COMPRISED OF MEMBERS of Tool and Failure, Replicants spawned during sporadic meetings between various tours over the course of four years. The 11 tracks represent an exploration of their combined influences, which range from such major dudes as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Neil Young and David Bowie to new-wave puff-balls Missing Persons and Gary Numan. Apparently, the ecclectic choice of material was less daunting once reduced by the common keyboard denominator, making them all sound remarkably similar. Does it take talent to deliver "Cinnamon Girl" and "Are 'Friends' Electric" in the same tone, evoking the same mood? No. The only tune that really pops is Syd Barrett's "No Good Trying." Pass on the Replicants and explore Syd on your own and discover the true genius behind Pink Floyd's rise to fame.
Leaving Las Vegas Soundtrack
THE FILM LEAVING Las Vegas has received a number of awards along with enjoying the distinction of being one of the few films without a happy ending to be distributed by a major studio. While the movie is exceptional, the soundtrack is not. Director Mike Figgis wrote and produced the entire jazz score, which might help to breathe life into the film, but arrives D.O.A. on CD. Sting, close friend of Mr. Figgis, vocally sleepwalks through three jazz ballads. Don Henley fares better with a soulful rendering of the Mercer/Arlen classic "Come Rain or Come Shine." In keeping with an unfortunate trend, dialogue is interspersed between tracks, adding nothing. Best to remember that film is a visual medium, not a literary one, and music is added to enhance the on-screen action. Records are something else altogether and should stand on their own merit. Go see the movie and skip the soundtrack--class dismissed.
Beware The Souless Cool1 + 2/Get Hip
THESE TEXANS ARE the self-proclaimed "scissors of Matisse," the "sax of Coltrane" and the "wail of Ginsberg." They're also maniacs who specialize in deconstructing the blooze. Sorta like "testifying the blues," minus the whitewashed, homogenized treatments generally rendered by all those Alligator and Black Top bands.
So you get covers of The Cramps, The Who and Wire (huh?) alongside Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon and Link Wray. From the lo-fi din of ultra-distorted vocals, crude riffing, and drunken harp honk emerges a band that's seriously in the pocket. I know you'll trust me when I assert that the Bar-kays' "Soul Finger" is lavished with a primitive love, not to mention Clarence Carter's "Ain't Got You" getting the kind of delirium tremens treatment no Yardbirds fan should miss.
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