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S. D. Nunn (UK)
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Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate
Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate
by George Lakoff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.13

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a dreadful critique from a woefully misguided 'frame', 1 Feb 2014
Oh dear... what a disastrous scrawl this tome turns out to be!

The fundamental premise - conservatives speak from an authentic moral position and therefore the left (or whatever you want to call the opposing side) is eternally framed by these 'authentic' terms of debate - is so wrong the only surprise is this book doesn't automatically catch fire in your hands!

There is, of course, nothing authentic about the conservative moral position. Instead of authentic Lakoff should have gone with historical or traditional or organisational convention or whatever descriptive appeals to him. This moral position at the centre of his argument is nothing new or intrinsic or historically absent challenge. It is in no way authentic - it is merely the manifestation of the historical collusion of church, state, business etc. It is a marketing ploy - authentic is the brand conservatives apply to their moral position... nothing more.

A lazy, lazy critique.


Tribute
Tribute
Offered by roundMediaUK
Price: £12.68

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tribute to tribute albums..., 14 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tribute (Audio CD)
In the era of The X Factor, how's a lad to compete with formulaic cover versions designed for lowest common denominator mass appeal?

The answer, judging from John Newman's debut album, is to assimilate X Factor appeal into pop history... to take The X Factor back to its 60s Northern Soul roots... a newly discovered talent belting out songs that sound like pop standards that'll stand the test of time etc. Sort of a credible version of Brother Beyond who noticeably don't get a name check on the title track (that very directly tells you who John will be tonight, Matthew) though John Newman certainly owes them one - they did this years before him.

Anyway, this album is actually a strong and near enough authentic sounding retro-pop effort though it is a tad samey... actually it comes close to being problematically samey and although it would be easy to accuse the production of emphasizing commonality, in fact repetition is in the song writing.

The 3 chord hit single 'Love Me Again' is the structural template for A LOT of material on this album, alongside some obviously very familiar 'borrowed' motifs that form the backbone of a number of tracks...

This just about works because we're in retro tribute land - the title is just as much a confession as it is pronouncement of what's contained on the disc...

The bottom line here is what John Newman does, he does well... a great deal more than proficient, his voice is rich, the production signals all sorts of retro gems with the ballads nodding towards Eta James, thus saving us from over-sentimental mediocrity...

Grannies and kids will love this disc, but ultimately John Newman wants his market to be everyone inbetween... with this debut he just about pulls off mass appeal without loosing credibility... but the price is repetition.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 21, 2013 10:00 PM BST


Addicted To Bass 2012
Addicted To Bass 2012
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £4.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Addicted to Bass goes bass-free, 18 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Addicted To Bass 2012 (Audio CD)
Someone should have a word with the Wideboys and tell them that if they're going to carry on 'mixing' the Addicted to Bass series (and I use the term 'mixing' in its loosest imaginable sense) they do actually need to source some tracks that feature bass...

I think what's going on is that MoS has lost interest in this series and allowed it to be converted into yet another dreary generic MoS club comp chock full of lame 4 on the floor filler tracks... which obviously suits The Wideboys down to the ground...


Ibiza Annual 2013
Ibiza Annual 2013
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £4.87

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A yawnfest of poor quality audio, 18 Sep 2013
This review is from: Ibiza Annual 2013 (Audio CD)
First of all, this CD sounds like a collection of badly downloaded MP3s!

The sound quality is shockingly bad - it might be a case of MoS once again getting horribly heavy-handed with compression... I don't know. What I do know is the sound is grim... seriously grim.

As for the mixing... well, the mixing is nothing special. In fact it has about it the vibe of a Thursday night at a generic underpopulated bar 'n' club in any provincial town... it's the sound of a bald, middle-aged man trying to get down with da yoof... which these days fairly accurately describes the middle-aged men 'pumping da house' in the tired South London venue...

To the tracks... a few hits thrown in amongst the deathly dull generic house fodder... they don't feature enough to make this an attractive compilation for the more chart orientated consumer...and of course nothing interesting for anyone delusional enough to think of themselves as an underground clubber...

In summary: Ibiza - the boring years.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 19, 2013 12:47 PM BST


Addicted To Bass 2013
Addicted To Bass 2013
Price: £6.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Ministry of Dull...x 3!, 18 Sep 2013
This review is from: Addicted To Bass 2013 (Audio CD)
Truly an awful collection of tracks, astoundingly made worse through dreary mixing... essentially this grim MoS set follows on from the abysmal 2012 which is where, I think, things begin to go very wrong for the Addicted To Bass series...

Addicted to Bass 2013 extends the watering down endemic to 2012 in as much as what we're confronted with is a set made up largely of generic house tracks that would be at home as fillers on pretty much any MoS compilation i.e. you could be listening to The Annual, Ibiza etc... Perhaps half of one of three CDs in this collection just about features tracks you'd want/expect to find on an Addicted To Bass compilation...

This raises an interesting question in as much as it suggests that either MoS simply cannot access suitable tracks or that, like everything else, music moves on so that producers aren't going to be interested in recreating the same soundscape... then again, when did a producer ever give up on something profitable?

So, I think this comes down to very, very lazy 'any old bleep will do' compiling from an MoS team treating Addicted To Bass as just another brand name - content doesn't count for anything...

Obviously the Addicted To Bass series was always cheap 'n' cheesy - as mixed by computer etc. Still, at least it did what it said on the label... now it's just generic MoS light house music... and very boring...

Essentially like so many comps, it's a con... AVOID!


BaByliss for Men 7057U Professional 6-in-1 Grooming Kit
BaByliss for Men 7057U Professional 6-in-1 Grooming Kit
Price: £24.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Noise, noise, noise and noise, 2 Mar 2013
Wow, this has to be the most lame product on the market when it comes to male grooming... suffice to say it doesn't work. That is, it makes a merry old hum but when it comes to trimming, just nothing at all except that, weirdly, it does manage to graze your skin.

In truth I was a tad skeptical about purchasing this but I figured there were enough positive reviews to warrant giving it a go and as my facial hair is very soft and generally happily cut by pretty much any home grooming product I couldn't honestly imagine this, despite a few negative reviews, would struggle. In summary I purchased it to trim a soft beard... and it can't even do that.

It is seriously lacking in anything approaching enough power. As is bog standard this machine relies upon the idea of fast vibrating 'blades' alongside guide attachments of various lengths. I found it had no capacity to cut at all once a guide was attached. Without the guide it just about manages to catch a few stray hairs - as though randomly selected - but mostly it pulls them (snags) rather than cuts...

A nasty, cheap and useless bit of kit destined for the bin. Best avoided.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 3, 2013 11:26 PM GMT


Dancing Girls of Lahore
Dancing Girls of Lahore
by Louise T. Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.85

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ..., 4 Jan 2013
Poverty porn for the cliffnotes generation.

Recommended for readers who think The Guardian offers in-depth analysis by way of popular prose.


Red Kooga Natural Energy Release - Pack of 30 Tablets
Red Kooga Natural Energy Release - Pack of 30 Tablets
Price: £7.14

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's all in the mind...., 1 Dec 2012
Well, at a guess it's all in the mind, because honestly this product does nothing but promises a lot.

Sadly this is the fate of pretty much every magic tablet, capsule, potion or whatever that you're going to be able to buy without a prescription.

Red Kooga claims to have combined potent ingredients to 'promote vitality and maintain mental alertness'. In reality each of these capsules contains about the same amount of caffeine you'd find in a mug of instant coffee, along with some vitamin B and ginseng... whether the level of vitamin B is high enough to have any impact, let alone whether it's going to get absorbed... well, I don't have Red Kooga's data and unless you work for them neither do you because it isn't available with the product.

So what we have here is a fairly expensive way of consuming a couple of mugs of cheapo coffee...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2013 1:21 PM GMT


5 Hour Energy Drink Energy Shot 58ml - Orange Flavour
5 Hour Energy Drink Energy Shot 58ml - Orange Flavour
Price: £8.49 - £21.21

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing - ziltch - nada ..., 19 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Obviously I don't have a good opinion of this product, but obviously I purchased it because I really like the idea, so if anyone does have info about a product that actually works, please let me know... and of course I purchased this product based upon reviews that clearly suggest that for some people this product is a good thing... but not for me.

As a brief aside, I think it's worth pointing out that in the USA the FDA is going to investigate this product - apparently/allegedly there is some anecdotal evidence that it could be linked to some fatalities, although in fairness to the producers of this product as yet there isn't exactly evidence. Still, that the FDA is launching an investigation isn't the best indicator that all is hunky dory...

In the meantime I can tell you my experience of this stuff - it tastes pretty much like what I imagine liquid scooped out of an illegal toxic waste dump would taste like, and the taste lingers... so not much fun to consume.

Having consumed a 'shot' I went over to the gym and began my cardio workout, figuring that would be a pretty good way of gauging the effect of this dose of chemicals. Well, all that happened was I got severe heartburn and after drinking a fair amount of water in an attempt to dilute it, I got fed up so just stuck my fingers down my throat, and sure enough 5 Hour Energy Shot just shot out, completely unabsorbed... which makes this stuff pretty pointless as far as I'm concerned. And as it's hardly a bargain, I guess I'm going to add that it is also a rip off.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2013 2:02 AM GMT


Disco Discharge: American Hot
Disco Discharge: American Hot
Price: £7.35

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Running out of ideas ... a low point in the series, 4 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So... needless to say I'm disappointed to report this is a rather dull compilation from a series that, although it's certainly had its ups and downs, has mostly been entertaining and a handy resource for a few rarities.

But this collection really does scrape the proverbial barrel. It is not really what I'd describe as seriously about disco, having quite a lot of tracks that fit more with the Mastercuts 'classic grooves' style.

Tracks from Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin and Elbow Bones really can't be considered disco - they do have a vaguely funky 80s dance vibe, but they are not rare, obscure or hard to find in any way, and reek of filler on a compilation that is pretty much nothing but filler.

Why, for example, are we once again subjected to 'American Generation' by The Ritchie Family, when there are literally heaps of tracks that are near impossible to source on CD without spending over a hundred quid. What about having the complete 'Arabian Nights suite' instead?

We get a decent Sylvester track, and the hilarious 'Superman' by Herbie Mann, but really, if you haven't heard these tracks until now, you are so new to disco as to be in the wrong place!

Placed next to European Connection, this comp sucks... and not in a good way.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 20, 2012 9:46 PM BST


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