Mirwais Production

The title to Mirwais Ahmadzai's debut is absolutely definitive. Production, there is nothing but, with demonstrations of all those gadgets that made Madonna want to hire him for juicing up the grooves on her last album. In fact, there are parts of her single, "Music," to be detected throughout the disc: the down-tempo, electro breaks on "Definitive Beat" and the synthetic vocal sprays on "Disco Science." Mirwais' songwriting, on the other hand, is oblique and often lifeless. He invites his ear-catching sounds to walk onto the stage and then they just stand there and do nothing for the duration of the track. His blonde ambition boss makes an appearance on "Paradise (Not For Me)," but instead of injecting the minimal, filmy soundtrack with some sex appeal, she assimilates his dark aesthetics and drops a vocal that could have been much more effective if sampled from a bad European flick. Although Production was done prior to the release of Music, it's too bad Mirwais couldn't have come up with something better, considering all the hype afforded since the latter. (Sony)