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For My Friends [Us Import]
For My Friends [Us Import]

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So Relieved!, 21 May 2008
I'm going to try and not mention Shannon Hoon in this review.........ok, I'm not. It's impossible. Let's just say that the original members of the band have found the perfect replacement to Hoon if what they were after was someone that sounds so similar, that at times he sounds identical. Travis Warren was a Melon fan before joining the band and it shows with some obvious emotion creeping through during his singing and lyrics that Shannon would have been proud of.
The album itself is joy to listen to. I was so worried that this would be a complete anti-climax after such a long lay-off for the band. I was also worried that Hoon's absence from the song writing would damage the quality of it also, but that's not the case. What we have here is the perfect follow up to Blind Melon's debut album. For me, Soup took a huge swerve in another direction when I really wanted to hear more of the same after the first album. The band have maintained the sound and emotions that the first album conveyed, but have added a maturity to that, while Travis stamps his own authority over it.
There's a multitude of instruments to be heard amongst the depths of the songs, the lyrics are simple, catchy, but intelligent, the production is first class, but the high standard of the songs is what is pleasing the most. It's safe to say that there isn't a poor track amongst the 13. If you're looking for highlights it would be difficult to look past With The Right Set of Eyes, Wishing Well, Sometimes, Tumblin Down, Father Time & Cheetum Street........but some folk could argue the rest! If you're a fan, buy it. You'll be glad you did! If you liked the first album in particular, buy it! If you like rock with a singer/songwriter, southern feel to it, buy it.

The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars was because that would rank it up there with the debut and for me, that's reserved for true classics.

Notes On Sunset
Notes On Sunset
Price: £13.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised, 8 Mar 2007
This review is from: Notes On Sunset (Audio CD)
I received a mySpace request from Marc Pilley a few weeks ago and decided to check him out. After listening to a few tracks I came to Amazon and bought this, his most recent album. All lyrics and music are written by Pilley.

There's no doubt he's a very talented man. This album is the epitome of easy listening. The lyrics can be simple, yet intelligent at times and the same goes for the music. Hobotalk haven't really done anything new with this album, but there's little to fault them on either as the songs they've created are very good. At times I felt like I was reminded of Badly Drawn Boy, but a better, more consistent version with the album having a nice easy flow to it. If you could judge an album by it's album cover then this would be a perfect example. The scenario that's depicted on the cover is one of travelling on a train with the sun setting on a warm day somewhere in America, with you relaxed on board; and relaxed is what you feel listening to this.

Highlights from the album have to be Little Light, Half Your Life Away, Who Are You Now & On The Edge Of Nowhere.

Price: £12.62

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bookmarks - Add it to your Favourites!, 23 May 2006
This review is from: Bookmarks (Audio CD)
Quite simply this has to be one of the best albums I've bought this year. Amidst all the superstars to have released new material so far, it's refreshing to discover this work by, as yet unknown, Glasgow based singer/songwriter Roddy Hart. I strongly believe that had Roddy Hart been based in the U.S. that this album would be extremely popular already. But such is the difference between the respect of a talent such as Roddy Hart's in the U.K. compared to that of the U.S. that it may take a little while for this to take off. However, it can only be a matter of time before this album earns him rave reviews and hopefully some serious recognition.

Bookmarks is a wonderful album that flows well from beginning to end. There are shades of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty & Ryan Adams, to name a few, both in the lyrics & the music, but with Roddy's own style glazed nicely over the top. It would be difficult to pick one stand out track since there are so many, but some highlights have to be My Greatest Success, Flames, Suffocate, Rain in December & Home. In truth though, all of this album is equally outstanding with a brilliant range of songs from slow, quiet, intimate ballads, to folk-style tap-your-feet sing along rock. This all gives Roddy a chance to showcase his wonderful voice and to play a myriad different instruments.

Bookmarks also has some very talented people contributing to it's sound in the shape of a number of local artists, the stand out of which being another Glasgow based singer/songwriter; the talented Geoff Martyn. But the real showstoppers are the inclusion of Eddie Reader & Kris Kristofferson on selected tracks, which gives you an idea of how well respected as an artist Roddy Hart has already become.

I would strongly suggest you give this album a go, even if you've only toyed with the idea of it/had it recommended. You will NOT be disappointed!

Riot Act
Riot Act

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's about time!!!, 4 May 2006
This review is from: Riot Act (Audio CD)
This is simply the best thing Pearl Jam have created since their debut, Ten. It's just a pity that fans have had to wait so long for it. A couple of the songs on this album are reminiscent of tracks on earlier albums that are instantly forgettable, but considering Riot Act has 15 tracks, that's forgivable.

The majority of this album is exceptional, both musically & lyrically. There are some cracking and original guitar riffs, especially on 'You Are', 'Save You' & 'Get Right'. Not to mention some equally impressive solo work, for example, on the likes of single release 'I Am Mine'.

As for the lyrics; they are intelligent and at times inspirational. Something Pearl Jam have struggled to recreate on a regular basis since Ten. All in all, if you're a fan of Pearl Jam and have considered buying this album, but weren't sure, I strongly recommend it. If you're not a fan, but have fancied trying them out, this would be a good place to start outside of Ten.

The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking
The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking
Price: £5.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clapton transforms Waters, 28 April 2006
This is a cracking album from Roger Waters. I've only recently discovered it and I'm glad I did. His lyrics are standard Waters fare for this album, which means you'll get generally intelligent stuff, but with some, at times, daft sounding lines. Still, that's a minor gripe. The most impressive thing about this album is how his music is transformed by a change in guitarist. Now, I like David Gilmour. In fact, I think the man's guitar playing is magnificent, but Eric Clapton's lead guitar in the Pros & Cons of Hitch Hiking is stunning and at the same time, completely different from anything you'd associate Floyd or Roger Waters with. There is many a highlight on the album, but the most impressive thing about it is how Waters runs each track into the next so smoothly. Something the Wall failed at and the Final Cut almost had down to a tee had it not been for 'Not Now John'.

If you're a fan of Roger Waters or Floyd I'd recommend this without a shadow of a doubt.

On An Island
On An Island
Price: £9.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He's still got it, 13 Mar 2006
This review is from: On An Island (Audio CD)
This is one of those albums that grows on you. Initially I was quite disappointed, but after a few listens the album appealed a lot more. It's a Sunday afternoon album. Very relaxing. There's little doubt listening to it that David Gilmour's a happy family man. Husband, father & grandfather. He's content with his lot in life and it's reflected in this album at various points. The first couple of things that strike you about this album is how good Gilmour's voice remains. But that's overshadowed by his exceptional talent with a guitar. And that's what saves this album. If it weren't for his soaring guitar solos throughout, this would have been an album you'd rarely listen to. As it happens, Gilmour still has the ability to perform a solo that sounds like it fits perfectly within the song, but at the same time, without going overboard, even if it lasts for more than a minute or two.
On An Island starts well and the first half of the record is particularly good, especially the album's title track. Unfortunately it's let down by the poor second half, where the songs remain pleasing, but uninspiring compared to the earlier songs.
All in all though, this is good and proves (once again) that it wasn't just Roger Waters that had talent in Pink Floyd.

Tombstone [DVD]
Tombstone [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kurt Russell
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: £5.59

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm your Huckleberry", 9 Mar 2006
This review is from: Tombstone [DVD] (DVD)
If you haven't seen this film before, you're missing out. The story is brilliant on it's own, being based on part of Wyatt Earp's life. But what really grabs you is the performances of every single actor/actress in the film. Kurt Russell was made for the part. And so far I've yet to see him play a role as well as he does in this. And then there's arguably the star of the film, Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. His performance in this film is first class. He's completely convincing as the loveable rogue and again, I'm sure this was the part he was born to play. No point in me ruining the story here, but suffice to say that this is a classic.

Let There Be Rock
Let There Be Rock
Price: £9.91

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 9 Mar 2006
This review is from: Let There Be Rock (Audio CD)
I find it hard to believe that Back in Black & Highway to Hell seem to earn AC/DC more plaudits than Let There be Rock. I bought it recently and was more than a little surprised. Initially I wanted it solely for arguably AC/DC's greatest song, 'Whole Lotta Rosie'. I just wasn't prepared for how good the entire album is from start to finish. This is a rollercoaster ride of an album, that begins at the top and continues to gather speed until it's highlight, the aforementioned Whole Lotta Rosie. Fans of the band that haven't heard this MUST check this out. This puts Back in Black in the shade for me and is a far more "raw" rock & roll album than Highway to Hell. A stunning album!!!

Offered by westworld-
Price: £19.98

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Yet!!!, 6 Mar 2006
This review is from: Mafia (Audio CD)
Black Label Society have hit their peak with Mafia and here's hoping they can keep up this level for years to come. What Zakk Wylde's done with this album is simple. He's created a a hard rocking, true heavy metal, head banging album that most "Hard Rock" bands around these days would be jealous of.
The opening track 'Fire it up' sets the tone of the album. Cracking riffs, crunching bass & drums & trademark Zakk solos throughout mean you can't help love this. It's not all heavy, non-stop action though. There's the usual Zakk ballads in here and also a fitting tribute to the late Layne Staley of Alice in Chains. As great as the tracks are on this, if you can get your hands on the version that includes the bonus track 'I Never Dreamed' as the last song, you'll discover one of Zakk's greatest ever songs, which includes 2 guitar solos, the second of which could be the greatest since Lynard Skynard's 'Free Bird'. Fans of Zakk Wylde/Black Label Society will love this. Fans of true Heavy Rock/Metal will love this.

Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
Offered by Click4entertainment Limited
Price: £57.95

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple: This is a classic., 2 Mar 2006
If you're a person that has little patience, don't buy this game. If you're a person that likes to stick the disc in the machine, start a game and get straight into the action, don't buy this game. If you're a person that likes platform games with quirky characters or always buys the latest releases because everyone says they're good, don't buy this game.
Shadow of the Colossus (SOTC) is a landmark in gaming history. It is "nothing" like any other game, ever, period. It's clear from the mixed customer reviews that this game will be a cult classic as opposed to just a classic in the sense of the GTA series. Which is a shame, because all the effort that went into making this game means it deserves to be a true classic. This is intelligent gaming at it's finest. This isn't a hack & slash, tap the buttons as often as you can to win, try a 312-button-combo to beat the bad guy, pick up the best weapon there is to ensure victory type of game. No. This game captures your imagination like few others. Give this game time and it'll fill you with wonder. The landscapes you traverse in this game are truly magnificent and no other game in the history of the PS2 has ever created anything as remotely impressive as this and probably never will. SOTC pushes the boundaries of the PS2 to it's very limit. Part of the game is about travelling in this virtual world and hunting down the location of the Colossi. It's about enjoying the quirks of your horse, Agro and being amazed at how a computer generated image like this can seem to have such a lifelike personality. It's about being captured by the storyline and wondering where the end is headed (and believe me, the ending is fantastic). But at the end of the day, it's about the Colossi. Each one is the equivalent of a lesser games' end of level boss. Seeing them instils a fear in you. And bewilderment. You wonder how you can possibly defeat something their size. And you know what? Even though you might spend time working it out, once you do you'll soon realise that the answer to defeating them is utterly simple. And because of the amount of thought behind killing the Colossi, when you actually manage it, there's a great feeling of accomplishment. I don't want to give too much of this away, but needless to say, this is the best game I've played in years on any platform. Only the GTA series comes close in terms of scale and enjoyment, but make no mistake; Shadow of the Colossus is one of a kind. Love it or hate it.
(There's cracking secrets to unlock....if you stick with it)

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