IN&OUTTONIGHT REVIEWS THE voraciousness of the music industry to make real money from the death of MJ was to be expected and this companion piece to the movie of the rehearsals for the tour that never happened is pretty shameless in its exploitative nature. So what do you get? A collection of songs that any music fan with even a passing interest in Jackson would already possess and the new song, co-authored with Paul Anka last century, This Is It, a pallid ballad that would have been deemed too weak to be a B-side when Jacko was in his pomp. Tawdry and unnecessary but entirely predictable. PC REVIEWSMUSIC I was prepared to hate this. Its hard not to feel cynical about Cheryl Coles current sweetheart of the nation status given her patchy past as the gobby Geordie from Girls aloud with a tendency to violence -- remember her 2003 altercation with a toilet attendant for which she was convicted of assault? so, her transformation into peoples pop princess does stick in the craw a little. This is partly down to her moist- eyed, good cop schtick on The X Factor but largely due to her marriage to foot- baller ashley Cashley Cole and his repeated indiscretions. Poor Cheryl, her defenders simper as if she was forced into marrying a man with the morality of a deck chair. she chose to marry the dolt, people -- it was her decision. so, this cunning reinvention culmi- nates in that most rare of things -- an eagerly awaited solo album from a girl band member. Even the first single from the album, Fight For Our Love, did little at first to quash my cynicism. It was clearly meant to make fans think that she was opening up her heart about her mar- riage. Making capital from a current relationship does seem to be taking cynicism to a new level. If ashley were actually capable of intelli- gent thought, what would have been his reaction? Then the songs grower of a tune dug its claws in and I was sold. The album is more of the same -- smart, occasion- ally emotional pop crammed with hooks and melodies and constructed in a way to not only disguise Coles vocal frailties but make an attractive feature of her often breathy, girly voice. Theres even a hint of the adventurous- ness that is a common feature of the output of her day-job band. The title track, written and sung with pops current king, from Black Eyed Peas, is a staggeringly confident way in which to open your first solo album, its simple acoustic guitar riff giving away to a delirious swirl of Balearic pop -- its a million miles away from the safe, conservative R&B of alexandra Burkes Overcome and a match for anything Girls aloud have put their name to. Parachute follows, a col- laboration with vogueish a m e r i c a n p r o d u c e r syience, and its brilliant too, musically a distant cousin of TLCs No scrubs, with its addictive chorus and robust bass. Predictably, much of the lyrical con- tent here concerns love not being a walk in the park, and on the winning winehouse-esque swing of Happy Hour she talks of not being able to help her- self drink you up because youre my happy hour. Yes, this is a manipulative album but, heck, its also fantastic pop music. Hailthepeoples princess of pop Ageingpunkrockersareever-Green The BIG NOISe Cheryl Cole 3Words(Polydor,13.70) HHHHI PAUL CONNOLLY fOLk Devendra Banhart WhatWillWeBe (WarnerBros,10.76) HHHHI wITH his Californian Jesus locks and fondness for the joss stickier things in life, Devendra Banhart is never going to make us choke on our tofu by unleashing a record of aggressive rave- kid beats. His seventh studio album continues to tread the psych-folk path, with Banhart as tour guide on a deliciously dreamy, string-soaked trip. This takes in rich country acoustics, campfire drums, smatterings of jazz trumpet and vocal musings on the meanings of life and love that flutter between echo-heavy harmonic group wailings and Banharts eloquent spanish solos which tip a cap to his Venezuelan roots. You can see why Natalie Portman was wooed by his smoky magic last year. MARTHA DE LACEY JUSTIN HAWKINS once said that a comprehensive list of his influences can be found on any rock compilation. The same is true of Wolfmother: Sabbath, Zep, The Doors, Deep Purple -- theyre all here in the sound of a band who will appeal to all air guitarists. From the runic psychedelia of New Moon Rising to the circular riffs of California Queen, this is musical Marmite, depending on your tolerance for old-fashioned rock. Theres nothing new or different about Wolfmother, but their enthusiasm for big licks and loud guitars is very infectious -- provided you dont think about it too much. AMBER COWAN LIVe Green Day TheO2 HHHHI STeVIe ChICk To order any CD reviewed, call The London Lite CD service on 01634 832789. All prices include P&P ROCk Wolfmother CosmicEgg (Modular,12.72) HHHII POP Charlie Winston Hobo (RealWorld,12.72) HHHII wE BRITs are sniffy about the taste of the French record-buying public (search for the band General Electriks on YouTube if you want an idea of the parlous state of French pop music). so the fact that suffolk-born Charlie winston is more renowned for being famous in France than for his music should be a warning. Yet Hobo is not bad. winstons roots in busking are obvious as hes adept at shifting from perky pop (Kick The Bucket), James Blunt-esque balladry (I Love Your smile), human beatbox buffoonery (My Life as a Duck) and spaghetti western swagger (Like a Hobo). It might be a bit self-consciously wacky for British tastes but the French are not entirely wrong this time. PC POP Michael Jackson ThisIsIt (Epic,16.62) HHIII Go girl: Coles solo debut is a pop triumph 30 Monday, 26 October 2009 London Lite Lively set: Armstrong on Saturday sIGNs dotted about The O2 arena warned that punk rock traditions like moshing and stage-diving were strictly forbidden. someone forgot to tell Green Day frontman Billie Joe armstrong -- not 20 minutes into their set on saturday night the pint- sized rocker was bringing kids on stage to leap into the crowd. Breaking rules is just something armstrong does. Common wisdom has it that punk rock is a music best played by snotty youngsters in small, sweaty venues. Marvelling at the 19,000 fans, however, armstrong gratefully declared: Ive been doing this for 21 years and it never gets old. I will do anything for you motherf*****s. anything. armstrong, 37, certainly had no problems channelling his younger, snottier self -- the group blitzed through the songs that won them fame in the Nineties, including Basket Case and welcome To Paradise, their odes to masturbation, pot-smoking and other teenage pursuits. Better still were songs such as st Jimmy and 21 Guns, from recent albums 21st Century Breakdown and american Idiot. Unabashedly as influenced by The who and springsteen as by The Clash, these parlayed their political themes into anthemic, singalong choruses. The songs -- like armstrong, who, barrelling about like a peroxide-tipped sonic The Hedgehog, dragged kids up to play the instruments and pulled one girl from the moshpit to slow-dance with him -- possess a near-lunatic desire to entertain. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html