Volume 95, Issue 24

Tuesday, October 16, 2001
 
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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Wanted: two Bandits guilty of overdone plot

A visual masterpiece

Bruce and Emma both get a well-deserved Elbow

Bruce and Emma both get a well-deserved Elbow

Elbow

Asleep in the Back

V2

Four 1/2 stars (out of five)

Is Elbow the next Coldplay?

It seems that way listening to "Newborn," the first single selected from Asleep in the Back.

This laidback track possesses moody acoustic guitars and Elbow's Guy Garvey has a falsetto that could run a dead heat with Coldplay's Chris Martin. But a third of the way into the song, things evolve as the organ and drums take centre stage, revealing "Newborn" to be the noisy hymn it really is.

"Any Day Now" employs menacing bass and rhythmic drumming to create an endless landscape where resistance is futile.

The swirling "Red" – a number made all the more grand by the addition of cello – pleads, "This can't go on too long" at the frustration of arriving at destination zero.

"Bitten by the Tailfly" successfully combines tribal drumming, distorted guitar lines, solitary handclaps, majestic strings, muffled noise and the sounds of cabaret.

Elbow masterfully travel through ten atmospheric tracks, deeply entrenched in the sorrowful and sinister. Whether or not Elbow find their place at the table remains to be seen, but Asleep at the Back is nonetheless a startling debut.

–Brian Wong


Bruce Dickinson

The Best Of Bruce Dickinson


Sanctuary

1/2 star (out of five)

The Best of Bruce Dickinson? Renamed, this would read: A Practical Application Of Q-Tips in Self-Inflicted Lobotomies.

Bruce Dickinson is a hero of sorts. Never has there been a person like Mr. Dickinson, who, in his musical endeavors, makes bad music so easily definable.

He acts as a balance – bringing the world of good music down to earth with his own horrible songs, like "I'm in a Band With An Italian Drummer."

Dickinson's poetry, combined with a failed attempt to remotely resemble Ozzy Osborne, entices only the richest and most profound sentiments of pleasure and self-confidence in his listeners.

"Since Bruce Dickinson has an album, then I can have one too," one may think and, given his album, it could be true. The presence of live tracks on his The Best of album is evidence he has fans – a fascinating fact indeed.

To be like Bruce, one must study his music. It is oddly reminiscent of the world's favorite 80s metal tunes placed in the foul and unclean hands of a sadist concerned only with filling the air with rancid wails.

Where did this guy come from?

Think about it – the average person does not know who Bruce Dickinson is, but he still has a fan base and more importantly, he can manage to produce a Best of CD.

Perhaps Bruce Dickinson is worth a listen, but it's guaranteed his music will give you another reason to stab your inner ear with a Q-Tip.

Don't say you weren't warned.

–Brendan Roy

Emma Bunton

A Girl Like Me


Virgin Records

1/2 star (out of five)

The impression you get from Emma Bunton's (AKA Baby Spice) debut record, A Girl Like Me, is analogous to that vile, sticky paste that forms on the roof of your mouth in the morning.

The final Spice girl to put out a solo album, Emma Bunton didn't have much of a chance to begin with. Aside from the fact her 15 minutes of fame expired over five years ago, the footsteps left by the solo efforts of her fellow bandmates had already been trodden with failure and disappointment.

Proclaiming that her sound was more mature and covered broad musical genres – from U.K. garage to alt-country, cod Spanish to Euro beat – is all a farce to sell records. A Girl Like Me is nothing more than Brit pop gone sour.

Tracks like "We're not gonna sleep tonight" and "Been there, done that" not only lack lyrical ingenuity, but also provoke livid gag reflex reactions during the high-pitched yelps and screeches.

Most of the album is bogged down in bland, string-laden soul.

"What I am," the only track on the album that doesn't sound like a painful continuation of the song just before it, stands out above the rest because Ms. Bunton tries her hand at rapping – ostracizing even the small, secret cluster of her most devoted fans.

Sliding on a carpet with your bare chest exposed is a more rewarding and pleasant experience than listening to A Girl Like Me. Unless you want to leave painful scars on your eardrums, do not buy this album.

–Robert Wong




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

Copyright The Gazette 2001