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k0402562 (Kingston)

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Creative Zen V+ 4GB
Creative Zen V+ 4GB

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It all sounds very good but the reality is slightly different, 6 Nov 2007
This review is from: Creative Zen V+ 4GB (Electronics)
On paper, this sounds an excellent piece of technology and indeed it does boast an impressive range of features for a good price. However, my experiences of Creative Zen V Plus players are less than satisfactory. Thankfully, I bought mine from a well known PC retailer which gives you a three year fix or replace gurantee for a price that isn't really that extortionate, so I haven't had problems getting it fixed - although it is annoying having to re-load music on once it has been replaced - I'm on my 4th one now.
One of the big problems as mentioned in other reviews is that it frequently crashes and after a while mine have become unusable for some reason - won't even start up. Also, another big draw-back is the battery life. In my experience you can get a maximum of 5 hours battery life simply playing songs - and that is if you are lucky. The 15 hour claim is rather optomistic. Another tip - don't get it anywhere near any kind of water or wetness - you will easily ruin the display.
I've personally had enough of these MP3 players and wouldn't buy one again. It is a shame about the problems with it because it should be such a great MP3 player - as I have said an impressive range of features for a good price. You'll have a great time with this if you don't experience the problems I have had.


Hold Me Tight
Hold Me Tight

4.0 out of 5 stars Familar territory, 10 Oct 2007
This review is from: Hold Me Tight (Audio CD)
Ali Campbell has gone solo again (although hopefully he'll be back with UB40 behind him next time) and this, his first single from the new album charts familar territory. Ali sticks with the reggae theme to produce the familiar sound UB40 are known for and the result is a good song (probably more so if you happen to like UB40), which showcases Ali's excellent voice. Not sure about all the Ba Ba BaBa Ba Ba Ba's in this song but this is a catchy tune and definitely gets in the head and sticks - which may be nice or annoying depending on whether you are a fan. Nothing really new in this single but it sticks with a proven formula that works and should keep the fans happy at least.


Stay
Stay
Offered by Books-and-Sounds
Price: 2.25

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid album from a solid album, 24 Mar 2007
This review is from: Stay (Audio CD)
Mick Hucknall has always been one of those people that the public either love or hate. People on Simply Red's website forums seem to think of Mick as a God, whereas the press are not nearly as generous, often slating his music. Simply Red's 10th studio album is unlikely to garner favour from those in the `hate' category but it'll almost certainly be a hit with fans and should convert a few others along the way. `Stay' finds Mick at a happy point in his life - he now has a long-term girlfriend with a recently announced baby on the way and Mick wants to sing about this new-found happiness, and also have a rant or two at the end of the album. `Stay' certainly has an energy and vibrancy that has been unseen for a while. It's a welcome return to some new material, after 2005's effort `Simplified', which contained mainly re-workings of classic Simply Red tracks. The album is slightly rockier than previous releases, but that shouldn't put anyone off and it is a welcome direction for them.

The first five songs on the album are love songs, but they are not all mushy and they have a respectable melody to them. Many people will probably be able to identify with the lyrics of `So Not Over You', whilst `The World and You Tonight' has a refreshing and catchy tune to it. `Oh! What a Girl' provides one of the albums funkier tracks and the soaring horns and the slight hint of innuendo make for a good combination. Possible future single `Stay' also has a catchy pop tune.

Hints of soul are included with `They Don't Know' and the blues infused, autobiographical `Good Times Have Done Me Wrong', has a raw sound that suits Mick very well. It also showcases three of the band's brightest stars - Kenji Suzuki on guitar, Ian Kirkham on saxophone and Dave Clayton on piano. `Lady' is a sophisticated song and Ian Kirkham's sax solo at the end shows he has lost none of his talent over the years. Kenji gets another chance to shine on `Money TV', a cool sounding rant, possibly aimed at reality pop. `Death of the Cool' and `Little Englander' end the album nicely, although die-hard fans may find `Little Englander' a slightly strange song for Simply Red, what with the whistling and the child choir, but after a few listens it becomes surprisingly enchanting, as Mick launches into rant mode, possibly at his critics (`Judge me go on it amuses me...'). A mention also for the cover of The Small Faces song `Debris', another strong song, although unusually for a Simply Red cover, it is questionable whether it beats the original.

Overall, this is a good solid album from a good solid band. One of the problems Simply Red seem to have is that everything is compared to the `Stars' album, which may not be such a good thing as it could be said that it was an album for its time (although it still remains an all time classic). It's difficult to begin to compare `Stay' to other albums but Mick's voice is as strong as ever, the band is in top form and the album is very well produced. Well worth a listen.


Simplified
Simplified
Offered by para-dise
Price: 3.10

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simplified, 22 Oct 2005
This review is from: Simplified (Audio CD)
Doing an unplugged album was always going to be risky and Simply Red took a gamble with this one. One of the aims of the project was to show how Mick's voice has matured and how he feels it is at its best yet. It achieved success in this area as there is no doubt he has a wonderful voice but the fact that there is little new material on this album is dissapointing and shows almost a self-centredness. That said however, the album is done very well and the band sound great. Although some of the songs perhaps didn't need re-doing (i.e. 'Holding Back the Years', 'More') the songs do stand out in their new form and the songs are by no means ruined although hopefully the old versions won't be lost.
The album's start point - the latino feel - suits Mick very well and 'Perfect Love' and 'Something Got Me Started' are both classic feel-good songs. New versions of 'Fairground' and 'Sad Old Red' particularly stand out and we are reminded what classic songs 'For Your Babies' and 'Your Mirror' are although 'Your Mirror' could do with a bit more of a beat to it. Hints of Frank Sinatra are included in the album - in particular with 'Smile' and there is a really good cover of 'A Song For You' showing Mick unashamedly crooning away with a love song.

The album reminds us that there have been many Simply Red classics and may attract some new listeners although its likely that fans will be most attracted to it (if they don't feel slightly cheated) and this album is great to put on in the background but its perhaps not the best follow-up to 'Home' which many said marked a return to form. Fans will be pleased that the follow-up to this album - 'Amplified' - due out next year - will contain more new material and will have a more upbeat tone. For the mean time though if you're a new listener to Simply Red this album is a great starting point and if you're a true fan you'll probably enjoy Mick's voice.


Ultimate Collection
Ultimate Collection
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: 3.39

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars M-People Ultimate Collection, 21 May 2005
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
A collection of M-People songs is always a good thing although die-hard M-People fans may be a little disappointed with this seen as the last Album they released was a Greatest Hits. In fact, this album is not dissimilar to 'the best of M-People' apart from the fact that Itchycoo Park is missing and we have a couple of Heather Small's solo attempts including the excellent 'Proud'.
M-People said a few years back that they would return, they just didn't want people to get bored of them. Fans may have been hoping for some new material which this album doesn't provide. However, this is not to berate the band by any means. This album is full of feelgood music and M-People were one of the biggest bands of the 1990's and it is easy to see why when listening to this album. Heather Small's powerful voice and the uplifting songs make M-People a truly unique artist and their songs still sound as good as ever. If you need to be uplifted then this is the perfect album and if you don't own any M-People material then this is a great place to start!


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