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Bestselling CDs

Notable CDs | The five bestselling Internet albumsaccording to Billboard, Oct. 1

Issue: "Miers doesn't fit the mold," Oct. 15, 2005

Bestselling CDs

The five bestselling Internet albums according to Billboard, Oct. 1

1. NOTHING IS SOUND--Switchfoot

Weeks on chart 1

Style Melodic alternative rock.

Worldview "Blessed is the man who's lost it all. . . . / I'm looking for a bridge I can't burn down. / I don't believe the emptiness. / I'm looking for the kingdom coming down. . . . / I want more than simple cash can buy" ("Happy Is a Yuppie Word").

Overall quality Neither groundbreaking nor grandstanding, Switchfoot's thoughtful, subtly Christian lyrics and well-tooled hooks deserve the attention of those with ears to hear.

2. A BIGGER BANG--The Rolling Stones

Weeks on chart 2

Style Lean, mean, occasionally reflective rock 'n' roll.

Objectionable material Lewdness, crudeness, and rudeness ("Rough Justice," "This Place Is Empty," "She Saw Me Coming," "Oh No Not You Again," "Sweet Neocon").

Worldview "It's liberty for all. / Democracy's our style, / unless you are against us. / Then it's prison without trial. / But one thing that is certain: / life is good at Halliburton."

Overall quality Adds two or three catchy songs to the Stones oeuvre.

3. CHAOS AND CREATION . . . --Paul McCartney

Weeks on chart 1

Style Autumnal pop with several overtly Beatle-esque interludes.

Worldview "Laugh when your eyes are burning. / Smile when your heart is filled with pain. / Sigh as you brush away your sorrow. / Make a vow / that it's not going to happen again. . . . / You've got to learn to laugh" ("Too Much Rain").

Overall quality The Cute Beatle keeps his notorious sentimentality hummable when not tempering it with mature (for him) observations.

4. SOULS ALIKE--Bonnie Raitt

Weeks on chart 1

Style Funky roots-rock.

Worldview "God was in the water that day, / pickin' through the roots and stones, / trippin' over sunken logs, / tryin' not to make his presence known. . . . [I'm] castin' out a line, but no one's biting" ("God Was in the Water").

Overall quality Suggests that while Ms. Raitt may never again make an exciting album, she at least possesses the talent and taste never to make a bad one.

5. LIFE IN SLOW MOTION--David Gray

Weeks on chart 1

Style Somber, introspective pop.

Objectionable material Casual cursing ("Lately").

Worldview "May be that it would do me good / if I believed there were a God / out in the starry firmament, / but as it is that's just a lie, / and I'm here eating up the boredom / on an island of cement. . . . / This ain't no love that's guiding me" ("Ain't No Love").

Overall quality Self-pity reined in by an uncommonly lyrical stoicism.

In the spotlight

One secret to the Rolling Stones' longevity has been their refusal to identify themselves with musical fads or specific social issues. It was surprising therefore when news broke that their new album, A Bigger Bang (Virgin/EMI), would contain "Sweet Neocon," a very specific diatribe against George W. Bush's foreign policy. What's even more surprising, however, is the degree to which it exposes Mick Jagger's cluelessness.

Mr. Jagger, for instance, seems oblivious to the fact that "neocon" often refers to Jewish ex-liberals (i.e., Norman Podhoretz) and that to single them out for attack is to flirt with an anti-Semitism at odds with rock 'n' roll cool. Stranger yet, in citing President Bush's espousal of Christianity en route to calling him a "hypocrite," Mr. Jagger fails to realize that as a non-Christian himself he is by definition someone who does not practice Christianity either and therefore someone who has quite a bit in common with the very caricature of President Bush that he assails.

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