Music

Critic's Choices

U2, as yet untitled Will they sustain the momentum of All That You Can't Leave Behind -- or will they once again lead themselves astray? We'll know later this year with the arrival of U2's 10th studio album.

THE STREETS, as yet untitled Original Pirate Material, Mike Skinner's batch of wry narrative rhymes set to DIY dance beats, was my favorite album of 2002. Here's hoping the follow-up, due May 3 and featuring the same homegrown, anti-bling-bling production, will be another intoxicating shot of the new pub rap. Let's also hope his collaboration with Coldplay's Chris Martin makes the cut.

CLIPSE, Hell Hath No Fury Some of the Neptunes' sharpest, most organic work was heard on these Virginia brothers' Southern-fried debut, 2002's Lord Willin'. The rapping wasn't always brilliant, but the grooves never let up. With any luck, the producers will be just as inspired on Clipse's second album, out April 6.

BOB DYLAN, The Bootleg Series Volume 6: Bob Dylan Live 1964 -- Concert at Philharmonic Hall The latest Bootleg set, due March 23, unveils another fabled, never-before-released performance, this time from Dylan's preelectric, folk-urchin days. Can't wait to hear ''Talkin' World War III Blues'' or, for extra period-piece appeal, the duets with Joan Baez.

ELLIOTT SMITH, From a Basement on the Hill Plans for releasing the 30-plus songs the troubled troubadour recorded before he died last fall (from now-mysterious stab wounds) are still in the works. But here's one certainty: The final recordings of Warren Zevon and Johnny Cash will sound cheery by comparison.

Originally posted Jan 23, 2004 Published in issue #747-748 Jan 23, 2004 Order article reprints