Danny Boyle's arty horror flick started brilliantly, ended badly, and was scored by a fast-rising Brit, John Murphy. But the musical highlight is Blue States' "Season Song", which is both chilling and reassuring. Brian Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)" is also ambivalently touching, while Grandaddy are, as ever, incapable of dullness. Not sure why Godspeed You! Black Emperor's efforts for the film don't feature, but Perri Alleyne's "Ave Maria" should cheer up disappointed crazed extremists.
Another day, another Bond movie. Forgive me if I can't get worked up about the McConcept, although David Arnold is, by any standards, a slick operator who does as much as anyone could to keep the formula fresh. Paul Oakenfold has a stab at remixing the James Bond theme, and, of course, Madonna and Mirwais concoct that title song. Here Madge contrives to sound like a tracheotomy victim rattling through an outtake from the Music album. "Sigmund Freud," she croaks. We wonder why. Then we realise she's simply trying to tell us she read a book once.
It's the 20th anniversary—already—of the groundbreaking TV pop show where enigmatic New Order vocalist Barney once furrowed his brow, stared at Paula Yates' arse and said to me: "Cor, I wouldn't half mind shagging that." Ah, melancholy '80s indieland, where the boys were poets and the girls were, if they had any gumption at all, somewhere else having a life. A splendid 37-track compilation this, as much for Wham! and Frankie as for Echo And The Bunnymen, Iggy Pop, U2, The Human League and The Jam.
Unlikely as he is—a white, upper-class rapper who positively revels in his Ivy Leaguery—Paul Barman offers a surprisingly fresh take on hip hop clichés. The absurd sexscapade "Cock Mobster" balances graphic detail with literary conceit ("I think of the pube I got while reading the Rubaiyat"), owing more to Woody Allen than standard rap bravado. But attempts at gravitas ("Anarchist Bookstore", "Talking Time Travel") resonate with all the panache of a student union debate.