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'Return of Saturn'

No Doubt
Return of Saturn
Interscope Records

It takes Saturn 29 years to orbit the sun, and No Doubt's new album refers to the idea that it takes that long for individuals to understand themselves. Gwen Stefani recently turned 30, and the songs on Return to Saturn serve as a reflection on and an evaluation of her complicated life so far. She bares her soul in songs like "Simple Kind of Life" ("I always thought I'd be a mom/Sometimes I wish for a mistake/The longer that I wait, the more selfish that I get/You seem like you'd be a good dad") and "Magic's in the Makeup" ("So many different faces/Depending on the different phases/My personality changes"). The album itself took two years to complete and is a compelling follow-up to Tragic Kingdom. No Doubt maintains its amalgam of musical genres with the reggae lilt of "Marry Me," the nostalgic New Wave pop of "Six Feet Under," the ska jump of "Staring Problem" and the forceful rock-ballad styling of "Too Late." Though full of bouncy hits ("Ex-Girlfriend," "Bathwater," "New"), Return to Saturn frequently conveys a sad sense of longing with some slower-paced songs along the lines of Kingdom's "Don't Speak." (Sarah Quelland)

'Chromasex Monkeydrive'

Chromasex Monkeydrive

This aggressive industrial-metal duo from Sacramento produces complex layers of electronics, heavy guitars and dance beats, sharpened by the distorted vocals of Anna Christine and Erie Loch. The balanced male/female dynamic gives Luxt a hard edge tempered only slightly by Christine's wicked sensuality. Influenced by severe industrial pioneers like Front 242 and Ministry--as well as creative offshoots like KMFDM and White Zombie--Luxt's dark, sinister music has a dangerous machinelike quality. In 13 tracks (plus one hidden), the duo stays true to its musical vision, offering solid, well-crafted songs. In particular, "Brutal" should be an instant hit. With Nine Inch Nails' The Fragile receiving high critical praise and newer bands like Orgy and Static-X enjoying commercial success, there's a new wave in futuristic, tech-heavy metal. Luxt, which recently won a Sacramento Area Music Award (SAMMIE) for Outstanding Metal Band, fits in perfectly. (SQ)

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From the April 27-May 3, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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