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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|Heidi Siegmund

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

** BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY, "Creepin On Ah Come Up," Ruthless/Relativity. The Clevelanders emulate Spice-1's hard-core rap stylings quite capably, and they come up with the first successful fusion of gospel and hard-core.

* 1/2 BOYZ II MEN, "II," Motown. The credits read like a Who's Who of R&B songwriters and producers, but the album consists of limp ballads with unchallenging lyrics.

*** SCARFACE, "The Diary," Rap-A Lot/Noo Trybe/Virgin. An aural journey through a hard mind flooded with thoughts of funerals, tears, drugs and confusion. Unapologetically true to the origins of gangsta rap.

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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