* * 1/2 VARIOUS ARTISTS "Music From the Motion Picture 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' " Elektra

The producers of the soundtrack to the Angelina Jolie vehicle faced a dilemma. "Tomb Raider" is based on popular video games, and in the minds of many young fans, electronic music and video games go together like MTV and "TRL." However, an all-electronic compilation isn't likely to generate the sales befitting the soundtrack to a potential blockbuster.

Showing impressive diplomatic skills, though, producers John Kirkpatrick and Peter Afterman have assembled a largely electronic collection that includes BT, Leftfield, Fluke, Fatboy Slim and Basement Jaxx, and thrown in superstars U2, Missy Elliott, Nine Inch Nails and the OutKast for platinum firepower.

The collection is top-heavy, with a remix of U2's "Elevation," Nine Inch Nails' "Deep" (a highlights with its throbbing drum beat and Trent Reznor's spewing vocals), the Chemical Brothers' funky, energetic "Galaxy Bounce" and the OutKast's frenzied jungle track "Speedballin'{sbquo}" near the front.

Those who tune out early have only themselves to blame for not discovering Moby's infectious techno "Ain't Never Learned," with female house vocals, and Groove Armada's lovely orchestral instrumental "Edge Hill."

Turning pop fans on to fringe electronic artists may not have been the motivating factors for Kirkpatrick and Afterman, but they deserve credit for doing just that.--STEVE BALTIN


Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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