MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
Joe Lampard reviews the new releases.
'Chok There' (island) is the latest offering from Apache lndlan. re- released after the massive success of his last single. ‘Arranged Marriage‘. Chock-a-block with bhangra beats and dancehall delight. with an excellent mix by Robert Livingston. and also the brilliant track ‘Movin' On'. focusing on the recent violence in India between Hindus and Muslims.
Battman aka Judge Jules. brings us ‘Poor Man's Story' (FFrreedom). after its release on his own label some time ago and time spent doing the club rounds. Now getting a well deserved national release. it brings big phat beats with a couple of good new remixes. the best of which has to be the Dredd Mix with a very tranccy blips ‘n' bleeps sound. Also on FFrreedom is a new one by Our 1'?le. the mix maestros who‘ve done work in the past with the likes of Felix. Glo-Worm and Frankie. ‘I Believe in You‘ is an excellent single with four different mixes to cater to a wide variety of tastes. heavy-bass. hypno—techno. upbeat. movin’-groovin' kinda thang.
Also on the dance tip is Mil“ Rain with their new release, ‘Shine‘ (Schnozza). with the main mix being carried off nicely by the main man DJ Pierre. a bit commercial sounding and very reminiscent of mid- 80$ NRG tunes. Another dance offering. this time from Lovestatlon. is ‘Shine On Me‘ (Arista). which is very similar sounding to the group that the vocalist. Lisa Hunt. turned down a job with (Black Box. that is). quite simply commercial chart stuff and not very good.
Well worthy of a mention is the latest release from TlltdBTStiCkS. The title track is ‘Marbles' (Tippy Toe), a beautiful slice of slow indie stringed stuff, followed by ‘Joe Stumble’ which would be very at home on a David Lynch soundtrack album.
Last and by all means least. but which will no doubt be the biggest seller of the lot is ‘More. More. More' (London) from
. SAW- produced and as sad as usual. Nuff said.
[- FRANK BLACK
Frank Black (4A0)
Cool - a mooted covers album that ends up delivering lust one romping cover, ‘Hang On To Your Ego’ (originally the chirpy but smug ‘l Know There’s An Answer’ from The Beach Boys), and then a whole bunch of mutant pop mongrels. fine day, all sure-fire cash-in ventures will be like this. ‘Frank Black’ the album is the totem of Frank Black the man, is the latest incarnation of Black Francis, former head kelpie and larynx- shredder with Pixies.
Happy to report, the tonsils are intact, as is the appetite for abstruse lyrics - references to galactic and terrestrial phenomena abound,
Desmond Bekker enters the lyrical lexicon, and uncommonly vacuous observations are yelped repeatedly in the hope that they’ll pass into the realms of the philosophical. Pixies fans who quail to sever the umbilical cord are inured by the familiar bone- crunching power rock of ‘Los Angeles’, ' ‘Parry The Wind High, Low’, the equivalent of the token gimcrack track on any Pixies album, and the off- kilter momentum of ‘Ten Percenter’, so Pixies that you’ll hallucinate Klm Beal’s background caterwaul.
Still, with the stuttering epic ‘Every Time I Go Round Here’ and ‘Cld Black Dawning’ (the track Morrlssey will be covering on his next four), there’s enough to justify an independent identity for Our Frank. Or is it Francis? 0r Black? Charles? Eddie? Who knows? (Fiona Shepherd)
Are You Gonna Go My Way (Virgin) Laughing Lenny, the one-man multi- talent who previously ensured his solo albums were truly solo efforts, here branches out and collaborates, pulling In co-writers and co-players in much the same way as he helped out young pup Vanessa Paradis and old dog Mick Jagger. Lord Lenny, though, is still the big chief, mastering an album that betrays his usual obsessions and leaves no room for doubt as to Kravitz’s koolness. ‘l was born long ago, i am the chosen I’m the one’ he sings on the opening title track.
Lithe Lenny is as slinky as ever,
imparting heavy funk raunch to ask for ‘Heaven Help’ or heartfelt soul in a plea for some ‘Sugar’. Lick-friendly Lenny is an unfettered rocker, at least on ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ and ‘Come On And Love Me’. Lothario Lenny still digs chicks, big time, moved to smooch devastatingly and irresistibly ‘it’s time to love and rub-a- dub’ and pay wanky homage to the female form on ‘Black Clrl’ and ‘Just Be A Woman’. Leaching Lenny now sucks the sap from Hendrix, Led Zep, Bob Marley and Al Green. Leaden Lenny is too caught up too often in his own reference frame, making a disappointing half of this album nothing more than a pale pastiche of his former self - and other people’s
former selves. (Craig McLean)
Mary of Egypt (Collins Classics)
fine of the most surprising developments of last year was the astonishing sales figures clocked up by John Tavener’s ‘The Protecting Veil’ and Henryck Corecki’s ‘Symphony No 3’ The simplicity and beauty
of the melodic line and overt spirituality of these works seemed to speak to a felt need in a listening public who have turned away from contemporary composition. Record companies are inevitably dusting down anything they have by them, and new recordings hit the market with high expectations.
it will be intriguing to see if Mary of Egypt can replicate the popular success of the earlier, more immediate instrumental work. For one thing, it is an opera, although Tavener prefers to call it a ‘moving lkon’, and one which brings together the beauty and simplicity of church music with the declamatory drama of the stage, but in an occasionally uneasy fusion. The two-Ci) set also has a thirteen- minute interview with Tavener (he is not the first composer to make the claim that he is simply a vessel through which God speaks - meant humbly, but an incredibly arrogant assumption when you think about it), but may be for hard-line converts rather than the more casual buyer. (Kenny Mathleson)
32 The List l2 —25 March 1993
Ten Summoner’s Tales (A&M) The nadir here comes with ‘Salnt Augustine In Hell’, which is shaping up to be a rather catchy love song until it’s )arrlngiy interrupted by a wit-free spoken segment wherein some smanny git welcomes new inmates to Hell. I’ve got hundreds where this came from, Sting could be saying. They’re piss-easy for a bloke like me. Besides shoring up the ‘clever-clever’ brickbats ever being buried Stingwards, the intrusion leaves me, at least, feeling cheated, laughed at by Sting for enjoying the little ditty he seemingly thinks so little of that it’s wilfully throttled.
Never before has a Sting album
seemed so much about the process of songwriting, with so little feeling behind it. Apparently, he’s trying to swerve away from the intensely personal writing of ‘The Soul Cages’, but who is going to connect with a song as vacuous as ‘Everybody Laughed But You’?
Annoyineg (this is Sting, remember), ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales’ has its saving graces: the delicate ‘Shape Of My Heart’ and ‘Flelds 0f Bold’ which he sings as though he means them; ‘Seven Bays’, which rises proudly above comparisons with The Cure’s ‘Friday i’m In Love’ and the single, ‘lf I Ever Lose My Faith in You’, in which he wisely sticks to the infallible format of finding a central image and then hammering mercilessly away at
n. (Alastair motion) _J