POP : Do You Hear What We Hear? : Prick up your antlers: Calendar's annual recordings guide is here to help you sift through the year's notable pop, jazz, classical, children's and holiday music--and the best of the box sets. : Separating Best Bets From Lumps of Coal

Calendar's pop staff surveys 40 of the nation's most popular or critically acclaimed albums :

** CRISTIAN, "El camino del alma," Fonovisa. Despite an eclectic mix of styles and big-time guests, the Mexican romantic sensation's third album offers nothing new.

*** LUIS MIGUEL, "Segundo Romance," WEA Latina. Updated, well-produced versions of classic romantic bolero and tango songs, this will easily please fans and convert newcomers.

*** 1/2 CARLOS VIVES, "Clasicos de la Provincia," PolyGram Latino. The former soap opera star's pop version of classic vallenato, the folk music of the Colombian coast valleys, has rock and reggae touches to make the dead dance.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good, recommended) and four stars (excellent). A rating of five stars is reserved for reissues or retrospectives.

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