MTV2 and Columbia Records have pulled together a compilation of modern rock hits called Handpicked. The 18-track CD follows a "Handpicked" MTV TV special that premiered on the cable music channel in December. The CD includes current hits like Travisí "Sing," Cakeís "Short Skirt/Long Jacket," Coldplayís "Yellow," David Grayís "Babylon" and Five For Fightingís "Superman (Itís Not Easy)." It also includes tracks from Pete Yorn, Dave Navarro, Remy Zero, The Crystal Method, Dashboard Confessional, Stereomud and more.

Rhino Records has paired up with Warner Bros. to release a 25th anniversary retrospective of B-52ís. Nude on the Moon: The B-52ís Anthology includes 35 tracks on two CDs, with a 52-page booklet. Included are early cult classics like "Rock Lobster," "Private Idaho and "Song for a Future Generation," as well as latter day Top 40 smashes like "Love Shack," "Deadbeat Club," "Roam," and "Good Stuff." The set includes rare and previously unreleased tracks like a Moby remix of "Is That You, MoDean?" a David Byrne-produced version of "Queen of Las Vegas" and a live version of "Quiche Lorraine."

For those who havenít added a Frank Sinatra disc to their library for those "romantic moments," Reprise Records is putting out another collection of the croonerís classics just in time for Valentineís Day. Greatest Love Songs, a 22-track collection, includes love song classics like "Fly Me To The Moon," "Strangers In The Night," Night and Day" and "My Funny Valentine," as well as the posthumous-crafted duet version of "All The Way" featuring Celine Dion. It serves as a good companion to Columbia/Legacyís Sinatra compilation that appeared last year under the similar title, Love Songs. The two discs include completely different song lists.

 

Leona Naess - I Tried To Rock You... Leona Naess
I Tried to Rock You But You Only Roll
(MCA)
½


Leona Naess is a British-raised, New York-based, guitarist-singer-songwriter who can craft both a rambling, straight-from-the-soul ballad ("Promise To Try") as well as an upbeat, ready-for-radio pop single ("Blue Eyed Baby" and "I Tried To Rock You But You Only Roll.")

While some of the techno roots of her backbeats are anchored in the New Wave dance feel of the Ď80s, Naessí guitar and wispy vocals are clearly the voice of the now generation, making for a collection of timeless mid-tempo songs about life, growing up and learning the vagaries of love. Thereís a touch of The Cardigansí style of breezy chirpiness in a bouyant track like "Mayor of Your Town," and a New Wave synthesizer underpinning to "All The Stars" that a couple decades ago would have put her in club competition with Blondie. But Naess isnít all about synth pop Ė there are dashes of alternative rock-crunchy guitars on some tracks and the coffeehouse flavor of acoustic guitar underscores the contemplative character portrait of "Sunny Sunday" ("Oh sunny Sunday valentine honey/his eyes are blue, the nights donít justify you").

Naess doesnít break any new boundaries with this sophomore release, but she does offer a dozen shots of pleasant modern pop.