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.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Goodfellas star Frank Sivero sues for $250m over Simpsons character
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Silly, sensational and sensitive
Breaking Bad season 6 hoax: Vince Gilligan has not confirmed a new series
MOBO awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board with four gongs
The Apprentice, episode 3 - review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with another double elimination
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'