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October 24, 2000 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-24

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1- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 24, 2000

I

_ .- u _

Love Parade: Berlin, Dave
Ralph; Kinetic Records
By Christian Hoard
Daily Arts Writer
DJ Dave Ralph's "Love Parade:
Berlin" might easily have been
called "Intro. to Trance, Vol. ":
Sure, it's got all of the trappings of a
trance album (dark grooves, spacey
effects, only the occasional melody),
but it never really makes much of the
genre's vast sonic possibilities.
Considering that its title refers to
one of the world's biggest and
hippest raves, the disc sounds
remarkably flat and even accessible
(in a lame sort of way), so much so
that it could conceivably appeal to
those rock 'n' rollers who, though
enterprising, wouldn't dare set foot
in a dance club or otherwise give a
shit about electronic music.
Perhaps it's unfair to say that
"Love Parade" is a little lacking in
variety, since the whole point of
trance is a sort of hypnosis by way of
musical repetition. Still, there's

Lust Souls, The Doves;
Astralwerks
By Kelly Vile
Daily Arts Writer
The Doves blend a bit of space rock
and ambient music with traditional
pop rock. Lost So/s is at times emo-
tional music, but not dark. There is
not much experimentation going on,
and no psychedelic moments. The
vocals usually take away from the
overall prettiness of the instruments;
although at times the piano, harmoni-
ca and guitar also sabotage the mood
by sounding like folk and/or hard
rock. Depending on which of the
three vocalists is singing, the mood
also changes drastically. Two out of
three leave much to be desired.
Track four is reminiscent of The
Rachel's 'The Sea and Bells,' but with
vocals and added guitar. The title
track Lost Souls is light-hearted and a
bit humorous despite its depressing
name. Track seven has an older qual-
ity to it, fluttering near to the likes of
The Beach Boys, very mellowend

catchy. The last song is short, dreamy
and slow. Though considering the
variety in this 15-track album, too
much of it sounds alike. It is pre-
dictable and not very noteworthy.
Perhaps some of the songs would
make good music to replace the
worn-out and sappy pop they play in
bars, although wouldn't it be great if
space rock was added to play-lists --
period.
Grade: B-

Reflection Eternal, Talib Kweli
* and DJ Hi-Tek; Priority
By'W. Jacar Melton
ily Arts Writer
After listening to this album for
mly a few seconds, you can tell that
t's bound to be special. The first
vdice heard belongs to no one other
Nelson Mandela. Ie declares,
e I'm in Africa chilling out, I
isten to Talib Kweli and DJI Hi-Tek
reflection eternal." It's hard to
hink of an endorsement with more
weight behind it and Talib Kweli, of
Black Star fame, and Cincinnati's DJ
=i-Tek don't do anything to warrant
lesser amount of praise on their
irst full-length collaboration,
teflection Eternal.
From beginning to end, the 20
*ks stay tight. Each song has
some degree of "nod factor."
Whether this "nod" comes from the
>roduction or from Kweli's lyrics is
tard to tell since they both elements
work well together. Neither the pro-
luction nor lyrics overshadow the
ther, which seems rare in the case
f hip-hop.
Tracks like "Move Sometin',"
' ul Rebels" and "Too Late" look
ti p-hop critically on two levels
trimarily: Artists and the corporate
tructure (radio and record compa-
ties). They all follow the belief that
trtists have to follow their con-
cience when forming their rap per-
ona rather than what those in the
:orporate arena have deemed "popa-
ar" or "hot."
Though he's impressive when
e'aling with this subject, Kweli is
better doing social commen-
ary. "Good Mourning" "Africa
Dream," "Love Language" and
'Memories Live" fall into this cate-
gory. "Africa Dream" is particularly
powerful because it makes refer-
:nces to the movie "Sankofa" and
sks rappers - the black ones, at
east - not to disrespect the memo-
y of their slave ancestors by con-
rating too much on material
s
Also, Kweli and Hi-Tek's support-
ng cast isn't bad either. Mos Def,
Xzibit, De La Soul, Les Nubians and
Rick James make appearance on the
ilbum. Yes, Rick "Super Freak"
lames lends his production and
rocal prowess to "Touch You." No,
here aren't any sexual connotations.
Rather, it's an ode to the producer
md MC's ability to positively affect
h 'r audience, which these two have
tW better than just about anyone
else this year.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the
nost well-rounded albums hip-hop
tas seen in a long time, especially
onsidering its 20 songs are almost
dl full-length. The quality allows
fans to excuse the massive delays
ndured by this release. Now the
question remains of how the album
be received by the masses. If
favorable comments made by a for-
ner political prisoner and president
ire any indication, Reflection
Eternal has already reached a status
>ther hip-hop albums could never
achieve.
Grade: A

nothing terribly memorable here,
save a bunch of gimmicky transi-
tions and melodic interludes that
serve only as brief respites from the
invariably up-tempo grooves. Having
spun since the late '70s, Ralph has as
much street cred as any DJ out there,
but with "Love Parade," he's pro-
duced a disc that only encourages the
uninformed to write off trance as lit-
tle more than ultra-chic background
music.
Grade: C+

Sing When You're Winning,
Robbie Williams; Capitol
Records
Luke Smith
Daily Arts Writer
Known more for his arrogance
and squabbles with Oasis' Gallagher
brothers than his brash snob rock,
Robbie Williams' latest release,
Sitng wHiei You'ire liitntin g, is a
diverse dose of Brit-pop. Ego-mani-
ac Williams lands his second state-
side release showcasing lyrical 'wit
and album-wide dynamics.
From the hook driven opening
track "Let Love be Your Energy" to
the concluding "The Road to
Mandalay," Williams and colfabora-
tor Guy Chambers provide an enter-
taining 51 minutes. The first single,
"Rock DJ," is Williams bass pump-
ing, butt-shaking party anthem, with
'70s grooves shaken up for the uil-
lenniUrn.
"Supreme" contrasts the opti-
mism found within "Millennium"
with the lyric, "When there's no love
in town/This iew century keeps
brttinmg you down, one of many
couplets on Sin fWhe/i ou 're
Williams' quirky lyrics pinnacle
on the fifth track "Kids," when the
pop-smart Englishmen rhymes "Do
I care for sodomy?/1I don't know,
yeah probably."
Williams seems to take his music
as he comes, infusing humor into
his tracks and singing often about
sex. ie makes tio qualms about the
overuse of obvious rhyming cou-
plets. However, he makes it work
behind a wall of producedI ey-
boards, drum loops and the occa-
sional string samples.
Silg W/'ien Yos re 11inn is
exactly what it claims to be:,A'the-
atrical performance, highlighted by
Williams' angelic voice both ulling
the listener and punching home
abrasive, irony-free lyrics. luge
hooks, catchy lyrics and smooth
melodies all sang with a half-
crooked smile keep Williams ot of
the loser's circle in 2000.
Grade: B

Bamboozled (Soundtrack), vari-
ous artists; Motown
By Dustin Seibert
Daily Arts Writer
These days, it seems as if movie
soundtracks have no real purpose
besides selling a record single. Nine
times out of 10, the songs on any
given soundtrack don't have much to
do with the accompanying movie- The
lack of shallow commercial bullshit is
what separates this well-sculpted
soundtrack from most.
When picking up the soundtrack of
the recently released Spike Lee joint
"Bamboozled," the first thing true
music aficionado will notice upon
glancing on the back of the jewel case
is the diversity of the artists and

music styles. It is primarily a hip-hop
record, however, with excellent con-
tributions from the likes of Mos Def,
Common, Canibus and Goodie Mob.
A standout track is "Burned
Hollywood Burned . a militant col-
laboration with The Roots, Chuck I)
and Zack De La Rocha, the leadn
singer of the recently disbanded Rage
Against The Machine.
The legendary Stevie Wonder con-
tributes two new songs to the sound-
track along with Prince, two artists
whom every man, woman and child
should be familiar with. Gerald
Levert and Angie Stone lend their
soulful flavor to the album, and there
is a remix of Common's "The Light,"
featuring his current girlfriend
Erykah Badu. Even Bruce Hornsby
contributes what is one of my favorite

songs Ott the soundtrack,
"Shadowlands," with a very melodic
and soothing piano guiding the hyp-
notizing song lyrics.
Those familiar with the H BO
prison drama "Oz" should be familiar
with muMs the poet, who drops some
serious knowledge with his rapid-fire
delivery. Too prolific for your average
coffee house.
I am told that the movie itself was
well done, and because Spike Lee is
at the helm of his movies and their
respective soundtracks, I do look for-
ward to viewing the film.
Being a natural soundtrack skeptic,
I was quite surprised to find this one
to be in constant rotation in my com-
pact disc players.
This is most definitely the every-
man's soundtrack as it suits so many

different lister
only those w
need apply. B
Grade: B+

ners at once. However,
ith "champagne taste"
uy it.

Bette, Bette Midler; Warner
Bros.
By Jeremy Kressmann
For the Daily
When you think of Bette Midler,
the phrase "cutting edge" certainly
does not come to mind. Midler's
new release, Bette does little to dis-
pel the aura. But c'mon, could we
expect anything more'? The multi-
faceted entertainer has made a career
out of remaking songs. "Bette" is an
album that doesn't break the mold. A
compilation of lounge fodder pop
ballads, Midler's work searches out
innovation and then smothers it with
a pillow like some compassionate
soul putting a dying man out of his
misery.
Music aficionados have long
praised the strong and dynamic

aspects of Midler's vocals. While the
statement may hold true, it seems that
she puts her voice to little use.
Unfortunately, it's her sub-par musi-
cal accouterment. On the track, "Love
TKO," a remake of a song by Teddy
Pendergrass, Midler croons while
some awful wedding band ensemble
drones away in the background.

Instead of thinking about that knock-
out "Love TKO," I was reminded of
my last trip to the dentist office.
Midler even gets a little rambunc-
tious with her techno track "Bless
this Child." Reminiscent of Cher's
disco hit "Believe," this song jumps
aboard the sinking ship of tracks by
pop stars attempting to cross over:
Misguided attempts to plug in to the
increasing popularity of electronic
music. She gets credit for trying, but
"Bless this Child" really makes. you
want to dance yourself into a blind
man's knife throwing competition
instead of onto the dance floor.
While Bette Midler deserves
respect for her staying power in a
fickle pop music world, this album
sure wasn't the wind beneath my
wings.
Grade: D

Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down,
R.L. Burnside; Fat Possum
By Chns Kula
Dilyutv~s 1Eitour
Delta blues is original indie rock -
you don't get much more lo-fi than an old
black man strumming a single chord on a
ratty acoustic guitar.
It should come as little surprise, then,
to find 73-year old bluesman R.L.
Burnside recording for a subsidiary of
Epitaph, the uber-hip indie label. The sur-
prise comes in the sheer potency of
Burnside's soul-bearing vocals on Wish 1
Was in Heaien Sitting Down.
The I I-song album features the time-
worn voice of Burnside, who, after toil-
ing iin Mississippi juke joints for most of
his life, has recently been embraced by
the young, white audiences of indie-pop
artists like Jon Spencer and Moby, placed
against modern production methods.
Gutbucket guitars mix with synthe-
sized drum tracks, and old school blues

stomps are saturated with turntable
scratching (including a guest spot by
Beck's DJ Swamp).
But the constant is Burnside's gritty
vocal style, ranging from playful on the
upbeat "Too Many Ups" to downright
morose on the album's final track"'R.L.
Story's," a haunting spoken word tune in
which Burnside recounts the Chicago
deaths of two uncles, two brothers and his
father -- that's true emo for you.
Grade: B+

f

Ann Arbbor
Student GuidE
WW W.AASTUDE NTGUIE.0OM
WWW.AAFLIX.c M
WAP.AAFLIX.00M
#diamondbullet.com
Food For Thought
The Power Shifts
With the withdrawal of
American troops becoming
irreversible, North Vietnam
began to show its true
*ntentions to its Viet Cong
allies in South Vietnam. With
a military victory now possible,
"they were not inclined to
waste effort on their junior
partners, whatever they were
broadcasting to the rest of the
world." P. 189 A Viet Cong Memoir
Wry Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
www.garylillie.corn

JOIN THE MOST PROMISING
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Prospective Teacher Education Meeting
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