POP/ROCK: Lost Highway (# # # out of four) -- Director David Lynch couldn't have picked a better sonic alter ego to assemble a soundtrack for his cryptic film than Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, architect of the brilliant Natural Born Killers soundtrack. Here, Reznor has captured the inscrutable and creepy essence of Lost Highway in a haunting soundscape that includes his own anxiety-filled Driver Down and Videodrones; Questions. Antonio Carlos Jobim's Insensatez and pieces by Angelo Badalamenti enrich the dark journey, while NIN's The Perfect Drug and David Bowie's I'm Deranged lend a psychotic creativity. The futuristic Eye, thrilling electronic-fueled mood rock from Smashing Pumpkins, counters the retro oddness of Lou Reed's This Magic Moment and Marilyn Manson's ambient version of Screaming Jay Hawkins' I Put a Spell on You. -- E.G.
Spice Girls, Spice, (# #) -- Perky, spunky and sassy, often to an annoying degree, the Spice Girls arrive from England after conquering most of the globe with their catchy hit single Wannabe, a melodious but disposable tune that typifies this debut's tart bubblegum and packaged sexiness. These five women, 18 to 21, tout their fierce individuality yet come across like Menudo in tube tops. Only the funky Say You'll Be There and touchingly cornball Mama hint at depth; the rest is assembly-line dance-pop. Maybe some seasoning will improve the Spice Girls. Until then, please pass the Salt-N-Pepa. -- E.G.
COUNTRY: Brady Seals, The Truth (# # 1/2) -- This break-off singer from Little Texas boasts an impressive lineage that includes Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts), as well as rock-to-country star Dan Seals and top country songwriter Troy Seals. Here he goes it alone with a clutch of self-written songs that are mostly rock and partly country. What makes the album shine mostly are the production efforts of Rodney Crowell, who has a knack for heartfelt harmonies and the propulsive urgency that defines good rock 'n' roll. While some of the songs are expectable and generic, Seals manages to put a personal stamp on others, including the romantic Another You, Another Me, with harmonies by Wynonna. -- D.Z.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.