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 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
Exodus: Gods and Kings banned in the UAE for 'religious mistakes'
Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
Doctor Who and the BBC 'promoting a gay agenda', viewers complain
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk