'Some Change' is pure Boz Scaggs

April 08, 1994|By J. D. Considine | J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic


Boz Scaggs (Virgin 39489) Even though the music isn't as stylish or slick as it was when he recorded "Silk Degrees," the Boz Scaggs we hear on "Some Change" doesn't seem to have changed very much at all. His voice is just as tart and plaintive as it was 18 years ago, peaking in a tremulous falsetto and flavored with a slight Texas twang. Even better, he gets the most out of it in the 10 songs here, evoking heartache and loneliness with the tender strains of "Lost It," soulful intensity with "Sierra," and casual confidence with the laid-back drawl of "I'll Be the One." Granted, none of these songs have the pop savvy of his biggest hits, but the rootsy exuberance of the bluesy "Some Change" or the Cajun-spiced "Fly Like a Bird" more than makes up the difference.


B-Tribe (Atlantic 82593)

These days, it seems as if anything can be tarted up with a techno beat and made into dance music. Enigma used Gregorian chants to add mystery to "Sadeness," Deep Forest harvested Pygmy chants for "Sweet Lullaby," and now B-Tribe plays off of flamenco sounds for its album, "Fiesta Fatal!" hTC Fortunately, B-Tribe -- who also are known as the Barcelona Tribe of Soulsters -- have a good feel for their source material, cleverly extending the stamped rhythm of flamenco dancing into a thumping techno groove, though the group's fondness for contrasting the brittle strum of guitars with the warm burble of synths does get a bit tiresome. Still, B-Tribe ought to go over well with pop listeners, thanks to the rhapsodic melodies of "Lo

Siento" and "You Won't See Me Cry."


Sausage (Interscope/Prawn Song 92361)

What is it about Les Claypool and pork? First there was Primus' "Pork Soda," and now there's Sausage, the side project featuring guitarist Todd Huth and drummer Jay Lane (who joined Claypool in the original lineup for Primus). Fortunately, there's nothing particularly hammy about the music on Sausage's incomprehensibly titled "Riddles Are Abound Tonight." Not only does Claypool keep his vocal drolleries to a minimum, but the playing is lean, edgy and astonishingly tight. Or course, none of it has the slightest bit of pop appeal, since the Sausage boys are more interested in warped melodies, intricate vamps and instrumental noise. But fans of daring, dissonant post-Zappa rock may feel free to pig out.


Music from the Soundtrack (Rhino 71590)

In retrospect, the funniest thing about new wave music is how quickly it ended up seeming quaint. Back in the early '80s, most of the songs on the "Valley Girl" soundtrack seemed daring or cutting-edge; now, only a dozen years later, it's hard to believe anyone thought there was a taste of the future in the girl group camp of the Josie Cotton's "Johnny, Are You Queer?" or the angular rhythms of "Who Can It Be Now" by Men at Work. Granted, some of these songs still sound great, particularly "I Melt with You" by Modern English and the Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way." But anyone who finds something more than a bad pun in Sparks' "Angst in My Pants" needs a reality check -- and a calendar.

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