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D. A. Vall-lloveras (Los Angeles CA)
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Elysium
Elysium
Offered by Bee-Entertained
Price: 6.85

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different But Ultimately Rewarding CD, 10 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Elysium (Audio CD)
This album will be polarizing for Pet Shop Boys fans and non-fan musical acquaintances. It is not the bombastic 21st century dance party that was the previous CD "Yes."...This album is a lot more "Introspective" - and it's too bad that the boys already have a CD with that name, because it is perfect for this one. Musically, this is more low key and lyrically it is more reflective. From the beauty in the first few seconds of the opening track "Leaving", to the understated optimism of first single "Winner" - a really wonderful anthem that would have made a great official 2012 Olympics song, to the satirical comment on today's chart topping artists, "Ego Music", and the oddly captivating "Hold On' (based on Handel's Birthday Ode to Queen Anne "Eternal source of light divine...") and the lovely "Breathing Space", there is a variety not always seen on a PSB album.

This deluxe edition has a bonus disc with instrumental versions of these songs which allows one an additional perspective to really appreciate the PSB's creative process. Granted, it is not the kind of CD you play at a New Year's Eve blast, but there is beauty to spare when you take it with you and listen in the privacy of your personal music player. It is unfortunate that some PSB and casual dance music fans will feel let down, but that is due to their own expectations that this should be a non-stop 128bpm dance fest. There is plenty to love about this album, if you actually take time to listen to it - and thank goodness the Boys didn't descend to tiresome trendiness by doing dubstep.


Boys Don't Cry
Boys Don't Cry
Price: 11.14

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adele May Be The "Big Buzz", but RUMER Is the Real Treasure..., 4 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Boys Don't Cry (Audio CD)
I don't know exactly how to define what it is, but listening to this album/CD just made me feel so good!! It could be in how relaxed yet confidently Rumer interprets these songs and/or has managed to channel the best parts of Joni Mitchell, Dusty Springfield, and even Karen Carpenter and woven them into a wonderfully nuanced vocal tapestry. Her first album was great, but this album is, in almost perfect balance, a youthful twenty-something singing as if she was the being of an old soul...Adele may be the "Big Buzz", but Rumer is the real treasure... Just listen...


Bonnie Pointer - Expanded Edition
Bonnie Pointer - Expanded Edition
Price: 10.62

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great to have this rare gem on CD!!..But POOR mastering!!, 13 Mar 2012
I remember thinking what a surprisingly wonderful album this was especially with the original version of "Heaven Must Have Sent You" instead of the disco version that was later inserted to replace the original one....One of my favorites, "My Everything", is so very warm, wonderful and even channels Billie Holiday in parts. The other classic Motown re-make "When I'm Gone", is a nice homage to Brenda Holloway & Mary Well's 1960s versions. The bonus tracks are great to have including the instrumental of "Free Me From My Freedom."

What let's this reissue down is the poor mastering. If you read the liner notes, it reads like the tracks were originally mastered at Universal studios and then "additionally mastered" by someone for BBR...THAT EXPLAINS why the sound is bass heavy, the highs are muffled, and dynamics are overly compressed....What a shame that this release is marred by poor mastering. Yet, this is the only way, other than used vinyl, to get this rare gem.


Seasons Of My Soul
Seasons Of My Soul
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.59

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Vocal Recording of 2010..and I've set it on "repeat!", 1 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Seasons Of My Soul (Audio CD)
Sarah Rumer Joyce has to be, as far as real singing goes, THE musical find of 2010. Her voice channels the essence of Dusty Springfield, mixed with the resonace of Tracy Thorn (of Everything But the Girl), as well as the melancholy of Karen Carpenter. It is no wonder that Burt Bacharach flew her to Los Angeles just to hear her sing. As each song on the CD played, I found myself more and more drawn in to Rumer's vocal and interpretative charms. While the songs "Am I Forgiven", "Slow", Aretha", and "Come to Me High" seem to have gotten the most attention, "Saving Grace", "Thankful", and "Healer" have been my repeated listening favorites. "Thankful" drew me to pull out and listen to a 1978 song "Sandra" by Dusty Springfield from the album "It Begins Again." Not only is there a profound similarity to Dusty's vocal tone, but also in the story-telling style of the lyrics. While Dusty's "Sandra" is about a suburban wife who "accidentally" slits her wrists, "Thankful" is like Rumer's "opposite" answer song with the suburbanite choosing to have gratitude for what is right in front of her. Actually, I would love to hear Rumer do the song "Sandra."

While "Goodbye Girl" may seem like it doesn't quite fit in with the rest of "Seasons of My Soul", it does show that she has a soft spot for 1960s, 70s & 80s pop. She has also recorded covers of The Sandpipers' "Come Saturday Morning", The Beach Boys' "Warmth of the Sun", and Stephen Bishop's hit "It Might Be You" from "Tootsie." Those are available as "B" sides on CD singles or bonus tracks on the deluxe download version of the album on iTunes.

Just when I thought 2010 was going to pass without any real memorable new music, along comes "Rumer."...
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2010 10:07 AM GMT


Melody
Melody
Offered by Side Two
Price: 2.99

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharleen Spiteri's Guilty Pleasures....., 12 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Melody (Audio CD)
I've loved the band Texas' music for almost a decade and I've been eagerly anticipating Sharleen's solo CD since word came out about it. "Melody" really is the key word here - and that is a good thing. There are real instruments playing real melodies, and that seems to be considered something of a "guilty pleasure" in the context of today's popular music.

There are great songs like the first single "All the Times I Cried", the uptempo sunshine pop of "Don't Keep Me Waiting", the temepered Ray Charles beat of "It Was You", and the wonderfully tounge-in-cheek rockabilly of "I'm Gonna Haunt You." Even though the songs are mostly inspired by Sharleen's split up with the father of her five-year-old daughter, listening to the CD will not bring you down - quite the opposite.

As already alluded to, there is a definite retro 1960s-70s sound to the songs and arrangements. In the context of Texas' last few albums, that should not be a surprise. The album does border on being a bit over-produced at times, but then that was true about a lot of the most beloved popular music back then.

I am amazed at the choice of specific musical references and riffs used here and finding the specific songs of that era that they come from. On "I Wonder", Sharleen lifts the melody and line "every chance you get you seem to hurt me more and more, but each hurt makes my mind (love) stronger than before" from Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar." The arrangement on "Day Tripping" is shamelessly based on the very obscure, but exquisitely lovely song "Roots of Love" by the soulful 70s female trio Quiet Elegance. The intro of "Francoise" and Sharleen's whispery vocal delivery echoes Claudine Longet's version of "I Love How You Love Me." (***see my update on this comment below...). A few more listens may reveal even more references.

There are a couple of songs that hark back to Texas' most popular period like the haunting title track "Melody", which could have easily fit in on "The Hush" and "Where Did It Go Wrong" on "White on Blonde."

For fans of Texas and Sharleen Spiteri, this is definitely a "guilty pleasure" in the positive sense. For new comers, it may be a bit of a musical culture shock keeping in mind how seemingly undervalued real melodies and real instruments are in today's popular music. Although, I solidly recommend this CD, I guess what is keeping me at a four star rating is that it may be a bit too much of a good thing. A little bit less of the "everything but the kitchen sink" production on some tracks would have come out as "more." Then again, I plan to play this CD many more times and may go on to the full five stars anyway.

***Update:
The song "Francoise", I had thought was influenced by Claudine Longet's version of "I Love How You Love Me" is actually a direct homage to french superstar singer Francoise Hardy and a song Hardy did called "Voilà" from 1967. The songs are so close that one could almost make a case for plagiarism.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2010 7:24 AM GMT


King Of The World (International Version)
King Of The World (International Version)

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Music 4 Stars, Sound & Mastering 1 Star......., 14 May 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've wanted this album on CD for years. I own two vinyl copies and have actually transferred all the tracks to CD a few years ago.

The music is great classic Chic. "Spacer" is one of Chic's best kept secrets. "King of the World" could have been a big hit if it weren't for Sheila's poor English diction. I think perhaps all the vocals should have been recorded in French!! "Mayday" and "Charge Plates.." actually seem better to me now than when the album first came out. "Your Love Is Good" is another classic catchy Chic creation.

I am so disappointed in the mastering of the CD. First, they did not use the original master tapes. My US LP sounds so much better than this CD. Compared to the LP, it is very harsh and difficult to listen to. Also, the speed is a bit faster than it should be compared to the LPs. At least, there is a nice booklet with the lyrics and interesting liner notes.

It is great that this rare gem has been reissued, too bad they didn't get the original master tapes from Warner Music USA.


The Lexicon Of Love
The Lexicon Of Love
Offered by ** Good4Books UK ** !!! SALE !!!
Price: 14.99

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Decades Later - and Still a Classic!, 21 Nov 2004
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
In a world of monochromatic rap crap and pseudo soul wannabe's, this expanded edition reissue of ABC's debut album, "The Lexicon of Love", is proof that well crafted pop music never goes out of style.
Originally released in 1982 (and it is hard to believe that it has been 22-plus years old since its release!), this album is an almost perfect marriage of melody, strong arrangements and clever lyrics. Even the non-singles like "Show Me", "Date Stamp" and "Valentines Day" are just as memorable as "Poison Arrow", "The Look Of Love" or the hauntingly beautiful "All Of My Heart."
There are 12" mixes, outtakes, demos and a live performance of the album from 1982 as bonuses. However, the biggest bonus may be in the wonderful remastering job. The heavily compressed sound of previous incarnations is now gone. Dynamics now sound and feel much fuller and more natural and the rich textures and nuances in the arrangements are much clearer.
Well worth it, even if you already have an older CD version. release.


Anthology
Anthology
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 23.95

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars for Fans - 3.5 for the Casual Listener, 3 Jan 2002
This review is from: Anthology (Audio CD)
This is really a great collection of the Supremes 1960s output. It is perhaps a bit heavy on the pre-million selling songs, but very complete overall. It is quite an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable journey listening to how the group's sound matures as you make it through to their last single "Someday We'll Be Together." There are several rarities on both discs to make devoted fans, like myself, jump for joy.
My only real beef is that the remastering is not up to the high standard. Most of the tracks sound as if they were run through a highly compressed FM radio signal. This is a surprise considering the great sound quality of the Supremes box set released in 2000. In spite of this, for us devoted fans, it is darn close to heaven.
Now, how about a two-disc anthology of the post-Diana Ross (1970-1977) Supremes???


Motown Mania
Motown Mania
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 3.23

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OKAY - BUT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER, 26 Dec 2000
This review is from: Motown Mania (Audio CD)
Pete Waterman does his thing again in this Motown tribute. He has assembled some notably interesting names such as Lulu, Erasure, Lisa Stansfield, Yazz, Samantha Mumba in addition to the "required" Steps and odd choice of Chris Rea.
There are several high-points. Lulu's take on the Elgins'"Heaven Must Have Sent You" is lots of fun but ends quite abruptly at 2:31! Why??? She could have done her own ad-lib ending a la Bonnie Pointer's version. Admittedly, Steps' "Too Busy Thinkin' 'Bout My Baby' is quite fun. Lisa Stansfield delivers a pumpin' "You Keep Me Hanging On." Yazz's "Love Hangover is cute, but also a bit too short. While Samantha Mumba's lively "Signed Sealed Delivered", Dane Bowers I'll Be There" and A1's "Three Times a Lady" all manage to sound fresh yet true to their originals.
There are a few let-downs. Erasure's "Baby Love" comes across as lethargically as a lot of their current CD "Loveboat." SClub7 (typical of most current R&B male groups) strips all of the emotion out of "Stevie Wonder's "Lately" Chris Rea seems a bit out of place on "Road Runner." Finally, I don't get the reason behind "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by the "Pete Waterman Orchestra" except that he couldn't find a suitable soloist to sing lead and decided to leave it as an instrumental with background vocals.
Pete Waterman obviously has a great admiration for Motown as he also does for ABBA (see last year's ABBAMANIA release), but this compilation is a bit skimpy in length (39 minutes) and seems as though it was assembled in a rush to have it out in time for the holidays. Certainly a mixed bag; yet for those of us who really love Motown, there is enough to justify a purchase.


The Supremes: Their Whole Story 1960-77
The Supremes: Their Whole Story 1960-77
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: 77.86

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TIMELESS MAGIC!!, 20 Nov 2000
I have loved the Supremes since I was seven years old (now 41). Though they were not the first girl group, the Supremes set the standard for those that followed including many of today's artists such as Destiny's Child, TLC and En Vogue. The music is timeless and this box set convincingly demonstrates how important and sometimes overlooked their influence has been both musically and culturally.
All of the hits are here and much more. There are many rarities, including several B-sides on CD for the first time, unreleased live tracks and many remixes. It is so wonderful to hear Diana Ross sing with uninhibited enthusiasm and innocence on "When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes", "Baby Love" or on Sam Cooke's "Shake." Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard harmonize beautifully with Diana and show themselves as very capable lead singers on "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and "People", respectively. Then there's the triple whammy of "Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart", "You Can't Hurry Love" and "You Keep Me Hanging On." Continuing through to "Reflections", the duets with the Temptations (including a remix of TCB-from their 1968 TV special of the same name), "Love Child", "Someday We'll Be Together"... I could go on and on!!
The post-Diana period is well represneted on Disc Four. As the replacement for Diana Ross, Jean Terrell brought a more soulful, yet elegant style to the group as evidenced on among others, "Up the Ladder to The Roof", "Stoned Love", and "Bad Weather." Mary had her shining moments in the 1970s as well with "Touch", "Floy Joy" and "You Are The Heart Of Me." Scherrie Payne (sister to Freda "Band of Gold" Payne) and Susaye Green both demonstrate their top notch vocal skills on "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking" and "High Energy", respectively.
Finally, there is a bonus disc titled "An Evening with the Supremes' that has many unreleased live versions of their biggest hits recorded at various times in the 1960s assembled into a wonderful mini concert. I guess this is as close to a true Supremes reunion as we will ever get.
This lavishly packaged set includes a 76-page book with many wonderful photos, track by track notes, a very complete discography and essays including contributions from Berry Gordy. Plus the remastered sound is, with a few exceptions, excellent. All of this adds up to an wondereful documentation of an enduring legacy that still brings endless pleasure and inspiration. This is timeless magic!!


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