RICH HOPKINS & THE LUMINARIOSDumpster Of Love
THE ALBUM CRASHES to an end in a cover of Neil Young's "Powderfinger." It's one of Neil's great anthemic rockers and no one this side of the Rincon Mountains can do Neil-guitar as well as Hopkins. The problem is this: Hopkins isn't as good a singer as Neil. While it might be hard for some Neil-haters to believe that of anyone, it's true.
Hopkins can rock about as hard and passionately as anyone around, but he takes too much upon himself--and the listener--when he sends his flat vocals into a microphone. It doesn't matter whether he's covering Neil or doing his own originals (many of which are pretty good feedback-filled anthems and hard pop love songs). His cathartic, roiling, unpolished-to-near-perfect guitar just isn't enough to carry the album.
Warner Bros. Records
for The Gits
IT'S ADMIRABLE THAT Joan Jett has joined up with the Seattle band The Gits--raising money to find the killer of former lead singer Mia Zapata, as well as helping organizations that prevent violence against women. But let's separate this worthwhile goal from the musical product for a moment. Jett simply ruins The Gits' own gristle-punk music, and her attempt at appropriating the media-hype surrounding riot grrrls with her own song "Activity Grrrl" is superficial and self-promoting at best. Let's not forget the remake of Jett's remake of "Crimson & Clover"--after all, what would Jett do without other people's music? The stated goal of this CD is a winner--Joan Jett's musical contribution is not.
GEORGE STRAITStrait Out Of The Box
HE'S THE HAT man who helped revitalize country music after it slumped following the Urban Cowboy craze of the early '80s. Using elements of Western swing, honky tonk and strait-ahead ballads, George led the neo-traditional movement which reclaimed a lot of country from the Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers, Mickey Gilley and their ilk.
This four-CD box has every one of his 42 hit singles (including all 31 that reached number one on the country charts), album tracks, and a few other sods and ends.
It'll make a great X-mas present for fans, but it fails as documentation of a country innovator.
| © 1995-97 Tucson Weekly . Info Booth