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Troels Stampe Johansen "T. S. Johansen" (Hvornum, Denmark)
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Transformers: Dark of the Moon [DVD]
Transformers: Dark of the Moon [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shia LaBeouf
Offered by The Happy Zombie
Price: 3.50

2.0 out of 5 stars Too much for its own good, 9 Aug 2012
Many (read: most) critics absolutely despise the trilogy of Transformers movies, actually they despise everything that Bay stands for altogether.
However, if you know what you're getting into, Bay is the one who'll usually deliver on straightforward CGI-action flicks. And as such, I absolutely loved the first two installments - they were my guilty pleasures, if you will. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Dark of the Moon

Going into the third entry, my expectations were quite high admittedly. Critics and fans alike rated Dark of the Moon significantly higher than Revenge of the Fallen, and I already digged that one pretty much.
I don't know exactly what it is that made me feel completely bored during the 2+ hours, but moreso than anything I just thing I'd had my share of Transformers-action. It suddenly became ever so apparant that the dialogue often seemed out of place. The overly humorous script is completely over-the-top, which is most obvious in the scenes involving Sam's workplace. Malkovich delivers a deeply unbelieveable character, who just seems out of place. It's as if a sort of comic surrealism has had its toll on this movie.
Some events are, however, much more streamlined. The Autobots are the same as they've always been. With one exception: The previous autobot leader, Sentinel Prime, is an important 'character' in this story. His role in the events turn out to be very predictable, which is a shame as he would've have made a sublime wiseman (or wizard, if you wish), in the likes of Gandalf.
The Decepticons hace gained plenty of new assets, many of which I don't even remember the names or special abilities. Luckily, one decepticon brings some excitement to the movie: The inclusion of Shockwave makes for some eyedropping CGI moments, and it is mostly on his account that the movie is even the least bit enjoyable.
The human cast is unfortunately a major letdown. The character of Sam has become a parody of himself; his girlfriend never reaches the 'heights' of Megan Fox, and their relationship seems out of place, and is more a prop than enything else. Worst of all though is Patrick Dempsey as a villanous pawn in the plan of the decepticons. To put it mildly it seems out of order to include the humans as a part of the evil plans - and as it turns out, Dempsey really doesn't make much of a difference. He is a classic, shallow, cliched sidekick and his only job seems to be taking up some screentime by creating halfhearted intrigues and serving as an annoying puppet of Megatron.

All in all, Bay's originality has finally reached its limit with Dark of the Moon, and trying to lighten up the script by including (un)funny dialogue proves disastrous.
But... most fans probably watched the movie for the CGI alone, and the effects are as always incredible. But for the first time, it really became clear to me that CGI can't make up for a movie alone - and my experiences with blockbuster action flicks has never been the same since.


Discovery
Discovery
Price: 6.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Masterpiece of House (and french electronic music in general), 19 Jun 2011
This review is from: Discovery (Audio CD)
Daft Punk. Where to begin...
No band has ever released as many great house singles, but where most house/dance groups survive merely on their singles, Daft Punk can withstand any criticism stating that House music only creates one-hit wonders. Discovery is the album that proves this wrong.

Homework was a decent album and a fresh debut, including such amazing singles as "Around the World" and "Da Funk". Incredible! But on Homework Daft Punk missed as much as they hit. Generally the tracks on Homework featured great ideas, but they were oftentimes very schematic and the beats too sharply drawn.
This is where discovery succeeds completely. The tracks all sound very organic, flowing together nicely and creating a sense of an actual album instead of a collection of tracks. This is done without having to lose the hit potential. The amazing "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" and my personal favourite album-opener "One More Time" pushed the bars higher than ever seen in House (and rarely seen in electronic music at all).
Only minor flaw on the album is the duo's penchant for corny synth pads, which are used quite often, but mostly just make you smile rather than annoy you.

Discovery MUST be part of your collection, even if you dislike electronic music in general (which would make you a shallowminded *something*). Don't bother with the Daft's next studio album, which is a major low-point.
(Also check out Alive 2007 - amazing live-album, worth getting recognized as an independent album).


Blue Lines
Blue Lines
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: 7.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once a masterpiece. Now, a decent album., 4 Jun 2011
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
My interest in Massive Attack started with the song "Teardrop", as it was the case with many people, I suppose. As a natural reaction I started out by listening to their most well-known record, Mezzanine, which included aforementioned song.
I think almost anybody will agree with me when I state that Mezzanine was (and still is) an undisputed masterpiece and simply Massive Attack's best.

But Blue Lines is often preferred by critics. As of 1998 and onwards it just stood in the shadow of the bleak, interesting and commercially succesful Mezzanine.
It is a shame really. Blue Lines is a very decent album, including probably Massive Attack's greatest single "Unfinished Sympathy". However, whereas Mezzanine still sounds fresh to this day, with its gloomy atmosphere, Blue Lines has seen better days music-wise. The ideas are generally very good and work very well when classic instruments, such as acoustic instruments along with drums and bass, form the center of the music ("Safe From Harm", "Five Man Army", "Unfinished Sympathy"). But on songs like "Be Thankful for what You've Got" the synthpads sound very dated and just straightdown corny.

Thankfully, Blue Lines works for the most part (and I'll just highlight the title song and album-closer, too) and as such it's still worth your money, but you should really listen to Massive Attack's albums in chronological order to follow and appreciate the incredible transformation that their music has undergone.
Listen to Blue Lines as a single album without any comparisons to other MA-material, and you'll be most satisfied!


On the Beach
On the Beach
Price: 5.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply immaculate. Another masterpiece from Neil Young, 1 Jun 2011
This review is from: On the Beach (Audio CD)
On the Beach is the fourth album I've listened to from Neil Young. Prior the this listening, I'd laid ear to the commercially successful Harvest, Everybody knows this is Nowhere and my personal favourite After the Gold Rush.
I'd read a lot about Neil Young's state of mind during the recordings of On the Beach, and as such I was prepared for something unsettling and depressing. My first listen, however, gave me another impression. At first it seems pretty light. Especially the opener sets an easy mood, and the immediate impression was that the album title seems fittingly enough.
After a few listens, my first impression was put to ground, and the many reports I'd read about it seemed truer and truer. Just take a listen to the last 3 tracks on the record (one of the greatest trio's of songs ever made).
The album is mostly very mellow and, in a way, weighty (On the Beach, Motion Pictures, Ambulance Blues) but also raw and aggressive (Revolution Blues, For the Turnstiles, Vampire Blues), and you get the idea that the opener is actually a diversion of sorts. A diversion to lull you into a calm state of mind to suddenly imprint a state of ambivalence instead.

As a lasting final note I'll recommend you all to give the album-closer, Ambulance Blues, a listen. If you put the fact that it is the singular greatest song of an immaculate album aside, it is also the greatest indicator of the kind of album it is. It's hard to point towards a single feeling, since it is the overall atmosphere of the album that makes it worth your money.
Of the 4 Young-albums I've heard this is my favourite, by far. After the Gold Rush was a great collection of songs. On the Beach is a thing on its own, something else, something completely atmospheric.
From start to end, this is one of the most pleasant listens I've ever lended my ears!


After The Gold Rush
After The Gold Rush
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 7.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After the Gold Rush IS a classic. Superior to Harvest., 21 May 2011
This review is from: After The Gold Rush (Audio CD)
Having heard Harvest prior to After the Gold Rush, I thought I'd heard what Neil Young had to offer. Boy was I wrong.
After the Gold Rush features some of Young's greatest folk music, as well as some really great rockers that are far superior to the rock songs on Harvest. There, already I've stated what is the real purpose of this review: After the Gold Rush is better than Harvest, by a mile... or two.
"Tell Me Why" opens up the album nicely. It's catchy, but absolutely not one of the best on the album. This immediately changes on the following song, also the title song, which is an extremely beautiful acoustic folk song. And this is where Neil Young really shines. The title song is not the only acoustic deserve-to-be-classic song on the album. "Don't let it bring you Down" and "Birds" are some of the asolute best songs, I've heard from Neil Young, and it is not difficult to see why the singer/songwriter-genre has turned out to be so popular since.
Neil Young seems to be the first singer/songwriter to really give this much of himself. It's deeply personal and the lyrics are simply masterpieces.
But Young doesn't stop here. Whereas most musicians and bands have trouble mastering only one genre, Neil Young shows that he is also a master of country-rock. "Southern Man" manages to keep the personality of his folk songs, but in a rock package with awesome country/blues-solos.

On the last notes, I'll encourage you all to start out by listening to Harvest (if you're new to Young), as that is Young at his most catchy and straightforward. But it's with Harvest's predecessor, After the Gold Rush, that Neil Young's talent and potential truly shines. A masterpiece, and after only a few listens, one of my all-time favourite albums.


Harvest
Harvest
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.94

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Neil Young best-seller, but not Young's best!, 21 May 2011
This review is from: Harvest (Audio CD)
Harvest was the first album I bought by Neil Young. I had the sense that it might be the best way to get into Young's music. And let me start out by saying: "I was right".
It's not hard to imagine why this album turned out to be Neil Young's commercially most successful, as this is some of his most immediately catchy music. Do I have to mention "Heart of Gold", "A Man needs a Maid" and the extremely raw and beautiful "The Needle and the Damage Done". The last being one of his all-time greatest.
The commercial success came due to the diversity of the songs. There are both rock'n'rollers/country-rock and classic Neil Young-folk (this diversity started on previous album "After the Gold Rush"), so whether you like a little danceable music or straightdown beautiful, acoustic music, you're likely to find it here.
However, the diversity is also the weakness of Harvest. Besides a few jaw-breaking classics, you don't get the feeling that Neil Young really gave as much of himself on this album as it was the case of his previous albums and the ever-so dark trilogy of his next albums. Instead it is clear that Young found out, on Harvest, what the masses really wanted... You decide whether this is bad or good (I know where I stand on this).
As such, Harvest is a great place to start, and should be one of the first of many Neil Young albums in your collection, but if you really want to get into Neil Young you'll be better off with, for instance, "After the Gold Rush".


Leftism
Leftism
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.67

4 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Highly Overrated, 18 April 2011
This review is from: Leftism (Audio CD)
Some music never get old, never seems dated. A few examples are Beatles' "White Album" and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon". Both albums have almost outlived me twice, but somehow the music still intrigues and engages the audience.
The same can't be said for the most part og music from the 80's. Just take a listen to early Depeche Mode and all other synthpop from the 80s. Synthpop really defined that decade, but it also had to end again, which it eventually did in the 90s.

All albums eventually have to be put in one of two categories: "Timeless" or "Not so Timeless". For me, Leftfield's "Leftism" falls into the latter. Generally praised as a masterpiece of the 90s, I really had no choice but buying the album and hear what all the fuzz is about.
For "Leftism", I actually think it would have been a huge advantage if I'd never known of the praise that it received. During the first listen I was disappointed. During the next few listen, even more so.
I'm sure that "Leftism" was a genre-defining album, falling in between Underworld's, Massive Attack's and Aphex Twin's universes. However, as with most genre-defining albums, the genre got better along the way. Except for a few songs/tracks on the album (mostly the album-opener and "Space Shanty"), the music seems dated, and to be honest, straightdown ridiculous and corny. There are a few good ideas, but most of the time it just sounds like a couple of dudes having fun experimenting with electronic music.

Instead of continuing my verbal insults (which are, most likely, exaggerated), I'll propose you all to give Massive Attack's "Mezzanine" and Underworld's "Dubnobasswithmyheadman" a listen. Those are timeless masterpieces indeed.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2014 4:19 PM BST


Innuendo
Innuendo
Price: 12.43

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some of Queen's best, some of its corniest., 29 Mar 2011
This review is from: Innuendo (Audio CD)
Prior to "Innuendo" Queen had done a fair amount of mediocre albums. I'd had only heard their most celebrated album, before I bought this. "One Night at the Opera" was simply majestic. "Innuendo" has its moments where it shines as bright as Queen's magnum opus, but also fails with a lot of the songs.
As with most of the band's material, their best songs are to be found on various Greatest Hits, as it is mainly the singles and most commonly popular songs that hit right on the spot. "Innuendo" is no different.
Songs like "These are the Days of our Lives", "Headlong", and the title track and "I'm Going Slightly Mad" especially, are all great tracks. And let's not forget one of Queen's absolute best songs ever, "The Show Must Go On", which is just majestic - more so, than most of the songs off of "One Night at the Opera".
However, there are also some of their worst fillers. Especially two songs are just hideous. These are the ever so corny "Delilah", and the awful attempt of feed-back yelling "Ride the Wild Wind". Those two songs completely destroy the picture of a decent album, so make sure to focus on the rest of the album.

All in all, a decent album, and a perfect closure to a remarkable, if flawed, career. And the post-humous knowledge of Mercury's state of health, makes the high points even more majestic.

3 stars


The Ravonettes: Whip It On
The Ravonettes: Whip It On
Offered by Japan-Select
Price: 28.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply put: The greatest EP I've ever heard, 28 Mar 2011
I'll start out by noting that I'm from Denmark, and that this won't affect my review of the danish duo's first EP.
I didn't quite know what to expect from them. Before "Whip It On" I'd listened to "Lust, Lust, Lust" and "Pretty in Black". Both albums sparkled in periods, but were also dragging along most of the time. The same can't be said for their debut EP. There's never a dull moment, and the music blasts away all through the 25 minutes.
The 8 songs are remarkably short, but this seems to be a very judicious choice from the duo. A longer running time would probably have made the EP forgettable since everything is recorded in Bb minor, and there are only something around 3 chords on each song. The first few times you hear the EP it'll be difficult to remember each song from one another, because of the same tuning throughout, but after just a few listens you'll be likely to have a lot of favourites from the record.
The vocal harmonies should also have a note, since the subdued whispers from Sune and Sharin flow perfectly together through the whole EP. There's not a weekspot on here, though some songs work better than others.

After "Whip It On" I took on their debut full-length album "Chain Gang of Love", which is just plain boring. "Whip It On" is to this date still The Raveonettes' greatest achievement, but what an achievement it is!


Swordfishtrombones
Swordfishtrombones
Price: 6.77

4.0 out of 5 stars First Jungle-jazz album., 28 Mar 2011
This review is from: Swordfishtrombones (Audio CD)
Tom Waits is one of the few artists who've simply (and only mostly) grown in talent from album to album. He started out making good records, but not particularly revolutionary. The first remarkable achievement of Waits' career is this album, Swordfishtrombones. I my title says, I would category this album as a sort of jungle-jazz mainly based around simple musical ideas and strange story-telling. There are many great tracks and some fine interludes. However, it is not without its fillers, and it is especially during songs where cylophones play a great role that Waits' true talents shine. Also his very characteristic voice is showing on this album. Not as raw as it becomes later on, but incredibly magnificent in his crude story-telling.
All in all, a perfect place to start, if you want to get to know Waits and his music.


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