Picks and Pans Review: Picture Music
Don’t buy this ambitiously titled tape expecting to bop home, pop it into the VCR and enjoy a sumptuous audiovisual feast. Better yet, don’t buy it at all unless you like chewing through a lot of fat to get to the meat. Maybe Picture Music, which includes 15 videos by different artists, would serve for a party tape. But even a roomful of revelers too wasted to see what is happening on the screen would soon grow impatient with this yawnsome collection of video clichés. Buried among the hackneyed images of alien inner-city apartmentscapes, seductive sections of the female anatomy and digitized future shlock that were the stock-in-trade of MTV’s earliest offerings, the tape does boast some quality clips. Naked Eyes’ Euro-cinematic Always Something There to Remind Me, George Thorogood’s bow to the blues in Bad to the Bone and Thomas Dolby’s loony send-up, She Blinded Me With Science, stand out among the host of acts that appear as video ghosts of their now-seldom-heard-from selves. The best is saved for last. Steve Miller’s Abracadabra, directed by Peter Conn, displays just the right mix of music and razzle-dazzle, full of juggling, clowning and, of course, magic tricks. It’s hardly worth sitting through the reset of the bland and banal fare though.