By Chris Stelmak
Daily Cougar Staff
The brat is back. Courtney Love takes her band, Hole, through a different appearance with Celebrity Skin.
With the loss of the widowed Love's Kurt Cobain, Hole has also lost its cutting-edge sound. Trying to lose the grunge sound of its last album, the band takes on a more rock style. Several of the songs are even pop-radio friendly.
This time, the band draws on the help of Smashing Pumpkins lead whiner Billy Corgan.
Corgan helped in writing five of the songs on the album and all of them except for the high-powered guitar single "Celebrity Skin" are pretty relaxed.
The songs are kind of a surprise coming from Hole.
The band stays laid-back with tracks like "Malibu," "Awful" and "Petals," coming off as enjoyable tunes. The use of more accoustical-sounding guitar is different, but a little unfit for the band.
Hole does seem to have improved on its writing style, though. Unlike the songs on Live Through This that jump right into the fast-tempoed gritty music and stay rather constant, tracks like "Reasons To Be Beautiful" and "Use Once & Destroy" seem to build on themselves throughout the song.
It really gives Hole a lot more depth.
While not having as many amazing powerful songs as its last album, Hole has tried something different.
There still are several songs that pack a punch, but most concentrate more on Love's singing over her whining and screaming. While Celebrity Skin is a decent album, its beauty is not much more than skin deep.
By William Cordray
Daily Cougar Staff
Dynamic duo DJ Shadow and owner of MoWax Records James Lavelle brings some of the most recognized pop artists to the forefront of the breakbeat dimension.
Artists such as Richard Ashcroft (The Verve), Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Jason
Newstead (Metallica) and others guest appear on many of the tracks which range from moody, sinister ballads to all-out hardcore rock. Overall, the album is very dark, and those who are familiar with DJ Shadow's solo works will see the apparent influence in all the tracks.
But with all the hype, do not mark this one as the greatest release of the infamous MoWax label, but a highlight in the closing gaps of what is commercial music and what is not.
By Rattaya Nimibutr
Daily Cougar Staff
For a dark comedy, the only other fitting thing in Clay Pigeons besides Janeane Garafalo is the music that accompanies the movie. With its 12-track rock and pop offers, the greatly acclaimed movie only has a somewhat mediocre soundtrack.
With artists like Jimmy Wakely and Sara Evans, it's a smooth-flow track that you only play in the background when you have people over. Also giving a hand are Pat Boone with "Moody River" and Lyle Lovett's "Teach Me About Love."
Over in the mainstream rock band region, artists like Tonic, The Verve Pipe, and Sister Hazel cough up songs that come and go, nothing to stop and gaze over. Bottom line: a good CD to accompany a good book.
By Rattaya Nimibutr
Daily Cougar Staff If you adore Frank Sinatra, you'll be greatly satisfied with Lucky Strikes' Song and Dance.
With its catchy lime green cover and 14-track melodies, this is a CD for anyone who's ready for a bit of swing and a full load of soft-ridden tracks.
The best bets are "Just Lucky That Way" and "Days Gone By," in which the boys rack up a decent album that actually contains the old tunes' quality. We don't see much of this anymore. So, with the eerie sounds and smooth saxophonic tunes, Lucky Strikes is going to hit it big - that is, if people get the chance to hear the merriment of old tunes.
Hey, my friend loves it a lot, so that's all I get to hear, and I agree that its not at all bad.
By Jake McKim
Busta Rhymes has established himself as a bonafide hardcore, creative staple in the hip-hop community and he continues to dazzle with his way-out visuals and mind-dazzling lyrics.
But this time, Rhymes has gone out and found himself a crew that is at times as unique and awe-inspiring as Busta himself.
On The Imperial, Flipmode's first venture, the crew of five guys and one female attempt to match the hugely successful albums that Rhymes released.
Unfortunately, they seemingly fall short.
With sleep-inducing, repetitive beats, the amazing skills and unmatched lyrics of the crewmembers get lost in non-radio-friendly drabble.
The most skilled lyricist next to Rhymes may well be Rah Digga, the only female of the squad, who at times makes the others look amateurish.
Busta Rhymes fans may best be served to stay away from this one and look forward to his next solo effort coming in the fall, E.L.E., or "Extinction-Level Event."
Cougar Entertainment Staff
Kid Rock, a white hip-hopper who grew up Bob Ritchie, in a predominantly white Detroit 'burb takes many influences into each album he does.
The rap/rock/pop artist comes hard on each and every piece of work he is involved with, and <I>Devil Without a Cause<P> is no different.
Rock presents his many influences and love for the different genres of music on each track of his latest CD.
Funky, flowing guitar riffs and cocky, don't-mess-with-me lyrics flower the course of <I>Devil Without a Cause<P>.
Tracks like "I am the Bullgod" and "Somebody's Gotta Feel This" prove that Rock refuses to hide his talents. The funk-laden "Wasting Time" combines elements of blues, rock, hip-hop and pop so often unseen in the current lapse of musical creativity in the music world.
Rock effortlessly blends catchy melodies over foot-tapping beats which seems all the more amazing when you consider that he wrote and recorded <I>Devil Without a Cause<P> in little over a week.
"We got such a diverse record," said Rock.
"I'm kicking old school rap songs and then I do a metal thing. People are going to have a hard time with it: What the *@*@'s he doing? He's all over the place!"
This time, Kid Rock seems to know what he's doing.
Reach CD reviewers at Jslim22@hotmail.com