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Pop Music | Record Rack

From Weezer, Exuberant 'Maladroit' Is Anything But

May 12, 2002|Richard Cromelin; Natalie Nichols; Soren Baker; Agustin Gurza; Lina Lecaro

**1/2 Various artists, "Spider-Man (Music From and Inspired By)," Columbia. Like the record-breaking movie, this soundtrack has its share of crowd-pleasing moments. But despite a lineup that includes Danny Elfman, Macy Gray (remixed by Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello), Slipknot's Corey Taylor and the Strokes, the collection isn't nearly as bold or complex as the comic book character it's supposed to represent --or as the diversity of the artists might suggest. Still, selections such as "Hero," which pairs Nickelback's Chad Kroeger and Saliva's Josey Scott, and Aerosmith's rendition of the classic "Spider-Man" theme hint at Spidey's mystique with a subtle touch.

--Lina Lecaro

***1/2 La Vela Puerca, "De Bichos y Flores," Surco/Universal. This exciting band from Uruguay is putting its tiny homeland on the map with its forceful mix of ska, reggae and punk, and its witty, penetrating Spanish lyrics. Produced by Gustavo Santaolalla and partly recorded in his L.A. studio, this is only the second album since the band's debut at a Montevideo street festival on Christmas Eve 1995. Although reminiscent of Argentina's Fabulosos Cadillacs, La Vela adds strikingly original forms, such as the intensely festive murga "Jose Sabia," an uplifting theme propelled by carnival drumming. Overall, an irresistible collection by a punchy band with a strange name.

--Agustin Gurza

**1/2 Deadsy, "Commencement," DreamWorks. People who think too much need rock too, and this debut (due Tuesday) from the L.A. quintet led by Elijah Blue Allman, a.k.a. P. Exeter Blue I, fits the bill. A horror-burlesque of '80s synth-rock, death-metal guitar, droning vocals and '70s prog-pop, "Commencement" is as theatrical as Slipknot, albeit in a prep-school/sci-fi/trust-fund-baby kind of way. Such muscular-yet-slick numbers as "The Key to Gramercy Park" and "Mansion World" are innovative and fun, but eventually a bombastic drone overwhelms.

--N.N.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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