Melankolic – 2002 – 69 minutes

While the last year has seen Craig Armstrong win a Golden Globe and BAFTA for his score for 'Moulin Rouge', his fans will tell you that the Glaswegian has always written soundtracks even when there's no screen to put them on. 'As If To Nothing' continues the great tradition, often sounding as bleak as the title, but with moments of heartbreaking tenderness.

Finding comfort and their special place between Armstrong's vision and the orchestra are the likes of Evan Dando ('Wake Up in New York'), David McAlmont ('Snow'), Photek ('Hymn 2') and Bono. Taking 'Stay' (Faraway, So Close!)', Armstrong creates a languid, sparse flipside which is twice as tragic as the original and makes you wish he'd reworked 'One' 'The Unforgettable Fire' and a handful of others.

At 69 minutes, 'As If To Nothing' is a long haul but the highest compliment you can pay Armstrong is that he'd steer even the biggest heathen in the direction of classical music. Not an album to wake up to, but to close any day it takes some beating.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Ruthless Gravity - Wake Up in New York - Miracle - Amber - Finding - Waltz Beauty - Inhaler - Hymn 2 - Snow - Starless II - Snow - Stay (Faraway, So Close!) - Niente - Sea Song - Let it Bet Love - Choral Ending