ALTCOUNTRY LUCINDA WILLIAMS World without Tears (Lost Highway) 0”
Sashaying back towards the gritty certainties of the wonderful Car Wheels on a Gravel Road after the hippy meanderian of Essence. this finds Lucinda Williams in splendidly unrepentant form.
We might be hard pressed to get Kiri Te Kanawa to ‘Lean over the tOiIet bowl/And throw up my confession'. but the combination of Williams' raw voice and cussed lyrics generates a grubby magnificence. And it the mix of rootsy styles sometimes clunks and the production lacks Car Wheels' crafty touch. there's a ballsy confidence here which promises well for her Glasgow show this month. (Ninian Dunnett)
YUPPIE FLU Days before the Day (Homesleep) 00”
Can we interest you in some Italian indie? Go on, try it — you might like it. In fact yOu'll probably love it because this. Yuppie Flu‘s fourth album. is a gentle and eclectic piece of leftfield rock that has both a firm handle on pop sense and plenty of ambition to boot.
From the beautiful orchestration of opener 'Drained by Diamonds' onwards. the Ancona fivesome rock like a less abrasive Deus or a more focussed Mercury Rev. Constructing off-kilter yet anthemic pop like 'Silverdeer' and 'Female Scientists'. the Flu are a band of singular vision, assuredly and skilfully playing by their own decidedly continental rules. (Doug Johnstone)
The Rules of Travel (Capitol) mo
The reSurgence of quality songwriting in NashVille has had a wholly pleasmg effect on Roseanne Cash as the veteran makes the sort of comeback to teach the whippersnappers a thing or two.
This is Cash's first proper studio album in ten years. and if the style is smoothly mainstream there are enough thoughtful production touches. well-wrought songs from the likes of Jakob Dylan, Marc Cohn and primarily Cash herself. and nicely- judged guest contributions (Sheryl Crow. Steve Earle and a tad of paternal growling from Johnny) to give wings to an engaging meditation on perseverance and renewal. (Ninian Dunnett)
KOPINSKI & KONIKIEWICZ Zone K
Jan Kopinski is best known for his leading role in Pinski Zoo. his powerhouse funk- meets-free jazz outfit which made a big
impact on the UK jazz
scene in the 19803. and is now back on the road after a lay-off. This trio. with pianist Wojtek Konikiewicz and Pinski's drummer Steve Harris. was one of the saxophonist's projects during that break. and draws on live recordings from a Jazz Services tOur last year.
Their scintillating freedom-within-structure approach to improvisation is exciting. but it's not all frenetic free blowing - there is
plenty of attractive light and shade Within the ITIUSIC as well
HIP HOP HOUSE VARIOUS Mob Deep Vol 1: Tayo
Will breaks do a drum 8. bass? A year back Adam Freeland was on the front of innumerable magazines. everyone was reportedly sick of house and the charge looked set to begin. But. outSide of London at least. breaks is still a relatively minority genre. One listen to Mob Records boss Tayo's latest release Suggests that this stuff should and could be huge. Tayo sources scene leaders like the Stanton Warriors and Rennie Pilgrem and relative newcomers like Care in the Community on a edgy. addictive mix album that overflows
With broken beats.
sweet vocals and hooks sharp enough to skewer solid rock.
VARIOUS Richard Dorfmeister Presents . . . A Different Drummer Selection
(Different Drummer) OOOO
Vienna's expert dubmeister Richard Dorfmeister has raided Birmingham label Different Drummer's archives to put together this impressive anthology of dub from
The majority of his choice picks come from G-Corp. N0iseshaper and International Observer but any collection that has the already classic ‘Watch What y0u Put lnna' from Overproot Soundsystem in is bound to score highly.
It is a conglomerate of sounds that samples the dub SOund from its Jamaican reggae roots to its Teutonic electronic samplers. Thank you Mr Dorfmeister for saving us
wasted h0urs trying to
download a (futi mix tape for the SLIIIII‘Tt" iKaieem Aftab
I ()l K
The Rough Guide To Scottish Music - Second Edition NVorld Music Network
lf Rough Guide (IDs were meals. we'd all be suffering from indigestion, To be fair. this latest stab at a Scottish nosebag goes down a lot less painfully than the gory inishinash of the Rough tolks' prevrous servmg.
Gone are the deep fried Mars bar (Wolfstone). the haggis supper (Jimmy Shandl and the porridgey roughage (Dick Gaughan). replaced by a
menu which blends the
fusion-lite of fashionable Celtic music With the mince and tatties of the best traditionalists. including some tasty new talents. The result (barring Robert Mathieson's hard-to- swallow bagpipe calypso) is a pleasingly palatable spread. (Ninian Dunnett)
MARIA MCKEE High Dive (Viewfinder) m
This is the first studio long-player in seven years by ex-Lone Justice trontwoman McKee. during which time she's only been off and gotten married. Aww. sweet! And. in true cottage industry style. most of the record was made in conjunction With her husband. bass player and arranger Jim Akin.
As you might expect from such an acclaimed artist. the album stands as a monument to good. sturdy songwriting. Okay. so it's not Quite contemporary enough to join the upper echelons of the alt.country scene. while ‘Love Doesn't Love' is essentially Kate Bush on a jazz tip. But the Simple resonance of 'Life is Sweet' and ‘To
One of the less-thrilling side-effects of punk gomg overground is the astronomical growth in the number of bands who obwously write their own songs. fight incessantly and Wish to destroy socrety but still feel as artifiCial as a silicone breast implant. Good Charlotte are apparently 'nu punk'. which presumably means they're like the old stuff but not quite as good. Fortunately. while preVious Single 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' was a repugnant slice of corporate drivel. ‘Girls 8. Boys' (Epic) O“
is b0uncy and wry.
A rather different change of direction comes from Feeder, who. flushed from the success of the lighter-wavmg. pathos~dripping ‘Just the Way I'm Feeling'. have deCided to put out 'Forget About Tomorrow' (Echo) O. which is lighter-wawng and pathos-dripping and not really any good at all. Chirpy Australian rockers The Androids' Single ‘00 it with Madonna‘ (Zinn) no is more entertaining. and sees the boys debate the charms of Aguilera. Spears and Pink before choosing the yogic one as their preferred bedmate — although you have to wonder if they've heard Madge has been spending the last few months hanging with Vinny Jones and has wrinkly hands. Allegedly.
No such fecklessness from Edinburgh boys Calvin. who sound about as punk as U2 on their second EP. ‘The International Spy Club' (Baby Tiger) 0.” a well-mannered. mournful and melodic record that 's reminiscent of late-period Manic Street Preachers. only with better piano bits. Glasgow's Kate Ainscough and Starover Blue. meanwhile. combine their own tinkly pianos with catchy MOR crooning on 'Kiss the Moon' (No Label) 0”
A weirder and distinctly superior note is hit by Brum three—piece Broadcast on new EP ‘Pendulum' (Warp) om , most of which sounds like a dream gone very. very bad. There's some swinging stuff, meanwhile. from tiny rap tart Lil’ Kim. who's attempted to follow Missy Elliott 's lead on the electro-heavy. eastern-flavoured ‘The Jump Off“ (Atlantic) 000 . the first single to be taken from album La Bella Maﬁa. Superproducer Timbaland's presence means that the genre-crossing beats sound very groovy. but poor old Kim's forgotten to include a tune. D'oh!
The return of Lou ‘Sebadoh' Barlow should be a cause for celebration. but while The Folk Implosion 's moody newie ‘Brand of Skin' (Domino) 0” isn't bad. it's no epiphany. All of which means that Anglo-Italian collective Planet Funk's ‘Who Said' (Illustrious) O.”
a punk/pop/house pony with one very good trick (it's the bit where the bloke with the Tooting via Toronto accent sneers 'l've never been to the USA. I'm a slave for the minimum wage') wins Single of the Fortnight. (James Smart)
2.: Apt—r") Ma, 29331115 LIST 105