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‘Secret’s’ Out of the Bag : Live leads album sales, followed by LeAnn Rimes.

What’s Happening

Live’s “Secret Samadhi” was the nation’s top-selling album last week, SoundScan reported Wednesday. The follow-up to the band’s multi-platinum 1994 album, “Throwing Copper,” sold about 227,000 copies during the seven-day period that ended Sunday. Coming in at No. 2 and 3 were LeAnn Rimes’ “Unchained Melody: The Early Years” and Erykah Badu’s “Baduizm.”

What’s Hot

Here are some recent releases that are generating critical or commercial attention:

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The Offspring’s “Ixnay on the Hombre” (Columbia). Despite moving from an independent label to a major, nothing on this richly varied and thoroughly smart fourth album, including power ballad “Gone Away,” feels like a sellout.

Various artists’ “Gridlock’d” soundtrack (Death Row/Interscope). With “Life Is a Traffic Jam,” the late 2Pac proves himself a true warrior poet, with an artistic range that extends even to jazz.

Pavement’s “Brighten the Corners” (Matador/Capitol). Like Beck, Pavement unreels long strings of imagery, concocting a disarming blend of charm and mystery.

Spice Girls’ “Spice” (Virgin). This sexy, prepackaged female version of the Monkees appears shamelessly one-dimensional--even if it’s all in the name of fun.

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Silverchair’s “Freak Show” (Epic). Much of this gloriously imperfect work of garage metal suggests that these hard-rocking Australian teenagers are actually growing up.


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