METRO PLUS

Beat street

THE FIRST single from the upcoming album It's Like That produced by Mariah Carey and Jermain Dupri-featuring Fat Man Scoop, is climbing Billboard Hot 100, R&B/Hip-Hop charts on US pop and urban radio. For her 10th studio album, a long-awaited follow-up to 2002's Charm bracelet, Carey continues to work with leading R&B and hip-hop producers and artistes Neptunes, Nelly, Twista, Kayne West and Snoop Dogg. "Mimi is a very personal nickname only used by those closest to me. I am celebrating the fact that I've grown into a person and artist who no longer feels imprisoned by my insecurities or compelled to try and live up to someone else's vision of `Mariah Carey'. I feel free and unashamed to be who I really am... And that's what the music of this album and it's title reflect," says Carey.

NYC ART pop duo, signed to Ministry Of Sound for �1 million, come back with the long-awaited follow-up to their groundbreaking debut, #1. Rolling Stone called it "an alternate galaxy hit" and NME as "the best thing to happen to music since electricity." For their second album, Fischerspooner have a new agenda. Inspired musically by classic and psychedelic rock, the familiar electro clash is suffused with analogue sounds, live instruments and a lush new ambience. And it is already touted as a bona fide headphone album, layered with hidden sounds. "I was thinking of songs I remembered hearing on the radio as a kid," says Fischer. "That warm seventies FM sound coming off the radio from bands like The Beatles or Pink Floyd," he adds. The album takes its name from the emotional and artistic journey it took to make, unmistakably Fischerspooner. The album hits music stores come March 14.

Beat street

"LOOKING AT the track listing for this CD is like one giant flashback to my life with The Beach Boys. The people at Capitol kept me very busy in the studio.

A lot of love went into our singing, our harmonies, the making of those records," says Brian Wilson. "It's fantastic to look out on our concert audiences in the year 2003, the 40th anniversary of `Surfin' USA', and seeing the faces of thousands of happy people basking in the sounds of summer. It is so great to see kids from 8 to 80 appreciating the good vibrations through the generations, " adds Mike Love.

Inductees of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame and winners of the Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award, The Beach Boys foursome began singing about America's then newest craze, surfing, in 1961.

Their sound, sun-drenched harmonies and golden melodies, and a taste of California. "I hope these songs bring the happiness of the summer to everyone," adds Al Jardine.

SYEDA FARIDA