Volume 92, Issue 75
Wednesday, February 10, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Dallas back in the USSR
High Park Records
This latest entry into the lounge-pop genre comes from retro kitsch outfit Dallas, who hail from of all places Estonia.
While much is being made of the fact Dallas is one of the first bands to emerge from what used to be the U.S.S.R., the truth of the matter is there's absolutely nothing discerning about their sound at all.
Which is not necessarily a bad thing Dallas is a capable pop band. They are not, however, proud flag wavers for a newly-formed nation. In other words, those who purchase Dallas hoping to gain insight into the burgeoning Estonian music scene will come away slightly confused and bewildered.
This aside, those looking for a jovial collection of Stereolab-influenced lounge pop may not be disappointed. On the whole, Dallas is a lumbering melange of jangly guitars, spacey keyboards and upbeat, nonsensical lyrics (witness song titles such as "twinky" and "teenadelic") which waver rapidly between pleasant and tedious.
Although it might have done the band good to pare down this 16-song collection to something slightly more palatable, Dallas is still an admirable first effort. Hopefully the stigma of being the token Estonian band will wear off soon and a second release will fully realize their potential.
New Shots From the Indestructible
Five Star Guaranteed
New Shots From the Indestructible, the new album from Toronto quartet Que Vida is in fact a very destructible album.
Que Vida play early '70s rock a la Dave Matthews Band. The result is an album with similar sounding songs, lacking in creativity and originality. This band sounds like it's trying too hard to fit into Top 40 radio. Throw in some really cheesy lyrics and you have the album.
On the opening track, "Sail On," lyrical genius goes as far as "Mama Sita/I miss you girl/I'm gonna rock you/Right off this world." In the song "High," the lyrics "High, I'm so high/I can't believe I kissed myself goodbye" are equally mundane and frivolous. In reality they should be worried about kissing their musical career goodbye.
This album falls short of greatness. In the future Que Vida should try not to wear their influences on their sleeve and should instead concentrate on making a somewhat original sounding album.
When one thinks of the classic rock and roll sound, many names come to mind Led Zeppelin, The Who and The Beatles are but a few. Get ready because here comes Stevie, Ryan, T.J., Tilky and Clay. These guys are Take 5 and they have the rugged sound which can only be accomplished by the always winning formula of a keyboard, MIDI programs and twelve businessmen in suits.
Take 5's self-titled debut album is carried by the force of original tracks like "I Give," "Sunrise Goodbye" and the bonus track "All of the Above" which features hard hitting lyrics such as, "Sunlight in my eyes/Stars in the sky/Girl you're all of the above."
Take 5 is a generic band trying to capture a little piece of the pop music market, which recently made stars of the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys. After giving Take 5 a good listen and giving it another one, the terrifying epiphany occurs two hours have just been wasted. Twelve-year-old girls are the only ones who could be interested in these pre-pubescent Michael Jackson wannabes.
The suits at Attic Records Limited would not invest time and money into these guys unless there was a market ready for them.
The truth is, pity is thrown in Take 5's path, especially Tilky. What the hell kind of name is Tilky?
Copyright © The Gazette 1999