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Timothy Hooper

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Everybody Down
Everybody Down
Price: £6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The lonely hearts view from the night bus, 18 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Everybody Down (Audio CD)
Brilliant from beginning to end. There's a bit of confusion about 'Everybody Down' - is it poetry, is it rap. It's both, just like it should be. Picking up the ball dropped by The Streets Kate Tempest describes a world of paranoia on the might bus, tedious nights in the pub, the eternal search for companionship in a cold world. However, it's shot through with warmth, wit and- yes - poetry. This is simply a remarkable, addictive and utterly fantastic record. A huge talent.


The Mysterious Loss of the Darlwyne: A Cornish Holiday Tragedy
The Mysterious Loss of the Darlwyne: A Cornish Holiday Tragedy
Price: £4.91

5.0 out of 5 stars An exhaustive account of a preventable tragedy, 15 Oct 2014
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A well overdue examination into the tragic and needless loss of the boat Darlwyne and its passengers. This is a clearly written, fully referenced account using all of the rather scanty evidence available. How over thirty people could have drowned and such little effort be put into finding them or the ship remains as much of a mystery as the loss of the craft itself. Although Mr. Banks is careful not make any unsubstantiated claims in his excellent book, there is a suspicion that perhaps the tragedy could have been avoided if the whole of the country and not just this corner of Cornwall was not labouring under one almighty hangover following England's world cup win the day before. Might this account for the tardy response from the rescue services? It's hard to say but for now, this book represents the most authoritative account of the Darlwyne episode.


Heartleap
Heartleap
Price: £9.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delicate Withdrawal From The World, 8 Oct 2014
This review is from: Heartleap (Audio CD)
I guess you either get Vashti Bunyan totally or not at all. She's not the kind of artist that appeals to the casual listener. Perhaps the fragile vocals - lighter than a cobweb or the delicate songs that explore a very personal inner world of relationships, memories and regrets. Her last LP (2005's 'Lookaftering') was bolstered by a stellar cast of nu-folk luminaries, which helped bring her back into the public eye after a three decade break. This time around, VB is firmly in the production driving seat and it benefits her songs greatly. Last time she was at times almost overpowered by the arrangements, whilst this time she leaves enough space for her vocals to stand out against the gentlest backings of guitar, strings and piano. If this all sounds a bit 'tasteful' fear not, her deceptively potent lyrics ensure that there are jaw-dropping moments aplenty ('The Boy' in particular perhaps hints at a deeply empathetic understanding of the same young man mentioned in 'Lookafterings' stunning 'Here Before'). 'Mother' is a deeply personal recollection of a moment shared unknowingly with her mother; it's very poignant.

'Jellyfish' layers gorgeous vocals into a waltz time spell that is absolutely entrancing and 'Blue Shed' is almost a Bunyan manifesto "I wish I had a blue shed with nobody in it, I wish I had a closed door, with only me behind it". VB has stated that "Heartleap" is probably her last recording, if that is so, then it is a beautifully honest, perfectly recorded encapsulation of her delicate genius.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2014 12:17 AM GMT


Conversations
Conversations
Price: £7.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Rather Lovely Innocence, 8 Aug 2014
This review is from: Conversations (Audio CD)
It's always good to hear a new band rummaging through the box labelled 'inspirations' and coming up with a surprising mixture of ideas and sounds. Woman's Hour (sorry guys, terrible name) dug deep into the 1980s corner of the box and have put together a lovely sound that is both luxuriant and sparse. Fiona Jane Burgess has an unusual voice, in that it eschews any Americanisms and is thus rather wonderful (there's a lovely dollop of Cumbrian-ness on 'Darkest Place' at 0.43). In fact at times the whole record put me in mind of Prefab Sprout at their glossiest but with the vital twist of Paddy MacAloon handing over the lead vocals to Wendy Smith - not quite typical lead vocalist material and therefore all the better for it. Human in a word.

The songs are strong, the lyrics kind of sixth-form charming and the blend of synths and subtle guitar arpeggios and tremolo (think Interpol's guitars under a snuggly duvet) works well and pushes the band way beyond the lazy The XX comparisons, Woman's Hour are far warmer and more giving than that (the rather austere artwork doesn't help - should have had a picture of the band down the pub).

A fantastic debut, I wish all bands were this open and giving.


Heaven & Earth
Heaven & Earth
Price: £10.99

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yes release a contender for worse LP ever, 28 July 2014
This review is from: Heaven & Earth (Audio CD)
It's really hard to comprehend how utterly appalling this LP is. Yes have had patchy times and some duff LPs in the past (Open Your Eyes, Union) but 'Heaven & Earth' hits an all time low. Why is it so bad? Well let's start with the worse-than-a-demo production, flat, lifeless with a weird unbalanced mix that knocks the life out of the whole thing. Then there are the arrangements. Steve Howe has gone AWOL, Alan White can barely muster more than a walking pace 4/4 plod and Geoff Downes has assembled his very cheesiest, cheap synth sounds and splattered them all over the arrangements. Only Chris Squire seems to be making an effort but it's minimum effort all round. Jon Davison is a great Jon Anderson impersonator but fails totally to stamp his identity on the proceedings. Then there are the 'songs'. Sadly they are little more than rambling uninspired jams over which Davison tries in vain to fit his consciously Anderson-esque lyrics. None of them fit, none of them scan. What melodies are there quickly collapse as the singer attempts to cram in more lyrics per line than is strictly required. I suppose the big question is, who the hell listened to this and sanctioned its release? I have a nasty feeling that when the next list of worse LPs of all time is published, 'Heaven & Earth' will slip quite comfortably in the top five. It might be sad but the members of Yes are not brain dead idiots; they must know that they have produced a clunker of a record. What are they thinking about?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 29, 2014 8:56 AM BST


Feelings
Feelings
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £12.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Byrne's Best Solo LP, 21 July 2014
This review is from: Feelings (Audio CD)
Byrne's best solo work. His strongest most consistent collection of songs since that other band he used to be in. If anyone asks you to nominate a David Byrne LP to start off their collection, 'Feelings' is the one to tell them.


The Creative Connection: Expressive Arts as Healing
The Creative Connection: Expressive Arts as Healing
by Natalie Rogers
Edition: Paperback
Price: £32.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Useful but lightweight, 21 July 2014
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Being the daughter of Carl Rogers is a burden that would be too big for most of us to carry I suspect. So well done to his daughter Natalie for daring to expand upon the great man's work. Her creative therapy approach of humansitic counselling is fascinating but I found this book a little too first person and dare I say 'Californian' for my tastes. I'm sure others will find it extremely helpful.


Two Wheels Good
Two Wheels Good

5.0 out of 5 stars US version of UK classic, 21 July 2014
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This review is from: Two Wheels Good (Audio CD)
I bought this simply to have 'Steve McQueen' with its American title. Two rather pointless extra tracks that add nothing to the immense grandeur of the original LP.


Country Love Crafts CD/DVD Case Papier Mache
Country Love Crafts CD/DVD Case Papier Mache

3.0 out of 5 stars Good but variable quality, 21 July 2014
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Nice enough with a rustic charm but the quality varies from box to box. Some close snuggly others are a bit flappy and don't stay shut. Still, these are handmade products so perhaps that should be expected. One big problem, the central spindle is too big fo standard CDs / DVDs. I got round this by picking it off and inserting a foam hub instead.


100 White Self Adhesive Sticky CD/DVD Foam Holders Dots Studs
100 White Self Adhesive Sticky CD/DVD Foam Holders Dots Studs
Offered by Chroma Products®
Price: £3.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Does the job required of them, 21 July 2014
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Quick service, well priced and an effective product.


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