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The Independent Culture
The Cardigans "Gran Turismo" (Polydor) These Swedes move on from last year's First Band on the Moon album by adding layers, textures and beats to achieve a more complex sound. On the whole, it works well - as on the single "My Favourite Game." HHH

Aerosmith "A Little South of Sanity" (Geffen) Culled from hundreds of concerts between 1993 and 1998, these are supposed to be the definitive live versions of favourites from throughout their 25-year career. They might be old dinosaurs, but the MTV generation has readily accepted them for their wit and big dirty riffs. HHH

Boo Radleys "Kingsize" (Creation) The biggest set of tunes yet from the critically-adored Liverpudlians. There are nods to Brian Wilson and Phil Spector but the biggest clue comes in the track "Jimmy Webb is God". An American-flavoured treat filtered through British sensitivities, and their best work yet. HHH

Bryan Adams "On a Day Like Today" (Mercury/A&M) On his tenth studio album, Adams tries to get a grip on 1998 with various contemporary twiddles and by duetting with Mel C from The Spice Girls on one track. Despite his efforts, it's mostly pleasant wallpaper that's little different from his back catalogue. Which means it will sell truckloads. HH

Fatboy Slim "You've Come a Long Way Baby" (Skint) Featuring two huge hits ("Rockafeller Skank" and "Gangster Tripping"), this is going to be one of the biggest albums of the year. And rightly so, as it incorporates an amazing vision and variety of musical sentiments in throwing everything from rock guitars and acid bleeps to piano over the grooves. HHHH

SINGLE OF THE WEEK

Grandaddy "am 180" (Big Cat) These modest Californians are building a significant UK following and they seem to be able to effortlessly ease out anthemic blasts like this. Think guitars, toy keyboards and layers of fuzziness as they switch from melancholy to intensity without warning. HHHH

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