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J. Taylor "chicoeldivo" (United Kingdom)

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Price: £5.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it! You won't regret it!, 3 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Trouble (Audio CD)
If you thought P!nk was trouble, you haven't seen or heard anything yet! Natalia Kills is the real deal - bad to the bone with bad relationships, bad choices, bad habits, bad language. Never has bad been so sexy. Her debut album should have been a worldwide hit but it was eclipsed by show-stealing Lady Gaga. Natalia Kills does pop in the same way as Gaga - with infectious melodies, thought provoking lyrics and exciting visuals. However, Kills turns it up to maximum. Always provocative -like Madonna, but less attention seeking. As she says in Boys don't cry, - "I'm over the limit? what is the limit really?" Even in her quieter moments, the subject is always thought-provoking; dark, gritty and street level.
Lead single, Problem, is outrageously sexy and catchy. It would be No1 but perhaps the video is too raunchy and the song too dark for top 40 which ultimately makes it a much cooler anthem than anything from the likes of chart girls like Ke$ha and Britney.
2nd single "Saturday night" is, contrary to it's title, a rather downbeat affair with a dark, electro hum which outlines the tale of a teenage girl trying to break away from the poor conditions she lives in and the destructive people in her life. Again, it should be a huge hit - up there with the hits by Lana Del Rey and Lorde.
The rest of the tracks are just as brilliant, attention-worthy and infectious. Personal highlights include the frenetic and sexy "Rabbit hole" (like Gwen Stefani amped up), the wildly addictive "Boys don't cry", the piano led ballad "Marlboro lights" and the riotous P!nk-like opener "Television".
All in all, this is an arresting and vibrant 2nd album from an intriguing and exciting artist.

Price: £11.78

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classy return, 13 May 2013
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This review is from: Forward (Audio CD)
Finally it's out! - the long awaited new album from Te Brand New Heavies. I haven't stopped playing it. Tracks like Sunlight, On the one and Lights have been ON REPEAT! At first I was very disappointed to see that long-time Heavies vocalist N'dea Davenport only featured on 3 (yes - 3!!) of the album's 14 tracks. I thought this album was going be another BNH and N'dea collaboration but clearly things changed along the way. It's hard because for a lot of fans, N'dea is THE vocalist for the BNH. For sure, she is the voice of their biggest hits and she fronted the band during their peak years in the 90s and again for the last big comeback in 2006 on Get used to it. The Brother Sister album is one of my favourite albums of all time, so I suppose I was wishing for a comeback album that would hit that golden standard. For me, the BNH + N'dea = magic. Preview tracks Sunlight and Addicted were misleading because although they feature N'dea on vocals, they don't represent the project as a whole. Aside from those 2 sterling collaborations, N'dea only features on one more track, Do you remember. On top of that, N'dea didn't show at the big Koko gig in Camden last week, so it appears at this stage that their on-off relationship is somewhat off again - which is a shame.
However, the music on the new album is b r i l l i a n t and I am very impressed. Of course, I love the N'dea tracks the most. "Sunlight" is the best! -A gorgeous, uplifting 7 minute slice of old school disco, which is as good as any of their classic hits like Dream come true. The first half of the album follows the traditional Heavies pattern with infectious instrumental funk workouts like the title track "Forward", the sparkling N'dea collaborations and the catchy Jan Kincaid sung "On the one". The 2nd half of the album introduces new vocalist Dawn Joseph. "Lifestyle" is warm and funky and the vocals are dreamy and smooth. However, my favourite Dawn track is "Lights" - with a gorgeous bridge that lifts up high before dropping down into a funky, retro chorus that harks back to the Carleen Anderson assisted Saturday nite. Then there's that classic Heavies sound again on the mostly instrumental workout "Turn the music up" -with the trumpets, the bass, the funky guitars and the repeated vocal line Turn it up, shake it down. Jan is back on the upbeat "Heaven" and the slower, dreamy closing track "One more for the road". I like Jan's vocals. The whole BNH experience is timeless and the Jan tracks are just as good as when he did Shelter. There is something for everyone here. The only tracks that I struggle a bit with are the Simon-sung tracks "The way it goes" and the reggae-fused "Spice of life". Its nice to see Simon step up to the mic :) but ... he's not a strong singer.
All in all, I LOVE the new album and the diversity of tracks. I haven't stopped playing it and I feel like it's going to be the soundtrack of my summer. Long live The Brand New Heavies!

N'dea tracks: Sunlight, Do you remember, Addicted
Dawn tracks: A little funk in your pocket, Lifestyle, Lights
Jan tracks: On the one, Heaven, One more for the road
Simon tracks: The way it goes, Spice of life
Instrumental tracks: Forward, Itzine, Turn the music up

The Answer
The Answer
Price: £3.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Josh Kumra + Russ Chimes = remix heaven, 29 April 2013
This review is from: The Answer (MP3 Download)
It amazes me how many brilliant tracks get released and fail to make an impact. This gorgeous new single by fresh new talent Josh Kumra deserves some attention. I came across his album in a store at the weekend and thought to myself, hmmmm this looks interesting. So I went home to do some investigating and found this amazing remix of The Answer by Russ Chimes. Just in time for the summer, it sparkles with snippets of warm vocals over tinkling piano shots, a sexy chugging bass beat and full on old-school house flavour. It reminds me of something that Maurice Joshua and the Chicago house masters did back in the mid 90s. I love it. Well done Record Company for commissioning some classy remixes to support this great new project from a talented new UK name. I also recommend the Wookie remix of Josh's earlier single, Waiting for you - and, of course, the sublime parent album, Good things come to those who wait.

The Art of Fielding
The Art of Fielding
by Chad Harbach
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't even think about - BUY IT and read it!, 21 Sep 2012
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This review is from: The Art of Fielding (Paperback)
I absolutely loved this book. I was completely hooked from the first page and the wonderful opening scene in which we see Henry Skrimshander through the eyes of Mike Schwartz. I loved the way the story is skillfully told and how the other characters are introduced and coloured in one by one. Finishing the book was so hard because I felt like I'd made some really good friends. I don't know the first thing about baseball but that didn't matter at all because the story is more about the human and emotional developments. It has a certain timeless quality; there were moments where I felt like it was in the 1920/30s but then a character would pull out his cell phone and I would realise that the story is set in the modern times. Don't even think about it: this is a MUST read - hugely enjoyable, soap-y and scandalous like a modern-day Peyton Place, exciting and thrilling during the baseball games - I loved it. Definitely my favourite book since The Time Travelers Wife.

Me Before You
Me Before You
Price: £3.32

5.0 out of 5 stars A total surprise!, 23 May 2012
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This review is from: Me Before You (Kindle Edition)
I thought this would be girly romance chick-lit and I guess it is - but I absolutely loved it. I was stuck for something good to read and this caught my eye. I really didn't think this would be my cup of tea but I fell into it so quickly and couldn't put it down. Which I see is what everybody else is saying too! I got my mum to buy it too on her kindle and we raced through it at the same time. I definitely recommend this to anybody looking for a good book to read this summer.

Words And Music By Saint Etienne [Deluxe Edition]
Words And Music By Saint Etienne [Deluxe Edition]
Price: £16.41

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUBLIME, 22 May 2012
This album is AMAZING! I've had it on repeat for 24 hours and I am in love with it. Every song creeps into the brain with a killer hook. Sarah Cracknell sounds so good! I love Track 1 - that was me too- Smash Hits! Record Collector! Posters on my wall! Can it really be that long since Saint Etienne cracked the charts with "only love will break your heart"?! The years go quickly but the music is always here. This is classic Saint Etienne - vintage modern. Soak this up and play this all summer - I will be.

The Best Of 20 Years
The Best Of 20 Years
Price: £6.97

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live the BNH!, 11 Jan 2012
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This review is from: The Best Of 20 Years (Audio CD)
Classic tracks! Timeless hits! This collection is 38 tracks of total listening pleasure! I love N'Dea Davenport and her voice here is a highlight but it's clear that the boys shine by themselves and also with the other vocalists like Sieddah, Carleen and Nicole. They have this raw, organic funky sound which you can't help but nod your head and shake your feet at.
The entire Brother Sister album was a classy masterpiece and it is represented here by about 8 tracks - all of which still sound as great as they did back then. Even my friends who don't have a clue who the BNH are, know their version of Midnight at the Oasis! But Fake and Dream on dreamer are just as good.
The Shelter album is also well represented. However, my absolute favourites are the early early hits like Dream come true and Stay this way - which have been on my playlists since 1990. This particular version of Dream come true is fantastic! But where is Never ever? If this is supposed to be the "fullest picture yet", then surely Never ever should be on here?!
There are also gems here that I had never heard before like the super smooth, funk meets hip hop stylings of Who makes the loot featuring Grand Puba and Soul flower featuring the Pharcyde.
I would have liked it if Surrender had been on here too - featuring Nicole. The totally under-rated album with Nicole is only represented by the brilliant Boogie. This just meant that I had to dig the album out in order to get my full fix and hear Surrender, the other single released from that album.
Overall I love how this collection mixes everything together and flips back and forth between the Heavies back-catalogue. Nothing sounds old; it all sounds as fresh and funky as the first time I heard it. I really hope that there is more to come from the Brand New Heavies and N'Dea but in the meantime, this (and, of course, a few live shows!) will make do.
Long live the Brand New Heavies!

Soul UK
Soul UK

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All aboard the soul train!, 13 Sep 2011
This review is from: Soul UK (Audio CD)
I absolutely love this CD! Beverley Knight has always been a class act but this project pushes her to another level. Well done Beverley! This is the music I grew up with. I loved the soul and dance shows on the local radio station on a Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. These were the tracks and acts who paved the way - and it is so good to hear these songs again and re-discover the magic. I love the way that Beverley has re-created the soul vibe of the 80s and 90s and added her own spirit. She sounds - and looks - better and stronger than ever. Her voice shines in every track but she never overdoes it. I love each and every track. Fairplay is a fantastic way to start and I love Jazzy B's little intro. I didn't know Southern Freeze but it's probably my favourite track here; an upbeat, funky party track. However I always loved Say I'm your number one by Princess and Beverley does it beautifully - unearthing an absolute treasure of a track. Infact, there are quite a few gems here that Beverley has dusted off and polished up nicely. The singles, Mama used to say -and Cuddly toy, have been given the female treatment which totally revamps the songs and lets us hear them in a fantastic new light. Both Roachford and Junior must be happy to hear their tracks sound so good. Jamiroquai too! When you gonna learn was such a strong message and a defining moment from Jamiroquai but Beverley makes it her own with a totally laidback and ultra-cool vocal. The music is Smooth and sexy. Hearing Don't be a fool makes me want to dig out all my old Loose Ends albums - such a good song! Round and round by Jaki Graham was one of my all-time favourite tracks from the 80s and Beverley's version brings it back to life with love, warmth and a sparkling piano; its an absolute joy to hear. It's a shame that most of these vocalists and acts aren't still around because they were all so good back in the day. I love how Beverley is celebrating her own career by shining her light on the artists before her. Music lives on - especially when it is recreated by somebody with so much talent and "soul". One day, somebody will do the same with Beverley's wonderful back catalogue. Most of the album is upbeat which is refreshing. It's great to hear Beverley so relaxed and happy. Then the ballads hit your harder - like the wonderful masterpiece Always and forever - and Damn, which starts off dreamy and quiet and turns into a powerhouse, soul/jazz extravaganza. The only track I'm not so hot for is her version of George Michael's One more try but there is no denying that Beverley sings it well. I am definitely going to buy tickets to see her live show. Beverley Knight goes from strength and strength. UK soul rules! This is a no-risk disc - Buy it, love it and spread the word.

Come and Get It [CD + DVD]
Come and Get It [CD + DVD]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £61.95

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachel Fever !, 26 Oct 2005
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Transformation complete. Rachel Stevens Version 2.0. Sure, "Sweet Dreams My L.A. Ex" was something different and exciting but this new album is chocker full of huge, catchy, first-rate pop tracks. Forget Rachel Stevens: Pop Singer. This is Rachel Stevens: Artist. Unfortunately most of Rachel's fan-base just won't get these kind of electro skewered, new-wave pop cuts and it's unlikely that this superb album will elevate her to the Kylie-level stardom that she deserves. It's a shame because the album is a complete success from beginning to end and showcases a very talented young woman. So, let good press, word of mouth and the club scene push this superb set to the more sophisticated listener. As the opening track states, this album is "so good" that the chart hits so far are not even the best songs. Check out the sultry "Funny how" and the fun, Shelley Poole-written "Je m'appelle Rachel"! Other highlights include the electro bubbling, Pet Shop Boys-sounding "I will be there" and the dreamy "Secret Garden". Vocally, Rachel is on top form; sounding clear, confident and better than ever. The irresistible "Crazy boys" is strong enough to be the next single, if the Record Company will allow. A personal favourite is the delicate "It's all about me" which instrumentally sounds like a glorious throwback to the heyday of The Cure. Don't be fooled by the pretty girl cover, this album has depth and power. It's up there in the top 10 of the year. Also try out the awesome debut by Shelley Poole.

Hard Time For The Dreamer
Hard Time For The Dreamer

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE, 5 Oct 2005
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Tracklist: 1 Hard time for the dreamer - 2 Totally underwater - 3 Little wonder - 4 Out in the open - 5 Don't look that way - 6 Anyday now - 7 If you will be pilot - 8 Lost in you - 9 Lose yourself - 10 Hope.
I was a huge fan of Alisha's Attic and jumped for joy when I read in Music Week of solo tracks by Shelly. Thankfully I didn't have to wait too long before I found tracks on iTunes. If you don't fall for album-taster track Totally Underwater -a dreamy, gently rhythmic extension of Attic material- then just wait until you hear the beautiful masterpiece of a lead single, Little Wonder. Other stand out tracks include the Jewel-like, heart-tugging Lost In You and the gentle, gorgeous duets with Jack Savoretti: Anyday Now and Hope. This is seriously good stuff. I can't stop playing it. I'm keeping an eye on the web site - - in the hope of live dates to support the set. Definitely for fans of Jewel (Pieces of you), Chantal Kreviazuk (Colour moving and still) and even Dido (No Angel). I defy anybody to not be touched by the beauty in these heart driven songs. Amazing! Highly recommended! Album of the month! Album of the year! Also: check out the exclusive b-side bonus tracks on the Little wonder EP on iTunes.
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