Jim Thirlwell's musical output is as unpredictable as his identity. With more aliases than Dick Cheney has conflicts of interest, he has recorded thrash, industrial, dance pop and cartoon swing. His latest Foetus record is another diverse collection. The opener, "(Not Adam)," is a dance-floor hit, complete with a sing-along chorus, a relentless beat and, um, a harpsichord, while "Mon Agonie Douce" is Weimar cabaret kitsch en Franais. Similar surprises lurk in the R&B caricature "Don't Want Me Anymore," the bombastically produced "Blessed Evening" and the epic "Aladdin Reverse." Strident orchestral string stabs, Raymond Scott-indebted hooks and Thirlwell's gruff vocals remain to remind you that this is still a Foetus record. Unfortunately, the eclecticism yields an unevenness that prevents the album from holding together as a whole. Some of his experiments fail, but if you're willing to take a chance, every ride with Thirlwell has its thrills.


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