I Billy Bragg: Oon’tTry This At Home (Go! Discs) Uncharitably. we could ascribe Billy Bragg‘s reaffirmed user-friendly chartability to the collaborators he chooses to dot around this record. ’Sexuality‘ — co-written with Johnny Marr- and ‘You Woke l'p My Neighbourhood -* joint effort with Peter Buck ~- are simply vanguards. though. Bringing up the rear are another fourteen reasons. mostly Bragg solo compositions. for the Barking mad bard's slot in the heavenly pop
l pantheon to be widened
i beyond the ‘agitpop‘
The old acoustic folkers
I and political concerns ; remain.thankfully.but i thistime round this vitalityis embellished by the lushness of strings. the chirpiness of wit. and the rhyming of Robert de Niro with Mitsubishi Zero. Sit awhile and ponder the two knockout tracks that close side one. ‘Everywhere' and ‘('indy Of A Thousand Lives'. and hear a true and mighty pop star for the Ulls at play. ((‘raig McLean)
I John Lee Hooker: Mr Lucky (Silvertone) John Lee Hooker has enjoyed a remarkable revival in the last few years. and this follow-up to his best-selling The Heulcris likely to cement that popularity. Hooker has matured well. in part because he never fell into the standard mode of the blues shouter. but had a more laid-back vocal style which dovetailed sweetly with his trademark boogie style. exemplified here on his classic ‘This ls 1 hp (with Ry (‘ooder) and ’Crawlin‘ King Snake‘ (with Keith Richards). or ‘Susie' (withlohnny Winter). it is a strongand varied set. though. including a version of'l Cover The Waterfront‘ (not the Billie Holiday song) with Van Morrison. and a slippery boogie shufﬂe with Robert (‘ray on the title track. ()ther boogie chillun paying
I their respectsland debts) ; include Albert Collins.
i John HammondJohnnie Johnson.and- slightly out of context with the rest of the record-(‘arlos
Santana. (Kenny Mttlhieson)
34—Tl’lc List 27 sewed-163.: it) délsbéfiggi '-
PIXIES Trompe Le Monde (4A0) ’Trompe Le Monde’, the sound of a band teetering on the edge of madness. Again. The Pixies, their entire warped psyche finding flesh incarnate in Black Francis, are permanently off the rails. The banshee guitar, the hoodoo voice, the melée of songs, these are the things we find attractive. . . the rub being that the scouring individuality never lets up; 100 per cent intensity 100 percent ofthe time.
But quit griping, who wants things to ‘let up’ anyway? ‘Trompe Le Monde’, then, screams and crashes. Heavy
Sound’ averred. Yankpunk bitstoo, by \u ‘ , way of a charging cover of ‘Head On’ that (if possible) out-Mary Chain the
Pixies' weirdness. Last track, ‘The
title track album opener a macabre carnival space trip speeding along and
leaving bur the way. An ‘Ia la la la’s malevolent
Track after track, they pile on the
the next. A wall of sound topped off with broken glass, ‘Trompe Le Monde‘ will very probably and quite merrily slash
you to ribbons. (Craig McLean)
ngs there are, as ‘Planet Of
.And then there’s The
w‘ is frigging freaky, the ning guitar wreckage along it as for ‘Alec Eiffel’, those are disturbingly
ach slamming straight into
5,“. 1.13"“ -
d '. .. sfsisﬁxa‘o‘ﬁto so,
._ t B.E.F.
Music Of Quality And Distinction Vol 2 f This album’s 1982 predecessor was a
altogether more classy. Mavis Staples i
and Chaka Khan are suitably impressive, while Billy MacKenzie’s version of Deniece Williams’ ‘Free’ is
I typically histrionic. The real surprise,
; wondrous affair. Paula Yates brilliantly I
j murdered ‘These Boots Are Made For
Walking’, Billy Mackenzie camped up
Bowie’s ‘Secret Life Of Arabia’ to a
: magnificent degree and Tina Turner
resurrected her careerwith ‘Ball Of Confusion’. It was such a haphazard
, venture thatitcouldn'theip butdelight.
j ‘Vol 2’, on the other hand, is a much
more controlled project. This time,
Martyn Ware has retained a tight grip
‘ on continuity, polishing and perfecting
I each performance. So much so, in fact,
,' that it is a slight disappointment.
‘ The choice of singers and songs is
though, comes with Terence Trent O’Arby’s insightful re-reading of Dylan’s ‘lt’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding’. Things start to go wrong
’ with the inclusion of Richard ‘Living In . A Box’ Derbyshire and Green Gartside, who are so out of their depth that they
probably think soul is prefixed with Dover. The lack of humour means that with ‘Vol 2' it is much more difficult to forgive such unsuitabiiity. Still, taken as a whole, it would be impossible to dispute the album’s title and you can’t really ask forany more.
GUNS N’ ROSES
Use Your Illusion l & il (Geffen)
I’m feeling bold, so I’ll voice an unpopular opinion, letting you know straight off that I’ve always loathed this brattish crew. You see, this THING is magnificent, a dangerously erratic runaway train of bravado, myth, madness, confusion, spectacle and excess. You couldn’t make a record like this ifyou didn't believe that your name was synonymous with rock’n’roll.
Of course, rather a lot of it is crap, but that doesn’t necessarily waste the whole project. The kind of anticipation that was whipped up for this release/
can only be have tasted
the whole carcass before it rots. Even U2 must know they will never pass this ,
you can imagine Guns N’ Roses’ fear of i the brink which a group at the height of its powers passes over into
the cliche has meaning, as though their
I Was it The Bamones who likened
, their own appeal to the sight of a wino 5 attempting to eat a live chicken? This : will send them right back to the
7 drawing board. ’Use Your Illusion’ is one of rock’s great follies, a failed ‘Exile’ of mammoth proportions, and that’s a scary and awesome thing to find falling onto your lap, atanytime. (Alastair Mabbott)
done by young turks who blood and want to devour
In the vigour of the playing
ce. They play, and for once
ded on it.
“Law .J .
I— nooenr WYATT
Oondestan (Rough Trade) A new Robert Wyatt album on Rough Trade —feels just like old times. And those for whom familiarity has bred a great deal of affection for Wyatt and his works will make ’Oondestan’, his first for six years, very welcome indeed. He's still using the same palette of sounds that he was back on ‘Nothing Can Stop Us’ and ‘Old Bottenhat’, his songs still do strange things to one’s perception of time and it still feels rude to talk overthem.
Whether the intention was to work from the personal out to the political,
that’s what’s happened. The early lyrics, written by Wyatt’s wife, Alfreda
Benge, are poetic observations of little
details of the couple’s years in Spain, but they’re overtaken as the record progresses by Wyatt's more didactic songs. It ends, fittingly, with ‘Oondestan’, a nursery rhyme anthem. Wyatt is far from being in the first rank ofjazz pianists, but his limitations in that department are also his strengths; and his sense of rhythm is unerring as he scatters some fine percussion throughout and keeps even the slowest songs alive. His best instrument, though, is his voice, as plaintive and affecting as ever, transforming the words that look so awkward on paper with the feeling he puts into them. (Alastair Mabbott)