I llise (Arlsta) To your average pop pundit, Alison Limerick is just another in a long line of tw0-hit wonder solo female singers. However, those in the know are awake to her depth of talent (her now classic ‘Where Love Lives‘, was voted No 1 record of 1991 by the Dance Editor of

Billboard). She’s different

in that: she has a very original voice and can actually use it; her album is not set to the format of dance song, R&B number, ballad, dance song, etc - this essentially is a dance album; she's written three-quarters of the album, and she doesn't have Top 5 hits, she has a string of Top 30 hits. Imagine if Anita Baker could make a dance album, and you have a yardstick for measuring the quality of Alison Limerick. While many in her wake will falter, Alison Limerick will still rise. (Philip Ogilvie)

I React To Rhythm: Whatever You Dream (Bdlfllll) Exactly right. Proving that the best dance music allows itself to be whatever you, the listener, dream, React To Rhythm, in the vein of Love Corporation, provide a hypnotic tableau of rhythms, beats and trancey synths on which it’s up to you to splash your own fantasies. Particularly recommended are the classic left-field bounce of ‘lntoxication' and the lonely star-voyager ‘Shine‘. Dreaming in technicolours. (Calvin Bush)

I Kym Sims: Too Blind To See ll (East W081) Last year, the ID crew of Hurley, Smoothe and Joshua formulated a sound so danceable that it came near to perfection. This album is typical of it, ie, honest, hipswaying, smooth House groove. As well as the monumental ‘Too Blind’ and the current hit, ‘Take My Advice’, there‘s plenty of scope for future hits. Personally, I think Kym Sims is rather fabby, but it’s the sound that sells the record and, while there are certainly tunes here of constant quality, 1 can't help feeling that this album could have been a lot more threatening. Time for the boys to go back to the mixing desk and come up with some new chas. (Philip Ogilvic)

nu... Limerick:8til


Joshua Judges Ruth (MCA/Curb) In much the same way that ltd iang boobies country purists by blurring her sexuality and eating no meat, Lyle Lovell prlcks the Nashville establishment by supporting Dire Straits and iorswearlng the precepts and presuppositions that should govern the music a ‘iiew Country’ artist makes. The solution to the conundrum? Ditch that llew Country slur, ‘Joshua Judges Buth’ Is, as Lovett says, ‘a gospel death album’, contains, at a push, lour country songs and has as much to do with Memphis as it does Nashville.

So ‘Joshua Judges iiuth’ (three consecutive books in the Old

Testament) dabbles even lurther alleid

than did his last album, which roped in a ‘Large Dand’ lor some sassy swing manoeuvres. That element is still there, but lor his iourth record the Texan’s cinemascopic eclecticism also conjures up the burning blues oi ‘You’ve Been So Good Up To iiow’, the moonlit jazz ol ‘All My Love is Gone’ and the wry iunereal pathos oi ‘Slnce The Last Time’.

Generally, such divergent ventures are wholly captivating. Speclllcally, the mission to boldly go where no ex-country artist has gone beiore tends towards the wlllully idiosyncratic with the gospel marathon oi ‘Church’. Such are its oil-the-cull ramblings that it sounds not unlike a ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ musical interlude. What’s more, it Is the album’s pure country passion that runs truest. (Craig


say ‘social conscience’.


0898 Beautiful South (Go! Discs)

For some reason, people seem to expect answers irom The Beautltul South. 80 they sing about iatal alcoholism, so they detail the claustrophobic symbiosis oi domestic logelhemess, so they ponder the decrepltudes oi old age (and that’s just the llrst three songs), so . . Discussing doesn’t beget solving, and ll he tell so obliged l’m sure Mr lieaton would desert the stage and embrace the hustlngs quickerthan that you could

On '0898 Bealiiul South’, the poetry and tragedy oi lile abounds, dressed in ultra-pop threads. In this respect, it’s more complete than either ol its


predecessors and manages to avoid a jarring dystuncllon between the awareness oi the lyrics and the catchlness oi the music. Perhaps it is Heaton’s wholesale rediscovery at his trademark Housemartlns-esgue ironic barbs, coupled with a sleek harmony in the songwriting department, but tracks like ‘We’il Deal With You Later’ and ‘I’m Your Number One Fan’ unlold with perlect ease, brushed along by the sprightllness oi melodies.

And the best at voices. lleaton’s never sounded better, but it is Corrigan and Dave Hemingway who do the business here, gently sparring it out on ‘Bell-Bottomed Tear’. The minutiae ol soiled romance are rendered in that inimitable, downbeat, upbeat Bealiiul South way. (Craig McLean)

. what?


Human Touch/Lucky Town (Columbia) So which is more deserving oi our cash? “Human Touch’, the LP Springsteen went into the studio to make, or ‘Lucky Town’, the grab-bag oi new songs that arose in the process?

‘Human Touch’, belittlng its title, is the one that connects. it starts oil auspiciously, with the title track, and flows irom there, very much an ALBUM. With a plan in mind, Brucey spends several songs developing a dialogue with himsell on the dividing line between masculinity and machlsmo, and machlsmo loses out- as perhaps ‘iioll Dl The Dice' should have, a rocker with uplront Roy Bittan piano that seems now to belong to a bygone age.

That‘s more than smoothed out by the lightweight but essential ‘57 Channels’ and songs like ’Wlth Every Wlsh’, where Springsteen glides through a metaphor that would leave most writers stuck. The redeeming lorce he llnds at the end oi it, ol course, is love. it’s Bruce’s best subject, where he llnds himsell at his most eloquent and evocative.

The strongest numbers on “Lucky Town’ are love songs, and might have worked well sewn into the labrlc oi ‘iiuman Touch’. ‘Lucky Town’, though, ior all the lreshness the songs may have had when they were recorded, sullers irom high llller content.

(Alastair Mabbotl)



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30Thc List 10— 23 April l992