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Holmes Nostalgic for Deadly NYC

Jamiroquai revels in updating Stevie Wonder’s tongue-twisting urban lyricism. But leave it to Belfast native David Holmes, on Lets Get Killed (1200/A&M), to milk an entire album from Wonder’s song “Living for the City.” Meshing funky, shifty drum’n’bass grooves with taped street talk (cab drivers, drug dealers, asphalt astrologers, and other chatty Manhattanites), Lets Get Killed is Holmes’ sonic inner-city diary of the time he spent living in N.Y.C. Like the quasi-documentary photography of Nan Goldin and Jim Goldberg, the album simultaneously romanticizes its subjects and keeps their filth at a voyeuristic distance. For balance, an addictive, if simplistic, reworking of James Bond themes mocks the seriousness of Holmes’ sonic undercover work. And the distinctive addition of rock instruments on some cuts truly distinguishes Holmes’ compositions, and his aspirations.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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