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Blackmale (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

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Everything She Wants '97
Everything She Wants '97

4.0 out of 5 stars RE-MIX #2 and NIETHER of the originals. Still good., 13 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very simple, very effective pre-pube pop from 84. Worked because it was faithful and uncomplicated and something of a guilty pleasure for those able to grow hair beyond the scalp. This is one of the few from GM to survive the 80's with some value to the ears. You either hated it then or you still love it now, just never even attempt to justify the latter. This is bubblegum that should have soured an hour after the pack burst open.....Dec 1984.
Michael has serious issues with his erstwhile career partnering Senor Ridgley - look at the cover, that gloomy look ain't for nothing. This gave rise to a nasty habit of trying to strip out the what EPIC Records insisted he "pop"-ped in in the first place. So here ESW gets the treatment, and it is very different, losing all of the feel of the original recording and it's often confused remix aimed at extending the shelf life well into their China tour of 1985 (I am starting to worry about how much I know about these guys...)
More a groover with less electro and more funk (blue-eyed), less engaging but more durable than the first time.
Sample first then commit your 89 pennies for a right 'ole laugh at 22:50 next time you have a barbeque.


When You Believe (Karaoke Version)
When You Believe (Karaoke Version)
Price: 0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great 'cos Leon ain't singing, 13 April 2010
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Released in anticipation of the X-Factor winner in Dec 2007, this is a faithful reproduction of the backing used by Leon Jackson (who? - you know....him...whassisname...).
Zooms always have proper endings, even when the original didn't to make them a first choice for the live stage.
Zoom always have session players to replicate the original style and essential feel of the tracks they parody and there is hifi production to ensure the whole survives critical ears if you are recording your own demo or welting at full amps doing the social club circuit. Equalled but never beaten ZOOM is now the default choice for off-the-shelf backing music.


Back From The 80's
Back From The 80's
Price: 14.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Self indulgent, but still brilliance, 12 April 2010
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This review is from: Back From The 80's (Audio CD)
This particular package unites a careful selection from U-Nam himself with a sample pack of full length tracks from long standing lablemates. Two entire albums of softer jazz making spectacular value.
U-Nam himself is an obsessive multi-instrumentalist (strictly non-vocal) with a impressive range covering guitars of all types bass included, keys and drums. Themed to rework known standards of the 80's R'n'B era, comparisons with George Benson are unavoidable which serves as a perfect means of referencing the content.

Benson curries huge favour and typically draws on the finest talents to augment the tempered delicacy of his unique style. U-Nam is most likely one of those finest (in session) and relies largely on his own ability to revive tunes starting to fade in the memory.
it all works and often beautifully but U-Nam's one man show, while impressive is also his undoing. You get a genuine sense of uncompromised direction, but clearly lacking is an executive producer to say when enough is enough.
Everything is built around Nams Ibanez Jazzer, very skillfully picked and plucked to show he has the skill if not the judgement of Lord Benson. Critical ears know the difference between challenging and just plain over embellishment and ultimately what you have leans a little too much towards demonstration in favour of performance.

If this is your genere the case is won for your hard earned, share among like minded individuals and it will keep the critical conversation running for some time.


Dreaming Wide Awake
Dreaming Wide Awake
Price: 45.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding, 11 April 2010
This review is from: Dreaming Wide Awake (Audio CD)
Let me qualify before you read on. Lizz's style will polarise.
The genere is Jazz, or maybe Folk, then again R'n'B, or maybe....better to make up your own mind, but you won't resist the "haven't I heard this voice somewhere before" emotion. Give the album the space it deserves, listen without the prejudice and you'll find a quite exceptional performance delivering one of the finest musical hours of the last decade.
Lizz is a challenge to pidgeon-hole, but a development of the Tracy Chapman theme might be as close as it is generous to both.
Alternatively take an edgy precocious rasp from Sheryl Crow, stone bake it until the rooster crows and you might just have the opposite side of the same spectrum.

Very difficult to spot a single standout track, and all are sufficiently durable to warrant several plays before you become over-familiar. Take the middle third of the Album and you'll find four tracks that point North, South, East and West in quick succession.
The whole show is deliciously acoustic, real blokes and gals, impossibly adorned with facial hair(irrespective of gender)skillfully sawing and lashing at wooden boxes of all shapes and string with a single thought in their mind - Performance.
We arrive to find Ms. Wright at the top of her game. Tempered, but never temperamental, paitent and ultimately smoothed. Lizz delivers each track with just what it needs and not an ounce more. No overbearing self indulgent howling, but the deepest emotional connect from someone who lives and breathes the blues.
At times luscious, but always delicately produced, this is a beautifully musical piece of cajun magic.


Dreaming Wide Awake
Dreaming Wide Awake
Price: 7.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding, 11 April 2010
This review is from: Dreaming Wide Awake (Audio CD)
Let me qualify before you read on. Lizz's style will polarise.
The genere is Jazz, or maybe Folk, then again R'n'B, or maybe....better to make up your own mind, but you won't resist the "haven't I heard this voice somewhere before" emotion. Give the album the space it deserves, listen without the prejudice and you'll find a quite exceptional performance delivering one of the finest musical hours of the last decade.
Lizz is a challenge to pidgeon-hole, but a development of the Tracy Chapman theme might be as close as it is generous to both.
Alternatively take an edgy precocious rasp from Sheryl Crow, stone bake it until the rooster crows and you might just have the opposite side of the same spectrum.

Very difficult to spot a single standout track, and all are sufficiently durable to warrant several plays before you become over-familiar. Take the middle third of the Album and you'll find four tracks that point North, South, East and West in quick succession.
The whole show is deliciously acoustic, real blokes and gals, impossibly adorned with facial hair(irrespective of gender)skillfully sawing and lashing at wooden boxes of all shapes and string with a single thought in their mind - Performance.
We arrive to find Ms. Wright at the top of her game. Tempered, but never temperamental, paitent and ultimately smoothed. Lizz delivers each track with just what it needs and not an ounce more. No overbearing self indulgent howling, but the deepest emotional connect from someone who lives and breathes the blues.
At times luscious, but always delicately produced, this is a beautifully musical piece of cajun magic.


Walt Disney / Pixar - Up [DVD]
Walt Disney / Pixar - Up [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ed Asner
Price: 10.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect perfection. (no plot spoilers), 11 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Disney/Pixar bet the house and won again with a deserved Best Picture nomination in the expanded 2010 category.
Lavish digitals with thorough development of a mirco-cast of characters led supremly by legendary fossil, Ed Asner.
Smaller kids will love the colour pace and adventures, larger ones may have to bribe their juniors for an excuse to follow the visuals and antics. Adults sit back and enjoy a genuine Motion Picture experience, packed solid with touching sincerity and moments of comic genius. The first 25 minutes is quite literally moving.
The real plot is simply bizarre, but this is Disney and we get carried along regardless. Without spoiling it UP is a simple journey of self-fulfillment and discovery.
The sub-plot is remarkable and misses only because again (WALL-E/I am Legend) we confront the ultimate question "What if you REALLY were alone?" before skillfully ducking away from an answer, because sooner or later in Hollywood someone will turn up to rescue you. Rather than mire in the misery, again UP lifts with charm, wit and gloss the way only Disney knows how.
A little peril, but nothing remotely scary (though Christopher Plummer's character gets decidedly spooky.) There was too much to risk losing the obligatory Universal rating and so anyone can safely watch.
Mature enough for all to respect it, detailed enough to be decorated with small finger prints from endless DVD replays. UP is far more durable than the annual shower of digital cash till ringers and merchandising led fodder we usually get treated to.
The plot wanders off from time to time, ultimately veering past the point of conclusion, but ask a four year old what they think and you'll get the answer you expect.

PS - when you reach for that glass of wine when the children are safely tucked in bed, why not try the strictly adult parallel of UP's "grumpy old man" Clint Eastwoods compelling GRAN TORINO.


Gran Torino [DVD] [2009]
Gran Torino [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Clint Eastwood
Price: 2.80

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Predictable has never been so unpredictable. Essential viewing., 11 April 2010
This review is from: Gran Torino [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Real nasty old geezer, realises his number just might have been called and embarks on the path of redemption.... takes four paces forward before retreating back to usual self.
Eastwood as Walt Kowalski is rotten, almost to the core and redeemed only by his frank and reinforced admission that he is nothing more than you see. No veneers, he defends the last bastion to patriotism and the God given right to insult at every opportunity the politically corrected world blinded by it's own corruption.
Played with sincerity and an unremitting growl, Eastwood is aged as his character and takes a very left-field shot at the Hollywood lead. This is the role that any agent worth their exhorbitant percentage will tell you not to take, but with Eastwood self directing, he's going to be the very last to listen.
The supporting cast vary tremendously with introductions to Korean's Bee Vang (mentored by Kowalski) and Ahney Thor (Kowalski's torment) that are unlikely to be reprised anytime soon. Their awkward sometimes lumpen delivery is counterbalanced by the feeling of authenticity of precocious personality. The obnoxious grandmother being the best example of which.
Christopher Carley, the cherub-like Father Janovich, seems uncomfortably out of place until the plot placates and reveals a very dark side to his character. John Carroll Lynch is there to demonstrate how far you can stretch the art of offence without actually causing any and provides a refreshing break from Kowalski's enveloping gloom. GT is always dark, mostly eye-opening and at times side splitting mainly for going regularly where no one else dares.
Eastwood's direction is simply towering and demostrates how much can be achieved with a set that stretches barely beyond the rationalised residential street and a cast deliberately selected to make no prior announcements.
The story is detailed and rich with feeling and suggestion. Sub-plots come faster than the foul-mouthed one liners, all carefully developed and gather to rally in the final climax which does not dissapoint.
In a perfect demonstration of directorial efficiency the single criticism is that there are signs this is little more than the Million Dollar Baby screenplay recycled, with all the plot twists cunningly re-shuffled between the character positions. See either picture in isloation and you will not fail to be rewarded.
Cumudgingly meets the contemporary in easily one of the best movies of the first ten years of this new century. Eastwood teaches we have very much to learn from the Ultimate Grumpy Old Man.


Space Cowboys [2000] [DVD]
Space Cowboys [2000] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Clint Eastwood
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: 2.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Old F-rts" are coming to save the world - in their own words., 11 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Space Cowboys [2000] [DVD] (DVD)
No illusions, BUT when the cast is built by giants even if wrinkly ones you know the result will be worth the popcorn.
SPACE COWBOYS reprises every cliched sci-fi disaster scenario, pokes a very long finger at itself and has a rich laugh every step of the way. It is a deliberate diversion never compromised by unrealistic dillusions of trying to change the world at 72, and just reminds that unless you're dead you are always relevant and capable.
Lee Jones is irracible (but you knew he would be) Sutherland is cheeky, very cheeky (but you knew he would be), Eastwood is sage (but you knew he would be) and Garner is....well... the other bloke (but you....etc. etc.) The Cowboys don't waste time with character development and instead leave simple notes and flashback to flesh the traits you'd readily associate with their actors. Most movies fall on their face at this point but you cannot help but respect the quality of the male leads.
Story is loose and simple, NASA is in trouble and for some reason the only blokes who CAN help are a bunch of forgotten retirees with a point to prove. Lots of familiar faces gently decorate and try not to get in the way. William Devanne being the obstructive exception. Plot development is light and concentrates on entertaining while gently bowling along. Direction is perfectly balanced and beautifully paints the Cape landscape.
Ultimately predictable, Space Cowboys is about entertainment, where the "gentle" adjective refers to it's lightness of touch rather than accelerated decrepitude.


Vertigo [DVD]
Vertigo [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Stewart
Price: 5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional thriller, untouched by the passage of time...., 11 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vertigo [DVD] (DVD)
Pray they never re-make this!
The trick to making a quality thriller is first suspend reality then envelope the auidence with a story so tight as to leave no plot holes.
Vertigo is old, no doubting that, but the direction sufficently rich to allow you to depart your reality for a gentler world when "doin 'er in..." didn't involve a nail gun to the back of the head in close-up!American Psycho [DVD] [2000]
On the first count you have to faithfully leave 21C for the world the way Doris Day knew it.
I deliberately leave synopsis for the uninitiated, because VERTIGO is well worth watching candidly if you didn't know or long since forgotten. Hitchcock weaves an delicate series of sub-plots that cunningly divert you away from the tale you thought you'd come to watch. SIXTH SENSE's M.NIGHT SHYMALAN learned from the best.
There is an emotional connect with all the principal players. Leading from the front, James Stewart dominates but Barbara Belle Geddes (DALLAS's Miss Ellie) is an engaging though under-used second. Novak is introduced and darkly takes over as the romantic interest. There is perfect balance, throughout the pace is patient with no waste material in the beautifully colourful footage. Hitchcock himself is in there...somehere... performing his signature cameo (clumsily copied latterly by M. Night) and the supporting cast is refreshingly trim and strictly relevant.
Tradditionalists will revel in the social values of the time - manners, zero language/sex/violence which are relegated to implication or description.
Easily stretching beyond two hours, the film is neither tiring or wandering. Very entertaining and genuine departure from the hype-merchandise and celebrity obsessed mis-direction of today.

IMDB regularly lists in the top quarter of their 250 all time greatest and with very good reason.
Exceptional.


Nanny McPhee: Bumper Edition [DVD]
Nanny McPhee: Bumper Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Emma Thompson
Price: 9.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely belly aching...., 11 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Knowing nothing but the R5 Kermode review of the sequel I thought "this will be good for the four-year-old at Easter." I bought it leaving it for family viewing while I did the "bloke thing" attempting to self-amputate body parts in the name of DIY.
Hours later grabbed - yes GRABBED by the cheering audience departing our "home" cinema with grins I'd need a power tool to chisel off.

Our age range is broad, taste even more diverse, but the opinion is unanimous, very mature production mixing great story telling of the tallest variety with genuine comic talent.
Way above the typical American holiday fodder, a Mary Poppins for the Harry Potter generation.


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