Culture

The Music

Culture | The Top 5 "Internet album sales" CDs for the week ending Feb. 3, according to Billboard magazine

Issue: "Reining in the UN," Feb. 17, 2001
1
One
The Beatles 10 weeks on chart
STYLE
The most popular, catchy, guileless, and influential rock 'n' roll of all time.

BEST CUTS
"Ticket to Ride," "Help!," "We Can Work It Out," "Paperback Writer," "All You Need Is Love"

WORLDVIEW
Optimistic, its every cry for help drowned out with enough frivolity (if not joy), wit (if not wisdom), and naïveté (if not innocence) to float a yellow submarine.

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ROLE MODEL STATUS
The Beatles once encouraged the mistaking of drugs and sex for peace and love; now they encourage the mistaking of infinite sales for immortality.

2
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Various artists 3 weeks on chart
STYLE
Old-time country, folk, gospel, and blues.

BEST CUTS
"Down to the River to Pray" (Alison Krauss), "Big Rock Candy Mountain" (Harry McClintock), "You Are My Sunshine" (Norman Blake), "O Death" (Ralph Stanley)

WORLDVIEW
Like wine, music rooted in the truth gets better with age.

ROLE MODEL STATUS
Heard simply as music, these down-home performances of traditional material function as bearers of good news. As the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film of the same name, they sometimes function ironically, their "sincerity" mere code for hypocrisy.

3
Ken Burns Jazz
Various artists 2 weeks on chart
STYLE
Dixieland, swing, be-bop, "free jazz," fusion, and the various sub-genres they begot.

BEST CUTS
"Sing, Sing, Sing" (Benny Goodman), "Cotton Tail" (Duke Ellington), "Take Five" (Dave Brubeck), "Giant Steps" (John Coltrane), "Scrapple from the Apple" (Charlie Parker)

WORLDVIEW
"Jazz," says Wynton Marsalis in the booklet, "gives us a glimpse into what America is going to be when it becomes itself. This music tells you that it will become itself."

ROLE MODEL STATUS
In uniting European and African musics, jazz musicians demonstrate the blessedness of peacemaking.

4
All That You Can't Leave Behind
U2 12 weeks on chart
STYLE
An autumnal blending of the guitar-based grandeur of U2's first decade with the "electronica"-based razzle-dazzle of its second one.

BEST CUTS
"Stuck in a Moment That You Can't Get Out Of," "Peace on Earth," "Walk On"

WORLDVIEW
Until Jesus Himself establishes peace on earth, U2 will settle for Greenpeace and Amnesty International (endorsed in the liner notes).

ROLE MODEL STATUS
As earnest and confused a quartet (three of them intermittently professed Christians) of rock 'n' roll idealists as Ireland has yet produced.

5
No Angel
Dido 18 weeks on chart
STYLE
Lush, ethereal pop framing vocals that blend and often surpass those of Enya and Sinéad O'Connor.

BEST CUTS
"Don't Think of Me," "Slide," "Take My Hand"

WORLDVIEW
The erroneous but appealing notion that ordinary romantic longings take on epic significance if observed closely enough.

ROLE MODEL STATUS
A classically trained singer named after the mythological queen of Carthage, Dido's reputation as a serious, talented performer has suffered only slightly from Eminem's use of her song "Thank You" as the basis for his single "Stan."

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Jazz may be, in Ken Burns's phrase, "America's music," but there are other kinds of American music too, and Deke Dickerson and the Ecco-fonics play most of them. Formed in 1997, the group's first two albums established Mr. Dickerson as an ace purveyor of sock-hop thrills in a hip-hop era-a singer capable of recalling Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and the Everly Brothers by turns and a guitar picker who'd mastered everything from Western swing to raw-hide rumble. His new album, Rhythm, Rhyme and Truth (HMG), balances the scale: Songs such as "Where to Aim" and "Have Blues Will Travel" reveal the consequences of letting nothing but the good times roll. "[M]y life turned completely upside down," he writes in the notes. "My folks got divorced.... I got divorced.... I came down with diabetes.... Everything used to make sense ... but it's all gone now." "I think it's important for people to know that I had some pretty dark moments," he told WORLD. "Only now at every show somebody comes up and asks, 'Are you feeling OK?' The last thing I wanted was pity."

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