The short version:
Anggun—Snow on the Sahara: 4/10
The Roots—Game Theory: 7/10
I've been listening to (what I believe is) Anggun's debut album, Snow on the Sahara. It's really light pop, mostly sung in French. And... it's pretty forgettable. Nothing on this CD really sticks out or makes you want to check out any future Anggun albums. The best tracks on here are A Rose in the Wind (video) and Dream of Me (0:30 clip).
But, it's a good thing that I heard her latest album first. Anggun's Luminescence is great! It's much more upbeat and fun. In contrast to Snow, it was tough picking just a few favorites from here. For me, this is one of those CDs that you start again immediately after it finishes. Anggun's got a beautiful, powerful voice, and the accompaniment is excellent. There's a variety of styles on the disc, from electronic pop to rock to easy listening to the dance remixes at the end of the album. For a good sampling, check out Cesse la Pluie (video for Transporter II), to which I'm addicted, Être une Femme (video), Quelqu'un, and Human.
Finally, I checked out the latest disc from The Roots, Game Theory. Overall it's a fine rap CD, but at best it's my third favorite Roots CD, after Phrenology and The Tipping Point. Even though it's not one of my favorites, there are plenty of good tracks on here. The Roots sort of bill themselves are more serious, less pop-oriented rap music, though they've had their share of radio-friendly singles. Some of the songs on here are kind of intense. My favorite tracks on this disc are Baby featuring John-John of Nouveau Riche, Here I Come featuring Dice Raw of Nouveau Riche and Malik B., and Long Time featuring Peedi Peedi and Bunny Sigler, all great. This is another CD with a lot of different styles all on one disc—in contrast to my three favorites, you might check out Don't Feel Right (0:30) and In the Music.