January 27, 1997 12:00 PM

Various Artists

A great man (okay, it was Bart Simpson) once observed that “making teenagers depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel.” So it’s not surprising that the music from the successful gen-X version of Romeo & Juliet has plenty of that mopey, brooding romanticism the kids just gobble up.

What is a surprise is that Romeo & Juliet is more than background music for a bad hair day. Influential producer Nellee Hooper (Björk, Massive Attack) has assembled a veritable MTV Buzz Bin of alt-rock talent (Radiohead, Garbage, Everclear), along with some lesser-knowns (Gavin Friday, Quindon Tarver, Kym Mazelle) and set them loose on everything from pulsating trip-hop to edgy punk rock to joyous disco. The result is a potent, cohesive collection that stands on its own thematically while doing old Willy proud. (Capitol)

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