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The Music

Culture | The Top 5 "Internet album" CDs for the week of July 15, according to Billboard

Issue: "UK: Two faiths collide," July 22, 2000
1
Riding with the King
B.B. King & Eric Clapton 3 weeks on chart
STYLE
Blues, R&B, rock 'n' roll.

BEST CUTS
"Marry You" (in which King and Clapton buy the cow to get the milk), "Help the Poor" (the "poor" being the love-impoverished), "Come Rain or Come Shine" (in which King and Clapton polish a Johnny Mercer gem)

WORLDVIEW
When life gives you the blues, pick up the guitar and give them back.

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ROLE MODEL STATUS
Having overcome poverty (King), drug addiction, and alcoholism (Clapton), they embody what G. Gordon Liddy calls the difference between "survivors" and "prevailers."

2
The Marshall Mathers LP
Eminem 6 weeks on chart
STYLE
Relentless and vile profanity set to catchy rhymes, beats, and chants.

BEST CUTS
"Marshall Mathers"-an R-rated song (as much for "revealing" as for "revolting") on an X-rated album (as much for violence as for profanity)

WORLDVIEW
Contemptuous of everything-especially himself, his family, his record company, and, ironically, his society (for idolizing the likes of Eminem).

ROLE MODEL STATUS
Since his two recent arrests on assault and weapons charges, Eminem's mother has sued him for slander and his wife has attempted suicide.

3
oops... I did it again
Britney Spears 7 weeks on chart
STYLE
High-gloss teen pop, with the starlet herself often buried beneath production tricks and background singers.

BEST CUTS
"Don't Go Knockin' on My Door" (most meaningfully heard as an anti-stalking anthem)

WORLDVIEW
Happiness isn't being famous-it's flirting, dating, and kissing, and not telling anyone or anything but your diary.

ROLE MODEL STATUS
She's announced that she'd like to marry Prince William and is posing for more and more photographs with less and less clothing, sure signs that her media overexposure is approaching critical mass.

4
Mad season
Matchbox Twenty 7 weeks on chart
STYLE
Like the Doobie Brothers and Chicago, Matchbox Twenty distills the popular rock sounds of its day into a smooth concoction capable of pleasing palates by the millions.

BEST CUTS
"Bed of Lies," a sympathetic look at a strained marriage that would make a fine country song

WORLDVIEW
As long as there's someone to pick you up and dust you off and to be your breath when you're too tired to walk, you'll always be able to smile.

ROLE MODEL STATUS
Low-profile nice guys.

5
Human Clay
Creed 28 weeks on chart
STYLE
Introspective heavy metal.

BEST CUTS
"Higher," "Are You Ready?"

WORLDVIEW
"Faceless Man" and "With Arms Wide Open" continue Creed's Christian and pro-life themes, respectively, themes that the other songs neither affirm nor contradict explicitly.

ROLE MODEL STATUS
"[A]ll the members believe in God," writes frontman Scott Stapp at creednet.com, "but we each differ on our methods to reach Him.... [L]et us continue to seek, and if [Christianity] is the way, then we will find, [and] if we continue to knock, the doors will be opened."

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
As if being a bald, unwed mother notorious for denouncing U2, Andrew Dice Clay, and the Pope weren't controversial enough, Sinéad O'Connor has recently added ordination as a pseudo-Catholic priestess and a declaration of lesbianism to her list of dubious achievements. For obvious reasons, most people quit expecting consistently good music from her long ago. To what, then, does one attribute the gracefulness with which contrite confession and carefully crafted pop music come together on Faith and Courage (Atlantic), Ms. O'Connor's new album? To her courage and faith. It takes courage, after all, to own up to her past sins and present confusion. "I know that I have done many things / to give you reason not to listen to me," she sings to her public in "The Lamb's Book of Life." "But if you knew me, maybe you would understand me. / Words can't express how sorry I am." And though her faith is undeniably misguided (by album's end, Christianity and goddess-worship have yielded to-of all things-Rastafarianism), never before has this turbulent Irishwoman seemed so almost-persuaded of her need for true redemption and healing.

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