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Mr. P. C. Mattock (Pulborough, West Sussex United Kingdom)

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Twelve Stops and Home
Twelve Stops and Home
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: £2.40

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Believe the hype!, 5 Jun. 2006
This review is from: Twelve Stops and Home (Audio CD)
Much has been made of the fact that this debut release is somewhat derivative of various 70s influences, especially 10CC and Supertramp. It is certainly an album in which little vocal and production flourishes at first leave the listener searching for comparisons with other artists. However, I would suggest that the overall sound is much less quirky than 10CC and a little less grandiose than Supertramp. The group I am overwhelmingly reminded of is the virtually forgotten American outfit Jellyfish, who released two albums in the early '90s to rather strong critical but moderate public acclaim. Dan Gillespie's slightly nasally delivery definitely veers closest to Jellyfish territory in the second half, especially on "Same Old Stuff" and "Blue Piccadilly". Unlike their American cousins, The Feeling have released an album of consistent strength and with a much smoother production, though; the sound is particularly polished for a debut.

On first listen, not all of the tunes were quite as immediate as some reviews had suggested they would be but, tellingly, I had no hesitation in making repeated listens. Having listened to the album around half a dozen times, the subtle twists and turns of the production are now becoming ingrained. In an album chock full of potential singles, the springy "Fill My Little World" was an obvious choice. "Strange" is another highlight, definitely a tune that improves on each listen. "Rose" (a tribute to the beverage, but unfortunately I have no 'acute' accent to add here!) is a lovely, stately ballad, while a stuttering vocal surprisingly provides the hook in "Never Be Lonely". Delicate piano-based closer "Miss You", not so much a hidden track as an encore to "Blue Piccadilly" - listen and you'll see what I mean - has an arrangement reminiscent of both Paul McCartney and Queen. Only in the overlong ending to "Sewn" and during an incongruous guitar solo on "Helicopter" (why do so many albums have a weaker penultimate track?) does the standard ever slightly dip.

Ultimately, despite all the comparisons with other artists from days past, "Twelve Steps From Home" is a release that stands on its own two feet as a rollicking good listen. I will be surprised if this does not become a very strong seller this summer.... if not then I have no doubt you will still enjoy the 'guilty pleasures' on offer here.

My Colouring Book
My Colouring Book
Price: £5.12

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great to have her back!, 20 April 2004
This review is from: My Colouring Book (Audio CD)
Who'd have thought it? Apparently a recluse, Ms. Faltskog returns to themusical limelight once more, all these years after Abba.
As collections of cover versions go,it's a pretty strange one, themajority of the 13 tracks fairly obscure and /or forgotten 60s tunes.Whilst agreeing with the previous reviewer that it's impossible for anyfan of 'the other Fab Four' to listen without a sentimental ear, this isnevertheless a hugely enjoyable listen.
The standard is consistently high throughout, the choices allowing for avariety of styles, each with lush orchestration. Dreamy single "If IThought You'd Ever Change Your Mind" is definitely one of the highpoints.Although featuring rather twee lyrics - a characteristic of much of thealbum - Agnetha's distinctive, still crystal-clear voice more thancompensates.
Of the two most well-known interpretations, a buoyant version of TheSearchers'"When You Walk In The Room" is the more successful, BrianHyland's "Sealed With A Kiss" covered in a perhaps slightly toounderstated style.
Amongst the more notable tracks are heartfelt ballad "Sometimes When I'mDreaming", mid-paced singalong "Remember Me" and the stirring,melodramatic "Fool Am I". Agnetha even manages to carry off a Sinatracover, "Past, Present and Future" with some aplomb. Only jazz standard"Fly Me To The Moon" sounds a little out of place.
I hope this album will be the commercial success that convinces 'theblonde one' to make another, hopefully of new material. In the meantime,this is a massively welcome offering for any Abba fan.

The Best of the Boomtown Rats
The Best of the Boomtown Rats
Offered by Music-Finder
Price: £30.84

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainers From Their Era., 20 Oct. 2003
At long last, pretty much the definitive Rats collection... and what a collection!
Starting out as the most successful punk band from over the waters, Messrs Geldof, Fingers, Briquette et. al always had a certain something more about them than so many of their contemporaries. Their music gradually diversified over the ensuing years, which makes the seemingly random track order at large here confusing and somewhat infuriating. The beautiful "Fall Down" is an appropriate closer, but why does the CD begin with, of all things, "She's So Modern", rather than first single "Looking After Number One"?
At the risk of being predictable, the highlight for me is, unquestionably, "I Don't Like Mondays", still casting its spell nearly a quarter of a century after its release..... the spine-tingling piano intro must be one of the most memorable ever played and Sir Bob's vocals are at their most heartfelt. Other standout tracks for me are the biting social commentaries "Rat Trap" and "Banana Republic", and the elegant "When The Night Comes". Many of the tunes shoot off in surprising directions, though, making this an almost constantly entertaining listen. If there are weakpoints, I would suggest they arrive in the shape of the rather dirgey "Neon Heart" and a tune that tries to be a little too quirky for its own good, "Elephant's Graveyard".
It's hard to imagine many better compilations.......

Couldn't Have Said It Better
Couldn't Have Said It Better
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £6.23

4.0 out of 5 stars Never likely to be "Bat 3" but, overall, worth the wait., 23 April 2003
So, Mr. Aday returns after an absence of more than seven years since "Welcome To The Neighbourhood". This time, he has not collaborated with Jim Steinman, writer of most of his best material, but opener "Couldn't Have Said It Better" is definitely a soundalike of some of his compositions, especially "I'd Lie For You (And That's The Truth)". Not unusually for Meat Loaf, it clocks in at more than seven minutes long, but overstays its welcome by at least two of these. However, although this was a recurring problem on the "Bat Out Of Hell 2" album, thankfully most of the tracks here reach their conclusion before they drag.
Overall, the standard is fairly consistent. Although Meat Loaf occasionally slips into middle-aged mediocrity, especially on the plodding "Love You Out Loud" and the predictable "Because Of You", there are also some very fine tracks:
"Did I Say That?" is classic Meat Loaf, switching tempo and mood several times, "Man Of Steel" is a heartfelt power ballad, with an imaginative production, and "Testify" is a joyous romp to follow the "Intermezzo" (played on the penny whistle!) Best of all is the cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" that closes the album - superfluous hidden track aside - Meat Loaf's vocals at their most vulnerable here.
Surprisingly impressive, especially given Steinman's absence.

Doll Revolution
Doll Revolution
Price: £10.09

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile Comeback, 18 Mar. 2003
This review is from: Doll Revolution (Audio CD)
More than fourteen years after the release of their last album, The Bangles return with a classy collection of fifteen songs, which show that they have not lost the ear for a good tune, or indeed a good harmony, with the passing of time.
Highlights of the set are the tracks featuring Susanna Hoffs on vocals, her voice still containing that mixture of warmth and vulnerability that helped make pop tunes like "Manic Monday" and ballads like "Eternal Flame" so successful. I am really surprised that the first single from the album, "Something That You Said" was not more successful commercially, but, perhaps, the heartfelt "I Will Take Care Of You" would be a worthy follow-up, maybe even returning them to the Top Ten. At the very least, it might draw more people's attention to an album which certainly bears repeated playing.
At times, with Hoffs away from the mike, the sound strays just a little close to 90s Fleetwood Mac for comfort, but, of fifteen tracks I would only consider two - "The Rain Song" and "Between Two", to be filler. Other highlights include the imaginatively-produced "Stealing Rosemary", the crisp "Mixed Messages" and the cleverly-structured closer, "Grateful".
So many comebacks are ill-advised. This album will undoubtedly prove to be a welcome surprise to those keen, like me, to re-investigate this sound from part of their teenage years.

Wings At The Speed Of Sound
Wings At The Speed Of Sound
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £20.55

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Under-rated, 24 Jun. 2002
Rarely mentioned as one of the better Wings albums, this sold more copies than any apart from "Band On The Run", and it's not hard to see why. Certainly, these tracks have aged better than much of the group's back catalogue.
All five members of the 1976 version of the band perform lead vocals on the album. The two Denny Laine vocals, on the brooding "The Note You Never Wrote" and the bluesy "Time To Hide" are an unexpected highlight. Less impressive is Joe English's mundane "Must Do Something About It", pure filler, although, strangely, I quite enjoy Linda's quirky "Cook Of The House".
Of the Paul vocals, the two singles are so familiar they need no comment and "She's My Baby" and "San Ferry Anne" are pleasant enough toe-tappers. The two stand-out tracks on the album are the awesome six-minute epic "Beware My Love" and the heart-tugging closing ballad "Warm And Beautiful", which would be amongst the very best ballads the great man has ever written but for the awful (but thankfully brief) instrumental break.
Well worth a listen... and if you're a McCartney fan, why don't you have this already?!

Can You Do Me Good
Can You Do Me Good
Offered by westworld-
Price: £9.98

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome return, but be patient with it!, 8 April 2002
This review is from: Can You Do Me Good (Audio CD)
Del Amitri return with their fourth album, their first for five years. As usual, many of the tracks feature imaginative melodies and lyrics, although a harder edge is evident, particularly amongst the earlier tracks and this takes some getting used to. The album has become more enjoyable after repeated listens.
Whilst the unquestionable highlight is the closing ballad "Just Getting By", surely Justin Currie's finest ever vocal performance, there is much else to savour, including the soulful "Out Falls The Past" and the wry humour of "Drunk In A Band".
Del Amitri seemed destined to remain in the second division of the sales league, but this album should maintain their solid fan base and, perhaps, gain a few new supporters willing to give them a listen.

Wimbledon - The Classic Match: Borg V Mcenroe [VHS]
Wimbledon - The Classic Match: Borg V Mcenroe [VHS]

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The greatest match of all-time, 26 Aug. 2000
Watching this brought the memories flooding back, to the time when one of the greatest rivalries in tennis, between two of its finest exponents of all time, existed. You have probably seen re-runs of the amazing tie-break in the fourth set, but there's so much else here to enjoy, not least Dan Maskell's wonderfully old-fashioned commentary. Also, were haircuts really that bad in 1980?
A match that will surely never be bettered.
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