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P. White "jimbeamgrendel" (Hants, UK)
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Oddity
Oddity
Price: £31.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Prog from a new star, 25 Mar 2014
This review is from: Oddity (Audio CD)
Had this hanging on my wish list for some time before receiving it as a birthday present and it proved to be the highlight of a batch of cds I got. If you like the Hackett era Genesis (think 'Wind & Wuthering'), you'll love this.

Opener 'Achilles' starts things off in style with a multi-part telling of Greek mythology with excellent playing by all parties (including Steve's brother, John Hackett adding flute into the mix). Rush style crashing chords and some wonderful displays of virtuosity from the drums and bass open up the album before settling into a piano and vocal melody which allows the bluesy guitar and soaring flute to lead the build-up. Carducci then weaves the tale through various narratives and styles before some great hammond soloing brings us to the eponymous hero being led by multi-tracked voices across the river Styx. Pretty much everything you'd expect from a prog epic.

'The Quind' is a beautiful track reminiscent of 'Ripples' or Kevin Peek's 'Starship Suite' with some truly soulful guitar touches. The bridge hints at the possible menace hiding in this fictional creature built from Quiet and Mind.

The oddity on 'Oddity' comes next in 'The Eyes Of Age' which at first listen seems to be a folksy little number at odds with the rest of the album. But again the playing and the twists and turns of differing time signatures help lift this into a great little number.

The album's centrepiece really comes with 'Alice's Eerie Dream'. It starts off as a straight-forward, balls-out rock track, again with great guitar work. Franck's voice may not be the strongest you'll ever hear but fits with other current prog singers such as Steve Thorne or Pendragon's Nick Barrett. In this context it works well and on this rocky number he puts in a stunning performance matching the blues-rock style. Part two leads us back into more proggy territory with school-girl recitations and lines lifted from Lewis Carrol's 'Jabberwocky' - was there ever a more prog poem? This is a real kitchen-sink type track even throwing in gospel-tinged vocals and handclaps before coming full circle. Superb.

Final track proper 'The Last Oddity' is a '2001' inspired number again with wonderful direction. The gentle beginnings lead into the much darker, bass-led second half (echoes of 'Echoes', perhaps) and the no-prog-album-should-be-without mellotron coming to the fore.

It says a lot about the overall quality that the weakest track on here is a great rendition of the classic 'The Carpet Crawlers'. Allowing the violin to take the spotlight brings a new dimension to probably the most covered of all Genesis tracks and it's a great new take.

Carducci is never shy of showing his influences and even credits them on the album including alongside the not so surprising members of Floyd and Genesis Billy Joel and Michael Jackson. Such breadth of interest shines through in the variety on offer here.

It really is difficult to fault this album. Occasionally, the mix may seem a little muddy but it lends itself towards an era and sound of classic prog.

Highly recommended.


Back On The Streets
Back On The Streets
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: £8.44

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic but skillfull, 13 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Back On The Streets (Audio CD)
I'd been waiting for this to be re-released for some time, having worn out my vinyl edition some years back (and having subsequently retired the turntable). It's very much a mixed bag but goes to show every aspect of Gary Moore's superlative playing. We get the full on-rocker (Back On The Streets), the balladeer )Song For Donna), the jazz-fusion maestro (Flight Of The Snow Moose, What Would You Rather Bee Or a Wasp)and the smoothest of blues in a none-better version of Thin Lizzy's 'Don't Believe A Word'. There's even the full throttle 'Hurricane', the tongue-in-cheek 'Fanatical Fascists' and, of course, the monster hit that is 'Parisienne Walkways'. With such a range of styles it would almost be too obviuous to say there is something for everyone but it does make for a slightly disjointed listen. The playing throughout is top-notch but could have done with being a bit more focussed. This would still be a 5 star album if it wasn't for the bonus material. Realistically it's only two songs and while both are excellent inclusions three versions of one just seems like laziness on the part of the compilers. Still, great album from one of the greatest.


The Ukulele Album  Deluxe Edition
The Ukulele Album Deluxe Edition
Price: £9.28

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not going to win any new converts, 8 Jan 2014
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Bought this as a present for my father (a ukelele apprentice and JB fan) and was then forced to sit through it. Joe has no voice to speak of and the production on this is just dire. Tracks like 'I'm Not In Love' leave you yearning for the original. Including 'When I'm Cleaning Windows' smacks of predictability and makes you wonder why they bothered. Trying to beef things up with a "rockin" version of 'Ace Of Spades' is ridiculous when Hayseed Dixie have been doing this sort of thing (better) for the last 15 years.
At this point, I had to leave the room.
Dad was happy with it so I guess that's what matters (although Mum is insisting it only gets played when she is out or hoovering).


Pac Man Arcade Candies
Pac Man Arcade Candies
Offered by Dandy Candy
Price: £3.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a disappointment, 8 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pac Man Arcade Candies (Misc.)
Much smaller than anticipated but they were a gift and made the young lady smile. For the price, I'd have expected something more.


The Silent Enigma
The Silent Enigma
Price: £9.99

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe everything you read, 1 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Silent Enigma (Audio CD)
I was initially excited when I received an email from Amazon alerting me to 'Anathema's New Album'. Excellent, I thought, although I hadn't heard of any imminent releases despite being on their mailing list. This, however, is NOT a new album. Instead, it is an album from their death metal era, all gloom and growly vocals. If you like their recent stuff (Weather Systems, We're Here Because We're Here etc) then you may be advised to give this one a swerve. If you want to investigate their back catalogue, Judgement is, to my mind, where it starts to get interesting and they lose the outright darkness in favour of more melody and a balance of light and dark.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2013 2:45 AM BST


Doctor Who - U.N.I.T Files (Invasion of the Dinosaurs and the Android Invasion) [DVD]
Doctor Who - U.N.I.T Files (Invasion of the Dinosaurs and the Android Invasion) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jon Pertwee
Price: £11.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Two of the best, 24 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've never been a huge fan of the Pertwee era but these two stories (one from him, one from Tom Baker) are both excellent examples of why the programme was so popular during this time. OK, the dinosaurs are dodgy and in the Android Invasion there are plotholes you could drive a Whomobile through but they are FUN with some excellent twists and great stories as a basis. The extras, too, make this one of the better efforts recently released by the Beeb so if you can pick it up (like I did) for about £13 grab it!


The Golden Gate (FF Classics)
The Golden Gate (FF Classics)
by Vikram Seth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.61

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the most surprising book you'll ever read, 2 May 2011
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I originally picked this book up from a library on a whim, thinking that it might be an interesting experiment. I then pretty much read it from cover-to-cover without stopping! Such is the fluidity of the verse and the beauty of the language that you cannot help but be carried away by the rhythm.
Not many books have the power to make you smile, think, laugh and cry but I defy anyone not to shed a tear as the final chapter begins.
I've now bought six copies of this owing to the fact that I keep telling people they should read it and then have to combat their scepticism by lending them my copy which I never see again.
This book really is a thing of beauty and should be essential reading not just for Seth fans but for anyone who enjoys the written word.


Twentieth-Century Spies
Twentieth-Century Spies
by Neil Root
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.44

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction, 3 Jan 2011
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I had previously read the author's book on the Ipswich murders and looked forward to reading this one, despite knowing little about the subject matter myself.

This volume has proved an excellent introduction to a selection of spies (made all the more relevant with the recent discovery of Russian spying rings in the US and elsewhere)and I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who's interest in spying may have been piqued by recent events - or even by the more fantastical Bond and Bourne stories. Well-researched and well-written, if there is a criticism it is that attempting to analyse the motives behind spies such as Mata Hari can only be speculative but the author has done well to look at the backgrounds and personal histories of the spies concerned to develop his theme.

All-in-all an excellent way to approach a variety of spies throughout the last century. Perhaps the publisher can persuade Mr Root to bring us up to date with the latest batch of Russian glamour-spy?


Cheat The Gallows
Cheat The Gallows

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW - Most exciting album of the year!, 16 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Cheat The Gallows (Audio CD)
I picked this up prior to the band supporting Dream Theater at Wembley and was simply blown away. The influences are quite blatant but so wide and varied that the complete smorgasbord delivers something totally unique. At times referncing Deep Purple, then the Beatles, then Lenny Kravitz, Zappa, Holst, The Doors, Arthur Brown, T Rex... It's almost like forty years of classic rock thrown into 50 minutes. From the opening track of 'The Gravest Show On Earth' you realise that you are in the prescence an insane ringmaster and superb musicians. The evil persona is brought to the fore on 'Blackball' followed by the superb 'Money, It's Pure Evil' (possibly a George Harrison number as done by Bon Jovi) and 'The Evils of Rock and Roll' which features some riffage that Judas Priest wouldn't feel ashamed of.

Highlights are difficult to pick out as there is no filler on this album. Every track works in a strangely modern 70's psychedelia way.

And if the epilogue doesn't put a smile on your face then you need to check your pulse!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 19, 2009 2:16 PM BST


Cold Blooded Evil
Cold Blooded Evil
by Neil Root
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.28

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent appraisal of a killer, 1 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Cold Blooded Evil (Paperback)
As a story that shocked millions and is still fresh in the minds of many, the author manages to retain a freshness and maintain the readers interest throughout. With access to chief investigators on the case, Mr Root has ploughed an intense furrow into the events which led to the arrest of Steven Wright with a style which lays the facts bare without taking the often easy route of criticising the police force at work.
An excellent presentation of a killer, his prey, and the men who must stop him.

Highly recommended.


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