Culture > Music

Best Albums

Music | The Top 5 CDsfor the week ending April 27, according to Billboard magazine

Issue: "House hunting," May 11, 2002
1
ASHANTI
Ashanti 2 weeks on chart
STYLE
Catchy urban pop.
OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
"Leaving," "Scared," "Over" (obscenities), "Rescue," "Movies" (frank sexuality)
WORLDVIEW
"Dreams are real all you have to do is just believe ... Don't follow no one else just do what's good 4 you" ("Dreams").
OVERALL QUALITY
Ashanti has a nice voice, sings well, and attracts talented collaborators who regrettably see nothing wrong with helping her hawk herself as a heavy-breathing courtesan.
2
A NEW DAY HAS COME
Celine Dion 3 weeks on chart
STYLE
Lavishly produced, Las Vegas?friendly pop.
OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
None.
WORLDVIEW
That life is a wonder best expressed by religious metaphors (prayer, miracles, heaven, angels).
OVERALL QUALITY
Technically impeccable, morally unassailable, musically predictable, commercially indomitable.
3
Now that's what I call music! 9
Various performers 4 weeks on chart
STYLE
Urban, disco, boy-band, hard rock, alternative metal.
OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
"Get the Party Started" Pink, "Rollout" Ludacris, "Just Push Play" Aerosmith (muted obscenities), "Lights, Camera, Action!" Mr. Cheeks (explicit sexuality), "Family Affair" Mary J. Blige (audible obscenity), "I'm a Slave 4 U," Britney Spears, "Caramel" City High (implicit sexuality)
WORLDVIEW
You can fool some of the teenagers all of the time.
OVERALL QUALITY
K-Tel, or Ronco, for the digital age.
4
GUTTERFLOWER
Goo Goo Dolls 1 week on chart
STYLE
Melodic hard rock with alternative flourishes.
OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
"Sympathy" (casual profanity)
WORLDVIEW
"Now you think you found something real / When it's all about money and the things that you need / Live a big lie and they all believe / Now, I just find that somehow obscene" ("What a Scene").
OVERALL QUALITY
Immaculate engineering and rousing hooks serve as camouflage for lyrics that say little or nothing.
5
SOUTHERN HUMMINGBIRD
Tweet 2 weeks on chart
STYLE
Overtly sensuous, aphrodisiacal soul and R&B.
OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
"My Place," "Best Friend," "Oops (Oh My)," "Call Me" (frank sexuality), "Make UR Move," "Motel" (casual profanity)
WORLDVIEW
Happiness comes from having lots of sex (adultery, too, if you're the instigator) and partying.
OVERALL QUALITY
Tweet has a nice voice, sings well, and attracts talented collaborators who regrettably see nothing wrong with helping her hawk herself as a heavy-breathing courtesan.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Cultural conservatives can be forgiven their overenthusiasm for Celine Dion. Dignified, classy, and talented, she embodies public virtues long absent from mainstream pop. Married, maternal, and monogamous, she embodies private virtues too. And her lyrics are as free of expletives as her flesh is of tattoos and piercings. What more could Republicans want in a diva? In a word, art-performances that meaningfully integrate form and content instead of perfecting the former at the expense of the latter. Except for the standards "Nature Boy" and "At Last," the material on A New Day Has Come (Epic), Ms. Dion's first new album since the birth of her child, consists of clichés inflated to proportions that even by the standards of Epic Records are pretty epic. References abound to prayer, faith, miracles, heaven, and being "touched by an angel," but the generically "inspirational" contexts in which they occur rob them of their specificity and, hence, their power.

We see you’ve been enjoying the content on our exclusive member website. Ready to get unlimited access to all of WORLD’s member content?
Get your risk-free, 30-Day FREE Trial Membership right now.
(Don’t worry. It only takes a sec—and you don’t have to give us payment information right now.)

Get your risk-free, 30-Day FREE Trial Membership right now.

Comments

You must be a WORLD member to post comments.

    Keep Reading

     

    House divided

    An American couple faces Qatari imprisonment over a tragedy…

     

    Birdman

    Some superhero movies are like icing-laden cupcakes, all cloying eye…

    Advertisement