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All-Reviews.com Top 50 Songs*:
for the 4th week of March, 2000

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

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  1. Red Hot Chili Pepper-Otherside    (up 1 position)      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.

  2. Third Eye Blind-Never Let You Go    (down 1 position)      buy it!
    Sure, the guitar hook is kind of copped from the Velvet Underground's Sweet Jane and the keyboards and general mood owe a little to the Cars' Just What I Needed. Never Let You Go, from the CD Blue, sounds like a hit. Like Semi Charmed Life from their first record, Never Let You Go has energy and an easy momentum. Singer Stephan Jenkins has a comfortable presence whether singing in falsetto or rapping. It's not surprising that pop fans find Never Let You Go more appealing than Blue's first single, Anything, which was fast post punk but wasn't particularly distinctive.

  3. Vertical Horizon-Everything You Want    (up 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.

  4. Filter-Take a Picture    (down 1 position)      buy it!
    The usually intense band follow the powerful, cynical Welcome to the Fold with a change of pace from their Title of Record CD. While mellower and slower, Take a Picture doesn't sound like a sell out and still has an edge. Take a Picture has a cool, evocative atmosphere. Richard Patrick goes into his trademark scream at the end of the song but for the most part, his vocals are appealingly restrained as he sings of trying to capture a perfect moment.

  5. 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.

  6. U2-The Ground Beneath Her Feet    (unchanged)      buy it!
    U2 had songs on Until The End of the World and they also contribute to the soundtrack of Wim Wenders' latest movie The Million Dollar Hotel, which is based on a concept thought of by Bono. The Ground Beneath Her Feet is a nice though not particularly exciting soaring ballad, similar to other recent songs like Stay and Staring at the Sun. The one difference here is that Salman Rushdie provided the lyrics.

  7. Blink 182-All the Small Things    (unchanged)      buy it!
    The video to All the Small Things mocks Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees and other teen pop idols but Blink 182 are kind of a punky pop version of those groups. Their songs are hardly complicated, lyrically or musically, their upbeat lyrics are targeted towards teens(though boys, instead of girls) and they have fairly unthreatening symbols of cool(tattooes instead of weird facial hair). All the Small Things is particularly basic, with it's na-na-na chorus and very simple words about all the things she does for him. But Blink 182's fast version of pop is more fun, energetic and unpretentious. All the Small Things is exuberant, mindlessly perky guitar rock.

  8. Creed-What If    (unchanged)      buy it!
    What If, featured on the band's Human Clay CD and the Scream 3 soundrack, finds the band in an even angrier mood than usual. Mark Tremonti plays a hard heavy metal guitar. Scott Stapp screams with uncontrollable rage about society's unfairness and hypocrisy. But Stapp's not going to play the victim. Typically, he invokes the Bible and threatens to avenge, taking an eye for an eye. Perhaps the band's success has gone to Stapp's head. He apparently now believes that the band's fans are a legion of minions willing to fight for the causes he chooses.

  9. Bloodhound Gang-The Bad Touch    (up 3 positions)      buy it!
    The Bad Touch is from the CD Hooray For Boobies. Bloodhound Gang are proudly stupid and offensive male pigs. With their rapping and dopey bad attitude, they're a little reminiscent of early Beastie Boys though early Beasties seem remarkably mature in comparison. The music, with its cheesy keyboards, is a little like alternative dance music like Depeche Mode's Enjoy the Silence. The raps are an endless flow of bad, blatant come on lines and hardly subtle double entendres, climaxing with the chorus, "let's do it like they do on Discovery channel."

  10. Smashing Pumpkins-Stand Inside Your Love    (up 1 position)      buy it!
    Light and buoyant aren't words that usually describe Smashing Pumpkins but they fit the second chart song from Machina/Machines of God, their most fun single since Mellon Collie's 1979. The time is right. The Pumpkins' music has been a little too heavy recently. The Everlasting Gaze was a good, driving rocker but was obviously too harsh for many, continuing the band's decline in radio airplay and popularity. Stand Inside Your Love is a frothy rocker somewhat like Malibu, which Billy Corgan helped write for Hole. Corgan's singing is still whiny but the song has good momentum with melodic guitars and light keyboards. The positive mood of the song apparently matches Corgan's state of mind as he sings of being head over heels in love with someone who's "everything that I want" and all he dreams of and of just wanting to stand inside her love.

  11. Live-Run To The Water    (down 1 position)      buy it!
    The second single from The Distance to Here, like the Dolphin's Cry, is a wildly overblown rock ballad but Ed Kowalcyk's desire to find big images to express his love is kind of touching. Kowalcyk sings about living down the street from Adam and Eve and "the nuclear fire of love in our hearts." Run To The Water has a good restrained guitar sound. Kowalcyk's rapturous, soaring vocals are a little too much though.

  12. Godsmack-Voodoo    (up 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.

  13. Creed-Higher    (unchanged)      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.

  14. The Cure-Maybe Someday    (down 5 positions)      buy it!
    Bloodflowers, the new Cure CD, has the same dense atmospheric sound of the band's previous work and it often feels like an unsatisfactory rehash. The single Maybe Someday is nothing new but it does show the band's ability to mix melody with the murkiness with good guitars and keyboards. Robert Smith sings of his typical ambivalence and inability to see the bright side of things but his knowing self deprecation does have a charm. Smith sings about being stuck in the past and unable to move on, sure he can't match earlier sensations. He's almost embarrassed about the possibility of feeling joy.

  15. Three Doors Down-Kryptonite    (up 2 positions)      buy it!
    The young Mississippi band are nothing new, but they have an unpretentious charm. Kryptonite, from their Better Life CD, has a good easy blues rock feel. The lyrics are slight but charming and heartfelt, about having a troubled mind and wanting reassurance someone will stand by his side, asking "if I go crazy, will you still call me Superman."

  16. Lit-Miserable    (unchanged)      buy it!
    The most notable about Miserable, the third chart hit from the band's Place in the Sun CD, is its video with Pamela Anderson playing a giant Amazon babe who's literally a maneater. Miserable doesn't have the fast stupid charm of My Own Worst Enemy and Ziplock. Miserable, with A. Jay Popoff singing about being unavoidably attracted to a woman who ruins his life and makes him miserable, is slower. It's fairly entertaining but unremarkable, with big power chords.

  17. Metallica-No Leaf Clover    (down 2 positions)      buy it!
    Metallica's music is pretty overblown under any circumstances. Playing with an orchestra in the concerts recorded on the S & M CD would seem to play to their worst, most bombastic instincts. Somehow, while it's way too much and a little silly, the band does find some beauty and meaning in the new setting. No Leaf Clover is pretty pretentious musically but it also has some melodic appeal. The lyrics have the band's typical pessimism. The message is that when things seem to be going well, your luck is bound to change: "that light at the end of the tunnel is just a freight train coming your way."

  18. Stir-New Beginning    (unchanged)      buy it!
    While it's not particularly substantial, the first single from the St. Louis band's Holy Dogs CD is an undeniably catchy rocker. The restrained verses, with fairly spooky keyboards, are meant to match the tension of Andy Schmidt's lyrics about "having a breakdown" because the women he worships is apparently on the way out of their relationship but the song quickly moves into a high spirited chorus, with power chords and Schmidt sounding like Semisonic's Dan Wilson. Things get a little too poppy with Schmidt's na-na-na vocals.

  19. Santana with Everlast-Put Your Lights On    (up 4 positions)      buy it!
    Santana follows up the success of Smooth, his song with Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas, with another single from his Fundamental CD teaming him with one of today's big young stars. Unlike Smooth, which sounded like an equal partnership, Put Your Lights On seems more like an Everlast song where Santana is just around to add a little color though Carlos' guitar doodling is still interesting. Everlast's warning to all of a danger lurking, which might be him, has the pluses and minuses common to his work. It has a compelling, stark sound and a feeling of sincerity but his messages are delivered so humorlessly and monotonously that each song and each listen means diminishing returns.

  20. Korn-Make Me Bad    (up 13 positions)      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. Our Lady Peace-Is Anybody Home?    (up 4 positions)      buy it!
    Is Anybody Home? is the second hit from Happiness . . . Is Not a Fish You Can Catch. Like most of the Canadian band's work, Is Anybody Home? is serious and intense. It also shows Our Lady Peace's ability to create a good atmosphere with interesting shifts of dynamic. The music varies from Mike Turner's hard rocking guitar to Raine Maida's a capella vocals. The lyrics say that everybody's needy, we're all scared.

  22. Staind-Home    (up 8 positions)      buy it!
    Despite their tough music and attitude, a lot of today's young hard rockers, like Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit, want us to know they have a soul and women can hurt them. On Home, the rock ballad from Staind's Dysfunction CD, Aaron Lewis sings about sacrificing everything for a woman and being totally vulnerable to her: afraid to be alone, afraid she'll leave him when he's gone. It seems a little wimpy but the band makes sure they'll still appeal to the rock kids with crisp drums and power chords on the chorus breaking through the otherwise stark musical setting and heartfelt vocals.

  23. N Sync-Bye Bye Bye    (up 1 position)      buy it!
    From the upcoming No Strings Attached CD, Bye Bye Bye has a decent energy but is still pretty slight. Its lyrics, telling an unworthy suitor to hit the road, are slightly bold for today's teen idols, whose songs are usually about pining for a girl or celebrating how great their girl is.

  24. Backstreet Boys-Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely    (up 3 positions)      buy it!
    Beyond being teen idols, Backstreet Boys have been getting some respect recently. They got Grammy nominations and positive writeups from Robert Christgau of the Village Voice and Ann Powers of the New York Times. I still don't get it. I Want It That Way struck me as an insipid bore. Larger Than Life was generic dance music and the lyrics, allegedly a tribute to their fans, were so vague and unoriginal that their fans should be offended. At least Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely, the third single from the Millennium CD, achieves what it shoots for. It's fairly effective as a big weepy ballad and the singing isn't bad.

  25. No Doubt-Ex-Girlfriend    (up 3 positions)      buy it!
    It's been 4 years since No Doubt released their last album, the very successful Tragic Kingdom, which had the hits Don't Speak, Spiderwebs and Just a Girl. The pressure to follow it was apparently pretty heavy. No Doubt took forever to record the new Return of Saturn CD, discarding a lot of material along the way. Like New, their contribution to the Go soundtrack, Ex-Girlfriend has a fast, energetic appeal but doesn't have the broad appeal of their big hits. Ex-Girlfriend is best when the band creates a frenetic momentum and it's worst when it bogs down in Gwen Stefani's vocal mannerisms. She sings that she should have known better than to be with a love em and leave em guy and readily admits to jealousy of his next victim.

Songs 26-50


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