Picks and Pans Review: You're Under Arrest

updated 06/24/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/24/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Miles Davis

There always seems to be much more to Davis than meets the ear, and the notion was never more obvious than on this album. Three of the tracks have to do with arrests; they're full of sirens, street noises and muttering cops (including Sting of, appropriately, the Police). Juxtaposed with this apparently politically motivated heavy material—it hardly seems like music a lot of the time—are cover versions of two frothy pop hits, Michael Jackson's Human Nature and Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time. What's most striking about them is the straight, almost note-for-note rendering Davis gives the melodies; he could have wandered out of the brass section of Lawrence Welk's band. Then there's Katia Prelude and Katia, on which Davis, fusion guitarist John McLaughlin, bassist Darryl Jones and synthesizer manipulator Bobby Irving weave some ethereal jazz. The polyglot nature of this album hardly seems an accident. Davis is pictured on both front and back covers brandishing a toy M-16 automatic rifle, along with his standard-issue scowl. What that means is just as enigmatic as the rest of the project. Davis' followers will be interested in the LP for its puzzles if nothing else. But others should beware; this is not the way for new listeners to get turned on to one of the major forces in modern music. (Columbia)

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