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

*** FIONA APPLE, "Tidal," Work/Clean Slate. While her naughty, defiant edge will inspire comparisons to Alanis Morissette, Apple's relatively literate lyrics and spare, brooding arrangements evoke more sophisticated influences.

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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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