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B. Smith (Madrid, Spain)
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All Your Favorite Bands
All Your Favorite Bands
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars and there's some Dire Straits and what sounds distinctly like a Lennon and McCartney couplet in - the superlative ..., 9 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: All Your Favorite Bands (Audio CD)
Very rewarding purchase for a first-time Dawes listener and if you have any fondness for music anywhere from the Eagles via Tom Petty to Barenaked Ladies I think you'd find yourself in interesting territory here. It's true you can play spot the musical reference. As mentioned above, Blue Nile, Hall and Oates get a nod, and there's some Dire Straits and what sounds distinctly like a Lennon and McCartney couplet in - the superlative - I Can't Think About it Now.

But that's just one level to enjoy it on, Simply put, this is classy, well made but not over polished folk-rock. Not radically pushing boudaries, but very very well done, with some genuine heart and intelligence in the lyrics.


Look Out Machines! (Signed Amazon Exclusive)
Look Out Machines! (Signed Amazon Exclusive)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Special, as ever, 13 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Never less than honest, it's very hard to criticise Duke Special, because you know full well he *means* what he does and what he means always comes from the heart. Rarely has there been a performer who, even in his obliquest lyrics, is telling you how he feels about whatever he's writing about. And when the suspicion is that he's occasionally writing about himself, then that makes him as rewarding an artist to listen to as anyone, ever. So saying that this is a step back to his best after the variable Oh Pioneer! is hard to do, because you genuinely don't want to hurt his feelings, but it's only fair to play by his rules and tell it like it is.

Which is not to say there's the odd song here which isn't easy to get into - Wingman is not the best album opener in history and would be better elsewhere, probably as a B-side, to be honest. But get past that and there are songs here that are as as musically and lyrically rewarding as anything he's ever done. In a Dive, Look Out Machines and Stepping Stones plough a similar furrow of hope and optimism, but from different persepectives, and crucially explore a wider palette of orchestration and arrangement than has sometimes been the case in the past. Son of the left Hand takes this to the extreme as Duke takes his cue from Depeche Mode.

The variety of arrangement remains true to the spirit of previous records though, and helps make the more traditional production of Domino into perhaps his most uplifting - and singable - album closer yet. If audience participation in it doesn't become part of his peerless live shows it'd be a huge surprise.

Hope and opitmism flow through this record and maybe most rewarding for long-time Duke Special listeners is Statues, whose lyrics could be read, literally or metaphorically, as a step along a personal road from the almost unbearable sadness of This Could be my Last Day. If that were the case, there'd be something infinitely more meaningful for us to to be glad for him about than the simple fact he's made yet another terrific record.


Dad's Army - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1968]
Dad's Army - The Complete Collection [DVD] [1968]
Dvd ~ Arthur Lowe
Price: £18.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets, 16 Oct. 2009
To all intents and purposes, this is the golden age of British TV condensed down into one long-running programme. Over 70 episodes and despite sadly enforced cast changes and an inevitably aging cast the quality seldom falls below excellent. From daft sight gags ("Sergeant Wilson, fall the men in!") through a whole gaggle of crowd-pleasing catchphrases ("Permission to be excused?"), to unexpectedly uncompromising characterisation (almost all of the second half of Branded), Dads Army never fails to move you in one way or another. I confess I think Corporal Jones frequently needs a slap, but if you accept that that's the point and poor yourself another glass of wine it soon passes).

It's the acting that makes Dad's Army. An entire assured cast with the lightest of touches for the most part, fitting their characters to, well, their characters. Should anyone have doubts over this, find the scene near the end of "Getting the Bird", where Fraser overhears a conversation between Wilson and another character, and the exchange between the two of them that follows. It is as beautifully written and performed as anything you'll see. And it's hidden away in an ordinary Dad's Army episode about pigeons...


Miss America
Miss America

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique piece of work., 14 Feb. 2002
This review is from: Miss America (Audio CD)
It is difficult to classify this record and hard to work out how to describe it to someone who hasn't heard it. However I do it, I'll sound pretentious so here goes. Its soundscape has the emptyness of Lanois-produced Dylan. Its lyrics have the enigmaticness(??) of Trinity Session-period Cowboy Junkies. It has the melancholy of Blue Nile's Hats, but, oddly, the ecstacy of Blue Nile's "Peace at Last".
There are no standout songs here. The whole thing stands (or falls) as a whole. And perhaps that's another similarity to The Blue Nile. Maybe BN are really MMo'H's only obvious peers. A unique sound, crafted with superb attention to detail, that refuses to date at all a decade on.
The bottom line is that if you like the lone singer-song writer ploughing their (her) own furrow, or if you like lyrics - and, indeed, melodies - that require multiple listenings or if you just want to hear something that, when it came out, sounded *nothing* like anything or anyone else, buy this. It might take a bit of work, but you won't regret it.


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