Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project

Enlisting an array of indie icons, from Iggy Pop to Chrissie Hynde (whose version of “Live And Let Die” is a definite highlight), Arnold attempts to update–if not exactly subvert–some of the more notable Bond theme tunes. Yet despite this noble attempt at deconstruction, what’s remarkable here is how so many of the acts conform to expectations: Pulp, typically, make “All Time High” seem a furtive, even faintly grubby experience; while Aimee Mann performs “Nobody Does It Better” with a kind of weary sarcasm, either unable or unwilling to swallow the myth of male potency. On the other hand, Shara Nelson’s reading of “Moonraker”, and Martin Fry’s “Thunderball,” each manage to communicate at least a little of the magic of the original versions. And having at last found a piece worthy of him, David McAlmont loses no opportunity to make “Diamonds Are Forever” his own. –Andrew McGuire