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Andromeda Descendent (Tarn Vedra)
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Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling
Price: £8.49

5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing musical experience, 2 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lindsey Stirling (MP3 Download)
I have to thank Microsoft for posting a link to the Shatter Me video on the Xbox Live dashboard, because it led me to watch some of Lindsey Stirling's videos and now I have bought both albums. I'm going to review both at the same time if that's alright. I know doing that is slightly unconventional, but my reason for this is that if you like one album, you will like the other album too.

I like contemporary violin music and I like EDM and dubstep. I've heard electronic music mixed with violin before but I didn't realise it could be done as well as this. I've always been a bit odd in believing that violin music sounds better with a beat behind it, but I have never heard it done as well as this before. I've been playing both albums loudly and often, because I find them extremely uplifting.

The track Shatter Me is unique amongst these tracks as being a rock song, and it's one of two tracks on the Shatter Me album which have a vocal. Featuring Lzzy Hale, it's a powerhouse of a track, and I recommend you see the video for it as well because it's amazingly good. The other guest vocal track, We Are Giants, might be an acquired taste. The eponymously titled first album has one semi-vocal track, which Lindsey sings herself.

Putting the track Shatter Me aside, as it stands in a league of its own, where Lindsey Stirling is at her best is with the instrumental tracks, and in this respect both albums are worth buying. The electronic production is definitely more polished on the second album, but the songs on both albums are great and there are some astonishingly good tracks on the first album, such as Zi-Zi's Journey and Crystallize, which you would miss out on if you just bought the most recent one.

At time of writing this, the second CD is available through import only, but that may well change in time, as the first one is readily available if you prefer physical over download.

Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good cover track by a cover band? It happens occasionally., 2 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Radioactive (MP3 Download)
If I can admit it here, I like this version more than the original. Pentatonix would appear to be a cover band, and I normally look down on cover bands, but I was brought to this song through its link to Lindsey Stirling, who plays violin on the track, and I really like it for what it is.

The production and vocals are well done, so it's not your usual cheap cover band knockoff.

Midnight (Giorgio Moroder Remix)
Midnight (Giorgio Moroder Remix)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A hidden gem, 2 Jun. 2014
I bought this from the other main online music store, but thought I'd write a review as I can't believe no-one has reviewed this yet.

I love Coldplay's new album, and Midnight is a great track, but I love this version too. Mixing legend Giorgio Moroder (yes he of that Daft Punk track) has put his own spin on this and added some extra lyrics in French. It's not one of those throwaway remixes that tend to accompany some non-dance tracks and make you say "what the… have they done to this song" – it's a genuinely creative take on the song. The short preview you get on here or "the other main online music store" doesn't do it justice – you could do yourself a favour by listening to it in full.

BT Youview+ Set Top Box (500Gb) Recorder with Twin HD Freeview and 7 Day Catch Up TV - no subscription
BT Youview+ Set Top Box (500Gb) Recorder with Twin HD Freeview and 7 Day Catch Up TV - no subscription
Price: £149.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressed with this, 2 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
TV on demand has really taken off recently and, like many people, I've tended to watch iPlayer, 4OD and the others on my computer, although I have a Blu Ray player that does this as well. The questions most people will want me to answer here are, is it fast to load, is it reliable, is it easy to use, and on all three counts that's a yes. The unit is surprisingly small, which is impressive as it also records Freeview television channels – two at once if you want – and allows you to pause and rewind live TV. Another major question – does it record and play back programmes in HD – yes it does.

The interface is very well thought out and really easy to navigate. There is a TV guide that allows you to set record on programmes either as a one off recording or a series record. I tested this with a few programmes. I was pleased to discover it not only notices when programmes are scheduled at different times each week, but it will also series record programmes that are obviously the same programme, but have different titles, such as the Fast Show Special Part 1 and Fast Show Special Part 2.

There are a number of useful settings, such as the low power mode which has the only minor inconvenience that it takes about a minute for the interface to load up when you press the standby button. That's nothing if you're out at work all day and want, and who wouldn't, to save some electricity. If you turn this setting off it will load immediately but consume more power when idle. You need it to be turned on or left off under the higher power setting if you want to use aerial loop through to a television.

The remote control has both a subtitles button and a button for audio description. The only thing I found confusing was the placement of the 'back' button so close to the down arrow, so for the first few days I kept cancelling what I wanted to do by accident. I've now got used to this though and don't make that mistake so often. One more puzzling thing is that you can lock programmes so they don't auto-delete once watched, but if you try and delete a locked programme it will let you do so just as easily as an unprotected one, only changing the usual warning message to "do you want to delete this locked recording?". Those aren't issues you can't learn to work around, so you can see I'm struggling to find any negatives for this review. In short, this player really is a great device. I'm not on BT broadband, so can't say anything about access to BT channels, but – just in case anyone was wondering this – you can watch the Freeview on demand channels through a non-BT broadband connection.

Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Now this is more like it!, 1 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Satisfy (MP3 Download)
I was starting to wonder where the big bass had gone in the charts. Evidently this track had sucked it all up like a black hole before it and is now releasing it in one massive explosion (okay, I know black holes don't do that, it's only hyperbole).

Nero are showing everyone else just how it's done and this deserves to be number one and I'm sure it will be.

Unrepentant Geraldines
Unrepentant Geraldines
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £16.34

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special edition is ABSOLUTELY worth the money, 1 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Unrepentant Geraldines (Audio CD)
Tori's music is very special to a lot of people, and it's not an over-exaggeration to say that if you are a fan of Tori Amos each new album is greatly anticipated. One of the reasons for this is that she's one of those rare people who stores up experiences – be they personal, discovered through conversations with people, or experiences of literature and art – and is able to weave incredible songs out of them, each of which tells a story that perhaps has never been told in such a way before. Where some recording artists seem after a few albums to lose some of the inspiration that made them their names, Tori's own life experience continually gives her new inspiration. Each album is an album that her younger self may not have thought of creating.

Approaching 50 as she wrote this, she explains in the special edition DVD that a number of songs on this album are about the things you think about when you get older, and her relationship with her teenage daughter Tash has also influenced her writing as it's given her another perspective on youth and how society's expectations influence us at both these stages of our lives.

I won't go through the tracks in turn, as there'll already be reviews on here doing that and I want to focus on the special edition, but I do want to say that although there's none of the rawness of earlier albums, this, to me, feels like a classic Tori album in several meanings of that word. There are real echoes of Night of Hunters in the way the music almost sounds in parts like classical music, there are some very haunting moments across the album, and there are songs here that will, I think, win over the sub-set of Tori fans for whom nothing is ever going to be as good as the first two albums (particularly the single Trouble's Lament and piano-led songs Selkie, Oysters and Invisible Boy).

The special edition CD comes with a great extra track that is not available for download as of yet. Whilst I love the track Invisible Boy, Forest of Glass to my mind makes a much better final track. Whilst I also love the other two extra tracks only available on digital download, this track seems to me like an integral part of this album and I am very surprised it doesn't come with the standard version. If you're intending to get the standard CD then please stop and have a think about this first, or at least look out for when they hopefully make this track available for separate download, because once you hear it, you may also think this album missing a piece without it.

The accompanying DVD has the following features and run times:

Trailer 2:21
Interview 31:32
Studio Tour 5:35
Photo Shoot 3:44

The interview is one of the most illuminating Tori's ever recorded for an album. She explains the meaning of the album's title and gives an explanation of each of the songs in turn, giving a lot of insight into why the songs were written, her views on the America the world doesn't see, her relationship with her daughter and even her thoughts on the recent controversy about spying.

NOCO Genius Smart G3500UKCar  Battery Charger
NOCO Genius Smart G3500UKCar Battery Charger
Price: £38.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect charger, but please increase instruction text size, 22 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A car battery charger is something that most of us eventually end up needing. Had I known half a year ago that you could get chargers that can restore batteries to their original capacity, I probably would have bought this at the time rather than an expensive new battery. Getting a new battery gave me peace of mind, but being able to connect this device up and make sure the charge level's good between long journeys also gives me peace of mind – and I imagine it'll come in very handy in the winter.

The unit is well made and has lights to show you the charge level at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. It works with small and large batteries – 6v or 12v; 3.5A or 9A; wet cell, gel cell or spiral wound batteries – and has a mode for charging in the cold (32F/0C). The unit has a standard plug on one end and a connector on the other, which connects to one of two separate pieces – one being red and black eyelet connectors and the other red and black clamps.

The small booklet that comes in the box is excellent in terms of the information it gives you. It gives safety precautions, explains the different modes and how you'd use them, explains in clear language how to go through all the steps from preparation through connection to disconnecting, describes exactly how the charging process works and gives a table listing charging times. It's everything you need.

The problem is that the booklet is so small you can literally hide it in the palm of your hand. Because of this, the writing is incredibly small. I have good eyesight, but if your eyesight is less than perfect, you're going to struggle. I would have preferred a fold-open instruction sheet I could laminate for future reference. The back page of the booklet does say there's a user guide online though, so I will be going on there to print it off at a larger text size. Part of me feels I shouldn't have to do this where a product that could hurt you if used incorrectly is concerned. It does feel to me like the small size of the booklet is a cost cutting measure that could have been paid for by omitting some of the excessive layers of packaging.

Ravensburger Medieval House 3D Puzzle, 216 Pieces
Ravensburger Medieval House 3D Puzzle, 216 Pieces
Price: £17.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ravensburger's most "traditional jigsaw" 3D model to date, 14 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There is now quite a selection of Ravensburger 3D jigsaw puzzle models to choose from, and the quality gets better all the time. Some of the models that are based on real life buildings are great fun to put together, but don't offer that most basic of challenges that defines a good jigsaw - the need to scrutinise ever single piece because every piece is unique and will only match up with its neighbours. This house is not based on a real house , so the artist has been free to put in an incredible amount of variation and detail in terms of plants, outdoor furniture and window boxes. Each face of the house looks different, and with its red plastic roof it really stands out from a distance.

If you're unfamiliar with Ravensburger 3D jigsaw puzzles, you may not realise that each of the jigsaw pieces is made from plastic, so it's very durable, and some of those plastic pieces have hinges so you can bend them to form the corner pieces. Each piece is numbered, so if you get stuck or are unsure you have made the right match, you always have the option to turn over the pieces and look.

The only non-plastic piece is the cardboard base, but even this is good quality. Something new to this puzzle, which may well have come from feedback from customers of the earlier models, is the ability to clip the model firmly to the base using plastic studs, so it doesn't come off when you pick it up. The finished model is so sturdy, I decided to use it as a storage case for a few lightweight keepsakes.

It also looks really good on a shelf alongside the Ravensburger Windmill 3D Puzzle (216 Pieces).

What You Do Best
What You Do Best
Price: £0.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could be worth watching out for?, 13 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: What You Do Best (MP3 Download)
I've played this free song a few times now and although I found it a slow grower, I kept coming back to it. It may not be enough to make me actively seek out their album, but it's enough for me to remember them and I may pay attention in the future. They remind me a bit of Kaiser Chiefs, and the song is good, but it stays in its comfort zone a bit too much. A bit more risk taking might have encouraged me to look further at their work.

Dixie (Amazon Exclusive)
Dixie (Amazon Exclusive)
Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tori and a piano, 13 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm in music heaven today, having discovered two free tracks from artists I love. Digsy's Dinner (Live Gleneagles June '94) by Oasis and this Amazon exclusive track from Tori Amos, whose new album Unrepentant Geraldines should be coming through my letter box imminently. Unless I'm wrong, this song won't be on that album so if you're a fan, like me, grab it quick before the offer expires.

This is one of Tori's softer reflective ballads, and it's a really lovely song. I totally agree with M Dowden and "A customer" where they say in their reviews that it's haunting and stays with you long after the song has finished. I've listened to it once before wring this review - just once - and I could recite it to you right now without having to have a second listen. Yes, it'll be those two songs by Tori and Oasis that I'll be listening to until, hopefully, Tori's album comes through my letterbox tomorrow.

If you need any further reason to download this, it's Tori and a piano and that's a combination more magical than any other singer-songwriter and their instrument that I know.

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