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Review

Some salt, some spice

Now gives you established hits from a host of international artistes

Now 5
Virgin
Rs 125

Every few months Max and Now -- holdall titles -- compile rock, pop, soul, ballad hits.

Max tries to put together potential hits and is more discerning. Now plays it safe with established hits. This collection is one such. Here you find the Spice Girls, Bryan Adams, Kavana and Sheryl Crow singing familiar hits.

Bryan Adams sounds very good in his 70's rock-style When you're gone. The Moffats are still immature but ride high on a wave of popularity in Girl of my dreams. Their voices compare poorly with the Spice Girls, who deliver a lot of punch with Goodbye.

98 Degrees' Because of you is pleasant pop, but don't expect great depth. Emilia in Big big world is very dreamy, and so are the violin bits. 911 is again pop all the way with A little bit more. In Each time, E-17 -- don't know what it is with boy groups and numerical names -- attempt inflexions in the style of Boyz II Men.

Janet Jackson is her usual stylish self in Every time. The beat has an interesting odd-stroke emphasis. From this time on by Shania Twain sets off her crystal clear voice. But it carries too much selfconscious preening to really reach out.

U2's Sweetest thing may not be for those used to pop at its simplest; the Irish disharmonies give this group a distinct sound.

No regrets from Robbie Williams is full of disturbing thoughts, and the music too reflects them, starting deceptively calmly and then spiralling into loud, pained expression. It has elements of the disco-pop style of the '70s and reminds you of Seal's Crazy. Definitely more serious than most songs in this collection.

The Cardigans lead singer in My favourite game says she wanted to play saint and saviour to her lover and is losing at this bleak game.

All Saints with Bootie call come up with more controlled music, and play around with the beat, taking up the song off-beat at times.

Lighthouse Family offers more pop in Lost in space. Billie's dance number She wants you is fast and cheerful and like any other dance number is not complicated.

Kavana's Will you wait for me is a pleasant and slow number. Sheryl Crow's My favourite mistake is another love song with her rough, attractive voice. Roxette's haunting I wish I could fly is full of yearning and the lyrics are intelligent without being oversmart.






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