Making a list? Checking it twice? Here are some guidelines to keep befuddled spouses, parents of teenagers and others on the right track.

*** TONI BRAXTON, "Secrets," LaFace/Arista. Not long on surprise or daring but a beautifully crafted, cohesive work that makes the most of Braxton's talents.


Albums and other items in the Gift Guide are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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