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Sakis (San Diego)

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All You Left Us
All You Left Us
Price: £20.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Chill Out Perfection, 6 Sept. 2006
This review is from: All You Left Us (Audio CD)
Comprised of Patricia Leidig and Pedro Toro, Almadrava are a chill out band from sunny Spain and they bring the Mediterranean sun and atmosphere right to our stereos (or our headphones if you would prefer that) with their new album All You Left Us. Their debut Northern Winds was released a couple of years ago and it featured techno/new age songs and haunting hazy electronic melodies that you might have heard of if you have bought any Chill Out or Down Tempo compilation CDs in the past few years. Their new album brings us more of their soothing songs but with a high dose of optimism and more acoustic rather than electronic instruments and a strong hint lyrically to the power of memories. This album is highly recommended to fans of Enigma, Deep Forest, Ottmar Liebert or Madredeus.

Whispery, very romantic and somewhat sensual and sensitive yet firm vocals blend in with warm techno loops here, mixed in with lots of gentle classic guitar riffs and subtle drums, creating a perfectly smooth cosmopolitan soundtrack for relaxation without any feelings of dread or deep melancholy. Pure Chill Out stuff with the power to transport you to distant imaginary places and sentimental themes in their songs that reveal to us how a place can hold our memories of it and the people who inhabited it and our recollections of them.

Spanish rhythms are more dominant this time around, even a couple of songs are sung only in Spanish, "Distancia del Mar" & "Suave", with their lively guitars and subtle drums invoke a sense of tranquility one would probably find at a Mediterranean beach, sipping tropical drinks sun tanning with eyes closed. "Souvenir" on the other hand with its male chanting and overall exotic world music vibe brings Africa or a sunny desert in mind, while the violin sounds in "Sorrow" transport us to a late night lonely resort town deserted by tourists and left with only the memory of someone dear who has left it.

"The Way" (which is the first single off the album) and "Your Number One" are very romantic and sentimental songs full of intimate memories. Both songs reveal a certain trust the singer shares with a person by little confessions, the sight of an empty bed in "Your Number one" and the memories of a kiss and touch on "The Way" are enough for Patricia to develop and express those sentiments. "Why" is one of the most haunting songs in the album, the lyrics show us how some people change from our recollections of them in time, "I see you run I see you smile, your honesty when you were a child, oh say what did you do? Cos now in your face and in your eyes I see the scars of all your lies, I can't believe it's you! What happened to you? Which one is real?" she sensitively croons. Not an ideal reunion that's for sure. Another interesting song called "Blind Reverse" follows that track with playful techno beats and some background vocals & ethereal vocalizations, a bit electronic and robotic that diffuse a bit the tension of the previous song and help the continuation of the album with it's varied themes.

There is no denying that we are living in a stressful modern world, everyone seems to be in a hurry, rushing left and right. Work and other responsibilities take up a lot of our time keep us occupied and often times we need a break from it all. Time to reflect, time to relax, time to just breathe and allow ourselves to enjoy our surroundings and just pay attention to the beauty and the people we are surrounded with and just breathe. Music often times can help, music that is melodic, intelligent, reflective, soothing & meditative and that is exactly what Spanish band Almadrava are offering in their new album to those who are open enough to the experience it.

Track list:
01. Sorrow
02. Distancia Del Mar
03. Black Label
04. Facing Limits
05. Your Number One
06. The Way
07. Souvenir
08. Traveller
09. Why?
10. Blind Reverse
11. Silent Hotel

The Magnificent Tree
The Magnificent Tree
Price: £7.43

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great mysterious songs and vocals..., 27 May 2005
This review is from: The Magnificent Tree (Audio CD)
I happened to catch Hooverphonic live in Boston, on their tour with BT. I didn't know this band at all & I had just only heard of them, so I must say they had a great live show, and a great performance! The songs on this CD are all kinda experimental and yet, inviting and mysterious which draw me to them. "Autoharp" starts off nicely with Geike Arnaert, the main singer talking softly but it ends with Geike raising her voice to a magnificent chant that someone would only expect to come out from someone from the middle east. It's by far the best moment of the CD. "Mad About You" is one of those songs that just stick in your head and you wanna sing over and over, and of course I don't blame people comparing them to Portishead from this song, because they sound very similar to that band. "Waves" is again what the song title says, a nice wave of music and singing that resembles a ride outside in a clear night sky filled with stars, being carefree. "Jackie Cane" was wonderful when they performed it live. It is a rock song and the guitars are great!"Everytime We Live Together We Die A Bit More" is another song I always get stuck in my head mostly from the way Geike sings "everybody wants one, everybody's got one, everybody everybody wants to be loved", it sounds again very similar to Portishead."Pink Fluffy Dinosaurs" is also a gem!!! I adore the cute music on the background, and I find the lyrics very interesting (very tripping indeed)."Renaissance Affair" on the other hand leaves me totally uninterested, but the rest of the songs are nice too. This album gets spooky at times (due to the synthesizers) and at times very playfull, anyone trying to make sense of what Hooverphonic are thinking, won't be able to find the end of it. It's just a nice album to be enjoyed, and played often at your CD players.

Terra Nostra
Terra Nostra
Price: £18.81

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of this world!!, 27 May 2005
This review is from: Terra Nostra (Audio CD)
Greece's Savina Yannatou is a free spirit, and you can tell that by how effortlessly and how carefree she interprets all these songs in this album, which is a live recording from Club Sfendona in Athens, some songs she just takes off and uses her voice like an instrument, at times the effect is startling and unsettling, and other times it is accentuating very well the flow of the songs.
Savina's voice has no boundaries. The album starts with a greek lullaby-like song called "Me to feggari perpato" (i.e. "With the moon i walk"), it's a mellow yet dreamy piece, on the second song we go into a much more vibrant and energetic Bulgarian song "Ivan Na Donka Dumache", i absolutely love how the song climaxes and the music instruments lift you up! The third song is the beautiful scottish "Fairy's Love Song" which is one of the best in the album as well, starting off all slowly yet having it's peaks at the end, truly mesmerizing. "Ballo Sardo" is a Sardinian song that was in her "Songs of the mediterranean" album and it gets the improv. treatment and it is sung faster than the album version which actually makes it even more interesting here.
The 5th,8th,13th and 15th and 17th songs are collaborations with Lamia Bedioui a Tunisian vocalist who delivers a more eastern or arabic flavor to the mix. Some other highlights for me in this amazing album are also the Spehardic songs "Los Bilbilicos" "Jaco" and "Tres Hermanicas eran" which are very upbeat and the orchestration is literally perfect in my opinion, showcasing both Savina's high soprano abilities and also showing us the beautiful improvisational capabilities of her band. "Los Bilbilicos" plays like a beautiful belly dance eastern sounding song with Spanish lyrics (because the Sephardic people in Greece had come from Spain) and grooves that just made me wanna get up and start dancing.
This is a MUST for any world music fan who wants to broaden their horizons with new and interesting world music. The CD (the greek version which i own) has translations to all the songs as well as well as beautiful pictures from Savina's appearances. Savina doesn't dissapoint.

The Song Is You
The Song Is You
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £15.18

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cut above the crowd, discover and cherish it..., 27 May 2005
This review is from: The Song Is You (Audio CD)
Australian born Victoria Newton is most famous for her high energy eurodance Club anthems. Where have you heard her before? Hmmm. Think back in the mid to late 90s, and a British band named Strike had some global hits with songs such as "U Sure Do", "My Love is For Real" ( a great Paula Abdul cover), "Free At last" and "Inspiration"...
Is it a big surprise then to dicover this vocalist -that is full of life- doing jazz songs? Well, not exactly. Victoria had started her career with Jazz music, but she hadn't recorded her own Jazz record yet. She's collaborated with several jazz groups in London and finally released this varied and classy CD in early 2004.
The CD includes classic Jazz covers such as "The song is you" (a flawless jazz ballad),"My romance"(another romantic track) and a very energetic funked up rendition of "Straighten up and fly right" (which most likely will have you in a dancing mood when you listen to it). Victoria respect the material but also adds her own touch, for example i love how the Drum&Bass in "My Love Is" adds energy & a bit of modern flair to the track.
Victoria is a big fan of Brazil, so it's only appropriate that we also get to hear her in some Brazilian tracks "Chega de Saudade" which is a jazzy/ Bossa Nova infused song, "Jorgal" which is another lovely brazilian song that has many latin jazz influences, and the soothing and sensual jazz ballad "Caminhos Cruzados".
For me the real gem of this album is track number four called "Sing Everybody". It's the perfect Summer song, contemporary, fresh, classy, latin influenced- jazzy, all mixed together with a nice guitar riff and lots of energy and carefree vocals, the chorus "sing everybody here tonight, sing everybody if you feel allright" will be quite memorable to your ears and Victoria's delivery is just flawless. This track should be on the radio for sure (fans of Rosalia de Souza or Bebel Gilberto would love this one).
I highly recomend this CD to fans of contemporary jazz, fans of world music and Bossa Nova/Latin Jazz will be enchanted, and fans of sensual ballads won't be dissapointed either.
One last note, if you have the chance to catch Victoria Newton Live, do not miss the chance to do so. I saw her perform Live while i was in London last Summer and she was just amazing! She was so vivacious, hado lots of energy and a very impressive stage presence, her vocals were excellent and the energy and good vibes went through the roof (it's quite amusing and a great feat to see a singer get the whole English audience dancing by the end of the night -on a seating venue)...
The CD Tracks are :
1.The Song is You 4.31
2.Chega de Saudade 3.47
3.My Romance 3.27
4.Sing Everybody 4.38
5.Tenderly 6.43
6.Straighten Up and Fly Right 7.24
7.The Shadow of Your Smile 5.59
8.Jogral 5.45
9.My Shining Hour 4.20
10.Caminhos Cruzados 8.38
11.My Love 4.41
12.I'll Never Know Why 4.03
enjoy and savour this CD. Diana Krall and Norah Jones aren't the only Jazz singers out there,so take a chance and discover this gem of a record.If i could have given more than 5 stars i would have...
For more info and some small audio samples, visit [...]

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