I Bruce Springsteen: Plugged (Columbia) Our Mr McLean summed up the Boss's recent SECC trial-by-bluster with the perfect (and poetic) phrase ‘nut-numbing’. Twenty minutes into this MTV live sampler and there's more than a slight chill gathering round the testes once more.

It‘s not that Springsteen has completely lost it. On understated readings of ‘lf l Should Fall Behind’ and ‘Beautiful Reward' and a restrained and edgy ‘Thunder Road’ the spine- tingling phrasing is present and correct. For the most part though it’s Brooce by numbers; over- reliant on leaden recent material. punched out with a barrage of backing filler insufficient to disguise the deficiencies in the songs. (Tom Lappin)

From A Country Phone (Beggar’s Banquet) While G.W. McLennan supplied the Dylanesque pop tunes for the Go-Betweens. Forster’s compositions were always closer to angsty David Bymisms. For his second solo album he’s left Berlin. headed home to breezy Brisbane and shaken off most of the artiness while retaining the melancholy. The result is a semi- tn'umph; plaintive melodies given an anchor by a neat line in literate lyfics

The difference is that he‘s wised up to the pleasures of being daft. ‘Girl to a

I Robe-rt Forster: Calling I

girl to a girl to a girl to a girl’ he sings at one point, suggesting he’s grasped the essential tenets of pop after fifteen years in the business. and ‘121’ and ‘Falling Star’ are as infectious as anything on McLennan’s recent album. Still. as an astute pundit pointed out to me in the Antiquary recently. why don‘t they just get back together and make everybody happy? (Tom Lappin)

I lie-Man: loveblows a Lovecries (One little Indian) Exclusive! Purported indie label. One Little lndian. in almost good release shocker! They say variety is the balm of life. and for about 22 minutes No-Man appear an oasis; lilting vocals that caress. emotive violins that skirl. Then the mirage absconds in a myriad of hackneyed breakbeats; something to cud between meals and ruin the appetite. Individual flowers like ‘Tulip’, ‘Sweetheart Raw’ and ‘Break Heaven’ are simply not enough to stop this being an uninviting bed of uniform annoyance. So why no vision? Obviously some O.L.l. exec has decided that the kids have had their spoonful of disposable pop with The Shamen, and now it’s the turn of the grown-ups with No-Man. What is sauce for the singles charts is sauce for the albums? Are we to be so easily done? Listen with prejudice. (Philip Dorward)

I Big George And The Business: All Fools’ Day (Worldwide) i dunno. i mean. it’s a capable blues record. but it's not saying anything special. This went out two years ago as a limited edition cassette. but now it’s back. and it's . . . well. middling. My heart sinks as I read how George was born ‘in the tough Clydeside slums’ and how he scoured Scotland forjust the right band. Only in the

understated ballad ‘Towerhill Road’ does he really stand out, with a powerful lament and an honest vocal. it’s a pleasant enough album. but l suspect George's real strength lies in live performance. (Gavin lnglis)

I Inner City: Testament ’93 (Virgin) Okay. so lnner City are damned good and were instrumental in building the Detroit house scene. but there’s not much new going down on this double-12in, 33rpm album. What you get is two new mixes (mixes. not tracks) of their popular club anthem ‘Good Life’. one by Unity and one by CJ. Mackintosh. Alongside this are two mixes by Leftfield of ‘Hallelujah’. the popular club track ‘Pennies From Heaven’. ‘Praise’. ‘Follow Your Heart’ and. my favourite. ‘Till We Meet Again’. No doubt this will sell by the truck-load. but ifyou’ve been keeping up with their single releases over the last year then there’s no point whatsoever in getting this. How’s about something new . . . please? (Joe Lampard)

I Senseless Things: Empire 0! The Sensel (Sony) Value-for-money flash: twelve songs on this album. chock-full of hard guitar. soft guitar. fast guitar. slow guitar. springy bass and some nicely-judged vocal moments. Not all the songs are instantly memorable. but there are a few corkers in there, including the single. ‘Homophobic Asshole'. and the somewhat impractical ‘lce Skating On The Milky Way’. Plenty of PC messages are included in an unpatronising way and. of course. there's the funny noise at the end for you to decode. The lyrics vary between semi-profound and downright mystifying; but. then. if! understood this band at all. I’d be worried. (Gavin lnglis)


I Gorecki: String Cuartets (Electra Nonesuch) Anyone whose sole contemporary classical possession is Gorecki’s chart-topping Third Symphony may be in for a surprise. The same bleak philosophy lies behind both recordings. but here the music is more angular and less instantly accessible. Already It Is Dusk: String Quartet No l which transforms the theme of a 16th century part-song into a dissonant 20th century prayer for deliverance from evil has already been available on an earlier Kronos Quartet recording. Quasi

una Fantasia: String Quartet No 2 is perhaps the richer work. in which the union of folk and religious influences is more obvious. Counterpoint and melody create a musical tension seldom resolved as Gorecki continues to pour his unhappiness and anger at the state of the world into his compositions. (Alan Morrison)

I Verdi: oon Carlo (Sony Classical) The New York Met’s latest Verdi release is a complete and entirely satisfying version of the often neglected S-Acter. More thematically and dramatically rich than many of its contemporaries, Don

Carla swings from bliss to turmoil. from momean of passionate romance to political intrigue as the traditional plot of thwarted lovers is set against the turbulence of the Inquisition. The soloists are uniformly excellent particularly Vladimir Chemov in his moving rendition of Rodrigo's death scene but. with a text that questions whether the happiness of the individual should be sacrificed for the good of the mass. it is perhaps fitting that the real star is the Metropolitan Opera Chorus. here in outstanding voice under conductor James Levine. (Alan Morrison)





Thur 3 Wynton Marsalis Group Fri 4 Maria McKee

Sat 5 Edinburgh Light Orchestra Sun 6 Celebrity Concert

Wed 9 Piano and Wind Sextet Wed 9 Wine Tasting

Thur 1O Thea Vidale

Sat 12 Lothian Region

Sun 13 Lothian Region

Mon 14 Chamber Group

of Scotland

Lothian Region

St Mary's Music School Haddo House Choral Society

Napier University Scratch Brahms Requiem Philomusica

St George's School

The Very Big Carla Bley Band

Tues 15 Wed 16 Sat 19

Fri 25 Sat 26 Sun 27 Mon 28 Wed 30

For details of our programme, free mailing list or concert saver card please call our box office on 031 668 2019

The List 2| May—3 June I‘M} 29