<%-- Page Title--%> Popbeat <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 112 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

July 4, 2003

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Saïan Supa Crew: X Raisons - International Version

The dearth of inspirational rap lyricists makes French hip-hop's language barrier seem less significant. If you find yourself listening to rap for the sound rather than the meaning, why restrict yourself to English-speaking MCs?
Saïan Supa Crew had help from anglophone MCs, including Roots Manuva and Brand Nubian, in rejigging their 2001 album X Raisons for a global audience - but it's the sextet's native tongue, often delivered at helter-skelter velocity, that gives the album its energy and charisma.
The production, meanwhile, requires no translation. As nimble, playful and melodic as Jurassic 5 or A Tribe Called Quest, it's for those who like their hip-hop fun-sized (one track replicates Hendrix's Voodoo Chile with a human beatbox). And if you're bilingual enough to unpick their peppery commentary on the police, gang violence and religion from the dense tangles of French slang, then that's a bonus.

Amy Studt: False Smiles

Bling-bling ladies admire Mis-Teeq's sparkling sass and skater girls have got Avril Lavigne's pout to practice in front of the mirror. But there has been no role model for the limp-haired, shiny-faced, misunderstood teen for whom designer labels are evil and angst is a poetic necessity. Until now.
For Amy Studt, being 16 is less about being sweet than surviving.
Although she is a protege of Simon "Spice Girls" Fuller, Studt isn't your usual pop princess: she has the requisite centre parting of a singer-songwriter and the troubled soul of the least popular girl at school.
Armed with classy, catchy songs - co-written by Karen Poole of Alisha's Attic, Gary Barlow and the usual Swedish suspects - Studt keeps the mood thoughtful and vocal gymnastics to a minimum.
She is spiky on Misfit and swooning on the dreamy Carry Me Away, before standing up for the scruffy and sensitive on Ladder in My Tights, hesitant as she swears, an angel in unfashionable clothes.

Pop News

The release of Radiohead's Hail to the Thief is finally upon us, meaning that pop crits can assume their most chin-stroking stance and pontificate at length. The NME has actually been doing this for the last six months, with soporific weekly bulletins about the progress of the album. Last week it was reduced to detailing the band's promotional schedule, producing behind-the-scenes revelations such as: "May 26 - Radiohead didn't get the chance to relax on their bank-holiday Monday. Instead, they squeezed in two photo shoots, a magazine interview and a rehearsal for the next day's later appearance."
Reaction to the album from the rest of the press was less breathless. Although London's Time Out declared, "It sees them balancing a desire for experimentation with some of their stompiest tunes since The Bends," Q cautioned, "Some of it comes dangerously close to being all experimentalism and precious little substance." The Guardian grumbled, "Neither startlingly different...nor packed with the sort of anthemic songs that once made them the world's biggest band." Thom and the Head boys can expect a straight-in-at-number-one scenario, anyway, while Coldplay - aka last year's Radiohead - may find themselves overlooked at the next Brit Awards.

Billboard Top Five Albums

1. Luther Vandross, Dance With My Father
2. Metallica, St. Anger
3. Radiohead, Hail To The Thief
4. Annie Lennox, Bare
5. George Strait, Honkytonkville

Billboard Top Five R&b/hip-hop Albums

1. Luther Vandross, Dance With My Father
2. Joe Budden, Joe Budden
3. Soundtrack, 2 Fast 2 Furious
4. David Banner, Mississippi: The Album
5. 50 Cent, Get Rich Or Die Tryin'

Billboard Top Independent Albums

1. Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, Kings Of Crunk
2. Various Artists, Vans Warped Tour 2003 Compilation
3. Dropkick Murphys, Blackout
4. Mannheim Steamroller/C.W. McCall, American Spirit
5. Craig Morgan, I Love It







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