Music From The O.C./
[The Mail On Sunday, 2004]
R&G (RHYTHM & GANGSTA):
SNOOP Dogg, idol to the real-life Ali G's of this world, seems to have complacently slumped into the role of substandard Ali G impersonator himself. Once he ranked among rap's most inventive MCs. His sleepy menace has on this showing degenerated into spiteful indolence. To overcome the misogyny and halfwitted stonerisms that clog its progress, R&G really would have to be the masterpiece Snoop claims. Instead, it's dreary claptrap rolled out by the yard.
THIS is worth owning for the lovely cover art alone (think Tove Jansson's Moomin illustrations reproduced by Japanese master Hokusai.) Languorously unfolding itself into the space between Meddle-era Pink Floyd and indie whisperers Galaxie 500, Country Falls is all about mood. Finnish creator Marko Nyberg sets off sonic warmth against a distinctly Nordic chill. It's never less than pleasant; with the rare delicacy of City Lights, it ventures into the magical.
US college radio has long since become a genre in itself, and California's Cake are cultishly popular among its devotees. Their records are wordy, clever and musically eclectic; unfortunately, Pressure Chief calls to mind the likes of They Might Be Giants and Timbuk 3, rather than, say, Fountains of Wayne. Should you enjoy listless white funk and sardonic sprechgesang then Cake, the current arch-exponents of the form, are for you. But not for me.
BETWEEN THE SHEETS
IF Top Shop could sing, this would be the sound. And you know what, it's not half bad; certainly more refreshing than the tepid tapwater customarily dispensed by stage school alumni. The 411's mix of home counties accents and shiny R&B-lite - Atlanta, GA meets Esher High Street - calls to mind another choice female pop quartet, All Saints. The outlandishly catchy singles Dumb and On My Knees are belters, while the self-conscious and faintly preposterous adoption of black US slang is more endearing than irritating.
MUSIC FROM THE O.C. MIX 2
MUSIC FROM THE O.C. MIX 3
(HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISMUKKAH)
TAKING its cue from John Hughes's 80s movies (The Breakfast Club, etc), TV show The O.C. cannily soundtracks its shiny tales of teen angst with transatlantic indie staples. Mix 2 serves as a contemporary alternative primer, leaning towards such stolid types as The Killers, Keane and The Thrills, but also featuring more invigorating acts (Eels, Super Furry Animals). Mix 3 offers a novelty selection of Christmas favourites reworked by Jimmy Eat World, The Raveonettes, Low et al. Cute and droll, much like the show itself.
HE'S from St Louis. He raps. He's bouncy. His words have too many “r”s in them. He isn't Nelly, but he might as well be. Having noted that the public can't get enough of Nelly, some bright spark has signed up an artist almost comically similar, perhaps in the hope that nobody will twig it isn't him. Powerballin' is fine, so far as it goes - and it goes no further than a stopgap until the next Nelly album. If nothing else, you have to admire Chingy's nurrrve - nerve, I mean to say.
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