More Magic, More Analysis, More
Music From Big Name Brits Hit The Charts
SECRETS AND SHRINKS
Sequels are the order of the month, and even our third pick (left) is a remake of a classic.
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second book in J.K. Rowling's series, all of the characters return to Hogwarts for their second year, and as expected, Harry's infamous first year has earned him celebrity status. When the school is again in peril, the students turn to Harry for help. The addition of Kenneth Branagh to the cast as the new Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts adds to this witty and entertaining film.
Analyze That brings psychiatrist Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal) and his former patient, mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro), together again when Vitti is granted a conditional release from prison into Sobel's care and custody. Crystal and De Niro (at right) play wonderfully off of one another and their chemistry is what makes an implausible plot and characters seem downright reasonable.
One More Car, One More Rider (Reprise)
Recorded in L.A. and Tokyo during his 2001 tour for Reptile, the 19 songs here cover a vast wealth of material that does nothing short of proving that Slowhand's best work is done on stage. Bending his classic blues-infused licks to the breaking point, Sir Eric switches between acoustic ("Bell Bottom Blues," "Tears in Heaven") and electric ("Father's Eyes," "She's Gone") guitar solos with equal ease including both electric and acoustic renditions of crowd-pleaser "Layla." Pick up the special three-disc package that includes a DVD, and you're that much closer to having your holiday shopping done.
When we last heard from Collins, he was busy picking up a Grammy, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar for his work on the 1999 Disney soundtrack Tarzan. Today, he's promoting his first solo album in six years. Even as Collins is moving forward on lyrics that reflect where he's currently at in his life, there are still nods to the former Genesis frontman's past. The driving bass line on the opener ("Wake Up Call") is reminiscent of "Abacab," and "Come with Me" hints at "Follow You Follow Me." Collins also returns to his throne behind the kit on several songs, including "Don't Get Me Started" and "Through My Eyes," where his signature drum rolls still sound like exclamation points.
Best of Bowie (Virgin) David Bowie has never been an artist who stays in one place where his music, or fashion for that matter, is concerned. True to form, there are several twists and turns on this latest greatest-hits package - for one, listeners have the option of a double (39 tracks) or single (20) disc. But the truly impressive alterations are the 16 different versions of the album being released around the world all with different track listings and designs. Can you say ch-ch-ch-ch-changes? A DVD "best of" catalog that captures Bowie in all of his colorful glory hits the shelves this month as well.
- JAMES E. MAYFIELD