Thursday, February 16, 2006
ACEYALONE | Magnificent City | Decon/Project Blowed
Magnificent City features a team-up worthy of legendary status—journeyman Freestyle Fellowship MC Aceyalone and DJ-savior-extraordinaire RJD2—not that you’d be able to tell from the cover. Instead, it’s Acey front and center, with the line “accompanied by RJD2” relegating poor RJ’s status to mere hired help. Now call me a sucker for the gimmicky shit, but any hip-hop team-up worth a damn deserves its own name. Everything from Gangstarr to last year’s DangerDoom, even RJ’s own Soul Position, were products beyond two individuals with lasting results.
So as Acey’s next joint, Magnificent City is solid work, given his place as one of hip-hop’s finest lyricists. There’s certainly nothing here that disputes his MC stature, with wizened, well-versed storytelling on tracks like “Cornbread, Eddie & Me” and “Solomon Jones.” Correspondingly, RJ’s work displays his own prowess well enough, with an eclectic mix of rawkus, horn-blown funk (“All For You,” the first single “Fire”), futuristic tones and electro-bleeps (“Mooore,” “Supahero”), and of course, hard rock, hip-hop tracks (“Heaven”).
In the end, perhaps Acey’s just too mature and straight-up for gimmicks, but there’s nothing here to separate this work with RJD2 from his earlier, equally proficient solo albums. (BS)
ROBIN TROWER | Living Out of Time |Ruf/MVD
Thirty-five years after Jimi Hendrix passed, his great disciple continues. And continues and continues…
Filmed on the artiste’s birthday in Germany (by the artiste’s German label), this concert compilation commences with his best-known tune “Too Rolling Stoned” and continues through songs old and new and all decorated with his patented and cloned style. Although his uncanny mimicry is as spot on as ever and his phrasing/control remarkable, it is most amazing to realize that Trower’s existence as a recording artist really underscores how micro-managed the music audience is: Who’d have ever imagined that anyone would be interested in this guy in 2006?
Not at all bad, decently shot and even though “Long Misty Days” and “Lady Love” aren’t included, this is a better than average souvenir from a classic artist that in reality was barely audible on the most famous track he ever played on (that being “Whiter Shade of Pale,” of course). This is for ‘70s fanatics and Hendrix junkies. (JA)
MOTT THE HOOPLE | All The Young Dudes | Columbia/Legacy
An obscure, semi-hard rock band with a Bob Dylan sound-a-like lead singer is what this band was in America, circa 1971. One of their fans, David Bowie, rescued them on the verge of their breakup and provided them with their only American AM hit, this disc’s title song.
Indeed, that little story is one of rock history’s great moments (that, and the fact that the astute members of MTH turned down the first two songs Bowie offered them: “Suffragette City” and “Drive In Saturday.”) The balance of this very strange glam/pop/heavy hybrid is not quite as startling as “All The Young Dudes,” but it is fantastic stuff. VU cover done just right, the pre-Bad Company version of “Ready For Love” and a demo of the big hit sung by its actual author, this is an expanded reissue whose add-ons really make the package.
Warm, funny, wry and quite a bit like its Bowie companion piece Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars only without the fey pretensions, this stuff is dated
beyond belief, it could never be recorded today. Given what most “alternative” rock sounds like in 2006 (as this was way out of the mainstream in 1972), that may be the ultimate compliment. (JA)