record reviews

R&B/POP Craig David

Born To Do It (Wildstar Records)

The golden child of pop doesn't disappomt With his debut album. A flawless slice of mainstream RBB, the album is well-rounded and l". tarttly likeable.

The boy Davrd flexes his ranxpant teenage libido through a lyrical narrative which makes for some Interesting and overtly sexual lyrics His vorce is smoother and tastier than an ice cream Galaxy Cararr‘rel, and this combined With his trademark vocal gyrations create a sound that is all his own. The three szngles released so far give a taster of the rest of the album, and With the exception of a few ObVIOUS fillers, this is defin.tive chill-out material «I‘vlaureen FlllS‘

ROCK/POP Herman Dune Turn Off The Light (Prohibited)

Anaemic, damp, drug addled and depressed, this ‘.'.*as the state o‘ Nic k Drake days before he died llerrna". Dune comes on li-ce the rnan \.'.'io found the body and red to talk him back into the world, tl‘rox'. r‘g Wittgenstein guotes at him z". a'i \Jdl". attempt to save a \.'.aiting SD'I'Ii TIvs is breathtaking, each song tyricaily caiseci With the skill of a young Dax. d C'osby and sung to the point 0‘ ext'nc t=oe a aa Drake, Duneci‘eatesa37‘1is:ca: landscape S()'T‘(".'."‘.(‘"(" benzeen Donovan and Pinup G ass This s at once dernatir. e a"d snigu'ar, .t I have you weeping into your proxac ft masterpiece of r':e.anchc,\ -a 'Paai Daze


Taking Money From Kids (Bear)

Bear are a very British band Hailing from Sheffield the'e are 'r‘e‘atabie comparisons ‘.'.Iili tl‘eir slightly ii ore successful conteinpor‘aries, Pulp, and indeed Bear deal in much of the same

kitchen sink subject matter as Jarvrs and Co Singer and main man Chris Trout has one of those earnest yet sarcastic singing voices, and With song titles like '21st Century Bob-a-Job Man’ and 'Ariti-vcilentine', it's pretty clear Bear are dealing in the mundanity of everyday life I‘vIusically, With cheap synth sounds, reedy female backing vocals and anaemic gurtars, Bear sOund like they're stuck in the late 80s, when be'rig fey, pare and ironic seemed like a good idea iDoug Johnstonel

Man 0r Astro-Man A Spectrum Of Infinite Scale (Epitaph)

These monumental instrumentalists have had their music. cauldron bubbling away for nigh on a decade now and their beWitc‘hing spell of 608 surf infused With punk rock spirit doused liberally With retro sci-fi kitsch has mutated into a surprisineg varied and acidic tive elixu' They still manage to invoke the spot of Di( k Dale, but do so Without making you feel like you've ever heard it before Boosted by beefier, more expansive

pioduc tron, they retain a sense of humour and explore ideas in an innocent Flaming Lips-esoue way, but i‘etaw‘ the rrglit to amuse ai‘d beweldei at a n‘o'nent's riotice. lritei'stel'ar .lrlark Robertson.


Mozaic (Sony)

lergl‘ Stephen Kenny is me heck of a main-cultural cat Prycling himself on Canadian, French,, Jennish, Cuban and black roots, these outrageously dise'se cultural or'g "s contribute to a '.'.e!?-."oundc‘-d, sou";.l ‘.'El)(‘ o" this, his (rebut aébam Open ."-(i an ac :d ,ia/x styxe, ISK gets stra'gl‘t to the "‘iessage with ‘Roots i The fun: c)‘ inlanyi' and cheesy iines like “we're only iiiixzn' it up', tli.s as sweet, socially avmre soui SYiIIS:( comparable to the master, Liaivri‘ Gaye Snarirxng the musical spec turn in ail its glory 'ock, Latin, dub reggae and some classic RRtB this 's a rather iinpi'e s've debut and not an album you'll tire of easily

( atherrie BIOIHlUy‘

Soulfull spaning of the musical spectrum from LSK

40 THE “ST 7--ZI Sep 2000

Sloan Between The Bridges (Murder)

'Let's do the time Warp agarn,’ they sang in Rocky Horror, and they could've been singing about Sloan, as it happens. These f0ur Nova Scotian boys have made a cracking album of Americana good time guitar tunes. Set in 1976. Quoting Big Star and Cheap Trick as influences really says it all ab0ut Between The Bridges, Big funky gurtars, big echoey drums and whopping great choruses With even bigger harmonies ab0und everywhere, and what’s more, it's all rather spankineg well done. Like the Black Crowes only young, fun and not stoned off their boxes, Sloan have stamped their own personality on every tune, making Between The Bridges a great (what’s left of the) summer record. (DOug Johnstonel

The Waterboys

A Rock In The Weary Land

Followrng a solo career which singularly failed in the unit-shifting department, Mike Scott has not so much reformed The Waterboys as re- appropriated the name for this foray into ’sonic rock' Citing the Chemical Brothers and DJ Shadow as influences, Scott occasionally manages to (OIIILITC up the desired IIIIOTy, urban atmosphere, but elsewhere the self- consciously modern production fails to disguise a distinct lac k of tunes As an attempt to make a hip, relevant record, this ultimately doesn't succeed, and only ’The Wind In The Wire' hints at the shameless grandeur of the Waterboys at their peak An interesting failure, but a failure nonetheless iGraeme ThomsOni


Selmasongs (One Little Indian)

BJOrk, in a big girly huff, has tried to distance herself from the whole Dancer /n The Dark pro1ect including this film score, saying that it's Selma’s music and not hers. Except it most evrdently is A natural progression from BJc)rk’s own personal excursion into the Tec hnicolor world of the MGM musical on ‘Oh, So Quret' and the cinematic strings of her 'Play Dead' collaboration with Davrd Arnold, this soundtrack represents the same ideas on a much grander scale Suffused With dramatic string arrangements, industrial techno rhythms and BJOrk's distinct vocal personality, this is an overall brooding descent into the mind of a very introspective woman

(Catherine Bromleyi

The Webb Brothers Maroon (Mews S/WEA)

Drir‘ik-fuelled excesses, druginduced debauchery and intoxicated hormonal hangovers, JUSI a day at the office for The Webb Brothers really This is more than mere music, this is a mission statement The Chicago duo are charting two lost years through this concept album, and have set agonising lyrics to uplifting music With a healthy injection of self-effacing humour And the result7 Arnayingly good, the 70s retro feel is infectious, and While the 'concept’ threatens to cross the

repetitive boundary, it is quickly resurrected by a timely change of style. The lyrics and concept are strong and amusing, but it is the music and ability to experiment successfully which make the album. (Maureen Ellis)

Various Artists

Caroline Now! The Songs Of Brian Wilson And The Beach Boys (Marina)

If you haven't combusted W-th happiness by track six, boy/girl are you in trouble! Glasgow's own Duglas T Stewart and Davrd Scott have overseen the protect, taking 24 of Brian and Co's less obvrous songs and capturing some great performances. Eighteen of the tracks are merely wonderful, but the cut aboves are Eugene Kelly hit his best moment since The Vaselines) With ’Lady' and Alex Chilton's cabaret cool 'I Wanna Pick You Up’. These tribute LPs are often a let down by the packaging, but here it is fabulous, With rare photos and an interView With Wilson, and Beach Boys nuts Will certainly not be disappomted (Rodger Evansi

Various Artists

Sing A Song For You: Tribute To Tim Buckley (Manifesto)

An obscenely talented folk rock troubadour, Tim Buckley had a voice up there both spiritually and in its higher register With Al Green and Jackie Wilson So taking on the father of Jeff's work is no slice of Mr Kipling, and many of the artists here are simply not up to it A handful of efforts are worth the price of admission though, notably Dot Allison roughing up 'Sweet Surrender’, like Debbie Harn, in full swoon Delirious, but trumped by Geneva, who take a silk and sandpaper approach in their nine-minute attack on ’Pleasant Street' almost ixrorthy of the man himself iRodger Evans:-



Underworld Live; Everything, Everything (V2)

lt's ironic that the first truly top notch live album to come along in years is the product of a bunch of knob tWiddling studio boffins who make, gasp' electronic music Undei'v.'c)i'lcl illustrate vhy they are still one of the country's finest ll\'(‘ bands as the improvrsecl nature of their sets is pushed to the fore and each track is stretched and bent into huge, crowd pleasing shapes Gone are the drai.~.n out ponderances of their more introspective studio work and out come the monolithic beats and familiar riffs as ‘Re/', 'Pearls Girls' and 'Born Slippy' are all paraded for the crop. c: This shouch sit well With The Who Live At Leeds, The Jam's Dig The New Breed and Thin Liz/y’s Live And Dangerous as an indication of how live shows shouch really be done «Mark Robertsoni

The Wisdom Of Harry House Of Binary (lvlatador)

“Mum can I go and make records in me bedroom?" Pete Astor may have kept Creation Records afloat pie-Oasis With his brilliant band The \‘v’eather Prophets, but now it seems he Just wants to hole up With an old Atari, a reel-to-ieel and a couple of guitars Well not quite, but this is finest record