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Picks and Pans Main: Music

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CHUCK’S TAKE 5 COMEBACKS I’M WISHING FOR!

1 JANET JACKSON

Yes, she’s been acting, doing some scaled-down shows and, most recently, pitching Nutrisystem. But her career has skidded since that Super Bowl mess. With Michael gone, we need someone to carry on the Jackson legacy-and it’s not LaToya.

FOR NOW I’LL PLAY: 1993’s

janet., her sexual discovery.

2 DAVID BOWIE

Having celebrated his 65th birthday earlier this year, he’s basically retired from music, releasing his last album in ’03. But wouldn’t it be great if Ziggy Stardust-or we’ll take any of Bowie’s guises-could rise once again?

FOR NOW I’LL PLAY: 1990’s

Changesbowie, a compilation of his golden years.

3 D’ANGELO

It’s been 12 years since his last release, Voodoo, but I’m still waiting for him to recapture that neo-soul magic. Hope is alive: He’s performed in Europe this year; a new album is finally expected this fall (we think).

FOR NOW I’LL PLAY: 1995’s

Brown Sugar, his gritty, groundbreaking debut.

4 LAURYN HILL

As she demonstrated so brilliantly on 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, her Grammy-winning solo debut, there’s simply too much talent there for it to be wasted. Now with a rep for erratic gigs, this “Lost One” needs to find herself again.

FOR NOW I’LL PLAY: Miseducation. What else?

5 GEORGE MICHAEL

Whitney Houston’s death-on the heels of his own health crisis-should inspire this other oft-troubled ’80s icon to greater use of his gifts.

FOR NOW I’LL PLAY: 1990’s

Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1, his anti-Faith opus.

NEW ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

WHY I LOVE …

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

Early in their career it seemed like the Red Hot Chili Peppers would be most famous for only wearing socks over their private parts. A gang of crude, cocky California boys crashing the scene as if rap and rock, punk and funk were all one big party, they hardly appeared to have the makings of a band that would stand the test of time. But 28 years after their debut, the Chili Peppers were just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I, for one, couldn’t be more psyched for them. They survived drug problems (leading to the death of original guitarist Hillel Slovak), numerous lineup changes (Dave Navarro, anyone?) and shifting musical trends (from grunge to nu-metal), while surprisingly growing artistically. And with founding members Anthony Kiedis and Flea at the core, they’ve never lost their spirit.