Profile for nicholas_b > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by nicholas_b
Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,540
Helpful Votes: 241

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
nicholas_b

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
The Beatles In Mono [VINYL]
The Beatles In Mono [VINYL]
Offered by reflexcd2 SHIPPING FROM THE UK
Price: £341.24

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! The ultimate analogue Beatles collection, 11 Sep 2014
This is a momentous collection and a staggering achievement by all those involved, not least the Beatles themselves for writing all this incredible music over a 7 year period.
I have been waiting years for this. I'm so thankful that the decision was made, apparently quite late in the day, to keep the whole production process analogue. It's a lot harder work and more expensive for sure, but the end result is simply sublime. I haven't bought any of the digital Beatles remasters, and I don't own original vinyls, so hearing this music freshly pressed in mono as it was meant to be heard is a revelation. It sounds unbelievably good - clear, creamy smooth, warm, present, deep and yet punchy. The music shines through as if it was recorded last week. Truly timeless, and one can hear the expertise with which it was recorded all those years ago.
If you don't have any way to listen to vinyl at home, I'm sorry to say it but in this case I pity you, as you are truly missing out on something magical. You may think you've heard all these songs a thousand times, but believe me, not like this. This collection blows away any CD or digital vinyl remaster ever made.
The greatest pop music ever written and recorded finally presented the way it deserves. At last!!
Let me take you down...


A Letter Home
A Letter Home
Price: £6.99

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminds us that the best music is about soul..., 29 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Letter Home (Audio CD)
What makes a great album? Is it the quality of your microphones? sound engineer? digital resolution? guitar cables?
No - of course not. Great music is and always has been about soul. Feel. Emotion.
This is a fantastic album that reminds us of that. Those complaining about low sound quality have entirely missed the point imho - in fact I would say the low s/q IS the point. Freed from the chin-stroking considerations of recording quality, the songs and the feeling shine through... there's a million albums out there recorded in 24bit/96kHz resolution, everybody and their gran can record a decent sounding digital album these days, even at home - but it don't mean the music is any good.
This is the real deal - a great artist showing us what he can do with a guitar, his voice and about the most basic recording device imaginable. Imho the recording method adds greatly to the atmosphere of the songs - your experience may differ.
Harks back to the days of Folkways Anthologies of early American folk music.
Would this album really be improved by having been recorded in Studio A of Ocean Way? I think not...
Genius!


In Her Name
In Her Name
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing voice and tranquil devotional music, 20 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In Her Name (MP3 Download)
Sudha is a rising star in the world of devotional and meditation music, and rightly so.
Beyond her obvious vocal talent, her voice has an angelic quality that is able to convey the energy of the music, which is something much harder to do than it seems. Only the best mantra and meditation singers, for example Snatam Kaur, are capable of this, and the reason it's so hard to do is that it's a quality derived from the spiritual practise and development of the singer. It is, for want of a better word, their own personal energy or vibration that is carried through the voice, and this is an energetic process that is impossible to fake or simulate. For this reason only certain mantra singers can truly embody the music they present, and Sudha is up there with the best.
This album is a collection of mantras and musical prayers that honour the feminine, Goddess aspect of creation. The music itself is very tranquil and relaxing, with an Indian or Asian flavour throughout, perfect for mediation, yoga or massage therapy. The general musical style will be familiar to anyone who listens to this genre, and it's well executed and professionally done throughout. What sets it apart from other examples of course is Sudha's wonderful voice.
Highly recommended for anyone looking for music to relax, meditate, open the heart, do yoga, massage or simply enjoy a breath of tranquility in the chaotic whirlwind of modern daily life. Jai Maa!


Apple 27" (68,58 cm) Thunderbolt LED Cinema Display
Apple 27" (68,58 cm) Thunderbolt LED Cinema Display
Offered by MAC&CO
Price: £740.19

6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Most expensive mirror on Amazon..., 17 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was a huge disappointment.

First let me say I am a longtime Mac user and supporter. Since the late 90s my upgrade path has always been with Apple products, so when I was ready to replace my old 23" Apple Cinema display, the new-ish Thunderbolt displays seemed the logical choice.

I was running it on a late 2011 15" Thunderbolt MBP with OSX Lion.

Very excited when it arrived, of course, and it looked wonderful sitting on the desktop... until I turned it on, that is.

First thing I noticed, within a few seconds the fans on my MBP started up full power and wouldn't stop. Within a couple of minutes the casing around the Thunderbolt port was hot to the touch and there was a faint whiff of hot plastic in the air. I never got anything like this with my previous cinema display. I think its due to the power flowing through the Thunderbolt port. I understand that the MBPs are apparently designed to run hot, but this means the noisy cooling fans must run too - and I work in music production, so I need a quiet environment. Not going to work for me. But I'd be surprised if anyone would be willing to put up with the constant racket. It's really been a terrible decision from Apple to abandon Firewire connectivity on their MBPs. The pro-world still runs on Firewire connections, for peripheral hardware and external drives. These laptops are called MacBook Pros after all. Understandable if they dropped FW from the standard MB and Air, but from the Pro? By all means run Thunderbolt and FW side by side, but to drop FW and then tell people they can run all their connections through one little port, which in fact doesn't really work (due to the excessive heat generated and related fan noise issues) seemed like commercial suicide.

But even worse than this, and the major design flaw with these monitors, is the ridiculous glossy screen. Make sure you don't have any light source behind you, or anywhere nearby that will reflect off the screen, and even then if you are watching video or gaming with any kind of dark or low-light scene you will find you're simply staring at your own face reflected back at you in the glossy black mirrored surface.
This is less of a problem with the glossy screen laptops, as they tend to be positioned below line of sight, but these big displays usually sit opposite you at eye level, so consequently there you are, staring back at yourself.

It's a truly terrible piece of ill-thought out design, and a major fumble from Apple not to offer these displays in a matte screen option. This is a perfect example of style over substance, and I really despair at the direction Apple seem to be taking with their products lately. For professional photographers, designers, programmers or music producers, who spend all day in front of their screens and need as clear a view as possible these displays are virtually unusable - and who was it who supported and kept Apple in business through the lean times? Exactly those same people who Apple are now ditching in favour of the casual home user who just wants something that looks cool to keep their photos and mp3 collection in.

On the other hand, if you're the sort of person who loves to sit and stare at themselves in the mirror all day, this product may suit you. Perhaps Apple are correctly identifying their customer base after all? If so, then I stand corrected. Good luck to them. But for everyone else I have to recommend that they steer clear, at least until Apple ever bring out a matte screen version.

This is the first Apple product I have ever returned, and its very disappointing to have had to do so, as I really did want to love it. I will have to look elsewhere for a usable monitor, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, so Apple must be losing out here, both on sales and longterm customer loyalty. As if they could care.

Thanks goodness for Amazon's no fuss returns, so they get a star. And Apple get one star for good looks and a pinsharp screen, but as for the rest, it's (hopefully) back to the drawing board. Save your money and avoid.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2014 1:16 PM BST


Essence/Universe [VINYL]
Essence/Universe [VINYL]
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and beautiful music, 26 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Essence/Universe [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Re-release of a new age classic... Two long pieces that unfold slowly in blissful droning slabs of celestial sound... Must be getting on for 30 years old but could have been recorded last week. Timeless and beautiful.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 28, 2014 11:58 PM GMT


Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10
Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10
Price: £11.15

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May be my favourite Dylan album of all time, 26 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was really blown away by this album, and I wish there was more Dylan music in this style.
OK well I admit I'm not a hardcore Dylan fan but I do have his "major" albums and I respect him as an artist and musician. The problem for me has always been that I could never really get into his "sound", tho the songs are obviously great beyond question. Even his most dedicated devotees admit that his studio albums can be, well, hit and miss, and often don't contain the best versions of his songs. His early folky stuff I find a bit too aggressive and confrontational and his later work with the band can get a bit MOR country soft-rock for me... But this album strikes a really interesting middle ground. Often acoustic and intimate, soft and emotional... Even his voice is different on these songs. Gone is the whiney hectoring in favour of a much softer and really well rounded singing voice - not the characteristic vocal sound people associate with him at all, and all the better for it, IMHO.
As I said before, I was really blown away by this album, and I wish there was more Dylan music in this style.
But at least, now, there is this. Strange to think that these songs came from the sessions for what became known as the worst Dylan album, and having heard it, I can understand why. But these versions, stripped down and raw, are a world away. Why these versions were dumped in favour of the released mixes, who knows?
This may not have any of his 'big' songs or major lyrical works, but it has a great understated vibe and there's something really magical about it.


Mr Men - The Complete Original Series 1 And 2 [DVD] [2003]
Mr Men - The Complete Original Series 1 And 2 [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Arthur Lowe
Price: £9.20

1.0 out of 5 stars NOT Mr.Men inside...its Little Misses!, 9 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I also got a Little Misses DVD in this box instead of a Mr.Men one.
My 2 year old was very disappointed, not to mention confused. We bought the DVD to take on holiday, so didn't realize the mistake until we were already away.
Proceed with caution - something fishy going on here, if you ask me.


TIGI Bed Head For Men Matte Separation Workable Wax 75g
TIGI Bed Head For Men Matte Separation Workable Wax 75g
Offered by HAIR ANGELS
Price: £9.73

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too stinky for me..., 9 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good product for hold and matte-look messy hair, shame about the smell.
I don't wear aftershave or scent and this just smells really really strong to me, and not in a good way either. Smells kind of like cheap scent. Maybe OK for you if you walk around covered in Lynx or something. Why do they have to make it scented? It doesn't help the wax work any better, so what's the point?
Does the job - pity about the smell.


Nepenthe [VINYL]
Nepenthe [VINYL]
Price: £18.06

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Angelic Celestial Music, 21 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nepenthe [VINYL] (Vinyl)
This is a very special album.
For those not familiar with Juliana Barwick's work, she sings very softly and beautifully, layering her voice multiple times in harmony to create a choral effect. The image of a choir of angels springs to mind. Here she is accompanied by some minimal and tasteful instrumental backing. Don't get me wrong, though, this is not cheesy New Age music, with tinkling bells and cheap sounding synths. Far from it.
There are no lyrics in these songs, just her vocal tones creating the melodies and harmonies. Each track flows easily into the next with nothing to disturb the mood, allowing you to bathe deeply in the sweet purity of the vibes. The Wire magazine criticised the album for being too one-note and sentimental in mood, bemoaning the lack of 'edge' to mix things up, but I disagree strongly. Imho the inclusion of darker or edgier tracks would have spoilt the gentle overall atmosphere of the album.
Reminds me a bit of Riceboy Sleeps in its more celestial moments. And that's a good thing.
Transcendent musical purity from a very talented young artist who deserves your support. Don't hesitate - buy it!


Slow Focus
Slow Focus
Price: £8.96

12 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should have stuck with Andrew Weatherall..., 29 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Slow Focus (Audio CD)
Meh... Sorry but I cannot agree with the other reviewers here. I've been involved with electronic music for 25 years but this album did little to interest or excite me. I enjoyed Tarot Sport and at the time found it refreshing and even experimental. This sounds like an unfocused attempt to throw a load of sounds at the wall and hope something sticks. Not much does. The whole thing suffers from the harsh brittle sound that unfortunately characterises most 21st century digital electronic music. There's hype around this album after their previous success but once the dust settles this will not be remembered as a great album, let alone a classic one. The 2 musicians obviously have some ideas to offer but to my ears this sadly lacks the influence of Weatherall as producer, which on the evidence of this album obviously went a long way to making Tarot Sport what it was. Disappointing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2014 2:03 PM GMT


Page: 1 | 2 | 3