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  Listen Up! 5/6/02 Listen Up!

Monday, May 6

Various Artists, "Lynne Me Your Ears: A Tribute to the Music of Jeff Lynne," Not Lame Recording Company. Disc two isn't as consistent as disc one, but there's some nice stuff on here. The Shazam (obviously fans) do a great version of "Twilight"; the Balls of France (great name) do a nice "Message From the Country," and Walter Clevenger and the Dairy Kings rock out on "Rock and Roll is King." Sixpence None the Richer are pretty lame on "On the Run," and there's no reason to revive "Xanadu," let alone to do it poorly as Neilson Hubbard and Venus Hum do. All in all, a decent tribute collection that could have been an amazing single disc.

Pat Boone, "In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy," Hip-O Records. Debby Sue has been raving about this for a couple weeks, and she finally brought it in. I remember when it came out, but I never hurt it before. It's pretty funny. Boone sings heavy metal songs in his trademark ring-a-ding style, and he acts like he's serious. If he's being ironic, he gives absolutely no evidence of it. Thus, as long as you know the original songs, you'll laugh at this. If you don't know them, you'll probably just think it's a bad big band record.

Various Artists, "D'Afro Disco: Garri-Mix," Codek Records. Dance music made out of African polyrhythms, this could revolutionize club-going, if club djs gave it a chance, or if club-goers cared about music becoming more interesting. It functions perfectly as a groove-provider for picking up potential sex partners, but it also rewards more intellectual concerns, as these grooves are complex, and make intriguing use of melodic snippets. You can listen to it from any number of instrumental angles, and always find it worth the effort.

Moby, "18," V2 Records. It's a dance record with lots of guest vocalists singing songs that try to sound meaningful, but of course I'm not hearing any of the lyrics. Sounds pleasant enough, though not as immediately catchy as the commercials from his last album.

--Steve Pick



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