Albums & singles
SNOW PATROL When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clear Up lJeep‘steri COO
Ah, the difficult second album. Snow Patrols debut .‘ras a splei‘rlid thing, brirnu‘ing ',‘,"liil attitude. tunes and songs of a x'rif-ittul, nieledic beauty. The comparison does not flatter this release. which isn’t to say that l.»'-.//>en It's All Over. . . is a bad album. There are enough tracks with pogo potential to keep the kids down the front happy. while more lo»fi numbers like the wonderful ‘lf l'd Found The Right Words To Say' should make the chin-strokers at the back tap their feet and smile a small smile. All too often. though. these songs are too generic to be truly exceptional. and too WOIQHOU down by half— fulfilled expectation to soar. (James Siiiartl
THE DIVINE COMEDY Regeneration (Parlophone) COO.
Maybe this album should have been called 'hanging up the suits'. Just as the Divine Comedy have ditched their dress code. so too have they packed away the cabaret pastiche that has dominatet‘l their work. Ré-Pgﬂh'ldl'Jl/Of7 has been produced by Nigel Godrich (he of Radiohead fame) and as soon as yeti know that you can't help but say 'the new album sounds a bit Radiohead- ish'. It does in as much as Neil Hannon and co. have stripped down the songs so that the vocals and gtiitar dominate. wrth the odd experimental backdrop. Gone are the huge string sections. and
96 THE LIST l—lfl Mar 2001
.r‘. their place are a collection of songs filled .‘nth eriotional honesty. perfect for listening to smile Eying on. the floor as the rain pours do .‘/n outside. iLouisa Pearson;
ROCK POP JANUARY
I Heard Myself In You (Poptonesl COO.
\J‘ifnat with gurning on about the Queen's anvestment in his Poptones label and slagging oft Coldplay. you ‘.'/ouldn't have thOLight that 90s casualty Alan McGee would've had the time to actually sign hands. let alone good ones. But January have got The Verve's epic acoustic swirl With refreshingly little of Dicky Ashcroft's tedious bombast. And they've got the tunes. 'All Time" sets the tone. its delicate strumming enough to silence any room. while 'Proiections' takes the tune from an Uncle Ben's ad and makes it into something spectacular —- and we're not talking sweet and sour chicken here. McGee must be wetting his bed With the excitement of it all. (James Smart)
ROCK POP SMACKVAN
The Company of Women (sans-culottes records) 0...
Not the first album made by Edinburgh-based Smackvan but the first that we. the lucky public. have been able to get Our ears on. The Company Of ll/onien is an extremely promising album from a band welding together disparate muSical forms into a pretty coherent whole. Tracks like ‘Thiiteen Signs' and 'Swimming Pool' are beautiful blends of timeless folk laments overlayed wrth the textured sOunds of modern machinery. while top track mm The Fog' boasts more than a hint of krautrock abOut it. It may be a familiar attitude — think of a more advent- urous. less shag-centric Arab Strap — but it's one
Those money COunters at the Ministry of Sound have actually managed to compile a half decent Chillout Session (Ministry Of SOund l with the first CD a corker; Badly Drawn Boy's sublime "The Shining' laps up next to Tim 'Love' Lee and Lemon Jelly 's surreal 'In The Bath'. Things. ROX‘JOVCT. start to go a little Gary Bong at the end of CD1 with Basement Jaxx's Being With U' and by the end CD2 we are being treated to lil' Willy Orbit's “Adagio For Strings“ and that smug coffee table in your minimalist flat Simply Will not hold this and all those Cafe Del Mi/d
Miss Moneypenny’s Glamorous Grooves l Beechwood 0.
actually about as glamorous as a wet weekend in Port Patrick with a bunch of mad cow burger-munching deep house clubbers. most of whom have )ust turned fourteen and discovered fluorescent yo-yos and the hatred of the disaffected. It is however better than Disco Kandi 3 (Hed Kandi O l which. though beautifully packaged and deSigned to ‘raise a smile With even the most cynical of clubbers' is predictable and frankly shit. This is detritus and should
Queens Of The Stoneage are the cream ) is in a decidedly mixed bag of fruits
Wall Of Sound meanwhile continue to lose their way With Dope On Plastic 8 (React
l Wlifl fairly innocuous cuts from Outcast. Ballistic Brothers and Nick Faber.
Mastercuts Breaks (Mastercuts O... ) is yet another collection of classic breaks and is great if only for the original ver8ion of Bobby Byrd's ‘I Need Help (I Can't Do It Alone)‘. the tune that prowded the ball squeeZing riff for Rakim's awesome ‘I Know You
If you have )ust worked out that altcountry music is all about wearing your leather chaps in an ironic way and taking heaps of LSD then its all change baby because here
comes Corrosion (Sony 00.
) — a nu-rock compilation. This is a bit like
befriending the smelly loner grebo in school — it is full of mostly unpleasant moments tempered by feelings of self-righteousness. With the exception of Queens Of The Stoneage. One Minute Silence. Less Than Jake. Oueen Adreena and King Prawn all the best tunes here are from the old school with some classic tracks from Anthrax, Pixies. Rocket From The Crypt and Rage Against The Machine.
Cohesion (Collective O... ) is a richly diverse collection of Manchester's finest sons and daughters. A charity album that actually appeals to non-WOMAD woolknits. the highlights here include I Am Kloot. Elbow. New Order delivering a superb live version of ‘Atmosphere' and Mint Royale's bonkers ‘From Rusholme With Love'. All real life is here our kid. (Paul Dale)
that Smackvan have imagination enough tO explore. (Tim Abrahams)
ELECTRONIC VARIOUS ARTISTS Ragga Vs Hip Hop (Yush 2K) 0...
It's a tough contest. ragga versus hip hop. At the ragga end of the dancefloor yOu've got this fast-paced paIOis set to rhythms that stimulate all manner of booty shaking while at the hip hop end you've got old-school beats that obviously enc0urage those show- der shaking and head nodding manoeuvres. What AJ Nuttall. the label boss behind Yush Recordings. has
cunningly realised is that it doesn't have to be a contest-the two styles work wonderfully together. although you'd have to be a fairly good dancer to carry it off well. Rarely are the two styles mixed together in the same track though. so instead this compilation neatly juxtaposes the raw ragga vocal stylings of Peckham's Selvi Wonder and Edinburgh's own MC Matik and Scotty with the talents of local hip hop MCs Reachout and Scotland Yard. In line With this whole quion thing, AJ (Wife the accom-plished MC as well as being the producer at work here) calls himself Half Breed and his versatility in both styles contributes some of the strongest material here. (Catherine Bromley)
ELECTRONIC VARIOUS ARTISTS
Discoteca (Ocho) 0..
DJ Martin Morales brings an eclectic choice of
tracks and mixes from a host of club scene specials including Dubtribe Sound System. Charanga 76 and Chicharrons. Those familiar with Latin house. funk. electro and disco and the world of names that go with them will find plenty here to dance and chill out to. The pearl is one clean untouched track. the 1983 ClaSSlC ‘Juan Pachanga‘ by Panamenan lawyer. Presidential candidate. film star and salsa maverick Ruben Blades. Disappointingly. there is little to reveal Morales' Peruvian background but plenty for the clubs to play and for that very late night party. (Jan Fairley)
Stranger on Earth (Atlantic) 0.”
The American Lina matches knowmg. tough- COOkie lyrics (cool anger. addictive emotional longing, lots of 'ho' and ‘nigga'l with a sensitive. oddly varied throwback musrcal palette. Take 'Playa No Mo”. where her mourning hummingbird seprano flutters over woozy Harlem (azz orchestrations under- scored by a contem- porary beat. Add a rap bridge to an almost operatic gospel hook. The result is oddly right. Well- structured songs. almost all co-authored by her. mix light. Jazzy $0ul and hip hop/R88 rhythms. Soft, celestial multi- tracking enhances a sometimes quiverineg thin yet pleasmg voice. Sweet. sneaky and funky, Lina is Macy Gray meets Billie Holiday. Weird. with some wonderful things in it. (Donald Hutera)
BONNY ‘PRINCE’ BILLY
Ease Down The Road (Domino) 0000
This record is the follow up to the superbly bleak / Can See A Darkness and it sees Will Oldham. the miserable country genius of many alter egos. further refining his ability to tell darkly comic tales from the furthest inaccessrble reaches of America's hinterland. Oldham's world is one of inbred and amoral hillbilly weirdness. and as gwtars and banjos strum. his delicately soulful v0ice tells stories of loneliness and love lost. like in the gentle shuffle of the title track, or the stately waltz of 'A King At Night'. A late night country record for late night country moods. (Doug Johnstone)