The soundtrack to Eddie Murphyís latest movie Daddy Day Care is out now on Columbia, and features classic Ď70s and Ď80s tracks from Katrina and the Waves ("Walking on Sunshine"), Bachman-Turner Overdrive ("Takiní Care of Business"), Harry Nilsson ("Coconut"), Ramones ("I Wanna Be Sedated") Jackson 5 ("ABC"), Bow Wow Wow ("I Want Candy") and more.

Byrds - The EssentialByrds fans can now pick up a 33-song, two-disc compilation of the classic Ď60s band which served as the springboard for David Crosby and Gram Parsons, spawned splinter group The Flying Burrito Brothers, and influenced hundreds of bands, from R.E.M. to Uncle Tupelo. The Essential Byrds on Columbia/Legacy, more or less replaces another Columbia Byrds collection from a decade ago (20 Essential Tracks from the Box Set 1965-1990) and includes their breakthrough Bob Dylan covers "Mr. Tambourine Man," "All I Really Want To Do," and "You Ainít Going Nowhere," as well as their own original hits like "Iíll Feel a Whole Lot Better," "Eight Miles High" and "So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star." It also includes their last collaboration with David Crosby, "Lady Friend," which never appeared on a Byrds studio album.

Those inflamed with patriotic fervor can stoke the fire with Sonyís America The Beautiful compilation, which includes The Mormon Tabernacle Choirís "Star Spangled Banner," Lee Greenwoodís "God Bless The U.S.A.," Johnny Cashís Ragged Old Flag" and Pete Seegerís "This Land Is Your Land," among other similar fare.

The Sony Legacy label also offers a collection of vintage jump swing "flapper" hits from the Ď20s, for those who couldnít get enough of the mood set by the movie musical Chicago. The compilation Now Thatís Chicago includes almost two dozen songs from the era by artists that most people wonít recognize 80 years later (consequently, the artists donít even get their names on the back cover!) But acts like The Hot Air-Men, Frankie Half Pint Jaxon & His Hot Shots, California Ramblers and one band that swing jazz fans definitely will remember Ė Joe Turner & His Memphis Men (which included Duke Ellington) ó are collected here with songs like "Red Hot Chicago," "Raisiní the Roof," "She Knows Her Onions," "Heís Still My Baby," "No Manís Mama" "I Got It But It Donít Do Me No Good" and "Two-Time Man."Itís like listening to the soundtrack to an old episode of "The Little Rascals" or the original black and white "Mickey Mouse" cartoons.

 

Chantal Kreviazuk - What If It All Means Something? Chantal Kreviazuk
What If It All Means Something
(Columbia)


Itís been six years since Chantal was first touted by Columbia as the labelís answer to Tori Amos. That debut album, Under These Rocks and Stones, showed a singer-songwriter with promise, but without a singular style. In the hands of producer Peter Asher (James Taylor, Amanda Marshall, 10,000 Maniacs, Linda Ronstadt), Kreviazuk came off as a lightweight Tori Amos wannabe, with lyrical nods at Paula Cole and Alanis Morrisette. In short, she sounded pleasant, but unoriginal.

Fast forward six years and thatís all changed. What If It All Means Something? is Kreviazukís third album, and the years of touring and stints in the studio have matured her abilities. While occasionally still sounding Amos-derivative ("Miss April" sounds like any number of jaunty piano-based Amos character stories), Kreviazuk offers a dozen emotive, celebratory anthems of soul-baring power on her latest release.

In the first piano chords and guitar strums of "In This Life," Kreviazuk offers to "Let me show you what Iím made of" and through the rest of the song Ė and album Ė she does just that. "In This Life" is a powerhouse declaration of self-confidence and the power of love. In the midst of a litany of promises, she cautions a lover, "you can run from me/and you can hide from me/but I am right beside you/in this life."

Kreviazuk slips easily between guitar crunch and adult contemporary soundscapes here (even offering a touch of Eastern melodicism in the lilting "Ready For Your Love"), and the dichotomy of strength and vulnerability in her vocals pulls it all together.

There are a number of high points, including the querulous "What If It All Means Something?" which repeats a life question that everyone has asked at some point (and also holds the faintest hint of "Magical Mystery Tour" keyboards). And with the throbbing percussion of "Morning Light," she channels the taut edginess of a young Sinead OíConnor as she sings of early morning desires ("I love a little loving with the morning light/a little reminder that itís all right" goes the chorus).

What If It All Means Something? brims with alluring pop thatís begging for airplay. It closes with a stirring hymn that perfectly describes the album itself: "Feels Like Home (To Me)."