record reviews

POP Madonna Music (Maverick) s 7.7

To quote the lady herself, ’it’s amazrng what a boy can do’. The bOy in question has acqwred almost as many column inches as his missus recently, and now he's turned up on her new album. SandWiched in-between the electro-funk appeal of the title track ’Music' and the shameful Don McLean closer ’American Pie' lies lyric after lyric about the road to Ritchie. 'This guy was made for me, and I was made for him’ she claims on ’I Deserve It’, a song also notable for its ability to surVive off the dancefloor (unlike most of the album). Elsewhere the influence of French dance chappie Mirwais and producer William Orbit is all too pervasive, and apart from future single ’What It Feels Like For A Girl’ there’s little here to get eXCited about.

(Kelly Apter)

Robbie Williams Sing When You're Winning (Chrysalis)

Self-congratulatory and With its tongue firmly in its cheek, Sing When You’re Winning carries on where I’ve Been Expecting You left off It's the usual Williams' mixture of both inspired and insipid pop balladry and irreverent, entertaining dance floor fillers like the aggravatineg catchy ’Rock DJ'. He was never exactly the self-deprecating type, but this offering shows that Our Robbie's in no danger of running out of confidence In ‘Kids’, his duet With Kylie, he proclaims ’There's only one of me single-handedly raising the economy ain't no chance the record company's dropping me ' Just remember young man, pride comes before a fall (Dawn Kofiei


Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline (Virgin) » ' - .

This fifteen-track compilation of remixes, radio sessions, deleted singles and prevrously unreleased material kicks off With rowdy rockin’ guuar licks on 'Shitbag 9', exactly what you should expect from a bag of tune oddities like this. If alternative versions are your bag you’ll be happy beans With 'We Haven’t Turned Around (X- rayI', which is a Whole lot trippier than the Liquid Skin version On the eight unreleased tracks there are familiar husky harmonies on ’Bring Your Lovuig Back Here', hobo blues riffery on ’Hit On The Head’ and breathy lament on 'Wharf Me’ While the Merseyside boys' cover of the other Merseyside boys' 'Getting Better' is reason enough for to give this trolley a home.

(Miles Fielder)

Finley Quaye

Vanguard (Columbia) :- : x Opening track 'Broadcast' begins With a backbeat laid-back to the point of catatonia and, as Quaye namechecks John Virgo, runner beans and Dennis Wise, it's difficult to escape the conclusion that our Finley has gone

44 THE lIST 2i Sep 5 Oct 2000

certifiably and splendidly insane. Fortunately amidst this change, and his newly found talent for rocking out Vis a Vis current Single ’Spiritualized', he hasn’t lost the knack of producmg blissful reggae-inflected pop. Packed With enough hypnotic: percussion and eccentric c0unter melodies to make even grumpy uncle Tricky chill out, this caned crooner is growmg old and growing Wise. (James Smart)

ELECTRONIC Various Artists

DJ Hyper Presents Y3K Soundtrack to the Future (Distinctive) w :r it a

The second installment of Y3K is rather better than the dated futurism of its title might suggest. From the beaten- up ambience of Way out West's ’Enlightenment' through the steely techno of Sasha's ’Rabbitweed’ to Tsunami One & BT’s self-explanatory ’Hip-Hop Phenemenon', DJ Hyper's breakbeat compilation makes for an eclectic and eminently funky hour’s listening. The album ends With an edit of Hybrid's ’Snyper’, a trance stompathon if ever there was one. If you needed an excuse to venture beyond this Auturnn’s crop of bland mix albums (Ibiza Unc0vered? An album taking its title from a shite TV program that bastardizes the genre the album allegedly represents this is redundant circularity at its absolute bloody pinnacle) then this is it.

(James Smart)

H P HOP Zion l Mind Over Matter (Ground Control)

Dedicated to the children of Planet Earth and opening With the v0ice of Carolyn Gaines saying ’Let there be light and there was’, it’s clear that this hip hop album WOuld not have been possible save for the guidance of the almighty Allah Religious devotion aside, Zion I are a solid US collective, comprised of groovernaster Amp-Live, scratch tiger DJ K-Genius and lyrical acrobat MC Zion. Smooth grooves, darkly atmospheric beats and soc1ially- aware lyrics pervade the album and while this may not be the most groundbreaking hip hop in the world, there are some real gems here. Among them, ‘Critical’, shines With its funky- ass, pumping keyboard hook. (Catherine Brornley)

Singles round-up

As Winter approaches, we’re all naturally hoping for some muSical sunshine to enter those cold bedrooms and long gloomy nights ahead ,

But although Aerial’s ’Star Of The Show’ EP (Fantastic Plastic it) is chirpy, it's ultimately annOying pop- cheese With a disturbing lack of irony, whereas The Debut Single IUSI want to consolidate those Winter blues. 'Boyband Killed In To>(ic Spiil' EP (no label trait) is a stark listen that usually falls off the right side of the tightrope between poetry and pretentIOus toss, while Barberstar deserve to fall straight to hell for their disgusting cod-hippy ’Perfect Creation' EP (no label, WWW.Barberstarcouk if you dare *I

WORLD Music RE-issuEs H

Cuba Classics 1, Adventures In Afropea 2, Brazil Classics 1 & 4, Asia Classics 1

(Luaka Bop)

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Diverse sounds from the world's four corners

Solo careers are usually pale imitations of former glory days. Thankfully, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne dedicated himself to promoting a diaspora of (mostly) wonderful world music. Aside from his own congabonga-tastic collaborations with Brazilian musicians, Byrne has overseen a series of compilations on the Luaka Bop label, and as these re-issues from the 805 and 905

show, it’s truly global in scope.

This is a good and bad thing. In the sleeve notes to Cuba Classics 1: Silvio Rodriguez Greatest Hits (t), Byrne describes Rodriguez as ’pop mu5ic With beautiful and sophisticated lyrics . . . with “rock” chord changes.’ Nope, it’s the kind of cringingly crap pop that reminds you it’s one area the English-speaking world still excels in. Though politically-motivated and emotionally-fuelled, Adventures In Afropea 2: The Best Of Djur Djura (ink) is mUSICally . . . inSipid. I feel like a heel for writing it the Algerian singer/filmmaker dedicates her music to ’all the women who have been deprived of love, knowledge and freedom.’

Better are Brazil Classics 1: Beleza Tropical and 4: The Best Of Tom Ze (*** apiece). Byrne praises the ’Iightness, subtlety and easy rhythms’ of the collected artists on Classics 7, and, indeed, these are a perfect pop songs. Ze hails from an earlier period, the Tropicalismo movement of the 60s, and his sound is a sparkling fusion of European, African and North American culture.

Best of the lot, though, is Asia Classics 1: The South Indian Film Music Of Vijaya Anand (*ttt). You've heard them in your favourite curry house, now play these masala melodies at home when you’re cooking up a tandoori.

(Miles Fielder)

Staying in their rooms this Winter are Ben's Symphonic Orchestra, a Io-fi Frenchman With beatbox and guitar whose ‘Invrsible Pair Of Hands' (Microbe *it) is pleasing enough, Monica Queen, Who’ll be plaintiver idolising Tammy Wynette as suggested by her too-twee-for-comfort ’77x’ EP (Creeping Bent *t), and Tracking Farrago, who'll hopefully be writing something less dull than their folky ’Spirit’ EP (Upshot *t)

The synth-lunacy of Soulwax’s ’Too Many DJs’ (PIAS tit) and V-Twin's rampant ’Delinquency’ (Domino ****I should irritate the neighbours, as should Regular Fries inViting over amiable lunatic Kool Keith to rap aimlessly over the nice b0uncing groove of ’Supersonic Waves' (JBO tit).

Meanwhile in the l0unge, lovely svelte Finn Jimi Tenor treats us to some lush Barry White-lite With ’Spell’ (Warp ****I, as Electric Sound of Joy unengagingly mix synths With orchestral arrangements on ’Daughters Of Destruction’ (Foundry ***).

Of coiirse, DJ-types such as Adam Dived Will want you to brave life outside your safe homes: but the aimless house of 'Deep Inside’ (10th Planet it) Will do nothing but slow pulses nationWide; Mellow Trax rehashes the Prodigy on ’Outta Space' (Substance it) by playing With his Synth arpeggiator too much (yup, it's trance); one-hit wonders Madison Avenue's follow-up is identically dull to their last: ’Who the

Hell Are YOu?’ (Vicious Grooves *) they

ask, cheekily, as 'Little Man’ (Long Lost Brother *t) by S.i.A throws up yet another feisty sister dealing in R&B by numbers.

Also guaranteed to top charts and send the Dave Pearce fans into apoplexy is La Roche’s 'The Way YOu Love Me’ (Vision *it); standard vocal house fare lacking in original spark Steve Lawler's slow burning trance epic (notice how those two words always end up together?) 'Rise ’ln' (Bedrock *ttt) however is a slide guitar delight. Apani B meanwhile shows females can play the big boys at hip hop With a sensational debut ’Spot Me' (Bronx Science ****I. Rogue Audio's laid- back mix of Cass and Slide’s subtle but effective trance tune ’PerceptiOn' (Additive *tttl saves the track from lTlE’leCrIly. Surreal Madrid go back to their Video collection to piece together 'Vegas’, (Fused and Bruised ****l a SWinger (geddit?) of a breaks track that would put a smile on the face of the grumpiest gurner.

But lol there is a sayiourl Once again the funkful electro-fest of Optimo- favourite ’Poptimo’, Mount Florida's 'Strut' EP (Matador *it‘k‘k‘ shamelessly steals from and blends classic; 805 bop. Take comfort in the knowledge that, as those summer nights fade fast, you can always let the power of Optimo into your llie,

(Jan F. Zeschky and Mark Robertson)