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Michael Hughes

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Absolute Dissent
Absolute Dissent
Price: £21.28

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strangled beauty, 30 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Absolute Dissent (Audio CD)
Awesome album, with the worst production I've heard in years. I cannot bring myself to lower it from a 5 star as the album merits it, but the production is so poor it made me angry. How could the lads to this to themselves? They're seasoned musicians who are savvy, so why accept this production?

Back to positives. Although a couple of tracks are good rather than great, the album is so powerful I was blown away from the first play. I actually think the title track is the weakest track on it. Also I miss Geordie's distinct guitar sound, which is a tad hidden on this recording, but it is Killing Joke for sure. They go from beautiful to brutal with the randomness of a bi-polar schizophrenic. When it is brutal though, it is more brutal than ever. The heaviness in this selection is unsurpassed in previous albums. However and in keeping with Jaz' ethos, they always produce stunning melody delivered in such a way you don't know whether to strip naked, throws daisies up in the air and dance til you drop or rush out and sacrifice something on a hill top, laughing manically all the way.

"The Raven king" is so beautiful, it outshines their very best "anthemic" songs by a country mile. "The Great Cull" and "Depthcharge" are my favourite heavies and "European Super State" just oozes fun. Some reviewers say it belongs on other albums, but what is wrong with an album rich in diversity? It's a pint-in-hand arm-linking and dance-like-a-bellend track that you cannot resist playing again and again and again and......oh well you get my drift. "Ghost Of Ladbroke Grove" is one of those weird tracks that KJ ambush you with and I adore it. Very much in the Reggae-esque vain of "Nervous System". Astounding album in all....

If only this had the production to match the tracks, this would be the finest KJ album ever by a zillion morish, juicy, lush, psychopathic miles.

Landscape / Manhattan Boogie-Woogie
Landscape / Manhattan Boogie-Woogie
Price: £10.83

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a huge contrast to Tea Rooms, 18 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I found out, late on, that Landscape had made post "From the Tea Rooms of Mars..." material and bought it immediately. What a shockingly awful album it turned out to be. Tea Rooms is still, for me, one of the greatest out-and-out 80s electronic albums ever. I adore it from start to finish. In contrast, I found "Manhattan Boogie Woogie" to be woeful to the point of cringe-worthy. My only reason for one star is the track "It's Not My Real Name".

The best track on this album, which doesn't say a lot as it would still be the worst track on "From the Tea Rooms of Mars..." had it have been on it. "Eastern Girls" has some potential musically but is drowned out by the most God-awful singing and lyrics I've ever had the misfortune to hear. "Why is that a special taste? I like the yellow race. Why not get an English girl? They cannot cook Chinese".... I mean PLEASE! Mr Burgess, linked to so many success stories of the 80s, must have been taking mind altering drugs, or on something extremely hallucinogenic at least. I cannot even bring myself to discuss the remaining "tracks" as, being a music lover, it would be akin to a Pink Floyd fan evaluating the latest single by Mr Blobby.

If you insist on buying this, then I would suggest you also consider psychiatric evaluation. If it were 1p to buy, that would still be a penny too expensive. Buy at your peril!

Innocence & Instinct
Innocence & Instinct
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.03

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just lost some of the edge of the first album, 10 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Innocence & Instinct (Audio CD)
I fly against the wind here a little, as I still think "End of silence" is one of the most moving albums of the last ten years. Don't get me wrong this album is overall a more polished product, but, for instance, the first three songs (forget the intro) are good, without there being much difference between them (unless you are watching the slider control it's hard to see where one ends and the other one starts). No soul. Simple as. Where is the "Breathe into me" the "Pieces" or the inimitable "Lost"? "Innocence & Instinct" never reaches the "high" of these tracks. When I heard it was out, I couldn't get this album quick enough in expectation of "more of the same" and yet I felt disappointed almost from the off. Good to great tracks on the album (most notably "start again, "never be the same" and "shadows") but no killers. I was hoping for those sublime touches of emotion, that separate RED from the rest, such as in the middle of "lost" when Michael Barnes is almost crying for help, just as that killer slow grunge riff kicks in. I was hoping for the Piano/acoustic "Pieces" that you just never ever want to see end......Those moments never came on this album. A more commercial product at the expense of soul. "Overall" better than EOS if you compare track by tack, but, as a beast it is a fine racehorse, where EOS was an unpredictable Lion!

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