Culture

BESTSELLERS

Culture | The Top 5 best-sellingalbums for the week ending June 14, according to Billboard magazine

Issue: "Supreme warning," July 5, 2003
1
HOW THE WEST WAS won
Led Zeppelin weeks on chart 1
STYLE
Anachronistically self-indulgent heavy-metal British blues, gilded with post-Woodstock reveries and dilettantish pagan mysticism.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL
Occasional double-entendres.

WORLDVIEW
"All I ask for when I pray, steady rollin' woman gonna come my way. / Need a woman gonna hold my hand, won't tell me no lies, make me a happy man" ("Black Dog")

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OVERALL QUALITY
Disc 1, mostly classics; Disc 2, interminable soloing; Disc 3, a bit of both.

2
GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN'
50 Cent weeks on chart 17
STYLE
Sex-and-violence rap.

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

WORLDVIEW
"Every night I talk to God, but He don't say nothing back / I know He protecting me, but I still stay with my gat" ("Many Men [Wish Death]").

OVERALL QUALITY
Might be funny if it weren't so sad, might be tragic if it weren't so stupid.

3
FALLEN
Evanescence weeks on chart 13
STYLE
Gothic melodrama and muscle-bound metal.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL

WORLDVIEW
Apparently Christian, given singer Amy Lee's demand of salvation from Christ ("Tourniquet") and guitarist Ben Moody's thanking Him (the liner notes); apparently not quite Christian, given Mr. Moody's comments in Entertainment Weekly: "We're actually high on the Christian charts, and I'm like, What the [obscenity deleted] are we even doing there?"

OVERALL QUALITY
Think Daredevil soundtrack, where this music first broke.

3
THANKFUL
Kelly Clarkson weeks on chart 7
STYLE
Mariah Lavigne, Avril Carey; Britney Aguilera, Christina Spears.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL

WORLDVIEW
Like, romance so rules ("Sweet revelation / That look in your eyes / Your touch in the night / I find the sweetest salvation / In your arms, baby"... "I'm thankful / For the love that you / Keep bringing in my life").

OVERALL QUALITY
The best state-of-the-mainstream production, melodies, and banality that first-prize American Idol money can subsidize.

5
COME AWAY WITH ME
Norah Jones weeks on chart 66
STYLE
Acoustic love songs gently sung, evocative of coffeehouses and jazz clubs.

OBJECTIONABLE MATERIAL

WORLDVIEW
Sunsets, cloudy days, lone stars, swirling skies-the sort of soft-focus sentimentality one might expect from a single, romantically inclined young chanteuse.

OVERALL QUALITY
High; unlike her raga-playing father, the sitarist Ravi Shankar, Miss Jones operates strictly within the Western pop-musical tradition, inspiring hopes that her eventual follow-ups will receive an equally warm reception.

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