ROCK/POP SPARKLEHORSE It's A Wonderful Life (Capitol) O...

When Mark Linkous sings the words. ‘it's a wonderful life.' he SOunds like he's hunched rix er the 50th draft of his; suicide note that day. Sparklehorse (I(:l'I£illlIy ‘do' low well. but when they fly, there are feu'.’ post—altcounthy dotrockers who can clip their Wings.

And they're even allowing their mates into the studio. PJ. Harvey. Tom Waits and Nina Persson all bring their varying vocal styles to this album, but when their compulsive leader is left to his own (de)Vices you can feel your heart collapsing. Now on their third album. this is far



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Whatever Craig and Charlie have been up to for the past seven years. they haven't been immerSing themselves in contempOrary muSic. The Reid twins are as gloriously Singular as they ever were. pIOughing that Celtic-Aiiiericana-urbaii- lolk furrow that is all their own.

Although they do a better JOI) this time round of sounding like a real band. the icy of the album is in their great gutsy harmonies and old time songwriting skills.

1 12 THE LIST 7—21 Jun 2001

ELECTRCNC Doe 10,000Hz Legend Source virgin 0000

Edith from ‘Allo ‘Allo. Serge Gainsbourg. Johnny Hallyday. Britain’s stock images of French music are hardly flattering. Every so often a band comes along to shatter our garlic encrusted illusions, though it’s telling that most of them have had to do so in English - having the world‘s dominant language at your fingertips can inspire more than a little laziness.

UK record-buyers weren’t slow to snap up Air’s

Moon Safari, and 10,000Hz Legend deserves just as

much attention. Whether it will do so is a different matter. Some reviewers have already used up a sizeable stock of ‘p’ words (pretentious, ponderous and, yes, prog), while one letter to the NME described it as ‘Cliff Richard on ketamine’. Which isn’t strictly true, but does give some clue as to its flawed but inspired nature.

First single ‘Radio #1’ is nothing like the best track on the album. Instead, check out the 805 intro, orchestral backing and wildfire guitar of ‘Don’t Be Light’ or the sad beauty of ‘Electronic Performers'. The lyrical paradoxes of ‘Lucky And Unhappy’, meanwhile, are mirrored by synths that manage to be menacing and tranquil, and as infectious as a smothered giggle.

It’s not a perfect record. The percussion is as boring as hell and Air’s sonic chicanery occasionally sounds not so much wayward as dull. But this is an album worth persevering with. (James Smart)

Remembrance'l and big- hearted polemics i‘Scotland's Story'l in equal meaSure. always

They spoon out big- hearted romanticism l‘That's When He Told Her'. ‘Act Of

tunes. Their forthcoming live dates are Sure to prove them the Original Celtic SOUI brothers. (Mark Fisherl



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With this second album

constant Radiohead comparisons behind them. OK so the angst is

common With the

Rage Against The Machine; recent proof being Single ‘Plug In Baby'. Tight. expertly-

howling 'New Born' to the Superb cover of Nina Simone's “Feeling Good'. which they really make their own. Raging distonion. squealing

screeching vocals jUSi

With irresistible Sing-along

Muse really can put those

there but this has mOre in

theatrics of Queen mixed With the eprOSiveness of

produced tracks from the

gUitars solos. pianos and

Cliff Richard on ketamine? Not quite

what a proper indie r< ick album should coiismt of. So more of the same

from Muse. only more so.

(Henry Northmorei

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KING ADORA Vibrate You iSiipei-ioi Quality; 000

It's easy to laugh at King; Adora. all crossdressnig teenage reheliiouts posturing. but. rather irritatingly, I.//.‘)rate You is actually quite a good rock ‘n' roll record. Ugi, boys made uglier ‘.‘.’lii" mascara and fishnets. the four-piece are reminiscent of ear“, Manics Without the politics. preferring to s rig ab0ut shagging and. well. being young and brilliant.

Songs such as 'Suffocate' and “The Law' are likeable slabs ')I New York Dolls glam. while the anthen‘ic ‘MuSic Takes You hints at real songwriting talent.

lf Singer Matt Browne car‘

sort Out his hapless scrawny whine, King AdOra ectild actually be


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