Pop: Album reviews

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Royal Trux: The Singles Live Unreleased (Domino)

The title of this dysfunctional extravaganza should really be The Worst Drugs In The World... Ever!, given the debauched punk rawk melee at work here. This is sporadically fascinating and appalling, a sort of deranged Sonic Youth-meets-Iggy Pop hybrid. To invite them into your heart is akin to letting in gatecrashers, who will merrily trash the place. H

Bryan Adams: Unplugged (A&M)

The mellow framework of the so-called "unplugged" format fits Bryan Adams's white-bread MOR quite well. His platitude-laden lyrics are a pain, especially as his voice is nothing more than a rasp 'n' whine, but the new arrangements of his hits, be they on acoustic guitar or given an Irish folk tilt, add to their attractiveness. Fans will have orgasms over this. HH

Various Artists: Tomorrow Never Dies (A&M)

The new 007 soundtrack plaything has David Arnold at the helm, adding a few more slickly atmospheric chapters to the Bond music canon. A thin- and sweet-sounding Sheryl Crow (below) isn't at her best on the title track, but k d lang is a smooth seductress elsewhere, while Moby turns the "James Bond Theme" into a soft, Prodigy-esque techno shuffle at the close. Good but not fantastic. HH

Various Artists: Tribute to Princess Diana (V2)

An insufferably depressing double album that drowns you in a tidal wave of sentimentality. The fact that proceeds go to the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund doesn't lessen the truth that this "tribute" is already dated and horridly melodramatic, packed with "linked" tunes: "Tears In Heaven", "Who Wants To Live Forever", "Everybody Hurts", etc. Listen and weep. H

HHHH excellent HHH good HH average H poor

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