Clivilles and Cole are familiar, even if their names aren't

RECORDS

February 14, 1992|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic

GREATEST REMIXES, VOL. 1

Clivilles & Cole (Columbia 48840)

If the names Robert Clivilles and David Cole don't ring any bells, it's probably because you know them by their initials -- the "C" and "C" in C+C Music Factory. But as Clivilles & Cole's "Greatest Remixes, Vol. 1" makes plain, the Factory isn't the only place these two have toiled, for the two C's have been the brains behind the beats on Seduction's "Two to Make It Right," the Cover Girls' "Because of You" and Chaka Khan's "Clouds" -- all of which are given slammingly insistent rethinks here. But the album's best moments are its oldest and newest: the vigorously soulful "A Deeper Love," and a tastefully revamped version of the house classic, "Do It Properly."

BLACK EYED MAN

The Cowboy Junkies (RCA 61049)

All it took was one listen to "The Trinity Session" to realize that the Cowboy Junkies had a great sound -- resonant, low-key and packed with emotional power -- but after 1990's disappointing "The Caution Horses," it seemed as if that was this band's only asset. Fortunately, "Black Eyed Man" proves otherwise, as the Junkies score with songs that are just as wonderfully evocative as the chemistry between Margo Timmins' singing and her brother Michael's guitar playing. Better yet, the band manages to expand its horizons without compromising its musical identity, slipping a funk undercurrent into "Murder, Tonight, in the Trailer Park," adding jazzy flourishes to "Oregon Hill," and fleshing out "If You Were the Woman and I Was the Man" with bluesy clarinet and a John Prine cameo.

MACK DADDY

Sir Mix-a-Lot

(Def American/Rhyme Cartel 26765)

There are plenty of tough-talking rappers around these days -- too many for some people's taste -- but few who can balance aggression with musicality as deftly as Sir Mix-a-Lot. Cue up any track on the Seattle-based rapper's third album, "Mack Daddy," and what seems most striking isn't the twist he puts on the usual gangster rap, but the high-octane beats he drops behind his rhymes. Not that the rhymes themselves are anything to sniff at, but as strong as Mix-a-Lot's delivery is on its own, it definitely benefits from the added muscle of musical touches like the funky clavinet sample driving "One Time's Got No Case" to the heavy bass kicking along beneath "Swap Meet Louie."

BOOK OF ROSES

Andreas Vollenweider (Columbia 48601)

Any listener with a taste for the exotic will undoubtedly enjoy perusing Andreas Vollenweider's "Book of Roses." With a stylistic range that effortlessly encompasses everything from symphonic flourishes to new age reveries to Chinese classical music, and a range of guests that includes an mbube choir, a flamenco guitarist and a Siberian vocal soloist, the album offers an endless array of aural treats. But admirable as Vollenweider's eclecticism is, he's still better at creating interesting sounds than memorable melodies, meaning that his "Book of Roses" is probably best suited for bedtime reading.

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