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Issue #55 October 2003

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The Legacy of Johnny Cash

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Kenny McCafferty
Bedroom Communities Compilations
The Corb Lund Band
Third Of Never

Kenny McCafferty
Warm Waters

Grassroots Music
11 song CD

Praise the Lord and pass the pop! Kenny McCafferty's sounds are so catchy and lush, that it takes you a second or two to realize there's a gospel message going on. McCafferty's power pop sensibilities are right on the money, bringing together an 80s approach with a purely modern sound. The result is an album which is not ashamed to be positive, while getting down to business at the same time.

The disc starts of with the driving Get Next 2 U, which shows off the blue-eyed soul vocal stylings of McCafferty. From there, we hear the light-hearted acoustic flavor of Carry Me On and the British Invasion melodies of The Love Of God. The title track is a quiet and introspective piece which flows along at a leisurely pace, while Praise Your Holy Name is a good example of an on-your-feet praise song which are popular in contemporary church services.

All too often the Christian label seems to stigmatize artists into a category which is more message than music, where the creativity is sacrificed for pleasing the crowd. Thankfully there is none of that here, and the music/message balance is perfect.

MISH MASH Mandate: Higher Power Pop

Kenny McCafferty Website

Various Artists
Bedroom Communities 01. Pillow Talk
Bedroom Communities 02. ReLounge

Kriztal Entertainment
2 CDs, 27 songs

The Kriztal Entertainment label is simply blowing me away. Somehow they have managed to cull together some of the finest underground acid jazz artists for their multiple series of compilations. The surprises never seem to stop coming. For the Bedroom Communities series, they've outdone themselves yet again, with more than 27 tracks of groovalicious chillout tunes. Whether your thing is trip-hop or be-bop, you're sure to find something here to relax with and get the groove on.

Pillow Talk begins the day on the quieter side, just waking up to the electronica beats of Hardkandy's Big Sand, which is followed by the harder-edged old school rhythms of Dynamo Productions' Three Dimensional. Zagar's While You Sleep plods and plops along like a rambling beast, and Paloma's Funky Bones skips along with quirky staccato beats. My favorite of this disc has to be Walking On Space by Smooth, a dreamy atmospheric groove with a singer who sounds remarkably like Sade.

ReLounge kicks it off with an urban soul tune by Innerzone Orchestra called People Make The World Go 'Round (J88 Remix), which leads into the trippy Running From Love by Freddie Cruger feat. ADL and What Do People Do All Day by Aim. Monophonic kicks out the beats with the hot rhythms of Dear Diary, and Russian balalaika folk music makes a cameo appearance in the world music montage of Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band's Nikita.

When it comes down to it, you really can't go wrong with either one of these discs, each one is an excellent collection in and of itself. Taken together, they are a collective masterpiece of electronica. Groove on.

MISH MASH Mandate: Beadroom Beats

Kriztal Entertainment Website

The Corb Lund Band
Five Dollar Bill

Stony Plain Recording Co.
13 song CD

This is alt country, Canadian cowboy style. The Corb Lund band have taken the traditional American staple of country & western and have transported it to the Great White North, repackaged it, and sent it back home with a big "Yeehawww!" The result is a fun record which moseys and rambles along the trail like a funky spaghetti western soundtrack.

There's a sense of humor here, mostly tongue-in-cheek, which pays homage without poking too much fun. It's a respectful humor that keeps the integrity of traditional country music, yet still brings a smile to your face when you listen closely. Yet there's still time for outright silliness, as in the sly sounds of the drinking song Time To Switch To Whiskey: "It's time to switch to whiskey, we've been drinkin beer all night."

With slick sing-along tunes, and an infectious drinking song to boot, this one has all the makings of an underground classic, especially among fans of offbeat cowboy tunes.

MISH MASH Mandate: Head North, Young Man

Stony Plain Recordings Website

Third Of Never
Under The Radar

Independent Records
16 song CD

This one is messy, noisy, and eclectic---and it's great. Third Of Never takes a heaping helping of indie rock influences and puts them in a blender, brewing a concoction which lacks focus but still has a flavorful kick.

TON opens up with a guitar rocker named Leaving LaGrange, which sounds like a mix of punk and early R.E.M. From there the album merges into the moody Micheal James and the sparse acoustic sounds of Taboo Stu. The track Greenlight rambles aimlessly with a jerky beat, while DJ kicks in with plenty of teen angst to spare.

Post-punk art rock? That's too fine a label, but I suppose if the shoe fits...

MISH MASH Mandate: Talking Shreads

Third Of Never Website

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