Notable music for the week of May 11, 1990 |


Notable music for the week of May 11, 1990

Notable music for the week of May 11, 1990 -- Short reviews on recently released titles

Notable music for the week of May 11, 1990

Bad Brains The Youth Are Getting Restless (Caroline; all formats) Live album from champion hardcore-noise-jazz-funk-reggae band. A (Greg Sandow)

Beats International Let Them Eat Bingo (Elektra; all formats, bonus track on CD) Fun, fun, fun. Smiling melodies and a brainy mix of styles. A (GS)

The BhundBoys Pamberi (Mango; all formats, bonus tracks on CD) African pop from Zimbabwe. No frills or glitz, but full of heart. A (GS)

Brent Bourgeois Brent Bourgeois (Charisma; CD, T) Serious but all-too-bland alternative pop from the former leader of Bourgeois Tagg. C+ (GS)

Lori Carson Shelter (DGC; all formats) Sensitive singer-songwriter who overloads her songs with verbal and musical detail. B- (GS)

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds The Good Son (Eniima/Mute; CD, T) Unclassifiable songs, at best both searing and mocking. B (GS)

The Chimes The Chimes (Columbia; all formats) This new British ”northern soul” band is seductive and tough — irresistible, in fact, as it offers world-class R&B vocals and a gorgeously relaxed cover of U2’s ”I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” A- (GS)

Mark Collie Hardin County Line (MCA; CD, T) Perfect nuggets of blue-collar angst, from rockabilly to honky-tonk lament. A (Alanna Nash)

Fleetwood Mac Behind the Mask (Warner Bros.; all formats) More an anthology of solo projects than a coherent album. And it’s bland. C (GS)

Johnny Gill Johnny Gill (Motown; all formats) Yo, what a voice! One of the lead singers of New Edition has recorded his first solo album; he soars and even snarls. But he has no real point of view — unless you count liking women a lot. B (GS)

Tubby Hayes With Clark Terry The New York Sessions (Columbia; CD, T) The 1962 American debut of a gifted British saxophonist. B+ (Gary Giddins)

Heart Brigade (Capitol; all formats) I’ll grant Heart its arena-size sincerity. But why do even the good tunes on this album have to sound so much alike? C+ (GS)

Holy Soldier Holy Soldier (A&M/Word; all formats) Christian metal band reconstitutes Jesus as a rock & roll rebel. And it works! B (GS)

HR Charge (SST; all formats) Reggae with unexpected, sharp punk-funk twists, from a band fronted by the lead singer of the Bad Brains. B+ (GS)

Billy Idol Charmed Life (Chrysalis; all formats) Unexpectedly touching album from one of rock & roll’s bad boys. A- (GS)

Yngwie Malmsteen Eclipse (Polygram; CD, T) Cult metal guitarist with inimitable touch and trademark quasi-classical style emerges closer to the mainstream, in an ear-popping amalgam of metal, pop, and even Bach. B- (GS)

Kris McKay What Love Endures (Arista, all formats) New artist who can sing almost anything, pop to blues. B+ (GS)

Sinead O’Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (Chrysalis; all formats) She transforms pop music styles as she sings about her quest for serenity. A (GS)

Perfect Gentlemen Rated PG (Columbia; CD, T) The mastermind who invented New Edition and New Kids on the Block hits bottom, let’s hope, with his latest production, a prepubescent trio that includes his own son and also a neighbor apparently chosen only because he was cute. D+ (GS)

Public Enemy Fear of a Black Planet (Def Jam/Columbia; all formats) Provocative, powerful album by rap group, which hints at troubling racial theories but overall raises issues that can’t be ignored. A- (GS)

Lou Reed/John Cale Songs for ‘Drella (Sire/Warner; all formats) Stars of the Velvet Underground reunite with songs about Andy Warhol that — contrary to all expectations — don’t have much bite. B- (GS)

The Sidewinders Auntie Ramos’ Pool Hall (RCA; all formats) Part roots, part punk; smart and strong. B+ (GS)

Jill Sobule Things Here Are Different (MCA; all formats) Tough-minded waif with a big, big heart. An impressive debut. A- (GS)

The Sundays Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic (DGC; all formats) British alternative band sails into fresh, quirky territory. A- (GS)

Cecil Taylor In Florescence (A&M; all formats) Pianistic pyrotechnics by an avant-garde virtuoso. A- (GG)

Koko Taylor Jump for Joy (Alligator; all formats) Raucous Chicago blues; much of the album might have been unearthed from a time capsule. B (GS)

Texana Dames Texana Dames (Amazing; all formats) Family trio serves up spicy Lone Star stew. A- (AN)

Trip Shakespeare Across the Universe (A&M; all formats) Minnesota rock band with many styles and a triumphant song about snow. B (GS)

Suzanne Vega Days of Open Hand (A&M; all formats) Extraordinary lyrics, not matched by her music. B- (GS)

The Winans Return (Warner/Qwest; all formats) Full-voiced gospel, with an edge that only comes from the street. B (GS)

Steve Wynn Kerosene Man (Rhino; all formats) Deceptive album from the lead singer of the defunct Dream Syndicate: straight-ahead guitar rock that unexpectedly gives way to moody horns or punk noise. The sardonic paradoxes in Wynn’s lyrics sound silly, though. B- (GS)