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TheViolaInMyLife (London United Kingdom)

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Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles
Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: 9.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary, 21 Feb 2014
Excellent new album with an impressive title. it sounds fresh and contemporary with a nod toward artists such as Mumford & Sons, Midlake and Fleet Foxes, whilst remaining distinctively Vega-esque. With the cool, familiarly clipped vocals against a background of guitar fuzz, banjo, backing singers, treated vocals, it’s strong album with a good opener, ‘Crack in the Wall’.

‘I Never Wear White’ is an invitation into the dark side, ‘Jacob and the Angel’ is atmospheric with handclaps, and my favourite track ‘Silver Bridge’, has a heartstopping key-change moment.

I wouldn’t want to compare this to her earlier work, as it’s different and fresh sounding - in a good way. Check it out for yourself.


Diary Of A Hollow Horse
Diary Of A Hollow Horse
Price: 15.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Stranger by Nature, 29 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Diary Of A Hollow Horse (Audio CD)
I always felt that this album was China Crisis’ least accessible, partly because of the lack of instrumental hooks that graced their other albums and a religious vibe in the lyrics, which can be alienating for a non-religious listener.

However, for a fan, this is a great package and really interesting to compare different productions. The Walter Becker Becker productions of the singles are clear, crisp and unfussy, with that laid-back Steely Dan vibe, and I much prefer them.

The demo versions of the album tracks are also really good – check out the “Stranger by Nature” demo which is totally different from the original, and would have worked well on ‘Flaunt the Imperfection’. I never really took to the more heavyweight Mike Thorne singles productions, but here they are, along with the 12” mixes.

Look forward to collectors editions of the other CC albums, and their (gasp) long-awaited new album!


Bananarama [Platinum Re-Issue]
Bananarama [Platinum Re-Issue]
Price: 5.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is that a gun or a Nana?, 9 Oct 2013
It is interesting to observe how, now that girl bands have become ten-a-penny, you have to audition to get in them and then dress like somebody you might possibly see falling out of a nightclub. These were not the kind of girls who would have entered The X-Factor. Bananarama were a bunch of college mates with scary hair that you wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley in SW16, or anywhere else for that matter. Girl bands were definitely not candy floss in 1984.

This is a dark album compared to the rest of their output. Drug dealing features in some of the lyrics. There is classic pop, such as Robert Di Niro (reference to The Godfather), Rough Justice and State I'm In. This reissue has some great additional tracks, such as the Althea & Donna-esque synth-reggae of Cairo, the hedonistic The Wild Life and 7" versions of Rough Justice and Hotline to Heaven.

They subsequently changed musical direction, lost a member, and lyrics turned into "I Want You Back" pop fodder, but this for me, is their best and most consistent album with some welcome extra stuff. GET IT!


Howard Jones - Dream Into Action (Remastered)
Howard Jones - Dream Into Action (Remastered)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great remastering job, 18 Sep 2013
Amazing album and great remastering job. Right from the off, you can hear the beefed up bass and new clarity in the horn section. The funkier tracks such as `Automaton' and `Specialty' really benefit from the new mixes.

The songs stand the test of time well, a good tune is a good tune. It's so refreshing in pop these days to hear someone that can really play well and put together a few chord suspensions. The lyrics, often harshly scorned by critics back in the 80s, are just as relevant today.

My favourites are `Things Can Only Get Better' and `Why Look for the Key'. There's an added bonus of `Like To Get To Know You Well' and `Bounce Right Back'. If you liked the original as I did, you really should hear this.


Door to Door
Door to Door

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent pop album, 29 Aug 2013
This review is from: Door to Door (Audio CD)
I always associated The Cars with the song 'Drive' and Live Aid and overpaid pop stars under the influence asking for our effin' money. I never liked 'Drive' because of that.

Years later, I heard 'You Are The Girl' on the radio, not realising it was The Cars, bought the album and liked it a lot. Melodic, feel-good new wave synth/guitar pop never over-produced or overtly commercial - 'Coming Up You' is a gem as is 'Go Away'. There are also some lovely reflective moments such as 'Fine Line' which reminds me of Lloyd Cole, and 'Wound Up On You'. The heavier title track 'Door to Door' is the weakest track and I never play it.

This is one of those albums I never tire of, and you can always introduce it to your mates as they've probably never heard it before.


Horizons - 16 Innovative Instrumentals
Horizons - 16 Innovative Instrumentals
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: 4.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a CD by it's cover!, 12 July 2013
Ignore the naff cover, which looks like an 1980s advert for ladies' hairspray. This is an excellent compilation with some rarities and all original tracks by the original artists.

You've got the excellent "Mammagamma" from the Alan Parsons Project, the groovy light jazz-funk of "Friends and Strangers" by Dave Grusin, "When the War Cry Comes" by Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin, "Morning Dance" by Spyro Gyra and the lovely theme from Terms of Endearment played by the RPO.

OK, so you have got Mr Bouffant, Kenny G doing everyone's favourite "Songbird". But overall, it's quality, gentle music which is ideal for the foreground or the background and for those sleepless nights.

Throw away that harmony hairspray and buy this bargain CD instead!


Guilty Pleasures
Guilty Pleasures
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: 8.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Howzat!, 30 April 2013
This review is from: Guilty Pleasures (Audio CD)
There aren't many 70's compilations where every track is a corker. Well this one is.
They are all the original recordings. I got this primarily because I wanted Howzat by Sherbert which isn't easy to find.
But then you get other gems such as the funky Couldn't Get It Right by Climax Blues Band, Pinball by Brian Protheroe and Wide Eyed and Legless by Amen Corner's Andy Fairweather Low.
Nothing to feel guilty about. BUY IT NOW!


And the 5 O'clock Shadows
And the 5 O'clock Shadows
Offered by Bargaindiscsltd
Price: 29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Desert Island Disc, 23 Mar 2013
What a cracking CD. I would take this to a desert island and never tire of it. I used to hear the opening track 'No Money at All' on BBC local radio in the north in the 80s. I eventually found this album on the Silvertone Label and it blew me away.
The first five tracks in particular are killers. His voice is great, the songs are first rate and so is the musicianship. And the production is perfect for the style of music. If I had to pick a favourite it would be 'Wrong Decision'. But to be honest, every track is a favouite. Snap this one up while you can.


12" Mixes
12" Mixes
Price: 9.67

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No City Rhythm?, 8 Jan 2013
This review is from: 12" Mixes (Audio CD)
These guys can really play their instruments to a very high standard, were always way too good for the charts and this is a great collection. I have to say that if there is any vinyl mastering here, I can't tell at all.

Some of the 12" mixes aren't really much longer or much different than the originals, but that doesn't put me off too much.

However, they haven't put one of my favourites on here - 'City Rhythm' - that great 12" mix with all of it's glorious "shabba dabbas", where is it? So many times collections albums are released and they miss off a great track. So that's why I'm only giving it four stars whereas otherwise it would have been five!


Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits
Price: 10.45

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a LIVE CD & DVD, 7 Dec 2012
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
A weird live DVD and live CD with four studio demos thrown in. The CD cover doesn't say that it's live, it doesn't say where the shows are filmed and some of the same songs appear twice on the DVD, albeit at a different venue.

On the DVD there's a Q&A section with Gary & Eddie - I counted about 4 questions - with poor sound quality. There are also some artsy photos of band members plus the same 4 demo tracks which also feature on the CD.

The rare demos are the most interesting bit of the audio CD. 'Too Blind to See', the strongest one, is a light vocal track with Ed singing lead on the verse and Gary on the chorus. 'Real Tears and How That Feels' is a track from the Warped by Success album and doesn't sound much, if at all different to the original album version.

I am a long time CC fan but 4 stars for milking old songs for every last penny, and for not saying it's a live album on the cover.

New CC material please lads!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 31, 2014 10:11 PM BST


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