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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Reviews

    T.O.S.: Terminate on Sight
    G-Unit – G-Unit Records

    In this economy, 50 Cent sure won’t buy you as much as it used to. Five years after releasing their first album, hip-hop group G-Unit has lost Young Buck and The Game and is down to founding members 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo. The result is a grittier, less accessible sound that will leave many listeners underwhelmed.

    The beats on T.O.S.: Terminate on Sight fall a little flat, failing to grab the listener’s attention and making it difficult to tell where one track ends and the next begins. 50 sounds tired, repeating cookie-cutter lines like “”Shorty, work that thing/ Now get low”” on multiple tracks with all of the usual drawl but none of his characteristic wryness. Even with Young Buck’s appearances, Terminate on Sight sounds like a collection of B-sides.

    That said, this album isn’t awful. “”I Don’t Want To Talk About It”” has a familiar choppy groove, and the first single, “”I Like the Way She Do It,”” isn’t half bad either – and it can at least be said that the gents of G-Unit aren’t the type to go crying to their blogs when they get a mediocre review.

    – Alyson Hill


    Hercules and Love Affair
    Hercules and Love Affair – DFA Records

    If nothing else, Hercules and Love Affair are a group of really solid musicians.
    Their self-titled debut is a unique blend of chill-out dance beats and bright brass blasts. Organic sounds are tastefully placed, with noodling trumpet solos in “”Hercules Theme”” over a funky bass line and drum machines.

    “”You Belong”” is a near-perfect dance-floor groove, with all the typical filters and percussive effects, and Antony (the ballad-belter of Antony and the Johnsons) has a voice surprisingly suited to dance music.

    The melodically driven “”Blind”” features energized vocal harmonies paired with trumpet countermelodies. These standout tracks aren’t sublime, but they’re respectable, and usually catchy enough to get down to.

    “”True/False, Fake/Real,”” however, is simply obnoxious. After a 30-second intro of a hand drum beneath a wordless chant, falsetto-happy vocals form yet another pointless, irritating layer atop the monotony. Not only do they approach BeeGees pitches; they don’t let up their repetitious disco dirge for the four remaining minutes.

    The closing track, “”Roar,”” sounds like a failed attempt at experimenting with hypnotic dance structure, starring Antony’s cycling “”oh””s on several minutes of downbeats.

    If not for the few duds, the tracks on Hercules would constitute a solid album. As it is, though, the songs are best sporadically interjected into dance mixes. An A for effort.

    – Laura Hawkins


    My Own Personal Watermelon
    Suzy Callahan – Scared Guy Music

    Plucking random, unsung CDs from the scrap pile of new releases sometimes yields magical, unsung – no pun intended – treasures. More often, it yields unlistenable drivel. Suzy Callahan’s My Own Personal Watermelon, the fourth album from the Maryland-based singer-songwriter, falls somewhere in between.

    There’s nothing at all irritating about Callahan’s songs; their worst offense is simply inoffensiveness. But her voice has all the drippy, self-satisfied warmth of Natalie Merchant, the 10,000 Maniacs singer who blighted the ’90s with her aspartame arias.

    The way Callahan sings the words “”personal watermelon”” is symptomatic; she sings it with a wobbliness that seems meant to project idiosyncrasy but comes off as plain amateurishness.

    Yet there’s a sweetness and sincerity in Callahan’s sound that can sound refreshing beside the clunky stridency of so many coffeehouse singers. The best tracks are the two “”Interludes,”” which showcase Callahan’s shimmering guitar tone. You’d better judge for yourself.

    – Justyn Dillingham

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