Profile for yofriend > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by yofriend
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,279,741
Helpful Votes: 46

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
yofriend "yofriend"

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Radiance
Radiance
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £19.34

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new plateau, 24 Jun 2006
This review is from: Radiance (Audio CD)
This double CD captures some of the most inspired moments that have been recorded of Keith Jarrett's solo performances. As he says in the liner notes, there had been no preconceived ideas whatsoever. Jarrett goes from the atonal to the modal to the romantic to the archaic without getting stuck anywhere for too long. So, instead of the one or two tracks one usually finds on his recitals corresponding to the sets before and after the intermission, this time, there are thirteen tracks that constitute the Osaka concert. Even though they are recorded without a pause and run into each other here and there, they are actually episodes which are inspired by the music before but which take things to different places. Jarrett transcends the numerous sources from which he has been inspired. Only in the Osaka encores, he clearly pays homage to his Jazz roots. The fact that the coughs were not eliminated afterwards in the studio gives the music an even greater feel of authenticity than usual. Jarrett seems to have finally and completely conquered his CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) which had kept him down in the nineties.

To fill the second CD, ECM took pieces from another concert (Tokyo), which will be released in full length on DVD.

CDs by Keith Jarrett are always way above the average, he's in a class of his own. With such an abundance of recorded solo concerts available, it's not easy to choose unless one buys all of them. But Radiance is clearly a very special release and among the best, such as Solo Concerts: Bremen and Lausanne and The Köln Concert. Compared to those highlights from the seventies, Jarrett's development is astounding. As uncouth as it may sound, for Keith Jarrett CFS may have been a blessing. Though he had been an extraordinarily gifted musician, this album suggests the man has reached a new plateau from which to go and to grow.


Goldberg Variations (Weissenberg)
Goldberg Variations (Weissenberg)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab it before it is too late, 28 Oct 2005
Alexis Weissenberg is an underrated yet eminently gifted Bach interpreter. I'm particularly thrilled by his interpretation of the Partitas. He plays them with vigor, rhythmic tension and dramatic vision, while at the same time being attentive to subtle nuances. Surely one of the best interpretations ever recorded.


Subject
Subject
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £6.77

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pole position, 9 Nov 2003
This review is from: Subject (Audio CD)
Now, for once, here’s an example of a Nu Soul album that succeeds at all levels. With his debut album, Dwele sits firmly in the pole position of contemporary Soul. The compositions are his ace card - they draw from the great reservoir of the those 40 years of Soul music, and he seems to be particularly impressed by the sophisticated urban Soul of Marvin Gaye and Leon Ware. Dwele is never satisfied with LP fillers but comes up with unusual chord progressions and well-measured stripped down arrangements, which sound like the product of many quiet nights at the home studio. Dwele has a smooth voice, and he doesn’t indulge in simple effects like hollering or other gimmicks used by most of his competitors. Along with Jill Scott, Dwele marks the best of the genre right now, and he generates hope that the treasure of Soul will find its legitimate inheritors. It’ll be hard to top this, though, for Dwele or for anybody. That’s no problem - as long as the music keeps coming like this, there’s no need to top anything.


Deloused in the Comatorium
Deloused in the Comatorium
Price: £6.92

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Marsian voltage", 1 July 2003
Wow! Here's another CD that will make it in the Top 10 CDs of 2003. The Mars Volta are an offspring of the defunct At The Drive-In. "Deloused in the Comatorium" takes Rock a step further, mixing Punk's rawness (guitars, drums) with Prog Rock's virtuosity and urge for adventure (mellotron, sound effects), then effortlessly adding Latin (! Drunkship of Lanterns, Ciatriz ESP) and Dub/Electronica influences. For someone like me who doesn't usually listen to heavy Rock and never to Punk, the permanent attacks of “Marsian voltage” are disquieting, to say the least; however, the album may be intended that way as the lyrics suggest, and somehow the madness makes sense. The lyrics sound like the desperate hallucinations of a suicidal yet highly gifted youth; it will take time to really grasp them for the music is so addictive and demanding, it demands attention first. The songs are mostly long and there the fierceness abades at times. Those are moments of aching beauty, but before you can give in to those hallucinatory islands of quiet, the mad Circus moves on. Virtuoso Singer Cedric Bixler has an immediately recognizable voice, he masters the perpetual shifts in rhythm, pitch and volume with ease. Mind you, when he shouts, Cedric does sound a bit like Björk (just the timbre, not the hysteria, yet I do hope I'll stop noticing). Also notable is the unique guitar work by Omar Rodriguez (Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)). It's useless to point out tracks as the entire CD is one tour-de-force. In the world of Rock, "Deloused in the Comatorium" is a landmark album. Together with Porcupine Tree and Radiohead, The Mars Volta belong to the best of what Rock has to offer these days, and they are proof that the music is still very much alive.


Bare
Bare
Offered by Renegade Sports Group Limited
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Annie Lennox is back, and how!, 12 Jun 2003
This review is from: Bare (Audio CD)
Annie Lennox is back, and how! After an eternity (in the world of Pop) of eight years, she delivers her best solo effort, seemingly without effort. But this is the kind of music one can only sing after one has tamed a demon - from within - that's how she sounds. Songs about painful experiences in relationships, separation, healing, new beginning. Musically cleverly balanced between Eurythmics-Rock, Electronica and "Diva"-soulfulness, she goes a step further in the amalgamization of sounds - a perfect update, ensuring that her former fans will devour this CD while welcoming new ones. Annie is all over the place. Her singing has become more soulful and matured even more, to the point that one would wish some so-called Soul queen would go to Annie-Lennox-school for a while (check out "The Hurting Time" and "Honestly"). Annie sounds like nobody else, she's instantly recognizable, another thing that has become rare these days. She sounds so self-assured, not cold and arrogant. Sure, make no mistake, Annie IS a Diva, but she's a Diva who can pull off the Diva with authority, because her music sounds like you can take it from her, like she respects her audience. The lyrics are seriously felt and executed. The choice of songs show a great versatility, a faster track is followed by a more laid back one; at times, she has a song which mutates two or three times (check out "Pavement Cracks" and "Wonderful"). Lovely, how she does her own background vocals!
In short, Bare sounds exactly how a real Pop record SHOULD sound today: it's ambitious yet easy to the listener, full of melodies and unexpected turns (again, check out "Honestly"). The record will be hugely successful, and rightfully so.
Welcome back to the Pop Olympus, Annie!


Somewhere Deep In The Night
Somewhere Deep In The Night
Price: £7.41

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soundtracks for the mind, 26 May 2003
"Somewhere Deep In The Night" was released in 2001 and is possibly the best album by Swing Out Sister. In Japan, they have been superstars since the beginning, elsewhere, they are only known to devout fans. They certainly deserve better. SOS have always flirted with the music of Burt Bacharach, John Barry and other great 60's composers. The songs now have high quality throughout the album; they don't just sound like clever impersonations of the "real" thing, anymore. Corinne Drewery has improved her singing; now she fits well into the musical setting. Andy Connell may be included on the list of the greatest living arrangers in the field of Pop.
Song intros (as in the speeding title song, and The Vital Thing) carry a theme or musical motto which runs through the album, thus revealing the influence of Marvin Gaye, particularly from his "What's Going On" and "Trouble Man" days. Several instrumentals (the fantastic, jazzy Alpine Crossing and Non E Vero Ma Ci Credo) create an atmosphere, which reminds of the soundtracks by Philippe Sarde. 5/4 and 6/8 beats are clearly favored; this indicates that SOS consciously avoid the fast lane towards the charts and instead intends to float on with ease on the indie market. Now Listen To Me, the last song on the LP, summarizes the musical motto and at the same time, the arrangement bends toward "Electronica" without selling out; this is an interesting possibility for SOS's path in the future.


In Absentia
In Absentia

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surely one of the best CDs of this year, 26 May 2003
This review is from: In Absentia (Audio CD)
Surfing the Internet, I came across this LP from this Band called Porcupine Tree - completely unknown to me: In Absentia . What is it? It's Pop with a strong (Prog) Rock attitude (heavy guitar attacks), careful song writing, lyrics to be called that, rich orchestrations (David Gregory from XTC - ah, so!), great (harmony) singing, instrumental virtuosity, not a bad track on the disc - in other words: a fantastic Pop album. I hate the front cover, though. The fact that the record is not 30 years old but released just recently, is one of the most beautiful aspects: Porcupine Tree are a great blessing for Pop music (and also their earlier music is great). The fact that Porcupine Tree are practically unknown to the broad public, speaks for the music industry and its media - it's a shame.
Oh, Britain, You who had Henry Purcell and then 300 years of, well, nothing: how come that you've been leading the world of music for forty years - with Pop music? Word.


Discoveries
Discoveries
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £10.31

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dig this!, 26 May 2003
This review is from: Discoveries (Audio CD)
The mastermind behind Outside is Matt Cooper. He worked with a number of hip British Electronica acts (Dorado Records artists, 4Hero etc.). This CD is a good example of his style. Sometimes, he sounds as if he inherited the music of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters era (bass clarinet, wahwah-clavinet, e-piano solos, e-string arrangement plus heavy funk beats). He also uses Hiphop beats and sounds and, as early as 1996, drum and bass beats. Most of the music is instrumental. The multi-instrumentalist makes frequent use of samples. That can be fun. It could also be the result of low budget vs. a determination to achieve the goal, no matter what. Sample technology was the biggest technical innovation in the 90's, as far as music is concerned, and yet, its extensive use makes the 90's productions sound dated more than any other device employed for the recordings. As a result, the trip can become a bit repetitious at times. Best cuts: Piano-scape, Finding ALHB4001, From Here To Infinity and the 12 minute long Sketchbook Of A Voyage. Nowadays, Cinematic Orchestra work in a similar musical field. Discoveries and its 1995 predecessor, The Rough And The Smooth, belong to the best Funk/Jazz/Electronica releases of the 90's. Where were the U.S.A., then - I mean, the music originated from there, no? Nowhere this good. So, don't complain, dig this.


Rough & The Smooth
Rough & The Smooth
Offered by raisagirl772
Price: £29.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still sounds fresh and adventurous today, 26 May 2003
This review is from: Rough & The Smooth (Audio CD)
The Rough And The Smooth has got to have one of the worst front covers of all time. If the record didn't sell the way it could have, that cover may be the main reason. Other than that, The Rough And The Smooth is one of the best Funk/Jazz/Electronica records of the 90's. It is Outside's best record. It doesn't contain fillers, and it still sounds fresh and adventurous today, it sometimes even amalgamates Reggae Dub into the sound. If you're interested in Funk/Jazz/Electronica, you should have this one.


Time Remembered
Time Remembered
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £15.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This record is a gem, 26 May 2003
This review is from: Time Remembered (Audio CD)
John McLaughlin is one of the most important guitar players of all time. Period. He has contributed to many different genres of music, and usually he does so eclipsing the competitors. His technique is beyond compare, his taste immaculate and his energy and consistency in this business admirable.
This record is another gem. On Time Remembered, John McLaughlin plays the music of one of Jazz¬' greatest pianists, Bill Evans. He is accompanied by a quintet of guitarists. Hommage is written by John McLaughlin himself, you wouldn¬'t know it¬'s not by Evans if you didn¬'t look it up. He solos no more than is good for the songs. The record is strangely overlooked. Maybe it¬'s too quiet, too "unspectacular", not "Jazz" enough. It certainly deserves attention. The choice of songs from the Bill Evans catalogue is very tasty, and so are the arrangements and the playing. Highlights are Waltz For Debby, Turn Out The Stars and my favorite, We Will Meet Again.


Page: 1 | 2