November 13, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 42  

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Poetry & Aeroplanes

This folk singer brings soft melodies and poetic lyrics to his debut album that can make even the most stressed out student relax, if only momentarily.

Currently touring with John Mayer, Teitur is the newest in the soft rock/folk music trend. His emotionally driven acoustic songs, such as "Amanda's Dream" and the title track, "Poetry & Aeroplanes," have the perfect amount of calming melodies and enticing lyrics.

Teitur's lyrics conjure Hawksley Workman while the tunes bring a soft Dave Matthews sound. Anyone who enjoys peaceful sounds felt with genuine heart should seek out this guy - he's got it and his lyrics about the endless search for love are poetic: "Let's go dancing/Let time stand still/Once your name was but a whisper/A simple wish upon my tongue."

Poetry & Aeroplanes has a consistent tone and beat - soft and slow. Pick up the album if you're looking for a change from the regular teenage angst/punk rock/hip-hop scene.

-Amanda Grainger

Ja Rule

Blood In My Eye
Def Jam

Ja may not Rule anymore, but at least we know he can still rap.

With his fourth LP, Rule goes back to the barking, aggressive style that helped put him at the top of the rap game, before success caused him to slack and begin coasting through soft radio-bait like "I'm Real" and "I Wanna Be Your Chick."

The album moves at a brisk pace and contains little filler. Ja seems most interested in showing the hip-hop world he has no intention of backing down from his rivals: "First off, fuck the snitch [50 Cent]/and the Unit he claim/Fuck Dre, Partial [Marshall] and Eminem/Plus, the world heard it before/They tired of them."

Notable tracks include "The Life," the nod-your-head club anthem "Clap Back" and "N****s and B****s," where he states his desire for peace with 50, while still proclaiming his overall indifference to the threats he's received: "I don't really want war/But if you do/Then you're gonna need a lot more."

50, the ball's in your court.

-Brent Carpenter

Justin Steepe

To Cure a Stranger
Six at Six Records

Any good Dave Matthews release takes several listens before getting a real feel for the album. Western student Justin Steepe's To Cure A Stranger falls into the same class.

Almost all the songs display how well Steepe gets along with his guitar. With a lot of single-note finger-picking sections throughout the album, the listener at times is left wanting to hear a full-band behind the guitar.

The album has several upbeat songs such as "Soul on Top" and "Trouble Train." But "Tombstone Tree" is a slight contrast to the rest of the album and is possibly the best track. Steepe softens his voice, creating a mellower sound which evokes more meaning. The last minute of "Midnight Sun" transfers from finger-picking into slower, but strong chords. This new tempo, combined with Steepe adding soothing background vocals, blends to make a powerful finish to the track.

Justin Steepe plays The Spoke every Friday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

-Dave Martin



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