SHAKING THE TREE
Peter Gabriel (Geffen 24326)
There is a difference between a "Greatest Hits" collection, and a "Best Of" compilation, and few albums make that point more clearly than Peter Gabriel's "Shaking the Tree." Sure, it has hits -- "Solsbury Hill," "Shock the Monkey" and "Sledgehammer" are all included -- but the album's greatest strength is that its 16 selections go beyond the expected to show just what makes Gabriel's work so special. And though his songs are often demanding, whether ethnic experiments like the wondrously hypnotic title tune or haunting ballads like the remade "Here Comes the Flood," they reward the listener in ways more accessible pop never manages.
GONNA MAKE YOU SWEAT
C+C Music Factory (Columbia 47093)
It's hard to say why dance music combines are so eager tembrace the industrial when naming themselves -- do they really see their recordings as just so much product? But the only thing that's mechanical about C+C Music Factory is the name; the music generated by producers David Cole and Robert Clivilles on "Gonna Make You Sweat" is strikingly soulful and absolutely infectious. Of course, it doesn't hurt that many of these songs are powered by a voice as incendiary as Zelma Davis', but the real hook here is the originality of the writing. Which is not to say that C+C are above borrowing a bit -- sampling, after all, is the sincerest form of flattery -- but even the most obvious quotes never compromise the music's muscular groove.