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  Listen Up! 1/1/03 Listen Up!

Thursday, Jan. 1

The Roots, “Phrenology,” MCA Records. Rhythm, rhythm, rhythm. All kinds of rhythm. Rhythm drawn from rock, from reggae, from jazz, from soul, from hip-hop. There are words on this record, too, but I sure ain’t hearing them. Just rhythmic flow in the raps, rhythmic sliding in the sung bits. Powerful record.

Aaron Neville, “Believe,” Tell-It Records. Of course, he sings real purty. These songs are mostly schlock, but you know, sometimes schlock can be moving. Neville’s rendition of “Ave Maria” is always welcome, and I was even pleased to hear a new version of “I Believe,” the 70s chestnut I remember from my days in Concert Choir. It’s easy to tune in and out of this album of mostly religious or quasi-religious songs which may or may not have been taken from previous records, but it’s never painful when you pay attention.

--Steve Pick



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