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David Johnson "El Burrito" (Buenos Aires)
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Do You Like Rock Music?
Do You Like Rock Music?
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.17

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes I do, 27 April 2008
This review is from: Do You Like Rock Music? (Audio CD)
The riffs come from the annuls of rock history but the slant that British Sea Power put on their music sounds fresh and exhilarating. The chorus for "Lights out for Darker Skies," engages you, the breakdown is elegant and poised. There is an anthemic quality to this record, the way the ghostly effects marry the tracks together. You get the lost in the all-encompassing whirl of, "Waving Flags." It dovetails nicely into the wonderful sprawl of Canvey Island." "A trip out," stands out for the pulsating drive of its chorus. It's typical of the album. British in it's sound and execution but not falling into the usual hackneyed stereotypes of most British acts
The Great Skua showcases this groups capacity for sensitivity without the need for words - a truly outstanding piece of music. "No need to cry" is beautifully understated, languid. The music on this record conjures up visions of endless seascapes and barren landscapes.
What excites me about this band is that they are getting better - there's the intelligence there to come up with something different each time. An absolutely essential purchase


The Descendants
The Descendants
by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original family saga, 27 April 2008
This review is from: The Descendants (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Matt Kings's high maintenance wife Joanie lies in a coma after a boating accident. Matt is faced with the prospect of gathering Joanie's friends and family together to tell them she will soon be taken off life support. One person hasn't been told - the man Joanie was having an affair with. Matt takes to the road with his two feisty daughters to find his wife's lover - a journey of hurtful truths and hilarious circumstances.
Kaui Hart Hemmings has conjured up a highly original story here. The book ostensibly deals with saying goodbye to someone with whom you have ultimately fallen out of love. There is a great deal of foreboding in Matt King's character, the sense that things have passed uncontrollably by him. He is bound by love to his two taxing daughters and wracked by the sensation that turning off Joanie's life support machine will give his family new lease of life. The portrayal of Joanie's lover is as comic as it is convincing - the way human beings are driven by circumstance is also excellently observed. A fine family saga told with humour and panache.


The Rough Guide To African Street Party
The Rough Guide To African Street Party
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A decent taster of contemporary African music, 27 April 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I tend to find that these kinds of compilations always end up sounding a bit scrappy, especially when so many different musical styles feature on one each disc. This works fine as a sampler if you use it to explore work by the artists featured.
The remix of Vieux Farka Toure's Sangare sounds a bit naff, a hum-drum beat behind the original song. Second division production. Ntolilo by Massukos is beautifully downbeat and mellow - don't really understand how it fits the description "Street party." I'm also not a fan of the heavily synthesized beats of Luisito Quintero's offering. But with compilations like this you usually unearth at least one gem - and that prize goes to the delectably named Fatai Rollling Dollar with his track Awure Banza - a killer loop made for the dance floor. I'll be checking some more of his work out.
The liner notes are comprehensive, providing you with detailed information on the artists. I would say use this as a starting point for exploring contemporary African music


The Dreamer
The Dreamer
Offered by classicmusic
Price: £11.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Keep dreaming, 17 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Dreamer (Audio CD)
It takes a full twenty minutes into Jose James's debut the The Dreamer before I'm left truly impressed. "Spirits Up Above," is a fine track indeed. New Orleans in its feel with the bluesy collective chant and the rolling piano it branches off into some fine percussion work before lurching back into the chorus. Top stuff. So why did we have to wait so long to escape from the New York dirge of the first four tracks? It's as though at last the record has finally kicked in. "Nola" follows, the vocal far rangier and confident, the band finally letting loose. Another excellent track.
Don't expect to find something radically new on this. James has a soft, sleek delivery that is very easy on the ear, a straight Jazz voice not erring to other singer styles. But somehow it doesn't captivate me. It's a problem, because I actually found the first part of the album quite mundane. It's as though there's James voice and the band - you're listening to one or the other, not both at the same time.
The arranagements are predictably superb, particualrly Alexi David on bass, who carries the flow of the album quite excellently.
Perhaps after all the hype and plugging I'm entitled to feel a little bit disappointed. "The Dreamer" - more accomplished than spectacular.


The John Peel Sessions
The John Peel Sessions

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless brilliance, 16 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The John Peel Sessions (Audio CD)
I, like John Peel fell in love with Gene whilst seeing them playing in live in 1995. Up until them I had thought of them as cold Smiths copyists. That day I fell under the spell of Martin Rossiter's passionate, bombastic vocals and Steve Mason's crunching guitar. I never looked back. Too clever - critical of British society rather than celebrators of it - Gene were never going to break the mainstream.
The John Peel Sessions 95-99 is a fine document of Gene's music and shows them in their true element. I feel that the band never managed to catch their full energy or passion on one of their long players - here we see them in that raw, stripped down mode so often lacking when they went into the studio.
Most of the post first record favourites are on here including fantastic early versions of As Good as it Gets, The Looker and Little Child. Save me I'm yours stands out for me as a timeless love song.
The second disc covers live recordings and includes two of my favourites The British Disease and Where are they now?
Timeless, sumptuous music from one of Britain's truly great bands.


Authenticité - The Syliphone years
Authenticité - The Syliphone years
Offered by roundMediaUK
Price: £11.50

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those looking to dig a bit deeper, 14 April 2008
A treasure trove of Guinean music. This stunning double CD cronicles the era of the national orchestras in Guinea in the 1960's and early 1970's. You'll find everything here from soulful wistful laments to up tempo funk numbers from the vaults. Bembeya Jazz National are present along with a plethora of other fine artists. The beats shift and change in seconds - Guinean music is characterised by congos, tinny drums and those light, transcendal guitar solos. Brilliant liner notes tell you about the background to the music and the history of the groups.
If you like the music of Orchestra Boabab this will be right up your street.


La Radiolina
La Radiolina
Offered by NetsavesUK
Price: £6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant in places but horribly flawed, 14 April 2008
This review is from: La Radiolina (Audio CD)
Manu Chao has always intrigued me. He makes extremely basic music with lyircs which are for the most part drivel - but his records are undeniably compelling. What makes Manu special is his inherant sense for a single chord and a line of Spanish or French that even those who flunked their GCSE can sing along to.
On Radiolina he's at it again, catering for those dreadlocked European backpackers who want their slice of world music. My problema with Chao is that he seems to insist on all this thinly veiled political rubbish. Does he really think he's making a statement with tracks like Tristeza Maleza and Rainin in Paradise?
It's a shame because when he puts his mind to it he's capable of penning truly excellent songs about feeling lost in the world. "Me llaman Calle," is Chao at his absolute best. A string of fine songs follow in the middle, the gentle, beautiful A cosa an example. Nevermind the often used multilingual trick he employs.
For me the standout track is La vida Tombola - a hauntingly beautiful number about the travails of Diego Maradona.
As on Chao's other albums there is a lot of track repetition - it's up to the listener to find a set of lyrics they like and stick to them.
This format for Chao's music is surely a little tired by now. I'm sure it won't stop people buying it in their droves though. Brilliant in some ways, terrible in others.


Stiffs Lovers Holymen Thieves
Stiffs Lovers Holymen Thieves
Price: £8.77

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine new voice, 14 April 2008
I bought this after hearing the beautifully willowy Barleycorn on the radio one evening. This stunning opener captivates you, the perfect blend of traditional lyrics fused with rousing string arrangements.
Van Eyken's approach is brave. He blends traditional compositions with elements taken from rock and even jazz. "Gypsy Maid," with that pinging bass string is a fine example of Van Eyken's approach.
I doesn't all work. Fair Ellen of Ratcliffe sounds a bit cluttered with the guitars and strings all merging together.
This is a fine combination of sensitive folk numbers and up tempo jigs, A welcome new voice.


Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series
Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic gateway into Ethiopian music, 14 April 2008
Any best of from the titanic Ethiopiques series was going to make for interesting listening.
This double CD package really comes up trumps, giving you a fine sample of the artists featured throughout.
Disc One is Jazzier in it's feel. We have the slow meandering Heywete before we dive into the painfully cool Yerkermo Sew. It is Mulatu Astatque's music that has brought Ethiopian music to a wider audience. Hardly surprising. Taken from his experiences of living in America, the grooves of his tracks are funky, infectious. Yekatit is probably my favourite one from him - rolling beat, the coolest slice of funk.
Getatchew Mekurya's music is far last westernized, more organic - the saxophones lead to towards Egypt. I love Shellela on the second disc.
The other artist whose music deserves a definite mention is soul singer Mahmoud Ahmed, several fine tracks on here including the beautifully languid Fetsum Denq Ledj Nesh.
I would say that this best of CD is ideal for those just dipping into the music. An excellent gateway into the rest of the series.


African Girl
African Girl

3.0 out of 5 stars Fine new Neo-Soul voice., 7 April 2008
This review is from: African Girl (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I must admit that this kind of stuff isn't usually my tipple but I like being pleasantly surprised and Rayo manages to do that with African Girl.
Comparisons to Sade aren't completely out of place. Rayo's voice is pure and gently seductive. I like the soft lament of Overdose on Love - catchy chorus, soft melody - subtelty in the voice. Fool for you is another very strong moment.
This record's main problem is that it doesn't really do anything new - a lot of the percussive elements are hackneyed from other records of the same ilk. It's all pretty montoned, sliding along in the same gear for the duration.
But then again sometimes I like listening to something smooth and inoffensive - African gril carries that off quite nicely.


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