CMJ Presents: Certain Damage Volume 38
I used to buy CMJ magazine every chance I could get. They weren’t always easy to find: if a shop had it one month, they might not the next, and so it became a never-ending treasure hunt n the towns where I lived. Yes, I could have subscribed, but what’s the fun in THAT? Anyway, the magazine was cool but it was always the CD I wanted, a mix of new stuff I didn’t know I needed to hear until I heard it. I still get their mixes once a month, but it’s all digital now. Still, not bad for free!
I knew of this series called Certain Damage from CMJ, but this is the only one I’ve ever owned (and #38!). And now, the mix!
I never liked My Bloody Valentine, but Only Shallow sounds very spacey 90s and surely appeals to many. Hole’s Teenage Whore also does nothing for me. If I wanted Nirvana, I would just go play Nirvana.
Ah, now we’re cookin’. Always great to hear the Pixies, with Head On. Shadowy Men From A Shadowy Planet’s Dim The Lights And Chill The Ham/D-Tour has a jazzy intro that becomes a fun bouncy pop song. I’ve never heard of Flowered Up, or their song called It’s On, but hearing this I think I know why. I don’t like Brit-Pop from that era, and this was second-rate at that.
I loved the groove and flow of Black Sheep’s Flavor of The Month, and Matthew Sweet’s classic Girlfriend is always a great song to hear. Then it’s a great, quick rap tune with Definition Of Sound’s Wear Your Love Like Heaven. One sequencing fault: CMJ should’ve mixed this with Black Sheep and DoS together, not jamming Matthew Sweet in between.
I’d forgotten all about Prong, and Get A Grip (On Yourself)’s fun noise was a cool reminder. Dead Can Dance’s song Spirit is a sweet track, I always dig them. Levitation is another band I didn’t know, and their song Firefly is an OK drift-off tune. Manic Street Preachers (hey 1537!) offer up Stay Beautiful, which this song does in a cool pop-rock vein.
Another unknown (to me), Follow For Now has a song called Holy Moses, which has a Living Colour sort of vibe, and then it’s a CD highlight track for me, the gorgeous Why Believe In You by Texas. This was new to me, but the sweet vocals, slide guitar accents and piano, the driving beat… yeah I liked this.
Cud’s Magic is very Simple Minds-ish, Sinead O’Connor offers up a gentle, quiet and sparse (yet very powerful) tune called Sacrifice. And then… Enya? Frickin’ ENYA? Caribbean Blue, apparently. And lastly, Nitzer Ebb’s I Give To You, which is… um… how do I describe this? There’s these weird paranoia-inducing vocals and the track builds into crazy WHOA.
In sum: This flashback CD (it’s from 1991!) batted about 50%, for me. Not bad for $2.