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Not for Threes

Featuring guest appearances by two of electronic music's premier divas, Plaid's latest album is at once sophisticated and exuberantly whimsical. From the vertiginous tempo changes in the breakbeat-based "Headspin" to the marimba-spiked island sounds of "Myopia," most of the tracks on Not for Threes have a relaxed playfulness--they're downtempo but upbeat. But there are also moments of passionate, sad beauty, including the sinister "Extort," with snaky, sublime vocals provided by former Massive Attack guest chanteuse Nicolette. Pixie queen Bjørk sings on "Lilith," the strange, sultry otherworldliness of her voice perfectly matched to the hypnotic tattoo of exotic, organic bass and crystalline bells. It's a fortuitous collaboration, since both Bjørk and Plaid match their abundant quirkiness with bold, nearly delirious musical inventiveness. (Michelle Goldberg)

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Vanilla Ice
Hard to Swallow

The cover art is Type O Negative and the music is KoRn, but Vanilla Ice claims his hard-core hip-hop skate rock is original. He wishes. Produced by Ross Robinson (KoRn, Sepultura, Limp Bizkit), this album steals from more creative bands like Rage Against the Machine, Marilyn Manson and White Zombie. Vanilla Ice (or Rob Van Winkle, as he calls himself) creates a formula from their well-deserved success and copies it. He even steals from himself with "Too Cold," a heavy remake of his hit "Ice, Ice Baby," which itself sampled from Queen's "Under Pressure." This fabricated performer is still the poseur he was in the early '90s. Don't say you weren't warned. (Sarah Quelland)

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From the November 25-December 2, 1998 issue of Metro.

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