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Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Bakeware 2lb Loaf Tin
Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Bakeware 2lb Loaf Tin
Price: 12.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth paying that extra!, 27 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great results; delicious tea breads and loaves. It is very easy to clean too. I Would definitely recommend to bakers.


Reamde
Reamde
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight fun, 11 Feb 2013
This review is from: Reamde (Paperback)
Firstly, this is essentially a standard thriller with a few extra twists. The impression on finishing it, is that NS wrote it on his hols for fun. Unlike most of his work, it is undemanding, generally well-written but unlikely to leave a strong impression. The title is slightly misleading as it implies a nod towards geek literature that many of his readers (myself included) enjoy. This element disappears quite quickly and you are left was a gun chase around the world. If I had bought it to treasure and mull over each paragraph, then I would be disappointed and probably give it 3 stars. However, I bought the paperback to read whilst recovering from an operation (alternatively a long flight read). In this context it served its purpose as a long easy read which I thoroughly enjoyed (even though the ending rambled on) hence the 4 stars. It isn't memorable and for the first time I won't re-read a NS book. He reminds me in a way of Iain (M) Banks, alternating between lightweight and heavyweight. Lets hope the next book is a heavyweight!


Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray Car Charger UK Seller
Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray Car Charger UK Seller
Offered by Terrapin Accessories
Price: 0.99

1.0 out of 5 stars how long is your journey?, 13 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you want to charge your phone on a journey from Land's End to John O'Groats this might be worthwhile, I found however it charged at a rate of 1% per 1/2 hour. So, a waste of time.


Armed Forces
Armed Forces
Price: 7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars anti-pop, pop songs, 7 Sep 2012
This review is from: Armed Forces (Audio CD)
For me, Punk was defined by thrashing about on instruments and snarling alot without ever saying much. It seemed to die quickly because the "New Wave" scene arrived. This music was often fast, usually well-played and the lyrics had bite. One of the great exponents of this scene was E.C. and The Attractions. This, for me, was the moment when the band perfected their music. The lyrics are very sharp, spikey and clever. Often negative and dismissive of a society that in 1980 was sliding into self-interest and greed (sounds familiar?). What lifts this album above the norm, is the brilliant playing by The Attractions. The music at times is almost insanely chirpy and pop-driven. I have to confess, it is only in recent years that I have really appreciated how clever this album was. If you aren't keen on E.C.'s voice put it to the back of your sound and listen to the music, whilst reading the lyrics! After this album, for me E.C. became too clever and the albums remained inconsistent and flawed whilst the contribution of The Attractions waned. In some ways he re-discovered his skills when recording King of America, ironically without The Attractions. No doubt, it is easy to pick up this CD for a fiver. If you do, keep listening to it: sooner or later it click and work for you. If there is one album that captures the impending doom of the 80's this is it, and yes I was there, and the live concerts were amazing!


Taking Some Time On: The Parlophone-Harvest Years (1968-73)
Taking Some Time On: The Parlophone-Harvest Years (1968-73)
Price: 18.79

4.0 out of 5 stars A definitive collection of BJH phase one., 2 May 2012
One day, BJH will be truly recognised for their contribution to British experimental music from the early 1970's. When they moved to Polydor, their output was rather mixed as they tried to move towards a more mainstream sound. They then broke through in Europe and it felt like that influenced their output. Before all that, they began life on the Harvest label and to me, that is where they made their most lasting music. Presumably, this collection is called "The Parlophone Years" as they had already released a box set called "The Harvest Years". This is however, more comprehensive as it includes all their studio albums with Harvest and extras as live sessions with a few bits and pieces. The distribution of tracks has been done in chronological order. This results in the albums being spread across more than one disc: the primary victim being the first album. I assume that the argument against this is that with transfer to ipod's etc you can play around with orders etc anyway. It does seem a bit odd though. The music itself, is awash with sound, with the Mellotron being influential on a number of tracks. Sound and lyrics often alternate between a dark and oppressive sound (Dark Now My Sky or Song for The Dying) and quite powerful uplifting songs (Brother Thrush or Good Love Child). Each of the albums have their highlights and each will also have a track you will dislike: that is the nature of the sound they were trying to create. Overall though, for approx 15 you get 69 tracks from a groundbreaking band that don't deserve to be overlooked. Apart from the sequencing of tracks, the only other gripe is the "token gesture" of a booklet. A comprehensive set like this deserves more than a brief rehash of old info and the odd picture. Alas, Mel and Wooly have now passed away: whilst not recognised in their lifetime, they were very good musicians in their own right. Hope you buy it...and enjoy it, but it may take a few listens!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2012 9:39 PM BST


Crest Of A Knave
Crest Of A Knave
Price: 4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated rock album, 23 April 2012
This review is from: Crest Of A Knave (Audio CD)
By the time Tull released this album, they had been drifting for some time. "A" and "Under Wraps" had alienated previous fans (like myself) who had moved on to other groups/musicians. So, when I heard "Steel Monkey" as a single it wasn't immediately recognisable as a Tull track. Intrigued, I bought the album and loved it. Crest of a Knave, to me, is a straightforward rock album with transatlantic appeal but still with a hint of Tull's roots blended in. Steel Monkey is a tight well-played, radio friendly track with Barre and Pegg playing flat out. Farm on the Freeway is a slow reflective track about the battle between progress and tradition. Oddly, considering albums like Heavy Horses, hearing Anderson sing about freeways and pick -up trucks is a little weird but the music is easy and reflective and allows for a bit of flute work! Jump Start goes back to Steel Monkey in style, and again is an easy-on-the-ear rock track. Said She Was A Dancer and Budapest are very similar tracks, with similar lyrics and styles enabling to Barre and Pegg to express themselves. Both are quite long story-telling. The next track (Mountain Men), in many ways, is the closest to Tull house-style music. Sung with more passion and building slowly from a thoughtful start to a hard tight sound: constantly on my playlists: for me the outstanding track. Raising Steam is a joyous finale: almost sounding as if Ian Anderson was satisfied and relieved with the final product! The above track sequence was how the original album was released, with side A ending with Said She Was. On the CD, "Dogs" is inserted at this point. That makes sense in that you separate the two similar ballads. As an offering, it is certainly a JT track, and easy on the ear. The other inserted track, is The Waking Edge. Firstly it breaks the flow from Mountain Men into Raising Steam, which worked well on the original. Secondly, it's not particularly memorable. Personally, I skip it. Lyrically, overall it is not as quirky as previous offerings, and at times it tends towards the cliched rock image but musically it is strong. The albums that followed, tried to repeat this formula. In my mind they were poor imitations. If you like classic complex Tull, this won't appeal. If you want a quality Rock offering, this album ticks the boxes.


Thick As A Brick 2
Thick As A Brick 2
Price: 15.07

4.0 out of 5 stars A little bit of everything, 16 April 2012
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This review is from: Thick As A Brick 2 (Audio CD)
I cannot begin to imagine what you would make of this album, if you were not already a Tull fan and knew the middle phase of Tull's offerings very well. The purpose is simple: What Happened to Gerald? The reality is that whilst the key to the album is linked to TAAB, the music of this album is more closely aligned to the albums that followed it. If you know them well, you keep hearing snippets of Passion Play, Warchild in particular with heavier sections seeming more like Stormwatch and Rock Island(as well as namechecking Locomotive Breath). Possibly that is where the album may have difficulties as only fans of all of Tull's phases will enjoy all the tracks. Personally I like the "main" tracks but struggle with the short spoken word links, as they remind me of "The Hare who lost his spectacles" (which personally I feel ruined a good album and on the CD can't be skipped). So, musically it is enjoyable but not better than the original. Lyrically, not as obtuse as the original...but I don't know if that is good or bad!! It sits well, if you like those "middle" albums...but if you don't know them I would recommend you get them first before buying this one. Finally, I am going to one of the shows for TAAB2, and suspect it will perform well, I do wonder if it was written primarily with the live shows in mind, rather than as a studio album


Fighting [Deluxe Edition]
Fighting [Deluxe Edition]
Price: 15.35

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album but "deluxe" is debatable., 21 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Firstly, the image currently being shown on Amazon is not the cover used. It comes with the traditional alleyway image. The album itself, contains some of the best songs Lizzy ever did (Rosalie, Suicide, Wild One). Importantly though, they are accompanied by a strong set of stand out tracks. "Spirit Slips Away", "Silver Dollar", "Freedom Song" are all superb rock songs that still sound fresh today, helped by the fact the group plays together and appear comfortable with each others' contributions. "For Those Who Love To Live" and "King's Vengeance" are standard Lizzy-style songs. The one track that sounds weak is "Fighting My Way Back". The apparent aim of the album was to make the group sound harder, and this track (presumably meant to be the title track) comes over as forced. Lynott's singing is harsh and the sound seems as if the band was trying too hard. Ironically, they got it spot on, in terms of heavy rock, with the last track: "Ballad of a Hard Man". Overall, the sound is clean (but my vinyl copy had a good sound too)so if the original CD release had poor sound, you'll appreciate this upgrade. Now to the second CD. 15 tracks, but: 3 tracks are already available on the excellent BBC sessions (if you don't have this buy it); 1 track "Rosalie" is the U.S. album version (It sounds inferior and muffled); 5 tracks are instrumental versions of different tracks, which is mildly interesting but Lynott's voice was key to the overall song so you probably won't listen to them that often. Half-caste is excellent, but the BBC version is better. You then get some tracks added in rough mixes/different versions. Not being a Lizzy expert, I'm not sure why they are included here and (frustatingly) there are no clues in the booklet. So,I personally don't feel the second CD adds much. Final curio: on the back of the packaging there is a photo of Lizzy staring down at the camera, whilst leaning against a wall. It could have made a great cover photo (rather than the crude weapon photo)and is a little reminiscent of the Ramones cover that appeared a little later. Summary: great album, no fillers but not sure if the "deluxe" aspect is worth it...and if you don't have the BBC sessions, buy it: 2 genuinely good CDs.


King Of America: The Costello Show
King Of America: The Costello Show
Offered by music_by_mail_uk
Price: 25.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The peak of his career., 1 Mar 2012
When I first bought this album back in 1986, I like many Costello fans, took a while to get used to it. In some ways it seemed like another experimental album, far removed from the "in your face" sound of Armed Forces. Trust and Almost Blue had indicated that Costello was dabbling in other styles but that was all. However, this time the lyrics are arguably the best he ever produced on one album. Often, very perceptive and incisive without some of the almost excessively cruel approach of earlier and later lyrics. This was then married with often understated music, which enables the mood of the album to become balanced. In later albums, this harmony was lost, which is why I rarely, if ever, listen to them. The other interesting point is that fans of this album tend to like different tracks. For me, Sleep of The Just is incredible and perfectly illustrates the above points: gentle melancholic music, powerful lyrics with strong imagery all delivered in a sad and almost apologetic fashion. American Without Tears, is lyrically sad, poignant and a succinct tale delivered with upbeat music that is the perfect balance. I'm not sure the remastering has added much to the album, I'm not sure the album needed tweaking anyway. The bonus CD similarly doesn't do alot for me, as this is a genuine studio album that hasn't necessarily performed well live. 5 stars for a great album, that needs many listens to be fully appreciated...pity about the subsequent offerings.


Hotel California
Hotel California
Price: 6.76

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A marmite album?, 10 Feb 2012
This review is from: Hotel California (Audio CD)
How do you explain the appeal of an album like this? You love it or hate it. If you grew up with it, maybe because in 1976 the british music scene was about to be turned upside-down and battle-lines were drawn. Punk/ New Wave or ageing hippy stuff. Well I liked both, and from memory so did many others who possibly didn't want to admit it. Britain was going nowhere fast and things were stagnant in most aspects of society. So you could escape through the anarchic music that was appearing but also cling to the fading warmth of the american west coast image. California was, in the mid seventies (for most brits), a fantasy dream of wealth warmth and danger. This is were Hotel California kicks in. The music is both pop-driven and more complex than people give it credit. The lyrics counter-balance that, with a light condemnation of californian life. The whole package is a bit dis-jointed and yet...it seems to work. For many listeners, they would say they grew out of it and moved on. Yet, when I play it in the car, my teenagers immediately take it. Maybe there are parallels between life in 1976 and 2012?


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