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August 09, 1999 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1999-08-09

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

,. r
Courtesy of Epic Records
. Love without the Special Sauce.
. Love & Special
Sauce
Philadelphonic
Epic Records
G. Love and Special Sauce's new
album, "Philadelphonic," contains a
ricty of popular sounds ranging
rom easy rap sessions to blues-y
blends of acoustic and electric gui-
tars.
The group has a friendly car pleas-
ing style, similar to many artists.
One that comes to mind is Sublime
- safe enough rap lyrics mixed with
happy riffs and chords.
G. Love gives a Q-Tip-ish flow on
' oaches." The style on "Friday
ght (Hundred Dollar Bill)" is a
straight imitation of Slick Rick.
"Dreamin"' samples the familiar
"Clean Up Woman" from '70s soul
woman Betty Wright.
You may be wvary of G. Love, fear-
ing that its mainstream popularity
and cute little posters all over town
make their music bubble-gum goo.
The album is actually one that can
manage its way into your CD rota-
tion - and stay there for a while.
Alisa Claes
Macy Gray
On How Life Is
Epic Records
Macy Gray is possibly the most
hyped artist of the moment as she is
ised by many as "the next big thing."
ith her single, "Do Something," in
heavy rotation on radio and MTV and
all the coverage she is getting it is easy
to wonder if hype is all there is to the

Monday, August 9, 1999 - The Micnigan Daily - 11

singer
Thankfully, Gray has plenty of sub-
stance and flair packed in her debut
release, "On How Life Is," to bolster the
hype and silence nay-savers.
The album showcases an artist who
understands the intricacies of hip-hop,
R&B and soul very well and utilizes
elements of each to form her own
enjoyable brand of music.
"Why Didn't You Call Me" is such a
deft and infectious mix of hip-hop and
R&B that it ends up giving Lauryn
Hill's album a hearty run for its money.
"Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak" carries
such an enormous '70s style groove that
Jamiroquai wished it came up with it.
Watch out, with the sass, class and
quality Macy Gray has delivered on her
album the hype surrounding her will
only get louder
Acd/in Ros/i

foir the chorus to several songs, unin-
spiring rips, boring riffs and a seem-
ingly muffled guitar sound makes this
an album full of spirited performances
of uninspiring songs.
While some bands successfully
manage to reinvent themselves
through an album, U2's "Achtung
Babs" and Paradise Lost's "One
Second" come to mind, Machine
Head's "The Burning Red" sadly falls
closer to Metallica's "Load" album in
that it will likely alienate older fans but
will attract newer ones.
Adlit Ros/i
Protein
Songs About Cowgirls
Work/Sony Music
There is an odd brilliance to the hard
rock trio Protein's new release "Songs
About Cowgirls." It contains a musical
montage so oddly diverse that would
leave even the most astute of musicolo-
gists confused.
Lyrically this album has nothing
overly deep or complex to offer.
Tracks like "Lemonade" and "From
Mercury to Texas" are so simple
they'd leave even the lamest of high
school punk bands scratching their
heads in disbelief that these guys are
on a subsidiary of Sony Music.
Despite this, there's more packed into
this album both musically and lyrically
than Third Eye Blind, Eve 6, Weezer or
comparable band could imagine in their
wildest nightmares. Somehow the lyrics
work when blended with different styles
of (get ready for this); pop rock, punk,
hard-core, metal, funk, folk, blue-grass
thor' a banjn solo)_ country-western

Legendary jazz drummer Billy Cobham
decided to sit this one out and has been
replaced by Jeff Sipe and Rod
Morgenstein (that's right, the guy fr01tm
Wingcr).
While "Laughing Water" offer's some
unique interpretations of the material it
doesn't do any justice to the original
works. As the bands name implies, this
album approaches the music from a jazz
perspective.
This is one ofsthe problemns with Jazz
Is Dead because "Wake of the Flood"
contained tracks leaning more towards
the Grateful Dead's country and blues
side.
Also, lyrically the original album
contained some of the Dead's most
brilliant anthems like "Eyes of the
World," "Let It Grow" and "Let Me
Sing Your Blues Away."'
While Jimmy Herring's guitar does
a decent job of capturing the spirit of
the melodies without the words
themselves the tracks fall flat and
might as well be elevator music.
The diversity of the Grateful Dead's
sound and playing styles ensured that
their music will be interpreted in
countless way for generations to come.
But, if your really looking to find
the spirit of"Wake of the Flood" from
whatever musical perspective pick up
one of their live albums which con-
tains tracks from "...Flood," and you
won't be disappointed.
Curtis Zimmerman
Sophie B. Hawkins
TImbre
Columbia

Damn, Sophie! I wish I was your lover.
All that comes to mind listening to
Sophie B. Hawkins' new album,
"Timbre," is "Wow!" The lady who
once cursed, "Damn! I Wish I Was
Your Lover," has put together her
best collection of songs full of rustic
atmosphere but true to her AOR
stylings not unlike say, Sheryl Crow.
What separates Hawkins from her
contemporary is her ability to match
the sonic tapestry she conjures with
thoughtful lyrics that read beautiful-
ly as poetry on their own. Hawkins
often conveys herself as the everyday
woman trying to get by while retain-
ing her sense of intsegrity.
"Timbre" is also Hawkins' first
self-produced release and she suc-
cessfully manages to capture each
song's loose vibe and charm.
The added "enhanced CD" feature
is also an excellent inclusion to that
package. Through the feature, fans
are allowed to catch a glimpse into
the making of the album and the
frame of mind Hawkins was in
recording her new album.
As//in Ros/i

Courtesy of Roadrunner
No, Machine Head did not name them-
selves after the song that Bush wrote.
Machine Head
The Burning Red
Roadrunner Records
**
Machine Head's third album, "The
Burning Red," finds the band in the
difficult position of redefining itself.
The newer elements - rapping,
more melodic singing and dance-like
beats - crash head on with the older
elements - double pedal drumming,
heavy riffs and singer Rob Flynn's
semi-numbled cathartic screarmng
which results in a Machine Head that
is not sure what it wants to accomplish.
It is rather frustrating to find t te,
band experimenting with exciting new
elements but not quite going all the
way to make the effort interesting. For
instance, Flynn's singing may be better
now but his usage ol similar melodies

I

(~II er s alj ou, U l~yw~ll
(I told you it gets strange), and even a--"------"-""-"- - - """-""- """---"-"""
jazz guitar piece. 1 (?a -m u s .
While this album might be tough for
some to swallow it showcases a new Q u a rt
dimension of mainstream hard rock. A
genre that in this day and age definitely
needs some innovation. IC O I N L A U N D R Y
Curtis Ziisierman 9 *
New Owners, Modern
Jazz is Dead Machines, and Sparkling Clean
Laughing Water "Wake of '4695 Washtenaw
the Flood Revisited' I between Golfside & Hogback across the street
Zrom Spicetree Apts., in the Kroger/Rite Aid Strip
Zebra Records .......................
For Jazz is Dead's second album the
group deIces to rewoork the Grateful
Dead's '"VWke of the Flood.

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