POP: ALBUM REVIEWS

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The Independent Culture
Femi Kuti 'Shoki Shoki' (Talkin Loud/Barclay)

The young Nigerian star draws much on the Afrobeats of his father, but adds a funkier American-influenced dance with heavy horns and huge percussion to produce a more exciting and very accessible album. A massive release that should easily cross over from worldbeat to popular culture. HHHH

Various Artists 'Barrio Nuevo' (Soul Jazz)

Latino sounds are creeping in everywhere this summer. So it's timely that those ace archivists and sequencers of Soho's Soul Jazz label delve into the past to create this collection of funk, soul and rock by Patti Labelle, War and others. HHH

The Donnas 'Get Skintight' (Lookout)

Often described as a female Green Day, the soon-to-be-massive Cali girls adopt a more metallic pose on their third album, garnering a bigger and better sound that make the likes of L7 sound sparse. Fourteen songs in 38 minutes - cool. HHH

The Cogs 'Viva' (Damaged Goods)

Meanwhile, in New York City, this girl-fronted bunch of Ramones-lovers bring a mini album of poppy punk songs with super catchy tunes and good lyrics. The defunct Kenickie should listen to this and weep. Nine songs in 20 minutes - very cool. HHH

Jimi Hendrix 'Live At Woodstock' (Experience Hendrix/MCA)

The 10th Hendrix issue on the family-run imprint sees one of rock's most legendary shows given the deluxe treatment. Features half an hour of previously unreleased material and comes with a 24-page booklet. HHHH

SINGLE OF THE WEEK

Nitin Sawhney 'Letting Go'(Outcaste)

After the clubland success of "Homelands", the multi-talented Mr Sawhney comes up with another work of beauty featuring the folky vocals of Tina Grace, strings courtesy of Instrumental, some Asian wailing and subtle beats. Fans of Portishead and Beth Orton simply can't ignore this. HHHH

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