6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smoldering
2 - Room Temp.
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multiple Listening
B: Deserves Another Spin
C: Once Should Suffice

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JACK RADICS - Love & Laughter (EMI)
Never heard of Mr Radics before, but what a pleasant experience it was. Writing, arranging and producing all of his own work, at least we know what he’s expressing is real to him. The opening track No Matter is care free, while this kind of atmosphere travels through most of the album. Too Bad features
Mr Gentleman and has a bit more of an attitude, That’s Life an up beat jazzy tone. A soulful album with enough pop elements to appeal to many a listener.
- PB
4 / C

To say that
Radiohead was experimenting a little is one hell of an understatement. For starters the mixed medium cover artwork is totally schizo, covered with irregular fold out lengths, blotches, scratches, smears and scribbles - few recognizable images, no words - almost two dozen pages (3 of which are trace paper)! The line between avant garde and pretension seems to be getting more and more wavy. They’ve had some wonderful songs in the past. It seems as if they had too much time and too big a budget with this one. It will definitely take some time for many people to get into this psychedelic sound journey of self-indulgence. They haven’t shaken their depressed aura, which is cool. Perhaps what they attempted with this album was to confuse and deter listeners who love Westlife and won’t have the patience to glide through this experiment with them. Method in their madness…? The more you listen to it, the more you’ll love or hate it - there’s absolutely no inbetweener here. Radiohead surely evoke emotion with many of the songs - but the cover, I mean really, all those poor trees, broe…
- PB
4 / B

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE - The Battle Of Los Angeles (Epic)
Untainted by technology but fuelled by growing injustices the revolutionary
Rage Against The Machine does exactly what we’d expect of them: deliver another fine, unadulterated hard rock album with a dozen tracks that don’t skimp on the issues.
- PB
5 / A

CHRIS REA - King Of The Beach
Ol' Chris has always been a beach lover - I mean his best known song is called On The Beach, for goodness sake! Sure, he doesn’t look like much of a surfer, but is there anything better than to laze on white sand in an easy chair, the seabreeze brushing your face? Yeah, if you earn enough money, otherwise it’s strictly weekends for you, sunshine. Surfer or lazer, fact remains, Mr Gravely voice knows how to create and produce relaxing, pensive, no fuss music. Calm, collected and very neutral. He was also quite unfortunate, writing the tracks in such miserable locations like Parrot Cay, Turks and the Cacos Islands. Shame, poor guy. What a life - no wonder he doesn’t get time to reflect on the world’s injustices.
- PB
4 / A

ROB ZOMBIE - American Made Music To Strip By (Geffen)
The monster master does it again. That phenomenal breakthrough re-mix album of the man’s first band (
White Zombie) entitled Super Sexy Swingin’ Sounds is still fantastic. Here a whole bunch of knob fiddlers give his Hellbilly Deluxe album their interpretations. Some of them include the mighty Rammstein (as precise as always), DJ Lethal, Spacetruckers, Charlie Clouser (x3, as on Super Sexy - outstanding), God Lives Underwater (trippy, almost trance-like & twangy) and more. Most of the songs retain their original crunch & vibe, the more electronified/dance touches adding to, in stead of diminishing its impact. As always the fine art direction and graphics (by Zombie himself) encapsulates the creepy comic book/early horror film/ tattooed loonatiks atmosphere. Excellent live shots adorn the sleeve of the Devilman and his band, in full make-up, stage flames, stripper girl, goods & gadgets, making you itch to be present and witness the great spectacle. A totally cool companion piece to your Hellbilly album. (PS. As usual the remixes have brilliant titles like: Porno Holocaust-, Black Leather Cat Suit-, Pink Pussy- & Ilsa She-Wolf of Hollywood Mix…)
- PB
6 / A

ROB ZOMBIE - Hellbilly Deluxe
Rob’s post-
White Zombie solo career is as colourful as that of his earlier groundbreaker. With that same flavour still in tact, it could well have been another White Zombie album, but it seems to have glided into a more electronic area, opening it up to a wider audience. The theatrics have also expanded into a full blown horror show. There are so many memorable songs on here, Superbeast, Dragula and Living Dead Girl but a few (many of these also ending up in movie soundtracks). The sleeve design is fabulous. A horror comic book to the tee - complete with fake Rob Zombie and other horror masks order forms, semi-clad & naked vampire girls, comic strips, cheesy old horror film tag lines & more. Some people might be offended by the Charles Manson imagery hinted at in Zombie’s new look, though.
- PB
5 / A

GENE ROCKWELL - 20 Greatest Hits (BMG)
Gene passed away quite some time back, but his song Heart lives on forever. No wonder it’s the first track. His suffering, lovelorn style had all the ladies quake in their skirts. Other songs include Save The Last Dance For Me, Always On My Mind, Secret Love, Hands, Backstage, Help Me as well as some spiritual songs. A cult figure indeed.
- PB
3 / C

ROMEO + JULIET - Motion Picture Soundtrack
Who would ever have thought that a soundtrack to a Shakespeare adaptation would consist of an interesting blend of modern pop and rock music instead of somber classical themes? Well, me for a start, as it is inevitable that modern themes would be incorporated to spice up the morose settings of that renowned playwright. Far from being a
Garbage fan, I must admit their #1Crush moves me. The Butthole Surfers' contribution to the soundtrack is a more dazed, dance orientated number, quite different to what we'd usually expect from them and they're fast becoming a soundtrack favourite in Hollywood. I do prefer their traditional style though. The track by Radiohead is a fine choice. Besides the listening pleasure you might derive from the CD you can also pop it into your computer and experience some extra visual bits & bytes. Though it's aimed at the charts with a few crappy songs also included, at least one plus point is that this soundtrack is set to expose a whole bunch of people who might normally not give a toss, to the wonders of William Shakespeare.
- PB
4 / B

ROMEO MUST DIE - Motion Picture Soundtrack (EMI)
Romeo & Juliet in the ‘Hood with a cross cultural flavour? Martial Arts master & Kung-Fu film superstar
Jet Li and teen-pop-star-all-grown-up Aaliyah team up in this blend of Eastern action and 'Hood style. The Hip-Hop / Rap / R&B soundtrack is filled with many big names like DMX, Mack 10 and Chante’ Moore. There’s also Destiny’s Child, Confidential, Blade and Playa. And yes, they do sing about money, Rolexes, cars, gangbangin’ and oh, God all the other clichés, like BG from Cash Money - but at least not all the tracks are that dumb. Aaliyah lends about four tracks, her lovely voice an attribute to the album. Unfortunately this is a censored version, the crass language in some of the tracks left out. The 18 strong track album is wrapped up by veteran Stanley Clarke featuring Politix. Many people might enjoy the movie more than the soundtrack.
- PB
3 / B

The music factory that is Dennis East and Jurie Els (producing everything from Patricia Lewis to that little jerk Robbie Klay), has another possible money-maker on the run here. Just like the two from The Bold & The Beautiful releasing CDs, here we have two stars from SA’s biggest soapie, Egoli. They’re actually not that bad as they do their mellow renditions of many of South Africa’s prominent songwriters like Koos Kombuis, Anton Goosen, Jannie DuToit, Lucas Maree. A Christmas Medley is also thrown in for good measure. With a relative 50/50 split of English and Afrikaans songs, I must admit, the Afrikaans ones sound better (it being their mother tongue). Not a bad attempt, but for goodness sakes, work on those CD covers & layouts!
- PB
3 / C