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Product: Audio CD
Title: I, John
Label: Transparent Music
Artist: John Forté
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
So Much Better Than The First Time...

Without a doubt, this CD is above average. All the clarity, thoughtfulness, savvy and wit packaged into this project outshines all neosoul/hip-hop/r&b/urban alternative/nu-jazz and introspective rock CDs released that year. There are no disappointments- and Forte balances his ill-gained street credibility (via his lockdown) with his powerful, soul-wrenching introspective lyrics (it's hard to call them simply, 'lyrics') better than his more popular contemporaries that dare to shine light into their insipidly shallow, diamond-bezeled, champagne drenched lives. This is real hip-hop, or at least what I believe it should have evolved into. If you have been waiting for Mos Def to do another CD, and you have been severely disappointed by the copious effluence of r&b garbage on the radio, and you respect GENUINE talent- buy this CD. You will be glad, and sad. Sad that we have to wait 14 years for John's talent to shine again. However, he's certainly worth the wait.

Product: Audio CD
Title: A Christmas Album
Label: Atlantic
Artist: Michael Crawford
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
The best Christmas album by far!

Michael Crawford has the most amazing voice and he proves it in this CD. I first time I saw this CD was here and I bought it then and there. I am 13, but still love anything and everything this man does. He has the voice of an angel and, I'll say it again, it shows on this CD. MAKE ANOTHER CHRISTMAS CD! Some of my favorite songs are 'Scarlet Ribbons', 'Mary, Did You Know?", and 'Strange Way to Save the World'. They aren't well-known songs like 'Holly, Jolly Christmas' or 'Rudolph', but you learn to love each and every measure of music. I wish there were more!

Product: Audio CD
Title: Two Against Nature
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Steely Dan
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A true gift!

When the music first hits your ears, you want to get out your old Dan and listen to some classics...but then you realize that these are the new classics. The songs grow on you, move you, speak to you through the years and return you the the classic Dan. It is, simply, Steely Dan.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Invincible
Label: Sony
Artist: Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Best Work Since BAD

Each occasion I hear the name Michael Jackson, I'm reminded I've yet to purchase for my collection his 1979 masterwork "Off the Wall" which seemed to fuse all of the artistic, musician and showmanship strength into one highly charged, highly memorable outing. The video for "Rock with You" for instance stil stands as his greatest triumph in that genre despite its comparatively low budget production and absence of any gripping story line akin to a "Thriller" (basically, all he does is perform an invigorating dance number in a sequined outfit). In 2001 we're 22 years removed from Michael's greatest career triumph yet he seems to still insist it's relevant to release one more major recording to his discography, ostensibly to reclaim the self-annointed mantle of the "king of pop" or some titular moniker like it. As it's embarrassing and disgraceful for now grizzled and stout rock performers of the middle to late sixties to perform nostalgia tours for their ageing middle aged fans of similar demeanors and weight configurations, so it is frankly for a now macabre or gruesome looking pop star like Michael Jackson to try to revive his glory days in the music industry and take airtime and attention away from fledgling R&B artists who're in desperate need of both too right now (R&B in truth is struggling more mightily - as it has historically - than even the much dreaded for rock music genre). Part of me almost thinks this is partly pique on Michael Jackson's part for the ignominous (at least for him) and forced ceding of the spotlight exactly a decade ago to the "grunge" phenomenom and the ascendancy of Nirvana, which effectively bounced him out of the spotlight (and off the number #1 spot on the Billboard album charts) in his last fitful attempt at a "comeback". Whatever might have actually motivated this, it truly doesn't add an iota of significance to his career but instead is a farcical sideshow replete with the mediocre music nobody should need in this moment of acute recessionary pain. ...But I'll still remember to maybe pick up that "Off the Wall" copy someday soon anyhow. That's one salve I could definitely recommend!.....