By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Additional Consumer News
Honorable Mention: Meshell Ndegéocello, Bitter (Maverick): slow is beautiful ("Loyalty," "Sincerity," "Satisfy"); the Meat Purveyors, More Songs About Buildings and Cows (Bloodshot): bluegrass with attitude radical, maybe even lesbian attitude ("More Man," "Travel and Toil"); Michael Hurley, Weatherhole (Field): shoebox of American folk music ("Nat'l Weed Growers Assoc.," "Your Old Gearbox"); Dixie Chicks, Fly (Monument): unlike three virgins ("Goodbye Earl," "Sin Wagon," "Ready To Run"); Jordan Knight (Interscope): a much tastier Michael McDonald than Duncan Sheik (or Michael McDonald) ("Give It to You," "A Different Party," "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man"); Grandaddy, Signal to Snow Ratio (V2): accomplished sound with not much new to say meets 12 minutes to say it in ("MGM Grand," "Hand Crank Transmitter"); L7, Slap-Happy (Wax Tadpole/Bong Load): "Place my bet on my rockin' machine" ("Livin' Large," "Crackpot Baby"); George Jones, The George Jones Collection (MCA): too obvious too often ("Wild Irish Rose," "Golden Ring"); Len, You Can't Stop the Bum Rush (Work): good clean fun, right plus, it raps ("Beautiful Day," "Cheekybugger"); Guitar Wolf, Jet Generation (Matador): is that a rocket in your pocket, or is this just a concept album about electric noise? ("Fujiyama Attack," "Cyborg Kids"); the Beautiful South, Quench (Mercury): next stop AA ("Dumb," "Your Father and I").
Choice Cuts: Cher, "Believe" (Believe, Warner Bros.); Matraca Berg, "Back In the Saddle" (Lying to the Moon and Other Stories, RCA); LFO, "Summer Girls" (LFO, Arista); Lorrie Morgan, "The Things We Do" (My Heart, BNA); New Kids on the Block, "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" (Greatest Hits, Columbia/ Legacy); Jennifer Lopez, "Let's Get Loud" (On the 6, Work); Silverchair, "London's Burning" (Burning London: The Clash Tribute, Epic); Sugar Ray, "Every Morning" (14:59, Lava/Atlantic); Lee Roy Parnell, "On the Road" (Hits and Highways Ahead, Arista); Trailer Bride, "Quit That Jealousy" (Smelling Salts, Bloodshot).
Duds: Christina Aguilera (RCA); Mary Chapin Carpenter, Party Doll and Other Favorites (Columbia); Kim Richey, Glimmer (Mercury); Shinehead, Praises (VP); Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense (Special New Edition) (Sire/Warner Bros.); David Thomas, Mirror Man (Thirsty Ear); Underworld, Beaucoup Fish (JBO/V2); Usher, Usher Live (LaFace).
Addresses: Bloodshot, 3039 West Irving Road, Chicago IL 60618; Bulldog, 1514 Richcreek Road, Austin TX 78757; Field, 140 North 7th Street, Brooklyn NY 11211; Hannibal, c/o Rykodisc, 530 North 3rd Street, Minneapolis MN 55401; Matador, 611 Broadway, Suite 712, NYC 10012; Merge, Box 1235, Chapel Hill NC 27514; Thirsty Ear, 274 Madison Avenue, Suite 804, NYC 10016; Tugboat, 66 Golborne Road, London W10 5PS, England.