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Music Picks

[whitespace] Picks by Brandon Barber and Andrew Shriver

Electric Honey

Electric Honey
Luscious Jackson
Grand Royal Records

Take one part disco, two parts new wave, a dash of hip-hop and top it off with a healthy dose of sugary pop-singing and you've got Electric Honey, the latest offering from the funky all-girl outfit Luscious Jackson. On their third full-length album, the Jacksons utilize a smattering of producers as well as guest appearances from gal pals such as Emmylou Harris and Debbie Harry. From the intro groove, "Nervous Breakthrough," to the shimmery guitar of "Space Diva," the Jacksons have produced an album true to the Luscious formula. This formula shines on "Ladyfingers," an infectious little ditty with a hook a mile long and a drum beat guaranteed to make your booty shake and your head bob all the way to the checkout stand. (AS)


The Beta Band

The Beta Band
The Beta Band
Astral Werks

The Beta Band wears many hats--albeit many odd, misshapen hats. As they shape-shift through their 10-track eponymous American debut, it's impossible to put a finger on their center. While this is an accepted quality in doughnuts or politicians, it can often prove bothersome when discussing musicians. However, in this case, it is not. The Scottish foursome sounds as comfortable fabricating erratic found-sound collages in their opener, "The Beta Band Rap," as they are strumming out eerily melodic noodle benders like "It's Not Too Beautiful." There's even a little good-natured Elvis impersonating going on in "Round the Bend." Perfect for someone who likes the chaff thrown in with the wheat. (BB)


This Time

This Time
Los Lobos
Hollywood Records

This Time, the new album from East L.A.'s Los Lobos, showcases the band's uncanny ability to seamlessly blend rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music into an album anyone could enjoy. The title track--a jazzy, Van Morrison-esque number--sets the live-for-today vibe found throughout. "Viking," with its raunchy guitar and driving cow-bell groove, shows no mercy en route to its jam-soaked crescendo. "Cumbia Raza," a more traditional Mexican number, taunts the listener with its sultry sax solo and percussion and will have you dancing the salsa in no time. This Time has good time stamped all over it. (AS)


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From the August 2, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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