Hip hop compilations are a raining down on us like bottles of piss during a Bonnie Tyler festival appearance but sadly quality control is not always the prime concern. Someone, somewhere, doesn’t so much have the wrong end of the stick but has lost it down the back of the couch and doesn’t even know where to start looking for it. Hip Hop’n’CooI: the Ultimate Feel Good Hip Hop Anthems (V2) 00 is as confused as the title is long. Think how much of a douchebag you’d look with the top down on yer Bimma, cruising with some honeys to the sound of


Snoop only for it to segue into the bloody Rebel MC or PM Dawn? More savvy when it comes to a good mix, MTV Base (Universal/Def Jam)

blend the sickly, slickly smooth: Christina Milan, Ashanti - with the

prickly: Nas, Bubba Sparxx - and some local quality: Ty, Floetry. This lacks some rough edges but has enough to keep things rolling. Kiss Presents

is sorely predictable when you consider the wealth of quality tunes to hand. Why is this the same old same old?

It might be the Kiss FM endorsement or just plain luck but Hip Hop Love (Sony) .000 goes the distance, mixing up all the familiar big Yank names’ takes on that slushy stuff. Going from the fine art of seduction with Justin Timberlake and Nelly to through the sweating and grunting courtesy of Brandy and Kanye West and even the post-coital worries from Kelly Rowland. Hey, even the Jennifer Lopez track is one of her only two

R&B Classics (UMTV) 00

good ‘uns.

But maybe the old ones are the best. UK Fresh: The Definitive Electra/Hip Hop Collection (Universal) 0000 very nearly lives up to its name. Almost every electro track that broke the charts in the 805 from Doug E Fresh and Run DMC to Herbie Hancock, Shannon and even New Order and Art of Noise are here over four 005. A few will make the toes curl but much of it is as fresh as those straight-out-the-box Adidas shelltoes you’re sporting. (Mark Robertson)

(30s in one form or another translates into something l_)eautifully dated but never looking back in languor. (Rodger Evans)


Gran Hotel Buenos Aires

(Eighteenth Street Lounge) 00.

Considering the last Argentinian import to the UK was Juan Sebastian Veron. Latin composer Federico Aubele doesn't really have much to live up to. Just in case. hov-rever, he has here created an album rich in texture and exotic mood. Not only that, but it's lent a further contemporary edge by the production work of V‘Jashington DC's Thievery Corporation. Songs like 'Despertar' and ‘Esta Noche' benefit

from a lovely, languid groove which positively reeks of an emotive backstreets Buenos Aires vrbe. even for people whose only experience oi the country is watching the World Cup. It might be better head music than fuel for the feet. but still a fine summertime soundtrack in anyone's book. (Davrd Pollock)



(London) .0.

It didn't exactly take Einstein to work out who were the talented ones and who were the muppets in All Saints. Appleton have proved themselves little more than professional Wives for boys called Liam while on evidence of this. Sha/nay LeWis might actually have a

future in pop.

Open is reminiscent of the first Sugababes album: sassy and spunky. With enough genuine warmth to carry it through the occasional meander close to Beverley Knight soul IIIQ territory. Her collaboration with Basement Jaxx. ‘Mr Dawg' and the Bob Marley-sampling ‘Heart Made a Fool' are slick but fun highlights.

(Mark Robertson)


(Puu Sahko) COO ALICE RUSSELL Under the Munka Moon

(Tru Thoughts) 00..

Again perching delicately on the pop side of lefttield soul, the second solo outing for songstress Nicole Willis is a ltit-and-miss affair. Willis and hubby Jimi Tenor are ]()llt(}(l on production by one or two u;)-and-comings and while all boxes are ticked. Be It pulls its punches somewhat and fails a little short. Meanwhile. a deft mix

,, nicolo villi;

of cutting edge Brit hop sensibility and raw gospel inlluence ensures Alice Russell's debut satisfies with every weep. wail and tender caress. Essentially a collection of her solo and collaborative works to date. Under the Munka Moon eloquently showcases an awesome talent a pen and voice wrth great power. versatility and emotion. Some may be familiar with tracks from the bombastic Quantic Soul Orchestra. but there is much that will be new and each has a perfectly valid case to appear. A tick in every box and a lecture in 21st century soulful cool scribbled in the 'Other:' column. ilvlark Edmundson)


CARLA BLEY The Lost Chords IECM Records) 0000

Carla Bley is due back in Edinburgh shortly with Charlie Haden's New Liberation Orchestra. but this disc features the idiosyncratic pianist and composer in the smaller but very familiar company of saxophonist Andy Sheppard. bassist Steve Sv-rallow and drummer Billy Drummond.

The album was recorded on the road in Europe last year and the melodic twists. unusual harmonies and rhythmic shifts of the music are highly characteristic of Bley's quirky and original musical imagination. The band adds Drummond to her earlier trio. and all of her collaborators are thoroughly in tune with her thought processes '- th s sounds like a real band rather than a new combination.

(Kenny Mathieson)


Two Lone Swordsmen

This is, to be perfectly frank. nae guid. Nae guid at all. The List was having a perfectly lovely week until Busted decided they would spring on us not one but two tedious. rigor mortis grinning slices of Armageddon in the shape of double A- side licensing cash-in ‘3am/Thunderbirds are (30' (Island). So you think they're a bit of fun for the kids. the tall one's all right looking and that one or two of their tunes are actually quite catchy. eh? Duped on all counts. I'm afraid. They have as much soul as the sound of a photoc0pier and you're making them very rich in return for their steamrolling your kid's intellect. Until the revolution comes. ./ is the only revenge we get. And while we're at it . . . yes. Anastacia. we are 'Sick and Tired' (Epic) . Piss right off. Dear God. can anything restore Our sunny mood? Surely not the comeback of Mark ‘the Mack’ Morrison and his last-gasp stab at the big time ‘Just a Man' (2Wikid Everton striker Kevin Campbell's label. tact fans) 00. . Actually, yes! Because it sounds like Michael Jackson crooning over the Midnight Cal/er theme tune. and is - believe it or don't not that bad. Suitably primed. then, we venture into the realm of boys with guitars. Now don't expect any or all of these outfits‘ names to still be whispered on the ever-changing wind in six months but for now. the Summer of the big rill. Bloc Party's ‘Little Thoughts‘ (Witchita) COO. . The Departures ‘All Mapped Out' (Parlophone) COO. . Earth the Californian Love Dream's ‘Porn Star' (Random) .00. and The Vaults' ‘Saturday Night-Monday Morning Blackout EP’ (Red Flag) 000 are staking early claims on greatness. And nice to see Graham Coxon's raucous ‘Spectacular‘ (Transcopic) 000 keeping up with the pack, particularly because we now know ‘kompyoo-ah'n!‘ is Essex for ‘computer’. Apparently. On a gentler note, the incredible ballad-pop of The Golden Virgins‘ ‘Light In Her Window' (Rex/XL) 0000 . the soaring of Candidate‘s 'Another One Down' (Snowstorm) 0000 and Kathryn Williams' lush. limited edition ‘In a Broken Dream' (Caw) 0000 are all after-the-party tracks. Honorary mention, too, fer Goldie Lookin’ Chain and ‘Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers 00' (Atlantic) 0000 . which is great because (a) they're Welsh and (b) it's funny. 80 the stars are raining down like . . . well, like rain, and it looks like it's been a good fortnight. after all. Best for last. thOugh. because the Sabres of Paradise' cover of the Gun Club‘s ‘Sex Beat' Warp)...” is the finest. most unmitigatedly horny thing we've heard in ages. Single of the Fortnight. Busted, when you Sing a line like ‘we c0uld fuck fOrever. but yOu'Il never get my soul', then you‘ve earned at least one star. (30 on. do it, we dare ya. (David Pollock)