Singer Rex Shelverton has the p0uting rock god wail down to a ‘t'. and the rest of the band do enough to make you think no one's even recorded a song in the last 30 years.
SOUL ANGIE STONE
Mahogony Soul (Arista) .0.
With a name that screams ‘coffee table‘ and an opener that borrows from “Lady Marmalade' (now why has no one ever done that before?) Angie Stone‘s second album doesn‘t exactly entice the discerning punter to listen on. Still, all that glitters is not gold and just because something whiffs a bit doesn't mean it's utterly shite. Stone's earthy vocals lie on top of a slinky backing that often takes unexpected diversions instead of traversing the well-worn pop-soul axis. And while this is a pleasant rather than a groundbreaking release. you wouldn't say that to Stone's face. As she warns: 'lt's that time of the month/ Don‘t even mess with me.‘ We hear you. lady. (James Smart)
ELECTRONIC/V UK GARAGE
SO SOLID CREW They Don’t Know
If you still think UK garage is about ‘bling- bling' and living the sordid. Moet & Chandon-fuelled imaginings of some substarndard Puff Daddy imitator, then you still haven't heard of a bunch of MOBO award- winning scallies from south London. This is the So Solid sound — urban dance music
reduced to its fundaments.
Whereas drum & bass tends to drift off into a weird world of its own and British rap still stands in the shadow of the Yanks. this type of primitive garage is relevant without being overly earnest and British without trying too hard. Some say the don't-fuck-wid-me-and- my-gang toasting make So Solid sound like fast hip-hop. others point out that moments of ‘They Don‘t Know‘ come over like early techno — LFO or Nightmares On Wax — but littered with rhymes. Whatever y0u call it. when you put all the hype and the shootings to one side. this still SOUndS fresh. fun and very, very danceable. (Tim Abrahams)
ELECTRONICN JAZZ 4 HERO Creating Patterns (Talkin' Loud) O.
As The Daily Mail so often points out. it's terrible when the yOung people take a word. once so innocent. and turn it into something dirty. Yes — ‘jazz' is now synonymous with ‘wank' and this self-indulgent odyssey doesn't help contradict the trend.
Moving away from the straighter drum & bass of Two Pages into jazzier territories. the joyous (if overly-faithful) rereading of Rotary Connection's 'Les Fleurs'. Jill Scott's sensual ode to taking a sickie. ‘Another Day'. and the mental bass-heavy electronica of ‘Eight' are more than fine.
But Creating Patterns' sheer length necessitates what seems like hours of noodling, tasteful filler. ideal. in fact. for that dinner party yOu've been planning — and that's not ‘nice‘. (Richard Rees.)
DUB/HIP HOP YUSH 2K Tales From The Greenyard (Yush) 0000
Another superb release from the Edinburgh
hothouse of all things Blacka'nised. Following on the heels of two fantastic 7in singles ‘Frisco' (featuring The Cuban Brothers) and ‘Fade Away‘ and four riot0us ragga vs hip hop vs the world style albums comes this
great collection featuring the selected delights of, among others. Colin Steel. Prof-l-See and Kate Tunstall. This was recorded in the Greenyard Studios in Roslin and sounds as lush as it is Yush. Choca full of fine tunes. the real beauts here include 'Loving' (featuring Matik) and the Michael Sterling and Tom Tom Club collaboration (featuring Dangerman) ‘Face N Da Shape‘. Proof that the colder the climate the sharper the onion.
TRIO AAB Wherever I Lay My Home That’s My Hat (Caber Music) 0000
I can't remember a year with so many Scottish jazz releases. far less so many outstanding ones. Trio AAB's second disc is very close to the top of the list. The music reflects influences ranging from free jazz titans like Ornette Coleman and David Murray through to folk. rock and drum 'n‘ bass. but the key lies not so much in what goes into the mix as what the band then do with it. Phil Bancroft (saxophone). Kevin MacKenzie (guitar) and Tom Bancroft (drums) take an original and highly creative musical
approach, making good use of the uncluttered ambience in their free- wheeling but highly accessible improvisational dialogue. (Kenny Mathieson)
An Ordinary Day In An Unusual Place (Universal) .0.
U53 scored a massive unexpected hit for Blue Note in the early 908 with their cool reworking of Herbie Hancock's ‘Cantaloupe Island'. in what was then a revolutionary fusion of jazz with contemporary dance floor grooves. A decade(ish) on. Geoff Wilkinson is still the man at the controls. but there has been a lot of such grafting in the ensuing years. and the new model U83 don't make anything like the same impact on this moderater enjoyable but unremarkable disc. their first for Universal. Alison Crockett and Michelob contribute vocals. and the jazz soloists include guitarist Tony Remy and saxophonists Dave O'Higgins and Ed Jones.
Bubba Sparxx Dark Days Bring Nights (Universal) Redneck hip hop from fat white boy and Timbaland collabo- rator.
Neil Finn 7 Worlds Collide (Par/ophone; Finn's all-star live experi- ments captured on this album.
Jolene The Pretty Dive (B/ue Rose) REM-esque strummings from quality new indie Outfit.
Various Artists Kamaf/age (Katmai/age) Deep trance prog house splurges from Youth. among others.
Westlife World Of Our Own (RCA) El Diablo's diSCiples release another album more evil than all of Slayer's back cata- logue.
Look! We got single of the fortnight say Spoon
Christ on a bike. it's cold out. so snuggle up with these winter warmer single releases. Or not. we don't care. do what you like.
Ron Sexsmith's 'Just My Heart Talkin" (Cooking Vinyl 0. ) sadly won't warm any cockles. being an irritatineg slight piece of country snooze. Stephen Malkmus’s ‘Jo Jo's Jacket' (Domino .0. ) is a tad brisker. and at least has some ‘woo-woo' pop sense amongst its tiber-indie self-indulgence. Continuing the indie veteran theme is Tanya Donnelly's ‘Sleepwalk EP' MAD COO ). which sees the cute. chipmunk-faced chanteuse getting all melancholic and country on our cold ears.
Whazzat. Scottish bands to heat yer feet you say? OK. Pupkin's ‘Stupid Head' (demo O l is utterly derivative and tediOuS white bOy jangle rock so chuck it on the fire: Lapsus Linguae are Richard Clayderman doing prog- metal on 'Parade! (And That's An Order)‘ (Livid Meerkat 0.0 ): Amateur Guitar Anti- Heroes are shouty post-rock pouters on 'Scottish Widows' (demo 0.. i and Belle And Sebastian's ‘l'm Waking Up To Us' (Jeepster O ) is frigid pish. When will the world wake up to them and their God awful. post-ironic. pseudo-intellectual drudgery?
We need cheering up. but disappointingly Lenny Kravitz's ‘Dig ln' (Virgin 00 ) is neither any good (natch) nor bad enough to rip the piss out of properly. Selfish bastard. All right. how abOut real. hairy. tattooed men to rock da house? Alas that ain't Staind. whose ‘Outside' (Eastwest
O ) is air-brushed. Fred Durstified. nu- metal claptrap of the highest order. And it's a metal ballad. which is technically a war crime these days. Much better are Cypress Hill. who continue their schizophrenic metal. rap life with 'TrOuble/Lowrider' (Columbia .00 ). one side of which SOUﬂdS like Venom only cleaner- mouthed. the other like Will Smith only fouler- mouthed.
OK. let's big it up for da lay-deez. Except let's not bother, because Destiny’s Child's ‘Einotion' (Columbia 0 ) is the obligatory 'time for a ballad" single. and isn‘t a patch on their awesome. shiny-legged. trees—on-fire. butt- rockin' R&B. Much weirder is Natasha Atlas's wonky and strangely hypnotic Middle Eastern bongo ver8ion of Screamin' Jay Hawkins" ‘I Put A Spell On You' (Mantra O. ).
Have we even had a good record yet? Well here it comes. in the saggy shape of West Brom five-piece. Delta. 'Could You' (MerCury COO. ) is a world-weary and experienced slice of gentle guitar pop. SOLi‘l dripping from every line and gentle optimism oozing from the grooves. But Single Of The Fortnight goes to 'Car Radio Advance Cassette' (12XU 000. l by Texan wonk-rockers Spoon. With one side SOunding like Cake rocking out with The Cars and the other like Pavement sobbing into pints With Tom Petty. it's easily the best thing here. and a Sure bet to beat off those early Winter blues. (Doug Johnstone)
15-29 Nt)‘. 2001 THE LIST 105