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Arion Berger


  • The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album

    With 1,061,000 copies sold in a week and holding five Number One positions on the Billboard charts simultaneously, The Bodyguard's soundtrack is one of the fastest-selling albums and sports one of the fastest-selling singles in music-industry history. There's no point in speculating whether its success is based on its quality; what we have here is […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Burn To Shine

    Ben Harper does everything well without doing anything particularly brilliantly. On his fourth album, Burn to Shine, he works electric and acoustic guitars, often within the same song, moving from keening folk ("Alone") to propulsive rock ("Less") to churchy soul ("Show Me a Little Shame") to alt-rock's melodic crunch ("Please Bleed"). The Southern country rock […]

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  • The Old Kit Bag

    After a lifetime of making graceful music out of turmoil, British singer-songwriter Richard Thompson's taut, literary folk pop is as odd and pleasing as ever. The Old Kit Bag, his twenty-fifth album, is chimerical rock girded by Thompson's stringed arsenal — dulcimer, mandolin, harmonium. But the soul of the music is death-haunted folk, and Thompson's […]

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  • Say You Will

    For those keeping score at home, the latest lineup of this endlessly regenerative California-rock legend goes Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John, but not Christine McVie. It's the first Mac album in sixteen years for which Buckingham has written songs; tracks such as "Peacekeeper" and "Steal Your Heart Away" prove that Mac's singular […]

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  • Thankful

    What have they done to our Kelly, those canny men pulling the strings of her post-American Idol career? Her single last fall, "A Moment Like This," signaled that she might be headed toward the Mariah-Whitney-Celine radio-ballad sausage mill. Thankful puts those fears to rest: The album's producers jam Clarkson into the stilettos of MTV sexpots […]

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  • 100th Window

    With 1991's Blue Lines, the collective known as Massive Attack virtually invented the kind of who-does-what? knob-twirling aggregation of sound makers, singers and programmers that makes finding producer's credits so difficult and makes "electronica," whatever that is, look so deceptively easy. In an era when other pop-electronic bands seem to settle for matching breathy female […]

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  • This Is Me...Then

    Will Jennifer Lopez never shut up about how humble she is? Lopez could be the tin-pot Evita of inoffensive R&B, with "Jenny From the Block" being her "Don't Cry for Me, the Bronx." Still, "Jenny" is worth listening to — its windup/wind-down chorus is as sly and curvy as Lopez, who shrugs off her showbiz […]

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  • The Very Best Of Sting & The Police (2002)

    This is not what becomes a legend most, but it will do for the part-time fans who understand Sting and his former band to be part of a steady radio-hits continuum rather than a rock-evolution one. Cleverly, this compilation is both semi-exhaustive, with eighteen tracks, and achronological, making the radio-hits perspective incontrovertible. Because however expansive […]

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  • BareNaked

    Jennifer Love Hewitt has no intention of being an actress-with-a-pop-record joke. Her mistake, because this faux-rock record (her fourth) is the funniest thing since Ravyn-Symone's Here's to New Dreams. Who does this broad think she is? Well, lots of people: Gwen Stefani on the almost-syncopated "Can I Go Now," Celine Dion on "You," Sheryl Crow […]

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  • Songs For The Deaf

    There comes a time in every band's life when it must accept its fate. For Queens of the Stone Age, that means embracing the old- (as opposed to new-) metal wrought-iron heart that beats at the center of the band's roomy melodies. Anointed as the new Nirvana in 1998, the California quartet was actually proof […]

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