Volume 92, Issue 50

Wednesday, December 2, 1998

raw deal


Kurupting the mighty placebo

Live From The Middle East
Mercury Records

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are as mighty as ever. Their sixth full-length release, Live From The Middle East, is an energetic barrage of songs played "Bosstone style."

If you have ever seen the Bosstones live, you know the wonderful atmosphere spread by their overwhelming presence. It's an atmosphere you would love to go back to again and again.

Live From The Middle East has made this possible by recording the Bosstones, fourth annual Hometown Throwdown, a yearly festival which pays respect to their hometown, Boston and all of the people who have supported them through the years.

This album is packed with 22 favourites, consisting of songs off all their releases. It includes great renditions of the popular songs "The Impression That I Get" and "The Rascal King," plus marvelous oldies like "Never Lose My Wallet" and "Where Did You Go?" This album is for the long time Bosstones' fan and for anyone who has interest in the Bosstones music. It's a live show in your living room.

Live From The Middle East is guaranteed to get you on your feet pretending you're actually at the show. Before you know it you'll be singing along and dancing in front of a full size mirror.

Have fun at your personal show.


Without You I'm Nothing

This second release from the UK-based trio picks up where the first one left off. Punk and glam sensibility still dominates Without You I'm Nothing, but the end result is mixed.

Fronted by the diminutive Brian Molko, Placebo are the latest in a handful in bands attempting to reinfuse modern music with glamour and style. Predictably, the album is loaded with contrived references to sex and drugs. Unfortunately, Molko's effort to portray himself as an androgynous poster boy for the sexually disillusioned is both transparent and tired.

On a purely musical basis, Without You I'm Nothing is more rewarding. The infectious first single, "Pure Morning," is Placebo at their best and typifies the rest of the album. Molko's trademark whine may be a bone of contention for some, but in the context of the record, it somehow fits.

Without You I'm Nothing is an energetic and sometimes frenzied album which comprises content in favour of glamour and style. If you're more to likely to appreciate a good lipstick than a good lyric, this may be the way to go.


A&M Records

The fact that Kurupt started up his own label to specifically release this double album tells something about the status of hip hop music today. Kuruption is as corporate as corporate gets. The fact the album is divided into two separate CDs, one "East Coast" and the other "West Coast" represents the lengths people will go to sell records. It's all gimmicky.

However, Kurupt does manage to back up the hype – the album is quite good. It's full of excellent guests and wicked production from a diverse cast, including Daz Dillinger, Warren G and others. The best part of the album are the strong raps by Kurupt himself. These are nicely interspersed with cameos by the likes of Noreaga, Snoop Dogg, Foxy Brown and Dr .Dre.

The main problem with this album is the stylistic implications of releasing a bi-coastally themed CD. The music is supposed to vary with each album, but some of the songs which appear on the West Coast disc could easily show up on the East Coast. The two discs simply do not contain enough unique material to make them distinct.

The verdict is this: music – good, gimmicks – give up. Kurupt has put out a good product. The pitch, however, just isn't cool.


To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998