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Product: Audio CD
Title: In The Zone
Label: Jive
Artist: Britney Spears
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
She's In The Zone


In The Zone is way different from her previous three albums. She has definitely left her bubble-gum Pop image behind and she'd matured into a more creative woman. Most of these songs are R&B flavored and are easily enjoyable. If you're looking for anything that sounds like "Baby One More Time" or "Oops!", then this isn't the CD for you. If you're interested in more tasteful music - definitely buy this one!
Don't pay attention to the reviewers giving In The Zone a low grade just because Britney doesn't have the voice of Christina Aguilera. She may not, and people, no one cares. No one else really has her voice, so shut up already. Anyway, Britney is one hell of an entertainer - that's why she's so famous! Most of these songs can become instant club-favorites that everyone can enjoy - and what's very surprising, is that there are even a couple of outstanding ballads on this CD!
1. "Me Against The Music" (featuring Madonna) - The lead single off In The Zone. Don't be too quick to judge, people - even though there are those who aren't into this song, In The Zone does not all sound like "Me Against The Music." I really like this track. It's enjoyable, it's catchy, and it's something great to dance to. If it doesn't grab onto you the first few listens, it'll eventually grow on you. I think Britney and Madonna did an all right job on this one. *4/5*
2. "(I Got That) Boom Boom" (featuring Ying Yang Twins) - This one will grow on you fast. This one's a sure club-favorite. Like many other tracks on In The Zone, it's hard to predict what Britney's next single will be. These songs are really enjoyable. But to be honest, this one's not really a favorite of mine ... the Ying Yang Twins kinda ruin it for me. *4/5*
3. "Showdown" - This is a fun, catchy, smooth dance tune. This is one of my favorites off In The Zone. I doubt, though, that it would do good as a single. This one's something to listen to for sure. *4/5*
4. "Breathe On Me" - Ah ... a nice, calm, soothing song. This one's great to listen to if you're out driving at night. This kind of sounds like something you'd hear from a Kylie Minogue CD - which almost means that you'll for sure love this song. *5/5*
5. "Early Mornin'" - Britney's collaboration with Moby. This one I'm not too fond of, but a lot of other reviewers have taken a liking to this song. This is one of my least favorites. It is catchy, though. *3/5*
6. "Toxic" - Yes! This one should be released as a single! The strings are great. This song is pretty much impossible to not like. It's very catchy - a lot of people who have heard it say it's the best song off In The Zone. This song is very toxic! *5/5*
7. "Outrageous" - A surprising collaboration between Britney and R. Kelly. When this song first starts, you can easily determine that it's something only R. Kelly could produce. I'm not fond of this song, but a lot of other reviewers really seem to like it. This certainly is different from all of the other tracks on In The Zone. *4/5*
8. "Touch Of My Hand" - Britney's own SheBop / Self-Pleasuring song. Not exactly something I'd keep on the repeat button ... it just isn't clicking with me. Not to say that it disgusts me - I just don't find this track very offering. *2/5*
9. "The Hook Up" - I love this track. So many other reviewers say this song is something they could do without, but I think this is a breakthrough. It may be late into the Reggae craze, but this song has "Hit" written all over it. The lyrics are great. This song's catchy and I'm sure it could be an assured club song. *5/5*
10. "Shadow" - One of the two surprising ballads off In The Zone. This song's more ... well, I won't say dark, but kind of more gloomy. I love the lyrics and Britney's vocals on this song. This is a song even parents would enjoy - which is a good sign! Right? *5/5*
11. "Brave New Girl" - This is the only song that I feel anyone could do without. This is the only song which sounds like it came off her debut album "Baby One More Time" ... it just seems so out of place on this album. *1/5*
12. "Everytime" - The second, very outstanding ballad rumoured to be dedicated to former boyfriend Justin Timberlake. Whatever the case, this ballad has more of a music box melody and very beautiful lyrics. Britney's vocals are great. Overall, this is one of the best songs off In The Zone. *5/5*
13. "Me Against The Music Rishi Rich's Desi Kulcha Remix" (featuring Madonna) - An OK remix ... going towards a much more foreign Asain/Jamacain sound. I still prefer the original version. *3.5/5*
[Bonus Tracks off AU version]
14. "The Answer" - This is an OK song. I don't really know what to say about it, except that there's nothing really special about it in my opinion. *4/5*
15. "Don't Hang Up" - I prefer this over the previous bonus track. This is a really good track. I really like the beat, the lyrics, and Britney's vocals. *4.5/5*
Britney co-wrote 7 of the original 13 tracks, which shows that there's more to her than just dancing, singing, and acting. She's a song-writer as well! I honestly think this girl is very talented and I find it unfair that people are bashing her just because she doesn't have the voice of Christina Aguilera and because In The Zone is nothing like Christina's Stripped. Christina chose to reveal herself on Stripped - Britney chose to stick with the dance songs. I think Stripped and In The Zone balance out. I'm not gonna say which album to buy over the other, because both albums have their own uniquenesses.
Britney's definitely matured to some degree, and her music is much more tasteful than ever before for all ages. I recommend In The Zone who's into R&B / Hip Hop / Pop flavored dance tunes. This CD's a really big step-up from Britney's previous three albums. It just keeps getting better and better. Don't even begin to think that she's starting to fade away - she's just getting hotter!
** OVERALL Grade: 4/5 Stars **



Product: Audio CD
Title: Our Kind Of Soul
Label: U-Watch Records
Artist: Daryl Hall & John Oates, Hall & Oates
Rating: 2/5
Customer rating - 2 out of 5
Stop the madness


First Michael McDonald drains all the soul from classic Motown tunes then H&O proceed to wreak havoc with classic soul from every era. STOP THE MADNESS! To even suggest that H&O's Rock Steady can even be mentioned in the same breath as Aretha's is blasphemy. What are you people thinking? Obviously you are not familiar with the originals cause, these covers sound more like bad karaoke than well arranged songs. I don't take issue with Daryl Hall being described as a soul singer, but the arrangements are tedious at best.
If you want to hear real soul, start with any Rhino "Didn't It Blow Your Mind" compilation with the original tracks by the original artists.



Product: Audio CD
Title: American Fool
Label: Mercury / Universal
Artist: John Cougar
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Awesome


Aaaahhh . . . the songs of my youth! This is another terrific album we added to our 80's collection. How wonderfully familiar - Jack and Diane; Hurts So Good; Hand to Hold Onto; Thundering Hearts; China Girl. Good Stuff. John Cougar Mellencamp was and is a superb artist.
I miss the music of the 80's. Ever notice how upbeat 80's songs are!? This album is (to use a word from the 80's) Awesome!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Laundry Service
Label: Sony
Artist: Shakira
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Servicio de Lavanderia


On my first listen, I didn't really appreciate Shakira's sound and voice, but after about 70 more listens, I will just review each song:
1)"Objection (Tango)"- This is a really great dance song which may take a few listens to get used to. I think this is what Shakira said she was releasing as her 3rd single off of the album. It's not the best song on here, but is still really good.
2)"Underneath Your Clothes"- This was the second single off the album, it is a really good ballad that is not about sex like you think it would be. It draws you in from the first note. Really good song!
3)"Whenever, Wherever"- This song is awesome! It was her debut song in English and is great. It has a great beat and awesome lyrics to go with it.
4)"Rules"- This song is good too. This is the song that gets her compared with Alanis Morissette. Some of the vocals in here will remind you of Alanis's song "Ironic." When not being compared, this song can stand on it's own feet.
5)"The One"- Okay, this is my second favorite song on the cd. It's a love song, but a very different type of love song. A rock-ballad would be best to describe it. It has a haunting melody and beautiful lyrics that make you see a relationship from a different point of view.
6)"Ready For The Good Times"- This song would be just a normal pop song, but Shakira always manages to put her own spin on things in her lyrics. In this song she compares herself to a cat. But, it's mostly just about forgetting bad stuff and being 'ready for the good times.'
7)"Fool"- This is a rock song all the way. Again, the lyrics are like poetry. Here, Shakira is desperately in love with a man who doesn't want her and she doesn't notice how bad he's treating her. It is awesome.
8)"Te Dejo Madrid (I'm Leaving Madrid)"- Despite the song being completely in Spanish, it is a great rock song. When translated, the lyrics are again great. (You can get translations from shakira.com)
9)"(Poem To a)Horse"- This is another great song where Shakira's voice sounds incredible and the lyrics fantastic. It has a really catchy chorus.
10)"Que Me Quedes Tu (As Long As I Have You)"- This is my favorite song off the cd. It is a ballad done completely in Spanish. I normally would not have listened, but I gave it a chance. What kept me listening was the power in Shakira's vocals that sounds so beautiful. Don't judge based on the 30 second clip, listen to the whole song!
11)"Eyes Like Yours (Ojos Asi)"- This is the English version of Shakira's debut Spanish song, 'Ojos Asi.' It is really cool, and once you get used to the weird parts of the song, it is really good.
12)"Suerte (Whenever, Wherever)"- Spanish version of song #3
13)"Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Objection)"- Spanish version of song #1
All in all, awesome cd with beautiful lyrics and powerful vocals. If you want great music, this cd is for you. Don't judge on the little clips, listen to the whole cd twice before judging.