ALBUM REVIEWS

Andre Williams & the Sadies `Red Dirt' (Bloodshot)

Back on the recording front after supporting the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the veteran Chicago sleazy R&B man joins up with Toronto's excellent country surf Sadies for a romp of country/blues/surf tunes including a few classic country covers. Nice and dirty does it. HHH

Howe `Hisser' (V2)

After the success of the OP8 project , Giant Sand frontman and general cult hero, Howe Gelb, presents this most likeable solo work. Steeped in Arizona desert imagery, this largely acoustic work is one of those albums that could have a semi-permanent spot next to the hi-fi for late-night playing. HHH

Kate Rusby `Sleepless' (Pure)

On her second album, the youthful Ms Rusby continues her trend of freshening up 11 trad songs. The result is a gorgeous 45 minutes of dreamy acoustic music with a strong sense of English folk and a foothold in the Nineties. A sure contender for the Mercury Prize shortlist. HHH

Basement Jaxx `Remedy' (XL)

The sound of summer '99 comes by way of Brixton in the shape of this duo's vision of back to basics party-all-night-long music. Elements of deep funk and fried house with a punkish clubland feel give this a broad enough appeal to follow in the wake of Fatboy Slim's success. HHHH

Suede `Head Music' (Nude)

Another Suede album, another array of beaming reviews, but why? The trend is to dismiss formulaic American rock but really this is just stadium rock for sensitive people. It has its moments of a band really playing well together but at other times that singing is unbearable. HH

SINGLE OF THE WEEK

Mercury Rev `Opus 40' (V2)

The third - and best - single so far from the Deserter's Songs album. A glorious, delicately dreamy five-minute slab of music, from the band from Buffalo, that, along with their current UK tour, should help keep the profile high. HHH

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