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scrumpmonkey (bolton UK)

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Riot Act
Riot Act
Offered by Hot Cakes
Price: £15.09

4.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Keep Me Here..., 2 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Riot Act (Audio CD)
Pearl Jam have never been a band to stand still or mince what they want to say and Riot Act certainly does neither. After the slightly more polished, sweeping feel of Binaural the band seem to have decided to make a left-turn; this time into more of a loose, downbeat feel. This is where both Riot Act's biggest strenght and weakness lay, the album creates and sustains atmosphere through-out but its one of frustration or even depression. If you're in for a good dose of sober introspection and reflection then this is the prefect feel but Riot Act is not exactly what anyone would call a 'party album'. The biggest failure here is that Vedder seems to be almost mumbling his way through the album, commiting the crime of making him sound as if he can't really hack all this singing. No lean feat for a vocalist that has proved himself to be so both so tallented and powerful.

But it is still Pearl Jam and all that comes along with that, the songs may be downbeat but there is a really nice, loose flow to them. It's falwed but its flaws only add to the loose jam that is there making the whole affair sound like some godly pearl Jam Jam-session at the end of the world. There is a rawness in both the production and the songs themsevles, it's stripped back and feels like a band channeling their dispair and their despondancy at the post 9/11 world. And this is a very global album, it looks to grand questions of "I thought the world, turns out the world thought me" culminating in a slightly cheap feeling pot-shot at President Bush in "Bushleauger". "He aint a leader he's a Texas Leauger" leaves no room for interpretation or metaphore. Neither did their crys of "George bush find a new home" during concerts at the time.

All this adds up to an album that may not be right for many, even many PJ fans, bit is ultimately more rewarding and listenable than all the doom may imply. This should be no suprise as the band has a history of almost constantly challenging it's audience as if it wishes to wittle it down to the fanatics but also creating very different, very good albums. Pearl Jam are a very different band than when they made 'ten', as almost everything since then has proved, they are always restless and always pushing into new areas. Here they sound at their most 'out on the edge" since' "Yeild" but (unlike that unfortunate excersion) that seems to have all been channeled into making a raw, thoughtful and ultimately honest album. This is ultimately what redeems Riot Act, the angst and downbeat passions are never-insincere, even through all the murk Pearl Jam are certainly not phoning it in.

Pearl Jam are here doing what they do whether you like them or not, and Riot Act is a perfect example of that.

Backspacer (Limited Edition Gatefold Sleeve)
Backspacer (Limited Edition Gatefold Sleeve)
Price: £7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Jam can Still Deliver a First Rate Album., 8 Oct. 2009
4 Stars as a Pearl jam album.

Somethings are highly underrated in music (like pearl jam themsleves) and one of them is listenability. It may sound a little odd to hear but this album is really nice to listen to. Its a joy to hear.

After nearly 20 years of Pearl Jam, this being the 9nth full scale studio album, and having all of it's members over the age of 40 they manage to keep breaking new ground instead of just treading the old ground. They still sound like pearl jam but at thier most melodic. This isn't to say they have thrown out their raw sound, it just comes accross as a warm fuzz here instead of a jagged edge. This comes accross best in "The Fixer", the song is a microcosm of the album, its reasonably short (The album comes in at 36 minutes), uncomplicated and straighforward but a real joy to listen to and has a real lifting quality about it. This uncluttered and lose garage band vibe permiates the whole album, they almost manage a classic rock feel, having more than a few solos coupled to their brand of timeless bare bones rock.

The production to is unfussy. It's clean and dosen't try to sound too raw. it definately just lets the band sound like they just have one hell of a live set up rather than an over-zelous production team. Maybe this has to do with this being self released in the US and only losey affliated with sony outside of it. Brendan O'Brien is back to, all this adds up to a well rounded sound.

If you were expecting to a return to the hights of albums like Vitology and Vs. then you come into this with the wrong head, pearl jam is a differen band, over a decade has past. The Fear, conflict and doubt that fueled songs like "Corduroy" and the edgeyness of tracks like "Blood" has evaporated into a very content and functional band. This comes accross in the album, Eddie's Voice sounds melow and melodic, not the low mumbles that almost de-railed the likes of "Roit Act". infact there is very little wrong with this album apart from it's total lack of angst and it's modest length; "Gonna see my freind", "Got Some" and the sublime "The Fixer" all have a great driving energy behind them and obviously come from a band with plenty of enery left. Tracks like "Amongst the waves" and "Unthought known" have a build to them that turns into a soaring anthemetic quality. "Supersonice" Enherits the enegergy of the opening tracks, "Speed of sound" and "force of nature" have great mid tempo melodies that pearl jam seem to do so well. "The End" and "Just breath" provide some great and tender acoustic points that balace the album out and are just beautyful.

This is far from pearl jams best album. like nearl every band that has been arround for this long their very best is behind them. But that dosen't stop it from being a top notch album that will surprise fans. i would highy recomend to anyone with even a passing an intrest in good old fashioned rock music.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 2, 2013 10:35 PM BST

In Silico
In Silico
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £3.67

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True corssover album, 24 July 2008
This review is from: In Silico (Audio CD)
Well the D&B hardcore fans and the, most probably, beat junky chavs that hate this album can whine ans bawww all they like, but the fact remains that drum and bass is not, and never was, an art form. Until now. The introduction of more electronica influence and even some unexpected fusions of hard, progressive, rock/metal and the obvious addition of the vocals (which I have heard criticised as 'not fitting' in one review, how very dare you!)have transformed this album into something truly special.

I'm not a huge fan of 'hold your colour' mainly because of the people I knew who liked it and how it always seem to be the same track blaring out of peoples phones. (I've had had another look at the album and have decided that it has more merit than the generic DnB I thought it was)but upon hearing 'In Silico' my attitude of pendulum has completely shifted

This album truly transcends genres with Pendulum adding Spades more welcome electronica, rock, funk, progressive and a host of other styles whilst keeping that underlying D&B energy that their previous release consisted of. This is a HUGE leap forward,not only making them more listenable to those not in the cap wearing demographic but lifts it to a whole other realm of musical prowess.

Im a huge fan of things like The Prodigy, he chemical brothers, tool etc. and you can really hear some of each of these (weather intentionally or not) so i guess I bias towards their new direction but tracks like 'Different' with is slightly more house feel, Show down with its heavy vocals and my personally favourite 'The Tempest' with its progressive overtones. none of this compromises the power of pendulum, this album is relentless in its power without being to abrasive, indeed the whole thing goes down pretty smoothly. although ~I think they could have developed it even more away from their last recording I suppose you have to go in increments as not to confuse your fan-base.

In summary, if you want some mindless drum and base go else-ware and don't whine about it. if you want an album you can listen to in nearly every situation that crosses boundaries and stirs things up, by all means treat yourself and purchase this album.

Offered by Side Two
Price: £5.79

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Great, 25 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Nevermind (Audio CD)
The best offering from a band that will always be remembered in their prime. you say nirvana everyone instantly thinks 'smells like teen spirit' and this album 'nevermind'. this is truly a great album but but by no means the best of what was around at the time, i know no one under 30 has heard of them these days with me as a possible exception but they are worth a look if all you know of 90's Seattle was nirvana. this album must have seemed impossible to anyone who had heard of nirvana before its release, also their later work namely 'in utero' doesn't really hold up to this. i sining example in the otherwise short and slightly despondent life of nirvana.

Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £6.83

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Uncomfortable Middle child, 21 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Yield (Audio CD)
I must admit i was extremely disappointed on hearing this album, its good but it lacks something, notable tracks is one thing. the only three that stand out of the mire are 'brain of J' 'do the evolution and 'given to fly' the latter only because how god awful it is. tracks like 'low light' and MFC are just pointless 'push me pull me' is slightly amusing and experimental but this album lacks the 'wow factor' of their previous efforts and has a neither here nor there style. it tries to be fresh whilst not offending the fans and doesn't pull it off. it good to listen too but nothing compared to the rest of their collection.

Pulp Fiction (2 Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [1994]
Pulp Fiction (2 Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [1994]
Dvd ~ John Travolta
Price: £3.19

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Oh man... i shot Marvin in the face...', 23 Jun. 2007
I love this movie, is oozes cool from every pore, Tarantino thank you for making this movie! it actually makes John Travolta look cool. the writing is spot on, the dialog is just beautiful. the conversations about the 'royal with cheese' just are so good. the time-switching and style of dialog can be a little confusing at times. i didn't know anything that was going on the first time i saw it except that it was the best film i had ever seen.

the interchanges between casual conversation and extreme violence make some parts feel almost surreal in their strange normality any film that can move from conversations about footrubs to quoting scripture before shooting someone vengefully a few times deserves a look . i also love the way its shot. some great performances in this by otherwise quite patchy actors, Bruce Willis is especially hip in this one. John Travolta will never make a better movie than this. the music in the movie, the main theme is just great and the rest of the background music just adds to the infinite cool of it all.

Very violent but pure genius, 10 stars if i could its just that good, if you are easily offended or just plain boring don't watch this you will hate it and wish you could call upon mary whitehouse to have it removed. but otherwise go watch it. now

A Crow Left Of The Murder
A Crow Left Of The Murder
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite all there, 23 Jun. 2007
There are a few good tracks on this album, the rest id just filler, im not too keen on it as an whole album. it feels as if they are trying to regain some of their past glory with this one being a bit more heavy in places but the opener 'megalomaniac' just doesn't work it almost seem ironic toward Brandon Boyd as his political statement sounds like a mockery of itself. perhaps its the loss of their previous bassist that makes this incoherent sounds. the good tracks are 'A Crow Left Of The murder','Sick sad little world' 'smile lines' and 'here in my room' which is the best track and shows some promise.

Patchy and misses the mark, not up to their usually excellent standards but still quite good 'morning view' is still their best though.

Morning View
Morning View
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not boring, But Briliance. Incunbus Come Of Age, 23 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Morning View (Audio CD)
I Love every second of this album its got suck heart and flow to it, from the opening build up to the rocker 'nice to know you' its sheer bliss. I must make a reference to my previous reviewer, im sorry but your very closed minded, this album ISN'T just full of heavy songs and ISN'T 'boring' but its got some Jump-around-your-living-room moments this is an altogether more thoughtful and mature album than S.CI.E.N.C.E but still equally as good if not better than it.

it also tops 'make yourself' in its conception and execution, songs such as the acoustic 'Mexico' and the experimental but fantastic 'Aquarius Transmission' show how the band is not just staying the same but evolving. the highlight of the album in my opinion is 'Just A Phase' which gently builds up with terrific effect.

six stars if i could, one of their very best and one of my favorite albums. don't buy it if you just want heavy noise to go in your monotonous collection (see previous review) but if you like music this is for you

Light Grenades
Light Grenades
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £3.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Tried, i Did..., 23 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Light Grenades (Audio CD)
But I can't say i like this one its a step down form the mixed 'A Crow Left Of The Murder', i went out and bought it right away, because im a very big incubus fan, but it got no substance to it. the single 'Anna molly' is essentially incubus by numbers, the whole album conveys this depressing trend and sounds like a hollow echo of their previous success. even songs like 'Dig' fail to break the monotony. this is just boring in places, its very listenable but nothing by their usual high standards.

The Verdict: frustratingly average, go buy 'make yourself' its MUCH better

American Beauty [DVD] [2000]
American Beauty [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Kevin Spacey
Price: £3.19

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Unbridled Genius, 21 Jun. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: American Beauty [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
this is my all time favorite movie, i love it. i must have watched it a million times, im so unhappy i missed it at the cinemas when it was first released (i was about 12 but what the heck) because the atmosphere when you watch it with other people who haven't seem it before is electric.

First of all the writing, genius! every line seems to advance the characters and story, its brilliantly dark but funny in places and touching in others. Lester Burnham has some of the best, "Remember those posters that said, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life?" Well, that's true with every day except one: the day that you die." its just perfection.

The story itself intertwines with subtle undertones building to a climactic finish, make to mistake this one can have no sequel.

The casting is just, i'm lost for words, 'Kevin spacey' is just brilliant every other character couldn't be cast better, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari... it just works!!

The music in the film really adds to it, from pieces written for the film like 'the plastic bag theme' the entire score is just beautyfull. The who giving 'the seeker' to stunning effect near the films climax works well too. the way the film was shot is great too, from the long sweeping shot of the suburbs at the begging and end of the film, to the softly lit home of the Burnhams.

all in all a perfect movie! makes you stop and think about life, terminally clever and funny at every turn. 6 stars if i could. you HAVE to see this, it will make you fall in love with films all over again.

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