Going Out: Pop - ALBUM REVIEWS
Saturday 06 November 1999
A large return to form and accessibility with ex-Prince running the gamut of old and new school funk, hip-hop (with Chuck D) and ballads. There are plenty of potential singles here, though the guest appearances of Gwen Stefani and Sheryl Crow add little to the rockier numbers. HHHH
Matthew Sweet `In Reverse' (Volcano)
Still largely unnoticed over here, Sweet's seventh full album is another prime dose of powerpop. This time, the emphasis is on slower numbers with four of them played live by a 15-piece band in a Spector-era reverb chamber to produce sharp, highly textured sounds. HHHH
Shola Ama `In Return' (WEA/Freakstreet)
The former Brit and Mobo winner has been away for two years and in that time Bev Knight has replaced her at the top of the UK soul pile. However, Ama's second album sees her on good poppy form, incorporating gospel, funk and swing styles. HHH
Natalie Merchant `Live in Concert' (Eastwest)
Recorded in New York this June, Merchant lends her strong yet melancholic vocals to several of her own best tunes and those of former band 10,000 Maniacs. It's good late-night listening, but covers of "After the Goldrush" and especially "Space Oddity" are misguided.
Diana Ross `Every Day Is a New Day' (RossRecords/EMI)
It's been hard to avoid the recent Ross publicity drive but despite the introduction of African rhythms and modern studio trickery, this album of mainly ballads and torch songs sounds past its sell-by date already. HH
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
The Flaming Lips `Waitin' for a Superman' (Warner Bros)
Another slice of eccentricity from the Oklahoma City band, this time in the form of a quirky ballad, fleshed out beautifully with swathes of strings, keyboards and wrinkly drumbeats, resulting in a grand cinematic dreamscape.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Scottish independence referendum: Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit to play in support of Yes campaign
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson superhero movie from Marvel: 'To me it's a no brainer. Why is it taking so long?'
Downton Abbey series 5 start date revealed: Drama returns in late September
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
How to read Will Self: Unlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain