Volume 95, Issue 62

Wednesday, January 23, 2002
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Ryan Moore is a one man Twilight Circus of dub

Screw love, gimme action!

Porn o' Plenty

Mayer caught with Dirtybird

Mayer caught with Dirtybird


V2 Records

One star (out of five)

Though Tinstar's press bio mentions the band hails from the United Kingdom, this information is hardly necessary: Dirtybird's derivative sound is more than enough of an indication.

What seems to be an amalgamation of every trendy Brit-pop tendency circa 1997-2001, this record is the bastard child of Blur, Fatboy Slim and Coldplay – and that's the biggest problem.

The album doesn't seem to know what direction to take, shape-shifting at the drop of each tired sample.

While lucid records can often be good ones, Tinstar's attempt at lucidity is blatantly contrived on Dirtybird.

"Grey Hotel" is the epitome of what's newly been dubbed the "Kid A Syndrome," while "Sunshine" comes off as a Geri Haliwell/Robbie Williams collaboration and "Lolita" sounds like a Massive Attack clone of the highest order.

Factor in lead vocalist David Tomlinson's valiant attempt at being a hybrid of Bono, David Gahan and Moby and you've got a disaster on your hands.

Coming from a unit that is supposedly highly regarded, Dirtybird plays as nothing short of a big disappointment for any music lover.

–David Perri


John Mayer

Room For Squares


Three stars (out of five)

From the moment John Mayer's Room for Squares opens, one gets a taste of his folksy pop-rock style. Mayer's album is a collection of simple songs, featuring him on the guitar.

Spectacular? Perhaps not.

But, he is an expert of creating songs that become embedded in one's head. He covers the same issues every other songwriter considers, yet Mayer still does a respectful job.

He splits his 14 tracks between love songs and songs reflecting his carelessly honest view on life.

His songs are immediately accessible to their audience, like the track "My Stupid Mouth," whichs include sensitive lines like, "I'm never speaking up again/it only hurts me."

However, Mayer definitely loses a few points on the following track, "Your Body is a Wonderland." As the title implies, this song tries to be the male response to an artist like Britney Spears.

He makes dubious references to a girl's "bubblegum tongue" and "candy lips" and croons about "discovering himself, discovering her."

Fortunately for Mayer, he rebounds with the lyrics of "Love Song for No One," a realist song that doesn't pretend the search for romance is anything more than it is.

Overall, it makes great background music and Mayer still manages to make his statement. As he sings on one particular track about not staying inside the lines, "something's better on the other side" and Mayer deserves applause for attempting to take his art away from the typical pop genre.

Although he isn't saying something new, he does, however, have a unique way of expressing what is otherwise old news. He succeeds in making something simple, something catchy.

–Debra Eveleigh

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Copyright The Gazette 2001