SORAYAOn Nights Like This
A SOFT MANDOLIN and Soraya's easy, expressive voice hover over an airy pop-beat and fragile harmony. "Avalanche" and "Love In Your Eyes" veer into washed-out radio pop; and at times the lyrics become too self-consciously graphic to capture the unaffected, open qualities in her voice. But the production sparkles, with well-wrought arrangements that give the record a distinct vibe. In the end, "Pueblicito Viejo" brings the singer back to the natural voice and warm presence that are her strong suit. Soraya attempts the dramatic and lofty at times, but her lighter strokes are the ones that compel.
KELLEY DEAL 6000Go To The Sugar Altar
WELL, HERE'S ONE rock-junkie tale that has a happy ending, so far. Deal's life with The Breeders crumbled in the wake of addiction, a bust, intervention, and court-ordered rehab. Now, doing her own band thing, she's reconstructed her sense of self-worth and preservation to the point that she was even keeping her distance from old drinking buddies while opening for Guided By Voices recently. The music holds up, too--an appealingly odd brand of strangitude and pop hooks. There's the twisted, Prince-like, lounge-soul of "Sugar," the noisy psycho punk of "A Hundred Tires" and the just plain bizarre "Nice," which features languid, neo-surf riffs, distorted vocals, keyboard treatments and amplified kiddie toys. As some tunes are lavish creations and others are lo-fi experiments, it's a schizophrenic set, and probably represents therapy as much as it does a career move. But it's still charming in its own right.
ASTOR PIAZZOLLA57 Minutes Con La Realidad
THOSE WHO ASSOCIATE the tango with corny Latin movies might want to more accurately define it, as the late Piazzolla always did, as the music born of whorehouses. This rough session, recorded at the end of his life, is no less passionate for a rawness that producer Kip Hanrahan wisely preferred to keep intact. Piazzolla and his bandoneon (an accordion-like instrument) are Argentina's equivalent of Brazil's Antonio Carlos Jobim and our George Gershwin. Gorgeous as the stuff is, it's hard to imagine that Piazzolla's music so altered the sacred tango that for much of his life he received death threats and was refused taxi rides in Buenos Aires. Not likely that your CD collection contains any music, from anywhere, as passionate as this.
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