Volume 96, Issue 94
Thursday, March 27, 2003

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CD REVIEWS: Des'ree & Cradle of Filth

Cradle rocks Des'ree to sleep

Des'ree
Dream Soldier
Sony



Rundown: British singer Des'ree follows up her Supernatural album with Dream Soldier: a folksy, upbeat, but mostly mediocre, turnout. The poetry in her lyrics are disturbed by the instrumentation, which is Mickey Mouse simplistic. This holds the album back from quality production and offers sounds more fitting for an elevator than your Discman.

Key Tracks: After a few spins, the only song that sticks in your mind is "Righteous Night," a song with a bit more soul than the rest and a catchy refrain. However, the words don't make much sense, as Des'ree refers to "sleeping with all her eyes," whatever that means. She highlights her range in this tune, dipping down into a throaty bottom octave, generating her signature sound. The single first released in the UK, called "It's Okay," is repetitive and is far too motivational for today's cynic, but has a simple effect with rhythmic clapping in the background.

Sounds Like: Des'ree would have done better to replace the moniker Dream Soldier with something like Gospel Tunes for a Sunday Afternoon at the Church Picnic. Her motivational poetics, partnered with the sickly-sweet instrumentation, is reminiscent of Michael Jackson's "Heal the World," except not quite as catchy. Dream Soldier leaves a lot of room for improvement from Des'ree, who hasn't recaptured the magic she had with hits like "You Gotta Be" and "Kissing You."

–Martina Walton



Cradle of Filth
Damnation and a Day
Epic



Rundown: The champions of black metal are back with their sixth album, Damnation and a Day.

Key Tracks:
Lyrically, two key goth themes are present: the fallen angel and wallowing in despair. Songs like "The Promise of Fever" is backed by the Budapest Film Orchestra and Choir.

Sounds Like: A complete nightmare of relentless guitars, assaulting drums and frantic choruses.

–Brian Wong


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2002 THE GAZETTE