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avl06 (The Village)
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Broken Bells
Broken Bells
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £6.86

3.0 out of 5 stars Not the sum of its parts, 3 Mar 2010
This review is from: Broken Bells (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nice, pleasant, inoffensive listen, but doesn't have enough personality to really grab me. I'm going to damn it with faint praise and say it's quite nice, I wouldn't turn it off, but I don't I will turn it on too much either.


Servant of the Underworld: Obsidian and Blood Trilogy, Book I
Servant of the Underworld: Obsidian and Blood Trilogy, Book I
by Aliette de Bodard
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High concept, low delivery, 26 Feb 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm afraid I could not get into this novel; the exoticism of the setting is not matched by the prose style or the tone of voice, which is mundane. Having a lot of long names ending in ixitl or similar is not enough to convince of the world building. High Concept, low on delivery, at least for me.

These Angry Robot books intrigue me - self consciously High Concept genre collisions, they do feel a little Young Adult to me. I've got The Bookman on order - the ultimate Steampunk/Lizard overlord mash-up? Will report back


Unicorn
Unicorn
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Unicorn, 18 Feb 2010
This review is from: Unicorn (Audio CD)
Female vocal led electronica was every where last year, and Chew Lips are perhaps a little late to the party with this. It would be a shame if they get lost in the shuffle; Tigs, the vocalist, has a nice line in cool stylings a little reminiscent of Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (although wholly without Karen's punk energy). As an example of the genre this is good, way better than the right time right place right remix La Roux. But odd that the singles Salt Air and Solo, which put them on the radar, aren't included here; nothing on this album quite lives up to their promise.


The Golden Archipelago
The Golden Archipelago
Price: £11.31

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sounds like a Classic, 18 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Golden Archipelago (Audio CD)
This is an album that takes you on a journey. It is by turns epic, grandiloquent, elegaic. Powerfully sung, this is a widescreen folk/rock opus. Touches of early Peter Gabriel at times (to my ears anyway). It has a timeless quality. This is full blooded, evocative, and already sounds like a classic.


Brasyl (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Brasyl (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Ian McDonald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brasyl, Brazil, etc, 16 Feb 2010
This review is from: Brasyl (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
Interesting one, this. As a SF novel, the concept feels pretty standard fare - multiverse, a manichean battle between those who want to preserve and those who want to provoke. The real high concept is the setting and the characterisation which aspires to the literary. The liberal sprinkling of Portuguese words acts as a badge of realism, of authenticity - yet the novel is premised on the quantum uncertainty, impossibility, of "the real". It comes across a little as literary tourism, an English author looking to carve out a niche as the SF Michael Palin. In terms of plot, this is the origin story of a trilogy that will never be written. It took me over 100 pages to crack the style and want to read on. Interesting, but not, I think, a classic.


The Courage Of Others
The Courage Of Others
Offered by Sent2u
Price: £7.45

7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Museum Piece, 15 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Courage Of Others (Audio CD)
Midlake seem to have retreated into their wood cabin with their second hand vinyl collection of English folk rock on this one, and have no intention of coming out to play. I find it very unengaging - no variation, minor key, mid tempo, hard to differentiate the tracks. It feels more like an act of curation than creation. Very disappointed.

Clearly this is a marmite record - for those in my camp, have a listen to Shearwater's The Golden Archipelago for a slightly prog take on the folk-rock genre. Already sounds like a classic to me.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 28, 2010 6:39 AM GMT


Everything Is New
Everything Is New
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £1.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under rated, 31 Jan 2010
This review is from: Everything Is New (Audio CD)
This was one of the best albums of 09, and its sad it was all but overlooked in the end of year lists. This is funky, soulful, and much of it sounds like it was recorded in the house that Lionel Richie was dancing on the ceiling of. Great production by Epworth and great tracks, Pull My Heart Away a particular fave. Hope for more of this quality, or of course better, very soon from Penate.


Amulet
Amulet
by Roberto Vidal Bolaño
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Writing about writing, 29 Jan 2010
This review is from: Amulet (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I get why Bolano is so critically hip - he writes books that valorise the writers of lit fiction as the true and only heroes of these messy and corrupt times, massaging the egos of those whose business is the reviewing of literary fiction. But, the books themselves? Read Borges or Garcia Marquez instead.


Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall
by Hilary Mantel
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wolf Hall, 29 Jan 2010
This review is from: Wolf Hall (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A worthy Booker winner, Mantel returns to the long form historical novel with aplomb and an almost Fantasy style depth of world building. Excellent read.


The Unforgettable Fire (Remastered - Super Deluxe Edition)
The Unforgettable Fire (Remastered - Super Deluxe Edition)
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £39.08

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Sort of Homecoming, 28 Oct 2009
The Unforgettable Fire was the album with which U2 took a great leap forwards, and it remains my favorite to this day...I remember vividly taking up the empty cassette case to my local WH Smiths to purchase it, ah, more innocent times, anyway I digress...

That cassette tape got played until it died, but the CD when it appeared didn't really do justice to this pivotal album - until now. The remaster is a great success, clarifying the delicate, yearning textures, filling out the filigree guitar work and the expansive Eno-lead sonics to thrilling effect. Bono is young and passionate, his voice still soaring (compare his new vocal on "lost track" Disappearing Act for a modern comparison), and this is a band firing on all cylinders, out of their comfort zone, striking out for new artistic territory, and succeeding.

The xtras CD is nice enough, great to the have the Wide Awake in America tracks included, especially the live version of 'Homecoming. I have't watched the DVD yet, but fantastic to have their game-changing appearance at Live Aid the followying year.

This adds up to a terific memorial to a pivotal moment in the history of U2, and to a time and place for yours truly!

Highly recommended. Roll on Achtung Baby!


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