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CD REVIEWS


NATALIE IMBRUGLIA/White Lilies Island
(BMG)

Having recently performed as a backup singer with U2 for the World Trade Center Tribute to Heroes concert, Australia’s pop diva is back in the public eye just in time for the release of the long-awaited follow-up to her 1998 hit album, Left Of The Middle. But unfortunately, long-awaited doesn’t necessarily mean good, as Imbruglia reemerges with an album that can only be characterized as middle-of-the-road singer-songwriter stuff that has been done much more forcefully by artists such as Alanis Morissette. Imbruglia aspires to drama on the opening track “That Day,Eand to U2-style inspiration on “Beauty On The Fire,Ebut for the most part White Lilies Island tends to dribble forgettable from one power pop ballad into the next. Look for this one to drop like a stone.


DAFT PUNK/Alive
(Virgin)


If the worldwide success of their latest album, Discovery, wasn’t enough, along come the mischievous Parisian duo of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo with a live album only a few months later. Recorded during their 1997 Homework tour in Birmingham, England, Alive captures Daft Punk in the raw, performing before an audience of reverent ravers who can be heard whooping and hollering in the background. The duo stretch out on epic tracks including the monster, 16-minute-long “Da Funk,Eand the tough-as-nails “WDPK (Part II).E While lacking the clinical perfectionism of their studio efforts, the album possesses an unvarnished energy that proves why the duo are one of the hottest acts both in and out of electronica today.

VARIOUS ARTISTS/Trance Progression
(Aztek)


While no one would argue that what the world needs is another psychedelic trance compilation, this one by newcomers to the Japanese party circuit Trance Progression stands out for introducing some of the less well-known emerging artists on the scene. ManMadeMan offers the hard-assed “xp1Ewhile UK-based Shakta chips in with the tightly percussive “Trip To Flamsville.EOther artists include Mindfield and Jaia, who close out the CD with the characteristically tasteful “Not So QuietE For those wanting to delve further, many of the artists on this album will also be presenting either live or DJ sets at Trance Progression’s upcoming CD release party Oct 20 at Yokohama Bay Hall.


GERLING/When Young Terrorists Chase The Sun
(Festival Mushroom/Sony)


The packed reception this Sydney-based trio got at the Fuji Rock Festival is a testament to their substantial underground following here, and the case for their new CD is full of Japanese text and imagery, so one presumes this hasn’t gone unnoticed. Gerling’s music itself is an eclectic selection of ambient, various degrees of indie-rock, downbeat hip-hop, electronic bossa nova, catchy examples of the disco house sound currently in vogue (check “Dust Me SelectaEfor the Barry-White-via-a-Playschool-microphone intro), and some quirky silliness too. If you think of the album as torn between rock and dance tendencies, then the pumping disco grooves of “G-House ProjectEand the jangly guitars and sing-along indie-rock chorus of “High Jackers ManualEare the Twin Peaks of its highly varied terrain. Simeon Paterson


THE CHARLATANS/Wonderland
(Aztek)


THE CHARLATANS/Wonderland (MCA) After coming on the scene way back when, it seems the Charlatans, unlike their peers, are still doing it, and doing it very well. With their seventh album they have proved that despite most odds they can still cut it as a respectable British rock band. This is a solid, coherent album that really grooves along. It’s got the Charlatans indie thing with a twist of funk soul. Vocally, Tim has adopted a catchy mix of Beck, Paul Simon and Curtis Mayfield seen most on “Wake UpEand “Love is the Key.EThe bass percussion duo and upbeat piano dominate the album’s instrumental and party peak, “The Bell And The Butterfly.EAnd throughout there is additional use of flute, brass and, of course, the essential female backing that adds soul and passion. Wonderland shows the Charlatans on another level. Happier and sexier, they’re having fun as well as taking it easy. Sally Mizon


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' 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:
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