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Love Supreme Collective
Love Supreme Collective
Price: £3.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Jimmy Chamberlin CD, it's been a while., 29 July 2014
This may not be what fans of The Smashing Pumpkins are used to but is worth a listen as it features their original and best drummer (Jimmy Chamberlin).

It's a shame that he doesn't record do much studio work these days so it's nice to have some well produced tracks showing his varied talents on the drums. His time seems to be spent doing one off shows and the odd drum clinic but I guess this CD is the next best thing for people on the other side of the world (like myself) who won't get to see him again.

It may not sound like Smashing Pumpkins but Jimmy's unique play shines though meaning that you don't really have to be into jazz music to get something from this. The life, energy and invention are what you'd expect from one of the more exciting drummers of his era. My only hope there is more to come.


For Now I am Winter
For Now I am Winter
Price: £8.15

4.0 out of 5 stars Is that André Villas-Boas on the cover?, 27 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: For Now I am Winter (Audio CD)
I have bought a lot of Olafur Arnalds music and this is a real good one with some instrumental songs as well as a handful of pieces with nice vocals that fit the music well. Refreshing and a bit different to a lot of the other things I listen to.


Pain Is Beauty
Pain Is Beauty
Price: £7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hadn't heard of her before..., 27 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pain Is Beauty (MP3 Download)
...but listened to her on the latest Russian Circles album and thought I would listen to some of her own stuff and I like this CD although it is the only one of hers I have purchased.

There are some songs that I don't care for that much but there is some really nice tracks here that impress with good singing and instrumentation. For fans of her who haven't heard the song she sings for the Russian Circles album--I suggest you give that a listen. If Russian Circles ever had a singer I think she'd be a good fit.


What Is...
What Is...
Price: £7.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Good soundtrack..., 27 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: What Is... (MP3 Download)
...BUT why does nowhere sell the actual DVD of this show with the comedy sections. I am sure the physical copy of this (I bought MP3 as the CD apparently has a 3-5 week wait!) only has the Soundtrack.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2014 10:56 PM GMT


Virgins
Virgins
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: £10.97

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some people don't get Tim Hecker's 'Music'...but I do., 27 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Virgins (Audio CD)
Just listen and you might like what you hear. It's not like anything anyone else is doing and for that reason and the fact its brilliant mean I AM IN.


Stone and Echo: Live at Red Rocks
Stone and Echo: Live at Red Rocks
Price: £7.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would have prefered a real copy BUT..., 27 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Finally, an OFFICIAL release of APC Live. If they are not going to make a new record then this will have to do. Some new arrangements help freshen what are decade old songs with the exception of By And Down. As I said above, I would have preferred a physical copy but it doesn't seem to be available (just like Puscifer's DVD for "What is...Puscifer" which I can only find the soundtrack of it but on the website the DVD is there. I can only assume they will come later.

This recording was a nice surprise and will be essential for anyone like myself who has been listening to the same old CD's on and off for going on 10 years.


Memorial
Memorial
Price: £7.49

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good record., 10 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Memorial (MP3 Download)
Coming in at around 40 minutes, this album is on the short side but it has quality and is another example of what a good band Russian Circles are. Their overall sound hasn't changed much but there is what sounds like synth playing which adds a new element although it might appear to be something else. The drums are great and detailed like before. The guitars are layered but you can sort out when you think he might play something for a loop and then begin to layer over it when played live if you listen close enough. This is something they have always done well.

Good Points
+Production is good again, great drums, interesting guitar and more of a synth/atmosphere to the main 3 instruments.
+Strong opener and the final song and title track sounds good with the vocals (the only track to have any). If they ever hire a singer I would prefer something along these lines.

Bad Points
+Maybe on the short side, these songs are not as long as before apart from the 2nd I think. It's not really a complaint for me though as it is a good 40 minutes starting with a theme and returning to them again towards the end.

I have rated it a 4.


Oceania: 3D in NYC [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Oceania: 3D in NYC [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Smashing Pumpkins
Price: £14.61

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for fans of New and Old Pumpkins., 23 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have just finished watching the 2 hour concert which was only released today 23/9/2013.

Overall it is a must have for any true Smashing Pumpkins fan - showcasing the latest album LIVE along side hits from the last 20 years.
The quality of the picture and sound are really good - and if you have a good sound system or decent headphones you might feel that you are actually there.

This Blu-ray gives people a chance to see what this form of the band (only Billy from the original Smashing Pumpkins is here) have to offer.
The 4 piece group put on a solid show and the 3 members coming into the band do a good job on all fronts (Bassist and Guitarist are better musicians than those in the original band although I miss Jimmy Chamberlin - a lot!).

This review could be a 5 out of 5 but I have given it a 4 which is just down to preference of the music.
========================================================================================================

Billy has stated in interviews about not being the same person he was and is not doing the band again just to play the hits. He proves that again here with over 50 minutes of new material. I do wish he would stop playing some of the old songs such as 'Bullet' and 'Disarm' because he looks like he is just going through the motions. He isn't that guy anymore but he is still a great songwriter and musician, is music from 2007 to 2012 shows that.

I am in the group of fans who doesn't really want to hear the hits that are still being played on tours.
========================================================================================================

I would prefer to hear new music or obscure b-sides such as 'Soot and Stars' or something from the Machina II Album or the less played songs from other albums such as 'Raindrops + Sunshowers(from Machina: The Machines Of God), 'Whir' (from Pisces Iscariot) or 'Set the ray to Jerry' (from The Aeroplane Flies High). They played 'Blank Page' and 'The Imploding Voice' when I saw them this year and that is more interesting to me than hearing 'Zero' and other hits although I love those songs.

I love those songs. I could compare it to the reason I don't enjoy Metallica shows and that is because it ends up being a repeat of the past and one that won't live up to the old memories (memories of the urgency you'd hear in Billy's voice when singing the last part of 'Tonight, Tonight' THAT is now gone. Or the snare drum fills and rolls Jimmy Chamberlin added to that same song making if better than the recorded version...despite a great young drummers attempt, those dynamic beats are also long gone.).

It must be difficult for this version of the Smashing Pumpkins because you've got people like me and I am sure there are many more who only go to hear the hits - or people less unaware of the bands new releases or latest moves. I've been listening to the old songs for so many years that like Billy who has been playing them so long doesn't 'feel it' the same way as it used to be (for many reasons).

The exception to the old songs in my opinion is when they change and rearrange a song - something the Pumpkins at any time have been really good at doing (Look at the version of 'Starz' they played at Glastonbury this year. Amazing. Or 'Heavy Metal Machine' from the show on 'If All Goes Wrong DVD'. These performances are interesting not just for the fans but for the band. Jimmy Chamberlin said at the time (about that longer alternative version of 'Heavy Metal Machine') that it was one of the pieces he enjoyed playing the most.).

I do like Oceania and I have seen them every time they come to the UK but I feel I am always waiting for something else. Not the hits. Not this set of songs. Something deeper like a Machina concept album or something with a mystery to go with the new sounds like it used to be.

It's like when they came back in 2007. I felt they would get better and better then JC left again and you have to adapt your expectations of what the band is and where it can go. They will always be special for me as I have grown up with them and I will support what they do. Seeing Billy now, I wonder how long he will continue to go on with the band. He doesn't seem happy and I am not an expert but I think his age is also becoming an issue for him and his continued work with this thing he created all those years ago.

Sorry, I went of topic there (It's now 2015!!!!). Oh, wait. My calendar needed updating!

Back to the Blu-ray review.
===========================

A great show with the Oceania album played in full. A good selection of fan favorites (yes they are!). Interviews NOT with the band (I was thinking Billy and Co would be in them but its sadly just a few interviews from the show producer and stage designer. I did not watch them.)
There is an option for 3D support. I could not try this.

Picture quality: 5/5
Sound quality: 5/5
Value: 2 hour Show so 5/5

Verdict: Perfect for most Pumpkin fans. I've given it a 4 because of the material on here besides the main event - Oceania in full.
Highlights: Oceania, Glissandra, Wildflower, X.Y.U, The Dream Machine.


PES 2014 (Xbox 360)
PES 2014 (Xbox 360)
Offered by games-n-console-land
Price: £4.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Pro Evo since the PS2 years., 22 Sept. 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: PES 2014 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I don't usually review games or anything but here is a short review of the latest PES.

PES 2014 is an improvement over 2013 in a lot of ways. They have a new engine and you can tell because the graphics are a step up from last years game which to me looked a little washed out. Players look more realistic. shirts move (slightly) and get dirty during the match. The crowd are pretty good and now have proper shirts(including the official replicas) and scarfs which is a nice touch when you compare it with the two tone sea from all the years previous. I am really impressed with the grass. On some of the pitches it looks real. Seriously, the San Siro Stadium has never looked so good.

How does it play?
=================

Well, the game has received an overhaul in the gameplay department too. Shooting, passing, player AI movement and defending seem to be better and more rewarding as a result. I thought last years shooting felt off as powerful shots that should have went in didn't but a weak shot along the ground would beat the goalkeeper. This time shooting feels good and although you can expect to hit a weak shot if you don't position your player correctly. It is now possible to achieve the kind of strike you had in mind when picking up the ball. It's more like the good PES era of the PS2 days.

Other changes to the game include the introduction of a visible guide for set-plays. By using the sticks you choose how much you want to curve the corner or free kick. Power also comes into play so it doesn't become too easy. It's really useful for free kicks you want to sent to a player at the back post.

Another interesting feature is the use of what they are calling Combination-Play.

Basically, when you are setting up your team you get to choose 3 combination plays and where on the pitch you want to use them. You do that by selecting an area on the numbered grid on the formation screen - e.g. a move near the corner, middle of the park, in front of the box. One of the choices you can make is for one called OVERLAP. During the match when you run into the section on the pitch where the Combination-play happens, an icon will appear showing the move is available. By double tapping the left trigger one of your teammates will make a run giving you the option to play a long pass or through ball. It may feel awkward at first but after a while it feels like a useful tool especially on harder difficulties.

Other than that it's similar to what you know if you have been playing PES titles of the last few years. Licenses are still missing(Man Utd are the only Official English team). The transfers that just happened didn't happen in this game(Bale is still in the UK, Ozil is still in Spain...). In that respect PES hasn't changed, the same old annoyances are there. Stadium count is low which I think is because the lost the license to Spanish grounds (although 17 is ok and the detail of them is really high).

The presentation is still bad. I'm not going to say much about the commentary, personally I don't mind it. It seems to be the big thing with 'proper' reviewers. Music is a mixture of Luciano Pavarotti and some well known football themes (from FRANCE 98') that you'll have grown well tired of before you even started playing this- I turned them off after a while. (There is the option to include your own songs from the hard drive).

Worse than the commentary is the menus.
=======================================

When I first loaded up the game I was hit with the same 4 or 5 messages I was used to seeing from my time with the previous game. Big grey screen filling boxes telling me about maintenance, boot packs, updates and a thank you from the team for my patience. The update was the only important one as without it you can't use the online component of the game. So I went into the menus to begin the download. 3O minutes later and 5% gone on the status bar I was sure I was playing PES again.

I had to cancel it as it was taking for ever and I didn't have time for it then. Later that night I tried again and it was around 2 hours later when at 35% I decided to leave the console on overnight and hopefully get a match in the morning. Next morning I woke up to find the download failed.

As of writing this review I can't get the download to work. It's really poor that they would have this problem on day one but not unexpected. I have decided to forget about online until there is more information on the patch. Hopefully that will be soon. Squad updates please!

What I have been able to do
===========================

I have been having fun in the Master League. Sure it is showing it's age now and hasn't really changed much but as I am 23 matches into my first season with the default team, the game must be doing something right(I bought GTAV this week!). Playing Master League on Superstar with the rubbish players is proving a good challenge but its more fun building a team of your own and trying to win the divisions. I failed to sign anyone during the half way transfer window but you get a sense of players being unique which I guess is not exclusive to this version of PES.

I have only played ML and I tried some training before that. I have tried to learn all the moves to get the most out of the game but I do find the tutorials temperamental. Often I am sat reading the commands and watching the instruction videos but pulling off the moves seems to be impossible even though you might do the same move in a proper match. The timing is hard to get right. Annoying...or maybe it's me.

Other Issues with the gameplay.
===============================

I am playing on the hardest setting and so far I haven't played with any of the good teams but I think the goalkeeping is weak at times. My ML players rate 65-70 max but shots blast in that shouldn't. The ball is so close to the goalkeeper he should really do something but often he lets it in. Its frustrating when its you conceding but it also takes away from the overall experience when it is happening so often. Don't get me wrong, the goalkeepers can pull of some excellent saves but it's weird to see them being so useless sometimes (it was noticeable in the demo too - with the good teams!).

Overall
=======

Good:

Shooting is improved.
Stadiums and crowd look great.
Combination play is a good addition.
Set play visual cursor is useful.
Good selection of tournaments and clubs.
You can play a league season again!

Bad:

Menus are bland with big grey messages.
Goalkeeping is suspect.
No rain or snow.
Online modes need a patch that doesn't work(for me at least)
Bale and Ozil haven't moved anywhere.
Licenses are missing - as per usual.
Music is bad.
Commentary...im not going to mention the...

I have gave it a 4 star. It's not perfect but this is the start of a new phase for the series with the new engine and all. If they can continue to build on this then FIFA will have to raise their game again.


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