I MUSIC REVIEW
I Momus: Hippopotamomus ; (Creation) A notable eccentric in an admittedly crowded field. Momus's work — six superb albums— is provocative . erudite. i and sensitivelyprurientof vision. Scottish cousin to Del Amitri‘s vocalist (his real name's Nick Currie. fact-fans). Momus(still) deals in seedincss; scxuality.prcjudice. fantasy and role-playing. j llcrc.cmulatinghisl98‘) almost-hit ‘l lairstyle ()f The Devil'. he forsakcs his earlier plangent cabaret style in favour of a staged clcclro-funk backdrop. It works well. ; ‘l’ornography‘. ‘Blucstocking' and the Pet 3 Shop Boysish 3 ‘\'entriloquistsAnd : Dolls‘are quuisite.fullof bile and beauty. A genius ifevcr there wasone. : (Paul W. llullah) l Material: The Third Power (Island) Producer Bill Laswell's baby. this is .‘vlaterial's first LP since 1989‘s Seven Souls. an ambitious collage of electronic 'ethnic textures with the hoary-throatcd rasp of Bill Burroughs as narrator. Fusion is still the keyword. but here the topic is reggae. ragga. rap and roots rhythm — ‘black' music. Sly and Robbie. Shabba Ranks. Bootsy (‘ollins. Herbie Hancock and Bernie Worrell contribute to an immensely satisfying. visionary work. ‘l’layin' With Firc' is Mike (5. and Alrika Bambaata on socio-rap; a dub-laden run through Marley's ‘Mellow Mood‘ is breathtaking. Massive. (Paul W. llullah) I Louis Andriessen: De Staat (Elektra Nonesuch) The vogue for systems music. minimalism. or whatever you want to call the stuff which has made Philip Glass. Steve Reich. or Michael Nyman (relatively speaking) household names. has so-far tended to by-pass Andriessen in this country. The Dutch composer's music is not widely available on disc. which makes this recording by the Schoenberg Ensemble a welcome one. and worth checkingout. DeSIaatis based on Plato‘s The Republic. and is built around compelling transformations of repetitive four-note cells. building to a powerful choral finale. Elektra Nonesuch are also issuing a complete six disc set of ; their Kronos Quartet recordings in a specially priced limited edition box. ' which is good value ifyou have the cash. and don‘t already have the music. (Kenny Mathieson)
42 The List 26Ju|y — 8 August 166i
Positively (Island) Before Tracy Chapman and Suzanne Vega there was Phranc- ‘the all-American Jewish lesbian folkslnger’. While those who have come in her wake have experienced massive commercial success, Phranc has quietly been building herself a reputation. Most recently she has been supporting Morrissey, before that it was anybody from The Dead Kennedys to The Pogues.
‘Positively’, herthird album, finds Phranc in a typically optimistic mood - the seriousness of songs like ‘Tipton’ (about pianist Billy Tipton who lived for
50 years as a man before it was discovered that he was a she) and ‘Outta Here’ are offset by the light-heartedness of "64 Ford' and a
duet with Syd Straw on The Beach Boys' j
‘Surfer Girl’. Lyrically, it is subtley political but never preaching, while the music revolves lightly around the axis of Phranc’s acoustic guitar. Highlight has to be ‘Gertrude Stein’ — a hilarious rewriting of Jonathan Richman’s ‘Pablo Picasso’ that has been alive lavourite now for many years. ‘Positively’, will hopefully see Phranc losing the cult artist tag she seems to
! have acquired and see hertaking her place in the charts with Chapman and
Vega. Dn current form she more than deserves it. (James Haliburton)
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LOVE AND MONEY
l Dogs In The Traffic (Phonogram) ' Losing the ability to love is, according
to Tolstoy, the worst late that can befall anyone. Love And Money’s third and best studio album to date boldly dramatises the (actual) breaking at its author's heart and his subsequent quest for salvation (imaged as ‘a sweet angel’), presenting the history in the lorm of a part-cathartic, fully coherent and often sublime artistic statement.
The overall tone is one at reflective melancholy and two main roads lead there: ‘Dead House', ‘Papa Death’ and ‘Cheap Pearls' parade soullul blue(s)grass around llavoursome, animated wordplay whilst the gorgeous ‘Sometimes I Want To Give Up’, ‘Winter’, ‘Lips Like Ether’ and the outstanding ‘Whiskey Dream’ weave acoustic textures with gentle melody to form a series of moving, hypnotic scenarios. Not many rib-ticklers on board (though ‘Dead House’ has spoof undertones) because misery isn’t a side-splitting atfair, but ‘DlTT’ is an honest testament and never stoops to maudlin indulgence. Grant’s lyrics and singing are better than ever and, for execution and production, the restrained approach cannot be faulted. If you’re after the sharp-suited jock-funk of 86’s ’All You Need Is. . .’ orthe polished ADR sheen ol 88’s ‘Strange Kind Of Love', target it. This is a pristine, mature collection; Grant may have lost his love but, with this enduring set at songs, he has lound his proper place among the nation’s finest contemporary songwriters. (Paul w. Hullah)
the new breeze?
Two Sides (Siren) Well, what do you know, climactically we might be in the I midst of balmy doldrums, but talk Mock Turtles and the album ‘Two Sides’ and talk a Iile-freshening summerwaft. Dig
Everything about ‘Two Sides’ is light. Hub up to the airin titled ‘Brush DfA Butterlly’s Wing’ and catch on. As you’d imagine, here’s a track dainty and delicate, a whispered lament that says more about this Manchester band ,. s than the impression of concessions to . The Hip evidenced on the chart-beating i ‘Can You Dig lt?’. Thelatter, along with
following single ‘And Then She Smiles’ (these two the oTlTVTingerers from the Turtles’ pre-mass acceptance times on the Imaginary indie) are the most obvious bits on their second album.
Elsewhere, the spirit of those oh-so-glorious-golden 608 is indeed primal to the Turtles’ thang. This though, comes to us via the wormineg endearing skew of Martin Coogan’s songwriting. Two listens in and ‘Pearls For My Girl’ — check those heavenly la-Ia-Ia’s— and ‘Strings And Flowers’ - clock that peacenik imagery—and every single other song will be burned into the mind.
Do your health a favour and bronze your ears under ‘Two Sides’ sunny side up radiance. (Craig McLean)