today's slightly edgier times. dance music on "So Pure, a joyful rave which pos- music group utilizing the knowledge of
"Junkie" generally rocks harder than its predeces- sesses a chorus so Madonna-like that even Madonna upper level math. With unheard of time
sor- often annoyingly so, as on the album-opening wouldn't even attempt it anymore - "I love you signatures, groovy rifing, mathematical-
"Front Row" and the near-staccato annoyance when you dance, when you freestyle in trance" ly precise-yet-intriguing song structures
known as "Sympathetic Character." Morissette croons. and a penchant for being completely
But "Junkie" follows the same sonic trajectory as "Unsent" also offers up a new flavor of heavy, it is easy to believe that
"Pill," only on a much larger (17 tracks) scale and uN dMorissette, as it graciously details private letters to Meshuggah members must have enlisted
Morissette can't help ripping herself off. five former flames and tells the fellas how they the know-how of some sort of technical
The harmonica-laced "UR" though musically a Ienriched her life, instead of telling them what they engineering degree to construct such millennium. The eas in the usage ofodd
strong and rather hummable, is "Hand in My Pocket oughta know. impressive music. time signaturesin such a brutal manner is
'98." The aforementioned "Front Row" is more than It is when Morissette simply opens up like this, as The first listen to "Chaosphere" is dis- especially a mind- blowing high point on
a bit similar to "Pill"'s "All I Really Want" And and booty-shaking "I Was Hoping" well as on "UR" and "One, instead of heavy-hand- turbing. The gui- this release.
Morissette even cribs from this year's radio hit, But when Morissette employs this repetitive struc- edly flaunting her extended vocabulary in wordy, tars and bass There are no fillers on this nine son
"Uninvited," off the "City of Angels" soundtrack, ture on nine of the pretentious mediations seemed at first out epic. Band members Jens Kidm
which is quite blatantly the already-overwhelming on society, that of sync with the (vocals), Marten Hagstrom (guitar),
piano-and-wail model for the 17 tracks, one wonders "Junkie" comes even Meshuggah drums while the Fredrik Thordendal (guitar), Tomas
* extremely repetitive "Are You if she has nothing close to the highs of riffs seemed dis- Haake (drums) and Gustav (bass) prove
Alanis Still Mad" worthwhile left in her "Jagged Little Pill." Chaosphere jointed. When that they are musicians of the highest
Moriss Repetition also dominates pocket. Yes, it is technically Nuclear Blast more attention is order with this songs such as "New
SuppwoeFormer Morissette's overall song struc- "Are You Still Mad" unfair to compare the Reviewed by placed on the Millennium Cyanide Christ" and "Sane."
Infatuation Junkie tre, repeating key words or ranks among the worst two so exclusively and Daily Arts Writer material, however, As most bands today seem content to
Maverick/Reprise phrases in either the stanzas or tracks, with its redun- a review should accept Adlin Ros a sudden surge of walk in the footsteps of previous groups
Reviewed by choruses and, on some occa- dant questioning of the new album on its realization over- - making no attempt to be innovative -
Daily Arts Writer sions, both. "Are you still mad" this own terms. comes the listener. Believe it or not, it is very refreshing to find a music group
Bryan Lark Sometimes this format or "are you still mad" But after takinga lis- everything does fit into place and the that is willing to push the limits and raie
works: The sweet promises of that, set against an exact Cure Maeced ten for yourself, you'll combination truly works. the stakes. 0
the lush "That I Would Be Good," the continued replica of the aforemen- Alanis Morissette escalates her wordy lyrics and see that "Supposed Meshuggah's songcraft is like nothing It is said that the fine line between
"thank you"'s of the first single "Thank U" only tioned "Uninvited." repetitive song structure on "Junkie." Former Infatuation else that exists in today's music industry. insanity and genius is measured only
serve to make the song catchier and more sonically The much-touted Junkie" is Morissette's Fusing the discipline of jazz with ele- through results. With "Chaosphere'"
endearing, or the title refrains in the beat-driven Eastern flavor of the album is almost entirely rele- amicable, passable, often danceable but largely ments of heavy music - without the Meshuggah show the results of possible
"Would Not Come" and the simultaneously haunting gated to the second track "Baba," which grinds ragged "Little" sequel. cheesy stuff- the group has discovered insanity can be astounding and that the
a blueprint for heavy music of the next genius contained therein is incredible.
Band 40 Rondelles romance fans in fun rock 'n' roll,


With more than ei
rooted warrant an extra
4- exclamation points
s4..! Rondelles uses '6
s agnaion :monies as the spring
pogo-pop songs. Ja
to rebels, math nerd
Following the recent release from to cross paths with
one real, big Phish, the Pittsburgh
ensemble Rust Root plays a story + "A . .A +
of its own wnthti ts new self-titled
telease, "Rusted Root." standable response many listeners ***%i
But a sad misconception may be may have to "Rusted Root," don't The Rondeiles
astir - this "Rusted Root" isn't the plant your feet quite yet. "Rusted Fictios Rumance,
earthy rockers we have come to Root" experiments in a blend of Fast Mackites
know and hail. rock, R&B and grass roots, as well Smells Like Records
With the absence of the as Latin and Eastern sounds. Though
unabashed, orgasmic mantras of ultimately it makes for a not cohe- o v eed
"When I Woke," or the more tempo- sive release, this such experimenta- Jimmy Dra
al uitar riddled nulsins of tion succeeds well on the individual

nough enthusiasm to
generous supply of
in this review, the
0s girl-group har-
board for its garagey
im-packed with odes
s and any other boys
this band, "Fiction
RomAnce, Fast
Machines" is an
exhilarating trek to
the heart of the
teenage crush.
The Rondelles'
album could very
well double as the
soundtrack to a
seedy after-school
special where
leather jackets,
cigarettes and bad
ross the boob tube.
ugh posturing, the
s to play fun rock 'n'
ongs into 22 minutes,
D.C. co-eds don't

bother with the political tomfoolery that
often bogs down punk; instead, the group
opts to sing about boys who've got all the
girls' hearts racing. The result isn't
kitschy immaturity, but is endearing in its
crushed-out, tough gal sound. When the
handelap-along chorus of "Catastrophe"
kicks in ("Hey, hey, what a catastrophe/I
wish he had a crush on me!"), any listen-
er with the tiniest shred of pop apprecia-
tion will smile and sing along.
The band struts its best stuff on songs
that combine its hilarious sense of humor
with knock-off-your-socks rock. On
"Mission: Irresistible" singer/guitarist
Juliet (no last names for these punkas,
thank you very much) sings about her
math geek infatuation: "I'll look through
his glasses, into his eyes/And there'll be
sparks!/We'll go downtown to the roller
rink/And hold hands 'til it's dark!" Then
the song shifts into high gear with its
demented cheerleader chant of a chorus
(note the infectious "Hey! Hey! Hey!"
cheers). She disses a boy in "Magazine,"
sneering. Her voice comes off like the

biggest eye roll caught on record.
Elsewhere, she threatens revenge on
cheating hearts ("Shanghai Surprise"),
and describes afternoons of milkshakes
and drag races ("Drag Strip Race"). The
music isn't very diverse, but doesn't feel
repetitive - quite a feat for three kids
who released their first single while
walking their high school halls to study
Like a kid sis of Justine Frischmann,
Elastica's smirking singer, there's no
doubt that Juliet has "Attitude" stamped
on her driver's license and has the skinny
on the secret punk rock handshake.
Juliet, bassist Yukiko and drummer/key-
boardist Oakley may be the fast crowd
you only daydreamed of cutting I1th-
grade biology with, butthey never sound
like they're pulling a fast one on the
audience, or that they're part of an exclu-
sive clique. The trio is so energetically
fun that it's hard not to get caught up in
the enthusiasm. This exuberance is the
Rondelles' biggest appeal - the trio
makes music sound so fun and easy that

,tl gula plum guapV
"Remember," the latest Root offer-
ing plays very
flat and dispas-
sionate. While
the disjointed
Rusted Root effort contains
several good
Rusted Root tunes, not one
Mercury Records song enlightens
lead singer
Reviewed by M i c h a e 1
Daily Arts writer Glabicki or
Chris Cousin backup angel
harpy Liz Berlin
to a higher ground.
While the opening track, "She
Roll Me Up," aptly sounds like a
well-produced cut for a WB teen
melodrama, "Magenta Radio" pro-
vides fun melodies that fail to erupt
like Root's past creations of won-
drous intensity.
Early in the bluegrasa runaround
"Kill You Dead," Glabicki asks, "Tell
me where, where is the way to the
door?" Though possibly an under-

tracks such as "Rising Sun,""Live A
Long Time" and "Agbadza'."
Although "Agbadza" could be
referred to as "Drum Trip" Jr., "Live
A Long Time" develops as a hip
form of grass roots rap - a probable
influence from Root's producer
Susan Rogers, who also produces the
Barenaked Ladies. "Rising Sun"
illuminates the entire album in its
laid back guitars and Glabicki's
happy warblings.
Glabicki's vocal delivery, though
enjoyable in "Sun," fails even to
bring much new excitement to a
classic rendition. Remember the
band's so-called better-than-Santana
version of "Evil Ways?" Covering
the Rolling Stones' best "You Can't
Always Get What You Want," Root
plays the song similarly - except
with out any of the "Rolling" that the
Stones have.
In following suit with the rest of
the album, Glabicki and company
are more stagnantly rooted.

reputations flash ac
Yet for all the to
Rondelles just wants
roll. Cramming 11 sc
these Washington,

lsteners will wish nat mney, to, nau
convinced their high school buddies to
jam in the garage.
If itcan keep making music this enjoy-
able, the band will quickly immortalize
itself as the icon band of teen crushes.
Feeling blue because the new boy doesA
know you're alive? Down in the dum
about the wedding ring your substitute
teacher wears? Try "Fiction Romance,
Fast Machines" - inspiring crushes
through a stereo near you!

Conflict chooses Crucial 'side'

It took longer than other cities, but Chicago is slow-
ly-but-surely establishing its own hip-hop identity. The
city is represented by super-lyricists Common and Da
Brat, but is known more for super-fast rappers like
Twista, Psycho Drama and Do or Die. Crucial Conflict
is part of this group of speedsters, following up its
debut with "Good Side Bad Side."
It's easy to be cynical, since
music . as of late has been
* swamped with artists who try to
show off how fast they can throw
Crucial words out. The difference
Conflict between Craeial Conflict and
Good Side Bad Side these other artists is that it was
Pallas/Universal one of the true innovators of this
Revie y style, and it proved that by out-
Daily Arts writer shining its guests, Do or Die on
Quan Williams the slick "Airplane;' and Three 6
Mafia on the catchy "Bogus."
The surprising thing about Crucial Conflict is that it
finds a way to offer variety within its style, which keeps
its flow from getting repetitious. The group constantly

switches the style of its flow, making songs such as
"Scummy" and "Let it Go" interesting to listen to. It
even experiments with a swing style on "I'm Bout to
Explode" which may be the best song on the album.
Wildstyle's production is also noteworthy. He resists
the temptation to make wannabe Timbaland beats or
boring R&B remakes, and delivers original, high-qual-
ity music. He shines most with the sparse "The
Bidness," the bouncy "Like This" and the smooth
"Come On."'The only major flaw with his production is
that all of the music except for "Pump it Up" is the
same tempo. But listeners may be too busy bouncing to
realize it.
The biggest problem with most fast rappers is that
either they're not really talking about anything, or
they're going so fast that the listener can't understand
what they're talking about. Crucial Conflict is no
exception. Aside from the two ballads, the group really
doesn't say anything meaningful or engaging. Even
though we may not be able to figure out what the band
members are saying, we will certainly enjoy the music
just the same.

Another major problem is that "Bogus" is the only
exciting song on the album. "Good Side Bad Side" is
more for listeners and riders, so if you're looking for
more songs such as "Hay"then look elsewhere. Crucial
Conflict has avoided the sophomore jinx, and has made
a solid album that should make all of Chicago proud.

Prospective Teacher Education Meeting
Tuesday, November 10, 1998
6:00 p.m.
fpSchorling Auditorium 4
Room1202 School of Education Building
Call 764-7563 for more information.

The 'k4 W gU1Ja classified
section is currently hiring creative,
business-minded freshpersons and
sophomores. Interested students
can apply at:
Students Publications Building
420 Maynard St.
Deadline: November 20

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