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Edward Teach (Brisbane, Australia)

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The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking
The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking
Price: 3.94

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waters' road trip is a dream, 9 July 2003
Fresh from the acrimonious division of Pink Floyd, there were concerns that the first attempt by Roger Waters to replicate his success with the iconic rockers would prove cynical and embittered. Indeed, ‘The Final Cut’, his last effort under the name of Floyd – a Waters' solo album in almost all but name – was draped in his anti-war angst, a theme ever present in ‘The Wall’. Such was the belief that his political leanings would override any musical integrity, contributed to the early poor showing of this gloriously eccentric album.
In truth the album couldn’t be more removed from the weighty pressures of politicking and stands as both a dreamlike piece of musical theatre and an attempt at some tongue-in-cheek satire not seen since ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’. It’s a rare day indeed when we see Eric Clapton, David Sanborn and Jack Palance on the same ‘stage’.
The multi-layered story is as tantalising as it is carefully imagined. With the symbolism of betrayal, lust and entrapment painted gaudily, we are able to pick through the pieces of this dreamlike journey with as much or little need for plot as we require. We move from 4.30am to 5.11am, delighting in the prospects of change, diving into the pits of despair and riding the freedom Harley to nowhere.
If you’re short on time, move your watch forward to 4.50am and then 5.06am, you’ll be pleased you did.

Price: 7.99

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A long road to Graceland, 8 July 2003
This review is from: Darshan (Audio CD)
Have you ever put your hand in a lucky dip? From time to time you pull out a gem, a piece of kitsch pleasure that surprises and delights. On other occasions however, you find yourself in possession of something bland and worthless. So it is when dipping into the eclectic world of David Sylvian.
The problem here is that the percentage of his material that is outstanding still out ways the mediocre and, despite a justified caution that your fingers may get burnt, you just have to give it a go.
Darshan (the road to Graceland) had been done, and done well on Fripp and Sylvian’s collaboration, The First Day. So, we ask ourselves, what value does this album have for repeating the dose with two variants of the same theme on top of the ‘original’? The answer is not a lot. It sparks of a desire to have some material ‘out there’ and proves once again that Sylvian deems the reworking of the same as important as he does creating the new. It’s a real shame, because here stands one of popular music’s great entrepreneurs and, as he has proven so many times before, a creative genius.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2011 12:59 PM BST

Roger Waters: In The Flesh - Live [DVD] [2002]
Roger Waters: In The Flesh - Live [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Roger Waters
Price: 5.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It all makes perfect sense!, 8 July 2003
With the gap between new material such an expansive one, it is no surprise that people will clamber for anything that shows us that the old Pink Floyd stalwarts are still alive and kicking. It was therefore, with a great deal of suspicion that I viewed another repackaging of old material. What transpired however was a truly heart warming, life affirming production that did, at turns, reduce an old cynic to a lump of emotional jelly.
The world of Waters is not an altogether cheery one, as fans of both his Pink Floyd days and subsequent solo efforts will testify. However whilst the television news continues to depress us with sobering stories from around the world each night, Waters delivers his doom-laden worldview with an emotional totality that cannot be determined from mere journalism.
Gathering a collection of genius musicians is not always enough to give a production depth and soul. If anything, such a gathering often works against the product, highlighting the cold surgical delivery of bland, often lifeless material. Not here. The richness of the sounds and the deftness of its players only enhance a truly breathtaking production. Whilst no one musician takes centre stage, no one is a bit player. Snowy White, Graham Broad and Andy Fairweather Low provide incredibly solid support to the electrifying guitar work of Doyle Bramhall II and sublime keyboard skills of Jon Carin, both of who offer controlled vocal support. In addition, your heart melts to the sound of the faultless PP Arnold, here at her sumptuous best.
Water provides the cement in this dynamic and moving performance and it is with a sense of awe that we tip our hat to his often-unrecognised genius. Let us only hope that the new material, as suggested with the closing Each Small Candle, is as brilliant.

New Earth Mud & Bonus DVD
New Earth Mud & Bonus DVD

4.0 out of 5 stars A Crowe comes down to earth!, 8 July 2003
Take one mega-successful band with one distinctive voice and then separate to taste. It is a recipe that has been tried many times before with limited success. Here, Robinson - ex-Black Crowes - has recognised the conundrum and, as the cover would suggest, sought to distance himself from raunchy guitars and vocal excess, in favour of a toned-down reflection on his current place in the world. For the most part, we enjoy the ride, relishing his lark-like warbling and embracing his more angst-free impressions. However, the journey is long and the scenery mostly unchanged and sadly, in the end, we would rather the journey had been somewhat shorter.
Lyrically, there is a delightful maturity and evidence of a great deal of passion given to the project. In itself this is both a hindrance and a blessing. Works of passion can often become too insular, too inaccessible. However, with New Earth Mud out of the way, perhaps Mr Robinson will seek to shake it up a little next time round. I for one will be delighted to see it.
For those debating the value of the bonus DVD, it is worth it for the wonderful fly-on-the-wall moment when Robinson reveals 'Safe in the arms of love' to Kate Hudson.

by Dava Sobel
Edition: Paperback

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real time machine, 7 July 2003
This review is from: Longitude (Paperback)
There are many lessons that can be learnt from reading Dava Sobel's wonderful novel, and they aren't all to do with the science of clocks. For many writers of science and history, the temptation to overwhelm the reader with an abundance of words seems a compulsion. In the case of Longitude, Sobel has dispensed with the weighty doorstop approach and instead provides us with one of the most dashing, informative and highly enjoyable strolls into the world of genius ever.
Written with a flare for the dramatic, Longitude expounds not only the incredible quest undertaken by John Harrison, but also serves to tell of a period of history generally assumed to be without a value in Hollywood.
The intrigue, backstabbing, deadlines and clock construction take place slowly, but not without sizzling across the page. As Harrison seeks to claim the 20,000, forces behind the scenes conspire against him. But the true hero here is the storyteller. The only disappointment is that your search for another non-fiction book of such brilliance will be so frustrating.

The Wasp Factory
The Wasp Factory
by Iain Banks
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reluctantly drawn into Banks' world, 7 July 2003
This review is from: The Wasp Factory (Paperback)
As an animal lover and purveyor of the worlds niceties and not its abominations, this was always going to be a bitter pill to swallow. However, just as sticking your tongue into a particularly grisly mouth ulcer elicits a feeling of pleasure from pain, Iain Banks' debut novel continued to offer a vent for such disturbances throughout its 244 pages.
Blending a hybrid of the disturbed youth from Brighton Rock and Catcher In The Rye, Banks has built on the aberrations of adolescent displacement and religious fanaticism with confused sexuality, vicious cruelty and strung-out isolation. Set in a bleakly remote community and swept with dramatic imagery and vivid imagination, Banks draws upon a gothic mix of Poe and Wyndhamesque horror, whilst elegantly capturing the desperation of a solitary and disturbed youth, namely Frank, 'just sixteen and unconventional, to say the least'.
This was a first read of Banks for me, and whilst I am now inexorably driven to read more, I do so with a degree of trepidation.

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