Artist: All Saints
Who: Four funky females from the U.K.
Musical Style: Club scene
Think: Street-smart Spice Girls
Recurrent themes: Relationships
Typical lyric: ”I like playing games/And if it’s all the same/You can bring it on with the rough stuff”
Sex/violence: These girls have sex on the brain.
What’s good about it: Girl power lives on.
What’s not so good: The call for sex without commitment
Big Willie Style
Artist: Will Smith
Who: The artist formerly known as the Fresh Prince
Musical Style: Soft-core rap
Think: Your own kids making up rhymes
Recurrent themes: Will Smith, celebrity
Typical lyric: ”Who’d have thought my life would be such an interesting topic?”
Sex/violence: Some sex talk
Language: Pretty mild
What’s good about it: It’s a kinder, gentler side of rap.
What’s not so good: The Man in Black has gotten a little full of himself.
Left of the Middle
Artist: Natalie Imbruglia
Who: Onetime Aussie soap star now singing about everyday dramas (”Torn”)
Musical Style: Lilith Fair fare
Think: One part Alanis, two parts Lisa Loeb
Recurrent themes: Female angst
Typical lyric: ”Could have turned left/Could have turned right/But I ended up here/Bang in the middle of real life”
What’s good about it: The message that you can survive after a breakup
What’s not so good: Imbruglia’s getting more attention for her looks than for her music.
Who: Shirtless 19-year-old Babyface protege
Musical Style: As he describes it, ”hip-hop soul pop”
Think: Pre-meltdown Bobby Brown
Recurrent themes: Sex and love, in that order
Typical lyric: ”Constantly thinking of things to do/Places where we can make love/I wanna freak you/ I’ll freak you wherever you want”
Sex/violence: One big booty call
Language: An occasional zinger
What’s good about it: Dedicated to helping kids in his community, Usher himself is a good role model.
What’s not so good: Seductive lyrics such as ”I promise I’ll be gentle, I’m gonna give you all that I’ve got/Don’t say no, let your body go”
Let’s Talk About Love
Artist: Celine Dion
Who: Titanic Canadian pop diva
Musical Style: Lite FM
Think: Streisand sans subtlety
Recurrent themes: The title says it all.
Typical lyric: ”I hate you/Then I love you/Then I love you/Then I hate you/Then I love you more”
Language: One passionate damn
What’s good about it: It’s the stuff of young girls’ fantasies.
What’s not so good: Style wins out over substance.