Music Quickbites- by Thomas Donald Clarke

Easily the best album of 1997 so far is Jamiroquai's Travelling Without Moving. This blend of jazz, 1970s synth- pop, and space-age attitude is a good change of pace from the grunge, "rock", and what passes for music on Hot 97 these days. Jamiroquai leader Jason Kay is considered a music genius in his native England. But British radio is less segregated and categorized than American radio. "Cosmic Girl" would be a hit here if certain radio programmers look beyond their normal musical boundaries (hint to WKTU, Z100, CD101.9, and WBLS) The best tracks are "Virtual Insanity", an ode to our inability to adapt to our changing technology, "High Times", which is about drug addiction, and the spaced out "Cosmic Girl", the album's first US single.

In other European music releases, Fun Factory's All Their Best shows there is more to the group than just the 1995 hit single "Close To You". The German techno rap group also had slamming singles such as "Don't Go Away", "Celebration", and a remake of "Do Wah Diddy". All Their Best contains the hit tracks from Fun Factory's Close To You and Funtastic albums. For those of you into European club and dance, this is a good album to buy.

Perhaps the most underrated album of 1996 was Everything But the Girl's Walking Wounded. EBTG is not an act whose musical livelihood is redefining dance music, but one would not know that after hearing Walking Wounded. While dance acts tend to have repetitive lyrics, EBTG adapted their introspective, lovelorn lyrics to cutting edge styles as trip-hop and drum n'bass to come up with an entirely new sound. Only lead vocalist Tracey Thorn can sing "Missing" (the remixed song from Amplified Heart whose success led to the sound of this album), "Walking Wounded", "Mirror Ball", or "Wrong" and make themes of loss and tragedy into something to enjoy and not just pity.
February 16, 1997/BC Excelsior