Wctoria Beckham recently adiizitted that her image is as irritating as hell. Her lady ship would rather we tours on her ll‘illt("l-lltlt‘iiljiflg music: cue the ropy new sinule ‘A Mind Of its Oi-rn'

(EMI 0 ji. Although finally frec- tr'oni these vocoder shackles. this over—produced ballad has predictably playschool lyrics no doubt written by Brooklyn or hubbie.

Ana Ann does nothing for gender politics with the excrLICiatingiy insipid excren'it'Z-nt the t 'Ride' (LL 0 i. a tale about the trials ot putting n'iake—uj.) on and buying shot-2s. Suffragettes need not apply. Slig’jhtly more successful in the fiinkier section of the selection is No Doubts “Hey Baby“ ilntersceiiu 0.0 i

an infectious nae oi’ioring ‘-."i.'l"il(2ll l'ias 'hit single stan‘iped in every one ot its (.jroovi-j-s. Liason unleash a reriiix of more so;ii-tic:.;irz:iying UK garage on the indistinct 'V‘i’hzitcha Gonna Do' (East-Side O i.

Ben and Jason‘s ‘Flow The Hell Do i Explain (Go Beat 00.. l is a breath of fresl'i air showcasing their reliably smooth vocals. delicate harri‘ioniei‘. and lovely rich string sound. Equally sigh-inducing is 'Breathe' :Vital 0000 l by Leaves whose tantalising and haunting blend of grandiose piano lines and accustic guitars make tl'ieri‘i the newest contenders for the Coldplay crown.

Clinic bring an unhinged and organtingcd SOund to sl'iatter the calm on ‘t‘i/z'ilkingtj iih Thee' (Domino 0000 i: beguiling wacko rock never sounded so good. The same goes for Jim 0’ Rourke‘s Therefore i Arii' {Domino 0... ). an emotional lament turned into a defiantly catchy slice of disjointed guitar brilliance. Biffy Clyro‘s {Beggars Banquet .00. ) is fresh, exciting and utterly life affirming as its searing guitars and dark melody have a bite and an attitude that sets them up nicely for stardom.

lnsomniacs will‘:lcome the latest offering from first—class bland boys The Lighthouse Family who send us to sleep with another advert theme in the v. ailing. 'Run' iPolydor O. l. which is the best advice they've ever given us. The Beta Band's laid- back. loop- happy ‘Sguares' {Regal 0000 l ".'\.' lizaive been a real Wll'll‘ltél’ had that exact same sample not been used on I i‘\./l<')nster's'=> hugely 5.;uccessful ‘Daydrearri In Blue'. l“><>i‘ti:-.;l'ieail ant about a million (")tl‘iers before. Fiery new hopes Halo release an infectious and dramatic ~:'::.icoj_ihony of guitars on ‘Cold Light Of Day' iSony COO. '1 but it's narrowly beaten to Single Of The Fortnight by Trashmonkeys “it/hose ‘Sundiiys' (Acid Jazz “00.; is utterly chaotic. their madcap rock is an instant hit spat out at frenetic pace with seratcliy guitars and a killer organ solo that Spirals out of control. And not 2i Gucci babygrow in sight. (Camilla Pia'i

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i~i<§ill<i i <Zill<>NlCA VARIOUS ARTISTS

No Rewind

-iiir‘,gi.'..1: 0...

last summer a clutch pioneering spirits assembled in Glasgow for a day and highll of what can only be described as cfu'i/fongirig 'nusic. By (iiiatlenging we mean you have to think abOLit ‘.'.'l‘;it you're listening to before you jump around like a singed tabby. The itisti'taiit compilation l‘?{lr\(}f‘i for i;"tii&;iiig but r~t:‘.'.'arding listening. Most ;.'lf;l{i.'ll'\ ii-i .resswe are a trio of gis'ta" outfits: Servo. (Eagipo {it‘tl l ate Night sic-g"- l-tarl'o. Servo appeal despite gothy f‘i‘.(}"I()th}f; and late N gj'i'. ioioign Radio capture the all elbo‘rvs- arizi ct“. loci spirit of ca". Sonic Youth and ".1277..T‘ftlllit}l)tltll|flg

itiii‘tasst:s of t=ronose

{i'lil l-‘izirk Psychosis.

l -::-::,t ‘.'.'<; forgot Doatn ini'iute "‘iii'ipsisi' sonic -:‘:".i.i'a'i<:-:: lost or Neck Droplet zi'iti Aether Flux .'.".'i ll‘t:" scattergun

Cat s tumour;

t ikt: eating 'l'oblerone ‘l‘. a cane. “Jo RUDY/lit] is dark, o-"tir: ".g. air/kx'rard and extremely tasty. l/lark Robertsonl


Anthologie iltiii" Pianet- 0..

At ‘irst ’isfort. la Bottine S()Ll"i£tl".-Z: are hard to fathom. F'd heard they were this ama/ing. exuberant Quebecois n tie—piece. loved at folk festwals worlr'lv/ide. They've oxen got a foot percussionist. But the opening track on this 'bes‘. of' album sounded more like an S3 W l logmanay show

i itii'j). Surely some 'nistake. But as the iiiiisk: progresses. (Zl‘.£1"ll"t) 1):} years of l)l£:‘,llltl. things warm up.

ll‘eii sound has

ililillllt)l‘-£ll l ionch inusjc at t's {;().'t: but wow/es if j;i// and salsa iitto l‘it; tapestry. /\t tiiiiiis; sounding ancient (llltl tranquil ‘.'.’lll‘i

charitiig before movrng onto to 'ollii:kiiig good tunes l"£l(l(: for dancing. -'lri.'/io/ogio is an ideal introduction to l a

Bottine Souriante. hinting if not completely reproducrng the energy that makes them such a popular live act.

(Louisa Pearson)


P82 METAL GEAR SOLID 2 (Konami) £39.99 000.


The Newton Plum (lci d'ailleursl .00

Bed are a very aptly- named outfit. The French band which is in fact composer singer. multi—iiistrumentalist Benoit Burello playing wrth various partners. take the minimal. jazzy electric noodling thing . . . right off to sleep. OK. that makes The Newton Plum sound like pants under the duvet. but's not really that bad: it's just that it's hard to take the wake up call on music that's pretty much an apology for making any noise whatsoever. Still. were you lying in your bed half-awake at dawn and finishing off that final roach. tunes such as 'Moonlight' and ‘Nightcap' might take you to the happy place. (Miles Fielder)


Faith Evans Faithful/y (Ar/star The one-time Mrs Notorious BIG. conjures up some poppy R&B rubs with help from the Omniscient P Diddy. Neil Halstead Sleeping On Roads (4A0) The Mojave 3 frontman indulges in some sleepy COUntry vibes.

Various Artists Fabric Live 02 - All 8 (Fabric) The Fabric resident gathers up another armful of too-cool-for- school beats and

Makes the original look like Manic Miner

Since the golden age of gaming, when Sinclair Spectrums ruled the land and joy came in the shape of an audiocassette, people have compared computer games with movies. Storytelling, adventure, escapism, the fight between good and evil, comedy, tragedy, love, life and death are the foundations for both types of media. Granted, the method in which these themes are explored is radically different but the similarities in content and emotion are unquestionable. What has been questioned though, and this is familiar to anyone who loves gaming, is the right for games to rank themselves alongside movies as pieces of art.

Chief witness for the defence is Hideo Kojima. His sneak-’em-up, Metal Gear Solid, captured the heart of everyone who played it. The initial adventures of the hero Snake were beautifully crafted, teasing mind, body and soul like no other title. And now he is back, in an all-new mission that makes the original look like Manic Miner.

The best way to experience M682 is to play the first game then launch into the second with no regard for the instruction manual. Exploring all the extra moves, weapons and enemies is worth the price of the title alone, while the well- paced action and plot carry you relentlessly through room after room after room. Not that it is speedy. Rush through this game and you miss all the fun. Deciding how best to tackle each obstacle, each alert guard, is half the fun and the variety of possibilities offered makes every choice unique, personal and eternally gratifying.

There is, however, one irritation. The Full Motion Wdeo sequences that are used to further the plot are long, beautiful, action-packed, worthy of any top-notch movie and ultimately intrusive, getting between player and game. breaks that claim to be Games, especially those of MGS2’s quality, funkier than they really might very well be works of art but ultimately are. they are not movies. If only Hideo Kojima had Alexander O’Neal realised this M682 could have been the gamer’s Saga 0/ A Married Man Citizen Kane. (lain Davidson)

(Eagle) A man once lauded for his silky. lady- bothering smooveness commits to tape his post-wedding traumas. Bad Religion The Process Of Belief (Epitaph; US veterans of the 80s hardcore punk scone return wrth vigour.

ps2 JETSKI RIDERS (Eidos) £39.99 .0

still waters of Venice. the realism of the riding surface is gob smacking. It moves like water. pitching your jetski from pillar to post. and even retracts the light when you plunge

The water in Jetski Riders is spectacular. From the impressively believable waves on the beachside levels to the