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L. Omelasz "brekkie_tiffs" (Dundee, UK)
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Funplex
Funplex

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funplex, 30 Mar 2008
This review is from: Funplex (Audio CD)
It may not be good enough to sit on the same shelf as their best efforts (the self-titled, Wild Planet and Cosmic Thing) but it does have some fabulous moments: Juliet of the Spirits flirts successfully with both Summer of Love and Roam; Funplex is sublime silliness - the harmonies of Pierson and Wilson are just divine; Eyes Wide Open hearkens back to the dark funk of the band's Mesopotamia days; Pump could be a grindhouse movie theme tune; Hot Corner is another B-movie party anthem and while Dancing Now is not up there with vintage B-52's, it does have that tint of sadness that they have accomplished so well on select songs throughout their career (namely Topaz). Some misfires are present (Love in the Year 3000 particularly) but at least the album itself does manage to do one thing right: it's a million times better than Good Stuff.


Change
Change
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.13

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Change, 7 Oct 2007
This review is from: Change (Audio CD)
first things first: sugababes haven't been good for years. Their 2003 album, Three, was the pinnacle of their career, flirting brilliantly between the pop/r&b bases covered by their first two albums and enforcing the electro-pop still prominent in their music today. Then they went downhill. Three's predeccesor, Taller in More Ways, was terribly inconsistent. There was some killer songs but overall, it was a disarray. Despite that, however, their trademark sound was still in place, with killer songs that were more growers than instant (the best kind). Fast forward one year, having lost their strongest member (Mutya Buena) and replacing her with a substandard imitation (Amelle something), a greatest hits is released with a couple of new songs. Not up there with the vintage years, sure, but they had their pleasures. Easy had a rousing chorus and Good to Be Gone was a standard but likeable electro-pop song. And they still sounded like Sugababes. Now, in 2007, we have their new album Change. One question comes to mind frequently: What the hell happened? Scrapping any semblance of what they used to be (an r&b/pop band with indie cred), the 'Babes have went full-throttle Since-U-Been-Gone-esque pop. Even the album's most "urban" moments sound forced. First single, About You Now, is likeable enough, but to put it plainly, the 'Babes sound bored (which applies to the entire album, really). The only part of the song that's even remotely emotionally resonant, is Heidi's bridge of "And there's no moving on, 'cause I know you're the one...". Denial and Surprise is the closest you'll get to what the Sugababes used to be, and probably are the album's most affecting moments. Then you have My Love is Pink, which sounds like Livin Joy's Dreamer rehashed. It sounds like the gayest song ever but it's fun. However, although the 'Babes have always had a large gay fanbase, one of the great things about the Sugababes was that they never had to play up to that fanbase i.e. crank out songs aimed specifically at them. This is not the case with My Love Is Pink, and that's actually one of the problems with the album: they no longer sound like they're making records for themselves. For all of its problems, Taller in More Ways was still a good but messy album, with some distinctive but not necessarily typical tracks. Change has none. It's too busy polishing itself and proferring everyone a whiff of its shiny, slick, soulless attitude. It has its pleasures (About You Now, Denial, My Love is Pink, Surprise) but four songs does not even a standard record make.


White Chalk
White Chalk
Price: £8.73

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "as soon as I'm left alone, the devil wanders into my soul...", 30 Sep 2007
This review is from: White Chalk (Audio CD)
...and so begins this collection of chilling and desolate songs. with piano replacing electric guitar and high, falsetto vocals replacing her melodic snarling, pj harvey no longer sounds angry or even in control of her situation; she sounds fragile, lost; bitter; scared, even. her pleads of "Come! Come!" on the album opener, demonstrates this idea of pj being a helpless little girl, with her pleads directed at someone (or something) that never responds. this theme of unrequited love continues in "Dear Darkness" and "Grow Grow Grow", with pj in the latter (or the narrator, if you will), requesting her 'Mommy' to teach her how to make the object of her desire return the same feelings (reinforcing the 'little girl' idea). when we get to 'when under ether', abortion - another recurrent theme in the album - is alluded to for the first time, and combined with the unrequited love theme (and also betrayal), powers the album through to its close. to support these combined themes, mountains appear as recurring motifs of death, specifically the "white chalk hills of Dover" (the same hills in Shakespeare's King Lear whereby the blinded Gloucester wishes to throw himself off of). in the title track, white chalk hills and Dover are explicitly referred to, providing the album with one of its many chilling moments: the narrator is so guilt-ridden from being pregnant that she wishes to kill herself and her unborn child. "Scratch my palms, there's blood on my hands" - in the world in which the album revolves, peace and harmony is corrupted, and the idea of children and love bring sadness rather than happiness. there is no resolve to unhappiness, other than death ("Before Departure") but even so, the narrator doesn't escape her bleak life. in the album's closer, its most chilling (and strongest) moment ("The Mountain"), we return to the ominous mountains, whereby the narrator appears to be trapped as some sort of ghoul (even further suggested by harvey's wordless howling that closes out the song), with betrayal and unhappiness still plaguing her. a bleak and somewhat terrifying note for the album to end on (naturally) but still remarkable: this bleak tale of isolation, betrayal et cetera is mind-blowing brilliance. also, pj harvey doles out 2007's strongest, profound album yet in just half an hour. beat that.


Studio 1
Studio 1
Offered by Direct-Offers-UK-FBA
Price: £1.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Studio 1, 27 Nov 2006
This review is from: Studio 1 (Audio CD)
Less a 'reunion' album but more a "continuation" (as Melanie Blatt said). If this were simply a one-off reunion, they'd have chucked all the Pure Shores/Black Coffee-esque songs they could muster onto the album. Instead, they've veered off into a more reggae/ska sound. And it works. There's so much to enjoy such as the likes of "Chick Fit", ska-cum-60s pop and "Flashback" which can only be fully appreciated when played in dance halls and the like. Sadly, the album hasn't performed as well as expected in the UK (debuted at #40), which is a damn shame because it's actually rather good.


This Hungry Life
This Hungry Life
Offered by iAlpha Technologies
Price: £4.30

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Hungry Life, 21 Oct 2006
This review is from: This Hungry Life (Audio CD)
The lyrics are far stronger than Whiskey Tango Ghosts (I always felt they were a bit too basic) and a lot of the songs are absolutely gorgeous! Tanya sounds really comfortable, adding a touch of spontaneity in all the songs (she's also even better live). New England was stuck in my head for hours on first listen but songs like Kundalini Slide, Days of Grace and River Girls are really dazzling too. One or two songs don't work as well as others but that's nothing major. It expands on the country-esque sound of WTG (it's more americana this time round) with additional violins into the mix and hints of the dreamy pop of her songs in the 90s throughout the songs. River Girls and Days of Grace are the album's finest, loveliest moments. All in all, very impressive.


Never Said Goodbye
Never Said Goodbye
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £3.00

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cerys Matthews - Never Said Goodbye, 10 Oct 2006
This review is from: Never Said Goodbye (Audio CD)
Impressive effort, despite some songs bordering on too wispy (This Endless Rain). Blue Light Alarm is my favourite out of the bunch but the catchiest moment comes with Ruby, snagging some brilliantly queer lyrics along with it ('Put your arms around my neck; you're a dirty little insect').


Dawson's Creek: Season 6 [DVD] [2006]
Dawson's Creek: Season 6 [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ James Van der Beek
Offered by b68solutions
Price: £14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dawson's Creek - Season 6, 6 Oct 2006
After a (very) bumpy 5th season, the show slightly improves in its 6th and final season but it's still pretty inconsistent. There are some good episodes here like Merry Mayhem and of course, the 2 hour finale but most storylines were just dull (e.g. Joey and Eddie). Some of the cast regulars are absent for numerous episodes (namely Jen and Jack) and the season's best character Audrey, isn't used to the show's full advantage - she's also absent for numerous episodes and ignorantly excluded from the 2 hour finale. Overall, it's a watchable season but there's a few too many banal episodes and although not quite on par with season 5, it's a pretty unmemorable season.


Cat's Eye
Cat's Eye
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat's Eye, 3 Oct 2006
This review is from: Cat's Eye (Paperback)
I'm currently studying this novel and Atwood's Alias Grace as part of my Advanced Higher English course and I have to say I absolutely love it. It IS very long but nothing contained within the 421 pages feels like gibberish and it's also very well written which helps. This is my first time reading Atwood and I'm looking forward to venturing into Alias Grace and her other work. Cat's Eye is a challenging read but it's extremely fascinating with it.

L.Omelasz, Dundee, UK.


B'day
B'day
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.43

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars B'Day, 22 Sep 2006
This review is from: B'day (Audio CD)
On her sophomore effort, Beyonce starts sounding like an artist. On her inconsistent debut, Dangerously in Love, it was a case of piling the 4 or 5 potential singles in the first half then having some rather middle-of-the-road songs follow afterwards then both classes 'topped' off by the mediocre songs. B'Day doesn't follow such route; instead, it flows like an album should. The styles here are far more extreme than songs such as Crazy in Love (Ring the Alarm, for example), more inspired and overall, more diverse. Sometimes songs wander off in a 70s funk style, a few are driven purely by kinetic drum loops while one song in particular (Irreplaceable) ventures into acoustic-cum-R&B territory. Irreplaceable proves to be the album's most diverse and riskiest moment; but it pays off - reading as a modernized I Will Survive, after listening to it, its ambiguity is realised: reading the lyrics, we're supposed to believe the heartbroken women will survive and move on from this break up but throw in Beyonce's finest vocals to date, and the impression is a woman desperately trying to convince us of her strength but fails hopelessly.


Throwing Muses
Throwing Muses
Offered by MasterDVD
Price: £5.28

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Throwing Muses (2003), 9 Sep 2006
This review is from: Throwing Muses (Audio CD)
Their heaviest album to date which means you won't find any Bright Yellow Guns, Firepiles or even Ruthie's Knockings amongst this bunch but it's still a pleaser. Half Blast is the main attraction here and Tanya on backing vocals, even for 5 of the songs is very welcome.

Highlight: Half Blast


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