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Various Artists
American Psycho
Koch Records

Already one of the most controversial films of the year, American Psycho stars Christian Bale as an urban serial killer with an impeccable taste for material things and an uncontrollable taste for blood. The soundtrack has Kubrickian nuances with Huey Lewis and the News' "Hip to Be Square" filling the grotesque role that "Singin' in the Rain" did in A Clockwork Orange. The film is set in the late '80s, and the soundtrack includes hits from around that time, including M/A/R/R/S's "Pump Up the Volume" and "Information Society's "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy Mix)," along with new remixes from David Bowie's hours ... and the Cure's Bloodflowers. Bits of stern, unfeeling monologue are interspersed through the tracks, serving to make the album a sinister emotional roller-coaster. Ultimately, the two strongest offerings are Dope's heavy, industrialized remake of Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" and Daniel Ash's collaboration with Portishead's Adrian Utley on the trance-pop song "Trouble." (Sarah Quelland)

Equally Cursed and Blessed

Catatonia's last U.S.-released album, International Velvet, was a striking effort marred stateside by the off-putting cover art (a motel-art painting of wild horses). This luscious Welsh indie-pop band's shining star is Cerys Matthews, whose shivery, luxurious vocals are as distinctively raspy and seductively whispery as those of Björk or Marianne Faithfull. The gutsy frontwoman delivers sharp purrs and tart coos that give Catatonia an appealing crispness. With the jangly synth pop of "Londinium," the screaming drive of "Storm the Palace," the fluffy pop of "Karaoke Queen," the minimalistic harp accompaniment on "Bulimic Beats" and the eerie cabaret pomp of "Shoot the Messenger," this band is certainly an exciting addition to modern pop music. Still, while Velvet was an instant attention-grabber, Blessed takes a few tracks to warm up; I might suggest starting with Velvet and going from there. (SQ)

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From the April 6-12, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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