(Warrior Girl Music)
The promise is fulfilled!
Last summer, I reviewed Girl In The Moon, gilli moon's debut CD, which I stumbled upon through the Internet (its "Girl in the Moon" was a hugely popular MP3 download, and one of my favorite songs of last year). Now gilli moon, a Californian these days by way of Australia, by way of Italy (and known to her family as Gilli Aliotti), is releasing her second solo disc this month, and it's an even stronger collection than her first. An amazingly mature and complex album, Temperamental Angel speaks to the bare emotions of love, hate, empowering sensuality and hand-tying vulnerability in all of us.
The album opens with "Communication," a spoken word piece which observes "we all have different masks we wear. We are complex individuals with complex personalities ... I am sweet, loving, angelic, and angry, unheard, demonic ..." Moon bravely examines these dichotomies throughout Temperamental Angel. In the title track, her whispery, lilting upper register brings to mind a young Kate Bush, mixed with the angst of Alanis Morissette, as she admits "I'm a sucker for conventional romance" and considers "what if I had never experienced this period in my life?"
Temperamental Angel delivers with a wide swatch of styles and confessions. In "Naked," the bass cuts a sinuous groove as she admits with unembarrassed sensual honesty, "I like getting naked with you." In "Plenty," she melds a tinkly piano with a silky smooth bass and a quivering-on-the-edge of discovery vocal as she asks "will I cross the river to the other side of paradise? ... maybe ... will I see the rainbow like the fairytales my mother told so plenty?" The guitars crunch and twine beneath her as she quavers and twists, small whispering voices answering more assured declarations, a symphony of inner turmoil uncovered and recorded.
Then in "Swimming," a somber piano backs her as she sings a deeply emotional, stirringly beautiful hymn of loss, revealing that "I lost what I never thought I'd find/I'm swimming dark and blind ...was it all a lie?"
She struts and growls in the pounding "Disgrace,"gets confrontationally funky in "Touch Me," and slips into forgivably gorgeous schmaltz with the Burt Bacharach-like horn arrangement of the melancholic "Why Do You Love Me Still?"
Temperamental Angel proves that you don't have to be on a major label with a million dollar budget to make a great record. Because gilli moon's not, and Temperamental Angel is.
Seek this one out (and read the diary of the making of the album) at www.gillimoon.com.
Four Star Mary
Thrown To The Wolves
If Creed, Eve 6 and Third Eye Blind can have big label record contracts, I can't fathom why Four Star Mary aren't monster stars. This independent L.A. band is waiting in the wings to show the current crop of alternative rockers what it's all about — fast twining guitars, pounding drums, charisma and passionate melodies. Four Star Mary has got 'em all, and has made plenty of fans showing them off through guest spots on "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." With the grit-meets-gloss sense that turned Live into big stars, Four Star Mary knows when to growl and how to soothe. Just try to keep your feet still to the circular string tapping of the hooky "Violent."
And while much of the disc pounds along at an unforgiving pace, the band turns up the reverb and holds the hand of the drummer on "Dark Sky," an alt-rock lighter anthem. Thrown To The Wolves is a true diamond in the rough.
Seek out this disc while you can. This time next year will probably see them debuting on a major label and this disc will be a collector's item. For more info see their web site at http://msgrecords.com/FSM.
New On The Shelves:
While Charlie's Angels is cleaning up at the box office, Columbia hopes its soundtrack will clean up at record stores. The new motion picture soundtrack for Charlie's Angels features a cast of classics, ranging from '70s oldies from the time period of the original series (Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," Looking Glass's "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)" and Heart's "Barracuda") to '80s hits like Spandau Ballet's "True," The Vapors' "Turning Japanese," to '90s classics like Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" and Deee-Lite's "Groove Is In The Heart." Apollo Four Forty threatens to get typecast as they once again handle the task of turning a TV theme song into a modern techno-pounding groove (they did the same trick for the Lost In Space movie). There are also new tracks from Aerosmith and Fatboy Slim.
The soundtrack to Red Planet is also on the shelves, thanks to Pangaea/Warner Bros. This one's a cooly, eerie sounding collection with exotic ambient grooves from Graeme Revell, a pounding vocal-altered techno experiment from Peter Gabriel ("The Tower That Ate People") remix of The Police's "When The World Is Running Down" by Different Gear and a smoothly subdued ambient exercise from Sting ("A Thousand Years"). Emma Shapplin offers classical sounding vocals atop three of Revell's pieces, bringing a Sarah Brightman-esque flair to the proceedings. Red Planet is an appropriately atmospheric soundtrack overall with the occasional solid beat — nicely exotic and never boring.