IDLEWILD: When I Argue I See Shapes (Food/EMI) - This tune starts with a melodic guitar riff in the vein of There She Goes by The La's. But within a few bars a punky mood takes over, with guitars displaying controlled aggression and a 20-a-day whiney vocal. It's not a track that grabs the imagination immediately but when the harmonies start, the songwriting quality shines through. (7/10) PB

WIRED: Transonic (Future Groove) - A simple sample from Yazoo's boring '80s smash Don't Go is beaten out of all recognition by Dutchman Rene Van Der Weyde and Finn Ard Quindrist. It's already got some people's seal of approval but 99 per cent of club records sound like this and I'll be damned if I'm giving it mine. (1/10) JS DELAKOTA: 555 (Go Beat) - Definitely the best of the NME Premier bunch, Delakota dish up an infectiously groovy delight in the shape of 555. It might not be the number of the beast but it's mighty wicked all the same. (8/10) JS


JOE COCKER: Greatest Hits (EMI) - Despite sounding like he's been gargling gravel for the best part of three decades, Joe Cocker still manages to send shivers down the spine. This sprinkling of hits from eight albums is a tribute to his ability to make you feel like everything's going to be OK, even when the lyrics are at their most heart-rending. There can't be a singer around who does so much justice to so many great songwriters. Aided by a never-ending list of backing singers and session musicians, Joe booms his way through 18 spellbinding tracks. The Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends, Lovin' Spoonful's Summer In The City and You Can Leave Your Hat On - of Fully Monty fame - are all here. A superb selection of songs from deep within the soul. Not bad for an ex-plumber from Sheffield. (8/10) MM

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.