What's the point of Sean Paul? Where did he come from? And why won’t he go away? 'l’m Still in Love With You' (VP ) is a pilfering piece of puerile pish and an insult to its dancehall heritage. Much better is Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Jus' a Rascal‘ (XL .00. ). a typically frantic slice of the wee man‘s mind and as good a declaration of babbling musical madness as you’ll hear anywhere.
What's going on in Finlay Quaye’s mind? Precious little as 'Something to Say' (Sony 0 ) proves. A bog-standard wash of reggae-tinged pop, the track - contrary to its title — has absolutely nothing to say. and does it in truly anodyne style. He should take a lesson from Kelis. ‘Milkshake' (Arista .000 ) sees her reinventing herself as a cutting-edge R&B saucepot. fuzzy Neptunes beats blending perfectly with her frisky-as-hell vocals. like Missy Elliott after a stint at sleaze school.
Which is the exact opposite of local noiseniks Part Chimp. ‘Bring Back the Sound' (Rock Action 00.. ) is a primal scream of a song. obsessive riffage and manic shrieking combining to pummel yer head innards to a soft mush. More studied but no less effective is ‘Take Me Out' (Domino 0... ) by Glaswegian arthouse heroes Franz Ferdinand. It shouldn't work. sounding like XTC having a teatime tiff with Teardrop Explodes but damn it. it's very close to shouty genius.
Time to calm down. Brighton snooze-rockers The Tenderfoot know a lilting melody and a lazy rhythm when they hear one, and ‘Waking Me Up Again‘ (5:15 .00 ) is Belle 8 Sebastian putting their slippers on and lighting their pipes. A tad more urgent are local bunch Red Bee Society. Thoughtful and contemplative. the gentle chugging sound of ‘Two Cops‘ (Gantry OOO ) gradually creeps its way into your heart, and shows a lot of promise for the future.
Nothing gradually creeping about cLOUDHEAD. The wonky American electronica rappers' ‘Two Dogs Dead' (Big Dada 0””) is brimming with sounds, ideas. lyricism and character right from the off, and it's all underpinned by a weird and wobbly soundtrack and an awesomely funky bassline. Plus the Boards of Canada remix is possibly even better than the original. Almost the best thing this issue. but not quite.
Because the Single of the Fortnight honour goes to Scotland's adopted sons Snow Patrol. 'Run‘ (Black Lion .00..) was the best thing on their Final Straw album last year. a sweeping. glorious rock anthem without any of the cheesiness that entails. Gary Lightbody’s beautifully fragile voice mixes effortlessly with a wall of majestic and unrestrained rock to create something melancholic yet gorgeously uplifting. This is truly awesome rock music and Snow Patrol deserve a promotion to the big league. now. (Doug Johnstone)
92 THE LIST 8 7? Jan 7004
I SOUL JOSS STONE
The Soul Sessions (Relentless) 00.
[a JOSS srom
You may have read a pretty article about Joss Stone. a 16-year-old sOuI singer from Devon. in your Sunday newspaper. You can see why: a young English girl discovered via a TV talent show tackling some of the most sorrowful and passionate music ever recorded sOunds like a recipe for huge fame or utter disaster. It works. largely because of Stone's truly magnificent voice. which is shown off to great effect by the spare production — provided largely by musicians from the original days of soul. It's a little middle-of—the- road. despite the relatively unknown covers Stone and her team have selected. which should ensure a long chart residency. (James Smart)
THE BRONX The Bronx (Wichita) .00
‘Fuck your Sunset Strips.' claim the Bronx. ‘This is Hollywood Boulevard — just a bunch of junkies. hookers. pimps and bookies' lf authenticity and geography are so high on their agenda. you have to wonder why the Californian band named themselves after a celebrated corner of New York. Then again. punk's ideology has often been as choppy as its riffs. and this adrenalin-charged debut has enough raucous yelling and frantic drumming to get the kids jumping. Everything on the album was recorded live and in three or fewer takes. which may explain both
its invigoratineg raw guitar sounds and noticeable lack of wit. (James Smart)
The Anglo/American/ Scottish Connection (HEP Records) 0000
The late Jimmy Deuchar's classic 1979 album The Scots Connect/on still sounds fresh and inventive on this first CD appearance. With the addition of an imaginative new makeweight. Alastair Robertson of HEP had held back from a reissue for lack of additional material, but ultimately solved the problem by comnfissioning American saxophonist Frank Griffith to record preVIously unheard Deuchar arrangements with his fine nonet. This included three Scottish guests: trumpeter Colin Steele (who also contributed his highly characteristic composition 'Five For Jimmy"). trombonist Nicol Thompson and baritone saxophonist Jay Craig. Both the original album and the new material come across strongly. and the package is an excellent extension of the Dundonian trurnpeter's significant contribution to British )a/x.
PAUL HENDERSON’S ALMANAO Familiar Changes (Own Label) .00
Accessible and skilfully executed jEl//—lllllk and blues from Ayrshire based guitarist and composer Paul Henderson. who also doubled as engineer and producer on this latest
disc. Paul is primarily known as a guitarist. but also sang and played several other instruments here. He added some distinguished guests. including harmonica player Fraser Spiers (who also provided the cover artwork). trumpeter Gregor Clark. and saxophonists Bob Hall, Paul Towndrow and Konrad Wisniewski. Material is mostly his own. including a poignant tribute to his late son. although he threw in versions of Rio De Janeiro Blue'. ‘The Thrill is Gone' and The Police's ‘Roxanne' for good measure. Available exclusively from paulfmfab-n- ftinky.freeseiyecouk. (Kenny Mathieson)
Talkin, Loud 1990-1994 (Universal) 000
Talkin. LOud was a label With a split personality. Although it was helmed by Gilles Peterson and gave a borne to Galliano and Marxman. it will be remembered more for the cack it produced than the quality. For every inventive rootsy internationalist there was a bland London urbanite who believed that vocal extravagance equated to sophistication. If anything sums up this schi/opbrenia better then it is the very specific contribution of Galliano to this album. On one hand you have the extrovert funk tumble of 57th Minute Of The 23rd Hour and on the other Prince Of (bleucli) Peace. As with all split personalities. the bad half is what you remember. (Tim Abrahams)
BUDDY AND THE I-IUDDLE Monument For John Kaltenbrunner (Pinnacle Records) OOOO
Southern Gothic is big in Germany. Not as big as Davrd Hasselhof is
perhaps but since Nick Cave appeared in Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders the German avant garde have taken murder and incest in the Deep South to their cool arty hearts. Buddy And The Huddle — a preposterously titled music and art collective have gone a step further and taken a cinematically sinister approach to small town America and fashioned. as only German art collectives can. a concept album from it.
It should of course be awful but it is in fact a beautifully textured piece of work that stays blissfully clear of alt.country influences and revels instead in the same southern gotbic blues that rocked Tom Waits and Lambchop. (Tim Abrahams)
COMPILATION VARIOUS ARTISTS
The Ultimate Chick Flick Love Song (Universal) 0.
Chick flicks are always likely to throw up a mixed bag when the record companies raid them for music compilations. And positing anything ‘the ultimate Is Surely dipping your toe into shark- infested waters. The problem \‘Jllll this little baby ~ like so many compilations — is that the marketing moguls don't realise that less is more. This double CD. complete With 410 chick tunes strikes a dubiOus balance. Daniel Bedingfield and The Calling undoubtedly work their magic — if that's your prefered pop tipple. But why choose to mix them xvith over-played. over- indulgent selections from Four l‘./edd/ngs . . .7 "Love is all Around' again anyone? I thought not. vAnv‘a Malian