Munich in English - selected by independent Locals for Cosmopolitans, Newcomers and Residents - since 1989

back to overview

March 1999

Ray Wilson: Job-sharing with himself

A music review of Ray Wilson's Millionairhead, Millenia Nova's Slow E-Motion Sightseeing, Pauline Taylor's self-titled album, Robert Palmer's Rhthym & Blues, Van Morrison's Back on Top, and Liquido.

Until now, Ray Wilson has had the reputation of being a singing last resort. He was called in at the last minute to provide vocals on a Stiltskin album and is a stand-in for Phil Collins in Genesis. Now, the five-man band, Cut, on their debut CD Millionairhead, introduce Wilson as lead singer. Finally Wilson is in the forefront. “I know what it is like to be hired for a band and overnight be kicked out,” mumbles the 28-year-old,“ and I have had the tough assignment of living up to the Phil Collins legacy. But I feel that I always gave my best – I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am really excited about being the lead singer of Cut, though. After all, the band is comprised of my brother Steve and three life-long friends from Edinburgh. Under these circumstances it is fun for all to goof around writing new songs.” It sounds as though Wilson has closed the chapter on the Genesis project. “No, not at all,” he laughs, “I’m now the singer of two bands. I’m doing job-sharing with myself! Until September I’ll be the front man in Cut. During this time we will promote the album and do live shows. In October I’ll be in the studio with Mike and Tony [Rutherford and Banks, of Genesis] working on songs for a new album. I’m a very busy man!” Millionairhead is no hobby project. The Cut CD is a superb effort, a mixture of emotion and hard-driving rock. Wilson’s sandpaper voice lends drama and originality to the debut. Ray Wilson has finally arrived. Millenia Nova*** Slow E-motion Sightseeing (Virgin) What music does the modern adult pop into the CD player to relax with after a hard day at work? So-called “ambience music,” of course! Unfortunately, most ambience artists think that relaxing is quiet, boring, static. This can not be said of the Munich duo Matthias Neuhauser and Michael Meinl, alias Millenia Nova. Slow E-motion Sightseeing is a dreamy mix: the meditative power of Tangerine Dream meets the easy listening quality of Burt Bacharach, with the minimalism of Brian Eno. While somewhat subdued, Slow E-motion is not without pep. Spacy, innovative, and simply beautiful. Pauline Taylor*** Pauline Taylor (Intercord) Until recently, Pauline Taylor was only an icon to insider fans in the soul music scene. The one-hit-wonder from London made a big splash in 1996 with the single Constantly Waiting, a tune which recalled memories of Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin. Finally, Pauline Taylor has given her audience Pauline Taylor, a CD even better than the infamous single. Not only does Taylor have an amazingly wide octave range, but she uses that voice on an eclectic mix of music styles. Whether funk, reggae, or even country and western, Taylor has skillfully blended in a hundred years of soul. Robert Palmer* Rhythm & Blues (Edel Records) The diminutive Yorkshire crooner – he looks like Robert Redford and sings like Frank Sinatra – was the white man of soul in the seventies and eighties. His voice and talent prompted many to call him the Dean Martin of the next century. Unfortunately, Palmer spent more time on drugs and parties in the nineties than on rock and roll. This year he turns fifty, looks a shadow of his former self, and has released Rhythm & Blues, his most wretched effort to date. Palmer’s music sounds weary, uninspired, and seems hastily compiled. Maybe the man should think about getting a good night’s sleep. Van Morrison**** Back on Top (Polydor) “Van the Man,” as he has been respectfully referred to since the start of his career in the early sixties, is a monument. The Belfast-born Morrison has pumped out more than thirty albums, not one of them bad. As a matter of fact, they are all exceptionally good. The same can be said of his latest effort, Back on Top. Shunning the latest music trends, the CD is another of Morrison’s classic blends of jazz, gospel, folk, rock and, his favorite, blues. With his signature style and nasal voice, Morrison delivers yet another milestone in rock history. Back on top? “The Man” always has been! Liquido** Liquido (Virgin) First came the hit, Narcotic, that, with its stunning guitar refrain, sounded like a happier version of any one of Nirvana’s biggest hits. Liquido, the four-man group from Heidelberg, delivered a mega-hit. More than 500,000 copies of Narcotic were sold, leaving the group with no choice but to release a whole album as quickly as possible. Liquido is punk a la Green Day, pop a la Terrorvision, and a bit of hiphop a la Wu-Tang Clan. The album lacks some creativity – less concern for commercial salability would have been welcome – but Liquido is an enjoyable and chart-friendly piece of work.

tell a friend