<%-- Page Title--%> Popbeat <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 108 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

June 6, 2003

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Cerys Matthews: Cockahoop

With her history of alcohol abuse, band and relationship break-ups and at least one reported breakdown, it was inevitable that former Catatonia wailer Cerys Matthews would end up in country music.
Recorded in Nashville with musicians who have worked with Emmylou Harris and Wilco and a producer (Bobby Buck) who has played with Bob Dylan, Cockahoop is a long way from Britpop. The production is painstaking and the mood, perhaps surprisingly, is very up, although the opening cover of Hugh Cornwell/Roger Cook's booze anthem Chardonnay perhaps disturbingly so in its delirium.

Elsewhere, songs provided by the Handsome Family and old Louisiana tradition nestle up against Matthews's own compositions. The soul/Faces - tinged If You're Lookin' For Love sounds giddily love struck; Sweet Gravity is charmingly childlike and Only a Fool positively sozzled.
The big drawback, though, is Matthews's voice. Cords now more shot to pieces than ever, she sounds beautifully ravaged on the slow numbers but struggles with any rising tempos. Not so much back with a bang as with a croak.

Yat-Kha: Tuva.rock

Yat-Kha come from Tuva, out on the borders of Siberia and western Mongolia. They dress like throw-backs to the hippy psychedelic era, and create some of the most extraordinary noises on the planet.
Albert Kuvezin is an exponent of the local style of throat-singing, which allows the performer to hold more than one note at once while producing surely the deepest growls on record.

He is also a guitarist who likes to switch between gentle acoustic passages and frantic electric solos, and he leads a band that also includes such traditional Tuvan stringed instruments as the igil.
The resulting songs are gloriously exhilarating when Albert gets the balance right, but that's not always the case here.
His band is at its best treating Tuva's gutsy traditional songs to the trademark blend of wild rhythm and growls, but less interesting when they turn to Kuvezin's own songs.
These range from exuberant growled rockers like Come Along to slow growled ballads, all with lyrics in English and sounding as if he is desperate to join the western pop mainstream.

Billboard Top Ten Album

The Billboard 200TM

1. Marilyn Manson, The Golden Age Of Grotesque
2. 50 Cent, Get Rich Or Die Tryin'
3. Cold, Year Of The Spider
4. Evanescence, Fallen
5. Soundtrack, The Matrix Reloaded: The Album
6. Norah Jones, Come Away With Me
7. Kelly Clarkson, Thankful
8. Soundtrack, The Lizzie McGuire Movie
9. Cher, The Very Best Of Cher
10. The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley

Top Ten R/B Hip-Hop Album

1. The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley, Body Kiss
2. 50 Cent, Get Rich Or Die Tryin' 4
3. Bone Crusher, AttenCHUN!
4. Kelly, Chocolate Factory
5. Kelly Price, Priceless
6. Lil' Kim, La Bella Mafia
7. loetry, Floetic
8. Jaheim, Still Ghetto
9. Sean Paul, Dutty Rock
10. 50 Cent, The New Breed

Top Ten Independent Album

1. Alkaline Trio, Good Mourning
2. NOFX, The War On Errorism
3 . Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, Kings Of Crunk
4. Mobb Deep, Free Agents: The Murda Mix Tape
5. John Hiatt & The Goners, Beneath This Gruff Exterior
6. Craig Morgan, I Love It
7. Black Label Society, The Blessed Hellride
8. 54th Platoon, All Or N.O.thin
9. Richard Thompson, The Old Kit Bag
10. Tomahawk, Mit Gas




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