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Vitamino (London)

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Pornography  (Remastered)
Pornography (Remastered)
Price: £6.95

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The shock of what was new, 6 Jun 2008
It's a shame in a way that nowadays this album seems to fit in with a vast amount of similarly aggressive and agonising music. On it's release it was the first of it's kind and to describe its impact as harrowing would be a serious understatement.

Seminal it undoubtably was but where other bands strive to achieve the same effect they fail because 'Pornography' is so sincere. Only Nirvana reached the level of outright desperation that brutally stabs out of this recording. But cacophony in itself is not enough. These are really great songs produced by a man who was driving himself way too hard.

In amongst the relentlessly attacking sound, evidence of a great songwriter emerges in moments of astonishing beauty. This is why the Cure's more recent releases fail. Smith was still discovering his ability and wrote as a man in some kind of genuine purgatory. Now, he's wealthy and comfortable and no matter how hard he digs, the well of desparate memories and wondrous revelations have run dry.

So considering it's utterly uncompromising sound it's not surprising that this shocking album didn't sell on release. It left people either stunned (like watching someone having a nervous breakdown at a party) or alienated, after all, it's predecessors were low key and fanciful in comparison.

It marked a change in Smith's life. Although the following album had it's moments of crushing beauty he moved firmly into the land of the 'Lovecats', commercial success and some kind of weird happiness. And unlike Kurt Cobain there really was a happy ending.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2013 7:20 PM GMT


The Cure - Trilogy: Live In Berlin [DVD] [2003]
The Cure - Trilogy: Live In Berlin [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Cure
Price: £16.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only two thirds good, 6 Jun 2008
This seems to be the last really good document of the Cure in concert we're ever likely to get. The band sound and look excellent. The high definition film and lean, inventive camera work make this a pretty classy package. The 'Pornography' performance is faithful and gritty (notably with Simon Gallup's more aggressive bass sound) and 'Disintegration' is actually better than the rather stodgy CD release.

Then we get 'Bloodflowers'. This album is simply not in the same league as the others and no matter how well the band play it, it seems like a let down when the show really needs a great last act.

Musically it's hard to fault the performance except for one thing. Jason Cooper (drums) is no replacement for Boris Williams and it shows. 'Pornography' needs a punishing and relentless attack and Jason just seems to be, well, too nice.

So this DVD is worth the money just to see the the Cure in their final glory. And yes, like certain other reviewers I also wish the Cure would remaster and re-release 'The Cure in Orange'. A truly great show featuring one of the best performances of 'Faith' on any format.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2012 1:00 PM GMT


The Cure: Greatest Hits [DVD] [2001]
The Cure: Greatest Hits [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ The Cure
Price: £9.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as 'Staring At The Sea', 6 Jun 2008
This DVD does contain more promos than the 'Staring At The Sea' VHS video but the 'inbetween videos' have been clumsily removed taking out a lot of the charm of the earlier release. Also, for some reason, it omits the promo for 'A Night Like This' which is a real shame. Nor is there the brilliant film for 'Another Journey By Train' which was simply speeded up film of a train journey (shot from the driver's cab) rushing from London to Brighton. A hypnotic and wonderful film that fitted the music well.

It's nice to see these charming and frequently inventive films on a digital format but rather than get the original master tapes of the earlier videos they have simply got the 'Staring At The Sea' tape and cut it up into bits. That basically means the visual quality is not as good as it could be. This compliation is just a bit lazy.

There are three 'easter eggs' hidden on the disc: 'The Caterpillar', 'Close To Me (Closer Mix)' and 'Pictures Of You' but overall this compilation is a wasted opportunity. The design of the menu and navigation system is dull which, considering the vast amount of imagery at The Cure's disposal could have been very inventive in itself.

I'm sure that ulimately someone will pull their finger out and properly collect, remaster and package a really terrific video collection for the Cure but until then we're going to have to be happy with this flimsy effort.

Finally, this disc does get 4 stars. That's because a lot of the videos on this disc really are good. No-one produced videos like the Cure and no-one made better Cure videos than Tim Pope.


Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
Price: £4.99

6 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ghastly orgy of over-indulgence, 5 Jun 2008
This would have made an excellent EP. When Bob knocks out a good song it's really worth listening to. But truly great tracks such as 'How Beautiful You Are' and 'Just Like Heaven' drown in a horrible porridge of musical indulgence. There are simply too many bad tracks here.

The good ones stand out gleaming like carrots in Saturday night pavement sick. But tricky to pick out without getting slime on your fingers.

But now you can buy individual tracks as mp3 files so all you have do is find out is which are the good ones and which are the bad. Clue: There are 12 horrible tracks and five good ones.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 11, 2009 3:07 PM BST


The Cure
The Cure
Offered by Dirty Deals UK
Price: £6.40

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful and Embarrassing, 4 Jun 2008
This review is from: The Cure (Audio CD)
From the word go we hear Robert stumble over a rubbish bin repeating "I can't find myself" like a drunk looking for somewhere to either puke or die.

This is the sound of the Cure pretending to be the Cure. It's like they didn't really want to go through it all again but some eager record company chimp convinced them to do it anyway. So out comes the battered Cure suitcase full of second-hand howling and crying. Where once the sheer genius of Smith's songwriting ability propelled the band through moments of uplifting joy and gleaming dark introspection this album recycles yesterday's tears with the sincerity of a dying politician.

The Cure were innovators. But that's all in the past now. Don't be sad. There's plenty of great Cure music to enjoy. But it all happened years ago.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2013 7:16 PM GMT


Wild Mood Swings
Wild Mood Swings
Price: £7.99

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rotten and Boring, 4 Jun 2008
This review is from: Wild Mood Swings (Audio CD)
It had to happen. With this album Robert Smith's seemingly eternal muse just quivered, coughed out it's lungs and died.

Oh, it's dull. Tired and boring and lacking one shred of interest. It doesn't even really sound like the Cure. I don't even care why it's so bad. Don't waste your money here. God, it's just so awful.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2011 10:56 AM BST


Freak Out!
Freak Out!
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £22.15

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Mothers is crazy, 17 May 2008
This review is from: Freak Out! (Audio CD)
Let's be plain about this, if you don't know the music of Frank Zappa but are somehow intrigued and want to know more, you should start with 'Apostrophe' or maybe 'Hot Rats'.

If however, you know a little Zappa and want to find out about his roots then here's a good place to start. This album is quite different from all the stuff that came after. The reason for this is that there's some pretty personal stuff on here. On subsequent releases he developed a sort of highly articulate barrier based on a number of techniques. In matters of a personal nature he later directed his attentions to other groups of people and manufactured the kind of 'Frank' he wanted people to see. In short, after this album he was totally in control. He was the 'Central Scrutiniser'.

The darkly cynical and angry track 'I Ain't Got No Heart' is a real song about real feelings. And there are more. 'How Could I be Such a Fool' and 'I'm Not Satisfied' also reveal the bitterness and betrayal he had experienced as a result of relationships with a woman or women unnamed.

This CD also contains plenty of the stuff we all know about Frank but in embryo form. Groovy paranoia (Who Are The Brain Police), Teen parody (Wowie Zowie) and statements of intent (Hungry Freaks, Daddy).

Then, surfacing like a monstrously embarrasing reality check point, we are treated to 'Trouble Every Day' - a wake up call to bigots and racists of every colour. This is the most serious political piece that Frank Zappa ever wrote. His rage at the ramifications of a repressed people driven to fighting in the streets goes way beyond the silly pseudo-revolutionary rants of his contemporaries. Just listen to the way he sings: "He wants to go and do you in, because the colour of your skin, well it just don't appeal to him, no matter if it's black or white because he's out for blood tonight".

The album finishes with 'The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet' (originally subtitled 'The Ritual Dance of The Child Killers'). This album was originally released on MGM records' 'Verve' label which was the home of fine jazz at the time. There really is no wonder that there were questions asked as to why on earth MGM were paying for studio time for a freak to record a cacophony like this. Indeed, 'Monster Magnet' took up almost the whole last side of what was an astonishing double vinyl album.

So, why did this reviewer give it five stars? Well, because it's a great album. The songs are hooky, brilliant, intelligent and probably more a sign of the times than any of the other corporate nonsense that was released in 1965.

You don't have to be a student of Frank Zappa to like this stuff but it helps to be prepared. It's not always easy but this is a truly great debut by a truly great artist.


Dyson DC07 Origin Silver Yellow Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson DC07 Origin Silver Yellow Upright Vacuum Cleaner

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware! This vacuum cleaner Sucks!, 7 May 2008
This model, the Dyson DC07, has a common fault and one that is not freely admitted by Dyson. After a while it starts cutting out. That is to say it runs for 3 - 5 minutes then cuts out, then you have to wait for 25 minutes to use it again - for another 3 minutes. This is because of a safety thermocouple that trips the current if the motor gets too hot.

This is actually a real problem. A quick search on the internet will reveal plenty of owners in the UK and the US who have had this annoying fault and will never buy a Dyson again. There are several causes. The hose and tubes can get blocked, the cyclone itself gets blocked and the filters can get blocked. Now all these are true. If the DC07 can't suck properly the motor will overheat. So I fully cleaned my cyclone, cleared all blockages, bought another lifetime filter(?) and cleaned the filter under the dust collector and it sucked beautifully Then it cut out again! So the problem lies elswhere.

The thing is this is a common fault. It's not just my DC07. So there's a real chance that you'll only get a couple of years good work out of it before you have to spend some real cash!

When I called Dyson the polite chap I spoke to acted surprised even though it was a common fault and suggested a replacement thermocouple. Cost of repair? £65 plus VAT. Now that really does suck. My Dyson is not old. It's been treated with great care and is as clean as a whistle. My 25 year old cylinder Hoover with bags did better than this.

Don't take my word for it - Google 'Dyson DC07 cuts out' and see for yourself.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2010 10:10 AM BST


The Atomic World of Tomorrow
The Atomic World of Tomorrow
Price: £8.09

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful., 18 Mar 2008
This album was a chance find in Cob Records in Portmadoc, North Wales. I had no idea who he was or whether the CD was any good and had to wait until I got back to London to hear it.

What a shock. It's the best album I've heard in a long, long time. Intelligent, powerful and so melodic that each song is permanently fixed in my brain. This is a class album that somehow missed public attention. Wrench is a stunning talent and I'd just like to say that if he ever reads this review he has got to make another CD.

The BBC website has all the information you need to know about the man and his music. Go and find out and then buy this CD. It's wonderful.


Treasure
Treasure
Price: £7.45

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sound of Addiction, 8 Nov 2007
This review is from: Treasure (Audio CD)
This album of extraordinary songs is the closest aural equivalent of a drug I've ever found. All the band members are so in tune with what they're trying to achieve that the whole thing comes rushing forth with amazing cohesion and unity. For those that can take it, it represents a completely immersive inner journey and one you're unlikely to forget.

There's really no compromise here. They're not trying to be anything else but themselves and the purity of their vision is devastating.

It's astonishing to think that they fully believed their singles to be top 10 material. So immersed were they in their music that they just couldn't see how far away from the mainstream they really were. And thank God for that.

This stuff was utterly new and seminal. Other bands have attempted to adopt their style but no-one has ever come close. They were alternative in the sense that they could take you somewhere no other artists could.

Treasure is the most potent of their albums. Challenging, harsh and pure this is the benchmark the albums that followed were measured by. The mesmeric draw of 'Otterley' is almost impossible to resist. It's undertow drags you in and there you stay. It is also very hooky. These songs get beneath the skin and in quiet moments you realise they have been playing in your head all day. Sublime.

Should new listeners to the Twins start here? Their later album, Blue Bell Knoll, is an easier way to start with it's thoroughly polished beauty. Make your choice. It's down the rabbit hole, behind the looking glass and through the wardrobe. Do you feel lucky? Can you handle Treasure?


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