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

Year In Review: 1998

Forget the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync: the year's biggest real story was the comeback of R&B and funk, with powerful, engaging efforts from veteran Chaka Khan, reigning soul queen Mary J. Blige and chameleon-like new artist Rachid. Lauryn Hill's hip hop/soul solo debut was overrated, but still pretty good, and Des'ree and Patti LaBelle also released solid albums.

Aside from the Posies' brilliant kissoff Success, rock was almost silent this year, with most important acts taking the year off; even Living Colour frontman Corey Glover leaned toward R&B on his retro Hymns. That's why we recommend you search out little-known efforts by John Huss Moderate Combo and Laura Wolfe. The outstanding hip hop releases were MC Lyte's all-over-the-map Seven & Seven, the first record in years from Queen Latifah, and a Bone Thugs protege compilation, Mo Thugs' Family Scriptures Chapter II: Family Reunion.

There weren't many duds this year, but make sure you avoid Whitney Houston's phoned-in My Love Is Your Love and another tossed-off Prince side project, New Power Generation's New Power Soul.

Jazz album of the year was Geri Allen's The Gathering; for the third consecutive year, the best Latin record came from Brazil: Caetano Veloso's Livro.

Nothing measured up to our highest standard.

Geri Allen, The Gathering
The Posies, Success
Caetano Veloso, Livro

Mary J. Blige, The Tour
Corey Glover, Hymns
Juan Luis Guerra, Ni Es Lo Mismo Ni Es Igual
Herbie Hancock, Gershwin's World
John Huss Moderate Combo, Lipchitz
Chaka Khan, Come 2 My House
MC Lyte, Seven & Seven
Mo Thugs, Family Scriptures Chapter II: Family Reunion
NG La Banda, Veneno
Orquesta Gitano, Salsa Gitana
Queen Latifah, Order In The Court
Rachid, Prototype
Laura Wolfe, Little Pieces

Adolescent's Orquesta, La Misma Pluma
The Allman Brothers, Dose
James Brown, I'm Back
Cappadonna, The Pillage
Willie Colón, Demasiado Corazón
Des'ree, Supernatural
Digital Underground, Who Got The Gravy?
Tim Hawke, Make You Worry
Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Patti LaBelle, Live! One Night Only
Page/Plant, Walking Into Clarksdale
Public Enemy, He Got Game
Milly Quezada, Vive
The RZA, RZA As Bobby Digital In Stereo
Shithook, When A Boy Scout Get The Blues
Timbaland, Tim's Bio

Cadallaca, Introducing Cadallaca
Bootsy Collins, Fresh Outta "P" University
Juan Carlos y su Dan Den, Salsa En Ataré
Destiny's Child
Aretha Franklin, A Rose Is Still A Rose
Lisette Melendez, Un Poco De Mi
Method Man, Tical 2000: Judgement Day
Joni Mitchell, Taming The Tiger
Midnight Oil, Redneck Wonderland
Nicole Renée
Outkast, Aquemini
Eddie Palmieri, El Rumbero Del Piano
, The Truth
Jonathan Richman, I'm So Confused
Sweetbox, Everything's Gonna Be Alright
Shonen Knife, Happy Hour
Ringo Starr, Vertical Man
Towa Tei, Sound Museum
Why Do Fools Fall In Love? Soundtrack
Wu-Tang Killer Bees, The Swarm

Tori Amos, From The Choirgirl Hotel
Chef Aid: The South Park Album
Cracker, Gentleman's Blues
Sean Driscoll Group, Islands
Jermaine Dupri, Life In 1472
Killah Priest, Heavy Mental
, Crystal Ball
Julie Ruin
Olga Tañón, Te Acordarás De Mí
The Temptations, Phoenix Rising
Dionne Warwick, Dionne Sings Dionne

Eric Clapton, Pilgrim
Lunachicks, Drop Dead Live
Sonic Youth, A Thousand Leaves
Sunz Of Man, Sunz Of Man (The Last Shall Be First)

Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love
New Power Generation, New Power Soul

Nothing measured down to our lowest standard.

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