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September 28, 2005 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-28

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September 28, 2005
arts. michigandaily. com

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By Uoyd Cargo
Daily Arts Writer

Paul McCartney has had the most successful, albeit least
consistent, solo career of any Beatle. His last four albums,

beginning with 1997's Flaming
Pie and continuing through Chaos
and Creation in the Backyard have
been hailed as a "McCartney renais-
sance," a return to the aesthetic of
his debut solo album, McCartney,
and his only true classic, Ram. Oh,
lowered expectations.
Chaos and Creation in the Back-
yard may very well be his most con-
sistent effort since Ram, but none of

Chaos and
Creation in the

none of his legendary experimentation.
First track and lead single "Fine Line" kicks off the
album with a rollicking piano riff and shows that Sir Paul is
still capable of rocking. "Fine Line" is buoyed by the pro-
duction of Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck), who manages
to make even complicated arrangements sound simple and
the simplest instrumentations sound grand. The following
track, "How Kind of You," is an interesting tempo change,
but it's twice as long as it needs to be. Like other middle
tracks, "Jenny Wren" opens with a promising acoustic gui-
tar line but is killed by abnormally vapid lyrics.
"Friends to Go," the album's most memorable melody, is
the logical choice for a follow-up single to "Fine Line." It's
concise, clear and to the point. Unfortunately on the next
track, "English Tea," the album begins to falter. "Would
you care to sit with me / For a cup of English tea /Very twee
/ Very me / Any sunny Morning / What a pleasure it would
be / Chatting so delightfully / Nanny bakes fairy cakes any
sunny morning." The rest of it is nearly as cringe-worthy.
The major weakness of Chaos and Creation is that
McCartney never really says anything. Life can't possi-
bly be too hard when you're worth a billion dollars, have a
beautiful wife and were a frontman in The Beatles. His life,
however, should be more of a hint to move away from the
autobiographical songwriting approach than an excuse to
stay there. At 63, it's hard to get away with singing lovelorn
lyrics inferior to the ones you wrote when you were 23.
Despite this, McCartney does sound like he's having
fun, and though mediocre, is still better than most every-
thing else that's out there. Chaos and Creation continues
his streak of crafting consistent albums that find a middle
ground between his soft-rock schlock and his early acous-
tic gems. He may never get back to his glory days, and it's
insane to expect him to, but he's still capable of more than
this. The man is a fucking Beatle for Christ's sake.

By Abby Frackman
Daily Arts Writer

its songs are better than his worst Beatles tune. While it's
unfair to hold him to that standard, it's mind-boggling to
think about where all that talent went. Listen to the Beatles'
Anthology Three demo of "Mother Nature's Son" and it's
clear that if McCartney had put out a solo album in 1968, it
would have been the greatest singer/songwriter album ever.
Years of absolute shit, from Back to the Egg to the hor-
rific Give My Regards to Broad Street, have diminished
McCartney's legacy so much that Chaos and Creation
may really be his best solo album in 34 years.
McCartney plays all the instruments, a wise choice since
his effortless musicality makes for a more unified sound
than any backing band besides the other three Beatles
could provide. His voice, though still good, just doesn't hit
those high notes like before. That wouldn't matter so much
if his melodies weren't so conventional. While there's none
of his patented Wings-era saccharine drivel, there's also

Sex, hangovers, walks of shame. Sounds suspi-
ciously like a typical weekend in college, but actu-
ally, this is what The Rolling
Stones are still singing about,
nearly 40 years after they took The Rolling
the United States by storm with Stones
their first American release,
1964's England's Newest Hit- A Bigger Bang
makers. On A Bigger Bang, their Virgin
first studio album since 1997's
Bridges to Babylon, the Stones
prove that they, like fine wine and good cheese,
only improve with age.
Jagger and Richards put aside their infamous
animosity while making this album, waiting for
drummer Charlie Watts to recover from throat
cancer. The end result is raw, unadulterated rock
served in classic Stones fashion, making all aging
rocker stereotypes and labels meaningless.
The album dazzles right from the get-go with
the dirty guitar licks of "Rough Justice." Rife with
delightful, steadfast, double entendr6s and sexual
imagery like "Once upon a time / I was your little
rooster / But now I'm just one of your cocks" and
"So put your lips to my hips baby / And tell me
what's on your mind," this song immediately picks
up where the Stones left audiences hanging almost
40 years ago.
Fans longing for earlier-sounding Stones songs
are sure to be taken with "Let Me Down Slow," a

track that showcases Jagger's sound with a country
twang, backed by a chain-smoking Richards play-
ing some wicked chords. It doesn't really matter
that Jagger sounds just like he did on "Dead Flow-
ers"; what really matters is that on this song, his
voice sounds just as good as it did on the Sticky
Fingers classic.
On the remorseful "Biggest Mistake," the listener
can't help but empathize with Jagger as he patheti-
cally whines, "I acted impatient / I acted unkind / I
took her for granted / I played with her mind."
Richards also gets a chance at the mic, attempt-
ing to show off his vocal prowess on "This Place
Is Empty" and "Infamy." However, the role of sexy
frontman is better left to Jagger. Richards trying to
sound sweet and tender is just as creepy now as it
was in the '60s.
The only missteps of Bang are some spots of
unsophisticated lyrics and a few unoriginally titled
songs. Lyrics like "I was a stupid jerk / She was
a piece of work" on "She Saw Me Coming" and
"Driving too fast / I think you're gonna crash" on
the unsurprisingly titled "Driving Too Fast" are
much too juvenile. Maturity is also lacking for
song titles such as "Oh No, Not You Again" and
"Laugh, I Nearly Died." Childish titles and lyrics
should have no place on a record by the gang who
once proclaimed themselves "The World's Greatest
Rock'n'Roll Band."
Love and heartache are the overarching themes
of Bang, but diehard Stones fans shouldn't worry
that their legendary classic rock idols are going
soft. If age is a sign of things to come, listeners can
expect to be rocked just as hard on future Stones



Bow Wow'
By Hyatt Michaels
Daily Arts Writer


'Bounce' lacks bite

Rapper-turned-thespian Bow Wow
("Like Mike") leads a charming cast
of Hollywood newcomers and veter-
ans in the flawed,
but passable com-
ing-of-age comedy Roll Bounce
"Roll Bounce." At the Showcase
The film, set dur- and Quality 16
ing the '70s when Fox Searchlight
the Bee Gees and
roller-skating were
cool, conjures up
disco nostalgia with groovy music,
roller rinks and bellbottoms.
"Roll Bounce" follows a simple plot
explored in many other teenage-driven
movies: A group of talented and under-
privileged kids compete against snobs.
This time around, Bow Wow's Xavier
and his group of cronies are forced to
roller bounce to the glossy Sweetwater
Skating Rink after their neighborhood
roller paradise is closed. Here we find
knock-off villains: skinny heartthrob
Sweetness (Wesley Jonathan, TV's

"What I Like About You") and his
two annoying henchmen. But Xavier
and his boys (led by the charismatic
Brandon T. Jackson, "8 Mile") are
more than typical underdogs and pack
a humorous punch that balances out the
cheese. The tension leads to one of the
lamest dance-offs ever, but, thankfully,
much of the film takes place outside of
the rink.
With a '70s backdrop, it's surpris-
ing how much more enjoyable "Roll
Bounce" is compared to the similar,
but embarrassingly bad, "You Got
Served." Although it becomes obvi-
ous that many of the young actors are
imitating '70s TV shows and movies,
it's still genuinely fun watching them
do it. In between the momma jokes
and skating formations, "Roll Bounce"
becomes an infectious and sometimes
heartwarming film. Bow Wow displays
some definite dramatic potential with
actor Chi McBride ("Boston Public").
The play their roles well, a father and
son reeling from the loss of a beloved
wife and mother. Equally sweet are
the performances of Megan Good
and Jurnee Smollett ("Eve's Bayou")
playing the love interest and tomboy,

"Roll Bounce" never quite captures
the era the way Spike Lee's "Crook-
lyn" did, but it's not really the fault of
the actors so much as the screenplay.
"Roll Bounce's" dialogue has all the
complexity of an Ashlee Simpson bal-
lad, and no one is affected more than
poor Rick Gonzalez. The up-and-com-
ing "Coach Carter" scene-stealer is
not only reduced to a minor support-
ing role, but is given some of the worst
lines in the entire film.
"Roll Bounce" also offers lackluster
dance sequences, primarily because of
its noticeable use of body doubles. Even
more distressing is the film's attempt at
complex racial humor that comes off
more awkward than amusing.
It's actually hard not to like Bow
Wow's new movie, but it just misses
the mark. With talent and disco nos-
talgia behind it, the film has all the
ingredients to be a successful movie,
but it never quite finds itself. "Roll
Bounce" is best when the actors are
simply allowed to have a good time on
the skating rink to the backdrop of the
film's amazing soundtrack. If only that
were good enough.


-- - - - - - -1


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