CD reviews part 2

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Heavy D: Peaceful Journey
By Gary Gray, 15, Sunland Christian School

Most parents are not happy with rap music, because the lyrics focus on smoking, drinking and partying. That’s why I chose to review Heavy D who doesn’t rap about those things and is still cool. Just because he promotes rap without swearing or making derogatory comments about women doesn’t make him a goody-two shoes. He’s not labeled a Christian rapper either. He sings about sex, but just not in a vulgar fashion. Two of his songs, "Don’t Curse" and "Sister, Sister," are the most positive songs I’ve ever heard.

Heavy D’s CD Peaceful Journey was done at one of the saddest points in his life. T-Ray, Heavy D’s cousin, died after falling off a balcony while rehearsing in a theater for their next show. Heavy D immediately named his CD Peaceful Journey wishing his cousin just that in the afterlife.

New Found Glory: Sticks and Stones
by Sauntrie Abellera, 16, Bishop Conaty—Our Lady of Loretto HS

This punk rock band from Florida caught my attention when I saw a short clip of the band’s music video "My Friend’s Over You." In June 2002, New Found Glory‘s latest album called Sticks and Stones debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200.

I couldn’t wait to get their album and when I did, I became an instant fan. The beating of the drums makes you bob your head. Guitars and bass make you tap your foot against the floor. And if you really get into it, you might even start jumping up and down. Their lyrics describe good and bad relationships and other life experiences. The vocals are sweet and not too rough or deep. It’s great for those who love punk rock and for those getting into it. It’s hard to pick a favorite song on the CD, but I choose "Understatement." The guitars and drums sound so well together that I wish I had the talent to play. The lyrics are sort of unclear to me, but it doesn’t matter, because I just love the music.

New Found Glory is rising in popularity. They’ve been guests on KROQ’s Loveline and appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. If you like New Found Glory, you’ll enjoy Jimmy Eat World, Blink 182, Weezer and American Hi-Fi.

Ashanti: Ashanti
By Connie Chung, 15, Gabrielino HS

If you haven’t heard any of Ashanti‘s latest singles, one question: Where have you been? This rising diva has collaborated with Ja Rule, Fat Joe, Irv Gotti and many more talented artists. Her self-titled debut album has sold more than two million of copies, releasing top hits such as "Always on Time," "Foolish," and "Down You," just to name a few.

This woman sure can sing! Her passionate and soulful voice is what led her to stardom. It just makes you want to sing along with her. Ashanti’s expressive lyrics are very meaningful and easy to relate to. Whenever you’re feeling low, just blast up this CD and start dancing like no one’s watching. Ashanti’s all about girl power and just doing what you love. That’s all that matters. If you enjoy listening to Ashanti’s style of music, you can also check out Aaliyah or Mary J. Blige.