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Fast reviews of recent releases

Betty Davis, Betty Davis (Light in the Attic). This funky diva is best known for being married to Miles Davis for a year and turning him on to the psych-rock that likely inspired Bitches Brew. But the girl could also sing. Slathering sensual stickiness over her words, Davis grinds out some furious sex funk with bassist Larry Graham on this reissue of her 1973 debut. -- Jon SolomonMêlée, Devils & Angels (Warner Brothers). Plush with jangly guitars, sweet harmonies and bouncy piano, the anthemic '70s pop of Mêlée is much too happy, even when the quartet is singing about girl problems and broken families. "Teenage Maniac" should become a high-school prom staple, while "Built to Last" could only be destined for a CW show. -- Glenn BurnSilver

Charlotte Gainsbourg, 5:55 (Vice). Charlotte Gainsbourg teamed up with the guys from Air, Jarvis Cocker and Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon to craft this brilliant late-night album. While her wispy vocals recall her mother (singer/actress Jane Birkin), the compositions, penned by Air's Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin, have elements of her legendary father, Serge Gainsbourg, sprinkled throughout. -- Solomon

Sly & the Family Stone, There's a Riot Goin' On (Epic/Legacy). The type of lunacy Sly Stone displayed during his surprise 2007 Grammys appearance once worked in his favor. Riot, a 1971 disc that's getting the deluxe reissue treatment along with 1969's Stand, 1973's Fresh and others, always seems on the brink of falling apart. This tension gives its freaky future-funk a dangerous vibe that's still intoxicating. -- RobertsStatic-X, Cannibal (Reprise). Static-X attempts to return to its roots on Cannibal, mining the early days of the band's in-your-face, electro-laced industrial thrash and focusing less on the atmospheric metal meanderings of its more recent albums. Frontman Wayne Static is in fine form on this one as he and his mates set about furiously pummeling the universe. -- BurnSilverVarious Artists, Spider-Man 3: Soundtrack (Record Collection). In which loads o' trendy or pop-pop-popular acts (Wolfmother, Snow Patrol) pony up leftovers and one-offs for big-screen profits. It's as scattershot as you'd expect, but it deserves to exist if only for the Flaming Lips opus "The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-Man How to Be in Love." It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it. -- Roberts

 
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