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Alright, Still
Alright, Still
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 4.86

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Streets meets the Specials with some of her father's comic timing thrown in., 13 Aug 2006
This review is from: Alright, Still (Audio CD)
I can understand why some people would hate this album. There will be inevitable comparisons with the Streets, and on first glance at the cover, it reaks of the same pompous. working-class attitude that put me off the likes of Mike Skinner. I personally think Lily's father is fantastic, but I think the criticism everyone has is that Lily must have had excellent contacts to get where she is.

Thing is, 'Alright, Still' is one of those rare, unexpected gems. Yes, her father is famous, but this is an excellent album. From opening track, 'Smile', it feels much like the first time you hear the Specials' debut. You want to dance, you want to sing along, and you find yourself unashamedly enjoying probably the first pop record you've listened to in a long while.

I personally listen to bands like Interpol and the Kills most of the time. I sold the second Streets album within a week of buying it. This isn't my bag at all normally, but Lily's album is playing much the same card that No Doubt played with 'Tragic Kingdom' a few years ago. Reggae and ska mix together very well; reggae and ska with an r'n'b tinge is great.

Of course, it also helps that she's very funny. 'Smile' seems like the chirpiest pop song ever, until you realise that Lily's singing about how great it is that her ex is miserable, and 'Alfie', a song about a pot-smoking little brother, is very well-written. Probably my favourite track though is 'Knock 'em out' - particularly the part where she has to reject a guy by telling him she has syphilis! She definitely has some of her father's wit, and it comes across throughout the CD.

She deservedly went to number one recently, and I certainly enjoyed this album. The interesting test now will be whether she follows this up with something equally exciting, or does what the Streets did, and blow it. For now though, she's even convinced a moody indie fan to buy her album, which is quite an achievement.

Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.73

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's like Marmite - you love it or hate it., 29 July 2006
This review is from: Razorlight (Audio CD)
Razorlight have a reputation that, to be honest, far outweighs their actual marketable talent. At least, that's what I felt when I first heard 'Up All Night'. These days, I quite like that album, but I have to say I was hoping the band would produce something a little more challenging as a follow-up.

Thankfully, this album, is a challenge, and the challenge is coping with Razorlight's mellow phase. I would say at least half the album is light, and on the whole, you will be disappointed if you expect a high proportion of singalong anthems such as could be found on the debut. That said, I think this is far better than the first album, and it demonstrates two things: 1) that the band isn't a one-trick pony and 2) they are not wholly reliant on fancy riffs.

Put bluntly, if you want a CD that sounds like the first album, look elsewhere, but if you want the sound of a band maturing and developing as artists, while still being capable of churning out the odd catchy tune, this CD is for you.

Broken Boy Soldiers
Broken Boy Soldiers
Price: 4.50

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not like the White Stripes, but fair enough., 19 July 2006
This review is from: Broken Boy Soldiers (Audio CD)
If I wanted dodgy garage rock, then of course I would buy a White Stripes album. That's what they do well, and to be honest, there are better bands out there making that kind of music, so the criticism that the Raconteurs are not like the Stripes is fairly redundant. Obviously they're not. You can't have songwriting influence from Brendan Benson, who had previously specialised in melancholy, sentimental indie, and expect 'Elephant Part 2'.

However, the notion that this somehow detracts from the quality of the Raconteurs' album is utter rubbish. 'Steady as she goes' is infinitely superior to pretty much anything the White Stripes made after 'De Stijl'. The riff is catchy, the musicianship is excellent and Jack bounces off Brendan better than he ever did with Meg. Elsewhere, 'Hands' reminds you of some of the cheezier 80s-rock bands, 'Broken Boy Soldiers' is an unsettling masterpiece (the guitarwork gives the impression of teetering over the edge) and 'Store Bought Bones' is just raucous.

The fact is, far from being a bad record, this is ace. It's one of the best albums so far this year, and if I'm being brutally frank, Jack would do better sticking with this band for a while and ditching the weird peppermint swirls.

Offered by MasterDVD
Price: 3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow, 20 Jun 2006
This review is from: Left (Audio CD)
The first Hope of the States album was a very interesting CD indeed. Put next to Coldplay and Radiohead, the powerful anthemic songs proved a very pleasing antidote to commercial moodiness. However, the second album was a gamble. 'Tne Lost Riots' worked so well because the band had a window. So many groups were doing politics badly, so this was their moment. Now, that political fad is dying down, and news of a 2nd album certainly had me questioning whether there was a place for the band anymore.

Thankfully, although this album is definitely more of the same, it is more of the same but better. 'Sing it out', 'Industry' and 'The Church Choir' could easily have made the first album perfect. As before, political sentiment echoes over exceptional melodies and superb musicianship. The impact is the same, but the lasting effect is greater. You will be hooked in no time. After a gradually disappointing Coldplay LP last year, this is a welcome antidote and goes to prove that Hope of the States were deservedly revered in 2004. If you want excellent political indie, buy this album. Nothing else will suffice.

Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 12.99

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh., 3 May 2006
This review is from: Statues (Audio CD)
The Open's first album was nothing short of spectacular. Instantly catchy, beautifully written and packed full of awesome songs. Unfortunately, where 'The Silent Hours' was an upbeat, enjoyable affair, 'Statues' is the Open experimenting with depression, and doing it badly. 'Forever' is a superb track, but from there the album just gets less and less exciting. By the fifth track, you feel much the same as you may have done when 'Kid A' came out. All that anticipation, all that hype and all you're left with at the end is a boring, slightly misfired experiment.

The Open do not do moody well. They never have and never will. More catchy riffs please.

Nightmare Anatomy
Nightmare Anatomy
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 6.46

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New? Not really. Excellent? Definitely., 23 April 2006
This review is from: Nightmare Anatomy (Audio CD)
Aiden are one of those bands that you just have to approach without preconceptions. They aren't particularly original, and to be honest, they're not the most technically adept band I've ever encountered, but they rock.

Imagine the Forecast, Dashboard Confessional and Atreyu combining sounds and you've got what Aiden are about. Powerful melodies with a mix of clean and screamed vocals. Songs are mostly about gothic, romantic concepts. It's definitely not emo, because there's an open fascination with death and nightmares (a really big obsession with nightmares), but emo fans will like it and metal fans will be pleasantly surprised.

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