Pop; ALBUM REVIEWS

The Beastie Boys `The Sounds of Science' (Grand Royal/Capitol)

Unlike most career retrospectives, this double album isn't afraid to show a few blemishes and it's all the better for it. Hence, garage-punk, cow-punk and instrumental workouts do battle with their raging hip-hop hits, forming a

fitting tribute to a band that has always been brimming with ideas. HHHH

U God `Golden Arms Redemption' (Wu-Tang Records)

Another week, another Wu-Tang Clan release, this time lyric-twister U God's first solo outing. The Clan's prolificacy - including sidelines in clothing and computer games - is wearing thin, but this is a refreshing listen, especially the edgy "Bizarre" and chilling "Rumble". HHH

Lightning Seeds `Tilt' (Epic)

Just when the Seeds seemed to be overexposed as a cosy music-for-adverts band, clever old Ian Broudie gives his tunes an electronic input, producing new pop standards with a hint of classic New Order. The results are more accomplished than recent efforts by the Pet Shop Boys or Electronic. HHH

Tin Tin Out `Eleven to Fly' (VC/Virgin)

The soft beats of production duo Lindsay Edwards and Darren Stokes have helped Des'ree, the Corrs and Baby Spice achieve hits, but this slab of sugary and over-sophisticated dance-pop is a pale shadow of their genuinely innovative work with Morcheeba. HH

Culture Club `Don't Mind If I Do' (Virgin)

They had their 15 minutes of fame 15 years ago, and now they've reformed to bring us these maudlin ballads, sub-UB40 "reggae" and a cover of Bowie's "Starman". They're also on a seasonal arena tour, supported by Belinda Carlisle whose recent greatest hits album begs investigation well before this. H

SINGLE OF THE WEEK

Gouryella `Walhalla' (Code Blue)

If you haven't already danced to this trance classic in a club or bar, there's a high probability that you will do so sometime over the party season. A huge, euphoric, anthemic tune, it's extremely well-crafted by producer of the moment, Ferry Corsten and his cohort, DJ Tiesto. HHHH

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