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Profile for M. A. Reilly > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
M. A. Reilly "michaelreilly1878"

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Awake O Sleeper
Awake O Sleeper
Offered by all my music
Price: £39.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Very classy album, 19 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Awake O Sleeper (Audio CD)
A surprise gem for me, this album, as I bought it on the strength of seeing Gentry do a short gig of about 5 or 6 songs but on the strength of what I heard was confident enough to buy it knowing it would be good. I wasn't disappointed. Although some songs are stronger than others none of them are duds. The reviewer 'Wills' complains about Old Josef and in a way I know what he means. It's a creepy track about a very dark subject, but I suspect that Gentry is trying out his song-writing skills away from the easy and the popular.
It is music in, I suppose, the modern folk tradition but don't let any label put you off listening to this rare talent. There are some seriously good songs on this album.

Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £9.95

9 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you don't know this album, listen first -then decide, 29 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Wish You Were Here (Audio CD)
This is the first album I ever bought without hearing any of the content. After Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon I thought Pink Floyd could do no wrong. How wrong I was! This whole album sounds like barely rehearsed ideas that never really get to a finished state. Lyrically it is puerile. Yes,I know the cliched phrases in Have a Cigar are meant to parody the monster that is the music industry but the lyrical content does not improve in other songs.

'Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail'

'He always ate in the Steak bar.He loved to drive his Jaguar'

Two out of ten and see me after school !

Shine On You Crazy Diamond is OK but as one of the more critical reviewers has noted it takes a long time to get going. However, it all goes downhill after this. The music is dull and uninteresting and if there are any ideas they are leaden and overstated. I suspect if anyone bothers to read this review it will be marked as unhelpful because I have dared to criticise the mighty Floyd. But to those who rave about this album through the rosy lenses of nostalgia I say 'Come on,where is your critical faculty ?' Pink Floyd were great, but not everything they did was.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 11, 2011 1:44 PM BST

You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here
You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here
Price: £12.89

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite there yet, 27 Mar. 2007
This is something of a curate's egg in that is has some very high points, some very low points and a bit of average thrown in.I think Ralph was experimenting with different styles trying to break away from the mainly American rag based guitar sound and further develop his songwriting skills.

Ralph himself would be the first to admit that vocal range was never his strong point and it is never more obvious than on this album. He stretches himself quite well and with a good measure of success on Pick Up A Gun and this is helped by the fact that it is one of the stronger songs on the album, having renewed resonance due to the sorrows brought by the Iraq war.

However, on Chalkdust and the dreadful Ballad of Dancing Doreen his voice is just all over the place. Whoever engineered and produced this album deserve several iced-water showers for allowing these two tracks on the album.

This album resonates insecurity both vocally and by Ralph's attempts, consciously or unconsciously, to sound like other people.This sounds like a very Fairport Convention influenced album though I may be totally wrong, it's just as I hear it.

Anyway, enough of the negatives let's have some positives.

Genesis 1 Verse 20 is a noble attempt to try something different which does actually work with its interesting sound and arresting images.

Pick Up A Gun-Ralph didn't used to do this at concerts and I hope I'm not being unfair in suggesting that his voice wasn't up to the upper register notes. It's a pity, because it's one of his best.

The Ferryman- being a McTell fan I would buy this album for this track alone. It helps if you know what he's on about : it's based on the book Siddartha by Hermann Hesse, which is itself based on the life of the Buddha. Don't let all this put you off. It's one of his most haunting songs both for its lyric and its guitar sound.

Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.27

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best the 80's had to offer, 27 July 2005
This review is from: Steve McQueen (Audio CD)
This is probably the finest album of the 80's(with the possible exception of 'High Land,Hard Rain'by Aztec Camera though I reckon the Sprouts just shade it).I have little to add to what previous reviewers have said.Just buy it,give it 5 listens and,if you have a modicum of intelligence,you will appreciate just how good it is.

From Langley Park To Memphis
From Langley Park To Memphis
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £4.81

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet talk ,like candy, rots........, 27 July 2005
For me,this is where the rot started to set in for the Sprouts.After the edgy'Swoon'(loaded with promise)and the near perfect 'Steve McQueen,Paddy McAloon had established a reputation as probably the finest song writer of the decade. Although containing some classy writing and catchy tunes there is an overall impression of sugariness to this album.There are some great redeeming moments(Cars and Girls,Venus of the Soup Kitchen and the Sprouts finest Rock & Roller 'The Golden Calf')but the syrupy overlay to these tracks eg Nightingales is the thin end of a wedge which pervaded later albums.

The Gunman And Other Stories
The Gunman And Other Stories
Price: £16.90

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glimpses of past glories, 22 July 2005
I was a fan of the 'Sprouts' back in the 80's but was majorly disappointed by the 'Jordan'album(which most reviewers seem to think is great-perhaps I ought to give it another go).So,I wasn't expecting great things from this.I knew the Cowboy Dreams track from Jimmy Nail's Crocodile Shoes and I actually prefer his version,though this is good,too.'Wild card in the pack'is one of the stronger tracks though the gambling metaphor is hardly original.'I'm a troubled man' is almost Dylan-like,sombre and fatalistic.I didn't like it at first,but it's grown on me and I've learned with much of 'Sprout's'music that you need to give it time as it is seldom obvious.'Love will find someone for you 'is,for me, the worst track,as McAloon falls from the tightrope of bitter-sweet romanticism straight into the syrup.Things pick up with 'Cornfield Ablaze',my favourite,with driving,rolling tempo and a curious lyric being made to feel just right for the song. This is classic Sprout,swirling,romantic and capable of making a middle-aged man feel like he's 19 again-dangerous stuff!'When you get to know me better' is a typical McAloon apology for the weaknesses of men.'The Gunman',though interesting,could have done with some serious editing.It is over 8 minutes long and could have been half that without losing anything.Blue Roses could have been a Country track,and not a very interesting one at that.Unfortunately the album ends with another contender for the worst track.However,I'm sure'Farmyard Cat'is a joke.Anyone of Paddy McAloon's lyric writing talent who writes-
I have 9 lives and I rhyme with mat
I'm a farmyard cat
has got to be taking the proverbial.It would be a good track to use at a kid's party for musical chairs contests.So,a bit hit and miss as an album but for me,still worth it.I'd buy it just for 'Cornfield Ablaze'.

Dream Academy
Dream Academy
Price: £6.74

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes there's just no justice, 1 July 2005
This review is from: Dream Academy (Audio CD)
Why this band didn't make it big time is a mystery to me.They were amongst a select group af bands producing what I would describe as classy pop music of the highest level(others included Prefab Sprout and Aztec Camera).This is a great album with no duds or fillers.From the booming 'Life in a Northern Town' to the thoughtful,ballad-like 'One Dream'this is quality.Buy it and listen !

The Electric Light Orchestra
The Electric Light Orchestra
Price: £6.99

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What might have been ?, 30 Jun. 2005
This album was a bold experiment in the use of instruments more usually associated with the classics than a rock album,and as such should have a place in the collection of any discerning music fan.From the arresting opening of 10538 Overture the album takes you on an intriguing ride through haunting,strident and sometimes alarming sounds.There are interesting and poignant stories,too-'Nelly takes her bow 'and the eerily sad 'Mr.Radio'.Though the' Battle of Marston Moor' is grandly pretentious it just about works.'First Movement(Jumping Biz)'is a Classical Gas type track which makes non-players wish they could play guitar.A complete change of mood is afforded by 'Manhattan Rumble',its ghostly piano echoing a long-ago gangster massacre.With 'Whisper in the Night' the album has a fitting hymn-like finale after the preceding drama.This was the only ELO recording on which Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne collaberated although they were trying more experimental pop in the later Move albums.ELO went on to be a huge success with a popular,but for me, rather formulaic sound and Roy Wood went on a rather aimless path creating Wizzard,little more than a novelty band.I listen to this album and wonder what might have been.

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