Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's alternative CD releases.

They Might Be Giants, "I Like Fun" (Lojinx)- The adjective "quirky" could almost have been coined specifically with They Might Be Giants in mind, and the Brooklyn duo continue to mine a seemingly inexhaustible vein of sonically adventurous alternative rock as they unveil their 19th studio album, "I Like Fun." John Linnell and John Flansburgh did enjoy a brief glimpse of the limelight when the infectious "Birdhouse In Your Soul" soared into the higher reaches of the singles charts on both sides of the Atlantic in 1989 but for the most part they seem to have been content to ply their trade in relative obscurity despite turning out a string of excellent albums during the past three decades or so. "Let's Get This Over With" and "An Insult to the Fact Checkers" capture TMBG at their brilliant best.

Matthew Fisher, "Matthew Fisher / Strange Days" (Angel Air)- This shadowy figure is best remembered these days for his invaluable contribution on Hammond organ to Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale," and the fact that it took several decades of serious litigation before he was finally granted a co-writing credit to this classic 1967 hit in 2009. Fisher's solo career continued on a fairly intermittent basis in the interim, and Angel Air's latest CD re-issue focusses attention on two of his unjustly overlooked offerings from the early eighties. The results veer much closer to mainstream pop than the classically inspired prog-rock of his Procol Harum days, with "Anna" and "Why'd I Have To Fall in Love" emerging as the best of a strangely affecting bunch.

"Gospel Got Soul" (Union Square Music)- This vibrant celebration of the delights of American gospel music extends over 2 CDs and showcases early recordings from several performers who would later go on to find fame and fortune in the world of soul and r&b, most notably Sam Cooke and the great Aretha Franklin. This wide ranging genre also provided a home for some fine practitioners of folk, jazz and blues, and the likes of Odetta, the Rev. Gary Davis and Louis Armstrong all making telling contributions to this excellent Union Square anthology, with the latter chipping in with a rousing rendition of "When The Saints Go Marching In."

Propaganda,"A Secret Wish" (BMG)- This digitally remastered re-issue of Propaganda's debut album comes complete with an informative 32 page booklet outlining the Dusseldorf quartet's highly innovative approach to electronic music-making. "A Secret Wish" was by no means a best seller when it first saw the light of day in 1985 despite following hot on the heels of memorable singles successes such as "Duel" and "Dr.Mabuse," although its musical legacy has certainly grown with the passage of time. Splendid stuff.