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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Clearly below Lady Gaga standards, 22 Jan. 2014
This review is from: ARTPOP (Audio CD)
While there certainly are some nice tunes, I think the main problem with this album and Lady Gaga's current stage in general is that she no longer has full control of her creative process and she's being pushed to manufacturing some musically appalling universal love/self-acceptance/etc. tunes which, obviously enough, can appeal to no-one else apart from a few die-hard fans.
Up to a point, since pop music is not meant to be taken seriously after all, this - as Born This Way goes to show - doesn't necessarily represent a problem. Of course, it becomes a problem when songs are musically unclear, lyrically patronising, and lack the sense of fun, introspection, wit and humour that Lady Gaga has always managed to bring into her music. While Donatella, Mary Jane Holland and Swine are highly enjoyable, tracks like Aura or Venus transmit only a sense of misunderstanding and a poker face. Then again, I was utterly surprised and upset about the fact that Lady Gaga hasn't practically displayed her wonderful vocal and piano abilities on none of the songs.
Considering the fact that, as some other reviewers have suggested, she cannot go back or disappear from the spotlight for a while to get things clear and focus on music only, I definitely hope that she can leave those love, acceptance, live for today, etc. messages for a while and just compose a few light-hearted (which often come to contain a deeper and less pretentious message) tunes with good lyrics. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy good experimental music such as Einstürzende Neubauten or Swans, but you cannot expect to call an unfinished, pretentious, patronising, musically and lyrically unclear, and overproduced record a challenging and experimental release, especially when it comes from a great pop artist who can do it 10 times better.

Forbidden Pleasure
Forbidden Pleasure
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Price: £6.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Best SoE effort so far!, 16 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Forbidden Pleasure (Audio CD)
As many other listeners, I discovered Saints of Eden through Carl McCoy's Nefilim, since I was and still am particularly fond of 1996 Zoon album.
First of all, considering frontman's past contributions, I greatly appreciate the fact that Saints of Eden have not tried to imitate sound/vocals/lyrics of Fields of the Nephilim, as it has happened with a seemingly endless number of FotN related projects, but have chosen to develop an own style instead. It goes without saying that (at least in my case) original versions are preferred instead of the already usual nostalgia.
In my opinion, Lost So Incompletely, Red Mist and Game Over are the album's standouts. I may even say that Lost So Incompletely is the best power ballad I've heard in the genre since Nefilim's Shine and Wake World, absolutely mesmerising. Maybe this territory (clean vocals and atmosphere) could be worth exploring in the future.
Phaze Me and Surrender, for instance, are some other solid tracks as well.
The thing to be improved is, in my opinion, musical backup on more uptempo/powerful songs. I do think that Timesphere or Scapegoat have potential, but harsh vocals lack the support of deeper and more aggressive music as the song develops, as well as further complexity.
In spite of these little flaws, Forbidden Pleasure is definitely a very solid and quality record, and I much recommend everyone to buy it!

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