MUSIC RECORD REVIEws
I Sounds Of Blackness: The Evoluton 0f Gospel (Perspective) God gave the Sounds Of Blackness to you. put it in the soul charts for everyone. And so the song doesn‘t go. but God is undoubtedly the overiding factor concerning this 42-strong Jam and Lewis collective. Re-releascd just a fortnight after the choir received a Best Gospel Album Grammy. it evolves into a monster of sound and hopeful vision. Concentrating on three major themes ofslavery. belief in God and moral sensibility. it can sometimes seem a bit overpowering. but that feeling is eventually cancelled out by the
, strength and depth ofthe
vocals. and the unbounded tunefulness of the whole album. See the light. dance all night. (Philip Ogilvie) I Nigel Kennedy and Frank Peter Zimmermann: Violin Concertos (EMI) Nigel Kennedy‘s latest disc eschews conventional programme notes and advises the listener toJust Listen to his readings of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius violin conce rtos. Both are given lyrical and very assured performances which serve to remind us that behind the image. Kennedy is a ﬁne musician. Although it is actually a re-issue. it has already charted. which is unlikely to happen to Zimmermann‘s more adventurous coupling of Berg‘s great ‘To The Memory ofAn Angel‘ concerto with Stravinsky‘s Concerto. and Ravel‘s Tzigane as a bonus. The violinist impressed greatly with the SCO late last year. and this disc confirms that promise. Both are recommended. (Kenny Mathieson) I Godflesh: Pure (Earache) The presence of Robert llampson (ex-of Loop, currently of Main) on any record makes it worth bending an ear to. but it‘s impossible to decipher what difference. ifany. his contribution has made. An elastic approach to arrangement was never Loop‘s trademark: that: if anything, gives him the vital credentials for admission to the (iodflesh coop. The anaemic industrial beat never varies; vocals of corrugated iron belch coded threats — but they may just as well intone the shipping forecast in Swahili. Much as I appreciate the thunderous muscularin of industrial hardcore. it's bands like (jodﬂesh that persuade me there's little mileage
i left in this field. lfyou
want intimidation rather than a headache. go for
_ IAN McCULLOCH
Mysterio (East West) While his ex-partners The Bunnymen were off writing another chapter in the history of British psychedelic pop, McCulloch set about the task of making (in a not too dissimilar vein) a crisp, direct album that’s stripped of the preciousness and New Order-isms of ‘Candleland’. For his second solo effort, Mac is less ‘choked by the wonder of it all’ than he is determined to enjoy himsell by ‘hangin’ round heaven’s gate’.
0f the standout tracks, ‘Magical World’ is probably the grandest. lle’s
around in songs that glitter, their musical and verbal hooks signposting the way to a climactic refrain. McCulloch’s finely-tuned swagger, such a pain when he couldn’t back it up, ' turns out to be one of ‘Mysterio”s strengths. Just listen to ‘Damnation’; by his standards, this is a balls-out rocker which one can almost imagine being chanted at closing time in some mythical Scally dive. The next great track is ‘lleaven’s Gate’, produced by Robin Guthrie, with Liz Frazer on backing vocals and Roddy Frame on guitar. The end result is almost like Lush playing ‘La Bamba’, if such a thing can be imagined. (Alastair
3 Eleven Kinds Of Loneliness (East West) l Frumpy Lloyd Cole lookalike returns with more dolorous, miserable dirges. ‘Eleven Kinds. . .’ ls Tikaram’s fourth album, and its dark, rootsy textures beat hands down the underdeveloped sentimentality of 1990’s ‘The Sweet Keeper’ and the directionless bathos of 1991’s ‘Everbody's Angel’. It’s the first time the dusky one has produced herself, and there are naive lapses: her Spector Sound burlesque, ‘You Make The Whole World Cry’, is less a sonic wall, more a boom-heavy mish-mash, ‘I Grant You’ has a yelping dog on ‘backing vocals’, and ‘To Drink The Rainbow’ (eh?) is ‘UnderThe Boardwalk’ revisited. Elsewhere,
Formerly reluctant to lead, the f atonal, plaintive TTvoice is pleasingly
strident here, lyrics are competently poetic where once they
were sixth-form surreal. Just 22, learam is maturing rapidly in painlul bliss. Her mumbled prayers are acutely atlecting, violently cathartic and ' engaging, making Leonard Cohen . . comparisons lorgivable. This is not the easy-listening Tanita that made ' ‘Ancient Heart’ a syrupy safari through
i l l l l
diligently executed songs are ' intelligently rendered via the studio desk. ‘Elephant’ is Suzanne Vega on vodka and wanting a fight, ‘Out On The Town’ is almost jaunty, and the Blue ! Nile-ish ‘Men And Women’ is the saddest, most beautiful song I‘ve heard
Star Wars (Vinyl Japan)
The band who came in from the cold. . .
with a little help from their friends. For the latest BMX Bandits LP, Duglas has coralled the Bellshill mafiosi
to strut their stuff, twang their thang, and generally escort Duglas from that awkward adolescent past into confident(ish) adult(ish) future. Now the Bandits stand at the dawn of Creation, and as a swansong to the margins of cultish obscurity, ‘Star Wars’ is an astonishingly EFFECTIVE record.
Effective, where before there was sing-song, humdrum, ho-hum ineffectuality. Astonishing, where before there was just ‘amusing’ (yet
melancholvteaul w. Hullah) s ~. .-
30 The List 13 - 36 March 1992
Mirmama (RCA) ‘I hope people will be eased or calmed
by listening,’ goes her sell-penned biography. ‘We tried to play for its own sake, hoping to “kiss the joy as it flies”, as described in the book at Do-lt-Yoursell Creativity.‘
Couldn’t have put it better mesell. ‘Organic vitality’, the affirmative response both artist and album elicit. And while we take that to refer to the wholesome goodiness that is central to ‘Mirmama’, we are talking not of hippy doodlings, new age acoustic sensitivities, nor muse-driven folksy clap-trap. This record simply shifts and shuffles within its own looseness. makes no grand claims of great
. So now we have an opening track and ; single with solid gold rock balls. ‘Come Clean‘ is a groovey garage classic, a soul sisterto much of ‘Bandwagonesque”s harmonious highlights. 0rthere’s Norman Blake’s ‘Retitled’, a piece of delightful, pastoral hippy tosh. 0rthere’s the sunny 60s dippiness of ‘Extraordinary'. And then, as if to prove that the Bandits' self-mockery at their own chirpy chirpy sweet sweet lurve-ness isn’t totally at an end, the chorus of ‘Life Goes On’ goes ‘all that will he left of our love is this song’. Fourth-year maths jotter poetry and angst, still a Duglas cornerstone, and proof that his testosterone troubles are not entirely settled. May his hormones remain imbalanced for a good while yet. (Craig McLean)
portent, no profound pitches for undue import.
Thus, the band is called The Patron Saints 0f lmperlection, the album took a piffling £30,000 and two weeks to make, and the contents are as soarineg simple as the opening ‘What You Do With What You’ve Got’ promises. Even with this track’s globally-aware, socially-conscious lyric, the tone is never preachy, just hopeful.
The fact that nearly half at this album is otherwriters' material is of little consequence. Not when the voice and the instrumentation are this natural and cool. On top at that, Reader’s own stuff, particularly the Doubling Thomas of a love story that is ‘Thaf’s Fair‘, can hold its head high. Anodyne and sublime easiness at its. . . comfiest.