METROPOLIS | CLASSIFIEDS | PERSONALS | JOBS
CD REVIEWS


URSULA RUCKER / Supa Sista
(!K7)

Drum' fans may have wondered who was behind the beguiling voice of 4Hero's superb 1998 album Two Pages. Now Philadelphia-based singer Ursula Rucker, who has also worked with the Roots, the Silent Poets and Josh Wink, serves up her debut solo album in the form of Supa Sista. Striking a balance between nu jazz, hip hop and old skool beat poetry, Rucker presents an unflinching vision of the realities of subjects as diverse as womanhood, the state of black music, love lost and child abuse. Beguiling but at the same time brutally frank, Rucker paints a picture of life on the streets that is as melodically and rhythmically rich as it is profound in content. Working with producers from Britain's 4Hero to Philly's King Britt, Rucker has produced a work of sophistication that transcends any one genre.


THE REMBRANTS / L.P.
(eastwest japan)


Although I missed out on the success of their theme song "I'll Be There For You" for the hit sitcom "Friends," which put this Los Angeles-based pop-rock duo on the map, it's inclusion in updated format at the end of this album isn't the only reason to buy their third and latest CD. On the contrary, Danny Wilde and Phil Solem put together some of most unabashedly traditional pop songs - which rely on the unfashionable elements of quality songwriting and tuneful hooks and harmonies - that this reviewer has heard in a long while. If you're starved for a good sing-along, check out the la di da chorus of "Drowning In Your Tears" or the irrepressibly catchy guitar riffs of "Comin' Home." Verdict: The Rembrandts may not push the musical envelope, but they certainly dish up a nice slice of pop.


PERRY FARRELL / Song Yet To Be Sung
(Virgin)


There's something to be said for not standing still, and the greatest artists - think Miles Davis and Picasso - restlessly move on in search of new forms of expression. So you've got to give Perry Farrell credit for not resting on his Jane's Addiction laurels and pushing himself with the techno experiments of his new album. But artistic exploration does not necessarily make for good listening, and for the most part Farrell's attempts to turn techno, "a non-vocal form," into vocal driven music are uncomfortable. Distorted guitars kick in for the title track and "Nua Nua," but they had me wishing for a live rhythm section rather than programmed drum'n'bass and trance beats. Farrell remains a visionary, but with Song Yet To Be Sung his vision seems to have gone astray.

IGGY POP / Beat 'em Up
(Virgin)


"I eat the blood of slaughtered animals," Iggy Pop told The Times recently, indicating that he remains, at 54, an unreconstructed rocker and meat eater. And in a storming set at Fuji Rock '98, Iggy proved that he's still one of the most charismatic, spellbinding performers around. But translating that charisma onto a record is a different matter, and not something he has always been able to do successfully. His last effort, Avenue B, was praised for its smoldering intensity, but on Beat 'em Up, Iggy goes for the jugular, with songs like the crunchy, metal-influenced "Howl," "Football," which takes the piss out of America's sport, and other cheerful numbers like "Death Is Certain" and "It's All Shit." Bottom line: Iggy still boils with rage, but to comprehend his full fury he must be experienced live.

FEED / 9 Songs
(Tripmaster/Polystar)


Few CDs have been as long awaited as 9 Songs, the debut full length by great Japanese indie-rock hopefuls Feed. Recorded in New York in early 2000, the album didn't find a home until Feed signed with Polystar's Tripmaster sub-label, after troubles at their original home, Zone/Sony. Happily, the wait was worth it. The promise indicated by their being chosen to open for the Smashing Pumpkins is fully evident in Feed's mastery of the indie-rock vocabulary of bands like Veruca Salt, while at the same time possessing an entirely original voice in the form of lead singer Maya Saito. Saito's flute-like vocals invite you to an intimate, vulnerable world - convincing in both English and Japanese - colored by the off-kilter guitars of Shinsuke Komiyama and a tough rhythm section in the form of bassist Akifumi Ikeda and drummer Taro Dai. Without a doubt one of the best releases to come out of Japan this year.


CD REVIEWS ARCHIVE:
OCTOBER
394:
NATALIE IMBRUGLIA/White Lilies Island
DAFT PUNK/Alive
VARIOUS ARTISTS/Trance Progression
GERLING/When Young Terrorists Chase The Sun
THE CHARLATANS/Wonderland
SEPTEMBER
392:
LAURIE ANDERSON/Life On A String
BLAKE/Step Into The Light
ROGER SANCHEZ /First Contact
BUDDY GUY/Sweat Tea
VARIOUS ARTISTS/WIRE01 Compilation
391:
The strokes
New Order
Grant-lee Phillips
390:
Ben Folds
V.A
Jamiroquai
Bjork
Cake
389:
Tantric
Turin brakes
Herbie Hancock
august
388:
Roots Manuva
Green Day
V.A.
Bran
V.A.
387:
Super Furry Animals
Usher
Boz Scaggs
386:
Farida's Cafe
Freaky Flow
Laura Liza
385:
Rhona
Dan Bryk
Jose Padilla
384:
Catatonia
Deep Dish
Manu Chao
Pre_Shrunk
Taraf De Haidouks
JULY
383:
The Cult
Sphongle
Tomb Raider Soundtrack
382:
Ursula Rucker
The Rembrants
Perry Farrel
Iggy Pop
Feed
381:
Stone Temple Pilots
Inner Circle
Gorodisch
380:
Joe Hisaishi
Plaid
Sugar Ray
Tarika
Travis
JUNE
379:
Goo Goo Dolls
Tonino Baliardo
Bran Van 3000
378:
Shur-I-Kan
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot
Pete Rock
Frankie Valentine
Masanori Ikeda
377:
Depeche Mode
Chilldren ov Paradise
Our Lady Peace
376:
Backyard Babies
Taj Mahal & The Hula Blues Band
ebz
Solid Ground
Weezer
375:
David Byrne
Mekon
Ken Ishii
MAY
374:
AIR
Martires Del Compas
V.A.
Coil
Cosmic Rough Riders
373:
G. Love & Special Sauce
Ben Harper
Neil Finn
372:
Alternative 3
Stevie Nicks
Snake Hip Shakes
Soul Scramble
The Slackers
371:
The Black Crowes
Dirty Beatnisk
DJ Spinna
Mogwai
Tokyo-Mirai
APRIL
370:
R.E.M.
Makyo
Missile Girl Scoot

PREVIOUS ISSUES:
369-360
359-350
349-340
339-330
329-320
319-309


GO BACK TO CURRENT
TOP