to 2000's Just Backward of Square - really does demand a listen on its own merits. Okay. so it isn't staggerineg original. but then neither are the ‘Play themselves. What it is. however. is a record bounding With warm. feelgood books. not least during recent single ‘We [)on't Have Much lime'. ‘lhe Same Way' and ‘Just a Ride are also perfectly affable radio songs. but Darren l-ord's tender acoustic opener 'Ouiet Times' is the best of a reasonably good lot. (DaVid Pollockl


JASON MORAN The Bandwagon (Blue Note) mo

Jason Moran has established a well earned reputation as one of the most original and forward-thinking jazz pianists to have emerged in recent times. This disc was recorded live in the Village Vanguard With his regular trio of Tarus Mateen (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drumsl. and it captures the band in electrifying form. The addition of sampled v0ices on a couple of tracks will irritate some listeners. but the playing throughout is exhilarating. The bulk of the music is Moran's own. but he also includes his distinctive interpretations of tunes by Brahms. Jaki Byard. ‘Body and Soul' and an epic reshaping of Atrika Bambaata's ‘Planet Rock'.

(Kenny Mathiesonl


Kill Bill OST (Maverick) COO.

Bill. Tarantino's melting pot of c0untry rock. iazz and rap exudes

bare 051.88 Narc,‘ Sit‘al'a i341? tier «fife’“i>1;H:l/e<fi :rtt ‘Barg Bang'. and Bernard Psycho. (34e7y.l<a/n5l4rflrrzuin re'vii'os us that he’s the Kzng of the kille' soundtrack .vith ‘T.v:sted Nenxe'. The ya/x spirit :s recognised with the Jaw-dropping qutxisay of/klrhrt while Wu Tang Clan mastermind RZA tips the tempo with 'Ode tc Oren lshii’.

Lest we forget the finest of Tarantino's soundtrack singles yet. we've got Santa Esmeralda's Latini/ed workout of 'Don't let me be Misunderstood. Sure Jackie Brown gave us a neat aural history in 70s soul but this is Le Big Mac of the soundtrack genre. (Anna Millarl

METAt LIMPBIZKIT Results May Vary (Interscope) 00

OK. everyone hates Fred Durst. Let's iust get that out of the way. And With limpbizkit (lower case. one word. keep up folks) his domineering personality is impOSSible to escape. stamped as it is across every single second. It leaps from party time rap rock ('Gimme the MC) and growling introspective metal (‘Eat You Alive') to ‘mature' acoustic numbers ('Build a Bridge). Yeah. of course it's fun to tear chunks out of the red- capped twat. but this is far less painful than anyone COuId have expected.

It certainly ain't the death knell for nu metal everyone predicted. but the end is nigh.

(Henry Northmorel



(Electronic Arts £39.99) 0...

Strange. isn't it'? A sport that receives a gaming shot lllrll‘tfft'tllll every year. bought by the bucketload. yet has no place in the UK Not on TV (unless you watch postmidnight fixe‘. not Il‘. schools and certainly not in the public arena. Shut up. Claymores fans. You are an extreme and mildly creepy minority. So. Without the supportive marketing base of sports like football. golf or even ice hockey. why does each new NFL release make its way from UK store to UK home with ease? Because it is simple to understand and addictive as hell. that's why. All that ubiguitous EA slickness makes even an NFL virgin excited about what is to come. And the mindless controls. hand-holding help and explosive action ensure that disappointment is not an option.

This latest incarnation is no exception. OK. there is no reason to buy it if you own last year's. Or the year before’s. They could be inaIiCIOusly making tip the updated and ‘authentic' player rosters, we have no way of knownig. But it you haven't got an NFL game then this is the one to get. It might feel strange learning a new sport but it's also great fun. llain DaVidsonl


COLIN MCRAE RALLY 4 (Codemasters £39.99) O.”

YOu may have seen the ads. They have been screaming loud ab0ut

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thenex. ' [Mit‘

Bali. :laJXIes with Blah

biat‘ lltl'l‘llX?! of dust parti::les Blah blah number of water droplets Question is. who cares" Unless the :fiiying experience is right. unless on feet connectioi‘ between hand and e,e. unless the breath catches in the throat over (urnps. unless the teeth grind while sliding round that bend. unless the cry of your co-driver becomes your best friend. unless the challenge is great but the rewards greater. unless all these things and more are present. who gives a flying


locus how 'nany bits of dirt are ground out by the console" luckily (Slit/1‘4 «foes all of the above with aplornb so. yes. those grains of sand and splashes of water are very pretty. thank you Not that you will set- thein. niind. Oh no.


You Will be 'ar too bum t'areeri'it; irito sandtanks. bushes. trees and fucks as usual to care ab tilt the ~.irtual inolet‘tilar niake llll of the local enamn'nent lllt'tflll‘, place you'll see it '5; iii the ads

‘ltlll‘ Jau'idsoni


(LucasArts £39.99) um

Star Wars fans must play this. Gamers who enjoyed the RPG elements to Deus Ex but gag at the thought of elves, arcs and wizards must play this. Goddam it, everyone must play this. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is close to perfect and probably the best Star Wars game ever made.

So what's the story? Well, the joy is you create the story. Like all BioWare games, Baldur’s Gate et al, there is one huge overriding epic consisting of hundreds of tiny quests, character developments and irrelevant pieces of fun. So, having created a basic character. the universe is yours to explore, destroy or save. And what a universe it is, dripping with Star Wars mythology and style. Sure, it’s geek heaven but even those who have only seen the movie on a Christmas afternoon will feel at home in such a

familiar setting.

But it is the gameplay that really shines. Although this is essentially an RPG game, the dice-rolling statistical drudgery is gloriously well hidden, freeing the player to truly enjoy their character as a character rather than a list of numbers. Then there is the added dimension of the Force. All your actions affect which side of the Force you are drawn toward, which in turn determines your development and eventually the way you appear. Jedi or Sith Lord, the choice is yours.

Pleasant on the eye, taxing on the mind, simple to control and with as much depth as any console game to date, Star Wars: KOTOR is a godsend for the XBox. A classic license bringing new players to a console that needs a bigger audience and a previously exclusive genre made more accessible. A must. (lain Davidson)

3’," 231,7: THE LIST 105