POSTED 27 JULY 2001
Will 'N Sync's third non-Christmas album, "Celebrity," live up to
(or surpass) its record-breaking predecessor, last year's "No
Strings Attached?" How fickle will their fanbase prove to be as it
matures? Check out the new album and see if the vocal harmony group
can inch ahead in the battle of the boy bands.
For those who appreciate the more sublime images of summer, Ivy's
"Long Distance" offers the perfect musical backdrop. Taking cues
from Portishead, the group--fronted by Parisian beauty Dominique
Durand--blurs its understated melodic leanings with heat waves of
emotion. If your musical tastes tend toward July at dusk rather than
high noon, this disc will appeal to you.
"MTV Compilation: 20 Years of Pop Music"
The title of this 15-track CD may be a bit misleading, but "MTV
Compilation: 20 Years of Pop Music" does manage to include a number
of touchstone singles from Madonna, Janet Jackson, the Beastie Boys,
R.E.M., Weezer, and Christina Aguilera. Most pop-music fans will be
able to remember exactly what they were doing the first time they
heard these era-defining hits.
"Life Is Good"
The young men of LFO assert they are not a typical prefab act
because they write their own songs. Their first album was rushed to
completion after the single "Summer Girls" became a surprise hit,
but their followup, "Life Is Good," is the result of the pop-R&B
group's more artistic efforts.
Rising from the ranks of Radio Disney with her cover of "Dancing in
the Streets," from the "Recess: School's Out" soundtrack, Myra has
released her debut full-length CD--a fun, upbeat collection
appropriate for young ears.
"Moulin Rouge [SOUNDTRACK]"
Director Baz Luhrmann dreamed of returning musicals to the big
screen, and in the process of creating "Moulin Rouge," he reinvented
the genre entirely! The film's stunning, supersaturated vibrance is
equally matched by the era-blending soundtrack. From the utterly
funky "Lady Marmalade" remake featuring Christina Aguilera, Lil'
Kim, Mya, and Pink, to the dizzying love-song snippets in "Elephant
Love Medley" to "Because I Can," which gives the classic cancan a
pounding treatment the way only Fatboy Slim, er, can, "Moulin Rouge"
proves to be an instant classic.
"You Were Here"
A customer from Portland, Oregon writes: "What a brilliant gem of a
CD! From the crunchy open chords of 'Around This Corner' to the
dying notes of 'Everytime,' "You Were Here" displays the highest
level of craftsmanship in both performance and songwriting. The
sound is spare yet rich, with coloration from trumpet, clarinet, and
especially cello. The production is subtle and sophisticated, but
Ms. Harmer can rock it too, as she shows on the ferocious 'Weakened
START THE COMMOTION
TV commercials, rather than the radio, are becoming better exposure
for developing artists. Theo Keating (a.k.a. the Wiseguys) is the
latest to enjoy the exposure. The addictive tune "Start the
Commotion," from his 1999 revivalist Big Beat CD "The Antidote,"
jump-started a widely seen car commercial, while the U.K.
turntablist has watched his album sales kick into high gear.
POP THAT ROCKS
"Take Off Your Pants & Jacket [EXPLICIT LYRICS]"
"No Name Face"
"Now That's What I Call Music, Vol. 7"
"Now That's What I Call Music!" series
"Very Best of Prince"
"Face 2 Face"
POSTED JULY 6 2001
'N Sync's new album, "Celebrity," doesn't come out until July 24,
but you can pre-order your copy today, and we'll ship it to you the
day it is released.
BOYS OF SUMMER
Imagine what it would have been like walking down the street hearing
the young Beach Boys rehearse as you passed their house. "Hawthorne,
CA: Birthplace of a Musical Legacy" comes close--it's a must-have
collection of Beach Boys demos and alternate takes from their very
early recording days. Fast forward to the present with Brian
Wilson's latest, "Live at the Roxy Theater," his first live CD
containing classic Beach Boys hits, more recent solo tunes, and a
few covers (including, ironically, his cover of the Barenaked
Ladies' tribute track "Brian Wilson.")
"Hawthorne, CA: Birthplace of a Musical Legacy"
The Beach Boys
"Live At The Roxy Theatre"
GIRLS OF SUMMER
Mandy Moore and Jessica Simpson have both released more mature
versions of their previous efforts, so while you're waiting for the
next Britney or Christina parade to come marching into town, these
two new CDs will keep you stepping in time.
Brooke Allison is gearing up to be the next big thing. The
14-year-old's powerful vocals and irrefutable charm were discovered
on the Internet; look for her to be the next LeAnn Rimes.
"Everybody Got Their Something"
The extremely promising Nikka Costa quickly found a devoted fanbase
with her eclectic mix of soul, funk, psychedelia, and hip-hop.
"Dirty Little Secret"
Finally, Stella Soleil follows the path of Vitamin C, having
launched a solo career in pop music after making a name for herself
in the background of alternative scenes.
THE BEE GEES
"This Is Where I Came In"
With "This Is Where I Came In," The Bee Gees return to the '60s pop
and tight harmonies that defined the band before disco fever
permanently branded their image. After 30 years and counting, this
album brings the Gibb brothers full circle, serving as a reminder
that their contribution to pop music extends way beyond flares and
"One Night Only"
"Best of the Bee Gees Vol. 1"
"Saturday Night Fever"
"Tales from the Brothers Gibb"
All featured Bee Gees titles
The Proclaimers, who flipped a switch in audiences with their
rousing hit "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," offer more of the same
Scottish-folk-injected pop with their first album in six years,
"Mine and Yours"
Highly influenced by Paul McCartney, yet informed by Nashville
country, David Mead's Mine & Yours delivers the kind of songs
where breeziness and easy melody adorn solid, economic song
structure in the tradition of XTC and Squeeze.
"Steppin' Out/Very Best of Joe Jackson"
Joe Jackson has always written mature pop songs, yet has craftily
avoided the sometimes stigmatizing label of "adult contemporary."
The pianist's jazz-rooted sensibilities and initial new-wave
recordings allowed the generous wiggle room to forge a diverse
career not unlike the more prolific Elvis Costello. "Steppin' Out"
features a host of difficult-to-find songs (many of his previous
recordings are currently out of print), as well as his major radio
hits like "Is She Really Going Out with Him" and "Sunday Papers."
NEW AND NOTABLE
The debut album from the Latin answer to Everything But the Girl.
Bay City Rollers
From the Bay City Rollers to John Travolta, this is a collection of
'70s pop's guiltiest pleasures.
"As Seen On TV - Songs From Commercials"
Don't judge a CD by its cover! The concept may be dubious, but if
you can turn a blind eye to the source (TV commercials), there's a
lot of really wonderful music--from Nick Drake to Iggy Pop to
Moby--to enjoy here.
A DJ mix album from MTV's latest prince, Ray Munns.