Various War Child 10

It's tough to be particularly hard on charity records because, for the most part, they have nothing but good intentions. But as many people have noted, the road to Hell is paved with said good intentions, and finding an essential charity record is another matter altogether. The very first War Child release back in 1995, Help, was actually a decent album, although after all this time the lows from the likes of the Levellers and Terrorvision are but distant memories. This newest instalment, War Child 10, compiles some of the best moments from the series and adds some new songs to lure in buyers. The issue is that most of the songs are mediocre or just unmemorable. The majority of the tracks are cover versions, and while someone like Beck can deliver a decent version of Bob Dylan's "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat," Jimmy Eat World's clichéd, emo-fied take on the Prodigy's "Firestarter" isn't nearly as clever as they think. Even New Order's first ever cover (Jimmy Cliff's "Vietnam") is so ordinary they needn't have bothered. The original songs are slightly better, especially Radiohead's haunting "I Want None Of This," but ultimately, there isn't anything here that anybody needs to own. At least the money goes to a good cause. (Universal)