-=-=-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=SPIRITUAL MUSIC ADVICE 'N' STUFF by Rev.

Richard Visage =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=So, it's that time of year again, roll out the artificial tree and get prepared to partake in a consumerist frenzy. Some people know the holiday season is arriving when Santa Claus arrives in their local shopping mall, up here in the Great White North, we usually proclaim it December when the snow drifts keep you from being able to get out of your house. As for myself, I know Christmas is coming when I see that Ms. Labamba has hooked Christmas stockings onto her garter belts. I love this time of year. Let's spin a CD, kids. 'Around the Next Dream' BBM(Bruce, Baker, Moore) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sometimes, you really have to wonder just what people are thinking when they put together a tune. Try and imagine this scene: Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker (once-upon-a-time Cream megastars) and Gary Moore (ex of Thin Lizzy) are together in a room. "Gee, do you think anyone would notice if we just moved around some of the changes in 'White Room' (Cream: Wheels of Fire) and gave it some new words? Say, Gary, can you make the guitar sound just like Eric, back when he was seriously stoned?" That's exactly what the leadoff tune to this album, 'Waiting in the Wings', sounds like. It is so true-to-life that initially, one can't help wondering if somehow, this was a Cream tune put into cryogenics for the last 20 years. It's hard to be critical of the song, it very likely would have been a hit way back in the dark ages, but it seems like a curiosity in a current release. One can't help but wonder whether or not the title has some reference to Eric Clapton's old bandmates being stuck in the wings watching the star, but there's no clues in the lyrics. The second song, 'City of Gold' so closely follows 'Crossroads' (Cream: Wheels of Fire) as to be laughable, especially after experiencing serious 'White Room' deja vu. And, just as you're wondering if these guys have any new ideas, you hear them. Ever imagined what it would be like if Cream got together with Barry Manilow? I know, I know -- we're not talking pleasantries here, and with one exception, the balance of this album is positively excremental. That said, Jack Bruce's vocals show no sign of deterioration, Gary Moore's guitar work, when unleashed, is brilliant, and Ginger Baker sounds, well, exactly like he used to. In fact, it sounds like he's still using the same drum kit that he had in the '60s. If you liked him then, you'll probably like him now. I promised myself that I wouldn't say that his picture on the album cover makes Keith Richards look pink and healthy, but, damn, now I've let it out. The exception to the drivel on this album is 'High Cost of Loving'. My guess would be that these three musicians got together and jammed away at some Chicago blues, and realized that they had something going.

This song is positively exquisite, well arranged, nicely punctuated with keyboard, Jack Bruce's best ever vocals and some serious hot-shit blues guitar. What's more, is that they FEEL the blues on this one - there's more genuine blues feel on this one tune than there is in Eric Clapton's whole album, 'Back to the Cradle.' It's a damn shame there aren't more blues tunes on this album. On this one song, if Bruce and Baker have been waiting in the wings in Clapton's shadow, they have eclipsed their superstar ex-colleague and marched to centre stage. --------------------------------------------------------------------'Honey B' Robert Palmer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everyone's common memory of Robert Palmer is THOSE videos, or so it seems. The unforgettable backdrop of almost-dressed fashion models undulating to a Eurothump beat, while Palmer slyly delivered clever lyrics without wrinkling his Armani suit. If that doesn't tweak your memory, how about the woofer-blowing version of T.Rex's 'Bang a Gong' done by The Power Station a few years back? Palmer again. I first heard Palmer sometime in the early 70's when he had the trick white-boy R&B tune 'Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley' out, as well as the seductive pop harmonies of 'Sailing Shoes.' It was a big surprise at the time to have a new, and credible, white R&B artist, and Palmer went on to put out an equally credible reggae tune when he covered Peter Tosh's 'Pressure Drop' on his 'Double Fun' album. Palmer had never failed to experiment and seek new ground, and has had collaborations with Brian Eno in the past. His 'Pride' album stands out as one of the weirdest albums ever made, and while interesting to those watching styles evolve through that period, it's nevertheless a surprise that it ever made it to vinyl. 'Honey B' starts out with 'Honey A', a terrific blend of African and Carribean influences, and then marches into the title track which moves same influences into a slick pop number. This album is virtually filled with love songs, which, like 'Honey B', have sophisticated arrangements and exquisite production values. 'Know by Now' would probably have been cloying, were it not for the layering and production -- and herein lies the weakness of this album -- the lyrics don't love up to the usual standard of wit for Palmer. Somehow, songs like 'Nobody but You' manage to pull it off, even with the C-minus lyrics. Devo fans will be surprised to find an excellent cover of 'Girl U Want' on the disk. The bad news: the last song is an instrumental that sounds like it belongs on a cheesy soundtrack for a Macauley Culkin movie. One can only hope that the song has some sentimental value for Palmer, probably involving bearskin rugs, fireplaces, and glasses of wine. -------------------------------------------------------------------------'Hints, Lies, and Allegations' Collective Soul ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sure, there's every pop cliche in the book on this album, but they

just put it all together so damn well that it makes it onto the CD player regularly. It's a highly listenable package. I know, it's only rock 'n' roll, but I like it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------'Akua Tuta' Kastin ~~~~~~~~~ Imagine an album sung primarily in an Eskimo language that only a few thousand people clutched around ice drifts actually understand. Imagine it being a real treat. Surprise yourself with this one, it has a delicious, enthusiastic feel to it. ---------------------------------------------------------------------'Secrets' Madonna ~~~~~~~ Not even cleavage and tongue on the video can save this turkey. Give it to someone you can't stand, or to someone who'd get sadistic pleasure out of watching the chameleon queen of pop hit rock bottom. -----------------------------------------------------------------------Religiously yours, Rev. Richard Visage rv@visage.jammys.net * * *

Copyright 1994 Rev. Richard Visage ---------------------------------------------------------------------Rev. Richard Visage is the official Spiritual Advisor to Fidonet, and is listed on the masthead of the Fidonews, where his correspondence with the infamous Doc Logger is published regularly. The Rev. operates Fido 1:163/409 on a laptop from various hotel rooms, and is bankrolled by expense accounts from unsuspecting publications who showed the poor judgement of hiring him. Canadian Government officials list him and his semi-clad secretary, Ms. LaBamba, as officially being "at large" somewhere in North America. ======================================================================= #