CRAIG DAVID | Born to Do It (Wildstar) MANSUN | Little Kix (Parlophone) SIGUR ROS | Agaetis Byrjun (FatCat) THIEVERY CORPORATION | The Mirror Conspiracy (4AD)

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CRAIG DAVID | Born to Do It (Wildstar)

CRAIG DAVID | Born to Do It (Wildstar)

The title of David's debut album is apparently taken from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but once you start listening to the lyrics, it title takes on more of a Carry On meaning. With lines like "Follow me to my bedroom / This will be a night you won't forget", he reveals a confidence with the "pretty ladies" that's rare for a 19-yearold. Producer Mark Hill of the Artful Dodger smooths out any of two step's residual rough edges that were left in "Rewind" so that Born to Do It is a sleek, slick and bland 40-minute paean to David's sexual prowess and sensitive side. He's the new Sade, and that's not meant as a compliment. Laurence Phelan

MANSUN | Little Kix (Parlophone)

After the prog rock folly of Mansun's last album, Six, it's a relief to report that Paul Draper has rediscovered verses and choruses - and catchy ones, at that. He seems to have rediscovered David Bowie, too. For Little Kix, Draper has dusted off the stack heels and the eye-liner pencil and masterminded the band's move to dramatic, cinematic glam-grunge. The album could do with a few changes of pace and volume, not to mention some real emotion amid the drag queen posturing, but Paul Draper's high-powered falsetto and Dominic Chad's squawking, left-field guitar compensate nicely. Fans of Suede and the Smashing Pumpkins should definitely investigate. NB

SIGUR ROS | Agaetis Byrjun (FatCat)

When I describe the second album by Iceland's leading band as otherwordly and atmospheric, and when I say that Jón Thór Birgisson's high, androgynous voice sometimes floats into a 10-minute track after five minutes of ghostly, echoing melancholy, you might not be tempted to rush out and place your order. But fear not: Agaetis Byrjun is a gorgeous record. Wherever it's toweringly powerful, it's also humane and delicate, and there is always an accessible tune to give some shape to the layers of guitars, strings and brushed drums. Radiohead's "Exit Music" is a reasonable reference point, and another might be trip-hop: Agaetis Byrjun is intelligent, beautiful, sad, spiritual and original - and destined to be sneered at as "coffee-table music" in the near future. Don't listen to the backlashers. Listen to Sigur Rós instead. Nicholas Barber

THIEVERY CORPORATION | The Mirror Conspiracy (4AD)

The Thievery Corporation (Eric Hilton and Rob Garza) are best known for wearing bespoke suits and making music that sounds like it's straight out of Vienna, even though they hail from Washington DC. Their second album picks up where their debut left off in 1996, blending dub, drum'n'bass or bossanova rhythms with languorous lounge music and Italian film soundtrack samples. Comparisons to Kruder and Dorfmeister are as accurate as ever, but if anything the Thievery Corporation's compositions tend to have a tighter structure, so they always stay on the right side of the border between relaxing and soporific. LP

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