Yes, there is no unity

April 26, 1991|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic


Yes (Arista 8643)

What's in a name? A lot of money, particularly if the name belongs to a rock group like Yes. At least, that's the impression given by "Union," an album which purports to be the Yes reunion effort. Although the cover makes it seem as if the album features all eight of the once-warring Yes men, the fact is that nine numbers are by the group Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford and Howe, while four others were cut by the competing Yes camp with Anderson's voice added for consistency. As for the music itself, the only unifying factor apparent here is a tendency to overplay at every opportunity -- a Yes hallmark, to be sure, but hardly one worth celebrating.


Yo-Yo (East West 91605)

Tough-talking women rappers are nothing new, but even so, there's something decidedly fresh about the way Yo-Yo presents herself on "Make Way for the Motherlode." For all the hands-off ferocity she exhibits on raps like "You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo," she's never one to answer sexual aggression with more of the same. Instead, her perspective is as straightforward as her rhymes, offering common sense on raps like "Keep a Lid on It" and easily allowing her to deflate the braggadocio of male rappers like Ice Cube without ever seeming snippy. And that -- plus some larger-than-life beats from Sir Jinx and the Lench Mob -- is the best reason to make way for this album.


Keedy (Arista 8641)

It's hard to imagine a better Madonna impression than the one Keedy serves up on the single "Save Some Love." Not only does she open the song with a coyly virginal prayer, but the verse which follows manages to suggest bits of "Burning Up" and "Papa Don't Preach." But "Chase the Clouds" isn't the work of just another wannabe -- it's not even the work of Keedy. Instead, it's producer/songwriter Greg Gerard who dominates, molding Keedy's moppet-like voice into a variety of marketable shapes, from the earnest love balladry of "Wishing on the Same Star" to retro enthusiasm of upbeat numbers like "Pretty Boy." And though the result is well-sung and wonderfully tuneful, it's hard to imagine the listener who would be moved by any of these songs.


The Fixx (Impact/MCA 10205)

Do you know what it means to be an old-line new wave band these days? Well, neither does the Fixx. On "Ink," the band's latest album, its confusion is almost palpable. Some songs, like "All Is Fair" or "Crucified," are moody and malevolent, as angst-ridden as any Gothic rocker; others, like "Still Around" and Falling in Love," are appallingly chipper, as tuneful and upbeat as any Top-40 ditty. And because the Fixx is unable to find any workable middle ground, the album dithers hopelessly between callow commerciality and artistic self-indulgence.

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