Sacred Songs CD

Sacred Songs, sung by tenor Roberto Alagna, with the City of Toulouse Choir and Orchestra (conducted by Michel Plasson) EMI Classics

The 14 selections on this magnificent CD all sound secular, yet also somehow sacred. The CD opens with the old favorite Ave Maria (Hail Mary), followed three songs later by an arrangement of the popular song Midnight, Christians (O Holy Night). I didn’t recognize most of the other songs, but I definitely enjoyed listening to this entire collection of beautiful music, which mostly was composed in the 1800s. In fact, I turned the CD up quite loud, at home - very entertaining and inspiring. The cover shows a handsome, smiling Roberto Alagna, the famous tenor who in 1988 won the Luciano Pavarotti International Competition in Philadelphia, and who in 2004 was named Artiste Lyrique de L'année at the Victoire de la Musique Classique awards. Despite the cute picture, the CD apparently is not a big seller; currently on Amazon you can only buy it from a third party. Not a good sign. Released in 1996, the CD joined the library collection in February. I recommend it for good listening at home, or on a long August cross-country drive.

Getting Old is Getting Tougher

Just ask Matt Scudder, star of Lawrence Block's best mystery series. Scudder thinks he's sailing into retirement, hanging out at AA meetings and annoying his wife when a best friend dies and more murders than you can count start to pile up around him. Reviewers give All the Flowers Are Dying raves, so give it a listen.

Faith Hill Has Third No. 1 Hit

Fireflies, the cd by Faith Hill has earned the top spot on the Billboard 200. This cd marks a return to her country roots. The lead single, Mississippi Girl, is No. 3 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Coldplay - X&Y

Coldplay's third album X&Y is still the #1 seller on If you enjoyed their previous albums (Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head), you're sure to love this one. If you're a newcomer to this group, check 'em out if you enjoy l

The Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business

Check out the latest album from The Black Eyed Peas: Monkey Business. It's been on the top of the Billboard Charts since its release. The album features such artists as Justin Timberlake, James Brown, and Sting. Like their other albums, listeners experience a variety of musical genres including hip-hop, funk, rock, and pop.

Extremely Dangerous Home Makeover

Amateur sleuth Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree is still trying to restore her 1823 Federal home in Eastport, Maine, but murder keeps getting in the way. In Tool and Die, Jake works her way into another treacherous entanglement with a clever, determined killer. A top-notch narration by Lindsay Ellison makes this as enjoyable a listen as Mallets Aforethought and Unhinged, two previous books in the Home Repair is Murder series by Sarah Graves.

Now 19

Bursting into the number one spot on the Billboard 200 Chart this week is Now 19. Who knew that these compilations of current pop music would be so in demand and still going strong with the nineteenth cd in the collection!

Totally Hits 2005 is one other choice if you desire to sample a smorgasbord of hits.

Get Behind Me Satan

Detroit rockers The White Stripes continue their musical experimentation with their latest album Get Behind Me Satan. Compared to their previous albums, this one features a much greater variety of sounds. Jack White's usual wailing guitar solos are only present in a few songs, most notably in "Blue Orchid" - their first single. Instead, listeners hear several new instruments such as piano, marimba, tambourine, and acoustic guitar. This being their fifth album, The White Stripes manage to keep their fans on their toes with this fresh new sound.

The Killers - Hot Fuss

The Killers' debut album Hot Fuss has now been on the Billboard charts for 57 weeks and is currently positioned at #25. Their music, described as punk/new wave, is reminiscent of several 80's bands, such as The Cure, The Smiths, and others. Despite these oft-made comparisons, The Killers maintain a unique sound with such hits as "Somebody Told Me" and "Mr. Brightside." Enjoy!

Green Day Heads MTV Video Award Nominees

The popular, punk-pop band, Green Day leads the MTV Video Award Nominations with 8 nominations - including two for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "American Idiot." Other nominees include Gwen Stefani, Missy Elliot, U2, Kelly Clarkson, Coldplay and Snoop Dogg. The 22nd annual MTV awards will be broadcast from Miami on Aug. 28. on MTV.

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