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January 11, 2001 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

16B - ThR ichigan Daily - Weekek etc. Magazine--- Thursday anuary 11, 2001

t 0

11,y

Year 2000:
Flp hop
lies dead
By Dustin Seibert
Daily Arts Writer
Terribly enough, it seems as if these
da I have to search much farther and
wider for a good quality hip-hop
record, as opposed to five years ago.
when they seemed to be waiting for
me.
The history of rap spans almost thir-
ty years and much like a gentleman
harboring a newfound need for Viagra,
the music has lost much quality with
age. Commercialism has taken a
painful toll on rap, and it came to a
head in 2000 with a host of disappoint-
ing records.
There were numerous deficient (and
dqyight awful) albums, particularly
from artists who have released other-
wise groundbreaking albums at some
point in their careers. While everyone
and their mother seems to love
Outkast's Stankonia (LaFace), I was
personally let down by much of their
poorly constructed fourth album.
Despite hate-mail and death threats,
I stand firm to this,. Jav-Z also had a
less-than-impressive fifth solo release,
and Prodigy's H.N.LC. (Loud) was
absolutely deplorable.
However, the "Don't Believe The
Hvpe' award for 2000 goes to The Wu-
Tang Clan's third group project, The W
(Wu-Tang Records). They promised us
aturn to the essence with this record,
and they failed dismally to come
through, delivering a watered-down
record with many pointless verses.
Fortunately, the year wasn't full of
misses. Reflection Eternas Tain Of
Thought (Rawkus) heads as 2000's
best and personally most anticipated
album. Kweli and Hi-Tek brought a
genius to the industry that was much
needed and highly appreciated. I can't
stress enough the impact of this record
given the space of this article, so I will
move on.
Ghostface Killah came in second
u'ei Supreme Clienele (Epic), or the
so-called "second coming" of the Wu-
Tang. Ghost and RZA gave us that '93
Wu flavor that we so missed in their
lackluster releases prior to this.
And of course, Common's Like
Witer For Chocolate (MCA) requires
mention, having the best single of the
year ("The 6th Sense"), and displaying
Common's return to grace.
Everything in between basically met
expectations, from okay releases from
Wvclef and Busta Rhymes, to booty
shake joints like Ludacris' "Whats
Your Fantasy?" to joints not even wor-
thy of mentioning (No Limit what'?
CI4h Money WHO??). I have learned
from this year alone not to have expec-
tations, for I will likely end up pissed
at the product I spent SI5.95 on. Look
out, however, for 2001 releases that
seem promising (The Roots, Black
Star, and the return of Nas). For the
tie being, be thankful for Napster

ROCK N' ROLL
Continued from Page 7B
authoritative collection of the Beatles
without including a single song from
the band's greatest (rock and rolls
greatest) album, Sgt. Pepper's Lone/v
Hearts Club Band.
Sure, it's
impressive that
the Beatles
were not only
the most talent-
ed, but also one
of the most
popular bands
ever, but let's
be frank.
N o b o d y ' s
going to pore
over "Love Me
Do," "Ticket to
Ride" or
"Paperback
Writer" several
decades from
now. The Beatles will continued to be
heralded in a hundred years because
they told a profound story by combin-
ing eloquent, picturesque lyrics with
sophisticated, indelible melodies in a
symbiotic relationship that was both
unprecedented and is still without par-
allel.
The band's maturity came to
fruition with Sgt. Pepper's and, to a
lesser degree, all their material start-
ing with and coming after Revolver.
Precious little of this music is includ-
ed on 1.
Since Sgt. Pepper s, rock and roll
-s gotten the idea that it's an art
form, which often has been nothing
more than an excuse for hacks to make
hoity-toity records. There's come a
time everv few years when some band
is proclaimed to be changing the face
of rock again with a bold new synthe-
sis of techniques that the Beatles and

ship. But that won't change the fact
that the storyline is flimsy and the
band sounds hardly any more progres-
sive than bands who made better
overblown pretentious concept albums
in the '70s with much less sophisticat-
ed recording equipment. Still, it's
what's out there to offer disenfran-
chised suburban kids these days who
don't want their daddy's Dark Side of
the Moon.
And while Dark Side of the Moon
spans a gamut of emotions from para-
noia to serenity, Kid A is basically an
unwaveringly frigid vision of a bleak
future. Which makes it just about the
worst disc to play through the head-
phones past 4:00 a.m. for the walk
home after a night of heavy drinking.
All the computer manipulation of
Yore's voice makes him sound like a
robot. Alone late at night is no way for
a drunk robot to be. You read that book

courtesy Apple Records

The beatles, pre-hippy days, wore matching black suits and boots.

"Frankenstein" and you know how
freaks get treated after the sun comes
up.
Don't go messing your head up like
that. If you need a good healthy scare
some night, do yourself a favor and
buy a Widespread Panic album,
preferably Another Jovois Occasion.
Panic doesn't bother \i Ob siasv
mind games; they sing about rocks
and food. They address dying and all
the eating, drinking, running and real
life things that can be done in the
short time you have before you croak.
Till the ledicine Takes, the'band's
last studio release, while finely pro-
duced, doesn't have any "concepts."
Rock is a blues derived music. It's
about pain and bad things and getting
over them, because that's what life is.
If rock music has hopes of surviving
the 21st Century with any portion of
itself in tact, it's gonna have to lose
the pretense and get back to the
basics.
Whereas most bands go to great
lengths to make sure they have con-
trasting dynamics and shapely phras-
es, Panic has no time for such hin-
drances. Another Joyous Occasion, a
set of live performanes with guests

the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, starts
loud and gets louder
The experience of listening to
Widespread Panic can be a sort of
play off the band's name. Layers of
noise and excitement mount on top of
one another until it seems like this
hailing maelstrom of sound you're
being subjected to just canl. get pNy
more intense. But it does and the
question is, will vu panic? Can you
handle the terror of life on the brink or
will you run screaming for relief?
The band leads by example. On
stage, Michael Houser, the lead gui-
tarist, sits dowi and plays steady,
unsyncopated phrases with the non-
chalance of a man relaxing on his
front porch. John Bell clicks his heels
together suavely and cradles the mic
with a voice that sounds like dirt
crunching between pebbles. They
don't panic and the point is that you
should revel in ear-piercing pain too.
Furthermore, Another Jovous
Ocassion is one of the only albums
ever to effectively incorporate a horn
section as an extension of a rock band,
rather than as a cheap textual tack-on
and ii just might be the best rock
album to come along in a decade.
iT
courtesy o
W ies re
ad Panic
tckIles all
the-impor-
tant
f, n mnissues.

p 11
pp(.
.q R L ( y

I

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