Back in 2002, DJ Paul Oakenfold released Bunkka, a disc that presented him as a recording artist rather than a superstar spinner. Withering reviews followed, but he scored a major dance-music hit anyway, courtesy of "Starry Eyed Surprise," a melody-happy slammer warbled by one of the most unlikely collaborators imaginable: Shifty Shellshock, of the discredited one-hit-wonder act Crazytown. This reception apparently convinced Oakenfold that putting an improbable candidate behind the microphone is a formula for success -- and he may be right. A Lively Mind, his new effort on Madonna's Maverick imprint, leads with "Faster Kill Pussycat," a cut featuring the vocal stylings of none other than actress Brittany Murphy. Ms. Murphy's best-known foray into music prior to the track's release was the 8 Mile scene in which she humped Eminem standing up, but that hasn't prevented the song from stampeding up the dance charts, and deservedly so. Whether he's mastering the studio or manning the decks at Vinyl, Oakenfold understands what clubbers want, and he's dedicated to providing it, with a little help from some very surprising friends.
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