Gilberto Gil's world tour in 1997 was a startling revelation for North American audiences who had not heard from him live in several years, if at all. Quanta Live was recorded in Rio not long before his appearance at the Hollywood Bowl – and unlike the latter concert, which was strongly rooted in the samba, this CD more fully reflects Gil's role as a pioneer of Brazil's cosmopolitan "tropicalismo" music movement.
The fifth season of the science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing on the Fox network in the United States on November 2, 1997, concluding on the same channel on May 17, 1998, and contained 20 episodes. The season was the last in Vancouver, Canada; subsequent episodes would be shot in Los Angeles, California. In addition, this was the first season of the show where the course of the story was planned in advance, due to the 1998 The X-Files feature film being filmed before it, but schedule to be released after it aired.
The fifth season of the series focused heavily on FBI federal agents Fox Mulder's (David Duchovny) loss of faith in the existence of extraterrestrials and his partner, Dana Scully's (Gillian Anderson), resurgence of health following her bout with cancer. New characters were also introduced, including agents Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens) and Diana Fowley (Mimi Rogers) and the psychic Gibson Praise (Jeff Gulka). The finale, "The End", led up to both the 1998 film and the sixth season premiere "The Beginning".
A Deeper Kind of Slumber moves Tiamat even farther away from traditional heavy metal, with synthesizers dominating the arrangements and Johan Edlund doing completely away with metal growling in favor of an unearthly croon. Although it's not very metallic, the music is quite heavy in its own way, creating a numb, sleepy ambience that feels both introverted and resignedly pessimistic; perhaps this is due to Edlund's conceiving the album at home with little outside input, and his relationship difficulties at the time…
Unexpectedly, Texas became a popular sensation prior to the release of White on Blonde when Chris Evans made the soulful single "Say What You Want" the de facto theme song on his morning program on Radio 1. On the strength of his support, Texas was catapulted to previously unthinkable success, and the majority of the fans who thought the number one single was fine shouldn't have been disappointed with the full-length album. A combination of roots-rock and soul, White on Blonde occasionally has more style than substance, but Sharleen Spiteri's gorgeous vocals and the band's professionalism make the record a charming, ingratiating listen.
Richard Marx's Greatest Hits performs a valuable service for his fans, collecting all of his hit singles – "Don't Mean Nothing," "Should've Known Better," "Endless Summer Nights," "Hold on to the Nights," "Satisfied," "Right Here Waiting," "Angela," "Children of the Night," "Keep Coming Back," "Hazard," "Take This Heart," "Now and Forever" – on one disc. For both the casual and the longtime fan, this is a blessing, since Marx's albums were usually uneven, featuring a few strong cuts surrounded by filler. Greatest Hits cuts away the chaff, leaving behind on the best cuts, resulting in an ideal career summary of this popular MOR pop/rocker.