Best of Song

updated 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

R.E.M.
Monster
Blowing away the folky cobwebs, this deep-thinking band amps up to create that rarest of all musical beasts: a high I.Q. hard rock album. (Warner Bros.)

WAYLON JENNINGS
Waymore's Blues (Part II)
Across a breathtaking aural landscape crafted by Stones producer Don Was, Jennings rides with burly wit and loping rhythm, laughing at his own legend even as he perpetuates it. (RCA)

HOLE
Live Through This
Say what you will about Courtney Love, she is proving to be the most inspired punk priestess since Patti Smith. If Love can keep her demons in check, she has a future. (DGC)

JONI MITCHELL
Turbulent Indigo
Mitchell hasn't sounded so consistently eloquent and inspired since 1974's Court and Spark. This collection of captivating folk-jazz-rock will set the standard for future six-string strummers. (Reprise)

FREEDY JOHNSTON
This Perfect World
If drifters and hard cases were really as observant and poetic as they are in the Kansas folk-rocker's vivid, fervid songs, this might indeed be a perfect world. (Elektra)

SOUNDGARDEN
Super-unknown
The album in which they finally get it right. Epic songwriting and killer riffs help make Soundgarden the second Seattle band after Nirvana worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as Led Zeppelin. (A & M)

LUSCIOUS JACKSON
Natural Ingredients
On their punchy album debut, this female foursome from New York City rap and roll to sly, sassy, supersolid grooves with as much spunk as their beloved musical soulmates, the Beastie Boys. (Grand Royal/Capitol)

ANGELA WINBUSH
Angela Winbush
Mariah Carey may sell more records and Whitney Houston may have a big AT & T endorsement deal, but singer-songwriter-producer Angela Winbush outsings them both without breaking a sweat. (Elektra)

RODNEY CROWELL
Let the Picture Paint Itself
One of Nashville's consummate songwriters surpasses himself with a riveting disquisition on love—ravishingly melodic, propulsively sexy, lyrically eloquent. (MCA)

SARAH McLACHLAN
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
No fumbling on this suite of smart, hymnlike pop. While McLachlan's twentysomething musical peers are content to simply recycle classic rock riffs and cop an attitude, she explores life, love and pain with unflinching honesty and breathtaking grace. (Nettwerk)

FURTHER WORTHIES

•NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE Sleeps with Angels (Reprise)
•SEAL Seal (ZTT/Sire)
•NINE INCH NAILS The Downward Spiral (Nothing/TVT/Interscope)
•DAWN UPSHAW I Wish It So (Elektra/Nonesuch)
•GREEN DAY Dookie (Reprise)

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