Randy Krbechek's Metronews
January 29, 1997
101 Dalmatians CD-ROM
Here's a children's review by my sweetheart, Gail:
Interactive CD, 101 Dalmatians
-- Dalmatians!!!! They're here on
Disney's CD-Rom game for children. Yes, all 101 of the dogs appear on this interactive
animated storybook CD-Rom. These Dalmatians spotlight reading and vocabulary-building
The Dalmatians entertain children with sing-alongs. The dogs also help children build
their vocabulary with a fun talking thesaurus and dictionary that defines words with poetry:
there is also an option to have the story read aloud to help the little ones increase their word
pronunciation. In addition, four exciting and doggone fun games are included for hours of
The interactive games have progressively difficult learning levels. If you have any
little detectives in the house, they are sure to be amused with FIND THE PUPPIES and
BREAK THE SECRET CODE games. I often hear, "I did it!" and "I found the puppies."
The Dalmatians have captured my childrens' attention for many, many hours. They
enjoy, of course, the DOGS and Cruella De Vil (Don't you just love that hair!). They like the
element of surprise in the animations and the feeling of success they achieve by winning the
As an added feature, Disney Interactive is 100% committed to satisfaction and
provides a toll-free assistance line to all its customers.
101 Dalmatians helps children ages 4 to 8 learn to read at the touch of a finger. This
is the kind of Dalmatian that would be welcome in any home with youngsters. So go
shopping for Pongo, Perdy and their adorable pups at your local computer store. Let your
children travel through 15 story screens to encourage exploration and discovery.
Better Than Ezra, Friction, Baby (Elektra
1996) - The second full disc from Better Than Ezra (and first regular
studio album) finds the hard-rocking trio ready for action. Recorded at
New Orleans' Kingsway Studios, Friction, Baby
builds on the group's first album (Deluxe) to create
(in the band's words) "a big overblown, self-gratuitous album. And a whole
Founded nearly ten years ago by singer and guitarist Kevin Griffin, Better Than Ezra
(the name comes from a line in Hemingway's "Movable Feast"), has endured several line-up
changes before reaching its current incarnation, which includes Travis McNabb on drums
and Tom Drummond on bass. Better Than Ezra also has strong New Orleans roots, as its
members have either attended and/or graduated from LSU.
Deluxe was originally released as an indy project, but was subsequently re-issued on
Elektra, where it sold more than 500,000 copies. Yet singer Kevin Griffin notes that,
"Success has its downside. People who don't know history think we're just another pop hit
band. But nothing could be further from the truth."
Because the band forged its solid, unpretentious sound during countless nights on the
road. That steadiness is reflected on such numbers as "Still Life With Cooley" and "Return
of the Post-Moderns." Better Than Ezra proves that the venerable three-piece band has life
(as did Semisonic on last year's, Great Divide), and,
Friction, Baby is ready to kick some
Picadilly Collection (A
& M Records 1996) - 80s popmeisters Squeeze are the subject of
another reissue in Picadilly Collection. Featuring 18
songs, including five never-before-available on CD, the biggest draw of
the album is its digital remastering.
Built around the great songwriting of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, Squeeze
was a terrific pop band. And all the classics, like "Tempted," "Black Coffee in Bed," and
"Pulling Mussels from the Shell," are featured. The album also includes newer material, like
"Loving You Tonight" and "Some Fantastic Place."
Inexplicably, the album doesn't include the band's recent collaboration with Aimee
Mann, "All Over Now." And I'm not convinced that the remastering job is completely
faithful to the original masters. For my money, Singles - 7" and Under remains the essential
Squeeze collection. But Picadilly Collection is a good introduction.
Vassar's Jazz: Golden Anniversary
(Winter Harvest 1996) -
You may not have heard of him, but you have certainly heard from him. The 11 songs on
Vassar's Jazz show fiddle player Vassar Clements at work, with a well-honed ensemble
During his 50-year recording career, the maestro has appeared on more than 2,000
albums, including 27 discs released in his own name. A consummate studio professional,
Vassar has worked with artists ranging from Bob Wills to Leon Russell to Paul
Vassar's willingness to be part of the band (not the star) is evident on Vassar's Jazz,
as he fronts an able four-piece combo (piano, bass, drums, and guitar). More jazz-oriented
than the recordings by contemporary fiddle wizard Mark O'Connor, Vassar still has a little
country in him, as displayed on such cuts as "Mixed Melody." Fiddle-playing fans will flock
to this release.
-- Randy Krbechek
(c) Randy Krbechek
David Anand Prasad with Idea Co.