The soundtrack to the much-hyped film House of Wax is on the shelves, thanks to the Maverick label. The disc mires down in metallic grunge for most of its play, thanks to abrasive tracks from the Deftones, Stutterfly, Disturbed and an early Marilyn Manson song (before he realized that loud could also be catchy). The best track on the disc is the salaciously sigh-heavy "Cut Me Up," by popsters Har Mar Superstar. Also included are songs from the Prodigy, My Chemical Romance, Bloodsimple, the Von Bondies, and old tracks from the Stooges and the Joy Division.

On the racks also is the mostly symphonic soundtrack to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy film from Hollywood Records. The disc includes a mix of movie dialogue snippets, upbeat and often humorously sci-fi orchestral score, musical show tunes and gospel R&B, thanks to Betty Wright and Al Green.

If you're looking for oldies, there are a host of "best of" collections out this month. Reprise has just released former Replacements singer Paul Westerberg's Besterberg: The Best of Paul Westerberg. The CD offers 20 tracks, led off by his biggest hit, "Dyslexic Heart," and includes a couple of previously unreleased songs.

Totally Hits 2005Warner Music's Totally Hits series now offers the CD collection Totally Hits 2005, featuring 20 recent singles from Kelly Clarkson, Gavin DeGraw, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, Ryan Cabrera, Avril Lavigne, Tweet and more.

Columbia's Legacy label has just unearthed a healthy dose of pop nostalgia with a bunch of "best of" sets and Essential collections. The 35th anniversary edition of Come On Get Happy! The Very Best of the Partridge Family features a young David Cassidy leading the TV show "family" on classic recordings of "Come On Get Happy" and "I Think I Love You," as well as a handful of never-before-released-on-CD songs (17 tracks in all).

Rick SpringfieldAnother pop heartthrob, Rick Springfield, is represented on a two-CD set Written in Rock, the Rick Springfield Anthology. Covering 35 years of recordings (who knew he was that old?) the collection features his early cover of "Eleanor Rigby," his moderate '70s hits "American Girls" and "Speak to the Sky," as well as his massive '80s hits "Jessie's Girl," "I've Done Everything for You," "Love Somebody," "Human Touch," and "Don't Talk to Strangers."

Legacy has four new entries in its "The Essential ..." series of artist collection CDs, featuring classic '60s folk and '70s rock material from Pete Seeger, Dion, Poco and Jefferson Airplane. The discs feature classics such as Seeger's "This Land Is Your Land," Dion's "The Wanderer" and "Runaround Sue," Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love" and White Rabbit" and Poco's "Pickin' Up the Pieces."

New OrderNew Order
Waiting for the Siren's Call
(Warner Bros.)

The premier British alternative pop-dance band is back for the first time in four years, and returns with one of its strongest releases ever.

Waiting for the Siren's Call offers a dozen upbeat tracks that celebrate Peter Hook's twining, trademark reverberating basslines and Bernard Sumner's casually smooth vocals.

From the keyboard slaloms of the mellowly urgent title track, to the sing-song hit hooks of "Hey Now What You Doing," and the throbbing techno-bassline and bell-tone keys of the disc's first single, "Krafty," which harks back to the days of the "Brotherhood" album, this CD is a sonic victory for New Order.

All of the musical strings they've unraveled in the past are wound together here, making Waiting for the Siren's Call a seamless experience from start to finish. Put this disc on and you'll be lured into the expansive world of delicious sound that only New Order can craft.

This is the first time Phil Cunningham, who was recruited to step in for Gillian Gilbert on their last tour, worked with the band on songwriting, something that may worry New Order purists. But the results are top-notch New Order. Gilbert had to leave the band a few years ago to care for her and drummer Stephen Morris' children, and apparently the leave of absence has become permanent.

While their last disc lacked a solid dance floor hit, Waiting for the Siren's Call has both jamming techno-rock tracks in "Who's Joe" and "Dracula's Castle," warm, kaleidescopic guitar flourishes in "Turn," as well as mixable hits such as "Krafty," "Guilt Is a Useless Emotion" and "Jetstream," a slowly pumping techno anthem that features Ana Matronic, from Scissor Sister, joining Sumner on vocals.

There are no filler tracks on Siren's Call; and the band apparently had such a productive writing session for the album that its press release claims it has enough extra tracks to fill in the bulk of another CD. From the throbbing stack of potential hits on this disc, it seems that the band may be starting yet another golden creative chapter in the long history of New Order.