Volume 94, Issue 36
Thursday, November 2, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Last Days of April get Bamboozled
Spike Lee's films tend to be a little unfocused. Even his better works usually have one or two major flaws that taint the final product.
In the case of the soundtrack to Lee's latest project, Bamboozled, this problem seems to have extended to disc as well. The collection, which pulls together many of today's brightest stars, up-and-comers and legends, is a truly mixed bag.
On the good side, Angie Stone's "Slippery Shoes" is a winner; a fine example of her trademark smooth soul. "Burned Hollywood Burned," by Chuck D, The Roots and Zack De La Rocha is another standout, a blistering assault on the ears. The artist once again known as Prince, contributes a typically politically charged funk jam called "2045 Radical Man."
As for the bad, Erykah Badu adds the remarkably tedious "Hollywood" to the mix, while Profile turns in the horrid "One Night."
Worst of all, the once respectable Stevie Wonder embarrasses himself on two neo-baroque soul numbers, "Misrepresented People" and "Some Years Ago," both of which stand as the worst moments of his long career.
Then there are a few contributions that are just odd. Bruce Hornsby, of the piano-based folk-influenced pop, is not the kind of person you'd expect to find on a predominantly hip-hop album, but he's there, making his presence known with a new track, "Shadowlands"
It makes sense that the soundtrack would reflect the picture it is supporting. It's just too bad in the case of Bamboozled, the CD is just as uneven as the film.
Aaron St. John
Last Days of April
Bad Taste Records
Swedish four-piece Last Days of April have just released Angel Youth, their follow-up to 1998's Rainmaker.
The band has now moved toward a more combined emo, indie-rock sound. Sadly, their attempts to venture into this new arena have left them vastly unprepared, as even bad indie would be better than this.
Angel Youth is a bland, unadventurous offering from a band who will likely encounter great difficulty finding any material success this side of the Atlantic Ocean. It opens with a murky tone and fails to define itself more clearly throughout its painful duration. "From Here to Anywhere," is a valiant effort to be mysterious, but unfortunately, there's simply no mystery here.
As for the addition of the harpsichord on "Make Friends With Time," Last Days of April should definitely make a note to themselves to never, under any circumstance, do this again. The track does them no favours. To be honest, unless your name is Tori Amos or Kate Bush, you would be well advised to stay away from harpsichords at all costs.
"Aspirins and Alcohol" shows slight signs of improvement, as the band slowly get closer to a pure, passable indie sound. Their sound could easily be compared to, but can certainly not mistaken for, the far better sounds of Sloan or Weezer.
With a disappointing and unfulfilling album filled with meaningless, empty tracks, Last Days of April have proven once and for all there is nothing angelic about youth.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000