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Burjiz (Schaffhausen, Switzerland)

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Sing Blue Silver [DVD] [2004]
Sing Blue Silver [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Duran Duran
Price: £11.99

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless Duran Duran Documentary Gets the DVD Treatment., 25 May 2004
Whoever came up with the idea of releasing "Sing Blue Silver" on DVD must have been reading my mind. Back in the 1980s, MTV aired this special documentary on Duran Duran's 1984 North American tour in support of their "Seven and the Ragged Tiger" LP. Today, it's now restored on DVD with 25 additional minutes of footage that wasn't shown on MTV. It's a wonderful glimpse of the band behind the scenes, and it shows the tons of work that goes into each individual show, from stage setup, to makeup to soundcheck. "Sing Blue Silver" also follows the band as they make promotional stops in America including press conferences, radio interviews, and a brief appearance on the now defunct "Friday Night Videos" in which Simon LeBon rigorously defends Duran Duran as a credible group and not some faceless boyband. We also catch them meeting members of the L.A. Raiders, brainstorming with video director Russell Mulcahy, and we also discover that keyboardist Nick Rhodes was (and probably still is) a huge fan of arcade video games. But more important, "Sing Blue Silver" catches the band in concert, performing many of their hits including "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Is There Something I Should Know," and a rousing rendition of "Careless Memories." Aside from decent sound quality and picture, "Sing Blue Silver" offers no extra features, but we do get a booklet featuring photos of the band on tour, and we get postcard-size photos of each of the members: Simon, Nick, Andy, Roger, and John. Despite the lack of extras, "Sing Blue Silver" is a dream come true for Durannies and a pretty solid documentary of the band on tour during their peak in popularity.


Patience
Patience
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.75

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Celebrate the Love of the One You're With.", 25 May 2004
This review is from: Patience (Audio CD)
The title of George Michael's new solo album obviously refers to the patience with which we've waited for this CD, his first of original material since 1996's "Older." It's not as consistent as that record, but it does feature some of Michael's most personal and inspired work. There are some great tunes, a few good ones, and a couple boring ones, resulting in an overall worthwhile effort. The kickoff single, "Amazing," is an unpretentious, guitar flavored pop song that deserved its Top Ten status in Britain. "Flawless (Go to the City)" is a flamboyant, 6-minute disco stomper that has the word "hit" all over it, and "American Angel" is a touching love song about his Texas boyfriend. Every George Michael CD has at least one tearjerker of a ballad, and on this CD, that song is definitely "My Mother Had a Brother," which addresses the suicide of his uncle. If this track doesn't make you misty in the eyes, you better make sure you still have a pulse. But at 70 minutes, it seems a bit weighed down by only a couple filler tracks. More interesting, is that the American version of "Patience" doesn't have the anti-war "Shoot the Dog," a scathing diatribe against George Bush and Tony Blair. I guess that Sony reasoned that it would hurt George's American sales by including such a politically charged song in a time when 1) Iraq is currently in a state of turmoil and 2) during an election year. Still, this CD deserves to be as much a hit on these shores as the UK, where it already went to Number One. It's not perfect, but make no mistake: this "Patience" is a virtue.


You Can Dance
You Can Dance
Price: £4.28

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Madonna., 15 May 2004
This review is from: You Can Dance (Audio CD)
"You Can Dance" is a snapshot of classic, vintage Madonna, a mix CD of her most popular dance hits back in the 1980s. Some would dismiss this CD, which was released in the fall of 1987, as a transparent cash-in, but it works surprising well as a dance record, even if the production does sound a bit dated. The kickoff, "Spotlight," is one of Madonna's very best songs, an underrated track that's strong enough to be released as a single. Fans will certainly be bobbing their heads to the beat in approval. The 12-inch versions of "Physical Attraction" and "Everybody" are gems that remind us of Madonna's r&b roots, while the extended mix of "Into the Groove" is even better than the edited version of the classic single. In addition, the CD version of "You Can Dance" has 3 dub versions of "Holiday," "Into the Groove," and "Where's the Party," and, unfortunately, they're all throwaways. It's not that they're terrible, but I think a better choice for a bonus track would have been the extended version of "Open Your Heart" or "Like a Virgin." Still, "You Can Dance" is a can't-fail purchase for both Madonna fans and lovers of 80s dance music. Grade: B.


Hurt No More
Hurt No More
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: £2.41

7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 15 May 2004
This review is from: Hurt No More (Audio CD)
Let's get this out the way: Mario Winans is anything but a Charlie Nobody. Not only is he a member of a legendary gospel family, but this gifted pianist also has an impressive list of r&b singers with whom he's collaborated as a producer. It's not that Winans isn't talented; he's an accomplished performer who should have made a much better record than "Hurt No More." A safe collection of standard r&b with a few hip hop kicks, the CD never rises beyond the predictable and runs awfully low on hooks. "Never Really Was" samples the string arrangement off Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" and glides along a fairly generic groove, and the hit "I Don't Wanna Know" barely registered with this listener. Staying true to formula, this album has a host of guests --Loon, Foxy Brown, Slim, and Black Rob, and, of course, P.Diddy -- none of whom brings much to the table. More unsettling is Winans' voice, which is intermittently pleasing but ultimately lacks both range and emotion. Towards the end, we find a hidden gem in the form of a killer ballad "Should've Known," but it's too little too late to redeem the rest of the album from its mediocrity. "Hurt No More" has heart. What's missing is soul.


Musicology [Digipak]
Musicology [Digipak]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome 2 the Dawn., 15 May 2004
This review is from: Musicology [Digipak] (Audio CD)
Prince is back. No, hold up. He never disappeared. Not only has he still been making records, but his influence permeates every corner of radio. Don't believe me? Then re-listen to Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U." Give Kelis' album "Tasty" a spin and tell me you don't hear the Prince-inspired grooves in "Milkshake." And Andre 3000 and the Neptunes pretty much owe much of their musical style to the Purple One. After a rush of great publicity, Prince releases his first major-label album in over five years: "Musicology." It's easily his most accessible offering in years, even though it won't make any of us forget about prior glories "Dirty Mind," "Parade," or "Sign O the Times." He brings up the funk as usual, but there's a noticeable difference. Anyone looking for the raunchier Prince of "Head" or "Darling Nikki" will be disappointed. Tracks like "The Marrying Kind" and "If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life" show that Prince is now all for monogamy and not fly-by-night conquests. Amazingly, Prince played every instrument in most of the tracks such as the James Brown-esque title song and "Life O the Party" both of which are fine uptempo exercises in the prime funk we've come to expect. Another great jam is "Dear Mr. Man," a compelling social commentary that has former protege Sheila E. on percussion. Cruising through a host of issues from racism to AIDS, it's the most politically charged Prince song I can remember. So, "Musicology" is the very album that will put Prince back on the map where he should be. It's no instant classic, but it's an impressive set that reminds us why he was welcomed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Buddha Bar Vol.1
Buddha Bar Vol.1
Price: £25.97

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The First Entry of the Buddha-Bar Series., 15 May 2004
This review is from: Buddha Bar Vol.1 (Audio CD)
This is the debut entry of the "Buddha-Bar" series, and considering that it was released back in 1999, the material still sounds remarkably fresh. A co-worker of mine recommended the Buddha-Bar series since she knows I'm really into downtempo music with a touch of Eastern flavor. When I approached this set, the first thing that grabbed me was the rather steep pricetag, which seems to be putting off quite a few listeners. But the deal is this: "Buddha-Bar" is recommended depending on who you are. If you're a casual listener who buys maybe 3-5 CDs a year, then this may not be a wise purchase. However, if you're a music lover who has an extensive and diverse range of genres in your collection, then I don't see how forking out the extra cash should be that big a deal. The fact is: the material on this album is very good. In this handsomely-packaged collection, we have two discs: "Buddha's Dinner" and "Buddha's Party." The stronger of these two discs is definitely the "Dinner" one, which has mellowed-out tracks that really give off a sense of calm. My favorite track has to be the lovely "What Will I Be" by Zeave Ben. It's one of those tunes that stayed imprinted in my head because the song is so distinct and beautifully arranged. The "Party" disc has slightly less of an Eastern vibe, but has a fair amount of really good dance tunes that are decent enough for any party. The main attractions here are the Eurodisco bounce of So Emotional, who does a cover of the hit "All By Myself" as well as Byron Stingily's "Flying High," which gets a Brazilian makeover by DJs Masters at Work. While not quite flawless, I'm overall pleased with "Buddha-Bar," and I hope to explore other volumes of this fine series.


Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Price: £15.10

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My $.02., 21 April 2004
I finally got around to Outkast's Grammy-nominated 2003 CD after weeks ofputting it off. With all that's already been said about "The LoveBelow/Speakerboxxx," there isn't much for me to add that you don't alreadyknow. Big Boi and Andre 3000 release separate albums that may as well comefrom two different planets. Public opinion has dubbed Andre 3000's disc asthe "arty" one, and that's no lie. On this disc, he glides through adizzying range of genres from '60's mod pop ("Hey Ya!"), perky jazz ("LoveHater"), and Prince-inspired funk ("Spread," and just about every othertrack). But my favorite is the dynamite "Prototype," a silky smooth jamthat's an obvious nod to 1970s old school soul. The only serious misfireis a botched, drum-and-bass updating of "My Favorite Things." Sorry, butI'll stick with Coltrane's version. Other than that, Andre 3000's "TheLove Below" holds up pretty well during its 78 minutes. Big Boi's"Speakerboxxx," on the other hand, is another beast altogether. While "TheLove Below" is an eclectic effort that went all over the map,"Speakerboxxx" keeps its feet firmly grounded in hip hop. It may be 20minutes shorter than Andre 3000's disc, but there are just as many solidmoments such as the memorable "The Way You Move," Big Boi's collaborationCee-Lo and Khujo Goodie on "Reset," and "Bowtie" with Sleepy Brown andJazze Pha. Special mention also has to go to the rousing "Church," which,as the title implies, has a spiritual vibe that's uplifting. While thesetwo discs aren't flawless, they make up one of the more creative releasesI've heard in a while. Outkast is one of ATL's greatest talents, and "TheLove Below/Speakerboxx" is a bold achievement that transcends lazycategorization.


Duran Duran - Greatest DVD [2003]
Duran Duran - Greatest DVD [2003]
Dvd ~ Duran Duran

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duran Duran on Film., 21 April 2004
Like Michael Jackson and Madonna, Duran Duran benefited from MTV as muchas MTV benefited from them. In the 1980s, they were the premier videoband, specializing in high concept music clips that represented the excessand decadence of that decade. By today's standards, many of their videosmay seem cheesy and dated, but they brilliantly captured the essence ofDuran Duran and the new romantic movement to which they belonged. Finally,the videos of their hits are compiled on this DVD, and it's alreadygetting complaints from many fans. To them, I say: CALM DOWN. Of course,it'd be great to have a DVD featuring ALL of their music videos, but thatwasn't the intent or concept behind "Greatest." Capitol/EMI wanted to do a"Greatest" DVD collection with the same tracklisting of the "Greatest" CD(with two exceptions: this collection has a video to "The Chauffeur" and"Burning the Ground," which are not featured on the CD). Fans have alsocomplained that the hidden bonus features are very difficult to access,and they're right. I spent several minutes clicking my remote to navigatemy way towards certain interviews and extended videos and ended up quitefrustrated. However, if you go to the band's official website and go tothe "Ask Katy" section, you'll find a list of helpful tips to get to thebonus features. Trust me, it's easier than you think. Some of the hiddenfeatures include an 18 minute version of "New Moon on Monday," an extendedversion of "Wild Boys," a club video of "Planet Earth" (this one inparticular is a hoot), and other promo clips dating as far back as theearly 1980s. While I would have liked a DVD featuring omitted videos like"Careless Memories," "Meet El Presidente," and "Lonely in Your Nightmare,"I'm still pleased that I grabbed "Greatest." Yes, the price is a bitsteep, but the videos bring back lots of welcome 1980s memories, and thebonus features are fun to watch once you're able to find them.


The Truman Show [DVD] [1998]
The Truman Show [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Jim Carrey
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Reality Show., 27 Mar. 2004
This review is from: The Truman Show [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Given America's disturbing obsession with reality television, a movie like 1998's "The Truman Show" couldn't be more relevant. How far, the film asks, will TV producers go to boost ratings? And at what expense? Where's the line between a clever idea and crass opportunism? Jim Carrey is the title character, who, unbeknownst to him, is living the ultimate reality show. Cameras are watching and monitoring his every move for the world to see. The environment in which he lives is 100% fake, right down to his love (Laura Linney) and the sky that stares down at him. Unlike other reality shows, the subject doesn't know he's being filmed. Does he ever find out and how? This smart movie won the attention of many critics, enjoyed some box office success, but was snubbed at many award shows, which were apparently too busy oohing and aahing over a little war movie filmed by Steven Speilberg (hint: the title includes the word "Ryan"). But it's definitely one of Carrey's best films and it proves that he can do much more than stretch his lanky frame in 1,000 different ways.


Vogue (12' Version)
Vogue (12' Version)
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £14.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Beauty's Where You Find It...", 27 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Vogue (12' Version) (Audio CD)
In the spring of 1990, Madonna kicked off the decade in a fashionable way with the club anthem "Vogue," which is one of her signature and most recognizable hits. Shep Pettibone's production gives it an infectious house-ed up vibe, and it's armed with one of the most memorable basslines I've heard in any dance single. As a tribute to trendsetting Hollywood legends, the single did cause some controversy among groups who pointed out that it ignored the Black actresses whose style and glamour inspired the "voguing" that's now known as a dance. It's a valid point, but there's still no denying the rush of energy that this single delivers. Even after all these years, "Vogue" still remains in vogue. A definite classic.


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