Madonna's new Maverick label
As a record mogul, Madonna makes a pretty good performer. That's
the only conclusion one can reach after hearing the first three
releases on her Maverick label, one of the results of her
multimillion-dollar deal with Time Warner in 1992. Maverick got off
to a less than auspicious start early this year with its first
release, Downtown Circus Gang, by the interracial band Proper
Grounds. The album quickly bombed, and with good reason: Its clumsy
attempt at mixing metal riffs, hard-core rapping, and folkie guitar
plucking was nearly unlistenable. Then came Something's Goin' On by
the R&B quartet UNV Maverick's attempt to cash in on the lucrative
vocal-harmony market already tapped by Boyz II Men, Silk, and so on.
Alas, all Madonna got was a by-the-numbers new-jack group whose idea
of creativity is copping the main melodic line of Bobby Brown's ''My
Prerogative.'' Maverick's latest offering and, according to a label
spokesman, its attempt to move in more of a ''rock''
direction continues its dreary track record. Candlebox, by the
quartet of the same name, sounds like the Black Crowes' Chris
Robinson at his jivin', yammering worst fronting a Pearl Jam tribute
band. Like all Maverick records to date, it isn't at all outrageous,
merely mundane. So tell us once again, Madonna what was the point of
starting this company?
Downtown Circus Gang: C-; Something's Goin' On: C; Candlebox: D