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Reviews Written by
John C. Davies "dreamturtle" (Wales, U.K)

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The Art Of Amalia
The Art Of Amalia
Offered by nagiry
Price: 10.47

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful beyond description, 11 Jan 2005
This review is from: The Art Of Amalia (Audio CD)
This collection, spanning 1952-1970, has the best of the legendary Amalia Rodrigues and her Portuguese fado songs of love, longing, sadness and the sea.
Amalia's voice is incredibly expressive; rich, pure, tender, mysterious and aching with feeling. The songs have such romantic depth and melancholic beauty they'll caress you like silk, bathe you like moonlight and pierce you like lightning.
Nothing, nothing can touch this.

Peachtree Road
Peachtree Road

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine, mellow album, 15 Nov 2004
This review is from: Peachtree Road (Audio CD)
Potential buyers should not be deterred by the chart performance of All That I'm Allowed (not one of Elton's strongest singles, that's for sure!) nor the album's own disappointing chart entry. Peachtree Road finds Elton continuing the return to form and critical respectability of Songs from the West Coast. Laden with ballads, it's rich, warm and mellow, with a relaxed pace and distinctly Southern feel- the first half reminiscent at times of early classic albums Tumbleweed Connection and Honky Chateau. Initially i found the second half disappointing, with strong hints of the ponderous middle of the road sentimentality and occasionally trite lyrics that have marred Elton's post-70's career, but with further listens all the songs- with the exception of I Can't Keep This From You (his weakest finale for years)- have grown, to form an unusually cohesive set.
Stand-outs for me include very gentle Southern rocker (literally) Porch Swing in Tupelo, the genuinely spirit-lifting Weight of the World (Elton at his most content), the catchy Country sound of Turn the Lights Out When You Leave, the jaunty Too Many Tears and the one uptempo song They Call Her the Cat.
While lacking in truly outstanding spine-tingling tracks, and so falling well short of Elton's (generally agreed) finest achievements Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Captain Fantastic, Peachtree Road is a consistent, mature, quietly crafted album: slow, smooth and soulful rather than dynamic or inspired. It may not make many converts but won't disappoint most fans either.
Repeated listens have been making this middle-aged fogey pretty happy; i've enjoyed singing along, causing my friendly pet terrier to howl in protest!

The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein
Edition: Hardcover

95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect little book, 29 Nov 2003
This review is from: The Giving Tree (Hardcover)
2 days ago, on the recommendation of someone whose judgment i respect and whose favourite book this is, i started to read The Giving Tree. "Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy". A few minutes later i was wiping away a tear, and reeling from an unexpected welter of feelings. It is profound, wise, beautiful and moving. It's simple but its heart and its scope are enormous. In barely 600 words and a couple of dozen illustrations, with a quiet serenity that puts to shame much of the "great" and famous literature, it suggests the important things in life and a whole range of themes- parenting, childhood, joy, time, aging, absence, self-sacrifice, selfishness, loss, consolation, materialism, nature's gifts and, above all, unconditional love. Some have said it's too sad for children and too simple for grown ups. For this 42 year old it's the loveliest discovery, and quite perfect.

Hiroshige: 100 Famous Views of Edo
Hiroshige: 100 Famous Views of Edo

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly exceptional book of Art, 21 Nov 2003
5 stars are insufficient.
This wonderful book contains 118 (not 100) very large and simply magnificent full-page colour reproductions of Hiroshige's series of woodblock prints which depict the waterways, bridges, blossoms, buildings, people, seasons, gardens, temples, ceremonies (and more) in mid-19th century Tokyo. The accompanying text, neatly arranged on each facing page, is informative, accessible, well-written and enhances appreciation of the subject.
I have spent countless rapt and contented hours contemplating the extraordinary variety of vivid, atmospheric, delicate, witty, bold, striking, lyrical, serene, original and lovely compositions- each carried out with remarkable technique and beautifully evoking a world now largely lost to concrete.
The book should appeal greatly to anyone with a sensitive soul, an interest in art (the prints were a major influence on Van Gogh), or admiration for Japanese traditions. If you have someone special in mind for a gift (i treated myself!), but the price seems prohibitive, fear not. Much more than simply money well spent, it's an absolute treasure.

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