The Lucky 7

We know the economy's bad and all, but if you're trying to save money and not buy any new CDs, you might have to make a few exceptions. Here's a quick rundown on some music that's worth every penny.

Get Pink now from PINK - Missundaztood (I didn't misspell it. She just wants to prove she's BADD.)

All I gotta say is, let's get this party started. More rock than R&B and more aggression than introspect. This album's got a lot goin' on besides just partying. It is a great album to get dressed to before you go out. Highlights include when Pink sings, "I'm tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears..." She then goes on to compliment her and say it's because she's so beautiful. Check this one out if you're into post-modern pop. You know, where pop stars sing about how they want to do music their way and how hard it is to have pink hair.
Get Britney now from BRITNEY SPEARS - Britney (Every star has to have an album with just their first name.)

We've been waiting forever for this. Sounds a little like Vanity meets Prince meets Janet Jackson meets Rick Astley. Highlights include "Boys" and "Not a Girl." However, my favorite tracks didn't make it on the U.S. album. If you can find them, check out the tracks produced by BT including the beat-laden techno track "Before the Goodbye," and the bitter sweet "I Run Away."
Get Jewel now from JEWEL - This Way (Which way? To her car that she lives in?)

More commercial than her last two, Jewel's latest album is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Some stuff sounds a little like Bonnie Raitt while at other times it gets Belinda Carlisle-y... Standout tracks include the first single "Standing Still" and "Serve the Ego." This whole CD is totally WB ready. You can almost hear these songs fading up on an episode of Gilmore Girls or Dawson's.
Get Shakira now from SHAKIRA - Laundry Service (She's rich, so she totally has laundry service. If I had an album it would be called laundromat.)

She's a Latin sensation. The only thing bad about Shakira is her blonde hair. Is there a rule that pop stars must be blonde in America? Despite that, her album is a whole lotta fun. Trumpets, mambo, girly vocals, powerful words. This is a winner. Songs to dance to, think to, and do laundry to.
Get No Doubt now from NO DOUBT - Rock Steady (With all the different producers' tracks on this album, a better title would have been Rock Collection.)

The first few tracks are kickin' and then the last kind of just roll around like an itchy puppy. A couple tracks like "Hella Good" and "Making Out" sound like early Madonna and are totally hot. "Running," a ballad I enjoy, sounds like they took a Nintendo video game soundtrack (back when it was still 8 bit) and laid down some vocals on it.
Get Michelle Branch now from MICHELLE BRANCH - The Spirit Room (No this is not a Christian album...or is it?)

If Mandy Moore played guitar and wrote her own music she would be Michelle Branch. Okay, so maybe they're not the same, but they're both so darn cute... Michelle's debut album, featuring the hit single "Everywhere," is a great addition to your pop library. Kind of like M2M minus one of the M's plus a couple more years...Okay, I'll stop trying to categorize her, and just say she's a great new talent with a great voice.
Get Mary J. Blige now from MARY J. BLIGE - No More Drama (She is so right. No more drama. Except for Passions...)

No doubt about it. Hip-hop is pop. The beats and the sounds have taken the airwaves by storm and Mary's slammin' single "Family Affair" can be heard on stations side by side with the likes of Britney and *N Sync. Her album is filled with awesome tracks, but my favorite is No More Drama. I've been waiting all my life for someone to sample the theme from the Young and the Restless, and I thank god that I didn't have to wait very long.--Fred Flores

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