Alabama 3: La Peste

La-Peste is one of those albums that grabs you by goolies on the very first track, by the second track a firm grasp has been established and is not relinquished until the dire cover of Don Henley and Glen Frey’s "Hotel California" three quarters of the way through the album. For those of you not familiar with Alabama 3 they look and sound like a renegade posse of AWOL cowboys with a rapidly dwindling stash. I was therefore most surprised to discover that they actually hail from Brixton, London. The style of music is quite hard to categorize but the best description I have heard is "Acid Country". The album opens with the single "Too Sick To Pray" which starts with a weird electronic sound effect followed by a lone steel guitar before slowly building up to a towering wall of bass, drums and throaty Nick Cave/Iggy pop style vocals. Other notable tracks include "Walking in my sleep" which starts of with sermon by a preacher from the Deep South before moving into a slow dance beat and some vocal styles and lyrics that must have be inspired by Dr John. "Cocaine (killed my Community)" has a prominent drum loop and keyboards with a distinct "Talking Heads" feel to it. For those of you following the US TV Drama, "The Soprano’s", I am reliable informed that Alabama 3 provide the music, which has gone someway to increase their somewhat low profile. Although perhaps one of the most amazing coincidences is that the band members "Larry Love", "D. Wayne Love", "The Mountain of Love" and "Sir Real Love" all share the same surname, but are not actually related; what are the chances of that. Certainly a bit different from most of the other stuff around at the moment, and well worth the experiment.

Black Star Line - Bengali Bantam Youth Experience

OK, picture the scene, Its Friday night, 11pm and the barman has already called for last orders. In pubs throughout the country the eternal question flashes across everyone’s mind. Should you go to the local Balti House for a few pints of larger and a chicken vindaloo, or should you attempt to strut your funky stuff at the local club. It’s a tricky question and one that is seldom answered correctly, however its is now possible to have the best of both worlds. For an enjoyable club and curry experience in the safety of your own home you will require the following ingredients. 1 jar Sharwoods Balti Sauce, 1 Chicken Breast, 1 large onion, 1 cup of basmati rice, 1 powerful hi-fi system, a copy of Bengali Bantam Youth Experience by Black Star Liner and understanding neigbours. Step 1; give the food items to a woman and point her in the general direction of the kitchen. Step 2 place the "Black Star Liner" CD in the CD player and crank the volume up to 11. Step 3 listen to the exquisite blend of traditional Indian music and modern dance beats cleverly woven together. "Low BMW" is one of my personal favorites and has a deep reggae style heavy bass. "Gurdeep’s Yellow Funk" is equally catchy despite consisting of a single lyric, "Electronic music for the mind and the soul" repeated throughout the entire song. "Pink Rupee" showcases the band talents in actually playing some traditional Indian instruments in addition to being able to program their synths and "Indeer Automatic" is an inspired mix of dance and Indian music with superb vocals courtesy of "Anna Samamt". Proof positive that there are some real gems hidden in the dance sections.

Madonna: Music

Either I’m producing more testosterone than is good for me or Madonna is one horny mother. However its all to no avail as on 22nd December 2000 Madonna walked down the aisle of a Scottish Cathedral to the dulcet tones of "Music" sung by a choir of schoolboys dressed in their best Ali G outfits. "Music" the album, like Madonna’s wedding entrance also gets underway with "Music" the single as Ms Ciccione asks "Hey Mr. DJ put a record on, I wanna dance with my baby". The song itself probably requires little more description as it has been fairly hard to avoid. It is however a first class piece of modern pop and demonstrates Madonna’s ability to keep up to date. Another notable track, "I Deserve It" has an opening lyric of "This GUY was meant for me and I was meant for him"; there’s no doubt that she got the hots for a certain British film director. Despite the overly soppy lyrics this is another fine song. "Amazing" is not dissimilar to "Beautiful Stranger", which featured in Austin Powers 2. It seems to have a very similar structure and melody, and more importantly it helps me conjure up happy memories of her rubbing her butt up against Mike Myers. "Don’t Tell Me" the latest single is seemingly designed to make people think their CD players are on the blink as the song seems to be randomly jumping or skipping. The video doesn’t help a great deal as that also freezes and jumps around. After several listens though it does seem to work quite well and this is yet another great single. The album concludes with her version of Don McClean’s "American Pie" which was never going to get anywhere near the original and she doesn’t even attempt the later versus. The next thing to look forward to is a release of the version of "Music" sung by the Ali G schoolboy choir, all in the name of charity of course.