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Dafydd Jones "MetalliManic" (Aberystwyth, Ceredigion United Kingdom)
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Songs For The Deaf
Songs For The Deaf
Price: £5.28

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2002's album of the year- no doubt, 10 Oct 2006
This review is from: Songs For The Deaf (Audio CD)
This album is one of the best modern-day rock albums. Whether it's Dave Grohl's amazing drumming, or Josh Homme's genius, or just the Homme-Grohl-Lanegan-Oliveri musicianship, something makes this album rock. And rock hard it does.

So, it's based completely on a radio station format. It opens up with the curiously titled 'You Might Think I'm Only Worth A Dollar But I Feel Like A Millionaire'- sung, or rather screamed by the unique Nick Oliveri (who has, by now left the band). And probably for the best as well. The music is absolutely brilliant. Credit needs to be given where credit is due, and even though Oliveri is a complete nutter, his music playing skills are not in question. He screams his way through the opening track, with some hammering riffs behind him. 9/10.

Track two, and the excellent 'No One Knows'. This time, Homme takes charge of vocals, and at least things calm down in that sense. The musi steps up a gear though. It's an absolute blinder, and one of the best rock tracks of the decade so far. 10/10.

Track three is the brilliant 'First It Giveth'. The chorus really makes this song, simply with the lyrics 'First it giveth then it taketh away'. Homme sings very well here, and it's another corker. 10/10.

Track four, 'A Song For The Dead' is, dare I say it, a 'Dave Grohl' song, more than anything. The music covers up his mesmeric drumming skills, especially the last 80 odd seconds. It's dark, and it's super. Mark Lanegan takes over on vocals here. But the main focus of the song is Grohl, and the song deserves 10/10 simply for his talents alone.

Track five, 'The Sky Is Fallin'', is a rather drift-away song, until the unforgiving guitars shoot through like proverbial arrows. The song is brilliant, and the chorus is excellent (Homme on vocals this time). 10/10.

Track six, unfortunately, is one to forget. 'Six Shooter' is a barrage of screaming and swearing for all of one minute and 18 seconds. One minute and 18 seconds too long in my opinion. Needless to say, it's Oliveri's turn on vocals, and he does himself no favours as it's the last time for him to feature on vocals on the album. Dreadful. The music is super as always, however the howling drowns it out so it can seldom be heard. 5/10.

Track seven, is a return to form (thankfully). 'Hangin' Tree' is a great track (Lanegan on vocals). Deserves a solid 8/10.

Track eight then takes things up a notch again. Homme sings on 'Go With The Flow'- a rip-roaring riff with super musicianship. A definite 10/10.

Track nine, means that Lanegan is back on vocal duties, as he sings 'Gonna Leave You'. Nothing stands out, but a solid track nevertheless. 8/10.

Track ten is 'Do It Again' has a strong 70's feel to it for some reason. The guitars, the vocals at the beginning (the 'Hey's), maybe. A solid track. Homme is back on main vocals. A super track, and merits 10/10. Humour at the end where the radio bit is played. 'This is Tom Sherman. Here we're promoting a blood drop.' Then some various other bits get played.

Track eleven is the brilliant 'God Is In The Radio' (Lanegan on vocals). The musicianship is brilliant again, and probably the best track since 'No One Knows' overall. A bit creepy at the end, where some random noises are played, with an echo behind them. 10/10.

Track twelve is 'Another Love Song', again, with Lanegan on vocals. Has a rather dark, haunting feel to it, with super lyrics and a solid riff. 9/10.

Track thirteen is the title track, and what a riff it is. Rip-roaring. Best riff in years. Just turn it up to 11 and rock out. It is an absolute corker, combining heavy riffs and Homme's rather spooky voice (in the quiter parts), it makes for a super finishing track. 10/10.

Track fourteen, the first of the bonus tracks, the rather haunting 'Mosquito Song'- combining rather cringeing lyrics with actually a more than decent tune. 9/10.

Track fifteen, 'The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret (Live)' is superb. The Queens are on top form here. The chorus riff is absolutely rip-roaring. Brilliant. 10/10.

Track sixteen, 'Everybody's Going To Be Happy' is a short song to finish off proceedings. Has a slight old-fashioned feel to it (if the Beatles wre hard rock this is the kind of music they'd probably produce). Excellent song, but not at the standard of most of the previous offerings.

So, overall, a really excellent album, better than the critically-acclaimed 'Rated R', and in my opinion, better than 'Lullabies To Paralyze.'

Overall, this is a super album, and full credit to the Queens for creating the album of their career so far. 9.5/10.


Razorlight
Razorlight
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.77

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the morning, you know it's going to be alright, 10 Oct 2006
This review is from: Razorlight (Audio CD)
Let's face it, expectations were sky-high when Razorlight decided to record their second studio album. After the success of 'Up All Night', which provided a raucous, punky sound, Borrell and Co decided to tread new waters (as most bands decide to do after their first album).

So how is 'Razolight' in comparison? Well, it's short. But that's ok, because there really isn't any filler here.

'In The Morning' is infectiously catchy, and the music is superb. Brilliant soft-guitar rock. Excellent start. 10/10.

'Who Needs Love?' could have been mistaken for a Richard Ashcroft track. It has that ambience but this is a diffrent Razorlight we see here- more mature, with a mellower all-around sound. This is typically a guitar album, however the piano is a nice touch here. 8/10.

'Hold On' is track three, and has a rather ska-beat to it and a slight element of punk. Could be considered an anthem of sort (judging by the tracks overall), A solid track. 8/10.

'America' is brilliant. The riff is superb, and the chorus is among the best I've heard this year. Expect this to do well in the charts. 10/10.

'Before I Fall To Pieces' is another solid riff. The drums are excellent as well. The guitaring is very good here again. Catchy and it might well be a future release. 9/10.

'I Can't Stop This Feeling I've Got' is track six, and it's very good. It might be argued that it feels like it's treading water at times, but the riff is good and it's catchy once again. 8/10.

'Pop Song 2006' might have a cheesy title, but the song itself is actually quite good. The guitaring is excellent again, and the song is catchy. Seriously, one of the best tracks on the album, musically at least. 9/10.

'Kirby's House' is a song that was actually written last year for a special CD to raise money for children suffering because of wars worldwide (the Warchild album). As far as the song in itself goes, it's good, and it's one of the best songs lyrically on the album. The music is very good. 9/10.

'Back To The Start' is excellent, and perhaps resonates a slight reggae vibe at the beginning. Borrell and the boys are on top form here- this maybe could have been included on 'Up All Night' with its punky riffs and tempo, and breakneck drums (at times), i.e 'Stumble And Fall'. Superb. 10/10.

And so we reach track ten, 'Los Angeles Waltz'. This beats all the rest for quality, for lyrics, for music and for everything else. The ability to keep such a unique tempo and beat on a rock song is brilliant. 10/10.

So what is the overall verdict? It's no wonder that fans have been disappointed. They expected 'Up All Night II', which was clearly never going to happen. They call it the 'difficult' second album, for a reason. Because they experiment with new ideas and sounds. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This offering is not 'Definitely Maybe' either, however, what we have here is an album laden with super guitar riffs, catchy beats, all of them potential singles/ releases (which is one hell of an achievement in itself). I think next time around Razorlight will be even better, mixing the raw punk of 'Up All Night' with the anthemic riffs of what we have here. I can't give it 5 stars, because 'Kirby House' is an old song, as good as it is, and the lyrics on some of the songs are a bit slow and laboured. Musically, it's superb. Overall, though it deserves 9/10. Well done.


Sam's Town
Sam's Town
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Not 'Born To Run II', but pretty damn close, 10 Oct 2006
This review is from: Sam's Town (Audio CD)
When The Killers' debut album, 'Hot Fuss' was released, I was as many people, eager to believe the hype and join the bandwagon. It was ok, but nothing terribly special. The first half was excellent and the album dipped towards the end. But I'm not reviewing 'Hot Fuss', I'm reviewing 'Sam's Town'.

So here we are, a different sound, a different purpose and what happens? The Killers earn respect, first of all, for trying something different, like many bands do on their second album.

So let's begin. 'Sam's Town' is very American. Containing lyrics like 'My brother was born on the fourth of July' resonate some home-grown roots, maybe. There is a definite U2 sound here, quite epic, big choruses and it's an excellent opening track. 10/10.

'Enterlude' is basically a piano-laden track- Flowers introduces us to the album. 'We hope you enjoy your stay- it's good to have you with us, even if it's just for the day.' The piano bit towards the end is very Springsteen 'Born To Run' era. A lot of this album takes influences from the likes of Springsteen, U2 and so on. I'll explain later on. It's just basically an introduction to the next song. 7/10.

'When You Were Young' is the first release off 'Sam's Town' and a brilliant song at that. U2-style guitars kick off proceedings before Flowers comes in with the first verse. This song is epic. Far-fetched lyrics like 'We're burning down the highway skyline, on the back of a hurricane' Flowers sings. If anything, this is the most U2-style track there is to be seen. Compare The Edge's solo on 'Miracle Drug' to the solo heard on this track- the soaring riff played. A superb track. 10/10.

Track four has a terrible title- 'Bling (Confession Of A King)', which might put you off in general. Don't. The song is excellent. The lyrics are sharp and the music is superb. The U2 style guitars return once again, but The Killers aren't trying to be U2 or Coldplay or anyone else. They still maintain their own sound- the verses are quite funky, and the choruses are epic. 9/10.

Track five, 'For Reasons Unknown' starts a bit flat, but builds up soon enough. The verses are sharp and this is another epic. 'My heart don't beat the way it used to', Flowers wails. The chorus, again, is in typical U2 fashion, but those complaining that Flowers is singing out of his vocal range are wrong. He sings very well. There are a few occasions where he struggles but it's not very apparent. It's brilliant. 9/10.

Track six, 'Read My Mind' is slower; starts with typical 'Hot Fuss'-style beats and sounds. The Springsteen element is definitely creeping in on some occasions during the songs (maybe the verses), and by now they're producing anthem after anthem. Crowds are going to love this kind of music. 9/10.

Track seven, 'Uncle Jonny' starts with their heaviest riff to date. Some might argue that it spoils the song, but that's because they're used to 'Hot Fuss' style synth-rock. It's a rip-roaring riff that The Edge would be proud of. 'When everybody else refrained, my Uncle Jonny did cocaine', Flowers sings. Soon after the three-minute mark, the song pushes up a level when backing vocals are introduced and gives the song another dimension. It's one of the best songs that The Killers have produced. 10/10.

Track eight, 'Bones' should have been left on 'Hot Fuss' in my opinion. It's rather cheesy, and the lyrics could have been written by Electric Six. The quality of the music is excellent and the brass in the background is a nice touch, but the only let-down are the lyrics. 'Don't you wanna come with me? Don't you wanna fel my bones on your bones, it's only natural.' Musical quality deserves 9/10, however because of the lyrics, I'll deduct 1 because I really like the song in itself. 8/10.

Track nine, 'My List' is The Killers re-joining the usual album sound. It starts quietly, but this is more the Springsteen influence we see here. It is quiet, yet epic, with lovely piano until two minutes in, where guitars join in. Then it's epic with a capital 'E'. 'Don't give up the ghost, just clench your fist, you should have known by now you were on my list', Flowers sings. This uses a heavy Springsteen influence, to good effect. Brilliant. 10/10.

Track ten, 'This River Is Wild' is another epic. Five minutes of it. Keeping his Springsteen roots, Flowers and co. combine honest lyrics and epic riffs and sounds. 'Should I just get along with myself? I never did get along with anyone else.' Flowers states. The verses are very Springsteen- 'Born To Run' era, as is the music. Clearly it's impossible to re-write 'Born To Run' but if anybody is capable, it's Brandon Flowers and company who will. One of the highlight tracks. 10/10.

Track eleven, 'Why Do I Keep Counting?' is the best song on the album, without a shadow of a doubt. Probably one of the best songs of the decade so far. And no, I'm not exaggerating- it's a bit of a grower, but my God, when it finally hits you, you'll just want to hear it again and again. It's the biggest anthem on the album, and perhaps, dare I say it, as good as Springsteen was on 'Born To Run'. There's just something about it- its epic-ness, its musical quality, its lyrics and vocals, just a combination of everything. Probably the biggest anthem since Aerosmith's 'I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing.' Jaw-droppingly good. And the way it finishes is brilliant too. 10/10.

Exitlude, is a nice, soft piece, and the tune is similar to the intro. Backing vocals are introduced this time around. A repeat of the intro, just stretched out, and the Springsteen-esque piano riff is there again, this time with drums. A nice way to finish a brilliant album, as the vocals fade out towards the end. 8/10.

So, overall, it's a 12-track piece loaded with anthems containing U2-style guitaring, soaring vocals, Springsteen riffs and melodies and even some cheesy 80's-style pop thrown in for entertainment. What more could you want? The boys from Vegas are back. Big time. 9/10.


A Matter of Life and Death
A Matter of Life and Death
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it...it really is a matter of life and death!, 4 Oct 2006
Many reviews I have read have highlighted this album as Iron Maiden's finest work since `Seventh Son of a Seventh Son'. Believe me, this time, the reviews are correct.

Steve Harris writes some wonderful riffs such as `The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg', `The Pilgrim', and the supreme `For The Greater Good Of God'. Bruce Dickinson is brilliant as always, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith are both excellent, as are Janick Gers and Nicko McBrain.

It is a `complete' album in the sense that all the band members are on top form, and even though some fans may be disappointed to see that there are only 10 tracks, they couldn't fit many more, and more importantly, there is no filler material.

It opens up with the raucous `Different World'- which is relatively short by Maiden standards, at four minutes 18 seconds. Here, we have a relatively high-tempo, riff-laden track, not too dissimilar to `Wildest Dreams' on 2003's `Dance of Death'. Then things get a whole lot better. 9/10.

In my opinion, it is the weakest track on the album, and it is in fact very good. That shows the standard of the album as a whole. Then we open up into `These Colours Don't Run', an epic seven-minute journey about war, and leaving home to fight for your country. This is where the album really gets going. And how. `For the passion, for the glory, for the memories, for the memory- you're a soldier for your country.' Dickinson sings. Definitely one of many excellent tracks heard here. 10/10.

Track three is called `Brighter Than A Thousand Suns'. And yes, you guessed it. Another Maiden epic. Clocking in at eight minutes and 46 seconds, it flies by as you're captivated by the musical and vocal talents of Britain's finest ever Metal band. Slow to start, like the previous track, but well worth the wait. `Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns!' Dickinson bellows. Again, as pretty much the whole album, it is all about war (as the front cover would suggest). The solos are exemplary by Murray, Smith and Harris. McBrain's drumming is sharp and tight, and above all, brilliant. Maiden are confident and have a new-found vigour in their style of music and riffs. The riffs are raw, punchy and less sophisticated than on previous efforts. 10/10.

Track four, `The Pilgrim' is one of my favourites and it's easy to hear why. The opening riff is instantly stuck in your head, and the chorus riffs and Arabian-style riffs are just unlike anything I've heard in a long time. Unbelievable. Clocking in at five minutes and 7 seconds, believe it or not, this is the second shortest song on the album. But what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in quality. Superb. `Raise me up, take me home' Dickinson sings full power in his distinctive style. 10/10.

Track five, `The Longest Day' clocks in at seven minutes and 47 seconds- but the opening couple of minutes are excellent just in the fact that if you listen to the lyrics, they are telling you a story- `to turn men of flesh and blood to steel' as Dickinson grits through his teeth. Musically, it is faultless, and what is even more remarkable is that this entire album- 73 minutes of it was recorded in an entire live state. This song has a raw, punchy feel to it as well. Typical Maiden- anthemic, epic, everything you would expect. `The water is red with the blood of the dead,' Dickinson sings. `How long is this longest day, `til we finally make it through?' He questions continually. The twin guitaring is superb, as is the timing of the music with the drums. Probably the second weakest song on the album- but still merits a 9/10.

Track six, is what might be considered a ballad by Iron Maiden's standards. `Out Of The Shadows' contains excellent lyrics as always, and a softer, mellower approach to the song. Harris's guitaring especially is excellent, as is his solo. A lovely `melody', if you like. 10/10.

Track seven, and the first release off the album- the curiously named `The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg' (Only Iron Maiden would get away with calling a song by such a ridiculous name), and they also get away with it because it is absolutely brilliant. It returns to the raw, punchy edge seen in a few songs already, and has a few excellent solos. Yes it is slow to begin, but we all know how Iron Maiden songs are by now. The musical chemistry is second to none. A deserved 10/10.

Track eight is called `For The Greater Good Of God' and let me tell you something. This is in a league of its own- you can split this album into three categories. At the bottom you have `Different World' and `The Longest Day'. In the middle you have the rest of the songs and at the songs you have this song. It takes a while to get going, but what a song. The chorus is up there with the best in their career- I'm off to see them in December and I sincerely hope they play this live- it will be a highlight. Even though Dickinson just repeats `For the greater good of God'- the song has such an `anthem' feel to it- and seriously is up there with `Number of the Beast', `Two Minutes To Midnight', `The Evil That Men Do', `Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter', and all the other real classics. People will look back on this in twenty years or more and say- this was one of the classics of Iron Maiden's career, even though it clocks in at nine minutes and 24 seconds. Brilliant. 10/10.

Track nine then, is a bit of an anti-climax. `Lord Of Light' starts slowly, and rather disappointingly, but builds up nicely into a decent chorus and solo. One of the weaker efforts, but still merits 9/10 due to the overall quality of the album.

And finally, we have track ten- `The Legacy'. Five minutes goes by and you might think `What's the point? Are Steve Harris's hands getting tired?' Rather unsurprising to be honest. The trademark Maiden riff kicks in though and the song bursts into life. The song finishes in a rather creepy fashion but there are a few epic bits thrown in for good measure. Maybe if you're a pessimist you could say that it's a `bits and pieces' song, but even if it is, it's miles better than what most other bands could hope to do. 9.5/10.

So the verdict overall? 9.5/10, but it really is a five star performance by this amazing band. And yes, it is the best Maiden album since `Seventh Son of a Seventh Son'. If you don't believe me, go ahead and buy it- then come to your decision.

Definitely the album of 2006, and it has been a good year for music this year. Rock on!


Shine On [International Version]
Shine On [International Version]
Offered by hifi-media-store
Price: £2.72

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shine on they do, 2 Oct 2006
When Jet released their 'Get Born' album, I was highly anticipating how good it was going to be. While it turned out to be excellent, I felt something was missing. What was missing was enough pure rock-n-roll tracks which I was told there were going to be. This latest offering does not disappoint.

It opens up with 'L'esprit d'Escalier', which is an intro to the next track, Holiday.

'Holiday' is a brilliant opener with a killer riff. Jet spark a 'two fingers to everyone' attitude here with the killer line 'Makes no difference what they say, we're going on holiday.' There is a raw, sometimes punky feel to it. Absolutely brilliant and a very likely release.

'Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is' could have been stolen from 'Get Born', in as far as the tone and riff goes. Brilliant first release and the album gets better. Superb track.

'Bring It On Back' is the 'Look What You've Done' off this album, except for the fact that it's even better. Sometimes you can hear a Beatles influence, but maybe more distinctly, a more Oasis sound all-around. That's not a bad thing. The song is separated into two parts. The opening part is slow and rather melancholy, but anthemic also. The second part is the best, the chorus and pre-chorus. Still anthemic, it adds a supreme air of confidence and a sign that this band are in complete control of what they're doing and doing it tremendously well.

'That's All Lies' is a fast-paced track, clocking in at under three minutes comfortably. Has a Kasabian feel to start maybe, is very catchy and instantly rememberable. Brilliant.

'King's Horses' is a slower, down-tempo track. Jet write ballads brilliantly. This is a classic example of their songwriting abilities at their finest and the music blends in stunningly. Definitely a future classic, as most of the songs on the album most surely will be.

'Shine On' is without any doubt, the best track Jet have produced. Take a listen and then say you don't agree. The combination of words, melodies, backing vocals, anthemic potential "If the moon would run away, and all the stars don't wanna play, don't waste the sun on a rainy day, the wind will soon blow it all away." Cester sings beautifully. One of the top five songs I have heard this year, and one reason alone to buy this album. Absolutely brilliant. Jet at their best.

'Come On Come On' is a return to the more familiar ground of pure rock. Developing a more 'Oasis' sound here, both lyrically and musically, while maintaining their unique sound. Simply brilliant.

'Stand Up' remains in the 'Oasis' niche, while exploring maybe a bit of Jagger swagger in the verses. "Stand up, your time has come back around", Cester sings determinedly. A classic and a brilliant example of their talents, as if we needed another example.

'Rip It Up' starts in a punky fashion, with a hint of 'Sex Pistols', instantly catchy. When they play this at live shows which they undoubtedly will, the crowd are going are going to absolutely love it. And so will you.

'Skin And Bones' is slightly slower, but the drums create quite a funky feel to the song. The guitaring, again, is very 'Oasis', and challenges one's claim that Razorlight's self-titled album earlier this year was the best since 'Definitely Maybe'. This gives it a right challenge. This song is another great example of Jet's wonderful talents.

'Shiny Magazine' is a ballad, and has a strong ambience of the Beatles, both in drums and guitars. An excellent ballad.

'Eleanor' is another ballad. The singing is harmonized, and it adds a lovely effect to the song as a whole. "Stay with me, Eleanor," Cester sings. Almost a lullaby, although it won't send you to sleep. Wonderful.

'All You Have To Do' is the closing track. It's a repeat of the intro, and then materialises into a song of its own. It's a piano-laden ofering, with guitars combined. A great way to end an album, however, there is an awkward change in key between verses and choruses. That would be really picky, though. The solo is excellent and the chemistry as a band is excellent here.

Brilliant album. Shine on they will, and they will be shining very bright indeed if they can improve on this release, which will be difficult for anyone. Superb. 10/10.


Black Holes And Revelations
Black Holes And Revelations
Price: £7.16

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Black Holes, just Revelations, 4 July 2006
This is a highly impressive album from Devon rockers Muse. Having been a big fan of Bellamy and Co.'s work for the past five years or so, I think his art for songwriting and vocal skills are top-notch. And here, he does not disappoint.

On the opening track, 'Take A Bow', it is a slowly building crescendo track, and is spectacular. "Feed the hex on the country you love." he wails. Operatic sounding keys, pulsing bass, and distinct vocals make this a gripping opening track.

Track two, 'Starlight', starts with a monotonous bassline before the guitars come in with the keys. Bellamy sings excellently as usual and part two of the song begins when Bellamy sings "My hopes and expectations, black holes and revelations." (i.e. the heavier, rockier guitar bit.)

Track three, 'Supermassive Black Hole' is a different Muse. More electronic rock, and maybe reminiscent of new Nine Inch Nails material. Very good music and here Bellamy sings in an uncharacteristically falsetto voice throughout. A standout track on the album.

Track four, 'Map Of The Problematique,' starts off with a heavy hook, brilliant drumming and theatrical poise. Then it rocks even harder and the drums are heavier as well. The riff is the best part of this song but the singing is effective as ever and another standout track on this excellent album.

Track five, 'Soldier's Poem' is like an intro to the next track. Beautiful and slow, it has a sad ambience to it. The vocals are strongly reminiscent of Queen, especially while singing 'there's no justice in the world.' Simple, effective, and superb. Another standout track.

Track six, or part two, following on from track five, is 'Invincible.' I think it is another part because it consists of war as 'Soldier's Poem' does. The guitar work is excellent and although the track isn't the best on the album, it would sound excellent live.

Track seven, 'Assassin' is the heaviest track on the album. Has a punchy line to it initially before exploding into life. Very catchy and very clever. Another standout track.

Track eight, 'Exo-Politics' is clever and is another heavy offering. Meaningful lyrics and very good music. Another standout track.

Track nine, 'City Of Delusion' is a song which reverts to a Spanish style of guitaring and what is more simply classed as 'Baroque-rock.' It is an excellent demonstration of Bellamy's songwriting skill and is, yes, you guessed it, another standout track.

Track ten, for me is where we reach the Jekyll and Hyde end of the album. Track ten, 'Hoodoo' is for me, the weakest track on the album. Leaning again on the post of 'Baroque-rock', but softer and Bellamy's vocals aren't at their best. The music is impressive as always, but there is a bit of an anti-climax after the opening fifteen/ twenty seconds where things start to slow down. However, the rest of the song improves over time and is a great track overall.

Track eleven, and the final track, curiously titled 'Knights of Cydonia', starts with charging, galloping horses neighing and spaceship gunfire combined, is the beginning of an exciting, stomp your foot rock song (especially towards the end). Muse give a very strong hint of their new-found Queen roots in their collective singing and the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' style rock riff towards the climax. Excellent.

A near perfect album. Hard to beat 'Origin Of Symmetry' but Muse will struggle to beat that whatever album they release. Better than 'Absolution' and 'Showbiz'. A simply excellent album.


Under the Iron Sea
Under the Iron Sea
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.22

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it any wonder?, 4 July 2006
This review is from: Under the Iron Sea (Audio CD)
I was a huge fan of Keane's debut, 'Hopes and Fears'. I had high hopes of this album as I believed it would be a more mature sound and would therefore be an ever better one.

It is the perfect time for Keane to be changing a bit progressive. We are all aware of their melodies and catchy songs. I wanted to see how good Keane were at adding further depth to their already impressive skills.

This is a much darker, more refined record and has a distinctly haunting ambience on tracks such as 'Atlantic' and 'The Iron Sea'.

On 'Atlantic', Keane's first release off this album, they create a sweeping, haunting melody which drifts away but still makes the hairs on the back of your neck raise. An impressive, beautiful opening track.

Keane's second release, 'Is It Any Wonder?' is a reference back to 2004's 'Hopes And Fears.' An impressive guitar sound created by the keyboards, and an infectiously catchy melody. However, the best is yet to come on this rather brilliant album.

The third song, 'Nothing In My Way' is a more down-tempo, pop melody but has that catchiness at the same time. It's the kind of song which captivates the listener. Superb.

Track four, 'Leaving So Soon?' beging with melodic 'aah's, before the pre-chorus bursts into a second verse with lively drums. Second time around, Chaplin's vocals reach a high point on a highly infectious chorus. A great track and surely one of their imminent releases.

Track five, 'A Bad Dream' is slower, more down-tempo. Has a 'Bedshaped' feel about it somewhat. The piano and slow drums mix together well. Strings come in for the bridge and suddenly the song has a rather sophisticated feel about it. The unforgettable chorus returns to gloss over this song and make it one of the most impressive on this album.

Track six, 'Hamburg Song' is the most beautiful ballad Keane have ever created. For that, the best one this year. It is peaceful, and yet has a melancholy feel about it. "Is it just a waste of time trying to be your friend?" Chaplin asks as the 'church organ' effect turns to piano for the second verse. "You take much more than I'd ever ask for." he states. This album is full of beautiful melodies, but this is one of the best, and my personal favourite.

Track seven, 'Put It Behind You' harks back to the 'Hopes and Fears' album of 2004 and has that format of pop-melody, similar to 'Bend And Break' maybe. Very catchy and very impressive.

Track eight, 'The Iron Sea' is a very dark, very progressive, very haunting track. It definitely has a Pink Floyd ambience about it. It is spectacular though, and the best part is when the deep voices are heard in the background. It is purely an instrumental but it is not a song that is suitable to be sung. Brilliant.

Track nine, 'Crystal Ball' is another highlight on this already excellent album. It is like part two of 'The Iron Sea', or so we are led to believe. Has an infectious chorus and the verses are very melodic. Superb.

Track ten, 'Try Again' has a bit of an 'Atlantic' feel about it. It is melancholy and haunting, yet catchy at the same time. Very impressive.

Track eleven, 'Broken Toy', starts off in quite a bluesy way, and then the lyrics come in. It still remains bluesy with the piano, with the clashing drums. The pattern remains all through the song and is probably one of the weaker efforts on the album. Nevertheless, a good track.

Track twelve and the final track, 'The Frog Prince', is another pop-melody and one of the best on the album. The chorus is very catchy and is a great way to end an outstanding album.

Keane have been criticised for their lack of guitars and trying to be another Coldplay. Bands evolve. Keane have proved that they can create guitar sounds without using them and create a whole new different sound at the same time. Keane have created a little style of their own in some sense and people, including myself, think that it's great.


One Day Remains
One Day Remains
Offered by westworld-
Price: £17.73

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open your eyes, 1 Jun 2006
This review is from: One Day Remains (Audio CD)
I had seen a video of the song 'Open Your Eyes' on MTV2 and I instantly liked it. I thought I'd take a gamble on it and immediately bought the album.

I listened to about half of the album to begin with and gave up. I have since given it another try and listened to the whole album. Let me tell you one thing. This album will blow your mind.

The only words which describe this album are positive ones. It is brilliant, it is epic, it is explosive, and the main factor- Myles Kennedy's vocal range is extraordinary.

On the opener, 'Find The Real', it is an epic, riff-laden extragavanza where Kennedy reaches absolutely gravitating heights with his voice. Especially at the end where he holds his voice for about ten seconds in differentiating ranges. Unbelievable.

The second track, 'One Day Remains', and the title track to the album is much more up-tempo. Kennedy still sings very impressively and in comparison to Scott Stapp, Kennedy is the one with the better vocal range, and ultimately, the stronger voice. Another very heavy track, the riffs are very meaty and sound superb.

The third track, and the first release, which was 'Open Your Eyes', is a soaring anthem, right from the very beginning. The chorus is brilliant, almost taken out of Creed's book. However, on the whole, Alter Bridge's music is nothing like Creed. But this song is brilliant.

The fourth track, 'Burn It Down' is another brilliant track, and the longest on offer here at seven minutes long. Starts melodically, and Kennedy's vocals are amazing here. One of my favourites. Unforgettable.

Track five, 'Metalingus' is a hard-rocking track, and brilliant at that. The drums at the beginning are brilliant. The track then explodes into life. The method in which it finishes is also spectacular. A definite highlight.

Track six, 'Broken Wings' begins very slowly, but has a nice melody to it. The chorus is probably the most anthemic on the whole album. 'On broken wings I'm falling, and it won't be long, the skin on me is burning by the fires of the sun.' You sometimes find that a chorus makes a song and this is the case here. Unforgettable.

Track seven, 'In Loving Memory' is the tribute of one band member to his grandmother. It's a lovely ballad, and although it's quite heavy, the lyrics are deep and meaningful. A perfect ballad.

Track eight, 'Down To My Last' begins with a soaring riff, before a melodic opening verse. This song is another anthemic one, and this is probably Kennedy at his brilliant best, in the unforgettable chorus.

Track nine, 'Watch Your Words' is a very heavy song, in the same context maybe as 'Metalingus' is. It begins in absolutely kick-ass fashion with meaty riffs and growling bass. The pre-chorus is rather melodic, however the chorus itself is brilliant and explodes into life. Superb.

Track ten, 'Shed My Skin' begins very slowly- like a ballad. By now Alter Bridge are developing a knack for anthemic, soaring choruses and when they work this well, who can complain? Kennedy certainly has the voice for it. He reaches heights here that are previously unheard on the album. Brilliant.

Track eleven, and the final track, 'The End Is Here' begins lightly. But you just know that underneath that calm surface is a beast waiting to jump out. And in the chorus that's precisely what happens. The song has a relatively creepy feel to it, and Kennedy's voice is incredible throughout. A perfect way to end a perfect hard rock album.

Alter Bridge combine solid bass lines, meaty guitar riffs, cohesive drumming and an incredible vocal talent in Myles Kennedy. An amazing band to whom I look forward their next album. Unbelievable music. Two thumbs up.


Funeral
Funeral
Price: £8.99

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the front seat, 29 May 2006
This review is from: Funeral (Audio CD)
French-Canadian alt-rockers 'The Arcade Fire' are an excellent band. There is no other way about it. This is a band that shows talent in abundance, and it is evident from the very beginning.

I was a bit skeptical when buying this because I had only heard 'Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)' and even though I thought it was fantastic, I was wondering if the rest of the tracks could hold the consistency that 'Power Out' did. Luckily, they did.

Opening up with 'Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)', which is a rather melodic song with a somewhat rocky edge to it. A great opener to a great album.

Track two, 'Neighbourhod #2 (Laika)' begins with drums and accordion before exploding into a musical jigsaw where everything fits together perfectly. Great music, and sounds very pleasing to the ears. Great stuff.

Track three, 'Une Annee Sans Lumiere' (A Year Without Light)- (if my dodgy French tells me correctly) begins really softly and has a quite peaceful ambience to it. The mood doesn't change until the very end and only for a while the tempo speeds up. A great track.

Track four, 'Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)' is somewhat heavier, mixing drums, violins, guitars, bass and glockenspiels to make a wonderful sound. An up-tempo track that is absolutely brilliant.

Track five, 'Neighbourhood #4 (Kettles)' is a down-tempo song and a nice one at that. The violins take over with the guitars to create a lovely, drift-away type of song. A very nice, warm ballad.

Track six, 'Crown Of Love' is one of my favourites, and even though the beginning isn't fantastic, it picks up as it goes along, and the bit where the song speeds up in tempo is brilliant. The violins add a brilliant touch to the song. Fantastic. Musical brilliance.

Track seven, 'Wake Up' is the song with the most anthemic beginning. The guitars are relatively heavy and grungy (for an alternative band) and the voices are brilliant when they come in. This is a top-quality track. Undoubtedly top-class. As the previous track, it speeds up in tempo to great effect. One of the album's best offerings.

Track eight, 'Haiti' is a laid-back number, which begins with an acoustic guitar before the vocals come in. Very laid-back, and the song pattern remains the same all the way through. A very good song nonetheless.

Track nine, 'Rebellion (Lies)' opens up with a pounding drum beat and bass before pianos and guitars come in. The vocals come in soon after. The violins are an addition soon after for a while before disappearing. This is a great song and a catchy one at that too. One of the album's best offerings.

Track ten, and the final track here, 'In The Backseat' is another drift-away song. A very anthemic song to finish off a great album from a very talented band indeed. I look forward to what their next album will be like.


Antics
Antics
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £6.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, sweet, and superb, 29 May 2006
This review is from: Antics (Audio CD)
Interpol are one of those bands you either love or hate. Usually, if you're a true music lover, you'll more than likely love it.

'Antics' opens up with the slow but quite anthemic 'Next Exit'. The guitars are excellent here, and the music works so well together. An excellent opener.

'Evil' is track two, and begins with a rather punchy bassline. The opening verse is very effective, consisting of vocals, bass and drums. The first part of the bridge is a bit heavier, and the second bit is simply vocals and a U2-esque guitar. It opens up into a brilliant chorus, especially second time around. One of the best tracks on the album. Top class.

Track three, 'Narc' starts simply with a guitar and opens up into singing and drums at the same time. Has a punchy feel to it. That is testament to the quality of the music. And although it isn't as high-tempo as 'Evil', it still has a very catchy chorus and the music is so tight and precise, which shows the brilliant quality.

Track four, 'Take You On A Cruise' is slower. Nevertheless it does not stop the great music that is heard here. The chorus again is the backbone of the song and it builds a foundation for a great song.

Track five, 'Slow Hands' is another release and an up-tempo song. Another one of my favourites. For me, Interpol are at their best when they play their songs at this kind of tempo. Tight, precise beats, precise guitaring and the musical chemistry is brilliant. Brilliantly catchy.

Track six, 'Not Even Jail' is my personal favourite on this album. The song varies in tempo and Interpol do it so well. The song itself is six minutes long and is always a crowd pleaser. This is music from a band producing their best music to date. Brilliant.

Track seven, 'Public Pervert' isn't up to the standard of 'Not Even Jail', but few tracks are on this album. This is a good track, but not one of the best if I'm honest. The chorus makes it a great track, but nothing else is derived from it.

Track eight, 'C'Mere' is brilliant. From the moment the growling guitars tear it up at the beginning, to the swinging drums. If anything this is the only track where the verses are stronger than the chorus. The bridge is quite soft in comparison, but this is another solid song on a brilliant album.

Track nine, 'Length Of Love' begins brilliantly. The guitars and drums are in complete control with each other, and the timing is spot-on. The chorus is great here, and this is an under-rated song if I'm honest. It is better than many people make it out to be. Fantastic.

Track ten, 'A Time To Be So Small' is a more down-tempo song. The guitars are excellent and it has an anthemic feel to it. Apart from that, there's nothing much more I can say about this song.

For the quality, I would have given this five stars, however, for constistency, it gets four because 'Public Pervert' lets it down somewhat. Apart from that, this is a top quality album from a top quality band.


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