CD Reviews: British bombshells & a blast from the past
While Lady Sovereign isn’t the only “midget” I know (there have been few tiny editors at The Reflector in the past), she is the “biggest” as she states on the final track I Got The Goods on her latest album Jigsaw. Part of the current wave of strong female artists making a splash on this coast from the British Isles, LSV isn’t as lyrically provoking as M.I.A. What they both do quite well, is have fun.
Not quite the collection that will pull you up off your feet, dancing in the street, it is the album that will get the party started when you’re ready. LSV really knows how to use her tongue well, there’s no point in trying to keep up rapping along. It’s nice that the hooks are catchy and easy to remember. Definitely add this album to that mix-tape you’re making of British powerhouses.
— Selina Renfrow
On the Cover II
Tooth and Nail Records
Fans of the pop-punk Band, MxPx, have waited 15 years for the band to do another cover album and this one was mostly worth the wait. On the Cover II, which consists of 12 songs mainly from the ’80s had me wanting to dig out my legwarmers and backcomb my hair. This former Christian band, known as Magnified Plaid, has released 16 punk albums during their career and as a result know what their fans want. This Hedley meets Barenaked Ladies kind of punk sound and style, takes a bunch of old favourites and speeds them up. Amazingly, it works most of the time!
Since I am a die-hard U2 fan, I was not fond of the faster version of “I Will Follow.” You just can’t mess with U2! But, adding speed to classics like Poison’s “Fallen Angel,” Queen’s “Somebody to Love” and The Proclaimers “500 Miles” makes old favourites new, relevant and more fun than the originals.
MxPx’s version of The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” sounds a bit like bad karoake. But, this band’s rendition of The Dead Milkmen’s “Punk Rock Girl,” and The Descendents “Suburban Home,” sound even better than the original punk bands, making me a fan of songs that I otherwise would not enjoy.
They added the help of a female singer (Agent M) for Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is a Place On Earth.” This is my favourite track from the album as it sounds enough like the original to have me singing along plus the addition of the band’s quirky, upbeat style.
Although the beat is kinda catchy, I felt that “Linda Linda” didn’t really fit with the rest of the album. Since the original song is from a Japanese punk band, known as The Blue Hearts, the lyrics are half in Japanese. I realize that the album is a collection of various artists, but this one song choice just seems quite random and out of place. All in all, if you are a fan of the ’80s or a fan of pop punk, you will enjoy this album!
— Elaine Lovell
Kingdom of Rust
I have never heard Doves before. In fact just to get my head around what I was going to hear I headed to internet to find out a little more about the group around the same time that I was giving this disc its first listen.
I was not surprised to find out this band has deep and abiding roots in the British music scene. I started hearing the effects of their exposure to some of the most prolific bands in our history; New Order and U2, just to name a couple and also influences from more recent additions to the British onslaught like Coldplay. Doves has opened for U2, Oasis and Coldplay in the past so it is pretty clear that the influence and genre would be similar.
Right from the start, “Jetstream” caught my ear and is quite honestly the best tune on the album for me. Upbeat and catchy and with a twist of New Order in there … It just makes it. I don’t know if it was intended, but New Order did a song also called “Jetsteam” on their Best Remixes Album in 2005. Excellent coincidence?
“The Greatest Denier” has some shades of Coldplay’s Clocks and the whole album almost had a Joshua Tree kind of feel to it, maybe because I found it so well put together.
The only major drawback I found was the HUGE musical steal of The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Breaking the Girl” in the song “Spellbound.” Yeah it’s a different song, but the drum line and beat couldn’t be more identical. This is however the only blatant copy of another band on the album, even if it wasn’t British!
There is a decent balance of musical movers and easy listening and I found this to be a well-balanced album of tunes. The British mega-band influences are there but they are not so intrusive that you forget Doves is a band of their own. Only in glimpses do you get that “borrowed” feel from other great bands. But then, when you are in the company of musical greatness, isn’t a little imitation the best form of flattery? The only thing missing with Doves is some unique sound that sets them apart and recognizable, but otherwise a solid effort.
— Clint Lovell