Volume 96, Issue 100
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

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CD REVIEWS: Placebo, Killer Mike, Plastic Bag, Turin Brakes, The Nylons

Placebo trumps Turin Brakes

Placebo
Sleeping with Ghosts
Virgin



Rundown: Placebo are a band committed to innovation. Sleeping with Ghosts, their fourth album, exerts great musical range, from trance-like beats to melodic ballads.

Key Tracks: "English Summer Rain" incorporates an impressive blend of instruments to create a pulsating and hypnotic rhythm. "Special Needs," provides the illusion of escaping reality.

Sounds Like: Overall, Sleeping with Ghosts offers a great sound. Comparing Placebo to other artists would simplify their creative efforts, as they provide a mix of goth, alternative rock, techno and ambient.

–Lori Mastronardi



Killer Mike
Monster
Columbia



Rundown: Prior to Monster, Killer Mike asserted his presence in rap and hip-hop through collaborative efforts with OutKast's "The Whole World." He adopts similar group efforts on Monster by featuring artists such as Big Boi and Bizarre.

Key Tracks: "Scared Straight" attempts to attack serious issues, but loses its intended meaning through lyrics like "Mamma, I don't wanna sell crack no more."

Sounds Like: Overall, Killer Mike entertains through his energetic and versatile music. However, those who prefer clean-cut lyrics should avoid the rantings of Killer Mike.

–Lori Mastronardi



Plastic Bag
Chemical
Friendly Fire Recordings



Rundown: Chemical is the debut album for Toronto's Plastic Bag. The band boasts Cam Bull, who has played guitar for both Starkicker and By Divine Right.

Key Tracks: "Groundswell" is one of the few good songs on this album, and is quite radio-friendly. "Paramedics" and "Straight Line" also are good tracks.

Sounds Like: It's like '80s heavy metal had a lovechild with mediocre rock. It's a mixture of styles, but if you like whiny metal you'll love this.

–Shawn MacPherson



Turin Brakes
Ether Song
EMI



Rundown: Turin Brakes, made up of the British duo Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian, release their much-anticipated second album Ether Song as a follow-up to their extremely popular 2001 debut, The Optimist LP.

Key Tracks: "Long Distance," seems to break through the barrier of mediocrity. The combination of keyboards, drums, guitar and synthesizer sounds are almost perfect, and, lyrically, the song has just the right degree of poetical angst without being annoying.

Sounds Like: The style and the vocals are reminiscent of artists such as Coldplay and Travis – but falls short of equalling them.

–Erika Zupko



The Nylons
Play On
Wildfire Entertainment Productions



Rundown: The Nylons may be best remembered for taking it to the jungle with the acappella hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

Key Tracks: "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" is a cover of The Police classic, juxtaposing the group's ear for vocal harmony with an infectiously uptempo beat.

Sounds Like:
With a sound that's aged like a fine wine, The Nylons' solidarity as a group is an almost inconceivable feat in the "here today, gone tomorrow" music industry.

–Pierre Hamilton

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2002 THE GAZETTE