The latest releases reviewed.

LILY ALLEN Littlest Things Regal ****

Lily's wearing her frowny face for this lovelorn ballad. It's not as catchy as Smile or LDN, but it's got some snappy lyrics that should make a few ex-boyfriends blush.

GRUFF RHYS Candylion Rough Trade ****

The Super Furry frontman is off on another solo trip, getting it together in Wales with medieval babe Lisa Jen. This is the title track from Gruff's new album, a gentle, tropicalia take on Smokey Robinson's My Girl.

BLONDIE VS EDISON Heart of Glass Positiva *

A dance version of Heart of Glass - how pointless is that? Heart of Glass is already a perfect dance tune, and doesn't need any trance zombies mucking about with it. Alas, they'll never stop till they've totally devoured every great tune to feed their voracious party appetites.

ELTON JOHN Tinderbox Mercury **

Elt's got a new concept album, The Captain and The Kid, a journey back to his 1970s roots, when he used to be a glammed-up rocket man in platforms and giant specs. It won't wipe away 20 years of rubbish, but if it makes one person seek out Honky Chateau, it'll be worth it.

GIRLS ALOUD I Think We're Alone Now Fascination **

The girlie quintet generally show unerring pop instinct, but they've lost it with this decision to cover a tune that is forever tainted by the memory of Tiffany. Watch out, girls, you might end up back in the shopping malls.

MCFLY Friday Night/Sorry's Not Good Enough Island **

Here's a double Christmas treat for the pop kids - two rocking stocking stuffers from the guitar-swinging boyband. What's the secret of their success? Simple: their songs sound like the theme tune from the bestest American teen TV show . . . ever.

GWEN STEFANI Wind It Up Interscope **

Some people want to be Joni Mitchell, others want to be Patti Smith, but it sounds like Gwen wants to be Julie Andrews, and this sample from The Lonely Goatherd gives her a chance to yodel from the hilltops. I'll just say adieu to yieu.