Pop: album reviews

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Soundgarden: A Sides (A & M) Seattle's Soundgarden beat down the door to the mainstream rock world at the turn of the decade, allowing many bands, like Nirvana, to clamber through. Their combination of Sabbathesque licks and wry cynicism fuelled quality stuff, and included here is the full frontal riff-rocker "Badmotorfinger", along with "Jesus Christ Pose" and "Rusty Cage". But the humorous cynicism descended into angst that swallowed up singles culled from the bleak but million-selling album, Superunknown.HHHH

Lighthouse Family: Postcards From Heaven (Polydor, below). The Lighthouse Family make perfect advert music - even when the music isn't for adverts. Messrs Paul Tucker and Tunde Baiyewu have unleashed another opium-for- suburbia long player, to sit alongside the new mPeople offering. Safe, and deviously seductive. HHH

Bennett: Street Vs Science (Roadrunner)

If Disney ever chose a band for a cartoon about a modern-day teen pop- rock band, Bennett would be the ideal model. While they lacked embarrassment enough to pen the gimmicky top 40 hit "Mum's Gone To Iceland", with their second album they show signs of wanting to be taken seriously. Good grief. Every song is fired by naive spirit, but tunes lack the fibre of real ideas. HH

G Love & Special Sauce: Yeah, It's That Easy (Okeh/Epic) G Love fronts no less than four bands (Special Sauce, the All Fellas Band, the Philly Cartel, the King's Court) reflecting the rather frenzied eclecticism of the vocalist/songwriter. But sometimes you feel that more actually means less. This white Philadelphian goes on a sort of black culture assault course: from a bluesman to a rapper to a gospel-hollering funker. Will the real G Love please stand up? HH

HHHHHexcellent HHHH good HHH average HH poor

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