This week on the music beat

Supernova (Music - Lisa Lopes)

STARS AND STRIPES In the early ’90s, country enjoyed an unprecedented boom, inspired, in part, by Gulf War patriotism (and Garth Brooks, of course). Recently the genre has faded somewhat from pop consciousness, but in the aftermath of Sept. 11, country’s comforting themes and flag-waving fervor seem a lot more relevant. And as proof, America-themed tunes are storming the charts, with Billboard Hot 100 appearances from Lee Greenwood’s ”God Bless the U.S.A.,” Aaron Tippin’s ”Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly,” and Brooks & Dunn’s ”Only in America.” An all-star ”America the Beautiful,” featuring Clint Black, Vince Gill, and others, is charting, and versions of the national anthem by Faith Hill and the Dixie Chicks are also connecting with fans. Although Randy Travis wrote his newly released ”America Will Always Stand” in response to the attacks, many of these of-the-moment songs were recorded prior to Sept. 11. ”The truth is that country music has always been about country, about America,” says Jon Anthony, the assistant program director and music director for D.C. country station WMZQ. ”And the healing properties of country radio have been incredible for the past month.”

‘SUPER’ UNKNOWN TLC fans hungry for the new Lisa ”Left Eye” Lopes album will have to wait a little longer. The tempestuous singer’s solo debut, Supernova, was originally due Aug. 14, with a single, ”The Block Party,” sent to radio in July. But the single and its video stiffed. For unexplained reasons, Arista pushed the album to Oct. 23. Now, Supernova has been delayed until 2002 — in the States, that is. ”Party,” it seems, has made more of a ruckus overseas, so Supernova came out in the U.K. and other international markets on Oct. 22. While Lopes records new tunes to beef up the U.S. version and works on a new TLC album, also due next year, you might track Supernova in the import bins.

Supernova (Music - Lisa Lopes)
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