Pop: ALBUM REVIEWS

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Suede: Sci-Fi Lullabies (below, Nude)

A double album of singles and b-sides from the indie noblemen, and a satisfying trawl through their back-catalogue swampland it is, too. It seems like vast continents of atmospheric gloom have been invested in their songs, giving their heavyweight angst plenty of elegant trimmings.

Sleeper: Pleased To Meet You (Indolent)

She maybe a top babe in Chris Evans's eyes, but Sleeper vocatist Louise "I invented the Spice Girls!" Wener has a voice as emotive as cold running water. Single "She's A Good Girl" is typical of her band's aural wallpaper guitars. Sleeper have always been over-rated, and this grey landscape is proof Louise and the Sleeperblokes are the St Dulls of Dullsville.

Nusrat Fateh Aly Khan & Michael Brook: Star Rise (Real World)

Asian global techno luminaries pay homage to the much venerated Asian vocalist Nusrat Fateh, who sadly died while this compilation was still work in progress. Not only do we get Nusrat's distinctively powerful vocals, we hear different variations on Asian electronica, be it the hard- edged Asian Dub Foundation or the drum and bass odyssey of Nitin Sawhney.

The Pastels: Illumination (Domino)

The patron saints of Scottish indie pop retain their love of gently poignant lyrics and mellow guitar rustlings with their umpteenth album in 10 years; but now there's a new electronic edge, adding curiosity value. As members of My Bloody Valentine and Tortoise are tipped to appear on a Pastels remix album next year, it's clear Aggi and Steven Pastel have a lot of adventurism, and wonky vocals, in them yet.

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