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PREVIOUS PREVIEWS

    POSTED 27 JULY 2001

    "Celebrity" N Sync
    ...available here.
    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.

    "Long Distance" Ivy
    ...available here.
    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" Madonna
    ...available here.
    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" LFO
    ...available here.
    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.

    "Myra" Myra
    ...available here.
    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.

    POP SOUNDTRACK

    "Moulin Rouge [SOUNDTRACK]" Moulin Rouge
    ...available here.
    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.

    CUSTOMER FAVORITE

    "You Were Here" Sarah Harmer
    ...available 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 State.'"

    START THE COMMOTION

    "The Antidote" The Wiseguys http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00001IVPM/ncdn">...available here.
    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

    "Weezer (2001)" Weezer
    ...available here.

    "Take Off Your Pants & Jacket [EXPLICIT LYRICS]" Blink 182
    ...available here.

    "Sugar Ray" Sugar Ray
    ...available here.

    "No Name Face" Lifehouse
    ...available here.

    PRE-ORDER TODAY!

    "Now That's What I Call Music, Vol. 7" Lopez
    ...available here.

    "Now That's What I Call Music!" series http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ts/artist-glance/183285/ncdn">...available here.

    "Very Best of Prince" Prince
    ...available here.

    "Face 2 Face" Babyface
    ...available here.

    "Oh Aaron" Aaron Carter
    ...available here.

    POSTED JULY 6 2001

    "Celebrity" N Sync
    ...available here.
    '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
    ...available here.

    "Live At The Roxy Theatre" Brian Wilson
    ...available here.

    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.

    "Mandy Moore" Mandy Moore
    ...available here.

    "Irresistible" Jessica Simpson
    ...available here.

    "Brooke Allison" Brooke Allison
    ...available here.
    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" Nikka Costa
    ...available here.
    The extremely promising Nikka Costa quickly found a devoted fanbase with her eclectic mix of soul, funk, psychedelia, and hip-hop.

    "Dirty Little Secret" Stella Soleil
    ...available here.
    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" Bee Gees
    ...available here.
    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 polyester. "One Night Only"
    ...available here.
    "Greatest"
    ...available here.
    "Best of the Bee Gees Vol. 1" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000001FLX/ncdn">...available here.
    "Saturday Night Fever"
    ...available here.
    "Tales from the Brothers Gibb"
    ...available here.
    All featured Bee Gees titles
    ...available here.

    FOLK POP

    "Persevere" Proclaimers
    ...available here.
    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, "Persevere."

    "Mine and Yours" David Mead
    ...available here.
    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.

    GREATEST HITS

    "Steppin' Out/Very Best of Joe Jackson" Joe Jackson
    ...available here.
    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

    "Si Se" Si Se
    ...available here.
    The debut album from the Latin answer to Everything But the Girl. "Suddenly 70s" Bay City Rollers
    ...available here.
    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" Nick Drake
    ...available here.
    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.

    "Ray's House" Ray Munns
    ...available here.
    A DJ mix album from MTV's latest prince, Ray Munns.


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reviews excerpted are copyright © 2001 amazon.com & associate ncdn and CDnow, TowerRecords, Barnes & Nobel associates