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Reviews Written by
Tom du Pré (UK)

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Blues Deluxe
Blues Deluxe
Price: £9.99

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fearsome, awesome blues, 10 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Blues Deluxe (Audio CD)
This is filthy dirty, downright nasty viscious blues stripped down the bone with some ferocity. This is so good it hurts.


You and Me
You and Me
Price: £9.99

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Over produced and a little vague. Still good though!, 10 Aug. 2006
This review is from: You and Me (Audio CD)
This is a great album, with some fantastic musicianship on it. Joe Bonamassa is a living legend, and the artistry on this album demonstrates it. The guitar work is off the planet, and singing suitably growly. However, there are occasions when there are traces of over indulgence with the production, which seems to smooth off the rough edges that makes the blues blue. Compare this album with its string sections, and layers upon layers of guitar parts (which are I concede beautifully orchestrated) with the snarling punchy, and sometimes fearsome roughness of the Blues Deluxe album. In interviews Joe claims You and Me is the blues but played really heavy, but comparing it to Blues Deluxe, it is decidedly ballady for the most part. Much of the energy and drive in the live shows seems to be lost on this album. If you like your blues stripped down the bone and nasty, you'll find this album a little saccharine.


Painkiller
Painkiller
Price: £5.99

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Metalcraft at its finest, BUT...., 26 Jan. 2005
This review is from: Painkiller (Audio CD)
This is surely one of the finest examples of seriously heavy and timeless British rock. The only think that lets this album down (the remixed and remastered version at least) is the thoroughly disappointing "bonus" tracks. Living Bad Dreams is a pretty weak song, and the live version of Leather Rebel demonstrates why the Priest should not reform. Halford's voice sounds embarrassingly weak on this live recording, and he chickens out of all the high notes and sounds almost asthmatic. The guitar work is also decidedly loose on this live track. This is a real shame, as all the original album tracks (and I mean all) are corking examples of Judas Priest at their very finest. Rock on! This album manages to be far, far heavier than any of the formulaic de-tuned MTV nu-metal bands, whilst remaining very musical and crisp. It is a shame newer generations of rockers mock the Priest and those like them, because all they remember are the ridiculous skin tight leather and studded tights, when they should be remembering the very accomplished heavy metal musicianship demonstrated on albums like this.
Tom du Pré


Long Way Round
Long Way Round
by Charley Boorman
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a great travel book but not bad for a book of a TV show, 11 Jan. 2005
This review is from: Long Way Round (Hardcover)
To review this as a travel book is unfair. It doesn't contain much information about history or geography of the places the two travelled though, but I don't believe that is the purpose of the book. It about the experiences and frustrations of making a long and difficult journey. It is easy to criticise the book for its shameless product placement, its over-sentimentality, and the fairly poor quality of the writing. (In particular the renditions of dialogue can make you squirm.) However, take the book for what it is, which is the book of a TV show to give your biker uncle as a gift or to buy at the airport, and it gives an intriguing insight into the minds of two long distance bikers. Appreciators of serious travel writing would do well to read something else.
Tom du Pré


The Closer You Get
The Closer You Get
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noise fest., 27 Oct. 2003
This review is from: The Closer You Get (Audio CD)
lyrically, this album is appauling, but don't let that put you off. It's an ear pulverising smash and grab journey, taking at lot from the bands like Mogwai, with the huge crescendos that last the whole song. If you like your music starting off a bit softly, then getting louder and noiser throughout the whole song with no respite, then this is for you.


The Things We Make
The Things We Make
Price: £12.85

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best 6x7 effort, 27 Oct. 2003
This review is from: The Things We Make (Audio CD)
It's OK. A little wayward at times. If you are a six. by seven fan, then it's worth adding to your collection for completness, but if you're new to the band, buy "the closer you get" instead. It's much better.
Tom du Pré


Turn On The Bright Lights
Turn On The Bright Lights
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.95

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the 80s should have sounded like, 27 Oct. 2003
I've been listening to this as loud as i can bear quite a lot lately, and I've been loving every minute of it. The guitar work is uncomplicated and lo fi, the bass is high in the mix and crushes your ear drums and it's all topped of by vocals that while passionate and committed, are slightly depressed and leave you feeling the singer just doesn't really care. It's wonderful. Give the album a good loud run through, and you won't know whether to go and tear something apart, or whether to not bother. This is one of those albums that is instantly striking and involving. Will they do a follow up album? Probably, but they will struggle to top this. They are likely to fade into nothingness, partly due to the fact the never seem to gig, but it is worth indulging in this moment in music history.
Tom du Pré


Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach European Adaption
Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach European Adaption
by Roger S Pressman
Edition: Paperback

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard work for non-tekkies, but worth the effort, 18 April 2002
I had been working in the software industry for a few years as a usability consultant on web sites, and also as a producer and project manager. I have never had any formal IT training, but I’ve picked stuff up along the way. I was keen to understand the best practices and different options in software engineering so that I, as a “non-technical” person, could understand and questions the decisions my technical colleagues were making. I don’t want to seem as though I picking on developers, but I have seen many times that developers use a secret language amongst themselves which excludes non-technical people. The frequently ends up with software being developed that does not fit the non-technical people’s requirement. Although I found this book very hard to read, I have learnt an enormous amount from it. I am now able to help steer the software engineering process in way that will ensure that the business requirements are achieved.
I wish I had read this book earlier. I have seen projects spiral out of control because they failed to observe elementary software best practises described in chapters 1 and 2 of this book.
Thanks to this book, I am now a “slightly technical” person who understands most of what my developers are talking about, for which I am grateful. I found the book very hard work, but I imagine that was so because I am most likely not the intended audience. I would recommend the book to colleagues who are sick of being unable to question or understand their developers, and want to understand why their software projects keep turning into disasters.


Psychology Of Everyday Things
Psychology Of Everyday Things
by Donald A. Norman
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about your brain not your taps, 11 April 2002
...This book has very little if anything to do with software design, or even door handle to tap design. These examples are given purely to demonstrate what the book is really about, which the Design of the human brain. Although he talks a lot about the physical objects around us, he continually refers back to why the objects are the way they are and how the human brain makes decisions about how it will interact will them. He is trying to explain that the design of objects does not exist in isolation. An object is not in itself functional. It becomes functional when it begins to interact with its surroundings, and that interaction is frequently with humans. As well as interacting physically with objects, human must interact psychologically with them, although this psychological is frequently (and often should be) sub conscious. Understanding the nature of these subconscious psychological interaction with our surrounding's is what this book is about, and it's very interesting, often amusing, and despite the dodgy 1970's photos, it will be timeless.


The Design of Everyday Things
The Design of Everyday Things
by Donald A. Norman
Edition: Paperback

24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about your brain, not your taps, 11 April 2002
This book has very little if anything to do with software design, or even door handle to tap design. These examples are given purely to demonstrate what the book is really about, which the Design of the human brain. Although he talks a lot about the physical objects around us, he continually refers back to why the objects are the way they are and how the human brain makes decisions about how it will interact will them. He is trying to explain that the design of objects does not exist in isolation. An object is not in itself functional. It becomes functional when it begins to interact with its surroundings, and that interaction is frequently with humans. As well as interacting physically with objects, human must interact psychologically with them, although this psychological is frequently (and often should be) sub conscious. Understanding the nature of these subconscious psychological interaction with our surrounding's is what this book is about, and it's very interesting, often amusing, and despite the dodgy 1970's photos, it will be timeless.


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