Posts from 27th May 2000

27
May 00

Credit where due: that 20 musicians thing comes courtesy of Catherine at

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Credit where due: that 20 musicians thing comes courtesy of Catherine at pita 2000.

MEL C feat. LEFT-EYE –

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MEL C feat. LEFT-EYE – “Never Be The Same Again”
Now any fool knows that these days it’s coolest for musicians to be eclectic and cross genre boundaries and all that, so how come when a big bad pop star like Mel C tries everyone just laughs and says she’s slumming it? Personally I don’t think electicism’s so cool – in fact a lot of the time I think it’s lazier than just sticking to something and doing it well – so when Mel C came out with her tuff rockin’ poses and her acoustic power-ballad turns I felt entirely authorised to chuckle my socks off, but the last laugh’s on Mel: here she is doing R & B and it’s terrific. “Never Be The Same…” is languid and ghostly: Mel sounds underwater and numbed-out, spooked by what’s happening to her, that strange drift from friendship to something else. Left-Eye adds cred, but really nothing else – her interjections are annoying and the rap just destroys the slow, swimmy momentum. But even so it’s the best SoloSpice cut yet.

DUEL!

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DUEL! – goodness me, I almost forgot, a new Duel! is up. Oasis versus the Smashing Pumpkins – this will be up until Monday morning.

MILES DAVIS –

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MILES DAVIS – Kind of Blue

The reason for this album’s eternal appeal lies in its emotional tone. Once its quietism was the perfect reflection of the spiritual Emptiness of the Eisenhower era; now its boredom, nostalgia and scarcely concealed contempt make it the perfect “intellectual” background music for this narcissistic age of ours.

Beating a retreat

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Beating a retreat: pretty dreadful review of the new Eminem album from the Guardian again, which Greg requested as a link. Caroline Sullivan knows Eminem’s motives better than he does himself, naturally.

The Rap Trap

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The Rap Trap: interview with Dr.Dre, sadly minus the picture that made him look like a BIG TUBBY TEDDY BEAR. It starts off like it’s going to be something really interesting, and then it gets sidetracked into a tell-the-Guardian-readers-about-Death-Row thing, which is still quite interesting but which we know already. Insightful in that Dr.Dre clearly no longer gives much of a damn about whether he’s ‘real’ or not, a state of mind rather more hip-hoppers should get into, whether they be street or ‘undie’.

Incidentally, on my browser all the apostrophes in this piece were screwed.

Future’s So Bright

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Future’s So Bright: “citysearch.com’s three dozen music editors present the 20 musicians we know will lead the way in popular music for the next 10 years.”. It’s that “know” that does it, I think. The list is a mixture of 90s heroes, safe-bets and neutered critical favourites (three groups which crossover a lot, frankly), with the odd semi-surprise thrown in. Beth Orton is at #2.

To get personal for a second, there are times when I have to assume that I’m just completely perverse – the sense of critical consensus (BECK!) in pop music is enormous right now, but I and almost all the people I know who love music just seem so hugely adrift from it. There must be other people who read a list like this and feel this boiling dissonance, this sense that the topography of pop being laid out here is describing a music totally alien to the one they’ve invested so much in. I sit here listening to my records and writing the odd review and then encounter huge blaring lists like this, and it’s like I’ve stepped sideways into some parallel universe. I don’t feel happy or proud about that – it gets me down, to be honest, and because I don’t have some bullshit underground ideology to cling onto it also makes me start to feel worse, or doubtful, about the music I do like.

Until, obviously, I play it again.