Wilson and Alroy's Record Reviews - We listen to the lousy records so you won't have to.

Year In Review: 1994

The year's biggest music story had to be the suicide of Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain; you couldn't turn on MTV without seeing that damn Unplugged appearance, and widow Courtney Love's band Hole shot to undeserved critical and commercial success. Neil Young even included a song about Cobain on his latest release. Across the water, Britpop made a huge commercial splash with the derivative debut of Oasis. But for our money, the best Gen Xers active this year were Riot Grrrls 7 Year Bitch and faerie queen Tori Amos. In hip hop, Da Brat's adaptation of electrofunk yielded the single "Funkdafied," which topped the charts for months.

Many rockers from the 60s and 70s were either inactive or forming pathetic reunion tours, but Richard Thompson came up with the year's best release, Mirror Blue, Joni Mitchell won a Grammy for Turbulent Indigo, and Carly Simon bounced back with the lively Letters Never Sent. Adrian Belew released another catchy one-man Beatlefest.

We haven't heard many really appalling discs from this year, aside from the mega-popular soundtrack to The Lion King and Bush's unlistenable faux Britpop; there are two discs we recommend for fans only: Donna Summer's Christmas album, and the Beatles' collection of BBC recordings.

The year's best jazz record was Geri Allen's 21; top Latin album was India's Dicen Que Soy. (DBW)

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