MUSIC: SERVING UP ENGLISH SOUL

FROM DES'REE'S PERSONAL AFFIRMATIONS TO TRICKY'S YEARNING HIP-HOP, THE BRITS HAVE BROUGHT A FRESH TWIST TO RHYTHM AND BLUES

The British aren't coming. Three decades after the Beatles led the first British invasion of the American music scene, English rock 'n' roll is about as powerful a cultural force in the States as French cinema. The only British rock band appearing in the Top 40 of Billboard magazine's album charts is Bush-a grungy quartet whose passports may be British but whose lead singer looks and sounds as if he's been hanging out in Seattle coffee bars with Eddie Vedder.

But this is not to say that the English music scene is derivative or dead. Far from it. The most impressive,...

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