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  Listen Up! 7/16/03 Listen Up!

Wednesday, July 16

Steve Winwood, “About Time,” Sci Fidelity Records. Winwood returns to his Traffic style for the first time in 30 years or so. Without the caliber of partners he worked with in that band, things don’t quite spark as much as you’d like them to, but these lengthy soulful workouts cruise along nicely enough. I’d turn down the congas a bit if I were in charge, but I guess Winwood really likes to hear them. It’s funny, Winwood sleepwalking can make more interesting jams than any of the current “improvisers” in the patchouli crowd.

Tinhorn, “Stereowide,” Broom Factory Records. This St. Louis band has put together a fine album’s worth of psychedelic, melodic pop/rock. Definitely a Beatles influence, though they concentrate that influence on extrapolating what kind of band could have come up with “Rain” as a signature tune, rather than an interesting single in a diverse career. Consequently, guitars and vocals tend to hold notes across shifting backgrounds, achieving a nice, trippy affect that never grows tiresome. It does tend, however, to make it difficult to remember one song from another in retrospect. Don’t get me wrong. As long as the tunes and the playing are this contagious, I don’t mind that nothing stands out head and shoulders from the crowd.

--Steve Pick

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