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

*** TRICKY, "Pre-Millennium Tension," Island. It smokes with the slow-burning hip-hop reminiscent of the rapper-producer's recent work, and sizzles with his trademark cynicism and paranoia. But it's not the kind of genre-buster Tricky has trained his fans to expect.


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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