Volume 94, Issue 83

Wednesday, February 28, 2001


A film about food

Monkey Bone not for kids

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LeAnn Rimes crosses over - Phe Cullen covers the classics

LeAnn Rimes crosses over - Phe Cullen covers the classics

LeAnn Rimes
I Need You
Curb Records

Yee Haw! LeAnn Rimes is back with her new album, I Need You.

Spurred by the success of the hit single "Can't Fight The Moonlight," from the Coyote Ugly soundtrack, there is no question that this album is one of the top country albums of the year.

It seems as though Rimes has found her niche in the developing crossover of pop and country. Following the lead of Faith Hill, Dena Carter and Shania Twain, Rimes is sure to become a regular on the pop charts.

"But I Do Love You," the second of two tracks that appear on both the Coyote Ugly and Rimes albums, is a gentle ballad with only a slight hint of country twang. On the opposite end of the hillbilly scale is "Soon." This track is another love song, but Rimes sounds like a typical country crooner as she sings her heart out about a sorrowful break-up.

Besides "Can't Fight The Moonlight," the album's best song is "Love Must Be Telling Me Something." Sure to be played in all the country bars, this track will get your foot tapping and make you feel like a cowboy just listening to it.

The biggest flaw on the album is the changing of vocal styles that Rimes displays throughout the disc. Alternating from country, accompanied with a fiddle and a guitar, to pop/rock, gives the CD a strange sound as it seems like one is listening to a collection of various artists, rather than one.

Despite the marketability of "Can't Fight The Moonlight," I Need You is not as likely to fly off the shelves in Canada as it would in the West and Southern USA. With a hint of cowboy charm and a dash of high-class flare, LeAnn Rimes has definitely found the recipe for success.

–Stephen Libin

Phe Cullen
Phe Cullen

There's nothing like a little jazz to soothe those February blues.

Phe Cullen's latest release is the perfect excuse to turn on the CD player, forget about the cold and indulge in a candlelit bubble bath.

In a return to her jazz roots, the Toronto native presents an eclectic mosaic of her favourite classic-rock songs infused with a modern jazz flavour. Although the music may not be new, Cullen's voice and creative flair lend a unique spin to the old favourites, creating a style that is purely her own.

Cullen exemplifies the compelling, seductive drawl of a lounge singer, and her voice resonates with a mature, solid confidence. The opening track, "Living in the Past," is a light hearted, spirited tune that boasts an impressive saxophone solo. On "You Can't Always Get What You Want," the rich texture of Cullen's vocals prove to be the perfect complement to the gentle piano scales in the background.

The album emits an aura of intimacy and Cullen engages the listener through her natural style. On "D'yer Maker," she assumes a flirty narrative that is contrasted by the more forceful melody of "Locomotive Breath." Cullen shines on "Ruby Tuesday," a powerful piano ballad that showcases her command of her low vocal range.

While Cullen's voice alone can carry the album, her music is enhanced by the brilliant prowess of her musicians. Her band demonstrates the mastery of their music by their effortless shifts between energetic, lively beats, and equally dynamic, yet softer, melodious sound.

This album is guaranteed to add a little sunshine to a cold winter's day.

–Carla Lubell

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