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May 07, 1997 - Image 14

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1997-05-07

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

14 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, May 7, 1997

INXS makes poppy,
elegant comeback

Elegantly Wasted
INXS hasn't produced an album
since 1993's "Full Moon, Dirty Hearts,"
an album which few of us remember
and fewer of us actually bought. But
1997 brings us a new INXS album, one
which is easily as good (and as strange-
ly familiar) as classic INXS works such
as "Listen Like Thieves" and "Kick.
The album "Elegantly Wasted"
can simply be classified as
retaining the INXS sound
of a decade ago. Clearly,
the band has not given
up its catchy pop tunes,
nor has it followed U2's
path by changing its
sound to keep up with
current musical trends.
Whether this works to.
INXS' advantage or not
remains to be seen, but judging
from the success of the intoxicating
groove of the title track, people must be
missing something about the '80s.
"Elegantly Wasted" begins with
vocalist Michael Hutchence's familiar
cockiness on "Show Me (Cherry
Baby)," which continues through
"Shake The Tree" and "Girl On Fire."
But for every straight-ahead rock tune,
there are numerous more restrained
showpieces. A dose of bittersweet long-
ing can be found in the slowly synthe-
sized "Searching," poignant introspec-
tion on "Building Bridges" and reaffir-
mation on "Don't Lose Your Head."
Pure pop reigns on the mellow
"Everything," and "I'm Just A Man" is

a very subtle social commentary:
"Look at yourself / You're living the
same / Locked behind walls that your
brother has made / You were born in a
box, you work in a box, you live in a
box / and you'll die in a box / so muc
more that's outside your sphere / Bu'
you walk on by never knowing how
The entire album is filled with horns,
catchy choruses and a lot of great
rhythms, although at times the songs
start to sound a little bit alike. Some of
the highlights include the funny "Miss
Michigan, and the driving
rhythms of "Beer (Song)"
and "Suburban
Homesick Blues." '
In the midst of all
the crappy local
bands in the
Detroit area, it's
good to see a band
with a grasp of what
talent is. Mustard Plug
has a dedicated and
rowdy fan base, and it's no
wonder, with the songs that com-,-
prise "Evildoers Beware!" in theib
arsenal. Soon, other states might start
to catch a whiff of the Mustard Plug,
- Cohin Bartos
Floyd Dixon
Wake Up And Live!
Alligator Records

a lovely autobiographical centerpiece to When thinking of the blues, do you
the entire collection. envision someone moanin' and groanin'
Take it or leave it, listening to about his problems to the backdrop of
"Elegantly Wasted" is a little like being slow, sad music? If so, then Floyd
in a time warp: You get the danceable Dixon's album "Wake up and Live!"
songs without having to put on the acid- will change the way you think about the
washed jeans. For any fan of quality blues.
pop, what could be better? This 16-track CD features a variety
-- Lise Harwin of lively, up-tempo songs like "Hey
Bartender" and "A Dream." Even
though Floyd Dixon wasn't blessed
with much of a singing voice, this
album is still quite enjoyable because
Dixon is an energetic performer and a
s dPtalented piano player. He performs his
Evildoers Beware! songs with enthusiasm and vigor, draw-
Hopeless Records ing his audience's attention to the beau-
ty of his music.
*** ~kAnother enjoyable element of thw
album is the comical aspect it presents.
its hard to believe that any good On "Mean And Jealous Man" Dixon
music could come out of the Michigan tells listeners how jealous he is of other
area, but with the mild success of men looking at his wife. On "450
punkers Suicide Machines, and now the Pound Woman," Dixon gives a humor-
good, fun-loving boys of Mustard Plug, ous account of his love for slightly larg-
Detroit looks to be a hotbed of talent for er women.
up and coming ska-flavored bands. "Wake Up And Live!" is a funny, feel-
"Evildoers Beware!" tends not to be good album that blends humor and ener-
too serious, which adds to its charm. gy with beautiful music. So, if you wan
The production, for a micro indie to hear the down-home blues with
release, is stellar, and makes the record slightly different twist to it, then this
all that much more enjoyable. "Box ' " tAlb~onpis f at
rlthv oemeteecord staris'ts locr5' lto is
just atale of a guy in a box, but includes --Jessica Si nwtnsutt

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