Reviews > Culture

BESTSELLERS

Culture | The Top 5 best-selling albums for the week ending March 29, according to Billboard magazine

Issue: "War inside the red zone," April 12, 2003
1
GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN'
50 Cent 6 weeks on chart
STYLE
Sex-and-violence rap.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
All 19 cuts (abundant profanity, obscenity, racial slurs, etc.).

WORLDVIEW
"The Lord's blessings leave me lyrically inclined / [expletive deleted], I ain't even gotta try to shine /... I got Scriptures in my brain I could spit at your dame / straight out the Good Book, look, [plural racial slur] is shook" ("Patiently Waiting").

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OVERALL QUALITY
None. Maybe when he starts "spitting" Scripture?

2
COME AWAY WITH ME
Norah Jones 55 weeks on chart
STYLE
Acoustic love songs softly sung, evocative of coffeehouses and jazz clubs.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
None.

WORLDVIEW
Sunsets, cloudy days, lone stars, swirling skies-if she were a painter, she'd do watercolors.

OVERALL QUALITY
High; unlike her father, Ravi Shankar, Miss Jones operates strictly within the Western pop-musical tradition, sounding older than her 24 years and inspiring hopes that her five recent Grammies will be the first of many.

3
CHOCOLATE FACTORY
R. Kelly 4 weeks on chart
STYLE
Contemporary R&B.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
"Forever More" (casual cursing), "I'll Never Leave" (obscenity), "Heart of a Woman," "Been Around the World" (profanity), "Showdown," "Ignition," "Snake" (profanity, softcore eroticism).

WORLDVIEW
Women are fantastic: They cook, do laundry, enjoy kinky sex, put up with macho nonsense and PMS, and look great in tight clothes.

OVERALL QUALITY
Lowbrow male chauvinism at its catchiest and most clueless.

4
HOME
Dixie Chicks 29 weeks on chart
STYLE
Unplugged country, bluegrass roots.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
None, Natalie Maines having saved her anti-Bush rant for foreign soil.

WORLDVIEW
"More love, I know that's all we need ... / To take us and hold us and lift us above / If there's ever an answer / It's more love" (sentiments with which Saddam Hussein no doubt concurs).

OVERALL QUALITY
Much higher than the quality of Ms. Maines's ill-timed political insights.

5
SING THE SORROW
AFI 1 week on chart
STYLE
Punky hard rock plated with alternative metal and leavened by hooks.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
None.

WORLDVIEW
Nihilism as aphrodisiac ("Will you join me in this dance of misery, cradled in impossibility?"), nihilism as marketing gimmick (join AFI's fan club and receive a T-shirt, button, sticker, patch, poster, armband, and membership card; $29.99 for a lifetime, credit cards accepted).

OVERALL QUALITY
Improves when you don't listen too closely to the lyrics.

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