Sign up for our free newsletter

Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.

In which swingers manqué take on the ultimate seducto-lounge repertoire: Bond movie theme songs and some unrecognizable thing that claims to be “The James Bond Theme.” David Arnold brings the requisite Hammond organ and a pack of hip hirees to the studio but almost nothing to the numbers. It’s a sign of the basic undoability of this project that the numbers that fare best are recorded faithfully: Lush album-opener “Diamonds Are Forever” (with David McAlmont) and the macho “Thunderball” (special guest: Martin Fry) are distinguished only by a modern, shimmyless beat on one and a little wah-wah on the other. Jarvis Cocker sounds appropriately cool singing “All Time High,” as does Natacha Atlas on a slinky “From Russia With Love,” but elsewhere the presence of the guesting indie-pop names tends to be enervating. Aimee Mann is not the girl who can put across a convincing “Nobody Does It Better,” so the arrangement is mellowed and the mood made acoustic-confessional. Iggy Pop sounds faintly ridiculous (in his muscle-voiced Bowie mode) singing “We Have All the Time in the World,” and Chrissie Hynde is game as can be misunderstanding the intentions of “Live and Let Die.” The allure of the Bondian groove is in its perfect unification of form and function; messing with the original is as futile as trying to build a better martini by adding more ingredients. Tellingly, the obvious omission here is the tune covered definitively by the James Taylor Quartet: “Goldfinger,” a three-minute lesson in how to treat this stuff—swing harder.—Arion Berger