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<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 107 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

May 30, 2003

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CD Review

Martin L Gore: Counterfeit 2


Having been Depeche Mode's sole songwriter for more than 20 years, Martin Gore evidently fancies a break. While his colleague Dave Gahan has embarked on an intensely personal solo record, Gore plumps for the most inconsequential of options: the covers album.
On the first Counterfeit, a six-track EP released in 1989, Gore tailored the material - delicate obscurities by the Comsat Angels and the Durutti Column - to suit his slight, tender voice.
This time he is stretching the voice in directions it doesn't want to go. Anyone who sounds like Gore should never, ever, not even for a bet, cover a Nick Cave song, but he does.
The balance is redressed elsewhere, as he beautifully inhabits Julee Cruise's In My Other World and turns Hank Thompson's I Cast a Lonesome Shadow into a surprisingly effective electro-country oddity, but surely even Gore doesn't expect this outing to reach beyond Depeche Mode's hardcore fan-base.

Venus Hum: Big Beautiful Sky


Strange and lovely - and that's just the landscape of the American northwest, where Venus Hum singer Annette Strean grew up.
Her ode to its "big beautiful sky" in the song Montana typifies her lyrics, which are shot through with naturalistic snapshots: the "sea of lilacs" in Springtime £2, The Bells' "golden, glorious sun".
What gives Venus Hum's debut album its oomph is Strean's remarkable voice. Loosely of the Bjork ethereal school, she has also acquired a layer of country twang, the result of relocating to Nashville.
Set against a retro-electronic backdrop that proves keyboardists Tony Miracle and Kip Kubin own Erasure's 1980s back catalogue, it is quite unlike anything else around. The right remix could see the dramatic Beautiful Spain or the energetic disco of Sonic Boom fly into the singles chart, while the electro-trancery of Hummingbirds apparently induced frantic glow-stick waving when they played Ibiza last year, which goes to show that even clubbers aren't immune to Venus Hum's brand of magic.

Billboard Top Ten

1. The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley, Body Kiss
2. Norah Jones, Come Away With Me
3. Jack Johnson, On And On
4. Cher, The Very Best Of Cher
5. 50 Cent, Get Rich Or Die Tryin' 4
6. Evanescence, Fallen
7. Celine Dion, One Heart 2
8. Soundtrack, The Matrix Reloaded: The Album
9. Kelly Clarkson, Thankful
10. Soundtrack, The Lizzie McGuire Movie

Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

1. The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley, Body Kiss
2. 50 Cent, Get Rich Or Die Tryin'
3. Bone Crusher, AttenCHUN!
4. Kelly Price, Priceless
5. R. Kelly, Chocolate Factory
6. Lil' Mo, Meet The Girl Next Door
7. 50 Cent, The New Breed
8. Lil' Kim, La Bella Mafia
9. Floetry, Floetic
10. Jaheim, Still Ghetto

Top Independent Albums

1. NOFX, The War On Errorism
2. Mobb Deep, Free Agents: The Murda Mix Tape
3. John Hiatt & The Goners, Beneath This Gruff Exterior
4. Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, Kings Of Crunk
5. Richard Thompson, The Old Kit Bag
6. 54th Platoon, All Or N.O.thin
7. Tomahawk, Mit Gas
8. Black Label Society, The Blessed Hellride
9. Craig Morgan, I Love It
10 Boz Scaggs, But Beautiful: Standards Volume 1


Source: The Guardian, UK and Billboard.com


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