Maxed Out

A great compilation of the hottest tracks going at the moment.

As in Maximum Music, the tenth album in this series admits to the winning wattage of women, with more than half of these eighteen entries backed by sirens in skirts. Holding ground with the heavyweights - Jennifer Lopez ("I’m Gonna be Alright"), Shakira ("Underneath Your Clothes"), Celine Dion ("A New Day Has Come") and Pink ("Get The Party Started") - are fledglings - Michelle Branch ("Everywhere") nd Alicia Keys ("A Woman’s Worth").

Indie cult figure Alanis Morissette, with tamed locks and a tempered version of her trademark rock, washes her "Hands Clean" of unoriginal cats like Holly Valance ("Kiss Kiss") and testosterone-pumped Anastasia ("Boom"). Brandy’s curiously-scored "What About Us" breaks R&B rules, but M2M ("What You Do About Me") need to pump some fresh blood into their closeted vein.

There’s sufficient variety in the smaller sample of male acts with rock, rap and plenty of rhythm from Darren Hayes ("Insatiable") and Will Smith ("Black Suits Coming") to a latent force in Trik Turner and their "Friends And Family".

Eclectic enough, this one probably has all you’ve heard before. But maybe that’s why you’ll want to bag it.

This article was first published on10 Dec 2002.