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giovanni (Greece)

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The Best of Tanita Tikaram
The Best of Tanita Tikaram
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £14.80

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Many good stuff missing yet still a worthy purchase, 12 Oct. 2009
Tanita Tikaram is an interesting case of a female artist . Daughter of an Indian army officer from Fiji and a Malaysian singer , she was brought up in Germany , then moved to the U.K and has also lived for many years in Italy and now France.

At the beginning of her career she looked and sounded totally consumed by the world's greatest problems . Then , fell in love during the making of "Lovers In The City " and adopted a K.D Land , unisex image . She even gave fashion lifestyle and sex appeal a try for 1997's " The Capuccino Songs " With her recent release " Sentimental " , now with the french record company Naivé , she displays once more her credibility as a songwritter .

As she has explained in interviews she started writing music while still at school because she simply felt "apart " from her classmates ..." I don't think you start writing music if you somehow don't feel different " she said . And indeed , Tikaram was anything but the typical teenage pop star and it showed .1991's " Only The Ones We Love " featured the line "I get tired and i get old " sang at the tender age of 20 . One year later , the video of "You Make The Whole Word Cry " ended with the word 'cry' being displayed in chinese , arabic , french and other languages as teardrops were falling on the background . There was certaintly the sense that this young girl was taking things too seriously .

This 1996 release , although lacking material from her two more recent offerings , does display , among else that there was much mre about her than just " Twist In My Sobriety ". People in love with the 80's (more than just few of them around in our days) will apreciate the nostalgic listening of past hit-singles " Good Tradition " and " Cathedral Song " . The jazzy , sly " He Likes The Sun " could have also been included as well as " I Love You " a short , acoustic pop gem , instantly affecting and maybe her most poignant song yet .

Mostly written while touring the world , albums two , three and four , were full of good intentions but rather poor in strong tunes and music vision . Limp radio-friendly pop songs like "We Almost Got It Together " and " Sunset Arrive " didn't work at all . The lyrics were harder to connect to as well . " drink the rainbow i try very hard " she sings weepingly on one track on " Eleven Kind Of Loneliness " ...but what does she mean ? Occasionaly things fall into place like the tricky " Once & Not Speak " , cd-single " Only The Ones We Love " and " Trouble " ( both wisely included here ) .

Still , after three subsequent weak releases both critics and fans were simply exhausted and when the really good stuff finally arrived , there were not many people out there still listening . " Lovers In The City " , her best album yet and surely one of the most criminally ignored pop releases of the 90's , finds Tikaram reaching her peak as a songwritter and as a perfomer . From the eerie , dreamy " I Might Be Crying " to the tender " My Love Tonight " to the suprisingly uplifting " Yodelling Song " , she delivers a strong tracklist with not a weak melody in it . On " Wonderful Shadow " she sounds " like she's in love but watching scared from far away .." like a female friend of mine pointed out while on " Bloodlines " she creates this moody ,scary , poisonous charming piece of music .

1997's " The Cappuccino songs " had it's moments ( " Stop Listening ", " Amore Si " ) while on her latest , 2005's " Sentimental " one discovers she's matured like a fine wine , delivering slow and classy material . And with tracks like the seductive " Play Me Again " she actually makes you eager for a possible next album , somehow the sophomore of a second career phase of hers.

Falkenberg Farewell ( Farvšl Falkenberg ) [English subtitles] [DVD]
Falkenberg Farewell ( Farvšl Falkenberg ) [English subtitles] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jesper Ganslandt

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poem of a movie, 12 Oct. 2009
" This will be the last summer ... No more winters " declares a central character early in the film . " Farewell Falkenberg " observes five young friends as they say goodbye to their teens in the small swedish town of Falkenberg . Although abstract and kind of scattered at first , the movie takes a stormy turn after it's halfway mark from what seemed a nostalgic card postal of our youth passing us by to a more dramatic , deep territory . All five amateur actors , from which the two of them are real-life brothers , give natural perfomances , the music by Erik Enocksson is hauntingly beautiful ( definetely one of the best scores i have heard ) and the monologue near the end will bring tears in your eyes .Truly a gem waiting to be discovered !

Princesses [2005] [DVD]
Princesses [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Candela Pena
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £7.00

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Princesses indeed, 12 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Princesses [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Fernando Leon De Aranoa , director of the critically aclaimed " Mondays In The Sun " , is also the man behind such gems like " Barrio " and " Familia " ( one of the trickiest , little films about family you'll ever get the chance to see) . His latest offering " Princesas " is another slice-of-life film experience , strongly empowered by it's two charismatic leads , Candela Pena and Micaela Nevarez .

Caye ( Pena ) is a prostitute working on the streets of Madrid . Seemingly unapologetic about the reasons that led her to this profession , she's a pessimistic creature , weary and doubtful about her chances of happiness . Best time of the day is with other fellow collegues hanging out at a beauty salon a friend owns . Worst time of the day ( or week or month...) is at the family dinner with her mother and brother with whom she has no real communication to speak of . Zulema is a dominican statuesque beauty working too on the streets of the spanish capital , with no papers to feel any security for herself . She has a little boy back in home to whom she sends most of the money that she earns .

Aranoa choses an earthy , unpolished aproach to his material . The girls' grim reality is something the director doesn't shy away from . Still , there is a sweetness in the film - life is a bittersweet mystery afterall .

Candela Pena has been a key supporting figure in many great spanish films during the last decade . Here , in one of her few leading roles , she's exceptional , her traumatised gaze displaying all the vulnerability and compation of her struggling character . Along with graceful newcomer Nevarez ,they create one of most believable pair of friends ive ever seen on screen . Finally , special credit must be given to Manu Chao's music colouring the film - his songs about all the poor lost souls of this earth meet a perfect match with this movie's social sensibilities.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 7, 2014 9:19 PM BST

The World Is Saved
The World Is Saved
Offered by zoreno-uk
Price: £7.36

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The stuff dreams are made of, 12 Oct. 2009
This review is from: The World Is Saved (Audio CD)
Stina Nordenstam's commercial strategy won't win her many new fans : having given only a handfull of interviews over the years and never toured except one show 14 years ago in London , the Scandinavian singer - songwritter seems to be all about creating the art but not really giving that much energy to promote it out there . At least , a rather pretty site made it's appearance on the net recently . Still , this Kate Bush-like resclusiveness bounds harmonically with the fragile , mysterious nature of her music .Nordenstam made her first appearance in the music scene in 1992 with the jazzy , eerie Memories Of A Colour , then shortly after that she released And She Closed Her Eyes , a track of which ( the tender " Little Star " ) was included in the Romeo & Juliet soundtrack , introducing the artist to a wider audience . Three , significally more downbeat and melancholic albums followed .

For her latest offering , the first to be released in the states since 1994 , Nordenstam once more combines serenity with darkness . There are two important qualities of hers that set her apart from most of the other "sad" girls in the music business today : first of all , it's her distinctive voice , a toxic purr of some sort which sounds so at home with the vulnerable ( " So This Is Goodbye ? " ) and hypnotic ( " So Lee " ) texture of her compositions . Then the lyrics are simply excellent ,witty and specific , as it often happens with scandinavian artists who despite singing in their second language , they dress their melodies with amazing words . " From Cayman With Love " finds a bitter lover realizing that exotic holidays are not the answer to loneliness ( " Thr Carribean sun / so leaves me cold / you never do / i want to see you / even want to see you bleed / i can't believe i paid for this / there's nothing here i need " ) . It's the naive , i-realize-it-now-that-i-sing-it vocal delivery of Nordenstam that makes the whole thing such a treat really .

Musically trumpets and flutes along with trip hop touches colour her moody , seductive melodies .From the sparse , naked " Parliament Squeare " ( in which " It maybe silent / but i hear bombs fall " ) from the spooky pop pantomima of "Butterfly " , everything here is eccentric , original and clearly coming straight from the lady's private little universe . Not a small achievement indeed ...

Quiet Is the New Loud
Quiet Is the New Loud
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £5.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less is indeed more, 12 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Quiet Is the New Loud (Audio CD)
One of the many great bands to come out of Scandinavia lately ( a region quietly creating one of the most interesting music scenes around ) are the Kings Of Convenience , a duo consisting norwegian singers-songwritters Erik Glambek Boe and Erland Oye . The chemistry of their friendship relfects on their work on this album , their first one on a major record company which includes a tracklist of well-crafted melodies , gentle and relaxed yet never light-weight . The witty lyrics meticously describe feelings and situations while the vocals remain calm and focused all the way through .

" Sex , Drungs And Rock'n Roll " this ain't since were're talking about a band who won't hesitate , in case someone doesn't call them cool , to declare they like to organize chess-championships inbetween gigs...and well, that's what makes them so cool afterall, at least in my book . The enigmatic tracks ( " Little Kids ", "Weight Of My Words " ) work as good as the happy ones ( " Toxic Girl ") yet the group is at the top of their game when they deceide to open up and reveal sensitivity and emotions like on the opening " Winning A Battle , Losing A War " or the impossibly beautiful " Summer On The Westhill ".

" Quiet Is The New Loud " is a record which , along with recent releases such as Beck's " Seachange " or the Kings' second offering , proves how far one can go just with an acoustic guitar and a lot of inspiration . A modern classic then , if there is such a thing anymore .

Our Love To Admire
Our Love To Admire
Price: £3.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold charm for the masses, 12 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Our Love To Admire (Audio CD)
A band with a cool attitude and a distinctive dark side , Interpol have three albums already under their belts and a loyal fanbase which follows them everywhere . Their merits as a group include a strong song-writting in which every guitar strike seems to have been destined to count and ofcourse frontman Paul Bank , a guy sounds like Satan singing about sensitivities.

Not so long ago , there was a moment where Interpol were a must according to every decent music magazine out there ...and rightly so . I have yet to buy an album as complete and powerful as their 2004 offering " Antics ". Their latest release " Our Love To Admire " has more in common with the muscular rock of that album than the quiet doom of their debut " Turn on the bright lights " . Undeniably , this doesn't see them exploring new ground but still , once again , there are many great tunes to cherish like first cd-single " The Heinrich Maneuver " , " No I In A Threesome " and ( my personal favourite ) " Pace Is The Trick " .

Now , the hype surrounding this one might be substancially less than before but this is just how the industry works . Every couple of years a set of bands wins praise and press attention . They are the future of rock music , the new messiahs of pop and rock ...until their next release when they will be denied by everyone who embraced them in the first place , for no particular reason . In 2001 it was the Strokes , in 2003 the White Stripes and in 2004 it was Coldplay ( curiously enough with the worst of their four offerings ) who were gonna save modern music from it's decay . Then again , does rock need to be saved ? It this a competition of some sort ? The answer is NO . With that in mind , Interpol can still write first-class rock and this should be more than enough for everyone who likes good music .
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 5, 2011 2:38 AM BST

Beauty Sleep
Beauty Sleep
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.63

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A record of rare beauty and spirit, 12 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Beauty Sleep (Audio CD)
Fifteen years after the first Throwing Muses offering and ten after the unexpected success of the spooky fairytales of Star , Tanya Donelly finds herself in the awkard place of not having much of an audience to adress to . Even so , she seems to be happier than ever . " Thank you thank you my darling girl and her dad my true blue dream of sky " she declares on the sleeve of her latest offering . She's the mother of a little girl and wife to bassist Dean Fisher now . She doesn't seem to care at all about topping the charts or getting covers to flashy music magazines. Maybe that's why Beautysleep is her most haunting , magical album yet .
There are so many discreet details about this album's songs which makes them so special and exciting to listen to : child-voices on " Life Is But A Dream " , a choir piece at the end of " The Wave " , tender melancholy wordplay on " So Much Song " . Donelly has a sensitive soul with a rich darkside and even though " The Night You Saved My Life " is a perfect indie-pop track which could have easily put her back on the radio top ten , it's when she sings those mystical lullabies when she's most affecting like " Moonbean Monkey " and the ethereal " Another Moment " , a melody about finding self-confidence .

We fans will scream that this is her best work yet and one of the best records of the last few years by a female artist and it's been eventually ignored but there's a line on " I'm Keeping You " which seems to perfectly describe what Donelly thinks about her sudden stardom followed by media indifference "...there's something that you learn on a tight-rope / just outside the spotlight there's a big net waiting for " . The girl who once gave us " Honeychain " is now a woman and thanks God , she hasn't stopped writing music .

I Sing Because Of You [European Import]
I Sing Because Of You [European Import]
Offered by Japan-Select
Price: £4.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Discover the album now, 12 Oct. 2009
Watching the Cardigans live is truly a special experience . The Swedes have the ability to deliver their beauttyfully-crafted melodies with excitment and style . Peter 's guitar playing is psychedelic and intense , Nina simply shines while Bengt although limited to his drums at the back of the scene , still stands out . At first glance , bassist player Magnus Sveningsson seems too bored to bother breathing . As soon as the music starts though , he gets instantly cool and energetic - a huge man ( a human head and a half above the others ) jumping around and singing along the lyrics . This is clearly one presence you can't help but loving .
The same can be said about his first solo project , " I Sing Because Of You " released under the name ' Righteous Boy ' . It's a record of rare beautty , dark ( " I Feel Apart " ) and at the same time optimistic ( " I'm Loved Among Friends " ) . It has that nostalgic magic of " Life " although not as carefree and more melancholic . The voice is calm , smoked and at parts even haunting ( " No More Love " ) and the lyrics are simply exceptional . These are the stories of a man who seems to think much much more than what he shows ( " there's an ocean between / what you perceive and how i feel / if you could see me through / and if i let you to ... " ) .

It's hard to actually choose a highlight from such a great tracklist but being a person who likes to keep to myself , i felt most identyfied with " All My Evils " in which " .. i wish i found a better self / a simple self / an easy self ...steady as rock won't let it show / all my evils must go " ) .

Don't be fooled and consider " I Sing Because Of You " as a record only for the Cardigans' hardcore fans . It has it's own great music value. Sveningsson finally reveals his true wits and inspiration and without much difficulty , wins the listener . One of the best records around that everyone who loves good music should check out .

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