Comparing soundtracks | EW.com

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Comparing soundtracks

Comparing soundtracks -- From ''Oomalama'' to ''The Radical Light,'' we recommend new albums for pop fans

Being derivative isn’t always such a bad thing — especially in the world of pop, where thousands of albums are released every year. Here, then, is our first in a series of reader-service guides to help pop fans wade through all those new releases:

IF YOU LIKE…
Fine Young Cannibals, Soul II Soul
THEN TRY:
Yo Yo Honey Voodoo Soul (Jive)
Elegant but funky pop-soul that also owes a debt to classic Philly soul acts like the Spinners. B

IF YOU LIKE…
Sophie B. Hawkins, Indigo Girls
THEN TRY:
Vonda Shepherd The Radical Light (Reprise)
Gossamer singer-songwriter musings with the occasional kick-punch chorus. B-

IF YOU LIKE…
Shabba Ranks
THEN TRY:
Massive 5 An Album of Dancehall Hits (FFRR/Payday)
A good starting place for anyone interested in the fusion of club beats and reggae, courtesy of stars of genre like Maxi Priest and Marica Griffihs. B+

IF YOU LIKE…
The Velvet Underground
THEN TRY:
Eugenius Oomalama (Fire/Atlantic) or Luna2 Lunapark (Elektra)
Slabs of slice-and-dice electric guitars and slacker vocals that once again prove Lou Reed is Chuck Berry for a new generation. Both: B+

IF YOU LIKE…
The Black Crowes
THEN TRY:
Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds (Geffen)
Greasy ‘70’s-style boogie from the former Guns N’ Roses guitarist. B