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Platinum Pixie - Hits
Platinum Pixie - Hits
Price: £7.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What A Voice!, 24 Nov 2014
This review is from: Platinum Pixie - Hits (Audio CD)
I can't believe that it has been five years since the lovely Miss Lott burst onto the music scene with her stunning debut album "Turn It Up". Back in 2009, she blew me away with her rich, sultry vocals which contrasted greatly with her cute, demure persona. While Pixie has achieved chart success and you'd be hard to find someone who has a bad word to say against her, I have always felt that she is unappreciated as and artist and extremely underrated. This collection of hits just proves what a powerhouse vocalist she is and is a great record to listen to if you are new to Pixie Lott. There is really something for everybody here, ranging from the teen-pop anthem "Boys & Girls", sexy throwback "Nasty", 60's soul inspired "Break Up Song", dance smash "All About Tonight" to the absolutely stunning cover of "Caravan Of Love" - her latest single.

I have a few minor issues with the album though. I am not sure about who decided on the tracklisting. My two personal favourite singles "What Do You Take Me For?" (from Young Foolish Happy) and "Lay Me Down" (from "Pixie Lott") are excluded. I understand that Lay Me Down did not light up the charts but it is one of her catchiest hits to date and What Do You Take Me For? went straight into the top 10 so it bewilders me as to why they are absent. I feel like people were a little lazy when creating this, throwing in a random track from the first album (Coming Home), a Christmas song, a Jackie Wilson cover and a cancelled single (Break Up Song). This is just me being picky though! It is not a bad album and all of the songs still capture Pixie's charm. I just wish things were a little tidier but that's all.

After only three albums and a re-release of her first, it may seem a little early to put out a greatest hits record. I believe it's to do with her label wanted to end her latest album era as it sadly under-performed and it's a quick Christmas/Strictly Come Dancing cash-in. However, none of that takes away from Lott's talent and if you can't get enough of her then this is a great record to put on repeat and sing along to. If you are a relatively new fan then this is also a must-have as it revisits her back catalogue and showcases her versatility as an artist.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2014 9:51 AM GMT

Butterfly Effect
Butterfly Effect
Price: £7.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good things come to those who wait., 1 Sep 2014
This review is from: Butterfly Effect (Audio CD)
This is the second solo offering to come from The Pussycat Dolls, the first one coming in the form of Nicole Scherzinger's 2011 debut smash album "Killer Love". Since the disbandment of PCD, the former dolls have been attempting to break out as solo artists but the music industry has been less than kind to Ashley, Kimberly, Jessica, Melody and Carmit as numerous setbacks and label issues have stunted their individual projects multiple times. However, Miss Roberts has finally came out fighting and managed to released her LONG awaited debut album; "Butterfly Effect" and it is a truly brilliant record. It's true when they say good things come to those who wait.

The album kicks off with the lead single, "Clockwork". Recorded at London's famous Metropolis Studios like the bulk of the record, this rock/pop powerful number definitely sets the tone of the record. Much like the rest of the album, it packs a punch and has a very edgy, feisty undercurrent to it. In Ashley's words "Clockwork" represents a relationship that had its moment and when it did it was fireworks, but now it's fizzled out and you want to go back for more fireworks even though it's done. It's dangerous and exciting but may leave you a little scarred. We've all had one of those." I can definitely feel the raw emotion in Ashley's vocals throughout this mid-tempo beauty. Why this single failed to chart is beyond me!

Following on we have the second single, "Woman Up". This is one of the most upbeat songs on "Butterfly Effect" and has a very "camp", girl power vibe to it. It is definitely a feel good song and always puts a smile on my face but I do think that it is one of the weakest tracks on the album and was confused as to why it was chosen as the second single. Nevertheless, Ashley still delivers and it's good, straight-up pop fun nonetheless.

The third track comes in the shape of the mid-tempo "Lonely Nights (Hey You)". I sense a very 1980's feel running through this track and it is very easy on the ears. Lyrically, I would say that this is one of the strongest and one of my favourites on the album. It strips back Robert's celebrity persona and talks about how she is still human, goes through certain situations and still gets lonely. She then tells us how we are all the same and everyone goes through the same thing.

Fourth on "Butterfly Effect" is the quirky, edgy and R&B/urban influenced "All In A Day". This song was first heard back in 2012 and was pleasantly surprised when I found out that Ashley was keeping this track on the record. Without a doubt this is one of the most creative, quirkiest songs I've heard from Ms Roberts and it shows how easily she can slide into different genres and pull them off convincingly. Definitely a highlight on the album.

Following is "Ride or Die", a slightly more fast paced track which includes very sultry vocals from Ashley in the verses before she goes off and delivers a very haunting, spine chilling vocal performance throughout the chorus. This track feels like another throwback and I can detect a 90's indie vibe within the beautiful song. Another lyrical highlight on the record.

The sixth track on the album is one of my favourites, the upbeat and insanely catchy "My Song". While some may find the pitched chorus irritating, I think it really adds to the track and it makes it seem rather quirky rather like "All In A Day". The song talks about Ashley breaking free, proving doubters wrong and how the world is now paying attention and "playing her song". This is definitely one of the most commercial on the album and it would be a crime if this was not released as a single. A surefire hit!

"Midas Touch" follows on and the tempo drops ever so slightly. The production of the song sounds rather clunky and sticky, filled with lots of bass and I can also detect a very, very, VERY faint dubstep influence within the chorus all of which contrast beautifully with Ashley's smooth and silky vocals. Not the strongest on the record but still a very welcome addition.

One of the slower songs on the record comes in the form of "Wild Heart" which sounds like a typical piano led, R&B ballad throughout the verses (think of a Ryan Tedder production) but things pick up ever so slightly in the chorus which stop it from becoming a gloomy, dragging ballad. Like the previous track, it's not the strongest song but far from a bad track and very easy to listen to. Only thing I should warn you about is that if you are letting little kiddies listen to the record, she does drop the "s" word practically off the bat in this song.

Like "Wild Heart", another slower song follows on which is titled "Standing In The Rain". While this probably follows the form of a typical pop ballad more so than the other down tempo songs, it is far from dull. With its hands and lighters in the air chorus, you'll soon find yourself singing along to it. It is a beautiful track and it's subtlety is what does the trick. Simple production and smooth vocals are all that's needed to get the feel and message of the track across. No need for over the top wailing or messy production.

Rounding off Ashley's debut album is "Face of Love" which is the obligatory closing ballad. They always say leave the best until last and I think that is what Ashley has down. I'm very into lyrical content as you may know by now and this down tempo little gem certainly hits the spot. Again, the vocal delivery is stellar and what I have noticed with Ashley is that she really connects with her tracks. You can hear/feel the emotion in her voice and her performances are always believable. A problem with many of today's artists is that they just don't connect with their songs and tend to over sing or not put in enough effort which takes away from the whole feel of a song. Not Ms Roberts though. She tugs on the heartstrings every time.

Overall, this is a very solid debut record and for it to come from someone very overlooked and overshadowed in the business for years, it makes it that bit more special and triumphant. The caged bird has finally been set free and is singing her song! Ashley has found her own style and proves that she can hold her own in today's music scene. Many may be apprehensive about listening to an album from "a girl who didn't sing in PCD" but trust me, give it a spin and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Proud of Ashley!

Midnight Memories [VINYL]
Midnight Memories [VINYL]
Offered by nagiry
Price: £7.76

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to my collection, 2 July 2014
This review is from: Midnight Memories [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I am a huge fan of this group. I am not usually one for boy bands but there is something so capturing about One Direction. They tend to stay away from the whole dance/dupstep pop crossover scene that seems to be going on at the moment and they have carved out their very own rock pop style which is unmistakable. The track "Midnight Memories" is the third single from the album of the same name and like their previous singles, it's another stomper. It is probably one of their heaviest rock influenced tracks to date which is rather refreshing in comparison to a lot of other stuff in the charts today. Being released on vinyl (limited stock only) is another bonus as I am a collector of vinyls and it also works nicely with the retro feel of the song itself. It is also very reasonably priced for such a rarity.

Better Together (Ep)
Better Together (Ep)
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £6.58

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Better off solo?, 2 July 2014
This review is from: Better Together (Ep) (Audio CD)
Being an avid collector of pop records, I took a leap of faith and purchased this EP as it is very reasonably priced and fellow reviewers seem to be overjoyed with the quality of this little record. I have to say that I was extremely disappointed and while the songs are far from terrible, they just lack....well, everything.

I wish to start off by stating that some of the girls do have good voices - Normani, Ally and Dinah (I believe). I watched a few of their old performances to try to match voices to faces so don't quote me as I'm not entirely sure who is who. With three solid voices and two rather limp and grating vocalists who seem to be put at the forefront for some bizarre reason, it's pretty obvious that this is going to be a bumpy ride. I find it ironic that this is titled "Better Together" when it sounds to me like some of the girls would be better off as solo acts as they just don't gel vocally. It's almost as if five random girls were picked up off of the street and thrown in a record studio together. There is no chemistry between them and for a group titled Fifth Harmony, you'd expect them to be able to pull of some good harmonies. Nope. If you're looking for that may I suggest such groups as Little Mix, Mutya Keisha Siobhan/Sugababes, En Vogue, Eternal and Destiny's Child.

Not only is there a lack of chemistry between the girls vocally but when it comes to connecting with the songs and trying to pull them off convincingly, they fall flat. Again, it just seems like they've been told to sing whatever is presented to them which is rather odd as they have writing credits on most of the tracks. Even with their own creations, they are still lacking that "oomph" which just drains my energy and makes me want to skip over the tracks as I'm not being pulled in at all. It doesn't help that the songs have mediocre lyrics and rather uninteresting production. Now I wasn't expecting a musical masterpiece nor is that what I'm seeking for as this is just a pop girl band and I understand that. However, in the pop world if you don't have that sparkle and can't manage to ingrain your hooks and choruses into people's heads then you're not going to go very far.

It may sound like I'm being harsh but the truth is that this just does not tick any boxes for me. Do not get me wrong, this is far from being a terrible EP and will not leave your ears bleeding but it is rather "vanilla", middle of the road and just doesn't go anywhere from start to finish. There is just something rather off about this record and the group. It doesn't seem natural and nothing has really clicked into place. They might succeed as I've heard they have a strong fan base overseas and have also been called "the female One Direction" by some but trust me, these girls certainly do not have the charisma, chemistry and punch in their music as those guys do. I have no idea what they are like outside of the studio, they may be lovely and bubbly girls but as far as the music is concerned, it just doesn't cut it.

Only Just Begun
Only Just Begun
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samantha is back on top form!, 5 Mar 2014
This review is from: Only Just Begun (MP3 Download)
Samantha Mumba is a name that was on everyone's lips back in the early 2000's. A top ten album, a continuous string of top ten hits, chart success all around the globe, album sales of over four million and not to mention a starring role in the 2002 blockbuster movie, The Time Machine. However, in 2002, Samantha's music career came to an unfortunate and unexpected end. Her sophomore album 'Woman' was cancelled as its lead single 'I'm Right Here' didn't take off the way her label expected it to. After being dropped by her label and stepping away from the hectic showbiz lifestyle, it seemed like a musical comeback from Ms Mumba was highly unlikely. After twelve years away from the music scene, the talented Samantha returns with a brand new single and proves that she is just as great as ever. Now an independent artist, Samantha is in total control of her career and so far, she is making all of the right moves.

'Only Just Begun' is a pop ballad/dance track hybrid in which Samantha's beautiful, rich vocals soar over. It is departure from the pop sounds of 'Baby Come On Over (This Is Our Night)' and a far cry from the American style R&B beats of 'I'm Right Here' but it has been well over a decade since those songs were released and it would not be right if she tried to replicate her older material. 'Only Just Begun' shows that Samantha has the ability to move with the times and still manage to put her own stamp on her music.

I'd recommend this to her old fans as it's nice to hear Ms Mumba back at what she does best and I for one really appreciate this track as it's been a long time coming. For those not familiar with Samantha, I still recommend you give it a listen as it's fresh, modern and very easy on the ears.

Welcome back Samantha!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 25, 2014 10:41 PM GMT

The Sting
The Sting
Price: £10.93

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gabriella is back on top form!, 12 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Sting (Audio CD)
Gabriella Cilmi may unfortunately be known by many people simply for one single, her 2008 smash hit single 'Sweet About Me', however if one were to take a look into her back catalogue as well as this new record you'd realise just how criminally underrated this shining Australian songbird is and that she has the ability to pull off any musical style which is a rarity in artists nowadays.

Ms Cilmi first burst onto the scene in 2008 with her critically acclaimed debut album, 'Lessons To Be Learned' which contained elements of pop, soul, rock, funk and jazz and showcased her rich, raspy vocals perfectly. This record was soon followed up in 2010 with the release of her sophomore album, 'Ten', which moved away from her original soulful sound in favour of an exciting eighties-esque, new wave, electronica flavour. Despite being praised by critics, Gabriella was unhappy with the change in direction and felt like nothing more than a mere puppet in the music industry. After low sales of 'Ten', she broke away from her management and label to do it all alone. Three years later, a much more wiser and maturer Gabriella Cilmi returns with her long awaited third studio album, 'The Sting', which sees her yet again shift musical style. This time around, Ms Cilmi takes on a much darker almost ethereal sound, taking inspiration from old soul music and the connotations of the Italian neo-realism photography.

So, without a major record label to back her and with no 'smash' lead single in the vein of both 'Sweet About Me' and 'On A Mission', does this album hold up as well as the others? In short, the answer is simply yes. I can't help but feel like this is Gabriella's most personal album to date. Listening to the record, it's very clear just how much time and effort has been put into achieving this truly unique sound and one only has to listen to the passion in Cilmi's voice to realise that she has a strong connection with the album. The songwriting on 'The Sting' is also rather stunning. With each one of Gabriella's albums, I have noticed her songwriting skills develop and go from strength to strength and I must highlight that a lot of the lyrics throughout this record are very clever and stay far away from the typical cliches heard in the majority of music today.

Another highlight of the album is the beautiful production. Gabriella may no longer have the talents of Xenomania or The Invisible Men by her side anymore but the truth of the matter is that she does not need them to make this such a great album. Instead, the talents of the wonderful Eliot James [who has worked with the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and Noah & The Whale] were roped in to produce the entire project. I can't think of anyone better for the job as James manages to create the perfect sound for the album. His dark trip-hop influenced sounds compliments the lush and emotional songs perfectly, giving 'The Sting' that extra edge.

Unlike a lot of albums that are in the charts today, 'The Sting' contains no 'filler' tracks and flows well as one great body of work. Each track tells a different story and to reiterate what I said earlier, Cilmi strays away from the usual cliches which make the song 10x more interesting. Standout tracks for me are; 'The Sting', 'Sweeter In History', 'Don't Look Back', 'Left With Someone Else' and 'Not Sorry'.

Will she be able to recreate the success of her debut record? Well without the backing of a major label it may not fair well in the charts. Is it better than her debut album? It is 100%, without a doubt far better than her 2008 debut and just like her second album 'Ten', it is filled with a lot of character which can only work well in its favour. I can't say that this is her best work to date as comparing her 2nd album to this one is like comparing two completely different artists but it is far superior than 'Lessons To Be Learned' which is a fantastic album in itself. I strongly recommend this album to any fan of Ms Cilmi as it shows off her artistic skills, development and her personality all in one.

More Than This
More Than This

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Song From A Great Band, 4 Sep 2012
This review is from: More Than This (Audio CD)
When people hear the name 'One Direction', many people chuckle and immediately write them off as a cheesy pop band who can't sing. They couldn't be more wrong. If you gave this group a chance, you will soon find yourself nodding, dancing and singing along to one or more of their tunes.

'More Than This' is an R&B/Pop ballad taken from their debut album 'Up All Night'. It received a limited physical release (hence the slightly high price for a single), set to be released as the 4th official single, plans were cancelled so they could work on their sophomore album. I see this song as 'one for the fans'. Written by Jamie Scott and produced by Paul Meehan & Brian Rawling, it is one of their best in my opinion. From great lyrics to a brilliant instrumentation to amazing vocals, this song has it all.

Niall Horan and Zayn Malik particularly shine out on this track due to their brilliant and believable performance. They really connect with the song and it doesn't sound like they've just been told to sing it. It's a lovely little ballad and also sounds wonderful when performed live.

Price: £15.23

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parade-Tastic!, 14 Nov 2011
This review is from: Parade (Audio CD)
In a year of numerous new girl bands trying to grab the limelight (SoundGirl, Parade, Wonderland, Belle Amie, WooWoos, BelleVoxxx and BeachGirl5), this band really deserves the success the most. Parade consists of 5 very talented girls; Emily Biggs, Sian Charlesworth, Bianca Claxton, Jessica Agombar and Lauren Deegan all of whom have been working their socks off since 2009 to deliver this stellar album. Parade have a huge fan base (Male fans known as 'Paraders' and female ones 'Paradettes') and no wonder why! What makes these girls so different from the rest and so lovable is their unique sound and style. Parade remind me of the Sugababes pre-Sweet 7 fiasco due to their edgy urban pop style and simple yet amazing tunes, no need for auto tune or dance beats that do your head in what so ever! Here is a track by track description;

1) Louder - Opening track starts with a playful chanting of 'Turn it up boy boy, turn it up boy', which will immediately draw you in and have you smiling already. This track itself has already became a pop classic due to its many catchy lines and bouncy beat. This was their debut single and peaked at No.10 in the UK. 10/10

2) Like You - A more laid back track follows with 'Like You'. Again filled with catchy bits like; 'Ooh get your body body, go get your body body' it sticks in your head after the first listen. Very different from songs in the charts nowadays, this song actually sings about finding someone 'like you' and doesn't go on about dreary heartbreak. 10/10

3) Ticking On It - This is a lovely little R&B number with a great chorus. It reminds me of something that Jordin Sparks would do; very R&B oriented but light and happy at the same time. If released as a single it would be a sure fire hit. Credit to the producers of this song too! 9.5/10

4) Perfume - Opening with attention grabbing horns and the line; 'Must be my perfume, my perfume, my perfume, that's what they like' it will either draw you right in or repel you (only if you hate pop though). Probably the most fun song on the entire album. 'Perfume' has a catchy hook and stunning vocals. Sian in particular shines out in the first verse. This was the second single released and peaked at No.38 in the UK. 10/10

5) Just A Girl - For some reason this makes me cry and I don't know why? I think it is down to the lines 'I'm just a girl, that's all you wanna see, I'm no superstar, how could I be?' However, it turns into a very 60's sounding tune with many 'La la la's' being chanted and it reminds me of a song The Supremes would do. Lovely little song! 9/10

6) Knock On My Door - Fell in love with this track at first listen. The vocals are as amazing as ever and Ms. Bianca Claxton really shines out on the song. I think that this is one of the songs I've listened to the most since getting the album only a few hours ago! Definitely a stand out track. 10/10

7) Stars - Probably the most dance oriented song on the album which really makes it stand out. With lines like; 'Superhero walking in slow-mo and I've even got my own theme song' it sure puts a smile on your face. Could definitely do well as a single. Some parts of it remind me of Willow Smith's '21st Century Girl'. 9.5/10

8) Mr Right Now - The only track I haven't really got into. It is quite in your face but after a few more listens I started to like it more. Still not a fan of the chanting of 'BOYS, BOYS, BOYS' but still far from being a bad track. However, it is one that I would play at a party to get everyone in the mood for being hyper, haha. 7/10

9) Shoes - We then come to the amazing 'Shoes'. Rumoured by many fans as the upcoming 3rd single. No wonder it is already a fan favourite, it has all the right ingredients to make a slice of pop perfection. Opening with sexy vocals from Bianca backed by a smooth synth, it really gets you dancing along. The lines such as 'You can spill your drink on my clothes, I'll wash it out as soon as I get home' and 'Everything is all right as long as you don't step on my shoes' are my favourite lines EVER! 11/10!

10) Pretty Ugly - This is the first ballad we come across in a while. It is still very catchy and has a lovely R&B sound. The lyrics are very creative and is delivered with a very believable emotional performance. I find myself singing it quite a lot and although it is one of the slower songs on the album, it is far from boring. 9/10

11) Weatherman - The instrumental to this song actually reminds me of the soundtrack to an old 1980's video game, in a really good way though! It has really smooth synths and has a lovely tranquil sound to it which is really relaxing and refreshing. Different to anything else I've heard from a girl band. 9/10

12) Yes You Are - A short little ballad (only lasting 2mins 46seconds) which is like an ode to each girls loved ones. Bianca gives a stellar performance again and the harmonies are beautiful. The line 'If I'm sinking, you're my rocket and you take me up' really brings a tear to your eye and could warm the coldest of hearts. 9/10

13) Rokstar - I heard the acoustic version of this song way back in early 2011 and I fell in love with it straight away. This version is a bit more lively but still beautiful. It is songs like this which separate Parade from thousands of other pop acts out there at the moment. Great song and brilliant vocals. 10/10

14) Rollercoaster - Last song on the album and I admit, I think that Rokstar would have been a better way to close the album. It is still a good song don't get me wrong, just not the way I wanted the album to end. It is a very pop rock inspired song delivered with delicious vocals. A nice song to bop your head to. 8/10

Overall, Parade have impressed me tremendously. Usually debut albums by girl bands are just thrown together to meet high demand and for labels to cash in but you can tell that this album has been carefully crafted in a pece of pop perfection and that everyone who worked on this album has took their time to make it and I meet it when I say; the best album of 2011. Well done girls!! 10/10

Bass Down Low [feat. The Cataracs] [Clean]
Bass Down Low [feat. The Cataracs] [Clean]
Price: £0.99

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 10 Jun 2011
Dev's single "Bass Down Low" fails to impress me. Her voice is good and I'm sure many others think that to, but this song is rubbish. It is VERY repetitive and boring. "Bass Down Low" reminds me of a dull evening with "Auntie Mary", you just want it to end so that you can listen to something more interesting. I am not saying that she isn't a good artist, I hope that I enjoy her future material but as for now, I'm off to do something more interesting than listening to watching paint dry.

Say My Name [CD 1]
Say My Name [CD 1]
Offered by simak
Price: £1.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Destiny's Child At Their Best!, 10 Jun 2011
This review is from: Say My Name [CD 1] (Audio CD)
"Say My Name" is a lovely laid back,smooth R&B track. Led by the luscious vocals of Beyonce, and the high harmonies of LeToya (who wasn't in the video as she was booted out along with LaTavia, but her amazing voice can still be heard when the chorus repeats.) the girls impressed us once again. This is one of their biggest hits to date, and I can see why as the lyrics are superb and the harmonies are heavenly.

This single is the first to feature the two new members, Farrah Franklin & Michelle Williams, who replaced LaTavia and LeToya. Although the new member's vocals don't actually appear on the track, the girls still feature in the video and they fit right in. You couldn't tell that there had been a line up change as the girls seem so relaxed and professional.

If you want smooth and great R&B. buy this track! I also recommend all of their albums but their first album "Destiny's Child" and their 2nd album "The Writing's On The Wall" are the most relaxed sounding.

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