Album reviews: Glass Tiger and The Internet’s latest

Culture Music

Glass Tiger’s Then … NOW … Next a catchy confection

Then … NOW … Next, billed as a compilation of past, present and future Glass Tiger hits, begins with an extremely upbeat song titled, “I’m still searching.” I enjoyed singer Alan Frew’s warm yet powerful voice. Many of the tracks, such as “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone),” “Animal Heart” and “My Town” are easily identifiable and have been popular on the radio since the band’s inception in 1985. While a few of the songs are a little too close to country for my liking, they are consistently catchy. Having now listened to the album two or three times, I doubt I will ever get the songs out of my head.

In a few songs, there is tension between the instruments and Frew, as Frew occasionally sings ahead of the beat. However, the CD provides a good glimpse of Frew’s range. Some songs are sung in a husky voice, in contrast to a clearer voice Frew showcases in others. The seventh track, “My Town” (featuring Rod Stewart), is particularly enjoyable, as it introduces Stewart’s unique voice to a classic song. My personal favourite is track five, “I Take It Back,” where Frew sings, “I take it back / What can I say / Sorry may not cut it, but I’m sorry anyway.”

On the third track, “My Song,” Glass Tiger collaborates with The Chieftans, a Celtic group based in Dublin, Ireland. The song utilizes Celtic-style fiddle, Uilleann pipes and the tin whistle. This adds an interesting twist, but is curious since nothing else like it appears on the rest of the album. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Frew originally comes from Scotland. While this explains his link to Celtic music, I still found it random that the track was included on an album that is so guitar-dominated.

Overall, Then … NOW … Next is filled with songs consistently of the rock genre, but there is a fair amount of variety between songs. I recommend listening to this album on a road trip, due to its easy-listening quality. The energy and memorable lyrics show how this group became such a large Canadian success.

The Internet’s Purple Naked Ladies a tangled mess of tunes

When I listened to Purple Naked Ladies, I was perplexed. The first track, “Violet Nude Women,” featured an extremely strange mixture of instruments, all playing in different keys. The result was extremely disjointed, and I found it anything but enjoyable to listen to. By the end of the track, the same erratic melodies had repeated many times, so it was extremely comforting to hear a solid singing voice on the second track, called “They Say.” This song features Tay Walker, and both the male and female vocals in this song were warm and full; unfortunately, they were once again surrounded by a lot of random beats and instruments.

The lyrics throughout are definitely original, and the diction is raw and blunt. There is one song called “C*nt,” but the lyrics don’t really seem to relate to the strongly worded title. My favourite song would have to be “Cocaine,” which includes the lyrics “I want to do some coke,” and “let’s snort.” They’re definitely not the type of lyrics one hears every day. If it weren’t for the band’s insufferable switching of keys within the song, I would find it very catchy. If you want to compare what works in music to what doesn’t, this album is for you.

The Internet is a group filled with potential; there are a lot of interesting beats and riffs played on different instruments, and the voices are soothing and warm. Unfortunately, the way in which they put things together leaves a listener disconcerted; there seems to be a lack of consistency and no real beat or melody to latch on to.