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Reviews Written by
Mr. F. S. Prince "essdog" (Ayrshire, Scotland)

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Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £12.67

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adams' most soulful work to date!, 24 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Cardinology (Audio CD)
Cardinology is a strange album. On first listen I was distictly unimpressed but then, like many of Ryan Adams best creations, the songs slowly start to lodge in your brain and before long your reaching for the repeat button!

Without doubt this is his most soulful record to date. Songs like Fix It and Like Yesterday have a distinct groove to them. Adams vocal delivery is also of note and used to great effectiveness on songs like Sink Ships, Crossed Out Name (which is not unlike a stripped down Killers!) and Let Us Down Easy (I love the line "every season we spend apart, feels like a thousand to my heart, and in my soul"). Cobwebs would have not been out of place on the excellent Love Is Hell and once again is made by a great vocal melody.

Despite some slight strays into new territory, Adams can still pen a great piano ballad and the haunting Stop builds to a crescendo of beautiful gushing strings. The only slightly out of place song (much like Halloweenhead on Easy Tiger) is Magick, a plodding college rock song, but even this proves catchy after a few listens.

Overall, not quite worthy of a full 5 stars but certainly a good 4 and a half and a real return to form after the somewhat patchy Easy Tiger. Cardinology has a few surprises up its sleeve and is all the more listenable for it.

Babyliss For Men 7850U I-Trim Stubble Trimmer
Babyliss For Men 7850U I-Trim Stubble Trimmer

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid like The Plague!!!, 6 Jan. 2009
This beard trimmer is unbelievably poor as many others have already noted! I am on my second shaver after the first one jammed within days and I was unable to alter the shave length control. After receiving a replacement, within a couple of weeks the whole thing packed up. After a few days it decided to work again but now the battery does not hold its charge at all and I am forced to use it plugged in which is far from ideal when you want to be shaving in front of a mirror! Unfortunately I misplaced the receipt for this replacement shaver so fear I am stuck with it now!

Would also agree with other reviews about uneven trimming. I have had to resort to using different settings on different parts of my face in order to achieve anything like an even trim. Even then there is still the risk of nicking a section of your stubble if the blade is pivoted slightly resulting in bald patches!

A poorly designed piece of kit which has put me off Babyliss products for good!

Personality: One Was A Spider. One Was A Bird
Personality: One Was A Spider. One Was A Bird
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: £6.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An ambitious near masterpiece, 3 Sept. 2006
OK, so debut album 'Lovers' was always going to be a hard act to follow but maverick songwriter Luke Steele has pretty much succeeded. `Personality...' is certainly no carbon copy of the first album and has very much its own sound so those expecting 'Lovers' Mark II may be disappointed. However, treat this album as a work in its own right and it is hard not to be impressed by the lush, multi layered hooks and melodies which never let up from start to finish. I have to admire Steele for what he has tried to achieve here, attempting to make the ultimate 'melodic' record bursting with harmonies, string sections, et al. It is an ambitious concept and sound that could easily have fallen flat on its face.

Admittedly, there are a couple of tracks which just do not work and the production is overdone. Also, lyrically the album is a bit below par in places and perhaps suffers for it. BUT despite these criticisms, `Personality...' is a collection of excellent songs which gel together to from one of the albums of the year.

Buy `Personality...' and give it several listens with open ears and you may be pleasantly surprised. Don't expect it to be an instantly easy listen, it definitely requires repeated plays to pick through the vast musical activity but the rewards are well worth it.

Dharma Bums (Flamingo modern classics)
Dharma Bums (Flamingo modern classics)
by Jack Kerouac
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kerouac's best book?, 29 Feb. 2004
To my mind this is the best of the Kerouac books I have read, certainly better than the overrated 'On The Road' and slightly more enjoyable than 'Big Sur'. 'The Dharma Bums' takes the best bits of Kerouac's slacker travelling tales and late night parties and boozing and mixes it with an appreciation and enjoyment for the Great Outdoors. Thrown in for good measure is a healthy dose of Bhuddist ideals and ways of life, which all combine to make for a very enjoyable and refreshing read. Highly recommended.

I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
Price: £9.03

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb blend of styles and sounds, 12 Mar. 2003
They say 'variety is the spice of life' and this offering from Yo La Tengo may just prove this old saying right. 16 tracks that take on a number of styles and sounds but remain distinct and ear pleasing. Heartbreakingly beautiful and gentle on slower tracks like 'Damage' and 'Shadow', the songs continue to sound fragile even when the guitars get turned up (slightly!). Undoubtedly the gentler side of Yo La Tengo is their strong point, the soft spoken male and female vocals compliment the delicate melodies to fully, creating mini masterpieces again and again. Musically, the songs are simple and impeccably controlled blending happy and sad vibes to great effect.
There is a haunting atmosphere on tracks like 'Damage' with its ghostly backing vocals and reverb guitars. Similarly instrumental 'Green Arrow' with it's cricket chirping background and beautiful guitar parts takes on an eerie sound that is enough to paint all sorts of wonderful images in your head.
All in all, the album is largely faultless; never dull, always interesting, and frequently beautiful. A real treat of a record with some excellent melodies and hooks to keep you coming back time and time again for more.

Price: £6.54

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly Good!, 5 Mar. 2003
This review is from: Pneumonia (Audio CD)
After being a fan of Ryan Adams for some time I decided it was about time I checked out his Whiskeytown back catalogue. 'Pneumonia' is where I started and to be honest my expectations were not overly high, I found it hard to believe that earlier works of Adams could match the dizzy musical heights of his solo career. However, I could not have been more wrong.
'Pneumonia' is remarkably good and despite the band reportedly falling apart whilst this was being recorded there is no hint of this in the music. Indeed, there are some nice touches in the production like leaving in Adams' closing remarks on 'Bar Lights' where he laughs at having forgotten the words and broken a string all in the same take before stating "F*** this, I'm goin' to the bar".
Proceedings kick of with 'The Ballad of Carol Lynn', a simple enough song with a range of instrumentation to bring it to life and compliment Adams' excellent vocals. This is followed by 'Don't Wanna Know Why' a breezy sounding country-pop song with effective violin parts and complimenting vocals from Caitlin Carey. 'Jacksonville Skyline' follows which is undoubtedly one of Adams' best songs to date, simple and stripped down sounding, exactly what the man does best. Later tracks continue the trend, 'Don't Be Sad' and 'Under Your Breath' are notable, as is 'Easy Heart' with its rustic violin sound with effective harmonising from Carey once again.
As an album, 'Pneumonia' flows well although 'Mirror, Mirror' and 'Paper Moon' undoubtedly stand out as different. The Beatles-esque sound of the former and crooning Mediterranean sounding latter seem a little out of place but are effective songs in their own right.
Closing song 'Bar Lights' encompasses two of Adams' favourite lyrical topics, booze and women and marks an excellent finish to an excellent album (if you discount unlisted track 15).
Ultimately, if you like Ryan Adams it would be hard not to fall in love with this album. Whiskeytown were of course a band and all musicians must be credited for producing one of the finest 'alt-country' albums of all time.

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £10.79

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pavement at their most consistent and best!, 5 Mar. 2003
Of all the Pavement albums, although all gems in their own right, 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain' stands out as their most coherent and accessible set of songs. This album has a bit of everything and is perhaps the best record for those seeking an introduction to the genuis of Steve Malkmus & co. From the 'oooh, oooh, ooohs' and jangly guitars of 'Cut Your Hair' to the country rock of 'Range Life' with it's war of words against the Smashing Pumpkins there is always something to keep your ears interested. 'Goldsoundz' sees Malkmus at his best vocally with his hoarse tones gliding effortlessly over an airy guitar riff. Closing song, 'Fillmore Jive' sees Pavement at their most epic (or as close as Pavement get to epic!) with strung out blissful guitar solos and alternations between quiet and loud!
If you have yet to discover the joys of Pavement then 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain' is undoubtedly a good starting point. Unlike most of the other Pavement releases the songs here are consistently good and there is no need to reach for the skip button on your CD player! This is not to say, other Pavement albums aren't good, quite the opposite. They are all outstanding and Pavement were certainly one of the most unfaltering and exciting bands of the 1990's.

The Fine Art Of Self Destruction
The Fine Art Of Self Destruction
Price: £6.93

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional debut, 12 Jan. 2003
The strength of 'The Fine Art of Self Destruction' lies in the fact that it is filled with quality songs, not a filler in sight. Malin has envious songwriting talents and the ability to emulate all the great artists of the last 40 years whilst retaining his own individuality. 'Solitaire' in particular could be easily be the heartbreaking song that Springsteen has never wrote.
Lyrically, Malin keeps things fairly simple but invokes intrigue in tales of parental divorce, recurring Sunday evening illnesses (!) and of course stories of loves lost and found.
The album is endorsed and produced by none other than Mr. Ryan Adams, who has remarked that Malin is "scarily good". On this performance there is every reason to believe Adams should be scared cos at last the ex-Whiskeytown man has some serious competition!
At times rockin' and upbeat, at times tearful and heartbreaking, Malin succeeds in producing one of the finest and most listenable debut albums for years!

Mobile Home
Mobile Home
Offered by westworld-
Price: £10.98

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Genius, 29 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Mobile Home (Audio CD)
I have put off reviewing this album for some time now, simply because words do not do it justice. In a vast CD collection it takes pride of place and three years after its release I still have not tired of it, despite constant rotation!

Crispin Hunt is THE songwriter of a generation. His lyrics, although often bizarre ("Lying in the sun like a fat dog with you, is worth cancer"), are nothing short of genius. 'Mobile Home' encompasses a range of styles to keep it interesting, yet as an album, it flows like all great records should. The album recalls tall tales of love, drugs and well erm... celebrity dogs (" Lassie's final mile"!)
The achingly beautiful songs such as 'Gangsters', 'Misbeliever' and 'In the Snow' are enough to bring a lump to the throat of any grown man. These contrast starkly with the anthemic guitar driven 'Blue Skies' and the lounging 'Baby Blue' making for a truly excellent and criminally overlooked album. There is not a single bad song on this record and it is tragic that Crispin Hunt has disappeared from the music scene.
Come back Crispin, the world needs you!

The Curved Glass
The Curved Glass
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £1.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Grower, 19 Nov. 2002
This review is from: The Curved Glass (Audio CD)
Hopewell as a band are partly made up of ex-touring members of Mercury Rev and there are definite similarities between this album and the Rev's 'Yerself Is Steem'.
Vocally, the album is a split between both male and female vocals which compliment the melodic and psychedelic musical backdrop. On first listen the album appears somewhat disorganised and shambolic but after a couple of listens some order can be found in the musical chaos. The multi layers of instruments actually blend well together rousing many songs to anthemnic proportions.
Highlights include 'The Angel Is My Watermark', 'Safe As A Milk' and 'It's Christmas Now'
If you like early Mercury Rev then this album given a chance will no doubt take pride in your CD collection. Hopewell's 'Purple Balloon' 6 track EP is well worth checking out too.

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