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.


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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