RECORDS Medusa. Annie Lennox, BMG Records. The sleeve notes to Annie Lennox's latest offering includes this statement: 'This album contains a selection of songs I have been drawn to for all kinds of reasons. They were not chosen with any particular theme or concept in mind.' Well, that's perfectly obvious - I've never seen such a hodge-podge of music. However, I do think there might have been a concept, that being 'Let's make lots of money'. All songs re-interpreted end up sounding synthetic, over-produced, and cold. Here Lennox manages to remove the guts from standards like A Whiter Shade of Pale and Take Me To The River while destroying lesser known classics like the Clash's Train In Vain and the Blue Nile's absolutely beautiful Downtown Lights. News From Nowhere. Air Supply, Giant Records. Air Supply? Sleeping gas more like. What on earth is this band trying to achieve? How can they still be selling in 1995 when they sound like something out of 1974? Graham Russell continues to churn out the tunes like there is no yesterday and, yes, there is still a public out there who just laps it up. You can't blame them for carrying on as long as they are making oodles of cash but you can certainly criticise their lack of invention. BOOKS I Lived Under Hitler. Sybil Bannister, Penguin. I didn't even know Hilter lived in a flat! Just joking, punters. This book is the fascinating tale of an Englishwoman who made the mistake of falling in love with a German in 1936. The couple moved back to Danzig in the Fatherland and come 1939 the young Brit found herself living in wartime Nazi Germany. The shock of the war and the hardships it brought about tore her marriage apart, left her home a fire-bombed wreck, and in the shape of the Gestapo, took her only child away. As the German war machine fell apart Bannister narrowly avoided the Russians and took refuge in Hamburg only to suffer the Allied bombing raids. All events are recounted without rancour and in a clear and balanced prose. A thoroughly entertaining and compelling look at World War II. 1945: The World We Fought For. Robert Kee, Penguin. More wartime memories from Penguin with this look back at the state of the world the year Germany was finally crushed. Exhaustively researched, this book examines the balance of world power in 1945 and reveals how the wartime experience brought about an intense desire for social change across the globe and in particular within Britain. The old world order was perceived as being the root cause of the six-year conflagration, hence the ousting of Winston Churchill from government at the moment of his triumph. Superbly written and brilliantly researched, this deserves a place on any amateur historian's bookshelf. VIDEO Serial Mom. Kathleen Turner stars as a serial killer mum who terminates victims for 'crimes against decency' such as smoking and being untidy. Apparently this unlikely tale of a psychotic housewife is based on a true story. It's one hell of a world out there. Turner is fairly amusing as the nutty suburbanite but director John Waters overdoes the potty nature of the plot and the film soon becomes a living breathing comic strip. The courtroom finale is a real disappointment too, with Serial Mom getting off for the most unlikely of reasons. Just about watchable but very much for those nights when you really don't feel like being mentally challenged. And The Band Played On. This was one of the first films to take a look at the AIDS issue. It was a brave move at the time of the film's release because studios couldn't work out whether an AIDS film would bring in the dosh at the box office. Now of course they are certain and AIDS films are being released all over the shop. This isn't so much a feature as a pseudo-documentary which takes a scientific look at the spread of the disease in the United States. Matthew Modine stars and there are cameos from Richard Gere, Angelica Huston and Steve Martin. The film takes itself seriously but gets away with it thanks to some excellent performances, most noticeably from Alan Alda as an ambitious and egocentric research scientist. Enjoyable, and very informative regarding the spread of AIDS and the discovery of the virus.