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In Absentia
In Absentia
Price: £6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Best thing I've heard this year., 7 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In Absentia (MP3 Download)
This is the best thing I've heard this year. (Not that it came out this year, I'm just a latecomer)

Everytime you think you've worked this band out, or you think you've sussed out their idea, or you think something doesn't really work, or they're about to overuse the same notion, or you think you've heard the jist of the song and are about to flick over.... they pull something new out of the bag.

It is a greatly produced album. All of the guitaring works really well, the little fills and riffs. It's such a densely packed album, I can't think of any fillers that are just a few chords to add breadth to the tracklisting. Everything seems to be a carefully thought out piece of artwork.

This band can do everything from a heavy metal riff to a ballad-like melody line, with intriguing lyrics and original concepts. Parts of the record sound like a new Pink Floyd, yet songs like Trains sound fresh from 90s Brit Acoustic rock.

This album should be up there, definitely, with the greats.

Nokia Asha 210 SIM-Free Mobile Phone - Black
Nokia Asha 210 SIM-Free Mobile Phone - Black
Offered by Technomobiles
Price: £43.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basically an iPhone without £500 worth of polish...., 7 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Firstly, the company were very efficient. It was dispatched on the day and although I was given expected delivery dates between 5th December and 15th December, it arrived on the 3rd....

As for the phone, I've been really impressed. It is absolutely jam-packed to the rim full of features yet for one tenth of the price of an iPhone (or equivalent top-end smart phone). Granted, these features are in a more rudimentary form, but actually this simplicity, efficiency, user friendliness and sheer value for money are fantastic in this modern age of technology. It seems to combine everything that is good about smart phones with everything that was good about the old style phones. If you plug headphones in you can use it as a radio and you can even use the handset as an internet modem! I haven't tried many of the apps, but it seems to come with some good games and plentiful applications (ebuddy, whatsapp, facebook, nokia nearby, internet, store, calendar, mail, gift, chat, voice recorder, converter, to-do list, notes, calculator, countdown timer, stopwatch....)
Just like old times you can select exactly what you want your shortcut keys to do which makes for rapid navigation of the phone. I was surprised at how nice the screen looks, although it doesn't quite go bright enough to stop it being a little bit annoyingly reflective in certain lighting conditions. I've also noticed this phone picks up phone/Wi-Fi signal in places my older BlackBerry cannot.
Although I haven't worked out how to connect it to one particular institution network (that has a few security layers) it did connect to my university network fine (which requires username and password). What REALLY surprised me was how easy and quickly it setup my microsoft exchange account, these accounts normally drive the user insane! I didn't think it would work, but it was straightforward and was successful first time around. However, although you can setup many e-mail accounts, you can only select one of them to automatically update itself every 15mins.
I have also been remarkably impressed by the camera. The quality seems good and it zooms for quite a long way. It even allows you to add effects or take a "selfie" by turning the camera around to face you and following the voice command instructions (presumably from some kind of facial recognition system within). You can also shoot videos and edit pictures, with frames and colours etc etc etc. [Something even my blackberry didn't allow]
The keyboard has gotten good reviews across Amazon, but it is actually taking me a little while to get used to, a couple of the keys don't feel positioned in their natural location.
Overall, the phone is built to a decent quality standard. It doesn't feel cheap, has a nice finish to it, although it does feel a little light and I wouldn't like to drop it too many times...
It seems to give you control over every tiny little facet, from font size and colour to home screen display, alerts, shortcuts and it also offers genuinely helpful tips along the way. The keypad is backlit too and comes with a dedicated facebook button to take you directly there. The battery life seems good so far (especially in comparison to modern smartphones) and inserting sim cards and memory cards isn't fiddly or tedious.
When you link it up to a computer via USB it's very straightforward (again, unlike a Blackberry). It allows you to access the memory card directly and you could probably use it as a USB memory stick if you wanted to.

My only negative comment about this phone is that it is slow. I think without a memory card the phone's internal memory would soon become a problem. I think it either has low RAM and/or a slow processor. There is certainly no quick flicking around apps, everything is definitely very purposeful and the phone can be quite unforgiving. It doesn't allow you to keep apps open in the background, once you close them they're gone.

Basically what this phone has proven to me, is that everything decent about a smartphone only costs about £50... iPhones are simply charging £500 for nice polish, an aluminium body and an excessive amount of features that you're being conned for. This phone really seems to have been made as if the company is on your side, and wanted to give you a fair deal and a good phone. It doesn't feel like they've tried to do you out of as much money as possible and then purposely left flaws in the device so you have to spend even more cash to be happy. It just comes in the box as a really user friendly device that is jam-packed to the rim full of features that should really embarrass those people who've spent £500 on a smartphone. This is definitely value for money. Don't get me wrong, you certainly get what you pay for, and you're certainly ONLY getting £50 worth of features here.... but any models too far above this are simply excessive. If you can cope with this, put the other £450 towards a holiday or something, you won't regret it!

The Endless River
The Endless River
Price: £8.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pink Floyd Sausage, 10 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Endless River (MP3 Download)
If Pink Floyd didn't already have their mammoth fan base, this album would get no further than being a soundtrack for Knight Rider. But these guys could sell their bottled burps and make millions. Much of this album sounds just like a previous song but with the vocals simply removed, like those instrumentals you can buy for karaokes. Although it does still sound pretty great.

It has been very well produced to a high quality that gives it a cleaner and much more modern feel than any other Floyd record.

Only the last song features vocals. It must be said though, Gilmour's voice has matured nicely. He sounds great in this track.

Kveikur [VINYL]
Kveikur [VINYL]
Price: £20.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you want from Sigur Ros. Plus a little you probably didn't expect., 7 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Kveikur [VINYL] (Vinyl)
If Sigur Ros were about to castrate you, the other albums gently coerced you into anesthetic, sympathetically talked you through the procedure, gave you counselling to quell any anxiety, and then removed your testicles without ever feeling a pinch.
This album, on the other hand, just momentarily distracts you before instantly chopping your balls off between two house bricks.

It is ruthless, it is daring and it is brave. Sigur Ros have dared to diverge from cushioning their needy fans with soundtracks to wildlife documentaries and have instead decided to follow the music. And it has worked really well.

This album is everything you want from Sigur Ros. And perhaps even something you didn't expect.

The Downward Spiral
The Downward Spiral
Price: £4.60

0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Most awful and overrated album of all time. Except for The Wall by Pink Floyd, perhaps., 7 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Downward Spiral (Audio CD)
I am actually angry that I have spent money on this album that I won't ever get back. I even expended some of my life listening to it.
It is one of the worst albums I have ever sat through, and certainly one of the most overrated.
Whatever he was trying to do, it didn't work - unless, that is, Trent Reznor aimed to write an hour of pointlessly pompous prose with vile lyrics that neither moved nor affected the listener. It was just noise. S***t noise.
And as for Hurt? Well, it's always impressive when somebody covers a song that may be considered better than the original. But on this occasion it was actually insulting how poor and unsatisfying the original was in comparison to the cover by a frail 70 year old man (Johnny Cash).
Do yourself a favour, whatever money you were going to spend on this album, don't put it into Mr Reznor's pocket. Burn it. That way, you're still £5 down but you've at least refused to financially support another album by this dire composer. He shouldn't be allowed within 3 miles of an instrument. Ever again.
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Why Genes are Not Selfish and People are Nice: A Challenge to the Dangerous Ideas That Dominate Our Lives
Why Genes are Not Selfish and People are Nice: A Challenge to the Dangerous Ideas That Dominate Our Lives
by Colin Tudge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it, 25 Sept. 2014
It took me a while to figure out what the point of this book was, probably because I kept putting it down for months at a time due to work commitments. But stick with it, the final chapter gives a strong conclusion that is powerful.
Tudge seems to guide us through many philosophical entities, asking many questions for which he goes onto suggest an answer before stitching it altogether in the form of a newly proposed foundation for future generations.

Untrue [Vinyl]
Untrue [Vinyl]
Price: £19.07

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good. But not genius., 23 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Untrue [Vinyl] (Vinyl)
I heard somebody say this has the atmosphere of a lonesome walk home on a dark night - and they're correct. Burial sets a good mood for you to get lost in for the following 50 minutes.
However, it isn't notably different to anything amateur musicians are producing on Soundcloud for free streaming. (At times, it's actually a little worse, I'd say).
It's literally just a string of samples stitched together on software.
Great, but not as ingenious as everybody makes out.

Unless you're a DJ who needs to use a turntable, I wouldn't bother buying this in vinyl format. Not only will it cost more and not only are there fewer tracks on the vinyl than the CD version, but the album was made using digital software which means the sound quality on vinyl is no better than digital/mp3 anyway.

Price: £12.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first book I enjoyed in a long time, 5 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Mushroom (Kindle Edition)
This author was brave. He knowingly set out to write a book that he knew many people would roll their eyes at and not take seriously. Furthermore, when most authors would have consequentially acted defensively and tried to counteract this by making the book a grey drizzle of scientific lethargy; Money refrains. Not only does he put across the (degree-level) science in a very approachable manner, but he also shows no shame in displaying his insatiable enthusiasm for all things fungal.
He stays true to their history in folklore and covers everything from their cultivation, medicinal benefits, recreational drug usage, science....and so on

A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon
A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon
Price: £7.46

4.0 out of 5 stars The closest we'll get into Shannon's mind, 30 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Although I found the "interview" style of this book a little less preferable to normal prose, it was a thorough book to say the least. The story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon is followed right from the beginning and most probably gives the closest insight we will ever get into the mind of one of rock's greatest voices.

Into the Wild
Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Took a life and lived it, 30 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
Ignore the negative comments claiming that Krakauer goes off-topic in order to raise his word limit. His deviations from McCandless' story are truly fitting and add breadth to the topic.
The story is a fascinating one, not simply because of the series of events at face value, but more the philosophy behind them; about life, freedom, society. Many people have a life, but they're not all 'living'...McCandless was certainly 'alive'.

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