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  Listen Up! 1/10/02 Listen Up!

Thursday, Jan. 10

Fleetwood Mac, "Tusk," Warner Bros. Records. Funny that what was once considered to be a titanically sprawling overly-long double record set now fits neatly into the length of a slightly-longer-than average single CD. "Tusk" was never my favorite Fleetwood Mac record (and by Fleetwood Mac, understand I'm talking strictly about the famous version with Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie; I certainly like previous versions of the band a lot, but this is the group we all know and love, right?). But, it's got a lot of good to great songs, and some excellent playing by the band. Buckingham was firmly in charge of the various egos, at least as far as what the songs would sound like was concerned. It's got some of the oddest moments on any major release of its time. But the oddness is never at odds with the songs.

Dawn Robinson, "Dawn," Atlantic Records. Sliding down the slippery slopes of pop irrelevance, Robinson left En Vogue at the top of their game, then left Lucy Pearl after a promising debut, and now releases a completely disposable, forgettable solo album. Apparently, she takes off most of her clothes on the artwork, but I can't see that right now. The music is entirely generic, and not even generic with what's on the radio this week. Believe me, Christina Aquilera is more likely to put out a better record than this is.

Black Lipstick, "The Four Kingdoms of Black Lipstick," Peek-A-Boo Records. Scariano says, "Now we have Strokes wannabes." Jim Utz says, "In their defense, it came out the same week as the Strokes." I say, "Another bad Velvet Underground-influenced band makes no difference to the world, more or less.

Larissa Dalle, "That's What We're Here For," no label. Dalle has that neo-country twang down pat, but she doesn't wander very far from the basic melodic path that features her favorite pitches. So, one song at a time sounds pretty good, seven or eight in a row sound kinda samey. The arrangements aren't too adventurous, which would really spice things up. I think there's some real talent here, but it's quite raw at this point.

Sandy Denny, "No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology," A&M Records. Maybe my mood isn't the best today. Normally, I love Sandy Denny, and she moves me to no end. Right now, it's just kind of lurking in the background, not really distracting me.

--Steve Pick



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