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Nouveau - CD review - 20 February 1999
by Eitaroh Arakawa

McAlmont - A Little Communication

A Little Communication sings with soul, and McAlmont brandishes his sweet, soft voice with relish. However, the production belies his rawness which was prevalent in his past incarnation, McAlmont and Butler with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler. Perhaps this is a sign that he is maturing; his dreaded locks are shorn and he now has a Marvin Gaye-like beard. This is sweet soul music that flutters like a bird in brisk Spring air.

Virgin 724384673024

McAlmont - A Little Communication

The Beautiful South - Quench

The Beautiful South are a cheeky bunch, but more in a tongue-in-cheek sense. They sing about the saddest things but with only sparings amount of pathos, and can be forgiven for it. Perhaps that is their genius. Their carefully crafted melodies are imbued with energy, and a joie-de-vivre that is infectious. Quench is essentially a fun album despite everything. A jolly, rollicking album that smoothes any creases, and makes a lot of things seem worthwhile.

Go! Discs/Mercury 731453816626

The Beautiful South - Quench

Mercury Rev - Deserter's Songs

Voted one of the best albums of last year by the influentials in the UK, Deserter's Songs rocks sedately in a mid-to-late era Beatlesesque cacophany. There is a sadness here that is regetful, almost mournful at times but it is never heavy. In fact the lightness of touch from the Wurlitzers and Mellotrons, is as weightless as the most ethereal of fabrics. Their ragged, quasi-lo-fi sound is complemeted by the most evocative of lyrics such as about moonlit sands or riding siver trains. Best album title for a while.

V2 5033187027722 (LC1801 VVR1002772)

Mercury Rev - Deserter's Song

Fatboy Slim - You've Come A Long Way, Baby

Courtesy of some deft sampling, You've Come A Long Way sounds like an album created by Dunae Eddy if he was a DJ. The pervading mood is one of whimsical relaxation that at moments could be a late nineties version of De La Soul. Old Skool beats collide with self-referential raps and this imbues the music with an addictive non-stop quality. Best album cover for a while.


Fatboy Slim - You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Manic Street Preachers - This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours

The Manics seem to have picked up where they left off, and created some more powerful songs that swell, shudder and shake with emotion. My Little Empire has the best guitar intro, and coupled with the sedate cello makes it the best song on the album. Since the disappearance of their guitarist Richey Edwards, and the many alleged sightings of him all around the world, the remaining members have stuck together, and the music has become more accessible to listeners.

Sony Music 5099749170360

Manic Street Preachers - This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours

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