IIISIG RECORD REVIEWS
I Kid Frost: East Side Story (Virgin America) Kid Frost was the original Hispanic causing panic. the pioneering Latino rapper reminding white America that it wasn‘t just the black communities who were suffering racial prejudice and disenfranchisement. East Side Story. however. is mercifully short on brute violence and aggro posturing. instead favouring a detached. laid-back chronicling of inner-city malcontents. Frost‘s delivery is smoky and langorous (like EPMD at their original best), laid over slow-rolling beats so stoned they‘re practically horizontal. with heavy reggae basslincs nudging the raps ever onwards. it may not have the wild eclecticism of Arrested Development. but for husky dusky cruising down West Coast (broken) boulevards. it‘s a well-tuned soundtrack with balefuls of ‘organic shit‘. y‘all. (Calvin Bush)
lThe Starlings: Valid (Anxious) It would appear that Chris Sheehan is The Starlings. There were others. but they joined The Jesus And Mary Chain. so Chris was left to ﬁnish this album all alone. This is really bad news for everybody. because his teen angst comes out by the vat-load. Drug addiction. inadequate father-figure. the death of his grandmother . . .all painfully whined and scraped out. it‘s to be hoped that the making of this album was suitably cathartic. because there's musical talent lurking in there somewhere. A few ofthe tracks would be soothing out of context. and ‘Bad Dad‘ hasa certain unmissable groove. But Chris. get some counselling. see the world. Or just smile occasionally"? (Gavin Inglis)
I Ravel. Faure. Emmanuel: Works tor Piano French solo piano music is well-served on three fine new releases. Jean-Yves Thibaudet tackles Ravel's Complete Works forsolo piano (Decca) — many of which he later orchestrated — and brings a nicely pointed understanding to their varied stylistic idioms. Pianist PeterJacobs launches a series of solo piano records on Continuum with an excellent collection of Fauré. The Middle Years. and a disc of Six Sonarines by the less well known Maurice Emmanuel, which are well worth hearing. (Kenny Mathieson)
' I- l ’ PAUL WELLER
Paul Weller (Go! Discs) Being oi the opinion that it Paul Weller 5 had ball a clue what The Style Council I were about in the more risible moments oi their decline then he had ' hall a clue more than the rest oi the i band, lwasn’t looking lorward to this record at all. So it’s a reliei, and something oi a surprise, to report that ‘Paul Weller' has been giving more ' than a taint twinge oi pleasure around here tor the last iew days. It is not, it has to be said, the album oi the decade. How well it would stand up to intense scrutiny is debatable. But it is a bouncy, intectiously conlident
1 taken on board the lessons at his
: wah-wah, rounds oti ‘DulI-Rush’ with a ' snatch oi Bo Diddley, and indulges in
' There are even a iew surprises, like 5 ‘Clues’, which, stripped oi its ilute,
ottering which shows how well he’s l
mentors. He gives it plenty of
loads oi smooth jazz-tunk, abetted by a deli band which boasts the ever-reliable Steve White on drums.
would be taintly redolent of Bob Mould.
Weller's nati but somehow reassuring wit suriaces on the CD version, which is interrupted by the sound ot the record being turned over in the middle and finishes with a digitally-recreated needle stuck in the runout groove. Wacky guy! But still one capable oi turning out decent records. (Alastair Mabbott)
SUZANNE VEGA seamen)
burning appetite tor it.
Maybe the DNA remix oi ‘Tom’s Diner’ and its relentless chart success gave Suzanne Vega something hot to chew on, or maybe she was just bored. Either way, on her new album, ‘99.9F’ (that’s 36.6C tor all you Celsius ireaks), she has tried versatility and discovered a
Throughout the thirteen tracks, Vega adopts many guises, irom the souliul moumer oi “Bad Wisdom’ to the dizzy ilirt oi ‘Fat Man And The Dancing Girl’, taking in a hint at Dangleness on ‘When Homes Go Down’. Fully hall the album has that pesky quality oi coming into
your head at surprising times, and through it all smoulders the Vegan sense oi humour.
Dne suspects that her new producer Mitchell Froom (whose other collaborations include Crowded House and Elvis Costello) may have more than the odd thumb in this spicy pie. ll nothing else, he receives keyboard credits bar one, on which he sneaks in a string arrangement. To his credit, Suzanne's classic murmur and thick acoustic guitar is augmented on most tracks, ratherthan changed. Richard Thompson also pops up to solo on ‘As Girls Go’.
‘99.9F’ is a lively, oil-beat album which marks an enjoyable musical shiit tor Vega. Peace and spunk can be found here in equal measure. Grab it while it’s hot. (Gavin Inglis)
Bone Machine (Island) on, come on, you know what this sounds like: it's a minor reshutile oi the same deck he’s been dealing irom since ‘Swordiishtrombones‘. That said, though, ‘Bone Machine’ is pretty territic. That a record so heaving in morbid imagery (listening to it is like taking a deep gulp oi toetid subterranean air) should be this invigorating is a turn-up all by itself; that it should come at a time when one could reasonably expect Waits’s creative juices to be drying up is a revelation. The Tom Waits persona is cranked up
good and high by its creator, a man
.who's gambolled past the precipice oi
sell-parody so many times that he has
no iearoi tumbling over. Where Nick Cave might have laltered on the grand ballad ‘Who Are You’, Waits’s chutzpah
a pulls him through —though he does
. push his luck on the overdone,
sell-conscious gospel-blues ‘Jesus
Gonna Be Here’.
. By the dying chords oi the stately
3 ‘That Feel’, we’ve had a couple oi wiry
, and rumbustious numbers in ‘All Stripped Down’ and ‘i Don’t Wanna Grow Up‘, sombre reﬂections, crazed rantings, considerable verbal prowess and a liberal dose oi gruii sentimentality. A winning hand. (Alastair Mabbott)
28 The List 11— 24 September 1992