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September 25, 2001 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-25

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7 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 24, 2001

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Bad Ronald, Bad Ronald;
Reprise Records

By Alyson Scott
For The Daily
Bad Ronald likes to sing about sex,
beer and weed. A lot. This self-titled
debut is filled with pop beats and light
rapping about the "1st Time" and other
initiations into the imaginary (but
much-coveted) "Cool Guys with Musi-
cal Talent and Lots of Action Club."
Listening to the entire album can be
a bit redundant. There are a few high-
lights, however. The first track on this
record, "Let's Begin (Shoot the Shit),"
is incredibly fun and upbeat, and the
-aforementioned "1st Time" has a
groovy ska sound in it, a la Reel Big
Fish.
This album's lyrics are juvenile and
the music itself is simplistic. But the
beat is catchy, and Bad Ronald is kind
of cool in a juvenile and simplistic way.
It's meant to be the soundtrack of a
good time, and it does its job well. Play
it at a party, and don't forget the beer.
Grade: B-

7even Year Itch, Collective Soul;
Atlantic
By Rob Brode
Daily Arts Writer

.

"Shine" is only on the CD once,
yet Collective Soul's Greatest Hits
album; 7even Year Itch has 13
tracks. While the rock radio mind
may not be able to readily reel off a
slew o~f Collective Soul hits, they do
exist. In fact the record boasts eight
No. I singles. The names "Precious
Declaration ," "Gel" and "Heavy"
may not ring a bell, but the signa-
ture riffs of these songs are heavy -
enough to ring your bell and catchy
enough to draw instant recognition. -
The band had all the markings of ~
a one hit wonder. Their 1994 debut
disc, Hints Allegations and Things
Left Unsaid featured only one hit
single, "Shine."
Granted the song was a major
success but it was the only single
off the album and it seemed way
too catchy for the band's collective

i

Satellite, P.O.D.; Atlantic Records

By Keith N. Dusenberry
For the Daily

The New Deal, The New Deal;
Jive Records

By Scott Wilson
For the Daily
Toronto based techno band The
New Deal have taken their members'
roots in Canadian jazz and fused it
into their music. Founded in 1998 by
way of a random improvisational
session, they use a bass guitar, drums
and horns for the baseline and leave
the texture for electronic beats.
This self-titled album is the band's
third (it was preceded by two EPs -
including the acclaimed This is Live
- both released in '98 on the band
owned-and-operated label. Now that
they are in the big time with Jive
records, and pressing for LP status,
they have managed to drag this
album out with too many tracks. The
album opens with intensity and
peaks thereafter with tracks like
"Receiver," "Technobeam" and "The
Ray Parker Suite" but lulls between
them. Then again, who would ever
expect staying power from three
Canadian males?
I do have to hand it to these guys;
they have been successful in what so
many try by mixing techno with
another genre of music. If you are
looking for parallels, I found mine
with Rinocerose, later Daft Punk and
a one timer know as Pilgrims of The
Mind. Go out and buy this album if
you want something new to listen to
that is different and won't test your
horizons, but don't waste your lunch
money on it.
Grade: B

Do you love Jesus, but still want to
break stuff? Or perhaps you wear a cru-
cifix necklace and sport some natty
dreads? In either case, you'll lo.ve that
Christian band PO.D. brings the pain in
G-rated nuggets of scripture-laced rap-
core. Equally suited to Sunday School
weekend retreats (Counselor: "Turn off
that heathen noise!" Camper: "But Rev-
erend, they're screaming for Jesus!") and
MTV's "Total Request Live," PO.D.'s
latest release Satellite proves that rapcore
should have ended the day Zach de la
Rocha turned in his copy of the Anar-
chist Cookbook.
If you watch "TRL," and I'll ask
PO.D. to pray for you if you do, then you
have seen the video for this record's first
single, "Alive." Their previous album
being their first on a major label, the
boys got a taste of sellout success and
now love the mainstream so much that
they'll do anything to get their video
played on MTV If you catch one of

those "TRL Uncensored" specials and
you look carefully, you can actually see
P.O.D. performing fellatio on Carson
Daly during the commercial breaks. I
swear that this band (comprised of a
"normal" white guy, a black guy, an
"alternative" dreadlocked white dude
and a Hispanic guy) was cast by "The
Real World" producers. All that's miss-
ing is the Asian chick.
And all that's missing from the music
on this album is anything interesting.
Most of this schlock, like "Boom" and
the title track, sounds like what would
happen if 311 got roughed up in an alley
- they would still suck, but they would
have just a little more gravel in them. I
can hardly mention tracks such as
"Youth of a Nation," where the most bor-
ing of Limp Bizkit songs somehow
mates with a children's choir and drones
on about in-school violence; or the
unspeakable offense of "Without Jah,
Nothin"' which morphs from "oldskool"
punk into the worst reggae since Ziggy
Marley thought he could write his own
songs. The rest of Satellite's tracks prof-
fer banality beyond the limits of even the
most brain dead ignoramus' patience.
Look - your little brother and Ned
Flanders dig this record on those
"naughty" nights when they stay up past
ten drinking Kool Aid and watching
Howard Stern. Hardcore.
Yeah, though you walk through the
valley of the shadow of shitty music,
thou shalt not be tempted to buy this
album. Amen.
Grade: D-

By David J. Kerastas
For the Daily

Ghetto Fabolous, Fabolous; Desert
Storm Recordings/Elektra

With his debut album Ghetto Fabolous,
Fabolous joins this year's freshman class
of MCs who prove that dope rhymes and
creativity are nothing compared to big-
name production and powerful marketing.
DJ Clue and Duro together handle half of
production duties, the other half is divvied
up amongst other well-known producers,
including Rockwilder, Timbaland and
Rick. Rock. The album includes several
cameos from noteworthy artists as well.
Having signed onto DJ Clue's Desert
Storm label, Fabolous has the benefit of
instant access to record stores, radio and
MTV, without first having to prove his
musical talent. The long list of names that
follow Fabolous in the credits simply aid

in transferring instant credibility to an
MC who, months ago, was essentially
unknown.
Though most of the tracks carry a good
bounce, his producers fail to create any-
thing beyond the standard series of base
heavy beats, played-out guitar samples
and electronic tones. Fabolous' mellow,
laid-back tone, comparable to Mase's, is
quite enjoyable. But, despite his vocal
stylings, he cannot think up an original
rhyme to save this album.
His topics go in circles, from his guns,
to his cars, to his ho's, back to his guns.
He occasionally breaks from these trite
themes with tracks like "One Day," on
which he looks at the American Dream
through the eyes of a young, aspiring MC.
The song possesses a sad irony in that
lines like, "Who knew/I'd have what it
takes to be famous/and one day I'd be rap-
pin"' remind us that Fabolous has only
succeeded because his record company
can afford to keep his dead music on life
support.
Examined closely, Fabolous appears to
love music solely as a means for bragging
to a mass audience. On "Young'n," he,
claims that, though the haters critique
him, he has "got them looking at the bill-
board charts all confused."'He certainly
does for all of us.
Grade: C-

well being. All signs pointed to
Hasbeenville for the group but their
eponymous sophomore release
spawned four No. 1 hit,,singles,
including the blissfully bongo heavy
"December" and string saturated
"The World I Know." By 1997 the
surprise of seeing Collective Soul at
the top of the rock charts had van-
ished as "Precious Declaration" and
"Listen" from Disciplined Break-
doxwn both went to number one.
Since then the band has released
two more albums, both containing a
chart topper.
Quietly, but surely the brothers
Roland, Ed and Dean led Collective
Soul to being one of the biggest
rock bands of the of the mid
nineties. The band has'an uncanny
ability to add just the right amount
of syrupy melody over their razor
sharp guitar licks, pleasing the Top
40 and rock radio listener. Releas-
ing a greatest hits album after only
7 years in the business looksa abit
pretentious but releasing a double
CD 14 Year Itch in 2008 didn't seem
as practical.
Grade: B
thing I'm sure of/that I'm your
lady/always baby/and I love you now
and ever," she immediately abandons
the casual, non-threatening musical
combinations of her Billboard friendly
single, following it a with bold and dar-
ing compilation of suggestive rap,
upbeat chorus and catchy hip-hop,
explaining to "Harry" that she "doesn't
want to be [his] girlfriend," just dish the
"lovin'."
This gutsy new album could be disas-
trous for most artists, yet only the
impactful and memorable strength res-
onating in Macy Gray's spirit and vocal
chords give her the power to pull off this
intense musical chaos.
Although her insanity is a characteris-
tic some would quarry as asylum-bound,
Id continues to the open the door to new
genres and styles of music, something
we have yet to see for a long time.
Grade: B

.
..
.
.,
,

NewAmerican Language, Dan
Bern; Messenger Records
By Sarah Stewart
For the Daily
Bob Dylan is still alive and kicking.
In Dan Bern's latest record New Ameri-
can Language one could swear that the
voice crooning "Why do you treat me
like you do/Honeydoo?" belongs to the
late and great folk singer, but it in fact
belongs to a horny Midwesterner named
Dan.
Folk unfortunately doesn't have a real
spot in mainstream listening, but if it did
it would have started with Bern. He
spins his humorous tunes Costello style,
churning out songs like "God Said No"

and "Thanksgiving Parade" that smack
of honesty.
But Bern is no legend yet; he tends to
mix his folk with something reminiscent
of fifties pop. This results in impressive
background music that is great to have
on, but not to really listen to. It never
reaches the point where you are
absorbed into the songs, but it takes you
to the cliff and lets you get a good look
at what you want.
New American Language is the prod-
uct of experience nonetheless. You can
hear the wry wit of years of reflection in
the lyrics, and the tone is truly sincere.
The album isn't a jewel, but if you pan
enough you'll find a few gold nuggets.

nal musical editor to create the newest
addition to modern music's list of retro-
nouveau.
Crooning of lost loves, and an
extreme proximity to insanity, Macy's
alternating mushroom snacking causes
quite a bit of confusion, for one song
her mood is up, while the next song is
most definitely on it's melodious way
down..
Joined by a similar back-up team of
"Hair's" ensemble cast, her spicy and
risqui tunes, such as "Sexual Revolu-
tion," not only induce a feeling of wel-
coming corruption, but use every
instrument offered by the philharmonic
to encourage a breakthrough sense of
disco meets R&B.
Remaining consistent with current
musical genres and her past releases,
Macy Gray's current single, "Sweet
Baby," is conservatively ironic when lis-
tening to the rest of album. For while
guaranteeing her baby, "there's one

By Taryn O'Leary
For the Daily

/

While combining a touch of the '60s,
mid-tempo melodies and intense artistic
license, Macy Gray has again unleashed
her raspy pipes in her new album, The
Id. Accompanied by an entourage of
whistles, purple feathers and plenty of
hair, Miss Gray has abandoned her inter-

Grade: C+

U I
C.P. Cavaf~r Professorship

brthrght israei A gift from your Jewish community.
-T-

C.P. Cavafy Professorship
Inaugural Address
ModErn ots
OpposEd to
What?
Fri, Sept 28 " 5:00 p.m.
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
9i1 North University
(LOCATED IN THE MICHIGAN LEAGUE)
Vassilios Lambropoulos
C.P. Cavafy Professor of Modern Greek Studies
Professor of Classical Studies

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