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CD REVIEWS


RHONA / Rhona
(Epic/Sony)

First it was the glossy record company brochures arriving in the mail, then it was the discovery that Rodney Jerkins, favored producer of Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez and Destiny' Child, had signed Rhona to his Darkchild records. Next it was learning that Rhona a.k.a. 20-year-old Chicago native Rhona Bennet emerged from the same Disney Channel Mickey Mouse Club show that spawned such names as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. In other words, Rhona is a record company Product with a capital P. Aside from that, her music isn't especially loathsome, just plenty of middle-of-the-road contemporary soul, slick dance moves, luscious lips and a finely chiseled bod. Think Whitney Houston with whose voice Rhona's bears an uncanny resemblance before her cocaine problems.


DAN BRYK / Lovers Leap
(maximum10/Scratchie/Avex)


Imagine something along the lines of US indie-pop raconteur Ben Folds, add about 50 pounds of flesh and subtract about 50 pounds of ego, and you've got a close approximation of Toronto talent Dan Bryk. Like Folds a tunesmith and teller of tales from behind a piano, Bryk recorded his second album, Lovers Leap, in his Flabby Road studio - located in his parents' basement - and spends most of his 16 tracks painting a portrait of himself as a pathetically hopeless, overweight suburban geek. Whether it's computer programmer envy on "Mark Turmell V2.0" or co-dependency issues behind his breakup with his longtime girlfriend, Bryk spares himself nothing. Sometimes all this self-loathing can get excruciating, but in the end Bryk - who recently toured Japan with indie icon Stephen Malkmus - has the unassailable songwriting talents to make this album a rewarding listen.


JOSE PADILLA / Navigator
(eastwest)


"The truth is I think it is very sad what has happened with Ibiza," says JosEPadilla, the man synonymous with the chilled out sounds of the CafEDel Mar CD series. Padilla is mournful of the wave of British clubbers who have turned his Spanish Mediterranean island home into a drug-drenched summer playground. But while his island may have gone to the dogs, this hasn't stopped Padilla from maintaining the level of quality on his fresh release, Navigator. Ranging from jazz-toned house to ambient dub to Latin-flavored ballads, the album also boasts a typically inspirational number, "Adios Ayer," from singer Seal, and a soulful contribution from N'Dea Davenport on "The Look of Love." Wash this one down with a cool drink and tropical sunset and you'll be doing fine indeed.


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

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