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161. Simply the Best
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162. Born to Do It
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163. ClassiKhan
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164. Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles
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165. 112
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166. Confessions
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167. From There to Here: 1989-2002
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168. God's Property From Kirk Franklin's
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169. Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits
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170. The Ultimate O'Jays
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171. Christina Aguilera
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172. Concrete Rose
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173. My Life
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174. Best of the Pointer Sisters [RCA
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175. The Collection: 1991-1998
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176. The Ultimate Collection
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177. All I Have
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178. Ray Charles Sings for America
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179. Reachin' (A New Refutation of
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180. The Best of War and More

161. Simply the Best
list price: $19.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B000002UZ6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2488
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Tina Turner's phenomenal reclamation of her stardom is perfectly chronicled on Simply the Best. With the exception of the Phil Spector epic "River Deep, Mountain High," everything included here comes from 1983 on. Turner's iconic voice and bluesy earnestness surface on a cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." She brings a moody sensuality to "I Can't Stand the Rain." Equally adept at rock, soul, gospel, and R&B, Turner makes ordinary songs such as "Typical Male" and "Private Dancer" into extraordinary recordings. There are actually better Tina albums than Simply the Best, but it stands as a useful compilation of her comeback hits. --Steve Gdula ... Read more

Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Momentos of a legend
What Aretha Franklin is to R&B, and what Billie Holiday is to jazz, Tina Turner is to rock and roll...simply THE distinctive female voice of the genre. And this generous 18-track compilation offers up the very best of her platinum-selling, Grammy-laden solo career.

Over half of Turner's landmark solo debut "Private Dancer" is represented here: first there's the #1 worldwide smash "What's Love Got to Do With It," and the hit's midtempo marriage of rock and soul is just as thrilling as it was upon release. The lush title track will always be a smooth winner, and who can forget "Better Be Good to Me," one of the hardest hitting female rockers in memory? To hear Tina wail "did you think I'd just accept you in blind faith? Don't shout, baby!" is to guarantee yourself chills. Two spectacular covers from the album are included as well: Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" and Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand the Rain." It might seem arrogant of Turner to tackle the signature tunes of two R&B legends...until of course you hear her sing them with such joy and affection.

Elsewhere you have superb matches of singer and song (the country-tinged "What You Get is What You See," the pop workout "Typical Male," the Bonnie Raitt-flavored "Steamy Windows") as well as some lukewarm compositions that are saved by Turner's unstoppable fire ("Look Me in the Heart" and the "What's Love Got to Do With It" rewrite, "We Don't Need Another Hero"). Of the three new tracks only "Way of the World" is pedestrian; "I Want You Near Me" adds a delicious dose of funk and "Love Thing" is one of her grittiest rockers to date.

The inclusion of "River Deep Mountain High," recorded for producer Phil Spector in the 60's, is a nice idea, but the "90's Version" (translation: club mix) of "Nutbush City Limits" is just wrong; the original's wah-wah guitar and itchy rhythm are sorely missed in the face of synthesized kick drums and hi-hats. Another error is the omission of "Two People," the silky smooth ballad single from her album "Break Every Rule." But considering we're treated to over an hour's worth of fiery, passionate performances from one of rock's true legends, such missteps are easily forgiven.

Tina Turner is without a shadow of a doubt the queen diva. She is a living legend and a symbol of survival and success. This album is a solid collection of her all time greatest hits. The UK one is slightly different with the inclusion of "Addicted To Love" and "Be Tender With Me Baby" and the ommitance of "What You Get Is What You See" and "Look Me In The Heart". From her outstanding anthem "What's Love Got To Do With It" to the tangy "Steamy Windows" this album makes Tina shine.
Although it is great, there are notable songs missing. Hopefully, now that Tina is back in action again she will release a whole new album with all her greatest hits included, if it was at it's best it would probably look like this:

1) "Simply The Best"
2) "What's Love Got To Do With It"
3) "When The Heartache Is Over"
4) "Nutbush City Limits" (orginal version)
5) "Typical Male"
6) "We Don't Need Another Hero"
7) "Help"
8) "On Silent Wings" (featuring Sting)
9) "Private Dancer"
10) "Look Me In The Heart"
11) "I Don't Wanna Lose You"
12) "Steamy Windows"
13) "Typical Male"
14) "It Takes Two" (featuring Rod Stewart)
15) "I Don't Wanna Fight"

1) "Better Be Good To Me"
2) "Addicted To Love"
3) "What You Get Is What You See"
4) "Proud Mary"
5) "I Can't Stand The Rain"
6) "Let's Stay Together"
7) "Whatever You Need"
8) "Be Tender With Me Baby"
9) "River Deep, Mountain High"
10) "Simply The Best" (featuring Jimmy Barnes)
11) "Goldeneye"
12) "Show Some Respect"
13) "Proud Mary" (featuring Elton John and Cher from VH1 Divas '99)
14) "In Your Wildest Dreams" (featuring Barry White)
15) "Great Spirits"

5-0 out of 5 stars If I had my way with a greatest hits album for Tina
The songs for Tina's Album would be

1> We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)
2> In Your Wildest Dreams
3> River Deep Mountain High ( Slow Version with Orchestra)
4> Proud Mary
5> Goldeneye
6> Lets Stay Together

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
In this CD. After I heard the poor quality of the recording and rendition of the songs I wished I could return it and get my money back! Tiny sound and lots of static on the CD. Also not the quality of performances I am use to w/Tina Turner in the past.

4-0 out of 5 stars Icon Tina
Years ago I was studying in Germany when Ike and Tina came to town. I missed the show, but I'll never forget that a little over a month later when I returned home they showed up again in my home town area of Portland, Maine. From Munich to Maine in the course of a month? I was afraid they were following me.

Actually, what I really thought was that everything I had read about them being among the hardest working (and hardest TOURING) acts in show business had to be true.

Tina's ever-shifting fortunes in the ensuing years are well documented. The break from Ike was, by all accounts, a matter of personal survival--but of course, it was a career setback. There had been an unsuccessful solo album in the 70s, and of course, she had made an impression as a solo as the Acid Queen in the film version of TOMMY. But once totally on her own, she was scraping by with small venue gigs and appearances on THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES. It was a rough time.

The comeback in '84 with PRIVATE DANCER was a welcome surprise. Collaborating with established rockers like Mark Knopfler and Jeff Beck, it was a strong effort--a truly successful recorded work by an artist whose main claim to fame heretofore had rested on her live performances. Songs like "What's Got to Love With It" and the title track were intelligently selected and had the added advantage of being simultaneously "nice and easy" and a little "rough." Lyrically, many of the tracks had a somewhat autobiographical quality. No one knew at the time that "What's Love Got to Do With It?" would eventually be the title of a biographical film detailing her marital trauma, but certainly Tina's story had become well enough known for that song and many of the other tracks to have a powerful resonance.

Of course, the era of synth pop was just beginning and much of Tina's work from this era reflects that trend. Some fans complained then and now that Tina was more suited to funkier, more soulful arrangements than many of the 80s tracks possessed. There is some evidence for that argument on this compilation argument. Soulful numbers like "I Can't Stand the Rain" and the 90s version of "Nutbush City Limits" seem a bit weakened by the synthesizer backings. There's a kind of (unintended?) ironic quality to such tracks, however. Tina's gritty vocals pretty much overcome the artificiality of the arrangements. Still there's a lot to be said for the occasional lo-tech arrangements that crop up on this release. "Steamy Windows" is down and dirty and, yes, downright steamy, with a back-up band that IS a real band. Same with the closer "Love Thing," which rocks harder than anything else in this collection.

You may notice that Tina tends to rely on the same songwriters on this release. If it's not a Knight-Chapman (or Knight-Chinn-Chapman) composition, it seems to be a Britten-Lyle number (with a Kelly-Steinman number and Ann Peebles and Al Green classics thrown in for good measure). There are probably advantages to having a stable of writers on call, but I would have preferred to see a bit more stylistic variety. Britten and Lyle's "What's Love Got to Do With It" is the quintessential Tina Turner track(even though, as legend has it, she initially rejected the song).
But "Typical Male" and "What You Get Is What You See"--also penned by Britten and Lyle--were only just OK. Had Tina gone a bit furter afield for material, she might have come up with a bit less fluff and more filler. Sometimes loyalty is not all it's cracked up to be.

But that's quibbling. Tina Turner is one of those near critic-proof artist. This compilation album is as good a sampling of her 80s and 90s work as you're going to find. Among critics and fans, there'll be some arguments about whether this or that track should have been included and others excluded. Arguments of that are almost inevitable with "best-of" albums. I just wish my particular copy actually included the one pre-solo track that's listed above and commented on by many. I would have welcomed the inclusion of the Spectoral "River Deep Mountain High"--but my version doesn't have it. What gives? Licensing problems with later pressings? ... Read more

162. Born to Do It
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Asin: B00005EAXZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 16987
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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After laying down a memorable vocal on Artful Dodger's "Re-Wind," the biggest hit to date of the latest U.K.-spawned dance craze known as two-step, Craig David's debut record carries lofty expectations. Born out of the R&B/hip-hop and U.K. garage styles of artists like Romanthony, MJ Cole, and Timbaland, with dashes of spastic drum & bass-style rhythms and DJ scratches, two-step is waiting for its first major breakthrough. On his debut full-length, Born to Do It, it's immediately obvious that this breakthrough won't be supplied by David, only because his style isn't really proper two-step at all. His smooth tenor and hip-hop-oriented, verse-chorus-verse song structures are much more in line with the urban soul and new jack swing sound of artists like R. Kelly, Sisqo, and D'Angelo. Still, for an artist who just turned 20, this is an incredibly assured record with a sweet, romantic core that only a cold cynic could deride as youthful naiveté. In addition, while only occasionally hinting at the darker passions of true two-step, the record drips with an advanced rhythmic sense that manifests itself everywhere, from the clever wordplay in the lyrics of songs like "Fill Me In" and "7 Days" to the bells-and-whistles production on the giddy "Time to Party." For those after a true introduction to two-step, there are better choices (start with MJ Cole's Sincere, the Vital 2Step collection, or just jump a plane to London and go club-hopping), but still enjoy this record for its boyish pleasures, teasing sexuality, and irresistible grooves. --Matthew Cooke ... Read more

Reviews (217)

3-0 out of 5 stars Fine voice,but a few weak tracks
Craig David's debut CD is a good showcase for his undoubtedly fine voice,but I think his best is still to come yet. The singles Fill Me In ,Seven Days, Walking Away,and the Artful Dodger collaboration Rewind are definitely the strongest songs on this CD. This CD doesn't contain all that many garage tracks,instead posessing more of a light R&B feel to it,which I thought was a bit of a disappointment.I hope he includes some more garage-pop anthems on his next offering. Some tracks like Once In A Lifetime and You Know What can get a tad bit boring for my liking,but the brilliant Walking Away and the latin-tinged Seven Days display David's vocal dexterity at his best.Fill Me In is a catchy song with clever wordplay about how Mr.David gets it on with the girl next door. Rendezvouz is also a decent enough song showing the flexibility in David's voice. Bootyman is also a gentle track where David impresses with his vocal speed. Overall,a good album.I would actually give it 3.5 stars instead of 3.Its not hardcore R&B ,instead being an amalgam of various styles,which is just as well for me as I generally dont like R&B music that much.Not all the tracks are solid but nevertheless Craig David shows he has talent in abundance and hopefully should move on to bigger and better things.

5-0 out of 5 stars Born To Do It..yeah!
Craig David is probably one of the finest artists they have in U.K...Born To Do It, his first album, won't certainly disappoint r&b fans..His music tackles more on relationships, parties,sex and uh, himself..(I read an article about Mel B commenting on his "Born To Do It"..She said that he always mentioned "Craig David, Craig David" on the album..He was self-centered alright, but his music counts)

So here are my fave tracks

1) Fill Me In- This is one of his nicest hits..It starts with a cool guitar playing and moves to a groovy beat.

3) Rendezvous- Sort of a slow jam..I love the chorus! Really cool track

4) Seven Days- The guitar playing is awesome..Great tune, interesting lyrics

5) Follow me- This is my fave love tune on the album

7) Walking Away- Wow, his vocal chords was impressive here.. Nice song about not minding the past and have to go on.. The track was kind of short though. (Barely 4 minutes!)

8) Time To Party- Good arrangement of the keyboards and the beat

12) Rewind- My fave track! Although at first, I can't understand the chorus, like, Ree-wind when the crowd say bo, selecta(?)...The Artful Dodger- Craig David team is a masterpiece.

5-0 out of 5 stars UK Pride
Born to Do It is a cd you can just put on and not skip any track. His UK Garage style is finally putting that twist on R&B and the beats/melodies/instruments used in his music are SO refreshing to the usual cliche songs that are marketed in the US. I'm a huge fan and only because his style is original and unique, unlike other crooners out there. Born to Do It is definately a keeper. Check out Rendevouz, 7 Days, and Last Night-these songs will keep you wanting for more.

5-0 out of 5 stars An R&B breath of fresh air...
I loved this album from the first spin. The is the fresh sound I have been looking for in R&B music. Too bad that his follow up CD "Slicker than your Average" isn't that great. "Born To Do It" is well worth a pick up!

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Excellent
It's so sad when an artist puts out an excellent cd like this one and the follow up falls short. I think Craig has the talent to go far in the music business but maybe his production is where the downfall is.You should get this cd but don't waste your money on slicker than your average. ... Read more

163. ClassiKhan
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Asin: B0002X7G8E
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 590
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164. Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971
list price: $51.98
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Asin: B000006NUW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2346
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Motown did so many things well in the '60s and early '70s that this overview of the label's smashes (and some lesser-known classics) practically demands four CDs. It gets them, too, filling them with single mixes of more than 100 tracks. That the running order begins with Barrett Strong's statement of purpose "Money (That's What I Want)" and ends with Marvin Gaye's statement of concern "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" says a lot about how far the company moved in its golden decade--but no more so than what the same two cuts' differences in sound get across. The company was able to blend the smooth and the harsh in ways that few other pop entities have ever mastered, thereby getting over not only to the feet and the wallet, but to the heart. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great cornerstone to any classic pop/rock collection
When this box set was originally released, it was something of a godsend. Each CD is packed with over 74 minutes of great Motown tracks, digitally remastered from the original master tapes used for the original mono single mixes (just as they came out of the radio back then). I don't really need to tell you how great this music is; everyone who isn't cut off from American music has enjoyed this stuff through some form of the media. What's especially nice about this set is the number of minor, obscure hits presented, which is just as good as the classic material.

This is a great place to start a classic pop/rock collection, and I stress that this set is a great PRIMER. There are plenty of essential Motown classics that were left out due to space constraints, particularly hits by the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and the Supremes ("Where Did Our Love Go," "Stop! In The Name Of Love," and "Back In My Arms Again" are missing among many others). Luckily, these songs are widely available in various single CD, double CD, and box set anthologies, and any of these, depending on your tastes, will fill the gaps just fine.

At the time of its release, this box set sounded better than every previous Motown CD, but in recent years, Motown has reissued much of this material in anthologies that feature clearer sounding stereo mixes as well as slightly better sounding mono mixes. Audiophiles may prefer the definition and higher fidelity of the stereo mixes, but there's something about the punchiness of these mixes that make them preferable to me, particularly on the percussion sound.

5-0 out of 5 stars A taste of honey is just as sweet......
Don't get me wrong, this set of CD's is unbelievable. After you know the story of the infamous Funk Brothers, its hard to keep a dry eye listening to the infallable funky beat of the Motown sound. Unfortunately, while this collection picks up some of my all time favorites (like the Originals, "Baby, I'm for Real"), there are others that didn't make the cut (Marvin Gaye's "Hitchhike", amoung others). So what this collection really serves as is a whetting of the appetite, a reminder of what music used to be, a taste of honey if you will....when music kept your foot tapping and your soul full of hope. What today's generation has done to music is absolutely criminal. Thin, vapid and useless. Do yourself a favor. Even though this is just enough to get the taste in your mouth, dab your finger in the honey jar and get this CD collection. You'll come to realized that despite all the flaws behind the scenes, Motown produced the groove that carried the world through the heartache of the Vietnam War, JFK's assassination and the end of our innocence.

3-0 out of 5 stars Every track on this box set is in mono sound!
Boy, what a disappointment!

Every single one of these 104 songs are presented in their original mono sound, just as they were all those years ago. However, nowhere on the package does it mention this important fact.

This would normally be a 5 STAR box, but because of the unadvertised mono sound, I give it only 3 stars!

A little dishonesty there, Motown.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Fine Compilation
This is a very good compilation showing the glorious history of this classic label between 59-71. Be warned these are all MONO mixes, if you want the modernised stereo versions get the 3 CD set entitled 'Capital Gold - Motown Classics'. However if you want the real thing this compilation is the one, although I do agree that they should go for it and issue a mammoth box set in the vein of the Stax-Volt 28 CD issue that would cover every base.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at sixties Motown
This boxed set of Motown's early years leaves out a lot of obvious songs, which leaves room for a lot of wonderful songs that you don't normally hear, but which are well worth a listen.

My favorite of the four CD's here is the first, containing many of the early classics that were huge hits in America but not in Britain, where Motown was slow to catch on. Only My guy, Dancing in the street and Baby love, near the end of this CD, were major hits in the UK for the original Motown artists, though other songs became UK hits via cover versions. This CD is particularly notable for several classic songs by the Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, the Miracles and Mary Wells, though Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, the Temptations and Marvin Gaye are also represented here by early examples of their greatness.

The second and third CD's show Motown at the peak of their power with many classic songs included, although Diana Ross and the Supremes are poorly represented and plenty of other classics are also omitted. However, the absence of these songs leaves room to include songs by Chris Clark, Kim Weston, Brenda Holloway, the Contours, the Monitors, the Elgins, Shorty Long, Rita Wright (better known as Syreeta) and Bobby Taylor.

The final CD contains more high quality music but it was around this time that Motown started to slip as some of their stars departed to other labels and the replacements were not always of the same standard. So the final CD is great, but the first three are even better.

A companion boxed set covering the years from 1972 is also available. There are great songs on there too but not as many as can be found here.

This box is well presented with a superb booklet, but if you want a sixties hits collection, there are many other collections that will suit you better. For the ultimate Motown sixties hits collection, I recommend the British triple CD, Motown gold, which contains over eighty songs digitally re-mastered, almost all of them classics, though a few were hits in Britain but not America. ... Read more

165. 112
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B0000039Q7
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10916
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (65)

5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite CD Ever!
I love this CD! I can play it on repeat forever without skipping any tracks! There's songs that make you happy, dance, calm down, feel good or just feel sexy. 112 delivers it all! Before there was "Anywhere" and "Peaches & Cream", there was "Now That We're Done" and "Can I Touch You". I think this is one of the most underrated r&b albums (and group) so if you're a huge r&b fan and you don't have this album, you are definitely missing out. This is a must-have classic. Their sounds are soulful, sultry and sexy. They even have a gospel-sounding track, "This Is Your Day", that's a really great feel-good song to lift up your spirits when you're having a bad day. This is 112's best album to date, in my opinion and even they can't seem to top it themselves. I guarantee you won't be let down once you pop this in your CD player.

Songs to look out for are "Cupid", "Only You"... Wait what am I talking about? The whole album is hot!!

4-0 out of 5 stars 112 review
1.112 intro-good way to start off a cd, i like it 4/5

2.Now That We're Done-great song, slow and sensual, slim did great 5/5

3.Pleasure and Pain-good message, songs ok 3.5/5

4.Why- great intro to a song, should've been right before Why Does 4/5

5.Cupid-i luuuuv this song, a well established classic 5/5

6.Call My Name-kinda boring, ok song 3/5

7.Come See Me-not much to say, nice song 4/5

8.Sexy You-nice intro 3/5

9.Can I Touch You-shows of slims high pitched range, all in all great 5/5

10.I Cant Believe-nice vocals by faith evans, ok song 3.5/5

11.Keep It Real-great ballad, stupid message though

12.Only You-two words:Biggie Smalls 5/5

13.I Will Be There-great slow song, great message 5/5

14.In Love With You-beats sucks song sucks 0/5

15.Just a Little While-kinda sappy but i can sit through it 3/5

16.Why Does-love this song, one of the best on the album 5/5

17.This is Your Day-ok song, beat is kinda sappy 3.5/5

18.Throw It All Away-i liked it 4/5

19.Only You(Clean Radio Mix)-beat is softer than the other one but Biggie is still there 5/5

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best slow jam albums of all time.
How can you possibly go wrong with this CD. Every song from top to bottom is a classic. I bought this CD years ago and it still plays in my cd player. I believe every song anyone can relate to whether it's love, sorrow, or heartbreak. If you don't have this CD, do yourself a favor and buy it. You won't hear a classic R&B album like this for years to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars You may be surprised
Believe it or not, I had never heard, nor heard of 112 until the song Peaches And Cream first came out. I really liked it. So I decided to get their first CD. I didn't think i'd like it all the much, I figured it would be mostly about sex because of the message in Peaches and Cream. But I was surprised, it is mostly about love. They have beautiful voices that flow together in such a great way. When I first listened to the CD, I knew I had to get their others. Now I have all four of their cds and I am completely satisfied with all of them. If you like music, you should like this. Very good, 5 stars isn't enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Judge a song by its name....
I've had this Cd since 2000. And this is gonna sound so ignorant but I never actually listened to it until just a week ago. The reason I bought it was becuz of Cupid my boyfriend told me to get it cuz it was a good song so I just bought the whole cd and listened to only that song. Then the other day i popped it in and just listened to it, don't get me wrong its an excellent cd but my absolutely favorite 112 album is Part III. Its more my style. But Becuz I am a loyal fan and I luv 112 so damn much I give it 5 stars. All their albums are awsome if you don't already own them all u better get them soon. ... Read more

166. Confessions
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B0001F7UHA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 475
Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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A CD is always more compelling when you know it's lifted from the artist's autobiography, and that's certainly the case with Confession, Usher's first record since 2001's 8701. The Atlanta singer's string of hits over the past decade have been decidedly PG-13 rated, almost veering towards teen pop, but he's changed all that on this co-produced offering, which he claims is "the real him." It would be too simplistic to just brand this record a break-up record, chronicling his public split with TLC's Rozonda "Chili" Thomas; it is that, but so much more. It would be more accurate to call this Usher's coming of age record, bridging the gap from boy to man, as he navigates the emotional fallout from the disintegration of his relationship, and the events that led up to it--real or imagined. But other than a guilty conscience, it seems unclear why Usher feels compelled to disgorge his secret life, as he documents his infidelities, transgressions, and emotional perfidy in the album's prodigious seventeen songs that range from insinuating sultry R&B grooves to the decidedly crunky "Yeah," which pairs an insistent keyboard romp with Lil' Jon's assertive beats and Ludacris' rather humid rhymes. This tracks shines all the more since it's the only club track, but you find yourself pining for more, since most of the other songs tend to get bogged down in his lush, feverish balladry. That's not a bad thing, but the disc would have been better served by a few more muscular tracks. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

Reviews (424)

3-0 out of 5 stars More Proving Than Confessing (3½ stars)
Just after the start of the year 2004, the pop world was undergoing a confused, pre-Grammy period that defines every year at about that time. This year, Outkast's "Hey Ya" and "The Way You Move" were both on their last legs after dominating radio airplay for weeks, Eamon's neo-soul of "F*ck It" was reaching a stalemate after a long run, and a series of second singles from popular artists were barely keeping the Billboard charts together (including Ludacris's "Splash Waterfalls," Evanesce's "My Immortal," Jessica Simpson's "With You," and Maroon 5's "This Love). Then, seemingly out of nowhere, an amazingly hot track hit radio stations across America, called "Yeah!," the hybrid between Ludacris's clever southern drawl, Usher's soul vocals, and Lil Jon's crunk-R&B production. Surprisingly, but not regretfully, the track did not sound like an Usher first single. Yes, the high-strung vocals were there, narrating a late-night club experience, but the song didn't have the feel-good flute soul of "U Remind Me" or even the sly acoustic boy-band vibe of "You Make Me Wanna." "Yeah!" packed a sick buzz-saw beat, which was perfected in its chorus by demented pan-flutes fluttering around the near vocal-less chorus, something almost unheard of in Usher's past, seeing as how the majority of his hits have had multidimensional, layered refrains. Nevertheless, it became a hit, soon spending five comfortable weeks uncontested atop the Billboard Hot 100 before the release date of the accompanying album, "Confessions."

Much of this album covers ground that Usher has walked many times before, but it still proves his worth as today's top R&B man for soul and lovesick hits. For instance, despite synth strings, looped techno beeps, and an almost Sadé-esque acoustic jazz guitar patterning, "Burn" cannot escape its destiny as the fraternal twin of "U Got It Bad," a fact only proven by Usher's near-trademark out-of-sync ramble verses strung together by an ever-saddening chorus. The case is the same with the song "Confessions," which pitches him as a sexier Brian McKnight, from its direct imitation of counting in the chorus (remember "Back to One"?) to its production. The truth is, while Usher does sound fine when he is rehashing his own material, his true inner-funk and grit come out when he is mimicking other stars, something he unquestionably has a knack for.

Take the evidence of "Caught Up," one of the true gems on "Confessions." Sounding like what Michael Jackson would have put out if he recorded "Off the Wall" in 2003 with Timbaland as the producer, it hits hard with bass-driven horns and a well-written chorus. The best part of the production, though, is the funky bass line that appears twice in the song and seems like it was taken straight from Beck's "Paper Tiger." Similar is the "Rock Your Body" knockoff "Take Your Hand," which borrows the climb-up harmonies from the Timberlake song in its chorus, the same harmonies that were used almost 25 years earlier in the sing-back melodies from Michael Jackson's "Rock With You" (the "all night" and "sunlight" parts). The song's beat fuses heavy radio static-crackle with funk-fuzz bass and big band horn hits. Taking a break from the Jacko pastiche, Usher outdoes Ginuwine at his own game in "Superstar," the upbeat revival of "Take Away," Ginuwine's duet with Missy Elliott from 2001. While easily reduced to being a label-pleasing motivational piece, the song actually entertains with its stuttered drum beat and its upwards guitar spirals. And while Usher does do a good modern soul croon, he continually returns to his "Thriller"-era vocalization, which again comes out in one of the better slow selections on the album, "Simple Things." The cool keyboards from Janet Jackson's "I Get Lonely" are lifted to propel the beat, and Usher actually maintains MJ's intimacy from "Human Nature" throughout his inspiring delivery.

Noticing the odd title of this new Usher release (face it, if Michael Jackson named a future album "Confessions," the world would gawk in worry with open mouths), it becomes clear that he doesn't know exactly who is he. Cam'ron classified himself as a dangerous pyro with his 1998 album, "Confessions of Fire." Chuck Barris, the Gong Show host, was immortalized as a potential killer when a biographical George Clooney flick focused on him with the title "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind." Hell, even Lindsay Lohan identifies herself as a teenage drama queen with her 2004 chick flick. Usher, on the other hand, simply "confesses," showing that he isn't sure whether he wants to be the next Michael Jackson or whether he wants to settle down and parrot Boyz II Men for the rest of his career. If anything, this album confesses that he can do anything he wants to: he can imagine a world where Jimi Hendrix plays underneath "Cooleyhighharmony"-era vocals, which defines the near-psychadelia of "Throwback"; he can revive the flutes from "U Remind Me" and mix them with the lost sunny-day techno swirls of Bone Thugz 'N Harmony's "Crossroads," which is essentially "Follow Me"; he can even add to the library of R&B songs based around a rock guitar riff (The Root's "Seed 2.0," TLC's "Unpretty," Michael Jackson's "Black or White") with his own "Bad Girl."

Actually, Usher has done more proving than confessing here. His great vocal range and high-pitched soul struts come out (especially on "Can U Handle It?") better than they ever have before, and he sounds extremely comfortable to be singing over the beats that the Neptunes, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Lil' Jon among others have provided him. "Confessions" is a disc with only a couple of immediately disposable tracks, namely the confused ballad "Truth Hurts" and the over-glam of "Do It To Me." And as soon as Usher finally decides who he wants to be, he will be able to stop confessing and to start mesmerizing, while a world of listeners stops critiquing and starts fully enjoying.

5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVED USHER'S CD
This cd is honestly one of the best out this year. I like it 10 times more than 8701 and My Way even though they are also at the top of my list. If anyone gets a chance go check out USHER in Concert LIVE!! I did and it was totally worth it and I think this cd is totally worth buying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hold up haters
I mean, what's the problem?? I constantly hear people complaining about this was a horrible CD and all, when this was actually one of the BEST CD's this year!! Do ya thang Usher.... This CD is truly worth buying....

2-0 out of 5 stars Confessions Confessional
I am actually happy this is not one I purchased. I was very disappointed when I heard this CD for the first time. It was quite similar to the feeling I got when I listened to Beyonce', I was upset because I did purchase her CD Dangerously in Love. I hated the whole CD I had to listen to it seven times to tell myself I somewhat liked it. The same with this CD, there are a few good tracks, but the whole CD was not good. I wish that the record labels would go back to the CD Singles that way you purchase the songs you like and know you like. This CD was nothing but fluff that really was not fluffy. I listened to it I think seven or eight times, and then I never listened to it again. The only way this CD will get play time is if there is a mixed CD created and selected tracks are put on there as a way to force yourself to listen to it. A good CD should not be something you have to force yourself to listen to. When a buyer purchases a CD it should be something that the whole disc is an enjoyable listening experience, this did not happen with Usher this time. Sorry, but I gotta let it "Burn" that this CD was in my opinion of "Confessions," if I may confess no good. The only thing my CD is doing is collecting dust, as far as airtime, it gets none...

4-0 out of 5 stars a pleasing album - better than 8701 and My Way. Go cop it.
Usher has matured over the - what - four years of doing this album. The album has some relaxing slow jamz on it (eg. "Throwback" "Confessions Part II", "Burn", "Simple Things", etc.), tinged with some killer songs for the dancefloor (eg. the world famous beats of "Yeah", "Caught Up", "Bad Girl", etc.). Some of my favourites are "Confessions Part II", "Burn", "Caught Up", "Can U Handle It", and - whilst its extremely overplayed - "Yeah". "Follow Me" "Throwback" "Bad Girl" and "Superstar" are all really good as well, though. Whilst this CD may not be a life-changing one, its still worth buying.

PS: Usher's really good, but his extreme popularity is kind of annoying, what's he done to get sooo much praise? ... Read more

167. From There to Here: 1989-2002
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Asin: B00006SMBY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4491
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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In addition to candles, white wine, and a brand new roll of toilet paper, every bachelor pad should be equipped with a Brian McKnight CD. Conveniently, his From There to Here, 1989-2002 greatest hits collection provides one-stop shopping of the sexiest, smoochiest ballads known to humankind. McKnight may be guilty of excessive sentimentality, but damn if he can't sing; even his most saccharine moments are redeemed by his buttery vocals and absolute earnestness. Two new songs--"Let Me Love You" and "The Way I Do"--bookend the collection. But what's in between has put the Buffalo native on the R&B map, especially his gorgeous cover of Van Morrison's "Crazy Love," and his plaintive duet with Vanessa Williams on "Love Is." Indeed, there's abundant love on offer, and McKnight--who also wrote, played, and/or produced these various songs--has given the booty call its most sumptuous soundtrack. --Kim Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Simply Brian and Absolutely Necessary
Being a longtime fan, I wasn't at all ready for a Greatest Hits CD because Brian has so much more to offer and the "Greatest" is yet to come, but I knew other fans that were more than ready. With that said, I am so glad that I have more than one copy to enjoy in my car and in my house. This CD put together all the songs that the public has adored over Brian's wonderful 12 year career.

The only reason I gave this CD 4 stars and not 5: Because his GREATEST isn't on this CD. Guess you'll have to buy the other CDs for that :), and I encourage you to do so. But the songs that were selected, the listener will be nothing but pleased to have in one place. The songs show his ability as well as express love like no other.

The CD is a sample of works that aren't comparable to anything out today. In the changing world of R&B, Brian remains a staple. The man can paint a picture with his words and you can make his songs your story. Leaves you wondering: "How did he know"? "How is he singing my heart's story"? His words are your experience and leaves the listener connected in a way that one never thought possible.

This CD is necessary for anyone who is in love, has been in love, or will fall in love - because it shares your story, whatever that story is.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW
I absolutely love Brian McKnight's voice and was really happy that he released a Greatest Hits CD. I was a fan from the first time I heard "One Last Cry" and I have only grown to appreciate his music more.
This CD is great and won't disappoint anyone who is a fan or even a casual listener of Brian McKnight.
Some standouts are "Love Is", the goregous duet with Vanessa Williams; "Anytime", a sentimental look at a relationship gone wrong; and "Back at One", one of my personal favorites.
Give the samples a listen and see for yourself. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brian PLEASE sing at my wedding!!!
I love B. McKnight!! His voice is just awesome!! I purchased this collection over a month ago, and I have been playing it ever since!! Permanently in my rotation!! His vocals are strong, smooth, sensual, etc.

You won't be disappointed if you pick this up!

4-0 out of 5 stars Gifted
When it has come to style of traditional Soul music on the radio these past few years, it has been highly overlooked in the music industry. 2002 proved to be an example of overlooked Soul by a whole field of artists. There were just so many artists that released records that were overlooked in place of Rap music: Toni Braxton, TLC, even Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston were overlooked because of the Rap game. One other artist that also got overlooked within the game is Brian McKnight. That feeling of ignoring, was exactly what the music industry kind of made him feel like in the early 90's. Still, he came out swinging with a returning style, that still remains overlooked in an industry that is geared towards youth.

Brian McKnight's 2002 Greatest Hits album, From Here To There, is a constant reflecting this gifted singer/songwriter's career. The record is mostly all ballads, but there are some areas of Hip Hop in the mix. The music on the record is pure and very exciting, especially when it comes to how people love those beautiful ballads. So many songs like Back At One, Anytime, and Home, are just unfortunately overlooked but beautifully crafted melodies that can often cause a motion of love. There are also other songs that are in the bill from the film and television side, his duet with Vanessa Williams on Love Is (unfortunately remixed and not the original version that appears on Vanessa Williams Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years), and Crazy Love, from the Afiracn-American film Jason's Lyric. Still, I was surprised that a few of his ballads were overlooked like Whenever You Call, his duet with Mariah Carey, and W-I-N, from the Cuba Gooding Jr. film, Men Of Honor.

There is no doubt in my mind that Brian McKnight is the Lionel Richie of the 21st Century. His music is just pure and unique and elegant. I think he'll go down in history the same way Ray Charles, Steveie Wonder, and Lionel Richie have been placed already. I just hope that people give Brian a second listen at him, and enjoy his vibe Anytime.

5-0 out of 5 stars Keep them coming!
I just want to say that this cd just blew me away! It's like everytime he comes out with a new cd it just get's better and better. I think that all of his cd's are just wonderful. I love the way that he put some of his old songs from his prior cd's in this one. His work is fabulous in every aspect. I am just waiting for the one for March 25, 2003 to come out so that I can add that one to the collection as well. I would like to take this opportunity to compliment Mr. Mcknight on all of his music. Thank you for giving me something nice and smooth to listen to. ... Read more

168. God's Property From Kirk Franklin's Nu Nation
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Asin: B000001Y37
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6090
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars His music is sensational.
I will like to first of all appreciate His efforts on we the youths. No doubt, he has touched so many souls. God bless you. If there is any song that I listen to without beign bored, it's kirk's songs. for example; the storm is over, stomp(in fact, in my school we have mimmed the song and people were blessed), whatcha lookin'4, my life is in your hands, etc. I will never forget to comment on his latest. It has been inspirational especially 'lean on me'. Kirk, keep on the good works. I love you. I am looking forward to meeting you. lotta luv.

3-0 out of 5 stars Everyone Needs To Stop Trying To Be Billie Holiday
I respect KF's attempts to merge gospel with popular hip-hop and I fully encourage it, but much of it does not work on this album. The album's worst offense is that nearly every soloist thinks they are a jazz/blues singer -- singing with a sort of loose-jawed nonchalance. Their goal, presumably, is to make it sound easy and unforced. The result is it is often uninspiring and lazy. This is particularly apparent in "Up Above My Head." You also hear it in "The Storm is Over Now", which has a wonderful melody despite the solo.

But the album DOES have its merits. First, the messages are undeniable. Second, the melodies on most songs are catchy and singable and hummable. "Stomp" get it started just right, although I prefer the song's original mix. "My Life is in Your Hands" is touching, but GP gets you out of your seat again with "It's Rainin'". The ballads "Love", "Sweet Spirit", and "So Good" are moving as well.

The album is worth listening to many times, but I would recommend getting "Kirk Franklin and the Family" and "Whatcha Liikon' 4" first (in that order), to hear the progression of Kirk Franklin's music to God's Property.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!!!
This is the album that made me fall in love with this guy in the first place. His earlier recordings I heard much later. Everyone can remember when Stomp hit our tv screens and poured out of our speakers! It was on rotation for weeks and still is! I love the remix but I think the original one is the best, great chord progression. My Life Is In Your Hands is another classic which gets you worshipping God. Love is one HEAVY jazz piece and the harmonies at the end are just INCREDIBLE!! Very simple instrumentation/message but not easliy forgotten. Sweet Spirit....BIG TUNE!!! Anytime I'm stressed I just put it on and it calms me straight away. The only thing I don't like is the end when "excitement" takes over, spoils it for me. More Than I Can Bare, lovely song. You Are The Only One is one tune to get down with! And So Good is another great track. I have a feeling I've left some other tunes out but that's all I can remember off-head. But anyway great album, another all-rounder. Get this without a doubt.

5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME
This is a very awesome, spirit filled album! Our whole youth minisery team LOVES this album. It is highly recommended!

4-0 out of 5 stars God's Property or The Family - Part 1
Kirk Franklin's 1997 deubt, God's Property from Kirk Franklin's Nu Nation was the greatest gospel album of the 90's. Well there was one confusing problem. What is Nu Nation and what is God's Property ? Ok, God's Property is a gospel group that was made up of 50 people. Nu Nation was just the Family, God's Property, Voices of Life, and possibly the 1NC (One Nation Crew).... God's Property is great. I don't like their hip-hop trends on this cd. My favorite song was Love. I liked the song so much, I wanted to do remixes on it. I like the cd cover. Unlike, The Rebirth Of Kirk Franklin and Nu Nation, I think this cd is my favorite gospel albums. ... Read more

169. Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits [1985]
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Asin: B000002IKQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4640
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars All The Hits and Then Some
If you buy this album for the well known classics-"Mustang Sally", "In The Midnight Hour", "634-5789", "Land Of A 1,000 Dances" and "Funky Broadway", you will not be disappointed as they are all here. But after you've heard them all a couple of dozen times, you will find yourself going crazy over his versions of late sixties hits like "Mama Told Me Not To Come", "You Keep Me Hangin'On" and even "Sugar, Sugar", the song made popular by the cartoon group The Archies. Damn if Wilson doesn't make this as soulful and alive as "A Man and A Half" or any of his other classic soul hits. That would be more than enough for most greatest hits albums, but this one doesn't stop there. It goes back to his early success with his vocal group The Falcons for "I Found A Love" and early solo songs like "It's Too Late" and "If You Need Me". There are 24 songs on this album, and it's a single disc!! If you want liner notes and pictures, get the Rhino compilation, but if you want the strongest single disc career retrospective available, then buy this one. You'll be glad you did!

5-0 out of 5 stars Land of 1000 Dances...CD of 24 Great Songs
Wilson Pickett sang Southern soul straight from the bottom. He shouted the gospel, screamed the blues, all with a touch of aggressive, near-punk sneer. Success took long for Pickett, and every track on this hits CD caught the joy of achieving it and the pain and anger of waiting for it.

Working with R&B's finest producers (Jerry Wexler, Rick Hall, Gamble-Huff, Tom Dowd) and best sidemen (that's Duane Allman's guitar on "A Man And A Half," and an impressive "Hey Jude"), Pickett turned fast ("Land of 1000 Dances,") slow ("634-5789," "Mustang Sally,") hard ("You Keep Me Hangin' On" Staxifies the Vanilla Fudge arrangement!) soft ("I Found A True Love"), groovy ("Mama Told Me Not to Come") and even bubblegum (hear what happens to "Sugar Sugar") into Memphis/Muscle Shoals soul stew. Legendary Philadelphia DJ Hy Lit covered it when calling Pickett's music "psychedelic soulization."

The hits, some of the 60s sweatiest and intense, are all here, ironically ending at the beginning with three songs Pickett recorded with the Falcons (his hit "If You Need Me," is here, but not "You're So Fine.") His voice is powerful and raw, raising the roof, testifying about the infamous "midnight hour," but without the controlled fury he gave the rest, and best, of his music. This is R&B coming at you 90 miles an hour, three minutes at a time, and is an essential set from a soul survivor.

4-0 out of 5 stars great
This has some of Pickett's best songs. It's digitally re-mastered, so the music sounds clean and crisp. Great album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You
Remebering Back In The Day,When Momz Had There Little Get Togethers/Card Games I Could Hear "Wilson Pickett" Playing Such Hits As,"In The Midnight Hour","Mustang Salley","Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do)","Don't Fight It","Its To Late","Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You","Get Me Back On Time,Engine #9","Hey Jude","Mama Told Me (Not To Come)","If You Need Me","634-5789"!!!
This Cd Is The Bomb And Worth Every Dollar!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive collection
For someone who only wants one Wilson Pickett compilation, I think this is the one to go for. 'A Man And A Half - The Best Of' has maybe a bit too much for the less dedicated fan, while Rhino's 'Very Best Of' only has 16 tracks compared to the 24 featured on 'Greatest Hits'. True Pickett fanatics need this anyway - it's the only CD to contain his great reading of 'Mama Told Me Not To Come'. ... Read more

170. The Ultimate O'Jays
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Asin: B00005B188
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9500
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Missing a couple great ones...
THere should be a remastered double cd of their work, to cover the songs that always seem to be missing from their compilations. This cd is missing "Use ta be my girl" and also "darlin darlin baby". Even if there is another record label involved (tho i'm not sure), enough time has gone by to remedy that problem.

5-0 out of 5 stars Romantic
Listening to the O'Jays and sitting back relaxing. This group has it's own style and very good taste. And having a son follow after his Daddy. And capture just as much attention I love this group and his son. I always will. Taking a hot bubble bath Learning my Web Designs

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
I started listening to the O'Jays when I was in high school. My stepfather was a big fan. I loved the sound of MFSB and the songs always had a message. My stepfather liked the gospel flavor. This is one of the best "greatest hits" CD's I've found. There is no "filler" song that wasn't a hit. And the messages still hold true today. I loaned it to my stepfather and now he won't return it! "Love Train" is one of my very favorite songs. I highly recommend this CD to all O'Jays fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THE OJAY'S AND LEVERT


5-0 out of 5 stars Every song a classic
This CD is an outstanding compilation of most of the O'Jays greatest hits. Digitally remastered, it brings back feelings of admiration for the soulful and melodic Philadelphia style that was the calling card of the group. Fronted by the resounding lead vocals of Eddie Levert and backed up instrumentally by MFSB, the group was in the forefront of R&B in the 70's and 80's. This collection of tunes is a fantastic representation of the great brand of both funky music and love ballads of that era. ... Read more

171. Christina Aguilera
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Asin: B00000JY9M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3719
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Like fellow former Mickey Mouse clubber Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera kicks off her debut album with a teen-lust nugget--in this case, the No. 1 single "Genie in a Bottle"--that the rest of the disc can't possibly live up to. Aguilera has a strong voice, but patterns herself after iffy role models such as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Aside from "Genie," most of this music is straight from the cookie cutter, like the less than successfully sultry "When You Put Your Hands on Me" and the Mulan ballad showpiece "Reflection." In chart terms, though, there'll be no stopping her--at least for a while.--Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (886)

3-0 out of 5 stars GOOD VOICE, GOOD UP-TEMPOS, BUT.......

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Variety of Pop
From Micky Mouse to Mulan to Pop Divas, this bright young star has certainly hit a high note with this recording.

Christina Aguilera's self titled debut album is full of pop songs from strong powerful ballads to upbeat sing-a-long tunes and each displaying a great deal of talent from this young artist.

1. Genie In A Bottle - The song that has introduced Christina to most of her fans across the globe, and is impossible to dislike. 4/5

2. What A Girl Wants - A brave follow-up single to 'Genie In A Bottle'. It has an R'n'B flavor to it and may take a few listenings to before you can appreciate it. 3.5/5

3. I Turn To You - This is a powerful song with a Whitney Houston sound that shows off Christina's vocal ability. A beautiful song dedicated to Christina's Mum. 4.5/5

4. So Emotional - Another R'n'B influenced song. It's one of the average tracks on the album, but becomes quite catchy. 3/5

5. Come On Over (All I Want Is You) - My personal favorite track. It's an upbeat, fun, sing-a-along to song, and is a perfect pop tune. 5/5

6. Reflection - If this song is familiar, it is because it was on the soundtrack to the animated movie 'Mulan'. Christina was just 16 when this was recorded and her voice is brilliant and perfect for this beautiful song. 5/5

7. Love For All Seasons - This song would perhaps have been better used as a b-side on a single. Vocally, again Christina does not fail but the song just fails to go anywhere. 2.5/5

8. Somebody's Somebody - This song is often criticised however I would dispute that. Great mid tempo song that will have you tapping away to in no time. 4/5

9. When You Put Your Hands On Me - Excellent pop song, but my only criticism is the synthesised sound to Christina's voice which is really unnecessary and annoying. 4.5/5

10. Blessed - Beautiful and unique song, that has to be heard. 5/5

11. Love Will Find A Way - Upbeat pop song that will make you want to sing along to it. This would have been a good bright song to end the album on. 4.5/5

12. Obvious - The only thing that saves this song is the vocal ability. Slow and boring and just does not go anywhere. 2/5

When Christina first came onto the music scene she was given the label 'The New Britney Spears'. This album does not only prove this entirely wrong, but makes it quite clear just who Christina's influences are. With a Mariah Carey / Whitney Houston influence, she has created her own unique style of music.

Christina Aguilera is a pop album, with a variety of different songs that will keep you listening to for hours. If you love pop music, then this is the ultimate female pop album.

5-0 out of 5 stars She sounded soulful on here
It amazes me how good she sounded when she recorded this record. The only complaint is that genie in a bottle was a little to poppy for me but the rest of the cd sounds like a young r&b cd. Who gives a damn if she doesn't have a lot of fast songs on the cd, everyone doesn't do the same thing on all cds. Be happy with what she has given you. If it still bothers you, go buy the import with the club remixes of her singles, the cheapest one was like 20 dollars, not too much more than this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars Is this record a genie in a bottle?
Is Christina Aguilera's debut really worth a Grammy? In my opinion, no. I'm not just saying this because I'm a huge Britney Spears fan. Vocally, all right X-tina is really good. But when comparing her debut to Britney's (who'd been on the charts with "...Baby One More Time" since 1998, Christina only in August 1999), it was Britney who should have garnered Best New Artist. I love Christina's voice...but really, folks. Britney's debut is a lot more addictive!

3-0 out of 5 stars Close but no cigar
Sorry Christina but you ain't no Britney Spears, and your debut definitely isn't close to hers either. Everybody knows you can sing but Christina Aguilera (the album) isn't nearly as addictive as Brit's. ... Read more

172. Concrete Rose
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Asin: B000654ZBE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 654
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173. My Life
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Asin: B000002OU8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4578
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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During one of the "interludes" on My Life, Keith Murray is rapping about "Grab your cranium for my ultimatum," when someone in the studio control booth asks producer Chucky Thompson, "Hey, Chuck, put on some of that smooth [stuff]." Murray disappears; the dreamy synth chords of Blige's title track emerge, and her sultry voice moans with a combination of weary loneliness and unslaked desire. The ballad which follows is "smooth" but never slick, for the singer's sinuous, extended notes confess the blues even as they yearn for something better. It's tempting to see this little scenario--the rapper being turned off in favor of the soul diva--as a repudiation of hip-hop in favor of old-fashioned R&B. An honest listen to this album, however, makes such an interpretation impossible. Blige does no actual rapping herself on her long-awaited second outing, but the sound of "My Life" would have been impossible without hip-hop. The results confirm the promise of Blige's '92 debut; she is the premier soul diva of the hip-hop generation. --Geoffrey Himes ... Read more

Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of hip hop and soul - still unmatched
Before I begin, y'all need to know that I absolutely adore Mary J. Blige. She is unquestionably my favorite female R&B singer and I love her to death. Her voice just aches with desperation and has such a yearning beauty and soulfulness that I just melt everytime I listen to her. Coming up from Yonkers, New York, she has kept it real through and through in her whole career. It all comes straight from her heart. If I could only pick one of her albums to take to my grave, MY LIFE would still probably be my choice, even though it was released way back in '94. It is probably the finest moment in music mogul Sean "Puffy" Combs' career, which, sadly, is all-but washed up these days. While he still tends to borrow from other artists' songs as he is notorious for doing, the melodic samples here, actually are inspiring, especially when coupled with Mary's incredibly beautiful voice, and make this an original album of soulful renderings derived from the old school and backgrounded by true hip hop and Mary's urban streetwise outlook.

A giant leap forward in artistry, almost all of the 17 tracks on MY LIFE were penned by Mary herself with the help of co-producer Combs and the multi-instrumentalist Chucky Thompson. This is modern R&B with substance and real emotion. Her soul yearns both sadly on songs like "I Never Wanna Live Without You", "Be With You", "Don't Go", and "No One Else" and happily on "Mary Jane (All Night Long)" and "You Bring Me Joy." It's all an emotional outpouring that your eyes see through smoke and tears as you cry into your drink, whether it is out of happiness or joy. "I Love You" is one of the most heartfelt and moody songs I've ever heard and I remember listening to it over and over again at a time not long ago when I thought I had lost the love of my life (All those pretty memories/I know you can hear me now/For the record I love you... When I found out that you were leaving me/I coudn't sleep thinking about/All the things that we've been through/Now all I want to do is tell you/That I miss you so much...). As a lifelong die hard fan of hip hop and R&B I would easily name this as one of my favorite albums of all time, so it naturally holds something special for me. Mary J. Blige is one of the only singers in this at-times-all-too-fabricated game who can bring her soul to the listener and truly make her emotions felt. One Love.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Mary
A very emotional and spiritual outpouring, Mary lets fans and listeners into her world, and shares her feelings through this wonderful album with some tight music. The album takes listeners through the ups and downs of life. The melodies are original and unlike any other. "I Love You" has a catchy hook and mesmerizing melody with Mary's beautiful voice sailing through it. "Mary Jane" and "I'm Going Down" are reminiscent of 70's R&B, very Stevie Wonder sounding, maybe indication of things to come on her 1999 album MARY. "You Bring Me Joy" is a tight R&B jam that will keep you hitting the repeat button on your cd player. The album gives listers faith in songs like "Be Happy" and "You Gotta Believe". The album is a listening experience in itself, she tells it straight up and doesn't leave anything out. If you haven't heard this album yet you've missed out, so its time to hear this excellent, essential album from Ms. Mary J Blige.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
Mary's soulful voice shines. This album just flows and flows. Nobody can match MJB soulful vibe and voice. She is just unbeatable. This is a great desert island cd, car cd, anytime cd.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mary is the Best
I didn't think that Mary. J could follow up her debut, but she did. Long time fans are going to love this CD. So many memories, so many classic hits. This CD is only for hardcore Mary fans. If you're not a big Mary J fan this CD is not recommended, but if you are, pick it up.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Is My Girl
Memories,oh my gosh i was like 9 when this album came out,loved it then and still do, but now that i'm older i understand and appreciate it more.Get this album I promise you you will not regret it,if you do i'll pay ya No but really the entire album is banging and it's a must.Feel the soul from the soulflower, peace. ... Read more

174. Best of the Pointer Sisters [RCA Box]
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Asin: B00004KD2H
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4625
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars the Best of the Pointer Sisters
this is great collection for anyone who is familiar with the Pointer Sisters and their many hits. Even someone who is not familiar with the sisters will be suprised by the number of songs they will recognize when listening to this CD. The Pointer Sisters, although they never seem to get much credit, have a unique blend and this set features the best of their later hits.Classics such as "Automatic", "Jump", "I'm So Excited", "He's so Shy", "Neutron Dance", "Dare Me", and "Fire" make this Cd worth the buy. It Also features some of their less well known but excellent songs such as "Happiness" and "Goldmine." The only song on this Cd I skip over is "American Music" This Cd is a great intro to the Pointer Sisters and an excellent choice for those who think their 2 CD Set "Fire: the best of the Pointer Sisters" is too much. Besides it has some great pictures of the sisters. Highly recommended

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic R&B !!!!!!
This is a nice collection of their music I really did enjoy their music and they are truly nice songs these girls can sing and they had talent they could sing and dance. They had beauty, style, and grace and they did very well and I really did enjoy their music this cd contains some of myfavorite songs: dare me,
slow hand, fire, the neutron dance, and other great songs if you liked the pointer sisters then therefore I truly recommend that you buy this cd it is must have for your classic R&B cd collection...

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection
Although there have been many hits albums, this is probably the best single disc collection. Certainly from the time period (1978-1987) this is the best. "Fire", "Slow Hand", and hits from the album "Break Out" are here and entertaining.

However, if you want another Pointer Sisters' CD and want something different, then purchase the "Best of The Blue Thumb Recordings". Once you listen to that, then you'll realize "Wow, the Pointer Sisters have diversity in their music!"

4-0 out of 5 stars Took Me Down Memory Lane
and I loved it. Thank you for CD'g these tracks. Enjoy listening to them while I'm driving.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Songs from the Best Singers
This is a great collection from you Pointer Sisters Fans out there, or if you haven't heard a lot of their music, it's a great place to start!! This album gives you all of the styles from the smoth sounds of Fire, to the classic country song Slow Hand, and the disco beats of Jump and I'm So Excited, and over to the rock of If You Wanna Get Back Your Lady. If you want the all time collection of the Pointer Sisters availiable, get Fire, the very Best of the Pointer Sisters. ... Read more

175. The Collection: 1991-1998
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Asin: B000007OIP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 36787
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential!
This collection of great songs really is a must-have. Not only does it offer all the big hits Mint Condition enjoyed up to 98, it also includes a number of outstanding album tracks, and some not so common versions of popular singles. Not only is there "Breakin' My Heart" or "U Send Me Swinging" but also "My Dear" - and my absolute favorite "The Never That You'll Never Know". As their regular albums sometimes suffer from the occasional filler track, this CD really serves as the perfect concentrate, giving you the full flavor in one serving. As their earlier albums are quite hard to come by (especially outside the US), this is also the best possible introduction to the band for first-time buyers. As the Tonies have dissolved, Mint Condition are really the last remaining traditional and yet contemporary R&B BAND - and what a wealth of wonderful material they have already given us.

3-0 out of 5 stars 3-1/2 stars -- Not bad but could've been a better collection
If you don't own any of Mint Condition's albums (but I don't know why you WOULDN'T), then I guess this collection should suit you well. All your favorite songs are on here, like "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" and "So Fine". There are also two new tracks: "Deep In My Pockets" and "What You Bring to the Party" featuring a rap by someone named Lil' Buddy. But let's face it, those songs aren't the best songs the band has ever done. They really sound like filler, which is something that really doesn't need to be on a hits collection.

Another thing that gets me is that most of the songs on here are radio edits. Why can't we have the album versions? Isn't that why we BUY albums? If we wanted the radio versions, we would have listened to the radio! Oh well, there are still memorable songs like "The Never That You'll Never Know" and, of course, "U Send Me Swingin'".

When I first looked at the track listing, I was wondering why "If You Love Me" wasn't on here, but then I remembered that that song came out in '99, and this collection was made in '98. But as of '98, Mint Condition had only three albums out, and the fact that they had a hits collection already was a signal that their label, Perspective Records, was folding (which explains why many of the songs on here weren't singles).

All in all, this collection is fine, but if you REALLY want to enjoy Mint Condition, your best bet is to pick up their four albums instead.

Anthony Rupert

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT ALBUM!!!!!!
This set is AWESOME!!!! I just received this album last week, and it is really on point!! I am a college student who is always stressed, and to be able to come home and listen to these guys' smooth sounds is more than I could ask. The only thing I wish is that there were other live songs on this cd. Otherwise, it's perfect!

Cop it!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Cream of the crop!
Well, what's there to say except this CD is off the chain! I allowed some of my less-informed friends to listen to my CD & mysteriously enough it has disappeared. I haven't been able to find it in any of the local stores, so I had to go online to recapture the magic. This group is the best there is in R&B today. They offer the diversest style of BLACK music with classic hits like Breaking My Heart to the mild rock sounds of Fidelity. They have never received the industry nods that's so well deserved, but I have faith in Perspective Records that they will continue to allow Mint Condition to bless us with their music, musicianship & vibe. Big Ups to Stokely, Larry, Kerry Ricky, Jeff & O'dell. Keep representin' for the true music fans!

5-0 out of 5 stars mint was meant to be listened to!!!!!
I have always loved Mint Condtion from day one (1991). Their first hit was Breaking my heart(Pretty brown eyes) ... Read more

176. The Ultimate Collection
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Asin: B000001A9Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2771
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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It's hard to think of a more quintessential pre-disco-era supergroup, and this really is the ultimate collection of the Jackson 5's finest. From the super-sweet "I'll Be There" (which went on to become one of the most-covered songs in recent history) to the peppy pop of "I Want You Back," the period's essence is in every single high note. The Afros, the bell-bottoms, Michael pre-identity crisis, it's all there and so much more fun than anything any of the clan has done since. This is a great party album: classics like "ABC," "Never Can Say Goodbye," and "Rockin' Robin" sit alongside more jazz-influenced tracks like a cover of the Isleys' "It's Your Thing," and are guaranteed to keep all feet on the dance floor. --Rebecca Wallwork ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Compilation, great songs, still fresh
What a great cd! The young motown sound, is fluent in these great guys. Not just Michael, we get the whole crew with this one. Here is my track breakdown. 1. I want you back - my favorite ever track from the Jackson five. Strong Opening. Amazing track. 2. ABC - one of their two most famous tracks. This was originally made to convey Michael's innocent personality, and it did. A major hit, and a great song. 3. The Love you save - another upbeat song. Great track. I like how the Jackson 5 have all different sounds, and don't copy an old tracks sound 4. I'll Be There - another famous track. Softer, slower, yet still powerful, and great. 5. It's Your Thing - A great remake of the Isley Brothers hit. The Jackson's give it a flavor of its own. So many good tracks in a row! 6. Who's Lovin You - I didn't like this track that much. It had the slow-dance feel to it. Good harmonizing, not a favorite though. 7. Mama's Pearl - I really enjoyed this track. Michael just makes this track great. His lead vocals, with "Hey Little girl, let down your curls," made the song so great. 8. Never can Say Goodbye - another famous track by the Jackson five. This is a good track, I wouldn't say it's amazing, but it is a good track. It grows on you though. 4.6/5 9. Maybe Tomorrow - this was a good track. I liked it 10. Got to be there - Michael sings this one alone. Showcases his vocal skills. Though young, he has still got the goods. 11. Sugar Daddy - loved this track from it's beginning. What a fabulous track. 12. Rockin' Robin - another famous track. Really good. 13. Daddy's Home - Jermaine takes this one home. He pulls it off with finesse. 14. Lookin' through the windows - not bad, but not terrific. could have been better. 15. I wanna be where you are - Michael leads this track. I like the verses, and the back sounds, but the chorus could be better. Michael has a great voice, and it is really shown in this track. 16. Get it together - I really enjoyed this track. You could hear Michael's voice changing in this track. It became lower. I just get dissapointed at this point everytime, because the cd is coming to a close. 17. Dancing Machine - we all know this from Smokey Robinson, and the Jacksons hit all the notes with perfection. Great track, great remake. 18. The Life of the party - I didn't really like this track compared to the others. Not fabulous. Definitely not a favorite of mine. 19. I am love - Parts I & II - a soft, pretty song. Lengthy, but pretty. 20. Just a little bit of you - a fabulous track, another by MJ himself. Great track, leading to the closing of a great cd. 21. It's Your Thing ('95) - the non-remix was a hell lot better. This wasn't a bad remix, but the original was a lot better.

A fabulous cd, and a must buy. I highly recommend this cd. It is a must have in your cd collection, and a great addition. The Jackson 5, have great voices and great songs, and this ultimate collection, is... the ultimate collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Overstuffed but enjoyable collection from the Motown legends
This album goes to prove that sometimes less is more. It's simply contains more Jackson Five than most people need.

The group's peak(artistically) was short and even some of their better tracks like "Sugar Daddy" and "The Love You Save" have a slight almost rinky dink quality about them. Worse, there's simply no reason to listen to Jermaine's disembowlment of the beautiful Shep and The Limelites' classic "Daddy's Home".

Still, there's a lot here to enjoy. The debut single "I Want You Back" with its dynamic arrangement and a world conquering vocal by Michael Jackson is one of the all time greatest Motown hits. "Dancing Machine" is an effective disco number that foreshadows Michael and the group's later more adventurous work at Epic. On "I'll Be There" Michael sings with a purity and innocence almost unknown in modern popular music and "ABC" is an endless source of bubblegum delight. Additionally, the record gives listener's the educational opportunity to witness the birth of one popular music's greatest careers(Michael not the J Five). Even the worst material here (except for "Daddy's Home") is listenable.

This is a good compilation but realistically only a few tracks (those mentioned above and one or two others) are up to the standards set by the classic Motown hits or Michael's solo work. If this were a more economic package, the group's minor but important Motown legacy would be better preserved.

4-0 out of 5 stars This is such a fun CD
for those of us who grew up with the Jackson 5. It is missing some of the later stuff from just the "Jacksons", but it'll do for a great compilation. I can usually just put it on a let it go all the way through, it's got a pretty good lineup of tracks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jackson 5 rules!
Jackson five is my favorite group of singers! They are talented, and all the songs on all of their albums are the best! Jackson 5 is wonderful and entertaining! YOU SHOULD BUY THIS ALBUM!
Also get Michael Jackson when he is a solo singer!

(Justin Timberlake is a copycat off of Michael Jackson. CAUTION: do not buy Justin Timberlake)!

4-0 out of 5 stars Here Comes Johnny
It is a little-known fact that there was once a sixth member of the Jackson 5. His name was "Johnny." His stint lasted from 1968-1969, just before the 5 made it big. Whether or not he was actually a Jackson remains a mystery, but my theory is that he was the lead singer virtuoso of the group--that is, until little Michael's intense envy caught up with him. Either that, or Big Joe, in his notoriously paranoid, abusive father kind of way, suspected that Johnny was always on acid and plotting to sabotage the group, forging them in a direction that would be problematic for their impending popularity...probably in the form of cover versions of the Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" and the Velvet Underground's "Black Angel's Death Song." Perhaps Joe's suspicion stemmed from Johnny's blatant overuse of the carnival synthesizer--to the point where the Doors' organ on "Light My Fire" sounds almost clean and sober in comparison.

Progressive musicianship aside, Johnny was a force of charisma. He could do a mean acapella and somehow rallied the group to try a groovy rendition of "My Girl." His short-lived contributions can be found on the ultra-rare recording THE JACKSON 5...AND JOHNNY, which unfortunately does not carry. If you can get past the archaic recording techniques--which make Johnny sound like he's in the middle of a rainstorm with a million watts of feedback filtering through the mic--you'll notice that Johnny's departure from the Jackson 5 left a void that could only be filled with straight-A bubble gum pop.

So where's Johnny? If I had more time and money on my hands, I would be formulating theories and drawing up a book and TV movie proposal for The Jackson Six: the Untold Story. I can't even offer any assistance in acquiring a copy of this rare Johnny recording. I discovered it last night by accident on the floor of my friend's car, we gave it a spin, and as my ears inhaled the first few magical notes, I knew it was my duty as a Jackson 5 fan to inform other Jackson 5 fans of Johnny's existence, even though I'm sure that to you diehards this is probably old news. You probably even saw Johnny in concert. Lucky you.

Amazingly enough, the Jackson 5 made it without Johnny, and this collection of hits is proof. If you want to really try to figure out the point when MJ lost his marbles, decided he wanted to pull a Peter Pan and remain forever a little boy, you can. There's enough masked pain here to consume a year's worth of psychoanalysis. Listen closely, and you can hear the perils of child stardom in his voice, especially when it wavers and sounds disturbingly feminine for a little boy, and it's like some unnamed force is giving him an imaginary lashing. Just like when I ponder the Beatles' breakup and Jodeci's untimely dissolve, I can't help wondering in "what if" mode. Had Johnny stayed with the group, would the King of Pop have learned to grow up somewhere in his childhood? We all might have lost something (well, almost...those little boys probably would still have their innocence). ... Read more

177. All I Have
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Asin: B00006B1NP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7178
Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (146)

4-0 out of 5 stars A great, overlooked Artist
I bought a lot of CD's when I bought Amerie's CD and I really only bought it because I liked her first single, "Why Don't We Fall in Love." And after I personally played out the song, I stopped listening to it. My brother started to listen to it and told me it was a hot album, so after the second single "Talkin' to Me" was released, I started to get into it and I found myself relating to not only "Talkin' to Me", but one of the best songs on the album, "Got to be there." It was hot. Rich Harrison, the producer and writer did a good job and Amerie tops it all off with her amazing voice. She's a good singer and I love her style, especially on my favorite song and the best song on the album, "I just Died." The way she delivers it is amazing and I never heard anyone sing like that. There are alot of ballads on it talking about falling in love and loving someone like "All I have to give" and "Nothing Live Loving you." She can even get you jamming on songs like "Need you Tonight" and "Hatin' on You." Whether she wrote the songs or not, she's got skills and the CD is hot. One of the best albums of 2002. I think her talent is overlooked and underappreciated. I would recommend this album to any R&B music fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars 'All I Have' is More Than Enough! Amerie Has 'It'!!!
R&B girls are a dime a dozen these days. Inevitably many of them prove to be little more than one hit wonders. And I am glad to say that Amerie will not be among their number. She's much more than a pretty face. This woman has talent and delivered a surprisingly mature album for her 22 years. The Rich Harrison produced album is perhaps the best debut album by an R&B female since Alicia Keys and Faith Evans' debuts.

The album begins with the smash single with which everyone has fallen in love entitled "Why Don't We Fall in Love?" Originally intended only to be an interlude, once leaked to NYC deejays, the song came to be the "official love joint" of the summer as dubbed on BET's 106th and Park. Lush production values on songs such as 'Nothing Like Loving You' and the Mary J-esque 'Can't Let Go' prove to showcase the singers vocal ability and range over hard hip-hop and smooth R&B rhythms. Undercurrents of current r&b divas such as Mary, Faith, Aaliyah, Toni and even a taste of pop songstress Sade can be heard in Amerie's voice. Yet her delivery is totally her own. The album is unfailing and infectious. One can't help but be swept away by songs buoyed by songs with underpinnings of hip-hop beats, lilting vocals and soul drenched grooves.

In all, this disk is one which is finally truly deserving of all the critical acclaim which it has earned before its release. Even more startling is the fact that for once the 'hype' surrounding this album is well founded as well. Amerie has the goods. I just hope that she's ready for everyone to start riding her coattails.

4-0 out of 5 stars Underrated!
Her voice is raw, not overly polished and even when she strains a little too much you don't feel overly annoyed-- rather, it adds to the music's feeling. The production is excellent, nice clear beats without the commericial sound. Even those songs I found less entertaining than the rest I listened to more than once for the melodious tones. I'm still in my 20's and I can't believe how all the trash out there has made me appreciate an album like this all the more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amerie - All I Have
Lots a people slept on this cd...this joint is hott

2-0 out of 5 stars Starts off promising, then...
... It completely falls apart. I'm just glad I bought it at Wal-Mart for $6 or I'd really regret it. Amerie is very talented. Some even compare her to a young Mary J. Blige. But after the fifth song, maybe Scary J. Blige would be better.

The first four, five songs are listenable. "Talkin' To Me" should've been a bigger hit than it was. I don't remember if the single was ever attatched to any mobile phone promotion like Tweet's "Call Me" for Verizon, but if it wasn't, it could've been a big hit. "I Can't Let Go" was, in my opinion, a sure hit. Probably the best track on the album. After that, just plain bad. The production team was mediocre at best if not flat out horrible. It does nothing for her much more talented voice which often sounds lost on the Timbalandesque-misfired beat biting tracks.

I haven't heard or seen much of Amerie over the past year or so, except when she hosted BET's The Center briefly and when people were getting all excited about a dress she wore at an event (though I must admit she was looking pretty sexy). I think she had a song late last year; not sure if it was from a soundtrack or not, but I heard it on a free mp3 website.

I'd like to hear more of Amerie. She deserves a much better production team next time around though and much better songs. If not, she should do whatever's possible to get out of her label. ... Read more

178. Ray Charles Sings for America
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Asin: B00006HICB
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 863
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Gathering 20 soulful recordings from albums and singlesreleased between 1960-1997. Featuring a brand new (2002)track 'God Bless America Again' featuring an all-star castof supporting musicians including Billy Preston and Slash. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ray sings like no other!
This is the best of the best of America. For the little America hating liberal, Hey, you moron, Ray sang the Star Spangled Banner many times, and unlike you flipping liberals, Ray did not hate America and give aid and comfort to our enemies in time of war!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the best!
Ray Charles and President Ronald Reagan were fans of each other. Ray changed the world for the better with his music, President Reagan helped save the world from the ruins of communism. God bless Ray Charles and Ronald Reagan. (The whining little liberals who have to pollute these reviews with their hatred should read and learn some history!)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ray Charles was a great man
He created soul. His rendition of America The Beautiful, and the fact he never sang The Star Spangled Banner is evidence we have our priorities out of whack in America. Ray had them straight. The land, the people, and their sacrifices are what matters.

The last person's comment talking about how great Reagan was is a slur towards Ray Charles. Don't dare do that to this great man.

5-0 out of 5 stars An American Treasure is lost today
God rest your precious soul Ray Charles. Soulful rendition of America the Beautiful the Beautiful. Ronald Regan also passed on this week and The President asked Ray to sing this song at his 2nd inaguration. Thank you Mr. President for making the world safe. Thank Mr. Charles for sharing you gifts with us. You will be missed. Amen

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Recording
I've long dug Ray Charles.He is one of the Modern Day Fathers of Music for me overall.the Man can take any element of Style of Music&make it work on all fronts.Here He takes Material Reflecting in the Spirit of America&makes it His own."God Bless America Again" brings Him back with Billy Preston who started out playing with Ray Charles.that is So Cool having two Great Organ Players together.when Ray Charles Sings you can feel so much Emotion&Depth&He brings it to this Project&so much more.America is Even that more Better for having this Musical Genius&Legend Be Blessed with the Gift of a Voice that Transends time.and reflects that much more a Year after 9-11-01. ... Read more

179. Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)
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Asin: B000000W31
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12422
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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Digable Planets deliberately disavowed the toughness of hip-hop culture: the trio's leader called himself Butterfly, his foil Ladybug purred like Eartha Kitt, and they produced hooks out of lines like "We're just babies, man." Despite occasional flashes of sorrow (like the pro-choice recitation "La Femme Fétal"), the group's happy and laidback on this debut, with tracks made out of old jazz records and finger-snaps, and words that draw on 50s hipster slang. Reachin' spawned the Grammy-winning single "Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)," and after this album, their joyous Blue Note-and-black-lights bounce lost some of its novelty.--Douglas Wolk ... Read more

Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's "Cool Like Dat".
"Digable Planets" just about started their own sub-genre of rap when they meshed the beats of hip-hop and the coolness of jazz together. They aren't the only ones to have ever done it, but they did it incredibly well. Some people may think of them as a one hit wonder, but if you liked "Rebirth Of Slick (cool like dat)", you'll love the whole album. Even a decade later, this is still one of the most unique albums I own, rap or not. The only current group I know similar to them might be "Jurassic 5". Other phat tracks on this disc are "It's Good To Be Here", "Pacifics", and my favorite "Where I'm From". Such good lyrics. Anyway, if you need a change from the rap norm, check out "Reachin' (a new refutation of time and space)".

5-0 out of 5 stars I miss the early 90's
I've recently started listening to this (tape) about a week ago after a long time and then wonder what took me so long to dig the bad boy back up. Like A Tribe Called Quest's "Low End Theory", Reachin' is another album that you can play all the way through. This album is just as smooth and jazzy as the Best of Sade with a hip hop feel to it. Man, I long for jazzy hip hop to be the mainstream in pop music as long as no one loses their touch. Maybe it will happen we everyone tires of the hip hop that's out now. My favorite track are 'Jimmi Diggin' Cats', 'Femme Fatale', 'Nickel Bags' and the popular 'Rebirth of Slick'. Where are bands like Digable Planets, Arrested Development and Public Enemy when you need them.

5-0 out of 5 stars DJ Moe Choi & Ladybug Mecca
This is one of the all time best hip-hop record ever!!! The era, the music, the vibe, the delivery, everything about this record is classic!!!!! Everybody knows Mecca is the one of the illest emcees that came in the game. Mecca is coming back!!!! Mec and her DJ - Moe Choi has a dope mixtape out called "Unfolding the Serious Mystery". This thing is fire. I mean really really crazy. I never heard a mixtape like this before. Mecca is rockin' over Mantronix to DJ Shadow to Kenny Dope, etc etc. She sounds so good. I specially love where she does spoken word over the Rehash track - beautiful & timeless. Where have you been Mec??? I really look forward to hearing her new album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Childhood Memories
Whenever I hear "Rebirth of Slick" it brings me back and I feel like I'm 6 years old again and it's 1993. The song is just so smooth and completely unique for its time.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the best parts of being a teen in the 90s
I loved this cd to death. I even had the pleasure of meeting Cee-Knowledge from the group and it was a beautiful time. Real down to earth people and real music. Perhaps not always the best lyrically, but overall this was great listening. I would recommend this to anyone just for the experience. Rebirth of Slick, Where I'm from...Anyone who doesn't have it should. ... Read more

180. The Best of War and More
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Asin: B0000032AG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6630
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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War peppers their music with Latin rhythms and instrumentations, mixing in elements of funk with oldies rock & roll to create a nonstop summer-block-party sound. Hits like "The Cisco Kid" and "Why Can't We Be Friends?" are characterized by the band's lower-register vocals and beg for a singalong. "Spill the Wine, " a hit during Eric Burden's tenure with War, lacks the freer, good-time feel of the later material, but "Low Rider, " a bottom-heavy salsa driven by a raunchy harmonica, remains one of the band's most popular songs. The Best of War ... and More goes beyond retro appeal, displaying a timeless quality. --Steve Gdula ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars The food is great but the portions are small
War was a joyful band of rhythmic funksters with clever vocals and gorgeous harmonies. This collection includes most of their best songs from the 70s, but is missing some real gems (notably "Gypsy Man" and "The World is a Ghetto"). Another reviewer pointed out that some of the tracks are shortened radio edits. There may be more cases of this than I can recognize, but either way there are some songs here, like "Slipping into Darkness" and "All Day Music", that are just too good to be this short.. "City Country City" is whittled down to just the "country" section, and lacks the journey from and back to the city that made the original so evocative. But the music is superb (except for "Living in the Red"), and even the songs that have never disappeared from radio play still stand up well ("Low Rider" and the charmingly weird "Spill the Wine"). But like a delicious meal with too-small portions, this CD leaves me hungering for more. A great band needs a strong "best of" collection, and this CD just isn't it. So why 5 stars? Because setting aside all the coulda-woulda-shouldas about this as a compilation, 4 stars just doesn't quite describe the superior quality of the music it contains.

4-0 out of 5 stars ...and Less, would be more accurate
War produced a slew of great Latin-flavored funk singles in the 70s and most of them are here. This disk loses a star for omitting "The World Is A Ghetto" while including filler such as "Living in the Red" as well as a pointless, terrible remix of "Low Rider." Some reviewers have lamented the fact that these tracks are the edited radio versions rather than the full-length album cuts, but since I am only familiar with these songs from the radio, that wasn't a problem for me.

3-0 out of 5 stars Below Average Hit Collection
I agree with many reviewers: this is a disappointing collection. There is no "The World Is A Ghetto", "Gypsy Man", nor "Ballero" for starters. I had the original "Greatest Hits" from 1976, but is only available on vinyl records. Your best bet is to get the "War: Anthology (1970-1994)". It's 2 CDs but has all the essentials.

3-0 out of 5 stars Just as flawed as the day it came out...
I love WAR. They made lots of good music in the 70's and early 80's. It's sad that they've been represented for so long by such a lame compilation as this. Its flaws are multiple and have already been listed many times here. Do yourself a favor - spring for _Grooves and Messages_ or Rhino's _Anthology_ (in the black slipcase). Either one will provide you a far better view of the band (the recently released _Very Best of War_ has too many edited versions to really be helpful).

3-0 out of 5 stars Declaring "War" on Cheap Anthologies
I first owned "The Best of War...And More" on LP some twenty years ago, and unfortunately the CD version is not an improvement. Middleweight contestants in the arena of 1970s funk rock bands, War was far better at producing singles that albums, and as such needs to be represented by a decent anthology album. Instead, you get short edits of several songs, including "Spill the Wine" their debut compilation single with former Animal Eric Burdon. There's also a pointless remix of the single "Low Rider," that is redunant and unnecessary. The CD package contains no booklet, only a single sheet with very little information about the band. And at only 13 tracks total, it is a very skimpy collection.

Overall, a shoddy anthology from a decent band that deserves better treatment. ... Read more

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