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"Always Got Tonight" Chris Isaak Our price: $12.99 | You save: $5.99
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San Francisco's favorite lovelorn rocker returns with "Always Got Tonight." The guy who did a "bad, bad thing" is still singing sad, sad songs, saving the brighter sides of his personality for his hit TV show.

"Lovers Live" Sade Our price: $13.28 | You save: $5.70
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Sade is known for her meticulous studio recordings, so it was a delightful surprise to hear her well-known songs reworked for the stage. "Lovers Live" was recorded on the tour supporting her first album after a seven-year break, "Lovers Rock," and after listening to these lovely live songs, one would hope that she'd stay on the road a little longer before she disappears again.

Posted 17 January 2002

"Rock Steady" No Doubt Our price: $13.29 | You save: $5.69
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With an elite corps of producers rotating behind the mixing board on "Rock Steady," No Doubt romp in a playground of sound that takes them as far as Jamaica. The result is an incredibly fun album that is also the most substantive they've ever turned out.

"Smash Mouth" Smash Mouth Our price: $13.99 | You save: $4.99
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Smash Mouth's lyrics have always been somewhat socially and politically charged, but more attention has always been focused on their kitschy image and sun-soaked ska-punk melodies. On their self-titled third release, their songs are more suited to their persona, with a cover of the Monkees "I'm a Believer" and singles such as "Pacific Coast Party" and "Sister Cleo," which is about the well-known TV tarot card reader.


"Jools Holland's Big Band Rhythm & Blues" Jools Holland Our price: $13.99 | You save: $4.99
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Jools Holland was the keyboardist for the popular '80s group Squeeze, and now he's become something of a British Brian Setzer with "Jools Holland's Big Band Rhythm & Blues." The album contains 22 tracks featuring guest artists like Sting, Eric Clapton, Jamiroquai, and Van Morrison. Most importantly, it contains the last song George Harrison ever recorded.


"Swing When You're Winning [IMPORT]" Robbie Williams Our price: $20.99
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Robbie Williams is a megastar in the U.K. and Europe, but American shores have very decidedly not encountered the Robbie invasion, despite the fact that "Entertainment Weekly" voted his U.S. debut, "The Ego Has Landed," album of the year in 1999. His latest, "Swing When You're Winning" (a pun on his second U.S. release, "Sing When You're Winning"), fulfills his fantasy of being a 21st-century, one-man Rat Packer. The album is filled with pop standards as well as a new song, including a duet with Nicole Kidman. It is currently only available in the U.S. as an import, but it's climbing our charts nonetheless.

"Fever [IMPORT]" Kylie Minogue Our price: $20.99
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Australian-native Kylie Minogue is also largely unknown in the U.S while enjoying household-name status in Britain. Some older pop fans might remember her rather silly cover of "(Do the) Locomotion," where poor Minogue was caught at the tail end of the leotards-and-headbands craze, but since then she's grown sexy and sophisticated, falling between Madonna and Britney on the controversy scale. Her duet with Robbie Williams, "Kids," on his album "Sing While You're Winning," was the disc's highlight, and her new solo release, "Fever," jumps into dance-club action with the techno/house "More More More" and never stops. It's also currently only available as an import.


"The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does it Better [IMPORT]" Carly Simon Our price: $25.99
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What did the fast tomato say to the slow tomato? "Ketchup!" What does this really stupid joke have to do with Carly Simon, you ask? Well, barely anything, except that her commercial endorsements have graduated from popular condiments ("Anticipation") to the anthemic theme of the recent USPS ad ("Let the River Run"). Both songs are included on "The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better," which also contains "You're So Vain" and "Haven't Got Time for the Pain."

©, 2002 and ncdn associate. Editor, Beth Massaassociates of,bn,tower,cdnow

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reviews excerpted are copyright © 2002 & associate ncdn and CDnow, TowerRecords, Barnes & Nobel associates