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Desert island discs 

by Margo Dryden

Having recently been stranded on a symbolic desert island, these are a few choice selections that have helped soothe the isolated, inner savage beasts.

The Cocteau Twin's Victorialand is guaranteed to tame the most ferocious soul. Wave after ethereal wave of gorgeous musical landscapes take you to fantastic worlds while Liz Fraser's water-siren voice seduces you back to your home planet.

For an emotional release, the meloncholy, orchestral strains of Craig Armstrong's The Space Between Us is rivaled by none. This cinematic and mostly instrumental album is crafted with subtle beats and classical arrangements for a heavenly journey.

There is simply no album that is more romantic than John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. The dark, satiny and underappreciated voice of Hartman is perfectly complemented by the tender, delicate and sensual playing of Coltrane.

Dummy by Portishead is already a classic groundbreaker, combining moody hip-hop beats with aching, vulnerable, white-soul vocals. Perfect for a solitary evening brooding underneath a palm tree.

And for a superb ride back to reality, Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks reflects the wistfulness of living, the beauty and complexity of relationships and the longing for redemption in this world.

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