Pick of the week: Elbow, Grounds For Divorce (Polydor)
Beardy former barman Guy Garvey looks an unlikely soul brother. But, as Elbow have proved over their first three records, soul is what they have. Brother. Grounds For Divorce bursts out of the M60 with the tale of the "seldom seen kid", which, given Elbow's demographics, could be an allusion to a now-married pal whose changing of nappies and tending of garden now make him an unlikely candidate to frequent the Dog And Duck. Excellent Elbow action - like a Novak Djokovic backhand.
Futureheads, The Beginning Of The Twist (Nul)
You've got to feel for the Futureheads - 2005's NME tour saw them share the bill with future stars the Killers, and the similarly-massive Kaiser Chiefs and Bloc Party. They, meanwhile, had to settle with being dropped by their label and overtaken in the north-east, angular guitar band stakes by Maxïmo bloody Park. It's no wonder they're dancing the blues away - The Beginning Of The Twist bursts with nervous energy. As Barry Hyde yelps about someone throwing his mind off a cliff, it sounds like they need to. There's plenty of talk in these 'Heads yet.
Foals, Cassius (Transgressive)
After the masses of coverage during January's daft tipping season, it's surprising that Foals' debut album, Antidotes, still isn't out for another few weeks. Sounding like a runaway train that only has a brass section for brakes, the second single from Antidotes combines trumpet parping with lyrics about someone called Cassius that are so vague they could be interpreted as a treatise on one of Caesar's assassins or a dead family pet. Or the French house band. Who knows? It's fun nonetheless, and they play with meat in the video - like the Beatles (!). MEAT - the new skinny jeans. You heard it here first.
Leona Lewis, Better In Time (Syco)
"Every once in a while, an artist comes along whose talent is so undeniable that it inspires everyone who encounters it," says Lewis's official website. So, officially, we'd all better get bloody inspired or else Simon Cowell's going to come over and put a baseball bat through our intellectual property. No one's denying Leona has got a voice to die for but, as a graduate of the Brit school, X Factor and Syco, she's about as edgy as a snooker ball. Better In Time is a better-than-average ballad from the Xtina school that reassures us that everything's going to be hunky ruddy dory. Inspired yet? ARE YOU?
Cascada, What Do You Want From Me? (All Around The World)
Cascada are an unfathomably bad German Eurodance act whose charms are difficult to explain to those of us lucky enough to possess ears. You know exactly what it sounds like - vague lyrics about some goon not being "man enough for me" shouted by a fruity lass who's one flop single away from a Maxim DE cover shoot. Add some synth samples taken from Home DJ '96 and we're away! If you want to hear it, hang around a Time & Envy nightclub for, ooh, about 13 minutes and you'll probably catch it. And then shoot yourself.