Notable music for the week of May 18, 1990 |


Notable music for the week of May 18, 1990

Notable music for the week of May 18, 1990. Short reviews of recently released titles

Notable music for the week of May 18, 1990

Paula Abdul Shut Up and Dance (Virgin; all formats) Remixes make her hits much more trashy — and much more fun. B- (Greg Sandow)

Ray Anderson What Because (Gramavision; all formats) Raucous trombonist funks it up, then plays pretty. A- (Gary Giddins)

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

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)

Adrian Belew Young Lions (Atlantic; all formats) Sometimes weird guitarist finds his own touching —though widely varied — voice. B+ (GS)

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

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds The Good Son (Enigma/Mute; CD, T) Unclassifiable songs, 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)

The Family Stand Chain (Atlantic; all formats) Unheralded R&B band connects with voices, beats, and good sense. A- (GS)

M.C. Hammer Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em (Capitol; all formats) Award-winning rapper hits hard at community problems. A- (GS)

Jerry Harrison: Casual Gods Walk on Water (Warner Bros.; all formats, bonus tracks on CD, T) Ambitious but disappointing album, full of word games and funk rhythms, from the Talking Heads’ guitarist-keyboard player. He sounds like a sideman, not a leader, and his work doesn’t have much personality. 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)

Billy Idol Charmed Life (Chrysalis; all formats) Unexpectedly touching album from a rock & roll bad boy. 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)

Kirsty MacColl Kite (Charisma; CD, T, bonus tracks on CD) Singer-songwriter with bright sound, tart edge. B+ (GS)

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

Dave McKenna Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 2 (Concord Jazz; CD, T) An impeccable recital of sentimental songs geared by a rock-steady beat. B+ (GG)

Milira Milira (Apollo Theatre/Motown; all formats) Striking debut from a singer who has more than a hint of Sarah Vaughan in both her voice and her style. Features a timely remake of Marvin Gaye’s environmental warning, ”Mercy Mercy Me,” with a jazz violin solo by Noel Pointer that you wouldn’t expect to find on an R&B album. 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) Maurice Starr, the mastermind who invented New Edition and New Kids on the Block, hits bottom, let’s hope, with this prepubescent trio that includes his own son and 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)

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

Lisa Stansfield Affection (Arista; all formats, bonus tracks on CD, T) Smoldering dance debut with a varied and subtle beat. A- (GS)

Mark Stewart Metatron (Mute/Restless; all formats, bonus track on CD) Synthesizer wizard from England fashions intentionally out-of-focus dance and heavy-metal songs, with distant, strangled singing. Strangely fascinating, sometimes arch. B- (GS)

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

Tony! Toni! Tone! The Revival (Polydor/PolyGram; all formats) Brainy funk. A- (GS)

Steve Wariner Laredo (MCA; CD, T) Skilled singer-guitarist highlights country jazz and rural sentimentality. B (AN)

The Wedding Present Bizarro (RCA; all formats, bonus track on CD, T) This British band’s lyrics sound like lovers arguing on the phone — in a strange, dark movie that allows you to hear only one of them. The music is a drone of distorted guitars, as if played by a calmer version of guitar-noise champions Sonic Youth. B+ (GS)