MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
Philip Oorward charges through the new singles. The message from The . Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy used to be that if you only bought one book (ie record) this year it should be theirs. That premise still applies for rapper Michael Franti‘s latest baby. Spearhead.
Their ‘People In The Middle Life' EP (Capitol) is neck-deep in glorious soul-hip hop fusion. Kick. scream and bite to get hold of this record.
Meanwhile. The Secret Goldfish prove that there‘s life in Scotland. The seventeen-month-old band might not be so secret for much longer if their track ‘Seasick‘ (Creeping Bent) is anything to go by. It is. quite frankly. a bit of a peach. with Katy McCullar's dashing vocals being taken fora bit of a carnival ride with their ﬂashy Super-8 geetar not stopping to pick up anyone. On a similar jaunty verve are Congregation. ‘Join In‘ (Fire) is spunky terracing' pop a la Lightning Seeds. and is worth a listen because it manages to make a story about relegation football seem dead sexy. Certainly. rock-pop is on the menu this summer. and 18 Wheeler aren‘t ones to miss a trick. Beware of the romantic chorus of ‘Steel Guitars' (Creation) which zip. zip. zips along with startling velocity. Oon-E lives in a much slower world.
Returning after a couple of years of contractual problems. 'the future of British soul‘ returns to Stevie Wondersville with ‘Fakin‘ The Funk‘ (Fab). It‘s pleasing enough. but it‘s not exactly going to set the heather on ﬁre or. more importantly. re-start Don-E's career. Perhaps he should have teamed up with the rather groovy \ Spooky. Weird and certainly wonderful. ‘Clank' (A&M) is likely to become a complete cult. Just imagine ifThe Orb and KLF made decent records. Then you might just get the thoughts behind this innovative dreamscape. It is. in the words of Uma Thurman. ‘yummy'.
um- BEASTIE BOYS
Root Down (Grand Iloyale/Capitol)
Is it a single? Is it an EP? Is it an album? Well, it’s an EP, actually, but it’s got ten tracks, so what the hell? The Prunes’ ‘Free Zone’ mix of the title forsakes the blaxploitation dirty funk wah-wah rumble and jazz breaking of the LP original to take the track into stranger, pared-down, darker expanses, while Prince Paul’s ‘PP Balloon Mix’ is a harder, old-
school breakbeats and scratching rant.
The remainder of the disc consists of tracks culled from the European shows the Beasties played earlier in the year, paying testament to the
tight-looseness which currently
characterises their live performance —
the hardcore slamming of ‘Neart
Attack Man’ virtually
indistinguishable from the studio take,
while ‘Flute loop’ flexes confidently
and easily around its theme and
‘Something’s Got To Give’ (from ‘Check
Your llead’) emerges finally as the
. transcendental porn soundtrack it
i always threatened it could be. Hardly
i an essential release, but as a document of The Beastie Boys live
i experience, fair enough. Yes, there is
I the obligatory hidden track - a curious beast at that. No, none of the live stuff was recorded at the Glasgow show (Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm
2 and Wolverhampton if you care).
I (Damien Love)
3 class Nashville musicians; and getting 3 personal again. Shorn of cloying ” sentiment, she uniquely delivers
; A Very Fine love (Columbia)
= The rejuvenated ‘white queen of soul’,
; now singing live with carefree
' panache, has made an album far more
f satisfying than her last pop venture,
Reputation (1990). In A Very Fine Love,
E Springfield plays exactly to her
. strengths: harnessing an older, knowing, cigarette-grained voice to
if, f and the dissipated fake cheer which ' overlies despair.
i country,’ K.T. Oslin told Ousty, ‘or we’ll
i all have to leave town.’ Ironically, this
I album isn’t marketed as country, yet
3 its most smashing songs seize the
idiom by the throat and may most
excite discerning New Country fans.
Try ‘All I Have To Offer”s dirty low-
down vocal, the gut-tugging highlight
Q ‘Where Is A Woman To Go’, her
‘ rousing, catchy ‘Boll Away’ (the
‘ obvious single?) or the powerful ‘You Are The Storm’. A huge pity the whole
album didn’t go for the jugular, for three predictable ‘adult contemporary’
; arrangements waste this singer in the
~ middle of the road. Iler triumphs came
from innovation, and from dragging
2 songs to the edge.
, This album, plus the UK release of
the exciting disco album White Heat, should restore Ousty much of the
standing she lost with the public,
. though never ever with her fellow musicians. (Sarah Nelson)
some powerful lyrics by top songwriters; rejecting synthesisers for
cracked regret, vulnerability, cynicism
‘Noney, don’t ever start singing
Prole Life: A Souvenir From Glasgow (Cherry Red) It’s a new concept in long-playing albums: Cherry Red pick a city (Glasgow first, cos it rules), find some bands (not hard - they just walked into The 13th Note, spoke to the first five people they met and fortunately they were all in bands) and allot each group a few tracks on their compilation in which to do their thing In a representative fashion. Yummyfur get a colossal seven tracks because of their fondness for brevity, Pink Kross get five stabs at their growling leather chick wham- bam-thank-you-ma’am garage punk,
all of which are stuffed with their :
usual teen dominatrix imagery, everyone else gets four tracks.
Lugworm take veggiepunk skanking to a more imaginative plane than usual, including a neat lift from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ on ‘Jimmy Saville’s Wheelchair’. Not to be outdone in the song titles deparbnent, Trout offer ‘Numan Boing’, The Blisters try to keep a straight face during ‘Patrick Meets The Courgettes’ and Yummyfur opine that ‘All Women Are Robots’.
As an advert to the rest of Britain ‘Prole life’ only represents a portion of what is going on in the city (The Blisters being the only non-punky contributors), but it does highlight the proactive element, as most of these bands have already released their own
records. (Fiona Shepherd)
i HISfury: Past Present And Future Book l 1 (Epic) ! ! Let’s talk about numbers: 150 minutes ' t of music, 52 pages of homage, credit
g and thanks, fifteen hits, old and new.
i The CBS are gold, too. Boysohboys.
? Never mind the quality, feel the width. . Never mind the heat, see the light.
1 Astride his mighty charger, Ego, the
5 King of Pop is back amongst us. Sing
j have salvaged his reputation. Along
i the way to pap re-deification, M.J. will
2 once again favour llamas and chimps
1 over small boys. He will release
‘Stranger In Moscow’ as a single, with
a fleet of strings worked into the mix
g to heighten the seductive gloss. ‘This
Time Around’ will have an R. Kelly
1 ‘Crude-Boy’ swingbeat overhaul. Some
1 ‘M.J. One World’ foundation will have
i a field day with ‘Childhood’ and ‘Earth
f Song’ as the theme tunes to lavish
? promotional trailers. Michael will resculpt himself in the image of a Japanese geisha and live in the Swiss Alps. Prince will sign to Postcard. Everybody will be happy. NlStory, truly, will have been made. The actual songs? Mere footnotes. (Craig McLean)
NlStory is big. Epic reputedly plan to go nine singles deep, pushing the product through until the end of 1996. By which time Michael Jackson will
40 The List 30 Jun-l3 Jul 1995