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192: THE BIG REVIEW PAGE; SHINING STAR.

Byline: JULIE MACCASKILL

SINGLES

Paul Oakenfold

Starry Eyed Surprise

HHHHI

THERE'S an almost magical appeal to this fantasia dance track which is so much more than a clubbers' anthem. Thanks largely to the instantly recognisable vocals talents of Crazy Town's Shifty Shellshock, Starry Eyed Surprise sounds more like a subtle techno rock track than an out-and-out clubbing choon. Nevertheless, it is an inspired partnership which shows that sometimes - just sometimes - rock and dance can make beautiful music.

Moby

Extreme Ways

HHIII

THE baldy-headed wee bloke has always been able to create tracks which bite you on the bum and leave teethmarks behind. Not so the very disappointing Extreme Ways. Certainly, it's not offensive, but neither is it particularly memorable. Pity really, as there are so many far superior tracks on his sublime album 18 which would have been welcome releases rather than this feeble effort. Some consolation for this disappointment comes in the shape of exclusive new tracks Love Of Strings and Life's So Sweet which are far more like the mellow Moby we've come to know and love.

The Time Frequency

Real Love 2002

HHHII

DANCE fads and fashions come and go, but The Time Frequency have remained ever-present thanks largely to this top-notch tune. Proudly waving the flag for the Scottish club scene, TTF originally released this, their signature tune, some 10 years ago and overnight became the forerunners of the techno scene north of the border. A decade on and John Campbell and Mary Kiani have regrouped and resigned a new record deal in the hope of reigniting some enthusiasm a second time around. And do you know ... they just might do it.

Blazin' Squads

Crossroads

HHHII

SOME kids pick up a little bit more from high school than detention and a snog behind the bike sheds. Take Blazin' Squads, for example. These talented bunch of 16 year olds put their talents together in the playground to come up with a reworking of the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony classic and created a sound so fresh and vibrant it belies their age. Genuinely inspired by pirate radio and underground sounds, these teens let their influences shine through and have not been seduced by the promise of instant fame in return for manufactured music. V.G.

P.O.D.

Boom

HHHII

NU-METAL, grindcore, rock-rap ... whatever beats take your fancy, it's all cut from the same cloth - pure, old-fashioned rock. Celebrating these raucous roots, the moral saviours of sound release the enthusiastically upbeat Boom, which also features previously unreleased versions of Set It Off and Hollywood. While they're more subtle relatives of Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach, P.O.D don't lack the passion and soul - which makes them a welcome addition to the international music scene.

Kosheen

Harder

HHHII

THE Bristol-based trio are largely regarded as one of the dance scene's growing acts, but this praise limits their style and influence on the whole music market. The drum and bass influences are there, but so too are pop undertones and soaring vocals, courtesy of Shian Evans. Harder is yet another release from their internationally- acclaimed album Resist and continues where the chart-topping Hide U left off. That being said, Kosheen are fast approaching saturation point with their album and should consider wrapping it up and putting it to bed sooner rather than later. The time has come to treat fans to some new material.

Cornershop

Staging

HHIII

ONE of the highlights of an otherwise lame excuse for an album, Staging is vibrant and funky all at the same time. But it lacks even a modicum of distinctiveness, which means that this is one single you'll struggle to remember once the CD has stopped spinning. Some blinded music critics have viewed Cornershop's latest music through rose-coloured spectacles. 192's verdict? Don't believe the hype.

Aswad featuring Easther Bennett

Shy Guy

HIIII

LONGEVITY is indeed an achievement worthy of praise and Aswad certainly seem to be keepers of the key to continued success - no matter what. So it seems all the more bizarre that they have chosen to team up with a woman who has had an almighty fall from grace - former Eternal frontwoman Easther Bennett - to make this woeful track. Bennett certainly possesses the vocal skills and Aswad have the magical music touch, but this is distinctly second-rate. Diana King's 1995 hit should have been left alone - not wantonly ruined by this confused combo.

Coming Soon...

Atomic Kitten The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling), Ash Envy, Enrique Love To See You Cry, Lo-Fidelity Allstars Feel What I Feel, 3SL Touch Me Tease Me, Rhianna Word Love, Thick D Insatiable, 4Strings Diving, Tweenies Have Fun Go Mad, Tweet Call Me, X-Press2 I Want You Back, Toktok Missy Queen's Gonna Die, Mark Oh Never Stop That Feeling, Lauren Waterworth The Show, The Thrillseekers feat. Alexis Dreaming Of You, Anita Lane Do That Thing, Incubus Are You In, Golden Boy Rippin Kittin, Mint Royale Sexiest Man In Jamaica

Single of the week

Abs

What You Got

HHHHI

THE first of the 5ive blokes to go it alone, Abs has decided to veer off in a different direction than his previous form with this funk-filled number.

Richard `Abs' Breen was always different from the bog-standard boy band stars who clutter the charts. He had a more laid-back approach and, with the exception of some fashion faux pas, Abs possessed a street style which made women adore him and men idolise him. Similarly, his solo material has a crossover appeal.

This reggae-inspired pop tune relies on the melody of Uptown Top Rankin by Althea & Donna to give it its credible edge. But unlike so many others, Abs has resisted the temptation to walk down the tired road of cover versions.

Instead, this is a totally unique spin on the reggae classic, infused with Abs' trademark funky raps to create a sassy debut track worthy of pole position.

Album of the week

Underworld

A Hundred Days Off

HHHHI

TOGETHER, Underworld's Rick Smith, Karl Hyde and DJ Darren Emerson were a formidable force in the international dance scene. Then Darren left and speculation was rife that the end was nigh for the remaining members.

If you were one of the doubters, bow your head in shame - Underworld are back, loud and proud.

Three years after their last album, A Hundred Days Off is arguably their best effort since their groundbreaking debut Dubnobasswithmyheadman.

On the one hand, this is an euphoric chill-out album which positively oozes with style and trickles its way into your subconscious.

On the other hand, if enjoyed at maximum decibel level, A Hundred Days Off is the perfect pre-club warm-up. Stand-out tracks include the symphonic Little Speaker and album opener Mo Move with beats so powerful they'll make your eyeballs bounce.

Ten tracks, top tunes, satisfaction guaranteed.

ALBUMS

Godskitchen

Summer Trance

HHHII

WITH the summer season fast fading, Birmingham super club Godskitchen has rustled up a tasty treat to give fans a final burst of blissful summer beats. The hypnotic synths and thunderous kick drums are hard to ignore and the three-CD compilation showcases the season's hottest sounds, featuring such stand-out tracks as Marco V's Indicator, Morb's Tornado and the soon- to-be-massive The Theme by Jurgen Vries. Also served up are the likes of Marco V's mix of the seminal Cafe del Mar by Energy 52, Another Dimension by Airwave and Back To Cali by Mauro Picotto. This really is an album of trance-like euphoria.

Alison Moyet

Hometime

HHHII

NOPE, you've not just stepped back in time to an age when shoulder pads and mullet hair styles were the height of fashion (honest). Ms Moyet is indeed alive and well and has survived the Eighties relatively unscathed. A formidable force during the decade that style forgot, Alison's powerful vocals made her one of the strongest female talents to emerge from the decade of decadence. Hometime is a quality album and has an appeal so strong that it'll attract a whole new generation of fans, without alienating her loyal followers. Yesterday's Flame, Say It and the title track are beautifully-crafted songs which embody an element of electronica to make them all the more palatable.

Coming Soon... Coldplay Rush Of Blood To The Head, Marc Anthony Mended, Sugababes Angels With Dirty Faces, Daniel Beddingfield Gotta Get Through This, Bowling For Soup Drunk Enough To Dance, Dave Pearce Ibiza Euphoria, Faithless Reperspective, Queens Of The Stone Age Songs For The Deaf, Halo Lunatic Ride

Don't bother with

Toploader

Magic Hotel

HIIII

JUST when you thought Toploader had regained some much-needed credibility after their supermarket signature tune, along comes this dire excuse for an album. Despite their best efforts to create an anthemic album, Magic Hotel is more like Paul Daniels in a Travel Lodge than David Blaine in the Ritz. No matter how hard they try - and, by God, they are very trying! - there's something terribly twee about Toploader, so much so that you can't help but feel that even your mum wouldn't listen to them. Maybe it's all Jamie Oliver's fault for turning them into commercial sluts or perhaps it's the bands vigorous insistence that they are credible muso types. Whatever the reason, most music-lovers would rather admit to owning Engelbert Humperdinck material than this sorry excuse for an album. If bad taste gets the better of you, make sure you take a brown bag to the local record store with you so you can hide your head in shame.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 23, 2002
Words:1572
Previous Article:192: Kylie just can't get sister Dannii's tune out of her head.
Next Article:192: LIVE MUSIC.


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