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  Listen Up! 1/16/03 Listen Up!

Thursday, Jan. 16

Orquestra Broadway, “Pasaporte,” Fuel 2000 Records. I don’t know much about these guys, but I’m guessing they’re fairly young Cuban musicians who are taking the basic Cuban styles we all know and love from the Buena Vista Social Club circles and mixing them with more contemporary American melodic ideas and the occasional left field harmonic excursion. Lots of flute and fiddle on here also makes the sound a bit different. Okay, I just looked inside, and saw the copyright date was originally 1974, which actually makes the American melodic ideas extremely contemporary at the time of recording.

Missy Elliott, “Under Construction,” Elektra Records. I read a review of this recently that pointed out how brilliant the first half of the album is, and how mundane the second half is. I would concur with that. Certainly, “Work It” is a magnificent single, a complex mixture of sexual energy, racial pride, feminist power, and a wicked sense of humor. The other gems on the first half are pretty cool tributes to old school hip-hop with some modern Timbaland beats. The last few songs are okay, but not as memorable.

--Steve Pick



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