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
The Tipping Point
Foolhardy though it was to saddle such an uncrucial record with a title that dares the young and the restless to bitch about how it doesn't change the world, the rest of us are free to enjoy how confidently it develops a groove. Theme-setting Sly remake leads to varied confluences of democracy and Black Thought (try the hummed and mumbled hook of "Don't Say Nuthin' ") that swing up at the end through two attention getters certain to dismay the restlessTimbabeats, how 2003! Then, to remind us they're a hip-hop band, there's a bonus cut for their sole virtuoso which means ?uestlove, not Kamal. They understand what they can do, and what they can't. That's 2004 enough for me. A MINUS
Old enough to vote, too young to barhop, they spend most of these eight brief songs trying desperately to catch up with themselves, and their occasional collapse into the breathy/slow/acoustic is doubly touching by contrast. It's easier to get a grip on your future when you have time to live in it for a while. Punker than the Ponys, and even more childish, but just as vulnerable. Maybe youth is feeling fragile these days. Maybe it's afraid its headlong rush is not long for this world. A MINUS
Dud of the Month
With Argentina well over on the European edge of "Latin"which is mostly African whatever its Spanish antecedentsit's no surprise that this reformed television actress should trick up her boring strummed singer-songwritering with not terribly interesting electronica. With the market for both modes desperate for marginal differentiation, it's also no surprise that she gets a bump for being exotic if not literally dark-skinned. Needless to say, there are no surprises anywhere else either. That really isn't how soundscaping is supposed to work. C
Additional Consumer News
Don't care about "going down no in no history," thus wiser than those who think it matters that they won't (only they may) ("Walk Idiot Walk," "No Pun Intended").
Drag It Up
The new kids have Rhett feeling down ("Moonlight," "The New Kid," "Bloomingtown").
THE ROUGH GUIDE TO AFRO-PERU
World Music Network import
David Byrne didn't tell us how many males this tiny scene stars (Manuel Donayre, "Negro Carbon"; Arturo "Zambo" Cavero & Oscar Aviles, "El Alcatraz").
The Arkestra Chamber: Black Sex Yall Liberation and Bloody Random Violets
I wish Tate edited his music like he edits his copy (which doesn't mean perfectly, believe me) ("Funky Rich Medina," "No Direction Home I").
Young enough to only work when they need the money, a musical tradition worth fighting for ("Michael," "Jacqueline").
Won't upset your stomach as it heals your soul ("Nar-1 Ask," "Guilname").
"Pissing in the wine, pissing in the wine" ("When Fine Society Sits Down to Dine," "On eBay").
THE ROUGH GUIDE TO PUERTO RICAN SALSA
World Music Network import
Progger and/or blander and/or folkier than anyone but a world-music sap would prefer (Willie Colón & Héctor Lavoe, "Todo Tiene Su Final"; Jose Alberto, "El Canario," "Déjate Querer").
Howling . . . It Grows and Grows!!!
Pissed off, barely tonal, and in the traditionthe fuck you say ("Natural Law," "Ravenous Animal").
No Said Date
Kills Ghostface because RZA still rules ("Old Man," "No Said Date").
Go-Go's with heft by Norwegian gals in matching outfits ("Oh Boy," "Out of My Head").
MASH OUT POSSE
The brawnier-voiced Musclehead On Parade makes a metal record ("Stand Up," "Ground Zero").
The Official Bootleg
"If I suck your dick it'll come fast/'Cause I'ma stick my thumb in your ass" ("The Watcher Remix," "Nookie Remix").
SALSA AROUND THE WORLD
Putumayo World Music
Bands from 12 non-Hispanic nations oversimplify and/or distill Nuyorican clave (Salsa Celtica, "El Sol de la Noche"; Mousta Largo, "Anna Maria").
The Laptop EP
"Were you really born in Stockholm, Lars?"; "No, but my family on my mom's side is Swedish American"; "Uh, OK" ("Signing Emo," "Straight Outta Stockholm").
Long Gone Before Daylight
She'll love you as long as the chorus lasts, and if you're good the verse tooa period that lengthens as she gets older ("For What It's Worth," "And Then You Kissed Me").
"How Come," "6 in the Morning," "My Band"
(D12 World, Shady/Interscope)
KING MISSILE III
"America Kicks Ass"
(Royal Lunch, Important)
LOS PACHANGA PISTOLS
"I Don't Have a Car and I Live in L.A."
(Not in Our Name, Broken Arrow)
JARABE DE PALO
"El Lado Oscuro"
(Nuevo Latino, Putumayo World Music)
Wild for You (Concord)
Me and Mr. Johnson (Reprise)
Go Pets Go (Chicks on Speed)
A Crow Left of the Murder . . . (Epic/Immortal)
Guy Debord Is Really Dead (Sink and Stove import)