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September 26, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-26

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Music; Madonna
Maverick/Warner Bros.
By Chris Cousino
Daily Arts Writer
"Hey Mister DJ/put a record on/I
wanna dance with my baby."
With the opening words of the title
track of Music, Madonna's latest
foray into the world of electronica,
the pop queen spells. out exactly
what her mission is - the lady
wants to dance, and groove she will.
With tons of clicks, beeps and
zooms, Madonna flings herself right
into special effects and electronics,
under the direction of Mirwais
Ahmadzai and William Orbit (the
mastermind behind the smash suc-
cess Rai of Light). The main differ-
ence with Ray of Light is that Music
is a full-fledged leap into the elec-
tronic pool instead of the brief dip
she took with RaY of Light.
Gone are the pop tunes disguised
with techno ambience and pulsing
beats. The simple complexity of
Music holds nothing back from try-
ing to be a mainstream techno record
as her retro youth voice breaks in
both pitch and octave (through the
aid of a computer). Skips, drum
machines, filters and generated
effects push the album along at. full
force, and even Madonna seems to
(et lost a little in the barrage of beats
(especially "Impressive Instant").
But fans and friendly listeners
don't fret: Music is a Madonna
album and her trademark sound is
gleefully evident on such soon-to-

be-hits "Runaway Lover," a moody
cyclone trip or the "Beautiful
Stranger" cousin "Amazing," both
produced by Orbit. Music is fun and
Madonna seems to be enjoying her-
self, even amongst the quiet,
acoustic guitar riffs and keyboardslof
"I Deserve It."
Madonna's 1Iusic could become
the dance album for the rest of the
year, or she may find her fans turned
off by the full-frontal changeover
into electronica. Even the title may
feel a little bizarre: Is it supposed to
be pretentious or just simply what it
says? Madonna's marriage with this
new electronic sound (and the pend-
ing one with eclectic filmmaker Guy
Ritchie) seems like a right fit for the
once Material Girl Now entering the
post-'90s digital age, she has trans-
formed into a woman, a mother and
maybe a wife. But the gal still wants
to dance.
Grade: B+

Music For People, VAST;
Elektra

By Justin Mann
For the Daily
Visual Audio Sensory Theater, also
known as VAST, released their second
album, Music For People, on Sep. 12. A
little like U2, a tad like Collective Soul,
nothing like def metal pioneer, Morbid
Angel. Influenced by the Beatles and
the Police, the sounds of VAST are a
wonderful blend of blaring and relaxed.
Some of the lyrics could use work, but
the distinct voice of Californian vocal-
ist/guitarist Jon Crosby is pretty
impressive and definitely brings a great
deal to each of the twelve songs on this
album.
Crosby is not alone though, he is
backed by a trio of talented musicians
in Californian drummer Steve Clark,
Australian bassist Thomas Froggatt and

guitarist Rowan Robertson. A gifted
and artistic group, VAST creates many
superb musical arrangements to
accompany the vocal melodies :f
Crosby. One may think that the addition
of an orchestra to a band of this type
just would not work, but this band man-
ages to find a vay to intertwine a sym-
phony with distorted guitars in a hand-
ful of harmonious tracks.
Grade: B

Mardev Caws talking during the verses

"Hands up who thinks it's now?" Matthew Caws asks on the
opening track of Nada Surf's second album, The Proxinitv
Effect. Caws' words serve as a melodious prayer to the Rock
Gods. He is crying out to an invisible savior, hoping he will
come wielding the guitar that will clean the crap out of music
today.
The Proximity Efect, however, will not usher in the next
wave that Caws may be hoping for, as Nada Surf brings their
ultra-clever pop to an extremely small fan base. The album
opens strong, launching itself at listeners with the ambitious
"Hyperspace," a guitar driven song with a catchy lead riff.
"Dispossession" revisits the song structure of "Popular," with

and a break out (although signifi-
cantly less witty) chorus.
Not without their own motives,
Nada- Surf come out swinging at
the sexual offenders of the world
with two songs focused on the
topic. "Mothers Day" is incredi-
bly abrasive, telling the personal
tale of a rape. The record closes brilliantly with "Robot," a song
that re-iterates the rape themes mentioned in "Mothers Day."
The Proximitv Effect is an excellent record, a mature sopho-
more outing for the trio. There aren't any radio hits lurking in
the songs on the back sleeve and mainstream radio unfortu-
nately has no room for the 'unpopular' anymore.

Grade: B+

Bootleg: Detroit; Morphine; ly three minutes long, the album is still
Rykodisc Records satisfying and complete from begin-
ning to end, as a full concert should be.
By Gautam Baksi Recorded by a fan on March 7, 1994 at
Daily Arts Writer St. Andrew's Hall near Detroit, the
recording found its way into Sandman's
Bootleg: Detroit is Morphine's first, hands, who eventually edited and
and incidentally last, live release after mixed the work for a future release.
six studio albums spanning eight years. The song selection from the show is
Vocalist and saxophonist Mark surprising and mixed with banter
Sandman, the leader of the Morphine between the band and audience.
trio, died of a heart attack in 1999. Popular hits from "Like Swimming" , '
Bootleg is of little interest to the passing and "Cure for Pain" are missing,
listener, but joyful to the devoted fan replaced by obscure tracks from B- appreciate the unusual set list, but the
looking for a rarity. Sides and Otherwise and other unre- tracks don't merit individual release.
The album features a whopping 18 leased material. Listeners with knowl-
tracks. Although most of them are bare- edge of Morphine's discography may Grade: B-

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