Volume 95, Issue 53

Wednesday, December 5, 2001
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Older and Wyzer band returns to rock London

Picks of 2001!

Procrastinating? Us too, so here's what to do...

Shits and Giggles

Wongderful reviews: Recital vs. Christmas Destiny

Mr. bin Hanky: X-mas pooh?

I swear it was an accident!

Wongderful reviews: Recital vs. Christmas Destiny

DJ Kevin Shiu

Recital: 001

Nettwerk Productions

Three 1/2 stars (out of five)

The same record label that churns out the soulful, melodic chants of Sarah McLachlan sets out to experiment with Recital: 001.

This is an audio experience that promises to pump out sounds from "within the hollowed walls of the respective clubs, the rave dens and the ears of the people who listen with their feet firmly on the ground."

The first installment of Recital is mixed by Vancouver's infamous Kevin Shiu. Shiu is one of the most influential West Coast DJs in the past few years and he has gained recognition for his ability to weave a story through the rhythm and pulsation's booming out of his speakers.

Recital: 001 is truly a testament to ingenuity – a mix of deep techno and progressive house underlying a deep, moody sound with pounding percussion and a mighty hypnotic tempo.

On the opening track, "Sourmash," Shiu displays an aptitude for simplicity, lulling the listener into a trance by slowly adding layer upon layer of beats and grooves.

"Main Element" and "Sound 5" bombard you from all sides with seemingly melodic tunes laced with well-timed transitions and interludes.

The album ends with "Cass & Slide" – a smooth flowing groove that perfectly harmonizes the rest of the record.

Recital: 001 represents the epitome for any turntable evangelist, clearly marking Canada's territory on the ever-progressing rave phenomenon.

–Robert Wong


Destiny's Child

8 Days of Christmas

Columbia Records

Two stars (out of five)

With their praise of Jesus on every awards show this year, it was perhaps "destiny" that Destiny's Child would attempt to spread their love with a Christmas album.

But on 8 Days of Christmas, the angels who gave us "Bills Bills Bills" and "No No No" run through a dozen passionless tracks, leaving one to wonder whether they really deserve a "Ho Ho Ho."

The title track quickly establishes the Christmas feel when their "baby" showers them with gifts and attention. Awash with the dramatic strings of their single "Survivor," the song never loses tension as we wonder what their boyfriends will buy them next – especially since they've already received a car on the second day.

Only six more days to go!

Remarkably, that's actually one of the better songs on the record. Most of the time, the girls are too wrapped up in their own vocal acrobatics to care about the welfare of their listeners, rushing through the extra-squeaky-clean polished tracks as if they had something better to do than cover these traditional tunes.

The tracks that do work are the ones that feature an individual member of DC – Beyonce does an intimately somber "Silent Night," Kelly Rowland takes the reins for a hope-filled "Do You Hear What I Hear" and Michelle Williams slinks through an elegantly jazzy rendition of "O Holy Night."

Still, these few tracks hardly make up for the rest of this uninspiring album. One can't help but feel that Destiny's Child will be having a better holiday than us.

–Brian Wong

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Copyright The Gazette 2001