IN&OUTTONIGHT REVIEWS 26 Monday, 13 July 2009 London Lite IM not a 13-year-old girl from Rotherham so Im clearly not the target audience for this third album by German trance geeks, DJ Manian and Yanou and their lantern- jawed frontwoman natalie Horler. But I can appreciate the tacky Eurotrash attraction of the title track that kept Jacko off the top spot last weekend. I can even grin inanely at the 400bpm madness of Dangerous (surely only danceable if you have a condition that requires you avoid flashing lights) and wish that theyd only just put a donk on it. But vile ballad Draw the Line shatters my reverie and Im no longer wee Kirsty from South Yorkshire. PC REVIEWSMUSIC F our songs into this, another Jack White from White Stripes side-project, you might think, Wow, this is actually quite good -- it doesnt stink quite as much as that raconteurs (one half- decent song over two albums) project. Then, as the dense, mostly tune-free, psych rock songs start to pile up after the bracing opening salvo of 60 Feet Tall, Hang You From The Heavens, I Cut Like A Buffalo and So Far From Your Weapon, your heart will gradually sink and then youll suddenly be whiplashed by a startling thought -- Why the flip- ping heck doesnt Jack White sit down and write some decent tunes again and record them with Meg and release them as White Stripes? We know you love old blues, blues-rock and heavy psychedelia, Jack, and we respect you for your love of this music. But its starting to creep us out. Your new super-skinny Childcatcher look is bad enough but your musical necrophilia is becoming an obsession thats threat- ening to sully your reputation. White Stripes, at least up until 2007s impenetrable Icky Thump, took old, dusty music, sprinkled songwriting magic over it and then gave it a proper kick in the goolies to wake it up. Whither the next Seven Nation Army, Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground or My Doorbell? It sure as hell doesnt appear on The Dead Weathers first (and, with luck, last) album. Led by Alison Mosshart of rub- bish art-rock, Kate Moss-associated, Anglo-American band The Kills (no style over no substance, fact fans), and with Queens of The Stone Age guitarist Dean Fertita, raconteurs bassist Jack Lawrence and White himself on drums, The Dead Weather do kick up a storm of noise. Predictably perhaps, the drums are mixed high and the guitars/synths strafe like machineguns across most tracks but Mossharts voice is a pallid, listless approximation of Whites and the songs are rambling and dull. Apart from, that is, the first four, which thrum and slash with energy and vim. 60 Feet Tall, bluesy and spare to begin with, soon explodes into full colour as Fertitas guitars and Whites drums threaten to subsume the robust melody, while Hang You From The Heavens, a big-boned love song, features the albums best tune, in which Mosshart talks of dragging her lover to the devil. unfortunately her vocals are so weak it sounds like shes threatening him with a visit to Tesco. White makes an appearance with an inspired vocal on the reggae-fied I Cut Like A Buffalo and its on this track that we get the only glimpse of his old genius. Junk the obsession with the past, Jack -- its time to move forward again. Jacksspellof poorWeather Home crowd: Lily at Somerset House Lilssetissoakingbutsmoking THE BIG NOISE The Dead Weather Horehound(Sony,12.72) HHIII PAUL CONNOLLY POP VV Brown TravellingLikeTheLight (Island,10.76) HHHII VV BroWN has been pioneering the fairly underpopulated indie doo-wop scene with some success. The Northampton lass certainly has a singular image but this approach can distract from the music. of course, theres more to Brown than her hip-Fifties schtick (although it works beautifully on Crazy Amazing). Shark In The Water, for example, takes a light George Michael Faith-type guitar riff and melds it to Amy Winehouses slightly croaky pipes before sending it skywards with a soaring chorus, while Quick Fix re-imagines Girls Aloud through the prism of Grease. But this scattergun attitude means the album is a bit of a mess. Its fun and its ambition is admirable but its difficult to love. PC HavE you noticed how producer Mark Ronson, apart from his work with amy Winehouse, seems to strip away all soul, emotion and tension from his recordings? His own album, version, was smoother than a shaven Cary Grant in baby oil, and now hes smoothed all the edges from the Rumble Strips indie-soul making it so swollen with strings and melodrama, its as though it has had a shot of musical Botox. Songs as strong as the billowingly dynamic not the only Person and the romantic London benefit from the plumping up. But elsewhere its all bluster and no substance. PC LIVE Lily Allen SomersetHouse HHHII ANDrE PAINE To order any CD reviewed, call The London Lite CD service on 01634 832789. All prices include P&P POP The rumble Strips WelcomeToTheWalk Alone(Island,10.76) HHHII POP Dan Black Un (A&M,10.76) HHHII HeS yet to have a hit, but that hasnt stopped everyone from Perez Hilton to radio 1s head of music touting 33- year-old electro musician Black as the next big thing, on the strength of one internet hit: a cover of Notorious B.I.Gs Hypntz. That wasnt cleared by Biggies estate, so is reborn here as Symphonies, a swooning synth symphony typical of the album. Black does literally everything himself, from vocals to background dots and loops; even the drumbeats on ecstasy sound like tongue clicks. Aside from Pump My Pumps -- whatever that means -- this is a dreamy, downbeat record: lovely, but definitely meant to slow your pulse, not quicken it. AMBER COWAN DANCE Cascada EvacuateTheDancefloor (UMTV,12.72) HHIII SoMerSeT HouSe is an undoubtedly fantastic setting for live music, but the rain tested that to the limit during Lily Allens return to the capital. A dramatic downpour might at least have heightened the impact of her hits but the constant drizzle was a drag. At least Allen was match-fit amid a busy festival season and this was a professional outing, notwithstanding her nonchalant air and need to puff away constantly. Sorry for smoking so much but its so cold, it keeps me warm, she informed us, admirably free of logic while wearing a skimpy, see-through top in the rain. Current album Its Not Me, Its You dominated the set, and while this show couldnt capture its glossy production at least her band sounded dynamic and surprisingly loud. everyones At It, 22 and the busy-sounding Back To The Start were punchy enough to almost make you forget the weather, though Him was weaker and failed to connect with fans. The singer was clearly excited to be playing at home in London and graciously thanked us for tolerating a soaking. She was also typically foul-mouthed -- during and between songs -- despite the fact plenty of parents had young children with them. Perhaps the profanities were easy to overlook when she was knocking out a blinding cover of Britney Spearss Womanizer and smart number ones Smile and The Fear. The encore of F**k You, for which she urged us to wave our middle fingers, was great, too, though hardly child-friendly. But you have to admire a pop star who climaxes a gig with a clubby reworking of a song -- Not Fair -- about premature ejaculation. Bleak outlook: The Dead Weather index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html