MUSIC: CD REVIEWS - POP
Sunday 29 August 1999
The latest arms race between the music industry's superpowers sees their scientists working around the clock to fuse the Spice Girls' girl-gang appeal with the bolshy angst-pop of Natalie Imbruglia and the indie cred of an autonomous live band. Two companies have reached the testing stage: there have been singles from 21st Century Girls, who work for Spice svengali Simon Fuller, and Thunderbugs, who have been saddled with the world's worst name. But Columbia is the first company to press the red button and launch an album. It's a misfire. Hepburn's production is unstintingly professional - I'd be interested to know how much input the Hep cats themselves had - and "Bugs" and "I Quit" deliver the required payload, probably because they were written by Phil Thornally, composer of Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn". But Hepburn have no distinct personality of their own. The singer's accent and vocabulary swing from London to America and back, while the group's positioning between the kiddy and grown-up markets means that on one hand they sound twee and weedy and on the other they're more world-weary and lacklustre than four teenagers should ever be. Bring on the next model ...
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food