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C. Owen (Stockport, Cheshire, United Kingdom)
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Talahomi Way
Talahomi Way
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Album of Music, 23 May 2014
This review is from: Talahomi Way (MP3 Download)
The are very few pieces of music, of any genre, that I can just put on repeat and happily leave to play, but this is such an album. In fact only one other comes to mind ("Paris 1919" by John Cale). I have no recollection of ever thinking "OK, that's enough of that" around either disc. After over a year (on and off, I should say!) of approaching Talahomi Way in that spirit, I took the trouble just now to notice what the various tracks are called. Should I check out the lyrics? I'd prefer not to really. That would bring the thing into focus, delimiting it perhaps and thereby limiting it, though I suspect close attention to meanings would leave me happily none the wiser!
There is a homogeneity and consistency from track to track which says that everything belongs there, but it is not mere "saminess". In the age-old expression, there's "norra duff track on there". The perfection within the perfection, for me, is that track "To the Abbey". If it is not outstanding it is because the others are not to be stood out from; that is all.


Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing (Enlightenment Trilogy)
Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing (Enlightenment Trilogy)
by Jed McKenna
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crap-busting, 3 Feb. 2014
If you're open to the suggestion that enlightenment is basically getting to the truth of things then you won't object to an approach where you walk uphill backwards, retreating from whatever falsehoods you happen to have accepted until now. As with a real hill, it will be apparent to you once you're done with this. He doesn't use this particular metaphor (it's nicked from Richard Rose) but it describes it. Question and overcome false notions (including some very fundamental ones), beware of false "arrivals", press on until there are no more questions. It's all pretty clear and simple the way Jed McKenna describes it, so it is to be recommended if you are tired of all the flowery spiritual stuff and just want something real.
It's amusing what reactions there are to the whole Jed McKenna's identity thing, as though the whole ANYbody identity thing wasn't a mystery in any case. The approach of writing as a "mystery man" is rather understandable when you think what pitfalls surround the whole guru thing. If I was an obscure zen master who wanted to do folks a favour without picking up unwanted media attention I think I'd approach it by inventing a character like Jed McKenna's and getting it all said via him.
Recommended then? Yup!


Son of Rust
Son of Rust
Price: £3.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Classy offering from musically infectious threesome, 11 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Son of Rust (MP3 Download)
These guys demonstrate that you can push out the envelope creatively whilst still looking cool, kicking up a fine storm and having fun along the way. Their music, as you can probably hear from the samples, cuts an ebullient swathe between ice cool '80s and bang up to now attitude. Feeling dull at all? Polish up your lenses with this lot!


The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night

5.0 out of 5 stars What a find!, 24 April 2013
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I happened upon this album today by a decidedly random process of clicking on "customers also bought..." listings. If I didn't believe in serendipity I wouldn't do such things.

This album's a magnificent collection, almost worth it for the opening alone. It has "You're in for a fine trip!" stamped all over it. I've also noticed that they're appearing shortly at a venue near me (in the UK). Serendipity again.

So how come they are not decidedly famous by now, on the strength of music so good? I think it comes down to a pretty foolish and irrelevant reason: the band's name. I think the name is about the only thing that doesn't really do it for me, as a punter. It's a shocker if I'm right about that, isn't it! Who CARES what the band's called?!

Not sure which are my favourite tracks yet. Too soon to say, after only hours. The opening pair are magnificent. I also very much like "So this is what we call progress".

Lucky me. Lucky day.


Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead
Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead
Price: £0.89

62 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nuanced, agreeable, fitting, 8 April 2013
Yes, this finely crafted ditty could almost have been penned for this day, which deserves to be seized, one feels.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2013 10:35 AM BST


Lodger
Lodger
Price: £6.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Bowie Album, No Hesitation, 7 April 2013
This review is from: Lodger (Audio CD)
I've just come from Bowie's Facebook page, where you can vote for your favourite. It was easy! Lodger. No hesitation. It's the one that does the most creative Bowie thing best, which is to create rocky music that kicks ass at the same time as taking you to a strange and different place, leaving each song's proposition forever open to interpretation and reinterpretation. You will never (CAN never) be done with this one! It will stay with you unless you totally walk away from it (and I defy you to do that if you ever took Lodger on board in the first place)!

Faves within the fave:

Red Sails
African Night Flight
Look Back in Anger
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2014 10:56 PM GMT


Now
Now
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and, by the way, what a statement it makes, 7 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Now (MP3 Download)
I'm a different kind of reviewer here. I'd read about Jade Warrior in Sound on Sound, in the '80s, and was put off by how expensive the albums were. It wasn't the money so much as the principle! Consequence: I hadn't heard a bar of it until a few days ago (unless unknowingly and by accident). Imagine my surprise and delight then, as a basically intelligent and cultured muso!

What particularly grabs my about these guys, apart from the evident beauty of the music, is the way they have stuck to an agenda (the whole Jade Warrior thing) despite the years. I don't really have a point of reference for judging this album vis-a-vis albums from the '70s, and just hear first class music-making. They sound like a band full steam ahead with the Jade Warrior agenda and I'm assuming there will be more albums as good as this. Hope so!


Awareness
Awareness
by Anthony de Mello, SJ
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One to Keep Coming Back to, 16 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Awareness (Paperback)
This book wasn't written by Tony de Mello as a book. It is edited from one of his spirituality conferences, hence the very direct conversational style. Some regard the tone as a bit hectoring but it just sounds mischievous in the original conference footage (which can be found on Youtube).

I say it is a book to keep coming back to because although it trips along most readably it actually contains profundities that bear revisiting. It's a bit like the lad who complimented his dad on how much he seemed to have learnt during the time his son was at college. This book seems to get smarter in that way too. When I first read it I was all excitement, and kept seeing Gurdjieff in it. Later I concluded that it was essentially Buddhism. Now I bracket it with Advaita/Non-duality. It is all these things and lots more besides.

Apparently Tony de Mello had the same view of much of this stuff, and was in the habit of repeating the Chinese Farmer story rather often, to people he must have known he'd told it too often enough, as if to say "Have you REALLY squeezed all the juice out of this one yet? Or is there more? Have you maybe still missed the main point?"

So if you love this book, and reckon you've got its message, return to it and maybe get even more, and more...

Recommend? Well yes, clearly!


Caves
Caves
Price: £6.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really like this, hence all the stars, 9 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Caves (MP3 Download)
Ollie Halsall comes across as a real-gone dude with lots to share on this album. There's really nothing short of enjoyable, and some gems to boot. I guess the songs fall into a few identifiable categories. There are the "men behaving badly"-style tracks ("Door to Daughter", "Summertime Kids", "First Day in New York" and "Airplane Food"). There are ones where he really comes on the level and drops the mask ("Stepping Out", "Back Against the Wall" and "Travelling Show"). There's good ol' rock 'n' roll ("Crazy When I Fall in Love", "Come on, Let's Go", "You Need a Friend" and "Hey Hey, Little Girl"). So that leaves "Lover's Leaping". Let's not stick that in a category. It's probably the pick of them, though I'm not sure why. Maybe it's that rather syncopated and very endearing guitar riff that runs through it.
For a "found tape" it is remarkably hi fi, and it's fast becoming a favourite here.


Panic Of Looking
Panic Of Looking
Price: £4.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the right length, 4 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panic Of Looking (MP3 Download)
If these are outtakes from Drums Between the Bells then that makes a good deal of sense. I recall Brian (who still has a first name) referring to a proposed track in The Joshua Tree that had to be left out, otherwise its public would themselves make copies with that track removed. This was not because it was innately poor, quite the contrary, but because it was out of place there. Same with these pieces. I altogether didn't rate Drums Between the Bells but really like these pieces. I don't know if the intention is for me to listen to the words as foreground, but that is absolutely not how I'm playing it. I honestly don't care whether or what they mean (same as I don't have a serious view about King's Lead Hat being the inner-city sire). My unconscious mind can go where it will with the words, while the more immediate listening engages with the textures, which have a lot of that strangeness and imminence I associate with tracks like Another Green World and The Big Ship. I look forward to many happy hours with this. I also listened to Beethoven's 4th Symphony today, not recognising a note of it (having not taken it on board at all previously) and was stunned by how good it is, so maybe if this latest Eno ain't grabbing ya, you could bag a listen of Beethoven's 4th as a whistle-wetter.


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