POP
HHHH excellent HHH good HH average H poor

Bernard Butler: People Move On (Creation, below) He sulked and scowled his way out of Suede, but Butler's debut album is a one-man responsibility, during which he only partly lives up to the godlike guitar geezer tag. The snowballing intensity of "Woman I Know" is delicious, and he manages multiple epic guitar passages without turning into Joe Satriani too often, but his voice doesn't carry enough weight to give the songs a killer instinct. Time to make some new friends - among better vocalists, perhaps. HHH

Carleen Anderson: Blessed Burden (Virgin) If the recent Ocean Colour Scene team up with PP Arnold was your bag, you'll be in ecstacy with this. Vocal Olympian Ms Anderson ropes in ex- Galliano members, as well as Paul Weller, and the result is a stunning collection of songs - rock with a 24-carat soul heart. Okay, the passion for old-school values gives it a whiff of worthiness sometimes, but the highly charged "Leopards In The Temple" or "Woman In Me" is proof enough that this is a blessed release indeed. HHHH

North & South: Allsorts (RCA) These BBC TV No Sweat stars deserve the somewhat dated teenybop tag, because this is hideously Eighties fare that even D:Ream would have baulked at. Songs are a conveyor belt of gauche, galloping synth-pop disasters like their hit, "I'm A Man not A Boy". Might get the white stilettos tapping in various disco nitespots, but anyone with taste will reach for the paracetamol after 10 minutes. H

Latryx: The Muzappers Mixers (A&M) There's a funky groove reminiscent of The Sugarhill Gang early on, despite the contemporary hand of DJ Shadow. Sadly, its party vibe soon descends into monotony as the same rhythms spill into several tracks, and a bundle of bland remixes clog up the second half of the album. HH

Angela Lewis

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