THE RAZORS EDGE
AC/DC (Atco 91413)
Few bands have ever developed a sound as unabashedly formulaic as AC/DC's, and fewer still have translated such single-mindedness into an ongoing career. But as "The Razors Edge" makes plain, there's still plenty of mileage left in this band's blend of bone-simple guitar, leather-throated vocals and heads-down rhythm. There might be a few twists this time around -- the chattering guitar hook to "Thunderstruck," for instance -- but nothing that would constitute an actual change in the band's approach. Instead, what makes this album worth cranking up is that it refines the familiar, from the basic boogie of "Shot of Love" to the ominous growl of the title tune.
TO THE EXTREME
Vanilla Ice (SBK 95325)
Think of Vanilla Ice as the white M.C. Hammer. Even though there's nothing on Ice's "To the Extreme" that approaches the pneumatic insistence of Hammer's albums, there's a similar sensibility to Ice's catchy, recognizable samples (as on "Play That Funky Music" or "Stop That Train") and hook-oriented arrangements. Too bad Ice also follows the Hammer's lead when it comes to lyrical content, because all his cliched rhymes and empty tough-talk amount to is talking loud and saying nothing. As 3rd Bass would say, "Give this guy the gas face . . ."