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  Listen Up! 11/12/02 Listen Up!

Tuesday, Nov. 12

Ohio Players, “Funk on Fire: The Mercury Anthology,” Mercury Records. The truth lies in the beats, in the force of that snare, the slide of that bass, the rolling of the percussion, even the snap of the vocals. There are ballads, and they are beautiful slices of ethereal melody, delivered largely in that 70s falsetto that ruled the airwaves back then. But even there, the truth is in the rhythms, which always retain a thrusting energy that brings it all back to sex.

Bob Marley, “Sun Is Shining,” MCPS (?). One of several thousand (or dozen, I’m not sure?) repackagings of early Marley material, from the pre-Island days. Is it great? Well, Marley was a genius, and the other Wailers are around (including Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer), and the riddims are groovealicious. I’ve never been able to put my finger on why the Island stuff was so much better. This material sounds like excellent reggae; that material sounds like descriptions of and encounters with the world’s beauty and misery.

Interpol, “Turn on the Bright Lights,” Matador Records. Not Joy Division, nor an incredible simulation, but a pretty boring imitation.

--Steve Pick



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