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  Listen Up! 1/22/02 Listen Up!

Tuesday, Jan. 22

Various Artists, "MTV 2: Handpicked," Columbia Records. This compilation of the kind of rock you can see on MTV 2 is pleasant, if unexceptional. I'm kinda coming around on Pete Yorn. At least I like the song on here, "Life on a Chain." Leon took this off after a few songs, since he said it was like listening to the radio. It is, except most of these songs don't get radio play in St. Louis.

Various Artists, "Casa da Mae Joana," Blue Jackal Entertainment. A perfectly lovely collection of Brazilian pop songs, with vibrant rhythms and catchy tunes. I put it on because the cover was so gorgeous, a painting of a big breasted woman playing a tambourine between two guys playing guitars in a café with drinks on the table.

Starsailor, "Love is Here," Capitol Records. The NME is very high on this band. They sound like Jeff Buckley fronting Travis or something, but not that weird. The melodies are all pretty much the same, up and down the same notes over and over. Different arrangements around them, ringing acoustic guitar, swirling organ. Nothing original, but not terrible, either.

Chaka Demus & Pliers, "Dangerous," Fuel 2000 Records. An unbelievably bland reggae record, the kind of thing that makes late period UB40 sound downright rootsy. This is terrible, despite the pleasant vocal prowess of Demus or Pliers or whichever one of these guys croons over these insipid beats.

Danzig, some name with letters not on my keyboard, American Recordings. The usual bellowing, the usual 70s style hard rock, the usual lack of anything worth considering.

Ike and Tina Turner, "The Gospel According to Ike and Tina," Fuel 2000 Records. This reissue is full of joy and spirit and gumption. Tina is singing her heart out, Ike is going mad mixing his r'n'b and gospel ideas, and the energy is overwhelming. Easily one of the finest albums of their career.

Some Sade live sampler. The same old song, depends on my mood as to whether I find it seductive. Not today.

Neil Finn, "7 Worlds Collide," Nettwerk America. I don't understand the guest appearance of either Eddie Vedder or Lisa Germano, but this is still a nifty album. Finn put together a great band, including Johnny Marr, Tim Finn, and two members of Radiohead. The songs are quite nice, and I'm very fond of his version of the Smiths' "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out." This will be out at the end of February.

--Steve Pick



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