REVIEWS -- JUNE 23, 1999
 
 
                               
 
Buckcherry -- Lit Up 
     (**½) The band plays in a crowded bar while the lead singer shows off his Steven Tyleresque antics. The costumes, the antics, and the guitar riffs all stink of refried Aerosmith. In fact, I canít help singing "Back in the Saddle Again" while this is on. Still, itís genuine rock-n-roll music, even if it has been MTVized. Of course, so has Aerosmith. If I close my eyes, it could be staple 70ís fare. Maybe music history does cycle. I canít exactly say Iíll rush right out and buy the Buckcherry album, but it could be a sign that MTV is getting a little of its edge back. ĖJames Wallace 

Garbage Ė When I Grow Up 
     (**)  Here it is, the other video for the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy. Shirley Manson struts around the stage, in front of a giant blue disco ball, and sings about how when she grows up, sheíll be stable. Just like Sandler in Big Daddy, playing the foosball again, or something like that. Gratuitous clips of Sandler watching TV are interspersed with footage of Shirley stomping around with the newly ensconced Garbage Dancers. And somewhere in there, Iím sure, are the other guys from Garbage. I have a hard time saying anything bad about this video, since I spent a whopping $8.99 for the Version 2.0 album and actually like it. Still, "When I Sold Out" could scarcely be any less respectable; you know itís a travesty when Carson Daly remarks, "Very cool," after the world premiere. --Andrew Hicks 
     (*)  Why do all the rock stars that I thought were "kind of cool" have to sell out?  This looks like a goddamned Spice Girls video. Maybe Shirley Manson is vying for that open position when the maternity leave is up. Garbage Spice doesnít sound too bad, but I think Rubbish Spice works better. The video is packed with fun little clips of Adam Sandler goofing off and silently screaming "Whoop-id-ee-doooo!" The juxtaposition of Garbage/Sandler scenes are so abrupt that itís like flipping back and forth through two different channels while listening to some shitty new album your girlfriend bought. And you listen to the whole thing, yes you do because youíre nice enough to put up with all her bullshit, though she never hesitates to bark out that your shit is "simpering, self-indulgent, and dumb." ĖGuest Reviewer Jeremy Weingartner 

Enrique Iglesias Ė Bailamos 
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
     (*1/2)  I was going to write this review entirely in Spanish, to justify the 12 credit hours I wasted trying to minor in the language, but Iím just too rusty. And I couldnít find any of my old essays to lift a paragraph from and confuse all my English speaking readers. (Iím sure it would also confuse my Spanish-speaking readers, who would be wondering what my commentary on the definitive literature of the Baroque era had to do with Enrique Iglesias.) Anyway, "Bailamos" (translation: we dance) is the other song from the Will Smith Wild, Wild West soundtrack. He couldnít find any í70s funk classics to rap the story of the movie over that day, so he let Enrique drop a track on the album. It was such a bold choice on Willís part that MTV has decided to deem this Buzzworthy, the same status they gave the new Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin videos. I think theyíre just surprised to learn Hispanic people actually make music. Me, Iím just kind of surprised to learn there are Backstreet Boys in Mexico. --AH 
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos

R. Kelly f/Nas Ė Did You Ever Think (remix) 
     (**)  This seems to be R. Kellyís idea of a sequel to the garish, unintentionally funny "Down Low" video, which explored R.ís forbidden love with his mobster bossí wife. This video forgoes the lofty company of Ron Isley in favor of Nas, who has now officially established himself as the Second Puff Daddy. (Thatís not a compliment.) Kelly is apparently under the spell of the modern rap scene, since this video is all about flashy cars, too-colorful Hype Williams sets, big fucking suits and the shirtless, gold chain-adorned chest of Nas. None of this impresses me much. --AH 

Len Ė Steal My Sunshine 
     (*1/2)  I liked Go, really I did, but I just canít endorse the flagship song from its soundtrack. Itís obscure Brit pop, with a male singer who wears his hat tilted halfway to the side and spends most of his day riding around on a cherry-red moped. Some girl hangs on his back, singing her line of the chorus every time it comes around. The song is actually kind of quirky in a vague Buzzclip sort of way until the girl comes in and turns it into a neo-Aqua mess. "Steal My Sunshine" really just resembles a demented Mentos commercial. Everyone is way too happy, and thereís even footage of the band playing video games, riding Go-Karts and cruising around on Jet Skis. What a labored effort to create an uppity summer song. --AH 
     (**)  Mothers and fathers of Southern California, this is a wake-up call. This is what happens when you let your kids run around with no responsibilities. These delinquents are from Toronto, but surely the point remains the same. The video shows the gang riding around on mopeds, going to the beach, playing video gamesÖ i.e. nothing productive. I can tell you what happened: the girl listened to the Aqua CD so many times that she decided she and her friends could do better. I really wish the "I Want Candy" girl from Bow Wow Wow would come and kick her ass. I had to dole out the extra half star for whoever arranged this. The song gets in your head, and then sticks there for the rest of the day. God help me. --JW 

Joey McIntyre Ė I Love You Came Too Late 
     (1/2)  Yes, by the time Joey finally came, his 14-year-old girlfriend had long since fallen asleep. Itís a hard thing for a man to deal with. It would appear Joey has lost his one true love, and he sings about it while sitting at a counter in a diner. (WAITRESS: You gonna order anything, hun, or are you just gonna sing sugar pop all day?) Surprise plot twist: She comes in for lunch with her new beau. Interestingly enough, Joeyís ex-girlfriend is a masculine, freakish looking broad who looks like she could never possibly hang tough with the baby-faced popster. Eat him, maybe. "I Love You Came Too Late" is a high-concept video, too. By the second verse, Joey is wandering through the dinerís kitchen, where he is handed a stock pot. (COOK: Alright, breakís over. Weíve got a chin-high stack of dishes back there, kid. You shoulda saved that boy group money.) The half-star rating is because Joey doesnít get the girl in the end; sheís already engaged to the new guy. A nation of seventh grade girls breathes a heavy sigh of relief. --AH 
     (*)  Okay, Iím missing something on the entire Joey McIntyre thing. I mean, how is it that a single member of an Ď80s boy group gets a comeback nearly a decade later? I mean, this stuff sounds like NKOTB with the other New Kids on a break or something. While weíre on the subject, who knew a reviewer would ever have to type the acronym NKOTB again? Itís scary. In any case, this video features Joey going to eat in a diner, then wandering around aimlessly moaning about his lost girl. The manager then has an insight: "Hey, as long as this nutcase is wandering around in the kitchen, letís put him to work." Then we get to see Joey cleaning dishes and whine about his girlfriend, who comes in with her new boyfriend. Obviously, she made a good choice. I mean, look at how far heís fallen. Of course, Joey shows us that this is a mature song, not a NKOTB fairy tale. Case in point: Joey doesnít get the girl in the end. Aww. --JW 

Monica Ė Street Symphony 
     (**1/2)  Thanks to BMG, I now own this album, so I feel obligated to review the video. "Street Symphony" proves the supposed rivalry between Brandy and Monica in "The Girl is Mine" is a fucking sham. Aaliyah is the girl that should want to kick Monicaís ass. With each new video, Monica shows off more and more stomach, makes sure her hair is straighter and straighter and tries her hardest to be classy. There are strings and everything. She actually accomplishes things pretty well in "Street Symphony," sporting black leather pants and a satiny dress and leading a troupe of dancers through tightly choreographed maneuvers. QUESTION: How awkward would it be to be the one white girl in Monicaís posse? --AH 

Red Hot Chili Peppers Ė Scar Tissue 
     (***1/2)  The Chili Peppers have released the first decent rock album of the year, I think. "Scar Tissue," the debut single from Californication, is a return to classic 1992 form, and damn funky. We should all send Anthony Kiedis and the boys some Hallmark "Thanks For Taking The Needle Out of Your Arm" cards. The new Iggy Pop look is a misstep, but itís only a minor aesthetic complaint. The video gets a round thumbs-up from me otherwise, showing the Peppers, all of whom look like they were bludgeoned earlier in the day, driving through the desert in a convertible. Later, they scavenge through a dump and find several discarded copies of One Hot Minute. Itís a productive trip. --AH 
     (***½)  I have to admit, I wasnít a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan in High School. That would surprise people, based on how I talk about them now. The truth is, I listened to the hits off One Hot Minute and remembered "Under the Bridge" being kind of cool, so I went back and got a hold of Blood Sugar Sex Magic from a friend. To put it simply, I was blown away. It was alternative and funk, and just solid rock music all around. A couple years later came the "Love Rollercoaster" remakeÖ not bad, I thought, but their next album would surely be much better. I waited and waited, and nothing ever came. Three years later, I finally found out it was here. By this point I had become disenchanted, and didnít think it would be very good. Then I saw this video come on, and all my hopes were restored. Here are the Chili Peppers I know and love. Sure, theyíre a little older and a little less funky, but still basically the same. With the return of guitarist John Frusciante, theyíre finally back to form. The video shows the band driving down a desert road in a beat-up Cadillac, looking like they were all beat up earlier that day. Echoes of "Under the Bridge" are heard here, which is appropriate because this is another song about survival: i.e. That was about Anthony surviving a friendís death, this is about him surviving his battle with heroin, which seems to finally be over. The only drawback may be that him getting clean has inspired his wannabe Iggy Pop look. He looks like he should be the gay head waiter at an upscale LA restaurant. That aside, it may be too soon to say, but this song and video may have "summer anthem" written all over it. --JW 
 
 
Web Premiere 
 
Weird Al Yankovic -- The Saga Begins 
     (**1/2)   Iíve missed Al; music didnít seem complete without him around to mock it. With this new video, Al tackles the media behemoth of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace with a parody set to the tune of "American Pie" by Don McLean. Thatís funny enough in itself. Unfortunately, thatís the only real guffaw in the video, since he doesnít really take any jabs at Star Wars but merely tells the story. So, anybody expecting a Ď90s "Yoda" is in for a disappointment. Okay, I admit, itís funny that heís dressed as Obi Wan. Itís funny that that Darth Sidious seems to be playing the piano accompaniment, and the whole thing makes you bust up for a minute. Of course, itís 5½ minutes long. --JW 
 

Z-Music Video of the Week 

Michael W. Smith Ė Place in This World (1990) 
     (*1/2)  One of my favorite websites, Dial-the-Truth, produces tracts about the evils of Christian music. Michael W. Smith is classified there as an artist whose own preening hubris causes teenage girls to commit idolatry by screaming his name at their concerts. I would say the "Place in This World" video, his big secular crossover attempt, is nothing to worry about. His poorly-coiffed Richard Marx hair would subdue even the most lustful youth group chick, and the female model he has running through the desert couldnít be any more wholesome if her last name was Grant. Shot on a budget of at least $100, the video features Michael W. playing a piano in the middle of the desert (which we see from at least 23 different angles) while the model roams aimlessly for her one true love. Hint: Itís not Mike. --AH 
 

Classic Videos 

George Michael Ė Too Funky (1992) 
     (***)  It was videos like this that gave me the benefit of the doubt that George Michael wasnít actually gay. "Too Funky" is a fashion parade of models like Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks sauntering down the runway as George ogles them from behind the camera. Or wonders how that camisole and garters would look on his milky-white flesh. The video is filled with scantily-clad women showing off what God and Versace gave them, while George tells a sampled voice of Anne Bancroft from The Graduate that, yes, he would like to seduce her. Itís a comically bad attempt at hip-hop, but Iíve always had a soft spot in my heart for George Michael tracks. Itís one more thing people try to use to prove I donít have any music taste, but I like this song. Obviously, though, we should have known he was gay by the fact that he picked a model for this video who looks just like the Wicked Witch of the West. --AH 

Robert Palmer Ė Simply Irresistable (1989) 
     (**1/2)  He put his girls in a different outfit this time, but "Simply Irresistable" is still just like all the other Palmer videos out there. Someday, a graduate student is going to do her dissertation on the psychological implications behind Palmerís domineering a sea of identical women, but for now, Iíll just say it makes for some good unintentional humor. Itís like seeing your dad in a Six Flags karaoke video, only this time thereís enough look-alike estrogen to tank the Titanic. Watch for the guitar solo, with an overly built hand double wearing the Palmer Girls outfit. You never see her face, but those hairy knuckles give it away. You could have done better than that, Robert. --AH

 
 
 
Copyright 1999 Apartment Y Productions