View Soundbites archives
Back Porch Mary
| Still, Back Porch Mary has pop sensibilities, twisted
as they are. "Trash Truck" is rife with big rock riffs and
crowd-pleasing grunt choruses. "S.A.P.", somehow, is a feel
good ode to a bad breakup in the old hometown.
Stuart Sullivan, who has produced albums for the Meat Puppets, Willie Nelson, the Supersuckers and more, lent his talents, resulting in a tight, well-recorded effort. The band's lyrics, chock full of Middle American sensibilities, belie the tiem the band spent in Manhattan, KS, in the late '90s. And though some verses are trite, what matters are the chops are tight. "Busted Town" is a heavy metal meltdown disguised as roots rock. So is "Whiskey." You get the picture... and its' good, even if it's a little fuzzy like the reception from a turn-the-dial TV in a trailer park. Lance Jungmeyer
||200 km/h in
the Wrong Lane
t.A.T.u. - Universal Music Russia/Interscope
Russian duo t.A.T.u. exploded through the Russian music charts last
year with their pop debut, 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane. And
now Lena Katina and Julia Volkova are challenging the United States
with an English-language version of their album.
|The majority of the songs on the 200 km/h are in English,
but the duo did include the original Russian version of their single
“All the Things She Said” plus a couple more in both languages.
The girls’ thick accents, although novel to mainstream music on
U.S. airwaves, are difficult at first to understand.
The enhanced CD features t.A.T.u.’s provocative music video to “All the Things She Said,” which won 2001’s video of the year on MTV Russia, and a behind-the-scenes interview with the two singers. Jessica Chapman
|Other songs on the CD, however, sound a bit forced, as if Speech is deliberately adding a country twang or Jamaican accent to prove his diversity. Speech is at his best when he's rapping and singing in his recognizable, easygoing and playful style. Deborah Young|
|Red Letter Days
The Wallflowers - Geffen
When Jacob Dylan and the rest of The Wallflowers sat down to compose the music and lyrics to Red Letter Days, they must have had some kind of instructional manual in front of them, dictating the ways of pop-song composition. The album is certainly a return to their former hit making ways — a big, sharp, super-composed blueprint of an album that could serve to reintroduce the group to both the ways of making a lot of money making music, and a high ranking position on the pop chart.
|The album is catchy in every sense, in nearly every facet of what the songs try to accomplish. From the quasi-rock of "Everybody Out Of the Water" to the brooding, crooning pop of "Closer to You," the young Dylan and company have extended their knack for hit making from one sound to several and, in the process, have given old fans something to chew on and prospective fans a buffet of styles from which to choose. Ron Knox|
|Night Divides the Day:
The Music of the Doors
George Winston - Dancing Cat Records
New Age pianist George Winston’s love for the Doors began in 1967 with their first album, which was a major motivation for him learning to play first the organ and later the piano. Now, more than 35 years later, Winston masterfully captures the band’s music in Night Divides the Day: The Music of the Doors.
| Winston’s crisp deployment of the music gives it
a high state of energy; not a note is out of place. The material allowed
him to display his dexterity and virtuosity more than his previous albums.
Half of the album Winston arranged, including favorites such as “People are Strange,” “Riders on the Storm” and “Love Her Madly.” The mood of “Light My Fire,” another selection that he arranged, stretches between confidently bold and sassy. Of unusual note is “My Wild Love,” in which Winston plays much of the song by directly plucking and muting the strings inside of the piano. Jessica Chapman
Tom Burris - Tomato Records
Tom Burris is on the edge of being a phenomenal singer/songwriter. There's no denying his creative talent. Still, where For Sale should have been a great album, it is only a good CD. The problem (and some listeners will disagree) is that most every cut is terribly over-produced. Where the music should be restrained when played against Burris' vocal phrasing, it sometimes seems that Burris is singing so not to be overwhelmed by the music.
Only on songs such as "I" with the wonderful
lyric, "Don't you think she saw herself/in that moment where
she died/Don't you think her soul might finally feel satisfied/in
I?" does the music composition seem structured around Burris'
lyrical strengths. The restraint also shows up in the thoughtful pacing
of "Depth Charge" and "Throttled Up."
View Soundbites archives
© 2004 Discovery
Publications, Inc. 104 E. 5th St., Ste. 201, Kansas City, MO 64106
contents of eKC are the property of Discovery Publications, Inc.,
and protected under Copyright.