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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REVIEWS CDs -

LILY ALLEN

Lit­tlest Things Re­gal ★★★★

GRUFF RHYS

Candylion Rough Trade ★★★★ Lily’s wear­ing her frowny face for this lovelorn bal­lad. It’s not as catchy as Smile or LDN, but it’s got some snappy lyrics that should make a few ex-boyfriends blush.

Heart of Glass Pos­i­tiva ★ The Su­per Furry front­man is off on an­other solo trip, get­ting it to­gether in Wales with me­dieval babe Lisa Jen. This is the ti­tle track from Gruff’s new album, a gen­tle, trop­i­calia take on Smokey Robin­son’s My Girl.

BLONDIE VS EDISON

A dance ver­sion of Heart of Glass – how point­less is that? Heart of Glass is al­ready a per­fect dance tune, and doesn’t need any trance zom­bies muck- ing about with it. Alas, they’ll never stop till they’ve to­tally de­voured ev­ery great tune to feed their vo­ra­cious party ap­petites.

EL­TON JOHN

Tin­der­box Mer­cury ★★ Elt’s got a new con­cept album, The Cap­tain and The Kid, a jour­ney back to his 1970s roots, when he used to be a glammedup rocket man in plat­forms and gi­ant specs. It won’t wipe away 20 years of rub­bish, but if it makes one per­son seek out Honky Chateau, it’ll be worth it.

GIRLS ALOUD

I Think We’re Alone Now Fas­ci­na­tion ★★ The gir­lie quin­tet gen­er­ally show unerring pop in­stinct, but they’ve lost it with this de­ci­sion to cover a tune that is for­ever tainted by the me­mory of Tif­fany. Watch out, girls, you might end up back in the shop­ping malls.

MCFLY

Fri­day Night/Sorry’s Not Good Enough Is­land ★★ Here’s a dou­ble Christ­mas treat for the pop kids – two rock­ing stock­ing stuffers from the gui­tar-swing­ing boy­band. What’s the se­cret of their suc­cess? Sim­ple: their songs sound like the theme tune from the bestest Amer­i­can teen TV show . . . ever.

GWEN STE­FANI

Wind It Up In­ter­scope Some peo­ple want to be Joni Mitchell, oth­ers want to be Patti Smith, but it sounds like Gwen wants to be Julie An­drews, and this sam­ple from The Lonely Goatherd gives her a chance to yo­del from the hill­tops. I’ll just say adieu to yieu.

The hills are alive: Gwen

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