Notable music for the week of April 27, 1990 -- Short reviews on recently released titles

Across the Universe (Music - Trip Shakespeare)

Notable music for the week of April 27, 1990

*Lee Atwater Red Hot and Blue (Curb; all formats) Chairman of the Republican National Committee plays R&B. R&B loses. D (Greg Sandow)

*Babes in Toyland Spanking Machine (Twin/Tone; all formats) Women’s hardcore band from Minneapolis: brats with sharp teeth. B- (GS)

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

*Consolidated The Myth of Rock (Nettwerk/I.R.S.; all formats) Rap album that almost belongs in a bookstore because it sets forth a detailed Marxist critique of rock. Too much jargon, but a recorded Ku Klux Klan song (included as aural illustration) sounds pretty arresting. C+ (GS)

*Lacy J. Dalton Lacy J. (Capitol; CD, T) Relaxed, cohesive collection of ballads and country-rock, displaying Dalton’s strong-but-sensitive persona. B (Alanna Nash)

*Marianne Faithfull Blazing Away (Island; all formats) One new studio track, plus live recordings of various songs from her repertoire performed at St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn, N.Y. Searing, but so brutally monochromatic that their impact weakens as the album proceeds. Maybe you had to have been there. B- (GS)

*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 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)

*The Jamaica Boys J-Boys (Reprise; all formats) Street funk, rhythmic and sweet. B+ (GS)

*Kid Creole and the Coconuts Private Waters in the Great Divide (Columbia; CD, T) Dance music never gets more lighthearted than this — or more brainless. C+ (GS)

*Little Feat Representing the Mambo (Warner Bros.; all formats) Deft and rousing trip to Texas and beyond. B+ (GS)

*Mano Negra Puta’s Fever (Virgin; all formats) French pop has been mixing African and Western dance beats, but here’s a French multicultural band that can even play, slashing down-home rock & roll. Just don’t look for any great evidence of brains in their work. B- (GS)

*Jim Mensy Stone by Stone (Columbia; CD, T) Soulful singer-songwriter with a John Anderson baritone and a gift for country boogie and blues. B+ (AN)

*Kimm Rogers Soundtrack of My Life (Island; CD, T) Another wide-eyed, folkish singer- songwriter with a little-girl voice. More naïve than most. C+ (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)

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

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

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

*Wilson Phillips Wilson Phillips (SBK; all formats) First pop baby steps by trio with famous parents. C- (GS)

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

Across the Universe (Music - Trip Shakespeare)
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