US version includes one exclusive bonus track, 'You Know I'm No Good' (featuring Ghostface Killah). 'Back To Black' is the second album from London-based chanteuse Amy Winehouse. Although her 2003 debut was a success, her rowdy offstage behavior became the focus of tabloids and critics instead of the music. Because of this, Winehouse stepped out of the spotlight and concentrated on putting the focus back on her music. Three years later, her sophomore release has surprised critics and excited her fanbase. Combining a strong, Jazzy vocal style with often frank lyrical content recounting tales of love and loss, Winehouse is a truly talented songwriter with a good ear for melody, making this album an essential purchase. Includes the single 'Rehab'. Universal. 2007.
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Manufacturer: UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP
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Manufacturer: Universal Republic
Brand: Umgd/Universal Records
US version includes one exclusive 'hidden' bonus track, 'You Know I'm No Good' (featuring Ghostface Killah). 'Back To Black' is the second album from London-based chanteuse Amy Winehouse. Although her 2003 debut was a success, her rowdy offstage behavior became the focus of tabloids and critics instead of the music. Because of this, Winehouse stepped out of the spotlight and concentrated on putting the focus back on her music. Three years later, her sophomore release has surprised critics and excited her fanbase. Combining a strong, Jazzy vocal style with often frank lyrical content recounting tales of love and loss, Winehouse is a truly talented songwriter with a good ear for melody, making this album an essential purchase. Includes the single 'Rehab'. Universal. 2007. Amy Winehouse's second album, Back to Black, is one of the finest soul albums, British or otherwise, to come out for years. Frank, her first album, was a sparse and stripped-down affair; Back to Black, meanwhile, is neither of these things. T...
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
awesome debut The first solo album by the Fugees' most distinctive voice quickly wipes away the pretensions of so many current hip-hoppers' discs. It does so by both engaging their widescreen ethos--"To Zion," with its martial drums and gospel choir, is as epic a production as has been heard in 1998's pop music--and speaking the plain truth. Reminiscent in its scope of nothing so much as Aretha's early-'70s Spirit in the Dark and Young, Gifted and Black, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill also easily earns its late-'90s place next to Erykah Badu's Baduizm. Even more personal, if hardly any more political, than cohort Wyclef Jean's Carnival, Miseducation focuses equally on her life (especially the birth of her child) and social concerns about the present and future. Its often quiet surface, if anything, lends intensity. "Everything you drop is so tired," she scolds artistically dead-ended rappers on "Superstar"; if more artists shared her vision, occasional eccentricities and bottom-line talent, she...
The perfect timing of Beyonce Knowles' career moves continues with the release of her debut solo album. Dangerously in Love's best music is wildly up-to-date, craftily designed for both maximum street acceptance and positioning as some of the most cutting-edge stuff on current radio. The brash first single, "Crazy in Love," melds Jay-Z with an unstoppable Chi-Lites horn sample, shape-shifting into something brand new. Collaborations with Outkast's Big Boi and Sean Paul also prick up the ears, while changes of pace like "Be with You" and "Speechless" achieve their aim with credibility. The disc becomes far too ballad heavy in its second half, but the key stuff is the noise she brings. --Rickey Wright The perfect timing of Beyonce Knowlesâ€™ career moves continues with the release of her debut solo album. Dangerously in Loveâ€™s best music is wildly up-to-date, craftily designed for both maximum street acceptance and positioning as some of the most cutting-edge stuff on current radio. The brash first ...
Few will accuse JoJo of being a musical revolutionary--hers is a streetwise, modern R&B sound that owes a lot to Destiny's Child and a little to opposite-ends-of-the-genre artists Angie Stone and Aaliyah--but there is a freshness about her. This, on mulling it over, is a quality that's hard to miss when you're 13. Those who haven't ventured beyond the radio hit "Leave (Get Out)," though, will want to take this self-titled debut for a spin if only to be among the first to discover an artist who's figured out how to effectively blend innocence with attitude. It's not the lyrics but the delivery that grabs hold and gives way to compulsory head-bobbing: JoJo may not be "That Kinda Girl," as we learn three tracks in, but instead of putting her point across shyly, peppering the song with flirty vocal question marks, we half-expect her to tell us to step off. The same expert ferociousness fuels "Baby It's You," which embraces sincerity--love for all the right reasons--and power-kicks materialism to the curb. It's no...
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
Brand: Sbme/Zomba Label Group
Includes four new tracks including the "My Boo" duet with Alicia Keys! A CD is always more compelling when you know it's lifted from the artist's autobiography, and that's certainly the case with Confession, Usher's first record since 2001's 8701. The Atlanta singer's string of hits over the past decade have been decidedly PG-13 rated, almost veering towards teen pop, but he's changed all that on this co-produced offering, which he claims is "the real him." It would be too simplistic to just brand this record a break-up record, chronicling his public split with TLC's Rozonda "Chili" Thomas; it is that, but so much more. It would be more accurate to call this Usher's coming of age record, bridging the gap from boy to man, as he navigates the emotional fallout from the disintegration of his relationship, and the events that led up to it--real or imagined. But other than a guilty conscience, it seems unclear why Usher feels compelled to disgorge his secret life, as he documents his infidelities, transgressions, ...
Brand: My Favorite Things
2003 two CD release from the Hip Hop duo that contains a quasi solo album from each member (Big Boi and Dre 3000). At a time when experimentation is taboo in most overground rap, thatâ€™s all Outkast seem intent on executing. Firstly, this double CD has no cohesive link, other than the fact that it sounds like a pair of solo albums stitched together to demo exactly how Andreâ€™s yin works to augment Big Boiâ€™s yang. Andre 3000â€™s Love Below disc rates as the more eclectic of the two, given that heâ€™s turned in his emcee credentials to become a full-on funk-soul-jazz vocalist who mostly sings about items of love ("Happy Valentine's Day"), carnal lust ("Spread"), and female adoration ("Prototype"). Minus the big band schmaltz of "Love Hater" and cheesy cover jobs ("My Favorite Things"), Andreâ€™s disc is sick (meaning great). As is to be expected, the Big Boi disc is less arty, more gangsta and worldly, and features the less-progressive guest raps of ATL crunk purveyors Lilâ€...
2001 album from the R&B/Pop singer/songwriter. Songs in a Minor sold more than 12 million albums worldwide and garnered Keys with her first five Grammy Awards including Best New Artist, Best Song of the Year for 'Fallin', and Best R&B Album. She may be beautiful, but Alicia Keys is a musician first and foremost. She plants herself firmly behind the piano keys on her debut, unlike many of the booty-waggin' junior divas who are crowding the R&B videoscape these days. Though many of the tracks on Songs in A Minor are embellished with adolescent angst, this 20-year-old's substantial, gorgeously soul-drenched alto putties the cracks between notes with astonishing ease. "Fallin'," the album's first single, showcases Keys at her best. She wails plaintively and passionately over rolling blues chords, in the tradition of the greats that this young talent clearly wants to align herself with--Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, and Aretha Franklin. She swoops and soars over the spicy, flamenco-fueled melody that ...
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
Much more than that, actually-all her #1 hits are here ( Greatest Love of All; I Will Always Love You; All the Man That I Need; Didn't We Almost Have It All , etc.), but so are her hottest remixes ( I Wanna Dance with Somebody; So Emotional; I'm Your Baby Tonight; I'm Every Woman , and more), previously unissued rarities, fan favorites and four brand-new tracks-37 of Whitney's best on 2 cassettes! For an artist who only released four proper albums in a 15-year career, it's astounding to recall how many hits Whitney Houston was able to achieve. The two CDs on The Greatest Hits track Houston's rise from mid-'80s TopÂ 40 balladeer to standard-setting diva. DiscÂ 1, Cool Down, runs chronologically through Houston's down-tempo love songs, from "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Will Always Love You" to the cleverly conceived new duet with Deborah Cox, "Same Script, Different Cast." She's also showcased as the remixee of choice for DJs on the second disc, Throw Down, which serves as the antidote to the lovesick...