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POP : Do You Hear What We Hear? : Prick up your antlers: Calendar's annual recordings guide is here to help you sift through the year's notable pop, jazz, classical, children's and holiday music--and the best of the box sets. : Separating Best Bets From Lumps of Coal

November 27, 1994|Connie Johnson

Calendar's pop staff surveys 40 of the nation's most popular or critically acclaimed albums :

*** ANITA BAKER, "Rhythm of Love," Elektra. This side of Sade, no woman in pop music has a more sensual sound. While not as instantly irresistible as "Rapture," "Rhythm's" sultry charms grow on you.

** BRANDY, "Brandy," Atlantic. The teen-age newcomer imbues the hit "I Wanna Be Down" with self-assured authority, but elsewhere she's saddled with drab, sub-par songs.

* BARRY WHITE, "The Icon Is Love," A&M. Never known for his prim ways, White really spells out his intentions on this randy roundup of bedroom ballads. But so much emphasis on mattress-bouncing can carry you only so far.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good, recommended) and four stars (excellent). A rating of five stars is reserved for reissues or retrospectives.

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