CHOCOLATE STARFISH AND…
ARTIST Limp Bizkit
WHO Napster-promoting, Woodstock ’99 crowd-inciting, ”Nookie”-loving Floridian quintet
MUSICAL STYLE Hostile, high-energy punk-metal-rap
THINK Young, loud, and P.O.’d though who knows why
RECURRENT THEMES Sure, we’re filthy rich, but we’re as screwed up, alienated, and lonely as our fans.
TYPICAL LYRIC ”It’s a f—ed up world, a f—ed up place/Everybody’s judged by their f—ed up face.”
SEX/VIOLENCE CONTENT Full of sexual references and ”f— you” attitude.
LANGUAGE Let’s see…how about 46 ”f—”s? And that’s just in the first song.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT Ms. Manners take note: Each member politely thanks ”Mom & Dad” in the liner notes.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD Extolling the glories of the male-centric rock & roll lifestyle — using a smaller vocabulary than your child’s
ARTIST Ricky Martin, the swivel-hipped phenom who oozes sex appeal and makes spiritual pilgrimages to India
WHO Bon-bon shaking Latin pop-and-grind, interspersed with contemplative crooning
MUSICAL STYLE Elvis and Julio, down by the strip club
RECURRENT THEMES I’m a sweet, tender guy… who has nothing against a hot una noche stand.
TYPICAL LYRIC ”Move like a thing, swing like a thong/And do your jiggy mama till the break of dawn.”
SEX/VIOLENCE CONTENT He’s a Latin lover, not a fighter.
LANGUAGE Lyrics as suggestive as they are goofy — but no four-letter words
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT Ricky wants to be loved for more than just ”kicks, private jets and Armani.” And the is bilingual — extra credit for Spanish class!
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ”Mommy, what do ‘One Night Man’ and ‘She Bangs’ mean?”
WHO English singer-songwriter whose ’99 debut has become a sleeper hit with the slumber-party set
MUSICAL STYLE Dreamy ambient-pop
THINK Sarah McLachlan stirred with Seal and a dash of Enya
RECURRENT THEMES Love feels so good, love hurts so bad.
TYPICAL LYRIC ”I’d like to watch you sleep at night, to hear you breathe by my side.”
SEX/VIOLENCE CONTENT Just swoony odes to lying in a lover’s arms
LANGUAGE No swearing here — the talk is lovesick and intimate.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT Teen girls will relate to the journal-style lyrics. And ”Slide” counsels that ”it’s all right to make mistakes, we’re all human.”
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD The oblique reference to an abortion in ”Isobel” could lead to an unwanted discussion.
WHO LET THE DOGS OUT
ARTIST Baha Men
WHO Bahamians who went global with their single — and ubiquitous sports-event fave — ”Who Let the Dogs Out”
MUSICAL STYLE Dance grooves laced with hip-hop, world beat, and Caribbean music
THINK Catchy Carnival-pop
RECURRENT THEMES It’s always a good time to party.
TYPICAL LYRIC ”This party’s getting hotter, getting hotter/I wanna let my hair down…”
SEX/VIOLENCE CONTENT Some good-natured booty calls
LANGUAGE Gets randy, but not misogynistic
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT Plenty of sweet love songs, and that title track encourages impromptu family sing-alongs during halftime.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD Rallying cry to ”party all day and all through the night/Come on and get wild and lose your mind…”
BLACK & BLUE
ARTIST Backstreet Boys
WHO Uber-harmonizing boy band, back to reclaim their turf
MUSICAL STYLE Much like the last Backstreet Boys , with a bit more musical diversity
THINK We were here before ‘N Sync, dammit!
RECURRENT THEMES Hearts are pledged, hearts are shaped, hearts are full.
TYPICAL LYRIC ”I cannot hide, I can’t erase/The way you make me feel inside/You complete me girl…”
SEX/VIOLENCE CONTENT The only violence here is the breaking of hearts.
LANGUAGE The boys do get a bit snippy on ”Get Another Boyfriend.”
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT Many romantic, prom-ready songs; many photos of their wacky hairstyles
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ”The Call” — wherein a two-timing lover cheats on his girl — could encourage creative ways to be devious.