Whoosh! Issue 49 - October 2000

LYRE, LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE MUSIC CD
By Mil Toro
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
1756 words



The CD (01-03)
The Songs (04-26)
The Final Score (27)
Biography



Lyre Lyre, Hearts on Fire Music CD




The CD

Avocation: Indigo Grrls Roadie

The CD cover.


[1] Although I have not been able to get through the episode LYRE LYRE HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510) more than once, I broke down and purchased the CD. I bought it only to hear Lucy Lawless sing, but I was delightfully surprised to find that the rest of the CD was well worth listening to. I was a little disappointed that Lawless did not sing at least one solo, but the music was still rather good.

[2] Lawless sings on five of the cuts. Her singing is a bit uneven, the best being "We Can Work It Out," and the worst being the song "War". She has a beautiful voice, but she needs practice and discipline. Lawless said in a Femme Fatales interview last year that "because of the amount of yelling that I do in Xena, and the looping after work-and when I do all the fights all over again-I just rip my throat to bits" (Vol. 8 No. 6/October 22, 1999). According to Sharon Delaney, president of the Official Xena Fan Club, Lawless has been practicing with a new band, so she should be getting her voice back into shape.

[3] The CD is eclectic, a radical departure from the other four Xena CDs. Diverse styles, including hard rock, funk, disco, a Broadway- style show tune, a pop song, punk/grunge, hardcore rap, Mediterranean music, Indian music, and Bulgarian songs are represented. Given the predominance of hard rock/grunge/rap music, the CD seems to be aimed at teenagers. Like the 5th season and Lawless' acting of late, the CD is all over the place. In this case, though, that is not necessarily a bad thing.


The Songs

[4] The songs are listed as they appeared on the CD, which is a different order than how they appeared in the episode.

1. Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves (Stewart & Lennox) - FUNK -(Xena/Amazon)

[5] A song made famous by Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox, it was originally much more of a dance song. This version is much slower and closer to funk. An enjoyable song where Lucy Lawless admirably holds her own in a duet with Gillian Iliana Waters, who played the Amazon leader, Amoria.

2. Dancin' In The Moonlight (Kelly) - DISCO - (Jace)

[6] While it is a good version of the disco song, I have a difficult time listening to Ted Raimi's pseudo-Spanish accent. It keeps reminding me of the people who used to make fun of my father because of his heavy Spanish accent. I know that Raimi did not mean it that way, and I realize that is my own issue, but I have not been able to get through this song more than once.

[7] If you do not have a problem with fake Spanish accents and do not mind Ted Raimi, it is a decent version of the disco classic.

3. We Can Work It Out (Lennon & McCartney) - POP - (Xena/Gabrielle)

[8] This is the highlight of the CD, although this song did not make it into the episode. Lawless and Susan Wood sing a duet as Xena and Gabrielle. Lawless' singing is great in this song, especially when she goes into the John Lennon-alto part during the bridge. Too bad the song is only 2 minutes 29 seconds, but that is what the endless replay button is for. The song was not in the episode LYRE LYRE because there were problems securring the rights to the song in time for the airing of the episode. They were able to retain them for the CD].

[9] A note about Susan Wood [Editor's Note: She also dubbed Renee in BITTER SUITE]: She has a good voice, but she does not seem to capture the spirit of Gabrielle very well. In contrast, the woman [Michelle Nicastro] who dubbed Callisto in THE BITTER SUITE (58/312) matched Hudson Leick (and Callisto) perfectly. Nonetheless, this song is my favorite track on the CD, mostly because of Lawless.

4. Gettin' Ready (Strauss/Lyrics Armis & Foster) - SHOWTUNE

[10] From the musical Bye Bye Birdie, this is pure show tune. Writers Adam Armis and Nora Kay Foster rewrote the lyrics to fit the Xena episode. Lawless and O'Connor talk- sing their lines. Although I am not crazy about show tunes, this song is fun.

5. No Talent To Find (LoDuca) - ALTERNATIVE?

[11] I could have lived without hearing this track, which is more noise than a song. Nails scratching across a chalkboard would have been more bearable. The 53 seconds is waaaay too long.

6. Spurned (LoDuca) - INSTRUMENTAL

[12] A blues-rock interlude.

7. Kick Out The Jams (Smith, D. Smith, Kramer, Tomich, Dermier) - HARD ROCK (Draco)

[13] Draco gets rocking! This is a great song where Jay Laga'aia sings his b*tt off. I wonder if he jams (pardon the pun) on the side, because he has a great rock voice. The song features great guitar work, too. Be forewarned though: it is LOUD and should be played at high volume.

8. People Got To Be Free (Brigati, Jr. & Cavaliere) - DISCO (Cast)

[14] This is another disco song that is lots of fun. The original 1960's classic was a rock tune, but this rendition is a great dance song. Raimi starts the song off, and Lawless throws in a few lines as well. Later on, Laga'aia joins them. Wood (as Gabrielle) has a cameo too, albeit not a very flattering one.

9. Throwing Kisses (LoDuca) - INSTRUMENTAL

[15] This is a slow and funky rhythm & blues interlude.

10. Always Something There To Remind Me (Bacharach & David) - PUNK/GRUNGE (Draco)

[16] This is more Draco, here singing to Gabrielle. Forget that. You do not need to know the episode to enjoy it. This song is great! A very hard rock version that Laga'aia, doing a brilliant rendition of Johnny Rotten, makes his own. I am sure Burt Bacharach never had that in mind when he wrote this song.

11. Xena Feeds Back (LoDuca) - instrumental

[17] This is the Xena Theme song in guitar feedback. Too funny!

12. Xena Rap (LoDuca) - HARDCORE RAP (Xena/Draco)

Xena: Dis b*tch got game! (Whoa! Did Xena really sing that?!!)

Xena: Yea! Dis b*tch got game! (Yes, she sure did. Twice! Yikes! LOL.)

[18] A word of advice to Lawless: If you ever do come out with your own CD, do NOT do any more rap. Oy! Actually, I quite enjoyed this song. However, if you do not like Kid Rock or Prodigy, you might not care for it. It is hard core, and you have to play it LOUD to really appreciate it. The highlight is the Xena Theme song in an electric guitar solo. Overall, I thought the song itself was great, but Lawless does not really do it justice (sorry Luce). It is just not her style.

13. At Long Last Lyre (LoDuca) - instrumental

[19] This is more heavy electric guitar solo work, another interlude that leads into the next song.

14. War (Strong & Whitfield) - FUNK (Xena/Draco/Amazon)

[20] A pedestrian (and cringe-inducing) rendition of the 1970's classic, this is easily the worst song on the CD. Lawless sings most of the lead erratically, to put it nicely. However, Lawless cannot totally be blamed for this. Musically, this song just was not very good. As a side note, O'Connor sings background vocals on this song and the one line "it ain't nothin' but a heartbreaker". Renee, sweetie, do not quit your day job.

15. Tara's Dance (LoDuca) - MEDITERRANEAN

[21] At this point, the CD wildly veers off into the more familiar sounds of Joe LoDuca's original music from the series. This song, better known as "Let the Spirit Move Me," is from the episode TALE OF TWO MUSES (74/406). Although in the episode it played during a scene between Tara and good old what's-his- name, the words are more apropos for Xena and Gabrielle. It is very romantic.

16. Cheromlik Dance Party (LoDuca)

[22] Heavy drums are featured in this Amazon song from LIFE BLOOD (106/516), an episode I am trying very hard to forget. This song is very good, though.

17. Grieving Dance (LoDuca)

[23] Although this song was from Ephiny's funeral during ENDGAME (88/420), you would not think "funeral" if you did not know the title. Beautiful and uplifting, it brings back memories of one of the series' most romantic and powerful scenes between Xena and Gabrielle.

18. Meditation (LoDuca)

[24] This consists of traditional Indian music.

19. Honey and Wine (LoDuca)

[25] This is more Indian music, very relaxing and quite beautiful.

20. Amazon Dance Party (LoDuca)

[26] Why this song is on this CD is anyone's guess. An odd choice, especially since this was also on the first Xena CD. It is a slightly different version than the first one, but I would have preferred the song "What Do I Do Now?" from the animated film in its place.


The Final Score

[27] I give it 4 out of 5 chakrams. I am not kidding. If I were to rate LYRE LYRE, HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510), the episode it was based on, I would give the episode only 1 out of 5 chakrams. How odd is that? (In comparison, I rated THE BITTER SUITE, both the CD and the episode, 5 out of 5 chakrams.) So, even if you did not particularly enjoy the episode LYRE LYRE, you should check out the CD anyway.



Biography

Mil Toro Mil Toro
I am a converted Canuck. I was born in New York City, raised in Philadelphia, lived in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and now for the last 14 years, in Toronto Canada. My job as a banker pays my bills, but writing is my true love, and I have written a few Xena stories and skits. They can be found through my website at - One In A Mil Xena Page
Favorite episode: THE DEBT I & II (52-53/306-307)
Favorite line: Xena: "I like to be creative in a fight, it gets my juices going" Gabrielle: "Can we cook with your juices?" A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215)
First episode seen: THE PRODIGAL (18/118), but the one that got me hooked was IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE (24/124)
Least favorite episode: I guess I can't count MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS (105/515) since I've never seen more than 10 mins of it. So my choice would have to be KINDRED SPIRITS (107/517).

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