REVIEWS -- FEBRUARY 10, 1999
 
 
                               
 
Bíwitched Ė Cíest La Vie
     (*)  "Iíll huff, Iíll huff, Iíll huff, Iíll puff, Iíll blow you away." If I saw those words in my fifth grade daughterís diary, Iíd send her to the nearest psychologist. Yet when it comes from four girls in a pop song, itís supposed to be catchy. Worse, theyíre Irish, so they do a little Riverdance jig after the second chorus. What else does the video have to offer? Not much. These girls hang out in a flowery field, cute little stars on their shirts, and then they tie a boy to a tree and sing to him. Okay, alright, Iíll pay the ransom. Just let me go, you psychotic bitches! When will these chicks mud wrestle the All Saints girls, I wonder? --AH

Blondie f/Coolio Ė Rapture / Maria / No Exit
     (*1/2)  Iíll take Embarrassing Comebacks for $400. (By the way, $300 is Cherís "Believe.") Is Deborah Harry collecting Social Security yet? She should, if just so she doesnít have to do things like this for money. This video is filmed in the same blue and tan tints as "Believe," as Deborah performs for a group of kids who werenít even born when "Call Me" went #1. Itís in a sad medley format, too, which means we get the first minute of "Rapture," then parts of "Maria" and "No Exit" before Coolio Kervorkian comes in to perform a musical mercy killing. This is from the movie 200 Cigarettes which, as near as I can figure, is one for each year of Harryís ever-hardening existence. --AH
     (**) Interesting idea, about ten years too late. Yes, the title is right, it is indeed Deborah Harry and the gang playing a megamix of their hits with backup from Coolio. Remember Coolio from a few years ago? No, I donít know where heís been hiding either, but apparently they dug him up. My guess is that Deborah found an old copy of Spin with Coolio on the cover while she was waiting to see the dentist, and said, "Thatís the kind of fresh talent we need for a Blondie comeback!" Now, if they would have done this ten years ago, say with Run DMC (like a certain other formerly washed up band I could mention), there may have been a second coming on Blondie. She might have been young enough for it then. Now? Now sheís looking like an Ď80s-bitten Bette Davis, when she was old and insolent and she always had a martini in her hand. Itís just sad. --JW

Mariah Carey Ė I Still Believe
     (*1/2)  I think itís over, Mariah. Youíre stranded in a no manís land between muddled Puffy pop and bad adult-contemporary. This video is another lame attempt at inspirationÖ I mean, if you follow a song called "When You Believe" with a song called "I Still Believe," the point one takes away from it is, okay, you believe, good for you, bitch. The video isnít much more. It carries on in the tradition of all good USO efforts, with Mariah singing to a bunch of airmen, all of whom applaud as they line up to sleep with her. Half the video, sheís singing in front of a big American flag, which is too trite for words. Next up: Bob Hope cracks jokes about his prostate. --AH

Fatboy Slim Ė Praise You
     (***)  This is the kind of video you really canít appreciate unless you see it, and I appreciate it because five out of the past six times Iíve seen this video, my consciousness has been altered in some form, if just from sleep deprivation. It looks like an "Americaís Funniest People" outtake crossed with Waiting For Guffman Ė itís a home video of a lame dance troupe doing their jig in front of a movie theater. Trippy as hell and hilarious at the same time, "Praise You" just screams "Buzz Clip." It comes with self-absorbed interviews with the dancers that make it even more hilarious. If I find out this was faked, Iíll throw a fit, but it works so well as news of the weird. --AH

Hootie and the Blowfish - Only Lonely
     (*1/2)  "Hello again," Hootie opens the song as he and his fish refuse to blow, instead forcing yet a fourth offering upon our weary ears. Somehow, I have a hard time believing Darius Rucker has ever spent a hard day at the docks, as this video seems to suggest. Then it flashes to a view of the deep sea fishing industry, as if youíd ever hear a seaman saying "Ahh, the open sea! Good clean air, sunshine, and Hootie and the Blowfish playing in the background and Iím ready to catch some snapper!" --JW

Korn -- Freak on a Leash
     (**)  Just remember, the big moral lesson of this video is that cops donít kill people, hopscotching off a cliff does. After what seems like the start of a very promising Todd McFarlane animated video (a la Pearl Jamís "Do the Evolution") this quickly goes downhill. The cop fires a bullet that weíre forced to follow around for the next minute and a half as it rips into the real world, flies through an office building, zips around New York for a while, then punches back into the cartoon to harmlessly land in the little girlís hand. Now thatís one magic bullet. I for one donít believe it for a second -- there had to be a second shooter! Damned Earl Warren. Anyway, in the end, the girl puts it in the copís palm, showing how useless itís become in their new world. Give me some butter to put on this Korn, will you? --JW

Marilyn Manson Ė I Donít Like the Drugs but the Drugs Like Me
     (*1/2)  Heís carrying a cross made of TVís. What a tortured fucking soul. Why canít these millionaires get rid of their angst? Weíll never know, I guess, but for this video Marilyn did get rid of his tits and half of his right arm (You know what they say Ė if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off.) in favor of some shock-white bleached hair. As part of his savvy satire of media culture, he climbs a tower and jumps off. But he lives, and so does that bleached white hairÖ You know what? I swear, I didnít know "I Donít Like the Drugs" was a separate song until I saw this video. I thought it was a line from "The Dope Show" or something. Ignorance is bliss, I guess. --AH

Monica Ė Angel of Mine
     (**)  Bland pop, bland video. It has that exact same lying on the bed and singing thing that every Brandy or Monica video has, supplemented with Monica and about 200 dope folks standing around a dance floor. Too bad this isnít a dance song. Oh, itís Tyrese to the rescue, climbing in Monicaís window to stroke her hair, which surprisingly doesnít come right off her head in one giant store-bought clump. --AH

Silkk the Shocker f/Mystikal -- It Ainít My Fault 
     (*) This is what Silkk keeps telling the judge, his parole officer and the unemployment office. He runs around dancing fly gals, rapping incoherently and every once in a while saying "Did I do that?" in a Steve Urkel voice. Even Steve had to grow up one day, Mystikal. Heís even married to Laura now; did you know that? I guess youíre too busy to find a nice girl, though, since you spend all your time furthering Master Pís evil empire. Will the No Limit madness never end? --JW

ĎN Sync Ė God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You
     (zero)  These five bastards finally show their soft sides with this tribute to their mothers, or at least one of their mothers. Actually, the song itself is a love song, but the video is a mother tribute. Pretty twisted, but I guess thatís how it works in the ĎN Sync world. You know my theory about this? Maybe God did spend a little more time on their mothers, like the time he was supposed to be giving the ĎN Sync boys intelligence and music talent. Itís like Edward Scissorhands. God made them cute, sure, and he gave them the ability to pick outfits that consist of white suit coat, white shirt, white pants, white belt and white tie. Cuteness and the ability to accessorizeÖ I think Iíd prefer cogent thought. --AH
     (zero)  UggggggghÖ --JW

RANDOM THOUGHT
     Say what you will, but the cool thing about Def Leppard is that one-armed drummer they have. I think there should be an entire band of one-armed peopleÖ actually, you have to have two arms to play a guitar, so the guitar player should have one leg or something. That way they could call themselves The Amputees. --AH

Soul Coughing -- Circles 
     (**)  A guy walks around aimlessly in a sewer pipe while his snagged sweater slowly unravels. Now, is this a metaphor for his life, or the bandís career after this song gets played out on the modern rock circuits? Itís got one of those melodies that just tells you that the rest of the album is nothing like it, and either theyíll fade into blissful obscurity, letting us forget about them until the reunion ten years from now, or theyíll insist on coasting off this hit another two albums. Letís hope for the former. --JW

Robbie Williams Ė Millennium
 (½) I just saw this video on Much Music, so somebody let me know, is this just a Canadian thing or did the land of the free and home of the brave provide the world with this godwaful dance song? Is this guy Tacoís younger brother-in-law or something? If the world does end with the millennium, I wonít be quite as sad to see it go now that this videoís corrupted my mind. Cool Robbie prances around in a tux like itís 1999 and checks out the stewardess on his flight to obscurity. Now heís conducting a morbid fashion show inside a drainage tunnel. Who decides to give record contracts to people like this guy? --AH
 

Classic Videos

a-ha -- Take on Me
a-ha - Take on Me
     (****) This is the greatest video of the í80s, period. At the time, no video like this had ever been made, or even attempted. Itís got one of those synth lines that can never be properly remade, not by the band, and definitely not by trumpet-playing frat boys. How many of us have wished a comic book character would reach out and pull us out of our mundane world? The band slides in and out of animation as they act out the scenes of the comic book, which is an effect so cool you have to shake your head in disbelief when you think about how little it probably cost to do. Happy ending? Of course there is, as the hero escapes from the comic into his loverís world, and we all say "AwwwwÖ" --JW
a-ha - Take on Me

Eagles Ė The Long Run (1975)
     (**1/2) [NOTE: This review written in a state of severe incapacitation.] What happened to Don Henley? Why does he look like he fell asleep in 1962 at a Beach Boys concert only to recently awake and rejoin the band? This is one of those Eagles songs I still love and will always love, no matter how many times the radio flings it at me. Of course, itís kind of a non-video, and this is supposed to be a music video review, so I can only give it a couple of stars for coolness. --JW
     (*1/2) [NOTE: This review written in a state of total sobriety.] James, you conceited, drunken bastard. That review sucked. It sounded like a letter youíd write from summer camp in fifth grade. It took you eight lines to say something you could have said in three lines. "Summer camp is great. The sports are great. The archeryís great. The food is great. We had Tang for breakfast. Don Henley rules." --AH

Whitney Houston Ė I Wanna Dance With Somebody
     (***)  Whitneyís hair size changes three times over the course of this video. It must be from the Ď80sÖ I think everybody knows this adult-contemporary staple and its accompanying video, where Whitney dances in front of perky graffiti-soaked walls and almost beats the hell out of some poor guy trying to make him dance with her. Other sets include the sparse nightclub set, complete with six male dancers in black, the set that rains confetti, the Famous Barr change room set (believe me, I wouldnít have minded peeking over the top while Whitney tried that new Izod sport shirt on) and quick cuts of multiple sets where the outfit, table and coat rack are the same primary color. Whoever directed this video probably never worked again, but the kitsch and nostalgia factors keep me from loathing it entirely. ĖAH

Elton John - Sad Songs (Say So Much) 
     (**)  Filmed in mostly black and white, Elton John dances around singing, with some choreographed misfits in the urban streets. Itís like West Side Story as done by Barbara Streisand. This was his first blatant, "Yes Iím gay, dammit!" video where all the pretenses are dropped. I mean, look at these boys dancing around him, theyíre so nubile! Also, notice Elton is the only "multi-colored" one. Ehh, ehh? --JW

Talking Heads -- Burning Down the House
     (**1/2) I thought that "What the Fuck?!" videos didnít really get started until the Ď90s, but this video proves us wrong. The band plays (decked out in waiterís uniforms, or rented tuxedos -- take your pick) while the house burns down around them. Every so often you get the lead singerís head projected onto the side of the house or a rushing highway. Thatís the video. For a good time, get a few of your friends and sing this song in high pitched barking dog voices. Youíll be glad you did. --JW
 

Guest Reviewer: Tim Wallace

     I think weíve made it pretty clear by now that weíre not big fans of MTV anymore. Of course, what about the network's target audience? This week, Jamesí 14-year-old brother decides to give us a hand in tearing down societyís walls this week, in three special guest reviews:

The Smashing Pumpkins -- Ava Adore 
     (*1/2)  What the hell happened to Billy Corgan? He looks like Darth Vader with his helmet off, wearing Bruce Leeís clothes. Itís so obvious that this is the Smashing Pumpkins look of the month, like Corgan took a look around and said, "Oh, itís 1998, letís be Goth!" No thanks, Iíll just listen to Siamese Dream instead. 

Our Lady Peace -- Supermanís Dead
     (Old Video: *** / This Video: **)  This is the new video for this song. The first one was great -- it had this girl sitting alone in her room while a sign overhead kept scrolling "Supermanís Dead" across it, and she was freaking out. In this one, itís them standing in the desert at midnight singing the song. How boring can you get? Then the lead singer gets this crazy look in his eyes as he sings "Eyeeyeyeyeye!" Even that isnít cool. 

Placebo -- Pure Morning
     (**)  Whatís with the guard that rushes up the building to save the lead singer, anyway? Could he be any slower? They keep flashing the camera on him, and heís still running across the same room. It takes him like five minutes to get to the window, and then he canít come to grips with the fact that he didnít get there in time. Also, who needs Spiderman when one look at this fruit walking down the side of the building would make me piss my pants and run? 

 
 
 
Copyright 1999 Apartment Y Productions