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Edward Barry "Out of the ordinary comes..?" (Suffolk, England)

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Popular Problems
Popular Problems
Price: £7.08

27 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost Like Plastic, 22 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Popular Problems (Audio CD)
I’ve been a fan of Cohen’s work for well over three decades, have every album (plus numerous bootlegs), and consider the two recent gigs of his the absolute best of any I’ve attended and have written several five star reviews of his work on this site but atrocious. It sounds like a hurriedly put together set of third-hand rejected out-takes for Dear Heather. His ‘golden-voice’ embarrassingly over-stretched and the lush orchestration of his superb touring band replaced by child-like digital keyboards, seemingly played one note at a time. The issue is just rehashing the stuff and themes which were so gloriously realised in The Future. The poetry has been replaced by chorus and its lyrical worth has been flattened out for a more commercial appeal; less sophisticated, less depth and perhaps more deliberately caricatured. It’s as if his record company said “Give us another Hallelujah and throw in some archetypical gloomy imagery for which you’re so famous and we’ll soon recuperate those lost funds.” Deeply disappointing and hugely unworthy of such an important artist.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2014 11:13 PM BST

Roxy Music
Roxy Music
Price: £5.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forty Years Young, 23 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Roxy Music (Audio CD)
Occupying their own curious space, wedged between Glam and Prog, this is a truly timeless album in which any listener can hear the raw core of so many 'Alternative' bands of today.

Eno's 'treatments' ingeniously tone themselves with Ferry's brash foppish delivery while all the instrumentation (whatever you may make of the production values) is frenetic yet together - the whole baby is one big paid-off risk. It audaciously announces itself. There is Punk in 'Re-make / Re-model' yet lush delight in 'Sea Breezes'.

As with all true rock'n'roll this album, more than any I own, has a transgressive confidence - joy even - driving right through it.They are right and they are here.

How did they end up making pop?

The 99 Most Essential Bach Masterpieces
The 99 Most Essential Bach Masterpieces
Price: £6.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificat, 25 Oct. 2011
This has to be about the best value on Amazon. The musical equivalent of Shakespeare - 8 hours of music that capitalises the 'c' in Classical Music for less than three quid. How can you go wrong - just play it as a soundtrack while you're writing the following review.

Start And Complete
Start And Complete
Offered by Fast Fulfilment
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal Clarity, 10 May 2011
This review is from: Start And Complete (Audio CD)
This is beautiful. Achingly simple yet lyrical delivery, it reminded me instantly of Dylan's "Nashville Skyline" in its uber-relaxed toned down delivery (though not its genre clearly). Not an obvious choice for Hot Chip fans but definitely an albums that showcases the true sensitivity of their lead singer. The backing musicians flow with the voice but it is the voice that's the thing. A radical concept that works. Big time.

Gypsy Boy
Gypsy Boy
by Mikey Walsh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Diddy Boy, 6 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Gypsy Boy (Paperback)
There are so many reviews of this novel so I just want to make two brief points. (1) If you want consistently harrowing child abuse it's been done many times before A Child Called 'It': One child's courage to survive for example. While the truth will always out, this book seems to be written for the Eastender clientelle i.e. those wishing to be reassured that there's someone worse off than them. (2) Opportunity missed - even among the fatherly beatings, motherly neglect and unclely rape there is scant little about Gypsy culture, the means by which all this abuse is 'justified'. I came to this novel mesmerised by Channel 4's 'My Big fat Gypsy Wedding' which contains more sociological info in its trailers (no pun intended) than this novel does in its entirety.Salacious but two stars for the author's sheer courage.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 8, 2011 11:43 PM BST

Karl Marx
Karl Marx
by Francis Wheen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars England expects..., 5 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Karl Marx (Paperback)
A surprising romp of a read - Wheen excels at finding the man comically hiding behind the myth. I never realised Marx spent so much time in England, an aspect that seems to be doggedly perpetuated by the UK establishment, particularly as recent circumstances see more people picking up 'Capital' looking for clues. Credit too must be paid to the author for highlighting the pivotal role played by Marx's wife Jenny who surely now needs to be recognised as the first martyr to both the cause and the man himself. Consistently entertaining and thoroughly recommended.

The Maintenance of Headway
The Maintenance of Headway
by Magnus Mills
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars Looped journey, 5 Feb. 2011
This is a quirky short story, cunningly disguised as a novella by its big well spaced out print, many chapters and small pages. Compelling to the extent that the reader is enticed into seeing its subject as a huge metaphor - but one that is never fully realised or even concluded, leading this reader to feeling cheated. A veritable sheep in wolf's clothing.

by Jonathan Franzen
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow burning disintegration, 5 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Freedom (Hardcover)
A superbly written tightly structured novel about the personal pifalls of the modern American Left. You are presented with a job well done but based on a subject matter that fails to totally grip - particularly for readers the other side of the pond. For my money The Northern Clemency is a similar project but delivered with more realisable empathy - from a Brit perspective.

The Romantic Dogs: Poems (New Directions Paperbook)
The Romantic Dogs: Poems (New Directions Paperbook)
by Roberto Vidal Bolaño
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trickle before the dam bursts., 30 Jan. 2011
If you've read Bolano's novels you'll know he's a poet. Recent folklore suggests he only started writing novels because he became a father and mortality started knocking at his door - he died from cancer aged just 50. But, and here's the rub, his novels are poems - elongated albeit, poet-centric definitely, but sprawling poems nevertheless. So why am I seemingly the first reviewer of these shiny gem-seeds?

A reviewer on the back cover states their attraction appears in an 'unfinished' state - not so. You should buy this brilliant slim bi-lingual edition for the pure vagabond nature of their composition. This is not European poetry re-formatted for exam success, it's an articulation of a voice who believes in shifting and can convert this essential kinetic energy into something both shudderingly knowable and, at the same time, transient.

I'm a middle aged bloke who, rather sadly, boasts a poetry collection of maybe some 200 volumes but this is the ONE. Get it for so many reasons; a truly South (not North) American perspective; a real excuse not to buy the many biographies that shall surely follow ([[ASIN:0330509527 The Savage Detectives]does this admirably} but also, maybe just maybe, you know a dislocated potential reader of poetry, someone who wants to kick against the pricks of establishment literature, someone who wants to savour the salacious underbelly of an unsettled lifestyle. Maybe it's you?

The good news is there's more to come. Savour an unheralded masterpiece.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2011 12:59 PM GMT

Tamara  Drewe [DVD]
Tamara Drewe [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gemma Arterton
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.50

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous Curves, 26 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Tamara Drewe [DVD] (DVD)
This is an easy film to fall in love with - I personally can't think of a more quintessentially English piece of cinema - not just in the obvious lushness of the Dorset countryside, but also in a study of (mainly) middle class ? middle aged manners.

Yep it's not demanding and there's plenty of undulation to look at - Tamara's denim shorts are deffo this year's (and this gender's) Mr Darcy's wet shirt or D. Craig's trunks but there is also a subtle vein of consistent humour that could only be in and about England. And no Hugh Grant either.

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