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The First Then Years
The First Then Years
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £12.56

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First Ten Years, 11 Jan 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The First Then Years (Audio CD)
An okay album but practically all of the good tracks on here can be found on the far superior "Essential Shawn Mullins" album. Basically this consists of Shawn's early work prior to Soul's Core (which was essentially his breakthrough release), with tracks taken from the ten years preceding that album (hence the title). Best tracks are Lately, Canyons & Caverns, This Time/Last Time and Changes (a cover track). With the exception of Changes, all these songs can be found on Essential.

I am a huge fan of Shawn Mullins so I would still recommend this album but predominantly from a collectors point of view. It is easily the least played of all my Shawn Mullins albums but that could be purely down to the fact that his other albums (in particular Souls Core, Beneath The Velvet Sun and Essential) are so good. If you're new to Shawn Mullins work I'd opt for one of these three first or possibly his latest effort, 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor (Essential is the best for giving an all-round impression of him as an artist as it consists of most of his biggest songs from several albums and it's also worth noting his albums do differ in style).

Training Day [2002] [DVD] [2001]
Training Day [2002] [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Denzel Washington
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £5.95

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 13 Dec 2006
Training Day came recommended to me by a friend of mine but he doesn't have a very good track record when it comes to recommending films. Maybe it's just me being fussy because I can be critical of films more often than not. However, not so with Training Day. This movie is an absolute gem - it's gripping, fast paced, has a wonderful script and some truly fantastic performances by both Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. Training Day is a tense and gritty thriller that may lack subtlety but more than makes up for it in all other areas. I enjoyed this film from start to finish and it has cemented itself as one of my most favourite films and one of the best films I have seen in recent years.

Places for Breathing
Places for Breathing
Offered by Japan-Select
Price: £10.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Places For Breathing, 4 Dec 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Places for Breathing (Audio CD)
I took a gamble and bought this album on the back of one song I heard from the Daredevil soundtrack - Caught In The Rain, a splendid rock song that had me hooked from the moment I first heard it. The album on a whole isn't quite as strong as that song alone but is still impressive. Other noteworthy tracks include Spin, Seven and Living Rooms; all just as good as Caught In The Rain in my opinion.

Places For Breathing isn't a particulaly long album at just over 40 minutes but is still a solid rock album while it lasts. For the most part the album keeps the same tempo and feel throughout so there isn't vast amounts of variety on offer. What it may lack in variety it makes up for in quality because most songs are good..... and some great. Revis are similar to Creed (in terms of vocal style anyway) and so much better than the likes of Default. This album comes recommended for those looking for accessible rock with a bit of edge.

Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.47

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Duece - those Beautiful Creatures are back!, 29 Nov 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deuce (Audio CD)
I was initially very underwhelmed by Duece. It's release came some 4 years after the awesome self-titled debut album and I was expecting something special. Initial reaction wasn't all that favourable because it lacked the big effects-laden guitars of the first one, it seemed to lack a little bit with the guitar solos (compared to the debut) and it wasn't as instantly accessible as the debut.

I think the main reason for all these initial negative factors is that the album lacks one important component - DJ Ashba. He was the lead guitarist for the debut album and is an absolute magician on guitar but has since left the band and I felt the quality of their music on Deuce suffered as a result.

The lyrics are also rather poor on Deuce but they were never Beautiful Creatures strong point, even on the debut album. To be fair, the main focus of the band is not deep and meaningful lyrics but instead big, powerful guitar riffs and they are most certainly good at that. The vocals are very weak on several tracks as well, but also strangely suited to most of the songs. Still, if you wanted pitch perfect singing you'd be buying some dull pop album, not browsing this page.

So far from this review you might think I'm not a fan of this album nor the band. However, this is not the case - I loved the debut and couldn't wait to get hold of this album. And despite initial misgivings, Deuce isn't all that bad.

The more I have listened to Deuce the more I have grown to like it and now I find myself listening to it constantly. The guitar riffs are still big and powerful (but don't go expecting many of the fancy guitar effects of the first release), there are solos in a majority of the songs (but a bit more subdued than those in the debut) and some genuinely good all-out rock songs, which admittedly I only started to appreciate after a few listens.

Best songs on the album include Save Me, Empty and Feedom - all powerful rock songs. Overall Duece is not as good as the preceding album but after a few listens it does become quite an addictive CD and I often find myself playing it nice and loud on the stereo or in the car.

Initial Impression: 2/5 (first day or so)

Final Verdict: 4/5

Shine On [International Version]
Shine On [International Version]
Offered by hifi-media-store
Price: £2.72

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't quite shine like I thought it would, 12 Oct 2006
Jet's debut was a truly fantastic album from start to finish. Orignal? No not at all. But an amazing rock n' roll album it was! So needless to say I had very high hopes for this, their second release. And I'm sorry to say it's an opportunity missed by the band. It just doesn't have the instant appeal of their debut.

Shine On is for the most part more mellow than it's predecessor and the band are sounding more and more like The Beatles. There are still some awesome rock n' roll tracks on here, such as Holiday, Put Your Money Where You're Mouth Is, Come On Come On (sounds as if it was taken from Get Born) and Stand Up. Whereas the mellow tracks on Get Born were fantastic, the ones on Shine On lack something special. They are a bit bland in all honesty.

Overall, a disappointing album that is very hit and miss. When it's good it's amazing but the weaker songs are too common. Whereas Get Born was an almost perfect debut this will remain in its shadow as a weaker follow-up. It's ok but not the great album that should have been.

Sam's Town
Sam's Town
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Sam's Town, 3 Oct 2006
This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
Sam's Town is the much anticipated follow up to The Killers debut Hot Fuss and sees the band taking a slightly different direction. There is a lot less 80s-style synth on the album. Sam's Town appears to be influenced by the likes of Bruce Spingsteen - it's a lot more Americana than the previous Brit-inspired album.

Initial reaction was not too favourable - I was initially underwhelmed. Whereas Hot Fuss had several anthemic tunes, Sam's Town seemed to lack in that area. But there's no denying that the first single, When You Were Young, is one of the best songs of the year.

After listening to the album some more it has grown on me a lot. When You Were Young is the strongest track in my opinion but there other standout tracks such as Uncle Johnny (with great guitar riff throughout with some great melodies being paired with the vocals perfectly) and For Reasons Unknown (which I think will be released as a single). I own the special edition which contains one bonus track but it's not very good.

To sum up, I like this album a lot. I wasn't so sure at first but gave it a chance and it's really grown on me. I think this album could divide existing fans but personally I would recommend it.

One Cold Night
One Cold Night
Offered by crucialmusic
Price: £19.97

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Cold Night, 4 Sep 2006
This review is from: One Cold Night (Audio CD)
An intimate live acoustic set from Seether featuring a selection of songs from Disclaimer II and Karma & Effect. They also perform an accurate rendition of Pearl Jam's classic song "Immortality".

This is a nice little package - CD with all the live songs from the performance plus Karma & Effect single "The Gift" as a bonus track; DVD with the live acoustic set, band interview, photo gallery and "The Gift" music video.

I was intrigued as to how the band could pull off tracks such as "Gasoline", a hard rock song, in an acoustic performance but they pull it off well. Shaun Morgan's vocals are impressive throughout the entire set. Most songs remain exact replicas, note for note, of the studio versions - Seether don't really expand or alter songs for the set, with the exception of "Fine Again" and "Truth", both of which have nice introductions not found on the studio releases.

The sound quality on the CD is very good. Very clear, full and well balanced unlike some live albums - it has been very well produced. The live DVD is well worth watching, although the camera angles change a bit too often for my liking during the performance. Can't fault anything else about the DVD though.

Overall, a very impressive package that is well worth the money of any Seether fan. Highly recommended!

Let Love In
Let Love In
Price: £7.06

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Let Disappointment In, 1 Sep 2006
This review is from: Let Love In (Audio CD)
Goo Goo Dolls are my absolute favourite band and I love all their previous stuff (anything from Superstar Carwash onwards at least) and eagerly bought Let Love In on day of release.

Initial reaction was extreme disappointment. And it's had plenty of time to grow but it never has. Most of the songs are quite simply bland indie ballads that have been done so many times before and just don't hold my attention.

There are one or two reasonable tracks on here but nothing that reaches the heady heights of previous albums. Best tracks on here are "Better Days" and "Listen" (with Robbie Takac on vocals) which are both pretty good I must admit, and definitely worth listening to. There are a couple of other reasonable tracks, such as "Can't Let It Go" and "Let Love In". Other than that i cannot really recommend any other tracks. Deciding to include the cover song "Give A Little Bit" was a cop-out because it was featured on the excellent Live In Buffalo release some two years previous (both live and studio versions I might add).

If having over half the album packed with songs that sound like nothing more than fillers was bad enough, it all sounds over-produced too. Goo Goo Dolls previous albums were always good at providing accessible rock with a slight edge - not so with Let Love In.

Let Love In is a lot more mellow than previous albums but I've never had a problem with Goo Goo Dolls previous ballads - for example "Iris" and "Name" are both stunning tracks. But the songs on Let Love In lack the emotion of these songs as well as lacking the catchy melodies and riffs Goo Goo Dolls were always so good at.

I want to like this album but it's too much of a let-down. It sounds like a band who don't want to try too hard anymore and are simply content in releasing by-the-numbers music. I hope I'm wrong and they release a follow-up album to match the quality of Gutterflower, Dizzy Up The Girl, Boy Named Goo, etc. They have proved themselves to be excellent song writers and musicians time and again, just not with this album.

As much as I adore the band, I cannot recommend this album.

Karma And Effect
Karma And Effect
Offered by nagiry
Price: £8.91

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disclaimer II was pretty good..... this is very good!, 21 July 2006
This review is from: Karma And Effect (Audio CD)
Karma and Effect is the follow-up to Disclaimer II and the band have progressed since their previoes album. Disclaimer II had some truly fantastic rock songs, such as Gasoline, 69 Tea and Fine Again, but there was a tendancy for the band to go into "Slipknot mode" and scream/grunt words in the middle of most of their songs, which I was never keen on.

Wisely, Seether have chosen not to do that so much in Karma and Effect. You can see they are starting to drift more towards a more commercial sound. They're not selling out because they retain the anger in the heavier songs on the album and they retain the dark nature of most of their songs. I think Seether are moving in the correct direction and as a result Karma and Effect is a superior album to their previous effort.

The album opens in a similar way to Disclaimer II with a hard rock song, Because Of Me, to kick things off - in fact, it's one of the best songs on the entire cd. The first four tracks are great and include the single Remedy. Track 5, called Burrito, deserves a mention because it has a splendid opening riff (possibly the best riff to be found on the album). The album finishes on the gentle acoustic track called Plastic Man - it's basically just Shaun Morgan and an acoustic guitar. Oh, and there is an outro track, the only appeal of which is that the singing is in Seether's native South African language.

Karma and Effect has a nice balance of somewhat delicate moments mixed with plenty of full-on hard rock. The guitar work seems stronger than the previous album and there are definite signs of the band progressing.

I haven't quite given Karma and Effect full marks because the second half of the album isn't as strong as the first half and there are one or two tracks that I do occasionally ommit from listening to when playing the cd. Having said that, none of the songs are bad - it's just the album loses some of its appeal towards the end; it doesn't quite grip me as much as the opening half.

Overall, this comes highly recommended for any Seether fan. If you're new to Seether and are thinking of investing in one of their albums I recommend you give this a try prior to Disclaimer II.

Lost - Season 2 - Part 1 [DVD]
Lost - Season 2 - Part 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matthew Fox
Offered by The Real Quality Media Store
Price: £19.90

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost Season 2 - very hit and miss, 21 Jun 2006
The finale to Lost Season One was great and left me wanting more. Many of the questions from Season One are answered but so many other questions crop up throughout Season Two.

I've been lucky enough to see every episode so I feel I can give a balanced opinion of it. I've never been one of these people who obsess and theorise for hours on end about Lost. I simply watch the show and that's it.

So what can you expect from Season Two? I won't reaveal too much because I don't want to spoil things. The Others feature a lot more (answering a lot of questions but posing several more), new characters appear and there are some fatalities. I'll say no more... watch for yourself!

Season Two starts off quickly, taking off right from where Season One ended, but things go down hill as we approach the middle of the series. I felt that nothing really noteworthy happens in a few epsiodes - there were one or two episodes that have no real effect on the overall storyline (they don't seem to move the stroy forward). Season Two only really picks up again towards the end, particularly the last 4 or 5 episodes (but obviously they don't feature in this box set).

I've always preferred Lost when it focuses more on the island and what's happening on and around it, as opposed to the episodes that focus more of the characters backgrounds via several long-winded flashbacks (which we get every episode but not always as the main focus).

Overall, Season Two is a bit hit and miss, much like Season One in my opinion (an opinion that might not please many). I've never been completely taken in by the show like many. I found some episodes to be slightly lacking but when things step up a gear Lost is gripping TV. At it's best, fantastic. At it's worst, average. Lost can be extremely clever and the way that things link together is very effective but it just loses its way slighly in the middle third of the series.

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