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

*** VARIOUS ARTISTS, "Set It Off" soundtrack, EastWest. Brandy, Gladys Knight, Tamia and Chaka Khan don't gel on the standout track, "Missing You." Songs by the likes of En Vogue and the team of Andrea Martin and Queen Latifah give this record its bite and punch.

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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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