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Reviews Written by
Mark Goodman (Chippenham)

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Offered by dutchtoni
Price: £21.44

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STEVE'S BEST OFFERING YET, 14 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Jerusalem (Audio CD)
With Jerusalem Steve Earle has produced possibly his finest work yet.
The album is kick started by the dark and edgy rock song Ashes to Ashes. A song about the temporary nature of world domination from the dinosaurs to the American world power. Steve's lyrics are a harsh drawl over some very powerful guitar work. In Amerika v6.0 we get a political tune about the defeciencies in the American system from government to HMO ( health care ) all sung over a riff borrowed from the Stones Satisfaction.
The song John Walker's blues was much criticised and mailgned in the USA by many who did not understand it. The song dealing with the so called 'American Taliban' is however a thoughtful insight into what made him do what he did. It neither supports or condems John Walker Lindh but rather seeks to understand. Although it does go some way to question much of the materialistic American way that drove him to Islam. An excellent and insightful song sung over a funereal paced accoustic guitar.
The rest of the album offers more traditional Steve Earle fare. The Kind and What's a Simple Man To Do are catchy country based tunes that could sit happily on any Steve Earle album. The Truth is a superb song about a prison inmate and features some excellent tight banjo work. Go Amanda is a seventies style rock song with a great catchy chorus.
I Remember You is a wonderful sentimental ballad ( a chick song as Mr Earle would say ) that features a duet with the excellent Emmylou Harris. A song to rank up there with Goodby and Valentines Day. Shadowland is another Earle rocker that really bites.
Finally Jerusalem is a softer but superb song offering hope and light at the end of the tunnel and is a fiiting conclusion to a somewhat dark and hard edged album. All in all I would say it ranks with El Corazon for variety and tightness but overall I belive it is even better. Perhaps his best yet.
The only downside is the rather short running time of 38 minutes. But this is not enough to prevent a well deserved 5 star rating.

Private Radio
Private Radio
Offered by westworld-
Price: £9.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy Bob hits the right note, 12 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Private Radio (Audio CD)
This is a superb album. With a range of styles from Steve Earle to Willie Nelson from Neil Young to Bob Dylan. There are differing styles here bit the complete package is very good.
Thornton uses his voice well to cover differing moods from deep spoken southern drawl ( dark and mad ) to a softer romantic sound ( Angelina, your blue shadow ) to hillbilly ( smoking in bed, walk of shame ).
The sound is ostensibly country but with a number of different twists and Marty stewarts guitar is superb throughout. If you are a fan of Steve Earle or Neil Young then this album is for you. If not it still may be anyway !!

Offered by westworld-
Price: £20.00

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb collection, 8 Aug. 2002
This review is from: Sidetracks (Audio CD)
It is hard to believe that this is a collection of 'stray' tracks as Mr Earle puts it. This really is a superb collection of tracks that show just how versatile Steve earle really is.
Many different musical styles are covered here from Rock to country, from blugrass to traditional irish folk music. This album really has it all.
With two instrumentals, some originals and some covers this is a standout album. Highlights for me are Breed which is delivered with screeching guitars and husky vocals it's right up there with Unrepentant and NYC as Earle grunge classics. Time has come today is given a superb reworking with Sheryl Crow duetting. A superb cover of Dylan's my back pages and the haunting Ellis unit one make this album complete.
Oh, yes and also an authentic reggae version of the slickers Johnny to bad. Whatever will he do next ?

Are You Passionate?
Are You Passionate?
Price: £6.74

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much to be passionate about here, 9 April 2002
This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
After last year's superb tour this is a bit of a let down.
Much of this collabaration with Booker T sounds more like one of those cheesy three piece bands that play on Saturday night's in seaside hotels.
The album is very different from any of Neil's previous work, it has a very 'soul' feel to it. The first two songs are okay but nothing special. The third song Differently is actually quite good. However as the album continues you get the feeling that all the songs are starting to sound the same.
At last I reached track 7 'going home'which was so great on the tour last year and the only song on the album played with Crazy Horse. This is the best track so far evoking memories of such classics as love and only love and change your mind. Not as strong as on the tour though and has a very odd abrupt ending.
When I hold you in my arms was one of the best songs on the tour for me, but here it is not as good. It is still a good song but is spoilt by the fact that the piano is to far back in the mix and the organ and drums have that cheesy 'seaside hotel band' sound. This would have been much better with a stripped down mix.
The rest of the album is very ordinary, especially the awful 'two old friends' until we reach the albums closer 'she's a healer' which is the high point of the album. A good groove with excellent muted horns during the instrumental section. A really good song but again a very abrupt finish.
All in all the album fails to deliver with many of the songs and Neil's guitar sounding the same. For die hard fans it is worth getting for Going home and She's a healer. While Differently, Mr disappointment and when I hold you in my arms are worth having.
One last point, the back of the album cover lists the eleven tracks plus 'Gateway of Love' which was a real tour de force during last years live shows. I wonder why it is not on the album. Should have been icluded in place of acouple of the weaker songs !

Special Forces
Special Forces
Price: £5.99

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What is so special about this, 9 Jan. 2002
This review is from: Special Forces (Audio CD)
I think this album rates among Alice's worst. It sounds dull flat and uninspired. The music is nothing to write home about and the lyrics lack Alice's usual style and humour.
The single seven and seven is was not a bad song and Skeletons in the closet was okay. You look good in rags started well only to degenerate into an annoying accapella. The reworking of generation Landslide pales into insignificance when compared with the brilliant original.
The rest of the abum wuite frankly is not really worth listening to for the most part.
Alice has produced over 20 albums now and I guess not all can be classics. This one is for us real die hard fans only.

Hey Stoopid
Hey Stoopid
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not So Stoopid, 9 Jan. 2002
This review is from: Hey Stoopid (Audio CD)
This is not a bad album at all. It was a big improvement on the previous pop album that was Trash.
There are some really good songs here. The very tight and well produced Love's a loaded gun should have been a number one hit. The interaction of electric and accoustic guitars works really well and the lyrics are excellent. Might as well be on Mars is a superb and very atmospheric ballad.
There are some great guitar rockers here also in Hurricane years and Feed my Frankenstein. Wind up toy is a bit of a throwback to the Nightmare and is a good closer for the album.
I only give it three stars as there are a few average songs and somehow the album does not gel as a whole. It is still worth having though as the good far exceeds the average !!

A Fistful of Alice (Live at Cabo Wabo 1996)
A Fistful of Alice (Live at Cabo Wabo 1996)
Price: £7.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great sounding live album, 9 Jan. 2002
This is a very good quality live recording.
The selection of songs is good, spanning the years from 1970 to 1996. The vocals are good as are the musicians used on this album. Stand out tracks are Desperado, Welcome to my Nightmare, Lost in America and Under My Wheels.
The bonus track 'Is anybody there' is also a good addition to the album.
My only complaint is that it is not long enough. With the amount of material Alice has at his disposal this could and should have been a double CD featuring twice the number of songs. Also what a jaw dropper when I found out that an import version contains extra live tracks ( bed of nails, clones and Billion dollar babies )
Still a great album for Copper fans and non Cooper fans alike

Muscle Of Love
Muscle Of Love
Price: £5.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten classic, 9 Jan. 2002
This review is from: Muscle Of Love (Audio CD)
This album really was an excellent follow up to Billion Dollar Babies.
There is a lot of diversity here from guitar driven rockers such as the title track, woman machine and never been sold before to the hit single teenage lament that has a very pop feel to it with backing vocals from Liza Minelli. The man with the golden gun has a real 'James Bond' feel to it and should have been the title track for the film.
The big stand out tracks for me are Hard hearted Alice with it's excellent slow accoustic introduction that slowly builds up to the brilliant guitar solo finale and Crazy little child a song about a young gangster set to a very 20's style piano/banjo soundtrack
All in all a very satisfying album that has really stood the test of time

Wandering Strange
Wandering Strange
Offered by CD USA
Price: £3.95

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kate's first clinker, 19 Dec. 2001
This review is from: Wandering Strange (Audio CD)
What a shame. After three brilliant albums ( moonpie dreams, songs from the levee & visions of plenty ) and one solidly good album ( Rosaryville ) kate comes up with this.
Obviously an intensely personal album that means a lot to Kate, I'm afraid it just does not come across for me.
Most of the songs are old hymns put to a kind of folky, country style that in the end just sounds muffled. I can't honestly say that a single song appeals to me here. Even Kate's usually emotive voice sounds a little flat, uninspired and dull.
I only give this one star because you cannot give 0 stars. I hope the next album will see some new songs and a return to the days of lanterns on the levee

Songs From the Levee
Songs From the Levee
Offered by InfinityBuys
Price: £12.36

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a truly beautiful album, 19 Dec. 2001
This review is from: Songs From the Levee (Audio CD)
This really is one of the very best albums in my diverse collection
The album is folk accoustic based but contains some lovely melodies, haunting tunes and beautiful lyrics.
Standout tracks for me are the opener Missisipi and me, a light jazzy accoustic number that has an infectious feel about it. Lanterns on the leveee a beautiful song about love and friendship with a haunting tune that really does evoke visions of cloured lanterns reflecting on the water in the half light and the line 'you can fall like the rain and I will be a river' just makes this song about perfect.
South of everything is another infectious song that describes a journey back home, it's a great song. Trains don't run from Nashville actually moves me to tears, a song that evokes pictures of a bygone age with a lovely accoustic backing.
Wild Iris and Locust years are slow thoughtful songs with wonderful lyrics about childhood and survival. Bury me in bluegrass is another very emotional song about families and has a great rythm section.
Like a buffalo is a happy quick paced song about animal attraction and Cotton field away is another of Kate's anti racist songs.
All in all whatever your taste in music have a listen to this album. Kate is so talented she should be much bnetter known than she is

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