Arrested Development - Unplugged (Chrysalis) George Michael and Queen with Lisa Stansfield - Five Live (Parlophone). THE Unplugged series of albums inspired by MTV continue to act as a welcome relief to the endless outpourings of digitally correct productions we are fast getting accustomed to. The latest to turn off the amps and wind down the watts are Arrested Development who recorded this set back in January, before their phenomenal success at this years Grammies. Arrested Development's Unplugged consists of 13 tracks taken from their debut album 3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days In The Life Of including the singles Mr Wendal and People Every Day. For those lucky enough to have seen the band live, I'm sure this album comes as an excellent reminder of a good night out. But for the likes of you, and me, who haven't, it's a bit of a disappointment. The session starts with a monologue from the bands 60-year-old spiritual guide, Baba Oje, who, by listing historical events, describes how he's come to declare himself African; his contribution as an ''elder'' together with the Afrocentric view of history they share all being key to the philosophy of Arrested Development. Then we're off into the excellent Give a Man a Fish, Natural, and Raining Revolution and by the time we reach Fishin' 4 Religion, we are quite in awe of the skills of lead vocalist and writer Speech. He seems to meander effortlessly through a gamut of vocal styles. His voice, which has a gutsy jazzy edge to it out of the studio, is able to shape his rap technique with bluesy and funky flourishes, moulding his poetry and music into a unique style. But as the man says ''there ain't no revolution without the women'' and this set would excel on tracks like Mama's Always On Stage and Mr Wendal but it's on a short and previously unreleased track, Searchin' For Soul, that their rootsy influences become more apparent, this marimba and drum based track being pure African harmony. Arrested Development are very much the story so far when it comes to the musical generation of African Americans they represent, with elements of hip hop, jazz, blues, roots and funk set to poetry inspired by a deep sense of their African heritage. It's exciting to witness such a fusion of inspirations but sadly they just about make it through the rather-tinny and in places flat mix. The ''instrumental'' versions that comprise half the album are merely the full versions that appeared earlier on the CD with the vocal track pushed down. The result is that it sounds as if they've put the vocalists in another room and locked the door, the faint traces of their voices still to be emanating from the keyhole. All very frustrating. Arrested Development Unplugged is a good addition to the studio set you surely already have, but no replacement. Play it when you've worn the other out. Meanwhile, poor old George Michael is still unplugged from Sony Columbia after his little tiff with the music giant. While the legal battle ensues he is unable to record original material and so is occupying himself with various other projects, Five Livebeing one of them. The Freddie Mercury Concert for AIDS happened a year ago and this is the first official CD release from the event, all proceeds of course going to The Mercury Phoenix Trust for distribution to AIDS charities worldwide. The track that sent this ''mini album'' up the singles charts is our George's rendition of Somebody To Love, which even if you are a hard-as-nails Mercury purist, will have you bellowing as the glides from tonsil splitting highs to tear inducing lows. Also on the disc is Dear Friends, a track taken from Queen's 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack, an acappella piece that reminds us that these highly skilled musicians were quite a rare grouping of talent, able to combine classical themes with rock music, andthrough Mercury's sheer camp, make a brand of pop all their own. Lisa Stansfield turns up to duet with George for a touching if unremarkable rendition of These Are The Days Of Our Lives taken from Queen's final album. Overall, apart from a bit of oversinging from Mr Michael, this is a fine tribute to a great artist and all for a good cause too.