Tuesday, January 22, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 76 


Pam and Dodi fuse r&b, gospel on debut album

Cougar Entertainment Staff

Pam and Dodi
MCA Records
3.5 stars

New singing duo Pam and Dodi has a sound reminiscent of the contemporary gospel singing group Mary Mary. Made up of friends Pam Taylor and Audra
"Dodi" Alexandar from Michigan, this new music group is part of the growing trend of young singers with hip-hop, pop and dance-influenced beats with a
down-home, back to church, gospel-inspired message.

Photo courtesy of MCA Records

Pam and Dodi combine r&b, hip-hop and gospel music in their self-titled debut release. The duo has sung background vocals for the group Mary Mary and the Grammy award-winning artist Yolanda Adams.

As backup singers for gospel singing greats such as the Clark Sisters, and with influences from Yolanda Adams to Stevie Wonder, Pam and Dodi are
stepping out on their own with their self-titled debut release.

Pam and Dodi contains 12 inspiring and encouraging tracks that are produced by such hit-makers as Darren Lighty and DJ Eddie F, formerly of Heavy D
and the Boyz.

The only complaint concerning the album that a fan of classic gospel music may have is that the positive message is sometimes mixed with seemingly
secular topics. Nonetheless, Pam and Dodi provides listeners with a spirited message and beautifully blended voices that are soothing and assuring.

The first single, "Don't Have," is accompanied by alto affirmations that through God's grace and guidance, anything is possible. On the other hand, some of
the lyrics sample Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills," but they differ with the reference that God will provide.

"What's Wrong" is an inspirational song that anyone can relate to. It also caters to the emotions of the average college student and offers its listeners a
sense of understanding. Accompanied by a steady bass, "What's Wrong" displays the duo's powerful voices and range.

Other easy-listeners include "Nobody," featuring brothers K-Ci and JoJo, "Bounce" and "There All the Time," a song that lends itself to classic gospel music.

Fans of contemporary gospel singers such as Adams, Mary Mary and CeCe Winans, as well as those who enjoy a positive message accompanied by
r&b-inspired beats, will enjoy this duo's message and sound.

-- Dionne Victor

Daily Cougar Staff

Keller Williams


Sci-Fidelity Records

4.5 stars

"He is the one/Who likes all our pretty songs/And he likes to sing along/And he likes to shoot his gun," Nirvana's Kurt Cobain intones on "In Bloom." The
irony is, of course, that "In Bloom" is one of Nirvana's catchiest, most sing-along-happy songs.

The same tongue-in-cheek knowledge of its own infectiousness characterizes "One Hit Wonder," the second track on Keller Williams' latest album Laugh.
Both songs are critical of the stereotypical head-bobbing pop song, and both know that the best way to express their contempt is through emulating the
cheery beats they're denouncing.

Williams' own work is the opposite -- a tapestry of musical aptitude, with piano, trombone, flute, mandolin and fiddle all eventually taking a back seat to
Williams' brilliant guitar work.

And while "One Hit Wonder" is most certainly catchy, its appeal is woven from a thorough knowledge of music, not from a thorough knowledge of the lowest
common denominator.

The album, Williams' sixth, is playful and mellow, full of cheery beats and intricately woven sounds. Fans of guitar virtuosos like Martin Sexton will love
Williams' ingenious work, especially on the instantly appealing "Mental Instra" (get it?) and "Bob Rules," a sweet tale about "the voice of an angel that
belonged to Rod Roddy," among other things.

Williams has an ability to jam seemingly endlessly without being repetitive, a talent many so-called "jam bands" would do well to emulate.

Laugh is an apt title for an album like this one, on which lyrics, musical artistry and, yes, catchiness combine to create a sound that can't help but make the
listener happy.

-- Ellen Simonson

Daily Cougar Staff



Enhanced, LLC Records

3.5 stars

Austin is the city Texans fondly think of as the heart of talented artists and musicians in the Lone Star State. The fact that it has bred quite a large number of
bands that "make it" is proof.

A new sound is stirring in the wind of the alternative city that promises to make a mark throughout the country.

Endochine, an alternative rock quartet, finds its roots in Austin and its feet moving throughout Texas and parts of Louisiana as it begins its tour in hopes of
getting its name and music out.

After recently releasing their debut album i, Endochine members are looking forward to playing more shows since they have only been doing live
performances for a little over a year.

The album contains several mellow songs that flow with the hypnotic power of Radiohead, yet hint at something a little more classic like the Beatles or Led

With very clear vocals, a steady even-paced bass line and drumming and melodic guitar riffs, Endochine has produced an album that can be liked by many
and unconsciously enjoyed by all.

Though some songs become a little repetitive, it is the first track that stands out. "Overjoyed," a song with smooth instrument overlapping and a stream of
resonant melodies, is beautifully articulated and enhanced by its unmistakable alternative-rock guitar riffs.

Endochine will be in Houston at the Satellite Lounge on Jan. 31.

-- Shiley Carter

Daily Cougar Staff

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