MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
I DC Basehead: Play With Toys (RCA) Some rap albums deal with the everyday problems of the planet e. g Disposable Heroes. Some rap albums deal with the everyday story of trying to be cool with the ‘chicks' e. g. Jazzy Jeff. Now a rap album arrives that deals with everyday life. Rapper Michael Ivey drowsily tells of how he’s been dumped by his girlfriend, but it’s all right because now he‘ll be able to break wind whenever he wants to. He goes on to dedicate a rap to his favourite beer and to detail his current hair problems. The music is funk that doesn't break sweat: intricate melodies, complex chord changes and the most relaxed
vocals you ever heard co-exist with a hip-hop beat (played live) and the result is somewhere between the deep-throated seductiveness of Barry White and the impish funk of Prince. Rap has found its own Wayne’s World. (Philip Ogilvie)
I Kiri Te ltanawa: Sidetrecks-The Jazz Album (Philips) Well. sort of. There is some fine jazz here, but it comes from the trio of Andre Previn (always a good jazz pianist). Mundell Lowe. and the mighty Ray Brown. Kiri herselfsimply
hasn't got any jazz feel or phrasing worth mentioning (that was obvious enough on Bernstein‘s operatic West Side Story). and is heard to best advantage here on songs which respond to the straightest treatment. as on ‘The Shadow of Your Smile‘. Otherwise. it is all a little too stiffand inﬂexible. however lovely her voice. Jazz singing for people who don't like jazz. (Kenny Mathieson) l Stravinsky: Oedipus Hex (Sony) Eva-Pekka Salonen‘s account ofthis hybrid Opera-Oratorio is not the most dramatic. but it is very finely judged. Vinson Cole singsthe stylised lead with assurance. and Anne Sofia von Otter is even better as Jocasta. while Patrice Chereau brings off the awkward spoken narration as well as most. The Swedish Radio Symphony play strongly. if in slightly restrained fashion. in an enjoyable release. Another Scandinavian band. the Finnish Radio Orchestra. perform with distinction underJukka-Pekka Sarastc in Stravinsky"s (Iran! (114 mssignol. and two symphonies (Virgin Classics). (Kenny Mathieson)
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The Very Best Ol (Polydor)
With the last 30 seconds ol ‘Slmply Thrilled Honey’, Orange Juice touched Pop Greatness, played with it tor a while and decided, nah, ltwasn’tior them. Aiterthat, the trip was all
downhill, albeit punctuated with stops at pleasant plateaux, which ensured their stuli remained towards the front oi the turntable queue.
You won’t tind ‘Slmply Thrilled’ here, nor ‘Poor Old Soul’ or any oi the Postcard stuli, which kind at makes a
mockery oi the compliatlon’s title. Those early singles illrted with genius by backing the distinctive OJ slmper with a snarl. The debut album, ‘You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever’, managed an uneasy balance between the ironic and the cloying that worked at the time, and those are the tracks that stand out here; ‘Consolation Prize' remains a rather touching slice oi knowing camp, and ‘Fellclty’ summarised the entire career at The Wedding Present live years belore they iormed.
From ‘Hip It Up’ onwards, it all got a bit dliiicult as Collins and his unlikely sidekick Zeke Manyika chased assorted bandwagons with ‘white soul’ or ‘Alro-pop’ written on them down blind alleys. The tortuous arrangements and over-clever lyrics oi the third album were a painful distance irom the instinctive breeziness that was the root oi their appeal. ‘What Presence?’ indeed. This was a band who were singing ‘How I wish I was young again’ on their second single. They didn’t age graceiully. (Tom Lanai")
HUE AND CRY
Truth And Love (Fidelity)
Eschewing inducements to compromise their musical integrity, Hue And Cry, lormerly with Circa, have joined the energetic Fidelity label at Glasgow’s St Clair Studios to make their latest ollerlng, ‘Truth And Love’ (part at a statement by Czech playwright-president Vaclav Havel supplemented on the album cover by a quotable bite trom ‘Sun' columnistJim Sillars).
Pat Kane has much to say and the bottle to use whatever means available to communicate. Whether or not one shares his views, or even enjoys HGC’s music, it would be churlish and inaccurate to deny that he puts his money where his mouth is.
The mouth is recorded in exceptionally good voice, while the
money’s bought extra gloss irom the legendary Weir brothers brass section and two iemale vocalists. As producer, keyboardist, saxophonist and backing vocalist, Greg Kane has achieved a hi-tech soul sound beneiitlng irom a iormer ioray into jazz and acknowledging HGC’s strong debt to Motown with a polished cover oi Stevie Wonder’s ‘That Girl’.
Musically, it’s the band’s most mature, rounded work to date and should win them a law converts. Lyrically, Pat protests (too much?) they are becoming more prosaic and less overtly political. Lines mentioning A New State and Changing The World peep out irom more generally- motivated songs chosen to rellect the Ioity moral ground oi the title without losing sight oi the vulnerability needed to make the music work.
U.F.Orb (Big Lite)
STARSHIP FANTASISE. CAPTAIN’S LOG. STAROATE 2012. Sheesh, I don’t know, sometimes this roaming cosmic space warrior stuli does my head in.
‘ Take today, running into that oddball
couple The Orb. Or Alex and Thrash? Oeiinitely several planets short oi a solar system it you ask me. They've got this new space vessel ior their intergalactic wanderings called
U.F.0rb. It’s hall mystically brilliant, halt randomly elusive, a seemingly iortuitous collision oi bone-juddering space-dub bass, spiralling tinkling keyboards, driiting sounds lrom the sub-continent. . . How they create such totality lrom so many haphazard iittings is beyond me. I mean, Victor Lewis-Smith phone pranks? Cetacean chuckles? Whirring copier blades? Ned-techno beats? I don’t know what iuels them, but it sure beats that dodgy space-dust Uhura scored us back on
Nebula 280. Anyway, by the time they’d iinished showing us around, so entranced were the crew and l by the allure oi the hypnotic U.F.0rb, we decided to jump ship and join the tripped-out twosome on their quest ior Planet Ultraworld. Hell, it’s the bestest vessel tor intergalactic exploration I’ve ever had the thrill to chill in. Just hope our mind-expansion medical kit lasts out. Yours, beamed up and spaced out, The Cap’n. (Calvin Bush)
28 The List 17 — 30 July 1992