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nmollo (London)
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Pictures
Pictures
Price: £13.25

11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alice Sara Ott is Beautiful!!!, 23 Feb 2013
This review is from: Pictures (Audio CD)
I suppose for the last decade or so there has been the penchant by the leading classical labels for putting beautiful people, especially girls, on the front of classical album covers. Examples are Alice Sara Ott, Hélène Grimaud, Hilary Hahn and Lisa Batiashvili, to name but a few of the girls.

The question always seems to arise; Are the most talented really so beautiful?

I certainly know of a few female artists with stunning musical talent that are side-lined, one can only guess, because of the way they look. An example is the mezzo-soprano Tuva Semmingsen, who in any other world would be a classical super-star.

Certainly, in the case of Lisa Batiashvili, we have an extraordinary talent that is also blessed with beauty but there are some serious reservations when it comes to the likes of Hélène Grimaud, Hilary Hahn and Alice Sara Ott.

Concerning Alice Sara Ott, as is the point of the review, she is beautiful. Very beautiful and she wears tuff leather boots. I wonder how that works on the pedals?

This stunning Japanese-German pianist has recorded some Lizst, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Beethoven and on this album, Pictures (2012), Mussorgsky and Schubert. She appears to have the full backing of Deutsche Grammophon ...err, sorry, Universal Music.

Now this would be fine if she really had an exceptional talent yet while her technique appears to be on form, it is her interpretation of the music and her natural rhythm that seems to be at fault.

Concerning her recent Beethoven (2011) album containing Piano Sonata No.3 in C, Op.2 No.3, and Piano Sonata No.21 in C, Op.53 -"Waldstein", a perceptive reviewer called her interpretations "polite" and "lady-like". I would have to agree but go further by saying she cannot connect with the rhythmic elements within the music.

This is certainly the case with her interpretation of Schubert's Piano Sonata in D major Op.53 D 850.

The bouncy opening movement, Allegro vivace D major, is all over the place rhythmically. This leaves me to wonder if she can really get down to Marvin Gaye or Kool & The Gang in a club or would she simply make jerky body movements that have no relation to the beat of the music?

....and this is my point... the music of Beethoven and Schubert is filled with rhythm. It is impossible for an artist to correctly interpret their music if they can't tap in time with the Bee Gees' You Should Be Dancing.

The first part of the album features Mussorgsky and his Pictures at an Exhibition suite. The fact that I can't get Alan B'Stard out of my mind while listening to this is a serious drawback. Never the less, it appears to be a favourite of young virtuoso pianists.

So to sum up, I hope we can agree that Alice Sara Ott is beautiful, wears nice boots and can play the piano, I just wonder, that if she looked like a female version of Stephen Merchant, would she be so highly regarded?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 5, 2013 8:33 AM BST


Trouble Man: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition
Trouble Man: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition
Price: £14.74

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Directly Channelled From God, 3 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Trouble Man 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition

I owned this album on vinyl and it was alway within easy reach of my Technics SL-1200 turntable. As CD became the new format, one of my first purchases was the CD of Trouble Man.

For a long while I wondered about an Expanded Edition of this classic album. The soundtrack heard in the movie was markedly different to the album version, with a version of the title song that had Marvin's falsetto doubled by him cooly speaking the lyrics.

Where are the nearly 200 cues, tracks and songs Marvin composed for the movie?

It is hard to state a preferred track on the Trouble Man soundtrack as all compositions are stunning, funky and remarkable but the one that inspired the most curiosity was "T" Plays It Cool. Who played the extraordinary drums on that monster funk track?

The rumour was that Marvin, as he had on many of the first Motown hits, had actually played the drums on "T" Plays It Cool. Was this true? I had to know.

Finally an Expanded Edition of Trouble Man has been released. It has a lot to live up to after the fantastic Expanded Editions of What's Going On (1971), Let's Get It On (1973), Here, My Dear (1978) and In Our Lifetime (1981).

Trouble Man Expanded Edition has the original 13 track remastered Album, sounding as new and funky as ever, followed by The "T" Sessions, 9 previously unreleased tracks, including an unedited version of "T" Plays It Cool, which is simply amazing and 19 tracks, reconstructed from the master tapes, of the original Movie score as heard in the film.

The question about who actually played the drums on "T" Plays It Cool is left unanswered even with the informative 33 page booklet, yet maybe that is for the best.

This is an astounding Expanded Edition and a recommended purchase for anyone that likes music directly channelled from God.


Skyfall (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
Skyfall (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
Dvd ~ Daniel Craig
Price: £14.99

20 of 103 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bond Is Dead!!, 25 Nov 2012
This movie sucks. For all the hype, product placement and promotion, this Bond instalment is terrible.

Sam Mendes falters in the first reel with a slow and boring start (without the 007 gun barrel) that moves into a bike chase. At one point during the chase, a shot where the stunt doubles face may have been seen, a poor and shoddy CGI face of Daniel Craig is animated over the double's face.

The CGI work is terrible and obvious, so much so, that it resembles some of the blue screen work from the 007 films of the late seventies and eighties.

The musical score is abysmal. The comic book music apes the action in a way that great Bond scores transcended.

Sam Mendes is not an action director, nor does it seems from this effort, a dramatic director. This is the worst Bond of the three so far with Craig.

I predict that the next Bond will be directed by Guy Richie.

The essence of Bond has been lost.

Bond is Dead.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2012 1:11 PM GMT


Move
Move
Price: £10.26

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complicated Talent!!!!, 25 Nov 2012
This review is from: Move (Audio CD)
I discovered Hiromi Uehara 上原ひろみ due to a wonderful and inspired jazz version of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8, Pathetique. This being the last track on the 2011 album Voice.

Move uses the same trio as on Voice, Anthony Jackson on Bass, Simon Phillips on Drums and the relentless Hiromi at the keys.

Move is a harder and more complicated album than Voice and Voice is complicated. The production is excellent and crisp, the music is fast and furious. It is only after 5 hardcore jazz stampedes that you get a break with the softer Suite Escapism: Fantasy, part two of a trilogy.

Part Three of the trilogy, Suite Escapism: In Between, has a latin swing and rocks.

Margarita! touches on the Jazz Funk Fusion Thang and moves. The last track of the album, 11:49 PM is more mellow and funks up at around 9 minutes.

My only gripe is that Hiromi needs to show more of the soulful, bluesy, less is more approach, as she touched on with Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8, Pathetique.

Maybe she needs to listen to Irma Thomas and her 2006 album Simply Grand to get what I mean.

Still tuff and uncompromising. A Super Talent!!!


Dredd [DVD]
Dredd [DVD]
Dvd ~ Karl Urban
Price: £5.00

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DREDD IS BACK!!!, 11 Sep 2012
This review is from: Dredd [DVD] (DVD)
DREDD 3D

Excellent movie for the budget. The spirit of Dredd is here in spades. It is not perfect but bloody imaginative.

First the camera work is fantastic. This is really a film to see in 3D. Not because of fancy Hollywood CGI but because of brilliant artistic imagery.

MegaCity looks European in the visuals and vistas but maybe for Americans the vans and cars just look weird. So it works!

Pete Travis' direction is solid and Alex Garland's script is informed and funny. Would loved to have heard Dredd say "Drokk" just once!

Karl Urban is Dredd. He needs to be warmed too but he plays the part very well. Olivia Thirlby is also excellent as Anderson. Lena Headey is very convincing in her Motherly role.

I do hope this becomes a franchise. Dredd is as important as Bond. Show him some respect.

Brilliant!!!!!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2012 6:27 PM BST


Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground
Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground
by Jonathan Kay
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

21 of 76 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seeking Comfort?, 23 May 2011
Seeking Comfort?

For those that wish to ignore empirical evidence and conveniently blind themselves from the truth, Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground will be a comfort.

Jonathan Kay is clearly working to a brief. He has an agenda. Could that agenda have anything to do with Kay's membership of The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, whose membership includes the likes of Newt Gingrich, William Kristol, Joe Lieberman and Richard Perle?

Kay does not investigate the evidence that clearly shows the official narrative of September 11th 2001 to be false.

Why not look with a dispassionate mind at the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7, a 47 story building that suffered total collapse at free-fall speed (which NIST acknowledges) without an airplane hitting it? Instead, Kay simply defames those with a skeptical and questioning mind.

There is an easy way to eradicate Conspiracy Theories from popular culture and that is for "civilized" governments and administrations to be open, accountable and most importantly truthful, what ever the consequences might be. Secrets beget secrets in a national security state.

Should Tony Blair and George Bush Jr. be indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity?

Were the July 7th London Bombings in 2005 really the work of radicalized home-grown muslims?

Could the over a million Iraqi deaths since the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003 be classed as genocide?

Are the CFR and IMF working toward global authoritarian governance?

Are these legitimate questions or conspiracy theory?

Among the Truthers is a condescending book that is intended to stigmatize and limit rational and logical debate.
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2012 11:10 PM BST


Director's Cut
Director's Cut
Price: £5.81

7 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Personal Session!!, 16 May 2011
This review is from: Director's Cut (Audio CD)
A new album by Kate Bush is something to get excited about. In a world of lies and plastic, Kate Bush is a breath of fresh air.

But this is not really a new album, is it? I mean, these are re-workings of past and familiar material.

I pressed play with some apprehension. The album begins with Flower Of The Mountain.

These re-recordings are not entirely re-recorded. There are clearly moments and elements taken directly from the original 1989 and 1993 recordings.

As I listen, I realize that Kate Bush is still an extraordinary Artist. The album really comes into it's own with the re-working of Deeper Understanding. The groove and bass licks are great. The Red Shoes follows and is considerably better than the over-produced original.

Through-out this recording Kate Bush's voice is a joy. The production is also brilliant at times. Some versions are a revelation while others do not improve upon the originals, which ones do or don't, is up for debate.

I enjoyed Director's Cut and realized that this album could be considered your own personal session performed by Kate Bush.


Day of Deceit: The Truth about Fdr and Pearl Harbor
Day of Deceit: The Truth about Fdr and Pearl Harbor
by Robert B. Stinnett
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprise Attack: The False Myth, 16 May 2011
A Surprise Attack: The False Myth

This is an important and revelatory book but I would say it is not for the uninitiated.

Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor by Robert B. Stinnett is a summation of a lengthy investigation that shows "almost" beyond a doubt that there was foreknowledge of the attacks at Pearl Harbor. Also the book shows that a plan was most certainly in place to encourage and provoke Japan to make the first "overt act of war".

As to the first point about foreknowledge, I say "almost" beyond a doubt because the documents or evidence that would finally put this historical event to rest have been destroyed or are still withheld by the national security state.

What is clear, is that the Truth of the attack on Pearl Harbor has been swamped in the perpetuation of a false myth.


One Small Step?: The Great Moon Hoax and the Race to Dominate Earth from Space
One Small Step?: The Great Moon Hoax and the Race to Dominate Earth from Space
by Gerhard Wisnewski
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.08

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sarcastic Tone!, 26 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One Small Step? by Gerhard Wisnewski

The debate concerning the Moon Landings is often emotional and derogatory. The official narrative is supported and sustained by an intolerant lobby that often fails to answer skeptical questions empirically and dispassionately. On the other side, are the skeptics that fall into many different polarized groups. The moderate skeptic that bases skepticism on reasonable doubt, is often ignored.

One Small Step? by Gerhard Wisnewski clearly suffers from translation, not from spelling errors or grammatical faults but from a sarcastic tone that dominates most of the prose.

Gerhard Wisnewski clearly sees the issue of landing on the moon as politically charged with dangerous implications that still resonate today. If this is the case then Gerhard Wisnewski should deal with the subject with a more authoritative and less flippant tone.

Interestingly enough, the writing begins to improve as Gerhard Wisnewski explains the dangerous world of 1960's America. The Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and CIA sponsored terrorism.

The idea that the Moon Landings were faked is not such a shocking assumption because in training, simulation and rehearsal, the moon landings were already being faked or more correctly simulated. As Gerhard Wisnewski explains it would have been irresponsible for NASA not to have rehearsed and simulated most aspects of the Moon Landings.

There are two arguments that are often heard in support of the official narrative and both have nothing to do with science. Yet these two logical fallacies block any attempt at a rational and empirical debate because by there very nature, the arguments paint doubters and skeptics as unworthy of debate.

The first is that, as a quarter of a million people worked for the Apollo program, it would be impossible to keep faked Moon Landings a secret.

Gerhard Wisnewski talks about this at length in One Small Step? He uses the word "cellular" to explain the different cells that worked on a "need to know basis". A better and more succinct explanation would be "compartmentalization", which was used very effectively to keep the Manhattan Project secret from the world while employing 130,000 people. Gerhard Wisnewski fails to mention the compartmentalized success of the Manhattan Project.

The second is, if the Soviet Union had known that the moon landings were faked, it would be impossible believe they would not have exposed the fraud to the world.

Again, Gerhard Wisnewski talks at length about the collaboration between the Apollo program and the Soviet space program. It is often the case that opposing political parties may appear for public consumption to be in passionate contradiction, while behind closed doors objectives and ideologies are often mutual. This is particularly true of establishment European and American political parties. Tony Blair's Labour Party followed to the letter the corporate friendly policies of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party just as Barack Obama extends the criminal policies of George Bush Jr.

After October 1962, the political situation between the Soviet Union and America had changed. This culminated in the signing of the Test Ban Treaty on August 5, 1963 in Moscow. Premier Khrushchev later that year, admitted the Soviet Union was in a "difficult position" due to a poor harvest and in response the US administration prepared to send three million tons of American wheat to the Soviet Union. These examples of American and Soviet reciprocity expand on the many reasons why the Soviet Union would not want to purposely sabotage intergovernmental relations. The question also remains that secrets beget secrets within national security states.

Turning to science, I have one question concerning the Moon Landings that leads me into a degree of skepticism concerning the official narrative.

That question is Radiation, meaning the Lunar Radiation, Solar Flares and the Van Allen Radiation Belts.

NASA's response to the questions of the Van Allen Radiation Belts and Solar Flares is that the hazards are minimal. NASA found it unnecessary to provide any special radiation shielding. No large solar flares occurred during the Apollo missions and typical radiation doses received by the astronauts were very low.

An official NASA article from September 8, 2005, is called "Radioactive Moon", it states;

The surface of the Moon is baldly exposed to cosmic rays and solar flares, and some of that radiation is very hard to stop with shielding. Furthermore, when cosmic rays hit the ground, they produce a dangerous spray of secondary particles right at your feet. All this radiation penetrating human flesh can damage DNA, boosting the risk of cancer and other maladies.

"We really need to know more about the radiation environment on the Moon, especially if people will be staying there for more than just a few days," says Harlan Spence, a professor of astronomy at Boston University.

Finally, would it have been easier to fake the Moon Landings than to do them in reality? The answer is yes because the infrastructure was already in place to make simulations appear as genuine.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 17, 2014 8:25 AM BST


Lee Van Cleef: Best of the Bad
Lee Van Cleef: Best of the Bad
by Michael G. McGlasson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.56

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not A Biography!!!, 9 Dec 2010
Not A Biography!!!

I purchased Lee Van Cleef: The Best Of the Bad thinking it would be a biography of the man and the movie star BUT...

....on receiving a large box from Amazon, inside was the slimest book I have seen short of being called a pamphlet. The Amazon description states 90 pages but this "book" is in fact less than 60 pages of actual text.

And what text!!! There is a short biography of Lee Van Cleef consisting of 16 pages. It is virtually the same information as is posted on IMDb or Wikipedia. Some simplistic essays follow which to all intents and purposes are utterly useless.

Very disappointed.


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