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The Wolf (uk)
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Edwin Jagger DE89 Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor
Edwin Jagger DE89 Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor
Price: 23.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A Shiny Shave, 1 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I haven't had a shave with a decent old-fashioned wet razor for
years (I rarely use anything other than a plastic disposable one) so
this seemed like a good opportunity. My Dad never used anything else.

This model by Sheffield company Edwin Jagger is a slick looking tool.
I'm not sure what the base metal is but the chrome plate seems of
good quality and is very shiny. The screw fitting is very smooth and
the two plates for holding the blade fit together very well. You'll need
the double-edged variety and do remember that the shave you'll get
will only be as good as the blades you use, so don'y buy cheap ones.
The razor has a good weight and balances well in the hand during use.

I Like It.


Galt Toys Art Jar
Galt Toys Art Jar
Price: 7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Barrel Full Of Fun Stuff, 1 July 2014
This review is from: Galt Toys Art Jar (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This 'Art Jar' by toy makers Galt is a big barrel of fun.
It's packed with a whole lot of stuff for younger kids
to let their imaginations flex and get creative. The
possibilities are almost endless with so many cute and
colourful ingredients to work with. Here's what you get....

70+ pompoms, 40 wiggly eyes (loving those!), zigzag
scissors, sequins, shredded paper, crepe paper fringes,
felt alphabet letters, buttons, cotton reels, pony beads
(yay! pony beads!), star beads, pipe cleaners, straws,
self-adhesive foam shapes, 7 printed card templates, A4
coloured paper, gummed paper strips, glitter glue (fab!),
white glue, wiggly white trim, elastic and an ideas sheet.

There's a warning that the product is unsuitable
for children under 36 months so keep this in mind.

Parental supervision can be fun too however!

NB : lends itself especially to the invention of crazy critters!

I Love It!


Mixed Blessings
Mixed Blessings
Price: 9.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulses Racing In Peckham, 29 Jun 2014
This review is from: Mixed Blessings (Audio CD)
Peckham ensemble Beaty Heart are bringing the Sound Of Summer to
South London and beyond with their effervescent debut 'Mixed Blessings'.
They make intelligent pop, chock full of dance-friendly quasi-Caribbean
beats and sparkling melodies and vocal harmonies. A sort-of rain forest riot
with a little hillbilly hocum ('Yadwicha's Theme') thrown in for good measure.

Josh Mitchell takes the lion's share of the singing and listening to him is
perfectly easy on the ear; a limber tenor which would have sounded as
at home in the eighties as it does here on these thirteen sonic inventions
(two of which 'Opal Shred' and 'Opal Loop' are brief interludes coming
in to land at less than a minute a piece). His enthusiasm is infectious.

Drums feature prominently on songs such as the musical tropical cocktail of
opening track 'Banana Bread'; the calamitous 'Kanute's Coming Round'
and 'Lekka Freakout', a wonderfully silly piece of rowdy English weirdness.
Quieter moments can be found in the spookily jazzy 'Muti' and the curiously
affecting squelchy and swampy concluding composition 'Lucky Set' but for
my money the tunefully abstract final piece 'Happiness' takes some beating.

Beaty Heart are well-named. This joyful music WILL make your pulse beat faster.

Highly Recommended.


Gold Nights
Gold Nights
Price: 11.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Contribution To The Dark Side, 29 Jun 2014
This review is from: Gold Nights (Audio CD)
The duos just keep coming. In a week that also saw the sophomore release by
the execrable Xeno & Oaklander (in fairness their new album 'Par Avion' is a
tad better than their 2011 debut 'Sets & Lights' but only just!) its a relief to
discover that White Hex's second excursion in The Listening World, 'Gold Nights',
is a bit of alright as far as dark-hued eighties-revivalist synth-pop goes.

Tara Green has just the right kind of monotone, deadpan vocal delivery to give
these ten musical inventions both quaint retro-credibility and contemporary clout.
Jimi Kritzler, her partner in crime, does a good job too in creating the kind of
ponderous beats and dense mechanical sounds which fully complement her efforts.

The overall atmosphere is one of almost unrelenting gloom but the album's strength
lays in the fact that this approach is willfully sustained from the first track until the last.

The closest we get to a jolly time comes in the shape of a number entitled 'Burberry
Congo' whose almost jaunty rhythm, despite its efforts to raise a smile, is nevertheless
undermined by Ms Green's breathy doom-laden incantations. Elsewhere 'Sisters' has
some decent jangly electric guitar decorations which add welcome textural variation to
the mix and 'Paradise' which manages to sparkle gamely among the surrounding shadows.

I wouldn't put it on in a hurry if I was looking to have a good time but I admire its singular vision.

A worthy contribution to The Dark Side.


Only Run
Only Run
Price: 13.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Avenues, 26 Jun 2014
This review is from: Only Run (Audio CD)
What's left of Clap Hands Say Yeah (substantially Alec Ounsworth) sounds
in remarkably fine fettle on their new album 'Only Run'. True, synthesisers
have moved much more into the foreground (not to mention middle and
background too) but this need not hinder our enjoyment. It's the quality of
the songs that matters isn't it and there are a few fine ones in this set.

There are ten tracks to consider and the overall sound is very full indeed;
a tad muddy-textured in places and tending towards the epic rather than the
intimate but Mr Ounsworth's distinctive (in a tolerably whiney Dylan-ish way)
vocal performances carry the words and the melodies more than well-enough.

The best of the bunch would have to include 'Coming Down' which, with a
little help from The National's Matt Berninger (and channeling 90's Radiohead)
packs a pretty powerful punch to the solar plexus (I could have done with a
little less incidental panting however!); the jittery 'Little Moments' which thunders
along gamely and brought The Killers to mind for more than one or two of those
moments and the evocative 'Your Advice' which brings a sense of melancholy
and loss to the mix with its half-heard fragmented snatches of ambiguous dialogue.

CHSY are exploring new avenues and it's worth the effort to carry on listening.

Recommended.


What Is This Heart?
What Is This Heart?
Price: 7.98

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart and Soul, 25 Jun 2014
This review is from: What Is This Heart? (Audio CD)
Tom Krell's last album 'Total Loss' (2012) was a thing of real beauty.
It wasn't just the pristine artfulness of the songs; it was THAT voice.
An extraordinary instrument with the power to take one's breath away.
(The song 'Cold Nights' still sends shivers up and down my spine!)

It remains to be seen whether or not his new album will make a significant
impact on a wider audience in The Listening World but it certainly deserves to.

There are twelve numbers in the set and Mr Krell may well have delivered
his finest moment so-far in the sublime opening song '2 Years On (Shame
Dream)' an intense exploration of personal loss and regret; so brutally vivid
and soulful that it almost hurts to hear it. This introduction is a hard act to
follow but elsewhere this hugely talented artist opens up a whole lot of new
doors and windows in terms of his musical development. 'Face Again' is a
rich and theatrical invention, full of dark textures and a palpable sense of
heightened anxiety and drama; so too the quasi-mystical 'A Power', almost
bursting at the seams with pounding rhythms and lacerating vocal harmonies
and the simply sublime final track 'House Inside (Future is Older Than The Past)'
in which we experience our host's impeccable falsetto echoing out into infinity.

'What Is This Heart?' is a testament to its creator's ingenuity, honesty and humility.

Highly Recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2014 7:48 PM BST


Severh Sehenh
Severh Sehenh
Price: 12.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sountrack For A Nightmare, 22 Jun 2014
This review is from: Severh Sehenh (Audio CD)
'Severh Sehenh' is a French "dark ambient" confection by Treha Sektori
(who may or not be a Mr Dehn Sora) on the Cyclic Law imprint (who take
themselves terribly seriously indeed) but once we're finally able to strip away
all the ambiguity and pretentious folderol it isn't a half-bad album; in fact if
you don't mind having your head messed with it's a very tidy little nightmare.

The single piece runs for 36.33 minutes. We hear portentous percussion;
disquieting sonic sturm und drang; whispers, sometimes half-heard and
sometimes snatched brutally away, confounding closer inspection and at
the end of a long night of getting hopelessly tangled in our sheets we
arrive at a tenebrous conclusion which leaves us soaked in a cold sweat and
no closer at all to understanding the experience we have just gone through.

I liked it though.


Chaleur Humaine
Chaleur Humaine
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 16.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heat Is On, 22 Jun 2014
This review is from: Chaleur Humaine (Audio CD)
Christine & The Queens is the alt-moniker of French singer/songwriter/actress
Heloise Letissier and her debut album 'Chaleur Humaine' ('Human Heat') is an
impressive first outing in the Listening World. Ms Letissier makes a pretty noise;
an approachable and tuneful take on electro-pop which might also appeal to
admirers of Imogen Heap. There are eleven songs in the set, some sung in her
native tongue and others in English, so a dictionary comes in handy here and there.

Truth-be-told it's hard to dissect the whole to say what's best and what's not.
With compositions as good as 'Saint Claude', with its incandescent refrain; the
somewhat more frisky 'Christine', carried along by a strong backbeat and a
gently chattering synth accompaniment and the wonderfully moody 'Narcissus
In Black' (an invention which doffs its hat to the spirit of 80's new-romanticism),
there's little not to love (although I am a tad besotted with the beautiful final
track 'Here', with its deft arrangement and quasi-monastic vocal harmonies).

How will something as good as this get a wider hearing on these shores?
If it does the likes of (the lovely) Ellie Goulding might have to watch her back!

Highly Recommended.


Await Barbarians
Await Barbarians
Price: 13.19

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tender Visions Of A Gentle Man, 19 Jun 2014
This review is from: Await Barbarians (Audio CD)
Alexis Taylor is a gentle man (and doubtless a gentleman too)
and I am fairly certain that he would turn out to be the kind
of human who is perfectly at home in a cardigan and loves a
mug of steaming hot cocoa at bedtime. I have no evidence for these
assumptions other than the experience of listening to his wonderful
new album 'Await Barbarians' on repeat for the past three days.

The woozy opening electronic keyboard piece 'Lazy Bones' seems, if
my hairy ears do not deceive me, to cast a distorted nod and wink
in the direction of Brian Eno's 1975 invention '1/1' from his seminal
'Ambient 1 / Music For Airports' album. It is a discombobulating entree to
what turns out to be to one of the finest collections of songs that I have
had the pleasure of hearing in the past year. Pleasure is the key word here.

Take a gloriously simple composition such as 'Without A Crutch (2)'
(channeling Sir Elton's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' in the chorus!);
sweet, modest, kind and blissfully unemphatic, it works its way
quietly into your heart and mind like the warmest of musical hugs.
The intimacy and strange honesty of Mr Taylor's lyrics bring a little welcome
optimism and good humour into a World grown increasingly cold and crazy.

We must thank him for songs like 'Immune System', a biological miracle
we all take for granted until reminded about its crucial function for
health and happiness; the poignant 'Closer To The Elderly', a wistful
composition about the cycle of life and mortality, unfolding against a
stuttering chain of synth arpeggios; 'Piano Ducks', a brief magical
Bach-like instrumental interlude and the sublime 'Where Would I Be?' which,
with its haunting vocal harmonies, touches something deep, essential and
universal with its melancholy resonance and achingly tender sentiments.

The album cover would appear to depict the kind of hand and foot
holds we might encounter on a climbing wall, a reminder, perhaps,
to mind our step and hold on tight, though life's tangled,
unpredictable and occasionally dangerous twists and turns.

Mr Taylor is a worthy guide. A man to trust. An album to love.

Essential.


Familiars
Familiars
Price: 10.60

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Light, 17 Jun 2014
This review is from: Familiars (Audio CD)
I'm a fan so don't expect anything other than extreme bias here!
'Hospice' (2009) and 'Bursting Apart' (2011) were both wonderful
albums which somehow set something both fragile, essential and intensely
human vibrating in the Listening World. A delicate but powerful energy.

'Familiars' continues that journey with the ever-increasingly haunting
voice of Peter Silberman at the helm of these nine exquisite new songs.
It is a gentle, laconic affair which barely breaks a sweat from top to tail
but contains some of the most beautiful melodies I have heard this year.

The Antlers have really grown from strength to strength. If liquid gold had
a sound I can imagine that it would be very much like this. There is a fluidity
and luminescence in these compositions which both warms the heart and stirs the
spirit and has no need to rely on cheap effects or artifice to make their mark.

This is truly joyous music making of the very highest calibre.

Brass features prominantly in many of the arrangements bringing textural depth
and a deeply affecting sense of melancholy to the sound which perfectly
compliments Mr Silberman's restrained but captivating vocal performances.

Top tracks would have to include the utterly enchanting opening number 'Palace'
which sparkes with a strange kind of inner light; 'Doppelganger', a slow- moving
bluesy piece shot through with mournful trumpet decorations; 'Parade', which has
one of the album's loveliest tunes and the sublime final song 'Refuge' which, although
barely stirring the air around it, brings the project to reflective and peaceful conclusion.

'Familiars' truly is one of those albums which, in its own small way, makes the World a better place.

Highly Recommended.


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