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Black Sheep Boy
Black Sheep Boy
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: 22.83

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lo-Fi Troubadours Come Good!, 1 Jun 2005
This review is from: Black Sheep Boy (Audio CD)
I was not a huge fan of Okkervil River before this album. I'd heard 'Down The River Of Golden Dreams' and thought that, whilst Will Sheff wrote outstanding lyrics and the band played musically excellent compositions, the songs were a little too drawn out and lacked any real focus.
This all changed with 'Black Sheep Boy'.
From the instant Will Sheff's vocals speak over a lightly strummed guitar in a highly wonderful version of Tim Hardin's 'Black Sheep Boy' and then the feedback begins 'For Real', I was hooked. OR's penchant for dynamics in sound is highlighted in a number of songs like 'For Real', where Sheff alternates between crooning and shouting his lyrics over distorted guitars and thundering drumming.
However OR don't just rely on dynamics in volume, they alter styles as well. 'Black' is as close to a pop song as they've ever gotten with its bouncy keyboards and post-punk drumming married with distressing lyrics about child kidnapping, whilst 'Get Big' and 'Like A Stone' show an altogether more stripped down sound more in tune with folk.
The album's nadir, however, is the penultimate track 'So Come Back I Am Waiting'. What begins as a sad song builds to an explosive chorus and ends with one of the most heartwrenching outros I've ever heard. When Sheff sings "I'm waiting to make you my lamb" in an almost whisper, I can't help but want to be that lamb.
And this is where the album excels. Every aspect of OR has been raised on this album. The emotional power of the lyrics, the catchy hooks in the music and, overall, the feeling of immesne pleasure you can derive from this album are all combined into making this a cult gem of an album.


Silent Alarm [CD + DVD]
Silent Alarm [CD + DVD]
Price: 10.42

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Can See Again, 31 Dec 2004
This review is from: Silent Alarm [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
Whilst 2004 seemed to belong to Franz Ferdinand, there was another band stationed in London who were creating brilliant songs you could dance to, however the songs still retained a dark, edginess to them that had more in common with New Wave.
That band was Bloc Party.
After the success of their singles, this album shows that they are quite clearly one of the biggest musical hopes for 2005 and the album is full of equally good, if not better songs. Those who believed British music was to keep churning out identikit Strokes clones are in for a shock.
From the opening barrage of 'Like Eating Glass' to the final, ambient-lite sweetness of 'Compliments', Bloc Party show that no undue hype has been wasted on them.
For all their abrasive guitars and almost Bragg-esque chanting (Kele displays an almost rapping quality on 'Positive Tension'), what is most incredible about Bloc Party is how romantic they can be. I can't think of two more heartbreaking songs I've heard for a while as beautiful as 'This Modern Love' and 'So Here We Are'. And even when these songs descend into almost thrash endings, there is a still an unmatched delicate quality to them.
It is only perhaps 'Price Of Gas' which doesn't quite achieve the same relentless pace or intimate charm that the rest of the songs create. However you soon forget about that when the gurgling bass of 'Plans' kicks in and throws you to the floor.
This album will not leave your CD player for months. It manages to straddle punk bravado with funk aesthetics and more post-rock leanings, and because of that, this album demonsrates that four men from London deserve to be the hugest thing in 2005 and much beyond that.
God bless Bloc Party.


Execution Of All Things, The
Execution Of All Things, The
Price: 10.92

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There Are No Bad Words For This Album Today, 23 Aug 2004
I first heard of Rilo Kiley through the "Saddle Creek 50" compilation (which I urge you to also listen to).
On it was "With Arms Outstretched" which hit me as a beautiful song and also "Jenny, You're Barely Alive" which shocked me as a woman like Jenny Lewis has such a beautiful voice but can deliver the most snarling lyrics with complete honesty.
I immediately sought out their albums and was suitably pleased and impressed.
Every song is excellent and Blake and Jenny have a definite knack for writing catchy pop hooks over angular, edgy guitars and melodious keyboards.
The songs that stand out for me are the opening track "The Good That Won't Come Out", "My Slumbering Heart" (with it's chorus to die for) and the album closer "Spectacular Views". These three songs really show the contrast that the album contains.
My only criticism lies with the 'special' track, "That's How I Choose To Remember It", which appears in snippets after various other tracks. Because it is only an excerpt it really cuts the album up and stops the flow of the songs.
Apart from that, this is one album that is never far from my CD player!


The Adventures Of Tintin - Vol. 3 [1990] [DVD]
The Adventures Of Tintin - Vol. 3 [1990] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Adventures of Tintin

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blistering Barnacles etc..., 2 Jan 2004
I received volumes 3 and 4 of this for Christmas and was surprised and happy as I had not seen the series for ages. As I loaded it up, I was greeted by the familiar theme tune and thought 'yes!'
Anyone interested in buying this will probably have seen/read the episodes and so if you liked the stories it is excellent.
The sound quality is very good and the animation looks better than ever (though still a few years old). The voices are all correct (though I believe Captain haddock's voice changes in the next series).
The one thing lacking on this DVD, and the others, is a lack of extras. Simple things like interviews with the artists, voice actors, directors, and a 'making of', would have made this an essential purchase. Unfortunately, all you get is the two episodes on each disc.
And the episodes are in the wrong order on the disc. For example, disc 1 has episodes 1 and 4, and disc 2 has episodes 2 and 3, which means you have to change the discs to watch it correctly.
These are only small gripes, and if you enjoyed the series or the books, you should definitely buy this!


Four Minute Warning
Four Minute Warning
Offered by Discountdiscs-UK : Dispatched daily from the UK.
Price: 1.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Song From Out Of Nowhere, 18 July 2003
This review is from: Four Minute Warning (Audio CD)
Now, I was never a Take That fan. In fact I hate pop and my favourite band is Radiohead. But the first time I heard this song, I thought it was amazing! The song wastes no time going into it's catchy chorus and Mark croons through a verse which repeats itself. I don't understand why I like it so much, but I strongly advise you to buy this and look out for his album!


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