DCSIMG

Album reviews

HAR MAR SUPERSTAR: THE HANDLER

RECORD COLLECTION, 13.99

Aspiring jetsetter, anti-heartthrob and vodka-swilling disco gnome Har Mar Superstar is more than just an ugly face. His second album is a rump-shaking rhapsody which would pass the dancefloor and the home listening tests even without the added novelty of a short, balding man prancing around in his skanky underpants while his nubile fans scream for a sweat-flecked kiss. He is still mercilessly predatory - "take another trip on my easyjet" is one of the first suggestions out of his filthy mouth, while As (Seasons) lets him count the ways he loves us, whatever the weather. The Stevie Wonder fixation remains - Sugar Pie could pass any Stevie taste test. But he also flirts with the best of 1980s pop-funk and electro, contemporary hip-hop and, with his straight-faced cover version of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Alone Again (Naturally), he even rehabilitates soppy 1970s ballads. Buy this album, but make sure you keep the CD sleeve away from small children and those of a nervous disposition.

DIZZEE RASCAL: SHOWTIME

XL, 13.99

There is no doubt that Dylan Mills, aka Mercury Music Prize-winning rapper Dizzee Rascal, is a bold new voice in British music. Often it is difficult to take his cartoonish tones, while much of his meaning is lost in his rapid-fire delivery. This album lacks the quirky hooks which made Boy In Da Corner such an audacious debut. In the absence of anything catchier, the Happy Talk-sampling Dream is probably being lined up as a future single. Buy earplugs for that one; for the rest, listen with an open mind and you may get more than you bargained for.

FIONA SHEPHERD

NILS PETTER MOLVAER: STREAMER

SULA RECORDS, 13.99

The Norwegian trumpeter recorded gigs at the Marquee in London and the Tampere Festival in Finland, and the results were remixed by Molvaer and DJ Strangefruit, weaving his haunting trumpet through layers of electronic and instrumental sound, disembodied vocals and hypnotic dance beats.

MICK WEST: A POOR MAN’S LABOUR

CLAYTARA RECORDS, 13.99

The third album from Mick West is quite possibly the best yet from the Glaswegian singer and his fine backing band. He opens with an unusual and atmospheric version of Wild Rover that casts a whole different light on that particular session warhorse, and succeeds in bringing a similarly fresh complexion to other familiar songs such as Rantin’ Rovin’ Robin or a moving rendition of Time Wears Awa’, while My Funny Valentine is a less predictable selection among the traditional Scottish and Irish folk material. The instrumental accompaniments by Stevie Lawrence, Frank McLaughlin and Fraser Fifield add imaginative colour and rhythmic drive to the songs.

KENNY MATHIESON

To order any of these CDs at the special prices listed above, call The Scotsman music line on 0131-620 8400. Prices quoted include P&P

 
 
 

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