Album Reviews

Jennifer Lopez


Epic Records



Let’s be honest: If Jennifer Lopez recorded with only a harmonica, put her picture on the cover and called it the best record she has ever made, chances are it would be successful. So is the case with “”J.Lo.”” It is not very promising, but it will, in fact, be a hit record.

This actress-turned-singer released her first album in 1999, which was a success. Lopez’s sophomore album, “”J.Lo,”” confidently hit the pop chart in late January. It has since seen its first single hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

But is it good? Well, let’s just say it could be better.

In mixing teen pop and Latin beats with ghetto flair, the majority of this album is destined to be heard on dance floors or will at least show up on the next “”What’s Hot NOW”” compilation CD in about three months.

“”Love Don’t Cost A Thing”” is the first pop hit off this album, with lyrics such as, “”If I wanna floss, I got my own.”” I think this one speaks for itself.

Lopez goes back to her Puerto Rican roots with “”Si Ya Se Acabo.”” Although this isn’t the only track Lopez has done in Spanish, the song is the soulful highlight of the album.

I like Lopez — I really do. The bottom line, though, is we have been around the pop-princess block before, and it is not getting any better.

–Tara Jones


“”Felt Mountain””




The last time you heard Alison Goldfrapp’s voice was on Tricky’s album “”Maxinquaye,”” which was released back in 1995. She has also worked with Orbital. She is strangely seductive and very charismatic.

“”Felt Mountain”” is one of the most amazing debut albums I have heard in ages. Composer, vocalist, whistler and keyboardist Goldfrapp collaborated with composer Will Gregory and created a sound that combines the beauty of the past, the present and beyond. This is avant-garde pop that is easy to listen to.

Goldfrapp takes familiar sounds from movie soundtracks and ’60s French pop, combining them with haunting James Bond-esque vocals and alluring electronic sounds.

Take this album with you on an alpine trip or perhaps on a secret spy mission in Prague. This album evokes the feeling of being a daring and romantic spy saving the world from imminent destruction.

With “”Felt Mountain”” as the soundtrack to my I-want-to-be-just-like-James-Bond fantasies, I can zoom around the freeways of San Diego pretending that I am eluding the Commies in East Germany.

With lyrics like “”I forget who I am, I forget, fascist baby,”” there is no way you can resist Goldfrapp’s charm. She can even make songs about paper bags sound sexy.

“”Felt Mountain”” was recorded in a very large bedroom, and its lush rhythms and jazzy soundscapes bring you to a point of warmth and the strange distance of a black and white film. This album is perfect for rainy days.

If that isn’t enough, countless magazine surveys of famous rock musicians’ favorite albums indicate that Ed O’Brien of Radiohead and the illustrious Moby have given their praise to Goldfrapp.

This beautiful release can border on cheesy, but this will be one of the best debut albums to make its way into your CD collection.

— Joseph Lee

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