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All-Reviews.com Top 50 Songs*:
for the 2nd week of June, 2000

*based on airplay at alternative, pop and rock radio stations a cross the nation (reviews by LarryG)

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  1. Matchbox 20-Bent    (unchanged)      buy it!
    It's hard to imagine, but since Matchbox 20's debut CD Yourself or Someone Like You sold eleven million copies and Smooth was the biggest single of 1999, Rob Thomas is probably the country's most successful rock singer there days. With its appealing, safe, mildly rocking sound, Bent, the first single from the Mad Season CD, keeps the string of success going. It has a little bit of an atmospheric edge and an appealing restrained mood but Bent is generally more of the same from the band. Thomas' lyrics are typically cliched and his vocals emotive as he asks for his woman's help, looking to her to pick him up, dust him off and be his breath so he can walk.

  2. Red Hot Chili Pepper-Otherside    (unchanged)      buy it!
    After the mindless diversion of Around the World, the third hit from the Californication CD returns to the more reflective tone of Scar Tissue. However, Otherside, apparently about contemplating joining a dead friend, has a sadder, more agitated tone. The music is restrained with a quiet, insistent tone coming mostly from bass and drums until guitars explode at the end. The Chili Peppers' new signs of maturity are generally welcome though Otherside risks the danger that too much maturity can be a little boring.

  3. Goo Goo Dolls-Broadway    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Goo Goo Dolls continue to walk the tightrope, trying to show they still rock while not offending their big, new mainstream audience. Broadway, the fifth chart hit from their 1998 CD Dizzy Up The Girl, is tuneful and again shows the band to be genial, efficient rockers. The music and the Johnny Rzeznik's lyrics, about a guy wasting his time at the bar and prematurely giving up on life, are O.K. but don't have much depth.

  4. Stone Temple Pilots-Sour Girl    (unchanged)      buy it!
    STP showed their rock cred with the first couple chart songs from STP's No. 4 CD, Down and Heaven and Hot Rods. Both were pretty hard and both fell off the chart pretty quickly. The band should have more success with Sour Girl which shows the band's pop skills with restrained guitars and keyboards. It starts like a Van Halen midtempo song with a steady, thumping bass and drifts easily to a chorus with sweet harmonies. Sour Girl is frothy and slight but hard to resist. Scott Weiland sings about a relationship that was doomed from the start with a woman who seems happier without him and his problems putting it behind him. Hopefully the line "what would you do if I followed you" doesn't mean that Weiland has a problem with stalking to go with his drug problem.

  5. Nine Days-Absolutely(Story of a Girl)    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Absolutely, the first single from the Madding Crowd CD, has actually been around for a while. Apparently, its breakthrough was assisted by an appearance on Dawson's Creek. Like recent pop hits like the Friends theme and Better Than Ezra's Good and In The Blood, Absolutely bursts with irresistable energy and deserves to be a hit. Absolutely isn't really the story of a girl. The details are fairly limited in the lyrics about a sad woman who "cried a river and drowned the whole world." But the chorus about absolutely loving her when she smiles is simple and nice. The fast guitar riffs are steady and uplifting, with split second breaks creating great tension.

  6. Three Doors Down-Kryptonite    (unchanged)      buy it!
    This surprise hit from the young Mississippi band is nothing new. It kind of sounds like the classic rock staple Radar Love. Still, Kryptonite, from the band's Better Life CD, has an easy, unpretentious charm and a good blues rock feel. Brad Arnold's lyrics are slight but charming and heartfelt. He sings about having a troubled mind and needing reassurance that his lover will stand by his side, asking "if I go crazy, will you still call me Superman?"

  7. Creed-With Arms Wide Open    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Higher, the power ballad from Creed's Human Clay CD, is easily the longest running song on the chart, having been on the top 50 for more than eight months. Inevitably, Higher was embraced by pop radio, so it's going to hang on for a while longer. When Higher's finally played out, With Arms Wide Open seems likely to follow it from rock radio to the pop charts. It's another sweeping, and basically empty and pretentious, ballad. Creed's music is a little less intense than usual and the subject matter is more appealing than the band's usual religious tirades. Stapp actually sounds a little humble as he welcomes his baby to the world.

  8. Metallica-I Disappear    (up 2 positions)      buy it!
    I Disappear is from the Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack. Their S&M live CD loosened up their sound a little and added some melody with the help of a symphony orchestra. I Disappear is a return to their typical humorless, harsh guitar driven sound. The lyrics are as depressing as ever with James Hetfield's angry vocals about how he suffers and that there's "no mercy left for me." It's a tough life apparently. "Just as soon as I belong then it's time I disappear."

  9. Vertical Horizon-Everything You Want    (down 1 position)      buy it!
    The title track and second chart song from Vertical Horizon's CD has striking guitar effects but is otherwise pretty generic sensitive rock. Matt Scannell is ever so serious singing about a woman who's never satisfied with a man. His tone is so bitter that it's not much of a twist at the end when he reveals himself to be the he who is everything she wants.

  10. A Perfect Circle-Judith    (up 1 position)      buy it!
    A Perfect Circle was formed by Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan and Tool guitar tech Billy Howerdel. A Perfect Circle's debut CD is called Mer De Noms. Judith's music is similar to much of Tool's. It's slightly less dense but it's still grinding, jagged and intense. Keenan has always reminded me of Sugar and Husker Du's Bob Mould in the way his anger seems so uncontrollable that he seems on the verge of a breakdown. On Judith, Keenan's screaming vents his rage at christianity. He tries to talk a woman out of an attitude where she feels she's brought on her problems through her sins, yelling "it's not like you killed someone."

  11. Creed-Higher    (up 2 positions)      buy it!
    The tremendous impact of Creed's My Own Prison CD at rock radio was one of music's most bizarre success stories. Nearly all of their songs were overtly about God or christianity. You have to assume that Higher, about a place where blind men can see, is about heaven. Most of their young male audience could care less about the religious message. As with their earlier work, the appeal of Higher comes from its meaty guitars and Scott Stapp's charismatic, anguished vocals. Higher, from their Human Clay CD, is their most polished single yet with a chorus that begs the kids to sing along. With so many rock bands playing angry heavy metal or rap edged rock, Creed's fans must be reassured by their familiar arena rock and meaty power chords. But Higher is tediously predictable and repetitious.

  12. Pearl Jam-Nothing As It Seems    (down 3 positions)      buy it!
    This sad, quiet song was a strange choice as a first single from Pearl Jam's new Binaural CD and it's not surprising that, after a high debut, Nothing As It Seems is quickly falling down the chart. Like last year's fluke pop hit Last Kiss, Nothing As It Seems is a ballad but it has a very thoughtful, personal feel with lyrics about a guy for whom nothing is as it seems who needs a feeling of home. Written by bass player Jeff Ament, Nothing As It Seems is largely based around an acoustic guitar and has good, restrained vocals from Eddie Vedder.

  13. Foo Fighters-Breakdown    (up 2 positions)      buy it!
    Breakdown is the third chart hit from There Is Nothing Left To Lose. It's not quite the pop masterpiece that the brilliantly buoyant Learn To Fly is but it's more fun than the very heavy Stacked Actors. Breakdown most closely resembles the band's fast, exhilarating Monkey Wrench. It isn't complex, just nonstop, hard rocking fun. The lyrics, about Dave Grohl's problems with his therapist, aren't very interesting but the energy of the music is undeniable.

  14. Godsmack-Voodoo    (down 2 positions)      buy it!
    Voodoo closes out Godsmack's self titled CD. It creates a decent mystical atmosphere with drumbeats and minimal instrumentation. However, Sully Erna's very serious vocals, as he sings "I'm not the one who's so far away, when I feel the snake bite enter my veins" over and over, are too pretentious.

  15. Incubus-Pardon Me    (up 2 positions)      buy it!
    Pardon Me, from the Make Yourself CD, resembles a lot of music on rock radio with its anthemic chorus, power guitar chords and anguished lyrics about having had enough of the world. However, as an acoustic version indicates, there is a real, thought out song within the more rocking record. Brandon Boyd's intensity and images of spontaneous combustion are striking. The band also create a distinctive sound on the electric version. A good, jagged beat and records scratched by their DJ add to a feel of turmoil.

  16. Kid Rock-Only God Knows Why    (unchanged)      buy it!
    While he usually comes across as a smart ass narcissist, on Only God Knows Why from his Devil Without a Cause CD, Kid Rock wants sympathy for his pain and the fact that people don't understand him. I would have thought Kid Rock would be embarrassed to sing a ballad about trying to find himself but I guess we already know he's shameless. The model for Only God Knows Why seems to be one of Pearl Jam's soaring, personal ballads but Kid Rock doesn't have Eddie Vedder's chops. He sounds best when his voice is distorted.

  17. Sting-Desert Rose    (up 4 positions)      buy it!
    Desert Rose is a fairly high point in the mellower baby boomer stage of Sting's career. The title track from Sting's Brand New Day was a ridiculously optimistic look ahead to a new millennium. Desert Rose has more to it with good atmosphere from big percussion, Middle Eastern instruments and an introduction sung by an Arabic singer. There's not that much substance under the atmosphere and Sting can't help seeming like he's just dabbling in other cultures but the song, about being in the desert and dreaming of rain and dreaming of love as time rolls through his hands, has a nice, hallucinogenic feel.

  18. Eric Clapton & B.B. King-Riding With The King    (up 12 positions)      buy it!
    B.B. King is one of Eric Clapton's guitar heroes. While they've worked together before, Riding With The King is the first full length record they've done together. The title track is a good choice to introduce the new record. It sounded like a blues classic when John Hiatt wrote it and recorded it as the title track of his 1983 album. King status as a king of the blues can't help but give the song added resonance.

  19. Counting Crows-Mrs. Potter's Lullaby    (up 1 position)      buy it!
    This Desert Life has sold a fraction as many units as Counting Crows' two previous records. It's fallen off the top 200 selling records chart and there's no reason to believe Mrs. Potter's Lullaby will get it back on. Still, Mrs. Potter's Lullaby is a likable relaxed rocker in the vein of Mr. Jones, Rain King and Daylight Fading. The song's easy mood makes the nearly eight minutes of Adam Duritz' collage of musings on circuses, Hollywood and his personal problems pass quickly. The music has a smooth Allman Brothers style country rock vibe with relaxed guitar and piano.

  20. Korn-Make Me Bad    (down 1 position)      buy it!
    Confused kids can relate as Jonathan Davis sings on Make Me Bad, like on Falling Away From Me, about his troubled mind. He sings of the lack of compassion he faces and feeling his reason leaving as he obsesses about the object of his desire. Make Me Bad, from the Issues CD, has the rush of a good hard rock song with big, tough guitars. It's harder and less distinctive than the atmospheric Falling Away From Me.

  21. Don Henley-Workin' It    (down 3 positions)      buy it!
    Workin It' is from Inside Job, Henley's first studio album in more than a decade. Judging by Workin' It, the new music wasn't worth the wait. Workin' It is a tired diatribe. Henley, who made millions making easy rock with the Eagles, delivers the shocking news that we live in a society where "packaging is all there is" and corporate America tries to sell us things we don't really need. Workin It' is similar to Dirty Laundry, an earlier Henley protest song. The music here is big and overproduced but is pretty draggy and unmelodic and definitely doesn't rock.

  22. Phish-Heavy Things    (unchanged)      buy it!
    On the likably relaxed Heavy Things, from the Farmhouse CD, the band invites the Grateful Dead that have followed Phish for years. Trey Anastasio's vocals, singing about the things coming down on him and referring to women he's known, have a Garcia-like modesty and he finishes the song with a nice loose guitar solo. With good harmonies and keyboards, the skilled band creates a positive vibe.

  23. Eminem-The Real Slim Shady    (up 8 positions)      buy it!
    On the first single from the Marshall Mathers Lp, Eminem is, as usual, obnoxious, self pitying but also pretty funny. Real Slim Shady is getting played on alternative radio while Forgot About Dre, also produced by Dr. Dre with a similar light but sinister nursery rhyme type backing track, isn't. Is it because of Eminem's color? Regardless, Real Slim Shady is fun. Despite his dopey demeanor and accent, Eminem is a pretty fluid rapper and Real Slim Shady is fast with good momentum. Eminem is conflicted, excited about the prospect of lots of Eminem wannabes "who could be workin' at Burger King, spittin' on your onion rings" yet so insecure about the possibility of a white rap usurper that he needs to repeatedly tell us that he's the real thing. He rightly says he doesn't care about those who say that Will Smith has hits without swearing but whines about an unfair world where Tom Green can be dirty and he can't. He disses and distances himself from Britney and Christina, refusing to admit that he, like them, owes much of their career to image and MTV. Eminem's a fascinating character, bursting with ideas, some foolish, some insightful.

  24. Britney Spears-Oops! . . . I Did It Again    (up 2 positions)      buy it!
    The title track from Spears' new CD is nearly a remake of Baby One More Time. It's another piece of pleasant, light dancable synth pop with a little bit of a hard edge. Spears still shows no particular signs of being much of a singer. The lyrics perpetuate the image of Spears being both childlike and a mature temptress as she sings "I'm not that innocent." Oops is about teasing a boy, getting lost in the game and playing with his heart, making him believe they're more than just friends. There's nothing wrong with it except for a lack of depth or substance the preteens are unlikely to mind.

  25. Blink 182-Adam's Song    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Just when you thought Blink 182 were only dopey, if fun, rockers, the poignant third single from Enema of the State shows they've got some smarts. Tom DeLonge plays an innocent young man looking back at his life after his impulsive suicide. Like all the band's music, Adam's Song still rocks. But it has a more restrained and fully produced sound. As usual, the closest comparison is Green Day, who similarly broadened their sound with Time Of Your Life but Adam's Song has its own simple, distinctive sound.

Songs 26-50


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