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  Listen Up! 12/13/02 Listen Up!

Friday, Dec. 13

George Harrison, “Brainwashed,” Capitol Records. I stand by the comments I made a few weeks back on this record, that it’s not fair to judge it as a definitive final statement from such a beloved musician. But, if you can forget that there will never be another album from George, you can at least notice that he has some really pretty melodies on this record. It’s a gentle pop pleasure.

Youssou N’Dour & Etoile De Dakar, “The Rough Guide to Youssou N’Dour & Etoile De Dakar,” World Music Network. I just got the new Youssou N’Dour album and played it last night at home. It’s beautiful, stunningly so. This older stuff is nice, too, but not as life-changing, if you know what I mean. It’s tougher, though, and if you’re looking for dance music, this will do nicely. Great beats, and the vocals are more like chants than the melodies he’s mining nowadays.

Common, “Electric Circus,” MCA Records. The first couple of cuts have really cool beats, especially the first song proper, which turns the drum patterns inside out and creates an incredibly infectious effect. Other songs build on interesting samples, as well. Lots of creativity at work, here. Common sounds alright, but I just can’t get into his dry delivery. Words, words, words, he thinks all these words should be the focus, when I just want to hear rhythms.

--Steve Pick



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