Picks and Pans Review: The Sporting Life

updated 09/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Diamanda Galás with John Paul Jones

If the spirit of Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Maria Callas and Jamie Lee Curtis's Halloween "Scream Queen" could coexist in the same vocal cords, they would have to belong to Diamanda Galás. Galás has dedicated a large chunk of her 15-year career to shrieking, yelping, gasping and crooning over the havoc wreaked by AIDS. (Galás's brother, playwright Philip-Dimitri Galás, died of the disease in 1986.) But on her 10th album, which features Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones on bass and Pete Thomas from Elvis Costello and the Attractions on drums, Galás focuses on romance, exploring love's dark side, where obsession, fear and anger sleep side by side: "I'd like to say I could forgive you/But I can never forgive/Just forget," she growls on "Do You Take This Man?" So what if her approach—at once stripped-down and overblown—is too obscure and gloomy for Top 40 addicts? They can always go back to The Lion King soundtrack. (Mute)

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