the video for the current single ’Year Of The Apocalypse’ - Jimi cavorting in a lilac satin jumpsuit open to the waist. Join the millennium disco love-in. (FS)
Things Fall Apart (MCA) a a a a a Cast aside by both New York and the entire East Coast, Philadelphia is often overlooked by the beat pundits. But Philly’s younger talents are concentrating on innovation. The Roots return with their first album proper since Illade/ph Half/ife and it is devastating. A mix of live instrumentation with beatbox and some of the world‘s Strongest rhyming puts these guys light years ahead of the competition, while guest slots from emcees Common and Mos Def up the ante yet further. Things Fall Apart is quite Simply one of the most appealing future classics of the age. (CR)
Bachue A Certain Smile (Culburnie) as: a: air «a
DrOpping the ’Cafe” from their name, Corrina Hewat and Dave Milligan release a second album of Scots jazz/folk crossover. Their unique musrcal approach, on harp and piano, is dominated by the Jazz approach with its harmonic colour, oblique chording and rhythmic variety. Corrina’s dry, bluesy vocals re-model folk standards like the Birken Tree in ways that are more playful than beautiful, but which are perfect for the Rickie Lee Jones favourite 'All The Sad Young Men’. Instrumental and vocal aSSistance by some of the brightest talents working in Scotland - Brian Sheils, Phil Bancroft, Horse MacDonald and Davey Cattanach -- help to create an album that is idiosyncratic, moody and expertly played. (NC)
Boys Of The Lough The West Of Ireland (Lough Records)
I The core Boys membership of Aly Barn,
Cathal McConnell and Dave Richardson is Joined here by another half-dozen or so Strong players in an album that celebrates the traditional airs, dances and songs of Ireland, particularly the Wild Western seaboard. Still, for all its beautiful moments, this is an uneven album. The magnificent old song 'The Rocks Of Bawn' is given a contemporary treatment that is misplaced and there are sets that don’t sit happily in the rhythm department. But there are some great songs including McConnell’S ’The Maid With The Bonny Brown Hair' and ace accordionist/Srnger Brendan Begley’s instrumental arr 'Beauty Deas An Oileain' (NC)
Colin Reid Colin Reid (Veesik Records) a Wat?
Once heard behind every bedSit door, the fingerpicked acoustic guitar has languished over the last decade, but yOung Belfast rnusmran Colin Reid c0uld drag it back into vogue. His album is in the tradition of great British exponents like Jansch, Renbourne and Davey Graham, but isn’t defined by them. Produced by Scots gurtar star Tony lvlaclvlanus, this is cleanly
performed, well paced, expertly played and underscored here and there with session assistance on cello, fiddle and mandolin. Most tracks are written by Reid, from the frantic ’Frantic’ to the elegiac 'Across The FieldS', and if the complete album might seem to lack bite, it’s because it wasn’t intended to have teeth. (NC)
Caroline Taylor Quintet For The Moment (CMT) a a a: Caroline Taylor, an American drummer living in London, plays material ranging in style from scurrying hard bop and funky blues to smooth contemporary sounds. With bassist Simon Thorpe, Taylor drives Dave Frankel’S imaginative piano and the twin horns of Neil Yates (trumpet) and Denys Baptiste (sax). Special guest Claire Martin provrdes an atmospheric vocal on 'When I Look In Your Eyes’. On the evrdence of this crisply performed album, the Caroline Taylor Quintet will be worth catching when they visit Edinburgh as part of a. short Scottish tour in early March. (KM)
CLASSICAL " RSNO
Alfven (Naxos) a is a
This album devoted to the musrc of'the Swedish composer Hugo Alfven is another excellent product of the RSNO’S relationship with Naxos. Niklas Willen conducts in a selection which reveals Alfven’s more dramatic Side, including his Symphony No. i, a suite from the ballet Berkakungen (The Mountain King) and the exuberant Uppsa/a Rhapsody. The composer's characteristically skilful, highly coloured orchestration is heard to advantage on an album which provides an exemplary introduction to his mum, especially given Naxos’ bargain price. (KM)
Propellerheads The Extended Play EP (Wall Of Sound)
Most bands would come back after the near death experience of a member wrth a reflective record Not Propellerheads, who return With a Slice of life affirming cheese burlt around a sample of Fluff Freeman's ’Pick Of The Pops’ Signature tune ’Crash!‘ sounds defiantly Vital and in love With the idea of having a good time. Alright? Not arf. (PR)
2 Just Looking (V2)
After the frankly ropey ‘Bartender And The Tliief’, Stereophonics fans must have their fingers crossed ’Just Looking’, a rock ballad which lacks their former fires, is saved by the usual splendid Noddy-Holder-does-Angus- Young vocal from Kelly Jones which should keep expectations high for forthcoming album Performance And Cocktails. (PR)
Tender (Food) in r
Damon Albarn has checked the sarcasm and SOCiaI anthropology at the door and taken up the Simple mic Of truth to croon that ’love’s the greatest thing' on this folk/(Ountry/qospel anthem. Aided
record reviews MUSIC
ELECTRONIC Liam Howlett
Starting out life as a session on Mary Anne Hobb's Radio 1 Breezeblock show, this is the hip soundtrack to Prodigy mainman Liam Howlett‘s youth. cut and mixed into interesting shapes. Cue a truckload of 805 hip hop. the occasional big beat classic from the Chemical Brothers et al and the odd thing like Barry White in the name of eclecticism. Other than the KLF.
Howlett's rave past has been ignored.
He cuts and scratches his way through 50~odd tracks in 50 minutes and although there’s the occasional spark of genius, attempts at diversity have varied results. Some parts are inspired - a Sex Pistols/Fatboy Slim/Medicine medley for instance. or The Charlatans matched with Grandmaster Hash «- but there's little real innovation. Jane‘s Addiction’s ‘Been Caught Stealing' is in dropped into the stew and comes over all school disco - a chance
indulgence which doesn't quite work.
Howlett tries too hard too impress. Half of these tracks, more creatively mixed and with more attention paid to atmosphere, would have worked far ' better. As it is, Dirtchamber only makes you want to buy some of the classic tracks sampled so you can play them in full. A valiant. but ultimately unsatisfying attempt. (Mark Robertson)
Prodigy Presents: The Dirtchamber Sesionsln (XL ecordirigtakkff
Sample pleasures: liamﬂovﬂett-
by the production genius of William Orbit and vocal talents of the London Community Gospel Chou, 'Tender' Should give Blur their second Number One,.but, at longer than seven minutes, w0uld it be churlrsh to yearn for the economy of 'Sonc; 2'3“ (PR)
Scars (Island) w
Already much hyped as the new Verve, Witness Share Wigan's finest’s loose, rambling approach to songwriting. But, 'Scars' could really use SOIHO kind of hook as this is all trousers and no rnOuth, plenty of action and drama but no pop senSihilrty (PR)
Johnson Tripping With The Moonlight (Play) '.-‘-..' 1%
Both ’Tripprnq’ and the B-sIde 'FIrpSrde Head' see this new Glasgow band dipping a pale, white toe in the swampy territory of Tinderstrcks, Tom Waits and even Kurt Weill. This confident and atmospheric debut suggests Johnson could fly the flag for seedy glamour in Scotland like Jack do in LondOn, (PR)
Travis Writing To Reach You (Independiente)
1:”. “it ‘29-.“ ‘3?
Constantly underrated, Travrs are a schizophrenic blend of the laddish and the heartfelt. 'Writrng To Reach You’ sees their senSitive Side Shine through in a semi-acoiistic ballad which references
’Wonderwall’ but never strays into parody. That second album is looking better all the time. (PR)
Style (ffrr) a air a 'Style’ — a Stylophone-led slab of techno i — has been remixed by the Hartnolls to include three separate versions spread over two CDs, including the Bigpipe lvlix which plays the main riff on bagpipes and samples Suzi Quatro's ’Devrl Gate Drive'. A screwball symphony of the first order. (PR)
One Lady Owner
I Do Need You (Creation) * 1H
A very curious mixture of lounge music and dark, expansive rock, 'I Do Need You’ sounds like Lux Interior wrote a song for Tony Christie. One Lady Owner certainly don’t sound like your typical Creation band, and it's not often you hear a soundclash between distorted guitars and a xylophone. (PR)
REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE:
Simone Baird, Norman Chalmers, Mark Fisher, Rob Fraser, Damien Love, Alastair lvlabbott, Kenny Mathieson, Craig Reece, Peter Ross, Fiona Shepherd, Jonathan Trew, Rory Weller, Fin Wilson.
STAR RATINGS it ‘k w it at Unmissable * it a it Very is it» s Wort a shot: e 9' Below average * You've been warned
l8 Feb-4 Mar 1999 THE LIST“