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Our critics' picks in new releases


When I grow tired of the Hungarian monks and heart attack-faced jazzmen in my record collection, I often turn to old friends like Nancy Sinatra or Serge Gainsbourg for relief. This Christmas, though, I had the pleasure of listening repeatedly to the musical masterwork that accompanied one of the year's best films. (Disclaimer: I haven't actually seen Rugrats in Paris but I'm quite certain it was on Godfrey Cheshire's list ... ) But who could deny Isaac Hayes and Alex Brown's infectious "Chuckie Chan," a funky chopsticks-meets-vintage-TV-show-theme, or Cyndi Lauper's helium-driven ballad "I Want a Mom That Will Last Forever"? Who could resist ex-Ginger Spice's bawdy remake of "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" or the all-time party anthem, "Who Let the Dogs Out"? Um, those were rhetorical questions.

Admittedly, the soundtrack to the Rugrats sequel doesn't live up to its predecessor. (The Mark Mothersbaugh-assembled cast on the original included everyone from Elvis Costello and Iggy Pop to Busta Rhymes and Lou Rawls.)

And, of course, the presence of Jessica Simpson and No Authority this time around ups the teenybop ante just a tad.

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