Sarah Cracknell Kelly's Locker

Sarah Cracknell's solo debut, Lipslide, was well received, critically, but failed to make the same kind of impact that any of Saint Etienne's work has (despite not being all that dissimilar). Kelly's Locker is one of those North American exclusives that is released to collect together B-sides from UK singles, some rare tracks and a couple of new songs to make a mini-album that has more highlights than disappointments. The material is equal parts classic pop and dance music - with Sarah flirting with a variety of styles; from piano driven ballads ("Judy, Don't You Worry") to disco gems ("Taxi") - the eclectic feel of both this release and its predecessor stops things from ever approaching boring. The weakest moment is the remix of "Anymore," with its clamorous drum and bass beats that sound out of place amidst the other songs where her voice is very much front and centre. Just like everything else Cracknell has been involved with, Kelly's Locker is a classy, sophisticated pop record that helps to cement her place as a modern day Dusty Springfield. (Instinct)