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J. M. Green "john94682" (Sutton Coldfield)
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Songs For The End Of The World
Songs For The End Of The World
Price: £8.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Little Gem!, 10 Feb. 2015
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Back in the Eighties, on a whim, I purchased a vinyl copy of "Living In Oz", because to me, it was a great blend of soft rock and power pop, well executed with songcraft that belied the writer. And now, many moons on, I still find myself unable to resist the urge to purchase the music of Rick Springfield - and this offering, "Songs For The End Of The World" is every bit as good as that album that first took my interest. Sure he's put out a lot of albums over his career some of which have been great, some of which have not been so great, but the one thread that kept it altogether was that wonderful vocal of his - and here in this album, replete with a couple of bonus tracks, are all the pop/rock tunes with a smattering of ballads that will accompany you on many a journey and invite you to sing along - yes it really IS that good!
Wide Awake, Our Ship's Sinking, I Hate Myself, You And Me....four straight rocking numbers as an opening sequence - it really, really doesn't get better than this. He may be in his mid sixties but he can still hit the notes and his guitar remains as punchy as ever!
So, if you're into Eighties Soft Rock/Power Pop you could do a whole lot worse than add this little gem to your collection.


Tour De Force - Hammersmith Apollo
Tour De Force - Hammersmith Apollo
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Live - From The Hammersmith Apollo Sound Check, 5 Feb. 2015
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Who is the soul-less individual who thought that releasing a live sound check would be a good idea?
Don't get me wrong - as a "live" recording it truly is good (It is Joe Bonamassa, after all!) Well recorded with good bass and treble responses and with JB's guitar and vocal well up in the mix......BUT, as a live recording of the event, the audience HAS to be part of the proceedings - no if's, no and's, no but's - period!
There is no lead in to "Albion" and what audience you can actually hear is only really what the soul-less individual on the mixing desk could not easily take out mid-track (occasionally, you can just make out the odd wolf whistle....but worry not, you have to pay close attention to catch it!) And, as a token, he does allow fading applause at the end of the odd track. This is bizarre! No banter, no nothing....why?
JB is a current day icon. Most of his studio output (with the exception of Different Shades Of Blue) has been spot on - and his live albums (and he ain't been slow at putting those out either) have been by and large, brilliant....but this adds nothing to the canon other than give us fans a slightly different version of tracks we've already had in studio and live guises before.....surely he doesn't need the (over) exposure...or is this simply the record company milking the cash cow?
As I say, it's NOT a bad album, just very strange as a "live" album
Punters do not encourage the record company to continue the abuse - buy if you have to, but await the price to crash on Amazon


Live From Madison Square Garden
Live From Madison Square Garden
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.63

3.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear Me!, 30 Jan. 2015
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Over many, many years I have amassed a very large collection of music and within it, there is much from both Eric and Steve in their various guises because they were favourites from my youth.
That said though, we're all getting older and, as the years go by, our abilities begin to wane - and the beauty of growing old gracefully, is fully recognising the failing abilities! Now, I am not questioning either protagonist's instrumental abilities, but, I really, really do have to question their vocals. Of the two, Steve has the biggest issues, he needs to come down an octave because he seriously can no longer hit those high notes like he could in his youth. And miss them he does quite often across this double CD set to the point of it being embarrassing. Eric, IMHO, was never a singer, just capable of reasonably tunefully getting away without employing a singer...and this continues on this album, although he, at times, is straining to hit the notes too. Maybe it is "nerves" on the night because the album improves as we set off from disc 1 to disc 2, but check out track 1 "Had To Cry Today" where Steve's vocal fair ruins a favourite song from the Blind Faith era and unfortunately, this is terribly off-putting. If these two had put this to X Factor judges on the night....they would not have got past the first chorus.
Sorry, but as much as I love the work of these two musicians down the years, this would make no lasting epitaph!


Box Set
Box Set
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.17

3.0 out of 5 stars Ragged Edge!, 30 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Box Set (Audio CD)
Well now - this one came up as a recommendation on Amazon and, with suggestions of Rory Gallagher and 5 star reviews, was tempted into purchasing a copy even though I hadn't had Innes Sibun on my radar at all. And, a live recording to boot (my favourite kind of album!) so couldn't go wrong, could we? Well actually yes we could. The album went into my player and fiery guitar a la Rory Gallagher emanated from my speakers to the strains of Million Miles Away...Great! I settled down for an aural delight....but then the "singing" began and either the man has a serious and heavy cold on the night or, he has no voice at all - it's all croak and wheeze and whispers... either way it was a major distraction which was such a shame because everything else was pretty much, spot on. Certainly, there is no getting away from the fact that Mr Sibun is a very capable guitar player, seemingly effortlessly emulating the G-Man at his best and, as counterpoint, able to play lines that would not go amiss in a jazz club setting.....but unfortunately, that vocal gets steadily worse as the CD/Concert progresses and it becomes very distracting - it really, really is such a shame because this had the makings of a fine album indeed!
Put that down to experience then - unless any fan can confirm that this was just an "off" night - in which case, shame on the record company for releasing it!


lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar
lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar
Price: £8.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A Step Beyond?, 26 Jan. 2015
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And finally, I have managed to get around to playing this album....I have to admit that his last studio effort "Band Of Joy" emerged as one of my favourite albums of that year (and I still grab it to put in the car on long journeys!) and also resultant, my favourite RP album..but we now have a contender/usurper.
I have had so many albums to listen to of late, that I kept deferring listening to this one....so when, finally it went into my car player, I had a car full of people so it was on as background only...but even so, there were melodies and instruments that kept shining through that I couldn't wait to empty the car for the return journey and listen to this far more thoroughly and at a much better decibel level. And, what I found was glorious! Yes, RP can still deliver - not just in the songcraft department, but still very much on a vocal level too - taking his voice to a lower register (unlike others of his generation who still think they can hit the higher registers of their youth - and can't!)
Yes, this is one of those albums that each time you play, you find more going on so that it always holds the interest and removes the temptation to keep flicking tracks...Listen to "Somebody There" with it's little ear-worm melody, and you'll soon catch yourself humming the tune and singing the chorus....and the even stronger "Poor Howard" and "Stolen Kiss" and the lumbering giant of a track in "Turn It Up"
Yes, there are the African (North) influences, but then RP has never hidden his interest in the music that this Continent exudes, but while this is no rock or blues album it is certainly full of excellent music to keep the listener fully engaged.
Mention must also go to the Shape Shifters too - they certainly pull this whole project off with some excellent interludes - all around, a great band effort - let's just hope that this is not their SwanSong...(no pun intended!)


Good for Sumthin'
Good for Sumthin'
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Blues/Rap, Blues/Rock, Blues/Jazz. BLUES!, 13 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Good for Sumthin' (MP3 Download)
And so to the new release from the greatly under-rated bluesman from Memphis, Tennessee - and what we have here is blues in it's various forms but some that border blues/rap.....which for two opening numbers, took me aback somewhat as this was highly unexpected, highly unusual and took a little bit of getting used to but, remember this is Eric Gales, after all and seemingly, he can only turn out quality with a capital "Q"
Amusingly, for X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent devotees, Mr G sings about how he's had to work his way from bottom to top sharing the stage with many big names before finally, 20 years on, he's been able to launch out on his own....no instant success here and that is why he will endure - why is it that the kids these days think that they can go from zero to hero in no time flat??
So, once you clear the first two numbers, what Mr G dishes up is his slant on the blues in classic forms as well as the (almost) jazz lines that he is more than capable of and were amply displayed in 2013's Ghost Notes album.
His singing is improving album by album and his guitar cuts ever deeper, fluid and concise - a great exponent of the artform! And chuck in trading licks with one Eric Johnson on "E2" and this is guitar heaven....reminded me very much of Mahavishnu Orchestra at their most potent.
"Six Deep" is probably my favourite among this little lot of tunes as a basic blues number, but I've only listened it through a half dozen times, so that may change...
But for all you blues afficianados and guitar freaks out there, how come you keep missing this man? He may well be popular in his home country but here in Blighty, we scarcely ever hear of him, and whilst everyone seems to bang on about Mr Bonamassa (who I love too), Eric Gales WILL appeal too - check him out, you'll NOT regret it!!


No Fixed Address
No Fixed Address
Offered by MediaMine
Price: £9.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars PAP Band?, 9 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: No Fixed Address (Audio CD)
Well, I did hang on until the price of this album came down considerably as there was obviously controversy here - one camp loves it while the other, absolutely hates it, and there appears to be no middle ground - and while, for me, Nickelback have always been more at the "pop/rock" end of my burgeoning music collection.....I was not quite prepared for what this album was dishing up - three Nickelback "rock" anthems in Million Miles An Hour, Edge Of A Revolution and Get 'Em Up...... but thereafter, is the kind of music you hear in elevators and shops......which for a band of this calibre is simply, criminal.
So, now, having had several complete play-through's of the album, I have to plant both of my feet in the "hate it" camp, , this CD will now be consigned to the "collect dust" section of my library as I cannot be arsed to waste the time to put this into my player just to hear tracks 1 & 2 & 7...
Come on Nickelback you can still produce the goods, there is no question, as your back catalogue still testifies.....but to walk away from the fans that gave you the riches you now enjoy without at least having the courtesy of telling them that actually, you are now to be re-classified as Pap...is inexcusable!


Precious Metal
Precious Metal
Price: £16.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Silver Bullets Begin To Fly - The Superhuman Ain't Afraid To Die....", 6 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Precious Metal (Audio CD)
Hairy Chested Rock is alive and well and living within the band known as House Of Lords!
I've said it before and I'll say it again - James Christian and Jimi Bell, for me, can do no wrong. They write and play from the heart and only vary between melodic rock and power ballads - it's a bit like in the past we used to attend the NEC at Christmas time to witness the Christmas shows of Gary Glitter and Status Quo because you KNEW exactly what you were going to get - nothing complicated, nothing fancy, just a great audio/visual experience. And, with House Of Lords you know that you'll get nothing fancy, nothing complicated just straightforward tunes with good melodic harmonies and a smattering of Mick Box-esque solos.
Sure, they don't push the envelope and some of the lyrics are truly cringeworthy....but that's the whole point - does exactly what it says on the tin! And long may it continue.....
So, dust off the air-guitar, turn the volume up to 11 and howl along to Enemy Within, Swimming With The Sharks, Raw, Action etc and you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself if this genre of music is evenly remotely on your radar!


The Blues Came Callin'
The Blues Came Callin'
Price: £13.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Indirect!, 12 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Blues Came Callin' (Audio CD)
OK, so I love the music and the man and mightily glad to see him on the mend after his recent health problems. Moreover, I have collected WT's albums over the years and they have become a very important part of my burgeoning music collection but, and I don't like to say this, I was a little disappointed with this album mainly because the fire we've come to expect from Walter's playing isn't really there.
As comparison, listen to "Blues For the Modern Daze" and you'll hear his incisive guitar right from the opening lines of Saw My Mama Crying, direct, no-nonsense and very much to the point - indeed one of my friends actually said that this was one of the most aggressive blues albums that they had ever heard!
But, The Blues Came Callin' is a very different bag and is possibly a lot more reflective and laid back resultant of his health issues - and I've made allowances for this in my listening, but even so, this collection of blues tunes just doesn't, for me,gell.
Oh, it will get played a lot, as I am forever putting his music into my CD player but this is going to be possibly the only one where I actually skip tracks as I can't really bear to listen to some of them!
Sorry Walter, but this ain't your best - please get better and give us another album of the Blues For The Modern Daze or Common Ground variety and keep this old blues man happy!


Audioslave
Audioslave
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Audio Aggression?, 8 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Audioslave (Audio CD)
Audioslave were a band unknown to me until I caught the back end of one of their numbers on Planet Rock a few weeks back....but I heard the name and made a mental note and purchased a copy of their first album for less than a fiver to see whether the "sample" I'd heard would replicate throughout an entire album......and I am blown away by the pure audio aggression on display.
I was familiar with the guitar work of Tom Morello from his days with Rage Against The Machine (some of which I love - the rest I can leave!) but this is something completely out of left field and starts with the beat from Cochise that builds up into an angry roar which kind of takes you aback as this is so unexpected, the vocals rage as does the guitar and the rock steady rythmn section underpinning it all. Goodness me, but Chris Cornell has one very fine set of pipes to tackle this at full tilt! And is this a one off blinding opener? - nope, it is followed in quick succession by tracks like Gasoline, What You Are, Shadow On The Sun, Hypnotize and Getaway Car, all of which leave your audio senses reeling...the only let up being I Am The Highway...and this is no ordinary "ballad" if indeed a ballad it be, so that by the time The Last Remaining Light closes the album out you are just left feeling like you've just gone through a tornado!
Morello is no guitarist exceptionelle but what he does is hit those heavy choppy notes and chords and brings some new ideas to the premise of a solo so that at high volumes (and this really begs to be played LOUD) the music becomes hypnotic!
Seriously, having been an avid follower of music of many genres, I cannot think of anything within the last 10 years that comes close to the power this album exudes - period, and moreover, it is recorded so well that increasing volume does not cause reverberations througout the house (or car for that matter!)
I am so impressed - I've now purchased the remainder of their studio output!


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