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Alister King "Big Al" (London)

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Sing The Sorrow
Sing The Sorrow
Price: 7.72

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dynamic, melodic, gothic, pop-punk metal masterpiece., 2 Aug 2010
This review is from: Sing The Sorrow (Audio CD)
Their major label debut expands their sonic palette to include strings, piano, ballads and electronic thanks to super-producer Butch Vig. Miseria Cantare--The Beginning starts the album with a chant and you're hooked even before it begins properly. But begin properly it does with the riff-tastic The Leaving Song Pt. II. Things go up a notch with the awesome Dancing Through Sunday. Im saving special praise for the album highlight Paper Airplanes. It opens with a giant left hook of a riff which ends with a bouncing bass turnaround that will have you playing air bass and drums like a teenager. This Celluloid Dream which follows is almost as good and you feel you've hit the sweet spot of the record because the The Leaving Song next maintains the consistency perfectly. They went big on the next album with Miss Murder but this is the cross over statement that will be their legacy.

Behind The Music
Behind The Music
Price: 5.73

5.0 out of 5 stars 60's psychedelic garage meets 90's indie rock.....and works., 2 Aug 2010
This review is from: Behind The Music (Audio CD)
The ghosts of the Stones, Beatles, Who & Floyd are all present on this modern masterpiece. Its a genuine case of all wheat and no chaff, and hard to pick the stand out tracks. I will of course however have a go. Opener Infra Riot scrapes along on acoustic before switching to eclectic and dropping into a killer riff. You know what follows is gonna be good. Sister Surround feels like a stadium Who number with a great chorus. Mind The Gap slows things down but is equally anthemic. 21st Century Rip Off is Exile era Stones and simply fantastic - the cynicism of the lyrics bellied by the fun of the tune. Tonight is the ballad highlight on the record recalling Brian Wilson on Pet Sounds. Ten Years Ahead is a spangly little acoustic number. Which brings us to the highlight on the album. The Flood. An exercise in crescendo with pumping bassline leading up to a soaring guitar solo. I saw them do this live at the Fillmore East in SF. I wept like an open sore.

Holst: The Planets
Holst: The Planets
Price: 5.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate concept album., 20 July 2010
This review is from: Holst: The Planets (Audio CD)
Few stimuli are as vast and impressive as the very planets in our solar system. Few classical compositions are as vast and impressive as Holst's masterpiece The Planets. I write as fan of jazz, metal, funk & prog and have never reviewed a classical piece before, but this is the album that started it all off for me as a kid. I heard it about aged 6 or 7 on an army barracks in West Germany. The world famous and vitruoso LSO certainly success in creating the atmosphere, stillness and blazing energy required to make these contrasting pieces work (if it wasn't obvious, each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the Solar System and the music explores its corresponding astrological character; Pluto hadn't been discovered when Holst wrote this). Mars, the Bringer of War, is based around the diminished 5th interval (the Devil's interval) and would go on to be the basis of Heavy Metal. Venus, the Bringer of Peace is in stark contrast and explores a beautifully elegant ascending minor scale. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity is something of a centrepiece, probably to reflect the status of the planet itself. While well known for the high-jacking of its secondary melody by Nationalistic hymn Another Country, its a brilliant, bombastic celebration of life itself. The end is one of the most uplifting pieces of music ever composed. Neptune, the Mystic haunts and enchants in equal measure and it is noteworthy for being the first piece of orchestral music to have a fade-out ending.

Rings Around The World
Rings Around The World
Price: 9.80

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album of the Noughties, 20 July 2010
This review is from: Rings Around The World (Audio CD)
This ambitious album marks their major label debut, is the best record of the band's career and an immaculately conceived pop masterpiece. Written mainly by frontman Gruff Rhys on guitar and piano its also the first album by any artist to be simultaneously released on both audio CD and DVD. Its an eclectic Album incorporating pop, prog, punk, jungle, electronica, techno & psychedelic. The lyrics are inspirational and are supposedly "about Earth, and the pollution of space". Opener, Alternate Route To Vulcan Street, its an orchestral psychedelic Beatles number. (Drawing) Rings Around The World reprises Hawkwind's Silver Machine. Single It's Not The End Of The World? Is an uplifting ballad that suggests there's no point in being dragged down by what is trivia in the grand scheme of things. Things come to a brilliant, stunning climax on "side 2" after a little interlude with a mini suite. Juxtapozed With U preaches tolerance over a beautiful white soul song complete with orchestra; Presidential Suite, with its uplifting chorus, denounces trivia while Run! Christian, Run! Builds to a staggering crescendo which if youve ever seen live is one of the great achievements of 20th century pop. Also features Sir Paul McCartney on carrots.

Free All Angels
Free All Angels
Offered by RevisionNet
Price: 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly fulfilling record from an often limited genre., 16 July 2010
This review is from: Free All Angels (Audio CD)
Northern Ireland's punk pop youngsters make a modern classic with second guitarist Charlotte Hatherley in tow. Tim Wheeler comes of age as a songwriter too. Walking Barefoot kicks things off nicely with its chiming guitar and anthemic chorus. Shining Light is the very epiphany that it sings about; a modern day pop punk hymn celebrating youthful love. Burn Baby Burn is the albums top rocker, driven along by a great bassline and some gargantuan power chords. Sometimes is a ballad with balls and sing along chorus. There's A Star reprises Shings Light's hymn like qualities.

Alone With Everybody
Alone With Everybody
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 3.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic record., 16 July 2010
This review is from: Alone With Everybody (Audio CD)
Alone with Everybody was the first solo album by Richard Ashcroft and actually includes songs initially recorded for Urban Hymns. Its also every bit as good as the Verve's classic, although the critics at the time missed the point. Its mainly about being in love in New York and its easy to get wrapped up in it and lost. Lead single and album opener "A Song For The Lovers" is up-beat and orchestrated, while most of what follows are down-tempo country-tinged ballads with thoughtful, introspective lyrics, strummed acoustics and melancholic strings. "I Get My Beat" establishes that vibe nicely, as does Brave New World, another highlight. You On My Mind In Sleep is a little more up tempo and self explanatory while C'Mon People (We're Making It Now) stands out as being one of the most leap in the air and kick your heels tunes Ashcroft ever wrote. Fantastic album.

Utopia Parkway
Utopia Parkway

5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine genius, 15 July 2010
This review is from: Utopia Parkway (Audio CD)
Geeky US alt-rock meets power-pop. Yes! Killer hooks & harmonies combine with Intelligent, wry, postmodern humour informed by life in the New York suburbs. Songwriters Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger are a modern day Lennon & McCartnery and thats how they deliver flawless gems of guitar-driven pop perfection album after album. Everythings good on this record but I'll single out a coupla favs: Valley Of Malls & Go Hippie. Valley Of Malls drops straight in on a killer riff before finding a jiggy agitated rhythm that fits well given the fact that this is about going for a wee: "And we're leaving all the road for dead, We're getting tired of the twists and turns. You gotta go when human nature calls. We're driving, we're driving Through the valley of malls." Go Hippie seems to take the piss out of a Hippy they know, but ultimately demonstrates the FOW's USP; finding the epic, the tragic and the hilarious in the most mundane of human situations. .

Monster Magnet's Greatest Hits
Monster Magnet's Greatest Hits
Price: 9.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Groovy spacey doomy stoner metal, 15 July 2010
Monster Magnet's style is heavily influenced by 1970s space rock band Hawkwind and the doomier side of Sabbath i.e. Master of Reality. Lob in some Marvel Comics and LSD and youre beginning to get into the head of Dave Wyndorf. This compilation covers their best work while on A&M Records in the mid/late 90's & early 00's. Breakthrough-ish single "Negasonic Teenage Warhead" is of course on here, as are "Space Lord", "Powertrip", "Temple of Your Dreams", and Head's Explode, all awesome. Other album track gems include the thought provoking "See You In Hell" which reads like a confession to child murder and dumping the body in a New jersey land fill. Elsewhere, we are invited to ride on a tractor through a drug farm on Tractor (written about his time in rehab) and hand out in a Crop Circle. Groovy spacey doomy stoner metal that delivers on the strong song writing too.

Celebrity Skin
Celebrity Skin
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good., 15 July 2010
This review is from: Celebrity Skin (Audio CD)
Co-written & produced by Billy Corgan this was Hole's bid for the mainstream and it worked. Chock full of melodic hooks and confessional, scathing lyrics that deconstruct the shallow underbelly of Hollywood its an up tempo guitar-driven rock/pop belter. The title track opens the proceedings with an awesome metal style riff that grabs you by the neck and drags you in immediately. Its exposes the ludicrous lengths some will go to achieve fame & fortune. Hit single and stand out track "Malibu" follows shortly with a gorgeous high note bass line over which a lush chord sequence cascades. It plays like an Elephants graveyard for retiring celebrities "Oh baby, fly away, yeah, to Malibu. Oceans of angels, Oceans of stars. DOwn by the sea is where you Drown your scars." Later on Heaven Tonight also stand out with its radio friendly AOR feel but the whole records good. Surprisingly good.

Different Stages
Different Stages

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars live souvenir of the career of this outstanding Canadian prog metal band, 14 July 2010
This review is from: Different Stages (Audio CD)
Different Stages is a live album recorded at 3 different points in time: the 1994 Counterparts tour, the 1997 Test for Echo tour and the A Farewell to Kings tour in 1978. Its therefore a souvenir of the career of this outstanding Canadian prog metal band. Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart are individually mega talented multi-instrumentalists. As Rush they achieve the status of Power Trio. Live they are in their element. All the key tracks are here, so for fun I will compose my perfect Rush set by way of a review. "Dreamline", "Anthem", "The Analog Kid", "Roll the Bones", "Show Don't Tell", "Limelight", "YYZ", "Xanadu", "Working Man", "The Spirit of Radio", "Tom Sawyer", "The Trees", "Closer to the Heart" &"2112" in its entirety. With this Cd you can do that.

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