October 15 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 25  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

ON DISC


Ludacris
Chicken -N- Beer
Def Jam South

Ludacris just might be responsible for this year’s most stupidly enjoyable cover art — a panoramic fold-out filled with piles of golden fried chicken, bottles of beer and hoes passed out in all their breast-and-thighs glory.

Thankfully, the music on the Atlanta rapper’s third full-length release is just as fun as its package suggests, filled with dirty beats and dirty rhymes.

But for every “Screwed Up” (which features the lovely chorus “fuck you”) and every “P-Poppin’” (which features the equally lovely chorus “pussy-poppin’”), there are even better tracks like the foreboding “Blow It Out” which takes a shot at right-wing pundit Bill O’Reilly, whose criticisms of Pepsi for using the rapper as a spokesperson successfully had Ludacris dropped from the soft drink company’s campaign. The track features the lyrical gem: “His money keeps flowin’ like Niagara Falls/We all know Jesus saves and Ludacris withdraws.”

And then there’s the hilarious, low-key chill-out “Hoes in My Room” featuring Snoop Dogg which is everything you’d expect from a song with that kind of billing. The four skit tracks are pretty unnecessary, but with chicken, beer and hoes, what more could a guy want?

—Brian Wong


The Lovethugs
Playground Instructors
Rainbow Quartz Records

The Lovethugs are a fixture in the Oslo, Norway music scene but are tragically unknown in North America. They deserve better. Their sound is full and dark. Their songs are a creative blend of an era of music reflected through the aesthetics of today. On vocals, Jim Faulty sounds like a strange hybrid of Paul McCartney’s innocence and Jim Morrison’s syncopated, delirious delivery. The texture of the music comes through as a hazy blend of Kinks, The Doors and the tightest of Sonic Youth.

Playground Instructors is a well-crafted album of very cool, dense rock. Effortlessly spanning nearly 40 years of music, Lovethugs sound like a band that merely needs a time and place to show the masses just how to draw upon history in order to map out the future of psychedelic rock.

—Jeremy Shaw


Various Artists
John Sakamoto’s Anti-Hit List
Universal

John Sakamoto, a music critic for Eye Weekly provides a whole new arsenal of band names for those who enjoy discussing the abomination that is popular music, with reference to unknown bands. Named after his column, the Anti-Hit List compilation features 10 songs by 10 bands. Not surprisingly, none of them are hits.

The Russian Futurists and Ike Riley are the two standouts amongst bands that play sounds already done many times, but in a less polished manner, thus retaining their underground cred. On “Precious Metals,” The Russian Futurists mix a hip-hop beat with bouncy vocals and cheesy funky accompaniment, while Riley mixes the sound of folk rock with some good old dirty lyrics on “Hip Hop Thighs #17.”

—Ken Galloway


Bubba Sparxxx
Deliverance
Beatclub/Interscope

On Bubba Sparxxx’s Deliverance, sunburnt gap-toothed rednecks ride in the back of pickups clutching sawed-off shotguns and bouncing to dirty-South beats.

Although the whole redneck-meets-ghetto shtick is Bubba’s, it’s really Timbaland and his boys from Organized Noize that make the fusion work. On “Comin’ Round,” mourning fiddles meld perfectly with heavy bass drums and handclaps. “Nowhere” begins with a beautifully haunting female singer accompanied by strings and the sound of slaves toiling with pickaxes.

Bubba has good rhythm and decent lyrics but has a really dull and repetitive flow.

—Colin Fleming


 

 

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