TANYA DONELLY Whiskey Tango Ghosts (4AD) .0.
Great title. innit? it just works on so many levels that. say. Moonshine Foxtrot Ghouls or Southern Comfort Riverdance Phantoms c0uld never deliver. Alas. the music just falls short of that promise. It's certainly lush. don't get me wrong. and tender — all lullaby vocals. slide guitar and piano but . . . well it's all so understated. The template here might have been Cram and Emmylou's ‘Love Hurts' but it falls somewhere short of that level of aching intensity. Still. if you wish your lovers star- crossed and the stony of y0ur blues c0untrified ever so tastefully then Tanya is throwing her muses in y0ur direction. (Rodger Evans)
MURCOF Utopia (The Leaf Label) .00
Almost more sound effect than soundtrack. Murcof interweaves electronic tweets and clicks with sparse and brooding strings to pump out pure atmosphere. Delicate. precise and surely emotive of Fernando Corona's Tijuana home. sounds ghost into earshot and out again. like clouds subtly drifting across a vast blue sky. An accompaniment to Murcof's debut Martes. ahead of his second release later this year. Utopia is one of those halfway house releases designed to appease fans and introduce label mates. Previously unreleased tracks sit alongside remixes and
reinterpretations introducing both more recognisably musical structures. and one or two baffling glitch-fests. Essentially modern classical music. this cerebral electronica is missing the concept that comes with an album. (Mark Edmundson)
ROCK MODEST MOUSE
Good News for People Who Love Bad News (Epic) O...
For a band who manage to be big. stupid. weird. contrary and whimsical in the space of 48 minutes. Modest Mouse shouldn't really work. But like Flaming Lips. Queens of the Stone Age and Beck before them. they have managed to make something extraordinary from some rather
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straightforward ideas. They sound momentarily like the Red Hot Chili Peppers — well. those brief moments when the Chili Peppers are acting like smug arseholes and being
‘funky‘ — but that sparse.
languid rock turns to plugged up skiffle and then to country lullabies. All of which comes together surprisingly well to make a varied and beautiful beast that grows in appeal on repeated listens.
DJANGO BATES You Live and Learn . . . (apparently)
(Lost Marble ) .00
Django Bates' six year sabbatical from making records ends in typically eclectic fashion with a characteristic mixture of
original invention and schoolbOy-ish humour. Swedish singer Josefine Lindstrand is prominently featured in a song-led collection with Human Chain regulars lain Ballamy (saxes). Michael Mondesir (bass) and Martin France (drums). plus the Smith Quartet and several guests. The satirical ‘Football' is topical (although England fans may not feel like laughing). and Django's own songs and tunes are augmented by covers of 'My Way' (weird like Sid rather than straight like Frank). Bowie's ‘Life on Mars'. and Gilbert O'Sullivan's ‘Alone Again (Naturally)'. (Kenny Mathieson)
SOUL POP BEVERLEY KNIGHT
Affirmation (Parlophone) 00
You've got to feel at least a little sorry for our Bev. Once the initial bombast of 'Come As You Are' — from the pen of Guy Robbie's pal‘ Chambers no less —
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fades. she assumes her regular position: wrestling valiantly with that brand of middle of the road soul that plagues pub singers and wishy—washy R&B stars alike. ‘Keep this Fire Burning' has enough pep spunk to see it momentarily bothering the Misteeqs and Ms Dynamites but lacks the sugary pop frosting required.
By the time we get to ‘Tea and Sympathy' (Christ!) you realise it's all over. The opener was a fluke and this is seriously second division stuff. (Mark Robertson)
ELECTRONICA HOUSE MYLO
Destroy Rock’n'Roll (Breastfed) I...
This has been out for ages but slipped through the net
TNE LIST 95