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It Sounds Good to Me

Blast Los Angeles Bureau

k.d. lang

How many songs about cigarettes and smoking are there? k.d. seems to cover every last one of them in this appropriately named album. What makes it for me is her wistful cover of "Theme from The Valley of the Dolls." She turns this utterly banal movie music into something listenable, even moving. And of course there's k.d.'s gorgeous, emotive voice, weaving itself around songs like "The Joker" and "Till The Heart Caves In." I swear, she can probably sing jingles for floor polish and everyone will run out and grab a case.

Foo Fighters
The Colour and the Shape

Dave Grohl and company slogs onward with its second album. At times inspired, at times lacking the exuberance of its debut, "The Colour and the Shape" is nevertheless a good listen. "Monkey Wrench" is great to play while barrelling down the L.A. freeways.

Fat of the Land

I'm a firestahtah! Exhale! Exhale! Man, this is one loud, fun album. Despite being horribly overexposed on MTV and so-called "alternative" stations, the singles haven't lost their ability to make me turn up the volume. In fact, me driving with it in the tape deck should probably get me pulled over for something. Not only do I want to barrel down the 101, I hugely desire a laser death ray to blast cars with crappy drivers out of my way. That can't possibly be legal. Or moral.

ok computer

Let's get off this bad driving trip and come down with one of the weirder English bands. "ok computer" is a beautiful, druggy concept album about the woes of the modern world. The creepiest piece, "Fitter Happier," uses a synthesized voice, like the disemodied male voice that comes with Apple's Simple Text, to give us the status quo of Joe Citizen. Thom Yorke's haunting, avenging angel vocals on the other songs convey neurosis better than anybody.

Be Here Now

The baddest Brit boys in music today have come up with a fantastic third album. It's '60s, it's full of Liam Gallagher's snide vocals, it's brilliant. It's so brilliant, Johnny Depp plays slide guitar on a track. OK, maybe that's stretching it (plus JD owes my boyfriend some $$, but that's another story and doesn't belong in a CD review). All I'm saying is, these guys have come up with arguably the best album in their career so far. Not as self-conscious as "Definitely Maybe," not as epic as "(What's the Story) Morning Glory," "Be Here Now" just rocks. As the song "It's Gettin' Better (Man!!)" says, "Maybe the songs that we sing are wrong/Maybe the dreams that we dream are gone/So bring it on home and it won't be long/It's gettin' better man!"