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Short Reviews
Cover Musician Title Comments
I Gave You My Heart Linda Low I Gave You My Heart Somebody should goose her! She needs to sing louder. (Her voice is pleasant, but this is supposed to be dance music.) Meanwhile, the melody, lyrics, and arrangement are unimaginative and repetitive.
x The Clarendon Hills Basement Scratch Good energetic punkabilly! Bass is suppressed for some reason.
Pianovision Sandra Tsing Loh Pianovision Solo pieces that seem almost improvisational. Her repeating of phrases or riffs remind me of Chick Corea. Harmonic hints of Debussy and Prokofiev. Loud passages and dexterous runs show off her solid technique.
KAI Kai KAI Bleating vocals can't submerge the strong songs (one or two bonafide r&b hits), but do sink the weak ones (most of the album).
hiphopunkfunkmamboska p.i.c. hiphopunkfunkmamboska Swarming with energy, they sound like mad bees. (It's the constant rappin'. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.) Perhaps the arrangements are a touch too busy, but this might do well as instant background party music. (Just add lotsa warm bods, low lights, intoxicants, and shake!)
afrofilipino Joe Bataan afrofilipino
(1975, Salsoul/CBS)
lp from the archive
Susan Rhee and the Orientals Susan Rhee Susan Rhee and the Orientals
12" single... 33 1/3 rpm
Somewhere in the Universe Takeshi Asai Somewhere in the Universe Mostly imparts a feeling of melancholly as the music swirls and shifts between jazz and new age
billy hwang's roadside con joss billy hwang's roadside con Eclectic in style. Various elements need reworking but there's enough promise in Ambrose Liu's songs and the band's sound to make a deep impression with this debut release.
Big When Far, Small When Close eX-Girl Big When Far, Small When Close Mostly a capella with some percussion backup, this release marks a return of the trio to their origins as vocalists. While their voices aren't the purest (somewhat shrill sounding), the pieces explore pop-punk sensibilities with a certain sophistication. Influences from outer space, Bulgaria, and India can be heard.
The Immigrant Song Blake Chen The Immigrant Song Just an acoustic guitar and his quiet voice. His curious falsetto takes a little getting used to. The songs alternate from the mediocre to the insightful.
kim kim kim They rock. This ep shows that this all-female band is on the right track, with melodic vocals and driving rhythms.
Annie Lin Annie Lin Math Pope Most of the songs deal with varying emotions and relationships (not necessarily romantic). The literate lyrics are often deftly written and deserve to be coupled with better music and singing. (Also unsettling is the varying sonic quality from cut to cut.) Recorded at a sports bar, this performance has a liveliness that studio recordings can often lack. (Fortunately, no background noise of blaring tv's or drunken, yelling fans.)
Plugged In 2 Pacifics, One Voice, Mtn. Bros., Kai, 5th Platoon, I Was Born With Two Tongues, Mango Pirates, Visionaries, Devotion, Wisemen, Kid Koala, Lyrics Born, Jocelyn Enriquez, Mitsuo Downer Sounds Plugged In 2 mixed bag... mostly urban stylings (hip hop, r&b, dance)... standout is Key Kool's (Visionaries) "Self-Sufficient"
My Own Time and Space Flip Nuñez My Own Time and Space
(1976, Catalyst)
lp from the archive

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