I Horse: The Same Sky (Capitol) It‘s been a long wait. and in the main it's been worth it. Horse herself has a fine set of pipes and a good line in passionate. devotional love songs. and Horse the band play a classy. mainstream pop that. even when they are in full swing. aspires to the intimacy of the torch song. There are exceptions: Guns‘n‘Roses could cover ‘. . . And She Smiled'and justifiably fear the breath of the anti-mysogynist lobby on their necks; and ‘Don't Call Me' recalls Hipsway. and that brings a bit ofa problem into focus. It‘s like they're the last of that Glasgow movement to get an album out. and while the rest have moved on — Love and Money to dabble in country and rope in Steely Dan producers. Deacon Blue to a rockier fame and llipsway back to obscurity — Horse still have fqiir years worth of material to bring to the public. The Same Sky. nevertheless. hints at gems ahead. (Alastair Mabbott)
I The Blow Monkeys: Springtime lor the World (RCA) The spirit of The Style ('ouncil is alive and
well on Springtime. Robert Howard looks
back longingly to a time
when soul was both topping the charts and acting as a barometer of the tension on the streets. and he‘d rather like it if
The Blow Monkeys did
both. This is uppermost in the mind when approaching a Blow Monkeys record. and. as if it’s a Scritti Politti album. we find ourselves analysing the political message in the Islamic wail placed over a 70s jazz-funk shufﬂe. when the fact that both are trendy sounds seems reason enough. The track in question is only one shred of padding in an album that has vast instrumental tracts with very little going on. Presumably they‘re just waiting for a DJ to stick a house beat on to them and give them a club hit. because they sure don‘t seem to be doing very much here. There are few actual songs of any significance here. although the title track evades being bogged down by Howard’s polemic and emerges triumphant. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Sonic Youth: Goo (Geffen) Listening to the first major label album of the leading lights ofthe American independent scene is like reading Generation of 5 wine after a prolonged immersion in The Great Shark Hunt; the trademarks are all there. but the segments seem too
short for them to develop.
At least that's true ofside
two. on which the Youth
noodle about with guitar abuse a little too often for the constraints of a single album. Side one is magisterial. though. with
just the right balance of
ebb. ﬂow and mangle from start to finish. (Alastair Mabbott)
I The Trash Can Sinatras: Cake (Go! Discs) Its production chores split between John Leckie and Roger Bechirian — two
guys who don‘t come
cheap — Cake stomps into life with the first single. ‘Obscurity Knocks'. as
I rousing an Aztec Camera
pastiche as one could ever hope to find. But when the next track. ‘Maybe I Should Drive‘. emulates the same group with
considerably less charm. a
group with an identity crisis comes into view. The Sinatras pull out the stops again on ‘Only Tongue Can Tell’. but the quieter songs are unfocused and unassertive. One honourable exception is ‘Thrupenny Tears‘. a song that can be played in a roomful ofconversation and will have stilled all voices by the fade-out. There are hints offolkier leanings. which they may choose to follow. and they have tunes in them. but Cake is the sound ofa band that is still looking for its niche.
I Max Roach and Dizzy Gillespie: Max & Diz Paris 1989 (AGM CD only) A
lengthy improvised duo album from drummer Roach (65) and ageing trumpet king Dizzy (71) might seem adaunting prospect but turns out a winner. Max isthe constant driving force. his playing a textbook demonstration in its simple but effective toughness. while Diz adapts to his failing powers by filling in with some effective low tempo melancholy. A half-hour interview with the guys engagingly chewing over old times completes an attractive package. (Trevor Johnston)
I His Name is Alive: Livonia/Dead Can Dance: Aion (4A0) The New Age‘s answer to the garage band. HNlA dole out pan-cultural music to drift offto. with all the ethereality that one associates with 4AD. and a corresponding amount of rambling. Eastern European vocal inﬂuences. an African
I twist to the percussion.
Iguitar— sustained for so
long that it‘s probably
accompaniment to the Apocalypse - all are tossed together by the Michigan trio. and doused liberally with dub effects. There are rewarding tracks on Livonia. but. like Jupiter. there's so much atmosphere. it‘s hard to tell ifthere's anything solid underneath at all.
Dead Can Dance area long way beyond such tentative steps. They know their stuff by now, and. after Livonia. A ion crackles with a confidence and energy. which. fora string-driver album that takes the Renaissance era as a touchstone. is quite a feat. HNIA would love to make a record like this. and maybe they will: a confident. well-crafted album in which the inﬂuences from different periods and cultures are
spliced seamlessly. and very harmoniously. not rent asunder by a clumsy sample. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Mari Boine Persen: Gula Gula (Real World) The latest offering from the (iabriel‘WOlVlAD- sponsored label showcases the extrordinary vocal talent of young Laplander Ms Persen. whose soaring. unrestrained efforts are buoyed by a backdrop of rockified traditional rhythms. Reference points include Hungary's Marta Scbestyen. the (‘octcaus' Elizabeth Fraser. and (perhaps most pertinently). the glacial sax of fellow Scandinavian Jan (iarbarek. Invigorating stuff. (Trevor Johnston)
I Pat Metheny: Question and Answer(Geffen)/Gil Goldstein: City of Lights (Blue Note) Big Pat‘s all-out jazz readingof standards and originals with the unbeatable rhythm section of Dave Holland and Roy l laynes. His most testing and worthwhile project for a number of years: former keyboards associate (ioldstein trawls similar User-friendly harmonic areas in an undemanding set that finds plenty of room for the honeyed tones of fusion supremo John l’atitueei‘s six-string bass. (Trevor Johnston)
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