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Reviews Written by
Mr. A. B. Nathan "ascher" (london)

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Offered by CDandVinyl
Price: £1.47

5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing album..., 22 Jun. 2006
This review is from: Hooves (Audio CD)
...The Brian Jacket Letdown completely took my breath away the firrst time I saw them in a small pub in Camden, and I was waiting with excitement for their album. It didn't dissapoint. The energy and fun and intrigue was all there, but with the added depth of excellent production, and interesting sounds floating around.

Brian Jacket are that magical unison of pop sensibility and musical ingenuity, and that totally comes across through the upbeat Piratas or Wax Fruit through to the ethereal beauty of A Light Array.

Here's to an exciting future of new British music, that The Brian Jacket Letdown are surely a part of.

Scarface [DVD] [1983]
Scarface [DVD] [1983]
Dvd ~ Al Pacino
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.98

19 of 111 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The most overrated film in history, no question..., 29 April 2006
This review is from: Scarface [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
Where do I start on this horrible, messy rubbish? Well, simply on the fact that, without doubt, this is the most overrated film in the history of cinema. So many people seem to rave about this film, but its pure drivel...

First off, there's the horrendous 80s overtones. The Giorgio Moroder soundtrack, with constant moments of cheese and ham. The dancing. The photography. The fashion...

Then there's the casting and the direction of that cast. Can anyone believe that Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Tony's bro, or F Murray Abraham as a Cuban gangster. I couldn't. And the need to have all these Spanish speakers talking in English. Or Al Pacino's ridiculous overplaying...the list is endless...

Its cheese and more cheese. Its pop drivel. The lack of in depth politics. How do things happen so quickly for Tony? What is Tony's relationship to his Cuban roots? We know so little about this central character, except that he's clearly not a very nice person (funny how every character is so unlikable).

And the lack of beauty, the horrible acting, the simplistic and weak editing, the list just goes on and on. To be frank, Oliver Stone and Brian DePalma are two of the most overrated people working in Hollywood, so I wasn't really surprised.

I hate this film with a passion. Not because its appalling. There are far worse out there. But a more overrated film? Surely not.
Comment Comments (19) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 14, 2013 3:31 PM BST

A Place in Displacement
A Place in Displacement
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £0.89

5.0 out of 5 stars We've missed you, South! Welcome back (with a bang), 23 Jan. 2006
This review is from: A Place in Displacement (Audio CD)
So good to have you back, South. And this is probably the best thing I've heard from you! What an amazing single, and I really hope it does well. Some definite early U2 or New Order undertones, but with typical South brilliance. Energy and drive, matched with beauty and depth. I just can't wait for the album...

FIFA Football 2003 Platinum
FIFA Football 2003 Platinum
Offered by media-4-u
Price: £1.99

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars and the point is......, 1 Oct. 2003
Why bother when you lucky PS2 owners can enjoy Pro Evo 2 (and 3 forthcoming). Simply nowhere near in terms of realism. FIFA is all about thinking its the good stuff by having flashy grafix and style. But its all about the football, and nothing comes closer than Pro Evo.

70 Minutes of Madness - Journeys by DJ
70 Minutes of Madness - Journeys by DJ

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DJing at its pinnacle: astounding, 1 Jan. 2003
As a DJ, I have often quarrelled with the notion that I am an artist. I am not, and there are very few DJs in the world who are. There are DJs who can program a set to produce some form of atmosphere, and there are others who can do all forms of trickery that is undoubtedly very clever. However, there are very few DJs who can do both. But moreover, there are very few DJs who are experimenting with the whole concept of Decks and Mixer; Coldcut have always been the shining light. I had the extreme pleasure of witnessing them live on decks and many computers, and it was simply the most fiercly inventive stuff I've witnessed. It was then that I remembered my treasured Journeys By DJ...
When you think that Coldcut were upto these tricks over 10 years ago, it is simply a phenomenal achievement, and the pinnacle of this was their 70 Minutes of Madness. Within these 36 tracks are every genre of music available. Long before the hype surrounding "eclectic" or "bar-club" DJs, Coldcut were doing it. But its so much more than this: yes there is everything on this mix, but you cannot notice. It is seamless and inticately woven with all manner of samples. So many individual moments stand out from this mix: the overlaying of Junior Reid's dub with storming Drum n Bass; the Jhelisa accapella over DJ Food; the simply sublime construction using "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and Luke Slater's sweeping pads. So many moments of hilarity also, most notably: "Can your heart stand the shocking truth of grave robbers from outer space?".
But within these moments of brilliance is an overall structure that is fresh and inventive and brilliantly executed. Opening with Drum n Bass, moving through to Avant-garde techno, to Jackin' Hip-Hop beats, and finishing with laid-back, deep Trip-Hop, this is programming at its finest. We are assaulted with varying emotional states and intensity. We voyage from intensity to humour to grooves to funk to beauty to dark claustrophobia to political musings to relaxed and dream-like states, all with an overt lucidity. But these changes are not harsh or abrasive; they simply provide the structure of the piece...
I say "piece" because that is what it becomes. You begin to realise that this isn't just a collection of Coldcut's favourite plates, but is a whole, a unified piece of music. Thus, it works on the higher level as a 70 minute symphony. At points, it is easy to get lost amongst the huge tracklisting, and this only fuels the intrigue of the piece. It is simply fluid, and yet a swirling, ever-changing fluidity that has never been matched by any DJ anywhere, anyhow, anytime. To be blunt: it is the greatest production of any DJ, and unfortunately it may never be equalled.

A Scanner Darkly (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
A Scanner Darkly (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by Philip K. Dick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sorry to lower that 5 star average, but..., 16 Dec. 2002
Dick, for me, encapsulates all that is wonderful about SF: the ability to entirely bend the rules of physics, yet work within them simultaneously. In Do Androids Dream... he presented a lucid hallucination of Earth gone horribly wrong; The Man in the High Castle remains the most potent of alternative histories; and Ubik is simply the greatest journey into madness I could possibly imagine. A Scanner Darkly was the 6th book of Dick's I read, and whilst superb, it was let down with one major flaw...
It tells two parallel stories, yet both are drawn from the same person; on one hand is Arctor, the undercover cop drawn into the world of Substance D (see all the other reviews) and Fred, the same undercover cop watching Arctor. Within these parallel lines are intense bouts of humour (to match Fear & Loathing) and even more intense bouts of paranoia (to match Ubik...well, not quite, but that would be a feat). As the book draws to its satisfying and yet ambiguous ending, it gathers pace and energy, and loses many of the musings of Dick on drugs and consumerism...
Well, in reality it doesn't, it just places these concepts in an altogether more subtle way. I will not endeavor to tell you how, since the joy of Dick is unravelling his plots, sub-plots, underlying themes and underlying-underlying themes. So, by the end of the book, you are simply boogled at what is presented: a typically Dickian dystopian near-reality.
However, just as this book is a parallel of itself, it is also a book of two halves, from start to finish. Unfortunately, the start reduces much of the impact of the book, in my eyes. Whilst amusing and hip, the first half is Dick the Polemic. Despite what he concludes in his epilogue/footnote, he is making radical assumptions with far reaching implications. For example, the notion of the junkie, which he was himself, and yet completly strips bear of humanity. When reading this, I was amazed that this was written by a drug addict, since the pedestal feel was so degrading to drug abusers. Much is the same for his blatant consumerist critique, which he has SUBTELY portrayed in other books with much more vehemance and power.
Ironically, all of the problems of the initial third of the book are swept away under the torrent of pure Dickian amazement; from the point on which Fred begins to watch Arctor, the book shifts into more classic Dick territory and leaves you bewildered an amazed and confused within his typical claustrophobic and hallucinatory power.
So, what is to be said? Well, I have tried to forget the polemics of this book, and take it with a pinch of salt. With this in mind, again Philip K Dick proved himself to be one of the greatest talents in literature. Nevertheless, I have forever been hounded by the fact that I read Ubik before this. Ubik is his opus, and all other SF pales in comparison.
So, there you this first and then read the sublime Ubik...thats my little piece of advice!

Price: £5.65

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her Opus...., 5 Dec. 2002
This review is from: Homogenic (Audio CD)
Much like the previous reviewer, I had neglected Bjork for so many (too many) years. I always (naively) considered her eccentricity to verge on self-indulgence. I was wrong. She is simply an artist of immense originality and intensity. With an obvious talent for utilising great producers such as Black Dog and Mark Bell, her vocals and lyrics are probably the most unique around, and to have matched this with some level of popularity is phenomenal. And she gets no better than on Homogenic.
The album opens with the hypnotic and twisting rhythms of Hunter; in itself a wonderful song, but more is to come. The deep beauty of Joga and Unravel, and then moves onto her greatest effort: Bachelorette. This is a song without comparison; sweeping strings, intense vocals and pure sublimity. In this movement, she manages to captivate all that is great about music: melody, harmony, rhythm, intensity, beauty. By this, the fourth track, you may feel a little bewildered by it all, but it simply continues, with the downtempo All Neon Like and the melodic pleading of Immature. She ups the tempo and energy somewhat with the funky Alarm Call, which should sound out of place, but as the title of the album suggests, merely heightens the eclectic powers of the album. Finally, she manages to finish on the pure driving and uplifting beauty of All is Full of Love. Simply stunning.
As with all Bjork albums, it is perhaps too eclectic, and I have found Pluto to be a little overstated and harsh, but it is still a worthy contribution.
Quite simply, this is a perfect album, filled with treasures and sublime production and vocals. Her lyrics constantly astound, and they are no better than here. You cannot neglect this woman.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2013 7:39 PM GMT

Price: £4.35

13 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear..., 29 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Parachutes (Audio CD)
My mate once told me something really funny. He explained that he always judges a band on how useful he reckons they'd be in a fight. For that reason, he hates Coldplay. Imagine them in a ruck! At the time, I laughed it off, but now it seems to make sense. See, when I listened to Coldplay I continuously thought of the weakness of it, its overall flaccid feel. There is simply no energy or drive. The emotionality of it is simply too explicit, and leaves me cold.
In other words, I was bored senseless by possibly the most overrated band around at the moment. Yes, comparison can be made with the equally terrible Travis. But please do not try to compare the phenomenal Radiohead to this lot. OK, Thom Yorke may not get the kicks in, but what he is missing in brute strength he most surely makes up for with incredible energy.
Unfortunately, this is COMPLETELY missing in this album. Its full of weak and pretentious songs. I agree, the lead vocalist (I forget his name, sorry all you fans) has quality, if only he could match it with inventive music. Trouble, when I first heard it, admittedly pulled a heart string. Much in the way Especially For You by Kylie and Jason does. After a few days, this wore off and simply left me with an indescribable urge to destroy my stereo.
See, what is more important is that the so-called "beauty" of this album is so shallow it means its simply pretentiousness. One only needs to listen to beauty in depth (such as Radiohead's Lucky, or Blur's To The End) and Coldplay seem to fall apart. Additionally, the album is made up of 2-3 singles and a lot of fillers. So, it sounds samey and lifeless.
Coldplay are truly one of the worst bands around at the moment. Listening to their new single only reiterates this, as it has got to be nominated for one of the worst songs ever made...pure pretentiousness. Absolute rubbish. Don't count on them in a fight!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2015 3:12 PM GMT

The Great Escape
The Great Escape
Price: £2.48

1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK, not their best, but they are hardly Oasis, are they?, 29 Nov. 2002
This review is from: The Great Escape (Audio CD)
Modern Life is Rubbish was a fantastic album, full of great songs and innovative production. Parklife was hit and miss, producing both their best tunes (This Is A Low etc.) and some awful ones as well. What more did you expect from The Great Escpae? Damon Albarn's lyrics, for me, have always been self-indulgent but full of ironic social commentary. And, there are some truly great songs here. Charmless Man remains one of their catchiest, and He Thought of Cars remains as Coxon's best guitar playing, in my opinion.
But what is more important is that they were still trying new things. Which is more than can be said for most bands after three albums and a hell of a lot of hype. Coxon stands out on this album. He's never been the greatest of technicians, but on this album, he provides quirky and innovative guitar playing that balances well with their pop-infused harmonies. As I said, He Thought of Cars stands out as the example of this. A beautiful chorus matched with stabbing, off-key playing.
You just have to think of what Oasis produced after Definately Maybe to realise that Blur are one of the most important bands of the 90s. They have never been consistent, but certainly have a knack for producing infectious and beautiful songs, matched with intelligent and critical lyrics.
Yes, in the Guitar world, they are greatly overshadowed by bands such as Radiohead, the Roses and the Mondays. Nevertheless, they managed to overshadow all of these bands with their popularity, yet still managed to produce quality music during their period of stardom. The same cannot be said for Oasis. And the Great Escape was the pinnacle of this; produced amongst the biggest showdown of the 90s, and they still managed not to get too tied up in it all.
Not a perfect album, not a consistent album, but worthy of praise nevertheless....

Human Traffic [1999] [VHS]
Human Traffic [1999] [VHS]
Offered by Discountdiscs-UK : Dispatched daily from the UK.
Price: £4.98

7 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cliche, pretentiousness, cliche, pretentiousness........, 14 Nov. 2002
What a terrible film. "Sums up the 90's youth culture"? Not mine! Full of cliches, full of rubbish. The acting was as bad as anything I've seen on the big screen. The production is so pretentious it becomes painful. Its so derivative, yet manages to completely misunderstand the deeper essence of such films as Trainspotting. I was like watching 90 minutes (or so) of Hollyoaks! Pointless camera work, pointless to-camera soliloquays, annoying charcters you want to murder in painful fashions, and so many cliches about drug taking, its simply one big joke. Unfortunately, as the film trys to take itself semi-seriously, everything is lost. 1 star is too much for this appaling "film".

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