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Denzyboy (Leicester, UK)

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The Woman in Black [DVD]
The Woman in Black [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.74

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utter tosh!, 7 Nov. 2013
This review is from: The Woman in Black [DVD] (DVD)
Not my choice of viewing, I'll admit. But 20 minutes in, all of us watching couldn't wait for it to end. Suspense? No. Horror? No. Did we care what happened? No. In fact I'll just elaborate on the title of this review. Badly acted, painfully slow-paced and creakily directed utter tosh.


Great Puzzle
Great Puzzle
Offered by Plegnic Sonor
Price: £2.74

5.0 out of 5 stars 'Jules Junkies' start here!, 6 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Great Puzzle (Audio CD)
I first came across the songs of Jules Shear a couple of years ago when, in pursuit of Iain Matthews' back-catalogue, I happened on 'Walking A Changing Line' an unusual but excellent album of JS covers. The brilliance of his songs shines through so I set about finding out more about the man. Following his late 70's work with the fantastic 'Jules and The Polar Bears', he continues to release solo albums of intelligent and melodic songs and this early 90s effort is regarded as one of his best.

The title track, 'The Trap Door', 'The Sad Sound of the Wind' and 'The Mystery's All Mine' are Grade A gems and most of the rest of the album, including 'Dreams Dissolve in Tears' (a duet with his wife Pal Shazar) is not far behind:

'Salt dissolves in water, youth dissolves in years,
But it's the hardest thing to watch the way that dreams dissolve in tears'

A couple of tracks (notably 'We Were Only Making Love') fail to pass muster and some may find Jules' voice (described as an amalgam of Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams and Kermit the Frog with a head-cold) an acquired taste, but overall a brilliant album.

I'll end with a note of warning; once you start you'll be hooked on a criminally overlooked genuine song-writing great.


The Green Road Into The Trees
The Green Road Into The Trees
by Hugh Thomson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick, before he sees you!, 6 Nov. 2013
Some people are said to wear their learning lightly. Hugh Thomson is not one of those people, and therein lies the problem with 'The Green Road Into The Trees'. In part this book succeeds as an informative and thought-provoking diary of a walk along the Icknield Way from Dorset to the East Coast. Literary and historical links to the landscape traversed are liberally and sometimes interestingly placed (rather than woven) into the narrative. It's interesting and amusing at times, but ultimately the author comes across as rather smug and self-absorbed, desperate to impress the reader with his knowledge and all round general 'hipness'. If I encountered Hugh Thomson on a walk, I'd like to think I'd buy him a pint, but on balance I think I'd hide in the ditch!


Electric Cables
Electric Cables
Price: £12.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Summer sounds to last all year long, 10 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Electric Cables (Audio CD)
This has been the perfect soundtrack to the summer. Just the thing for a sunny afternoon in the garden and if, by some remote chance, the rain's lashing down instead, `Electric Cables' reminds you that sunshine's never that far away. As mentioned in the other review all of the tracks drift pleasantly by, gently chiming guitars weaving together with rippling flutes and some subtle electronics. But there are some standout tracks; `Sweetness in Her Spark' could have been a hit as a good old fashioned pop single and `Sunlight to the Dawn' ends the album on a gorgeous spiraling coda. Apart form the sheer tunefulness of everything, there are few clues to leading Lightship Gerard Love's full-time job with the still-excellent Teenage Fanclub, the gleefully fuzzed guitar in `Silver & Gold' being an exception. Don't get the idea that this is superficial or disposable music though, there's real depth to the writing and arranging here and each play reveals some new twist or nuance in the often deceptively simple songs.

Hopefully `Electric Cables' isn't the last recording this collective will make. It's one of those albums I often reach for when I'm not sure what to put on and after a couple of tracks find myself nodding smugly and thinking `good call' (and certainly better than some lagers I can think of!) so it gets five stars from me.


Football Manager 2012 (PC/Mac DVD)
Football Manager 2012 (PC/Mac DVD)
Offered by Ace Goods Co. Ltd
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steam...let them off!, 14 Mar. 2012
Only been playing the game a few weeks and I'm just at the point when I can't decide whether the updates have enhanced the game experience or taken away some of the immediacy of managing in earlier versions. Yes the new match-day engine is pretty cool and contract negotiations have a more authentic feel to them. Balanced against these, training and tactical changes seem to be even more intricate to no discernible effect (I'm usually stuck with L1 mid-table mediocrity for a few seasons until I get my coaching staff sorted out and a couple of unlikely foreign signings make an impact!). On that basis, I'll give it four stars.

BUT...(and here's why I've posted this review) I have something positive to say about Steam! Yes it's a pain in the proverbial, like others I resent having to jump through hoops in order to play a game that I've purchased and I initially experienced problems getting it to run on my Mac. However, the e mail support I got from Steam was polite, helpful and although it took a few goes, they provided an individual solution and FM12 now runs perfectly.


To The Death Of Fun
To The Death Of Fun
Price: £10.24

5.0 out of 5 stars HEY YOU...!, 28 Feb. 2012
This review is from: To The Death Of Fun (Audio CD)
...yes you! Were you one of those writers who didn't include `To the Death of Fun' in your best albums of 2011? How could you not? It's brilliant! I expect Cashier No. 9 exhibit all of the influences mentioned elsewhere on this page and a few more besides, but this album sounds fresh, original and contemporary. From the moment the lead-off track, the fabulous `Goldstar', comes bounding out the speakers like a playful offspring of `Born to Run' (really - well, sort of..) with its widescreen production and `interesting' lyrics (`I look better with my high heels on' asserts CN9 main-man Daniel Todd!) to the fading electronic twinkle of `6%' this is a great collection of songs. Varied in tempo and mood, but all brilliantly 'orchestrated'. They sound great live too! Highly recommended and criminally overlooked by all but BBC 6 Music it seems.


Time Passages
Time Passages
Price: £9.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The wands of smoke are rising..., 1 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Time Passages (Audio CD)
...from the walls of the Bastille'! Rock'n'roll or what?! Delighted to have this on a decent re-master at last. Time Passages was originally released in 1978 as the follow-up to `Year of the Cat' and despite the same immaculate Alan Parsons production and some strong songs it always seems to have been rather overshadowed by its predecessor. Shame really, because this mixture of historical epics, gentler folky numbers and a couple of blatant (and successful) attempts aimed at American AOR radio is as fine a piece of work as Al has ever produced.
The title track was apparently written `to order' as a follow-up single to 'Year of the Cat' and Al always seems to have played down its merits, but from the retro-chime of the electric piano intro through Phil Kenzie's obligatory sax solo its always been one of my favourite songs, nudging the listener to consider the threads of their past through a straightforward but evocative lyric. Elsewhere `Valentina Way `rocks as hard as anything Al's ever done (OK, so not that hard then!) while Timeless Skies and Almost Lucy are first-rate, more acoustic numbers. `The Palace of Versailles' (see the title of this review) is possibly the strongest of the historical songs, complete with the excellent Tim Renwick on lead guitar, but `A Man for All Seasons' and the marvellously claustrophobic `Life in Dark Water' are also memorable. `Time Passages' and `Song on the Radio' both notched up respectable single sales in the US.
Listening to 'Time Passages' it's hard to believe that in 1978 the tidal wave of punk was aiming to wash away `this sort of thing'. Glad this album found a rock to cling to and that those top blokes at Rhino have done a decent job on the re-master!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2012 6:36 PM BST


Resolution
Resolution
Price: £26.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Resolve to buy!, 1 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Resolution (Audio CD)
Having most of Dougie's albums, I was wondering whether I needed another. His last collection (Inside the Thunder - 2006) certainly had its moments, but wasn't outstanding. However, in the end I decided to buy `Resolution' and I'm very glad I did. As mentioned elsewhere on this page, this is probably Dougie's best ever. There's absolutely no filler here; every song is worthy of its place and several are instant classics.
The CD opens with the stately title track, an immediately memorable melody, beautifully arranged with Ross Ainslie's whistle solo and the gentle acoustic coda only adding the song's appeal. In fact it's the arrangements that lift a strong collection of songs into something really special. Dougie's acoustic guitar and fiddle are joined by a variety of instruments mostly played by son Jamie. Elsewhere other highlights include the beautiful `Weather Eye' (another ace solo from Mr Ainslie) and the gentle more folky closer `All Who Wander'. Most songs are slow to mid-tempo with only the bouncy didgeridoo-propelled `Over Us All' and the stirring `Disgraceful' speeding things up a bit. Since the early 80s Dougie's songs have been much admired and covered by a variety of other artists and `Resolution' could provide another rich seam.
So there's nothing not to like here, especially if you enjoy folk/Celtic/singer-songwriter stuff. I guess if you're not familiar with Mr MacLean's work the proper singing of proper songs (no auto-tune or overdubbed histrionics here) and the definitely not run-of-the mill lyrics (eagles do a fair amount of soaring, the elements feature prominently and a strong sense of history and the sinister powers that be are never far away) may take some getting used to. But leaving all that aside, there aren't too many albums these days that I listen to on `repeat'. This is most definitely one, and 'Resolution' is (as our favoured Indian takeaway rightly describes its dopiaza) `recommended for everyone'!


Letters From A Flying Machine
Letters From A Flying Machine
Price: £14.60

5.0 out of 5 stars It shouldn't work...but it does!, 23 Feb. 2011
`Letter's from a Flying Machine' is almost a concept album based on Peter Mulvey's musings on the wonders of the universe, the passing of time, change, growing up and the place of love and truth within all of these. Now stay with me on this because it's in no way a pretentious or heavy trip. Short, memorable songs in a variety of styles interspersed with the spoken word `letters' of the title which were supposedly written on plane journeys and sent to his young nieces and nephews. Whether sung or spoken, the relaxed warm delivery on this album draws you in. The music features Peter's excellent acoustic guitar work along with a drums, acoustic bass, accordion, clarinet, violin etc.

Peter Mulvey is certainly a talented singer/songwriter and guitarist whose previous work is well worth investigating, but LFAFM is a step sideways and maybe forwards too. The songs stand by themselves; from the sardonic observation of `Kids Out in the Square' to the almost Randy Newman-like wordplay of `Some People' via the more typical `Windshield' and the acoustic stomp of `Dynamite Bill' they are varied and melodic. But it's the spoken word pieces that are the surprise. Thought I'd be reaching for the `skip' button or editing them out, but no, like all good `concept' albums I find myself listening to the whole thing in one sitting, so that I can reach the final track (a short rendition of George and Ira Gershwins' `Love is Here to Stay' sounding as if it's being played over a plane's PA system, which provides this fascinating album with a hopeful and poignant ending) having been on the whole journey.

Highly recommended!


Fishing Up the Moon
Fishing Up the Moon
Price: £12.36

4.0 out of 5 stars You'll be hooked!, 17 Oct. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fishing Up the Moon (Audio CD)
Nick has been a member of the legendary Scottish folk\harmony group the McCalmans for many years. The bad news is that the `Macs' have called it a day; the good news is that Nick continues to write and record some very impressive work indeed, including `Fishing Up The Moon'. His songs have always featured prominently in the band's repertoire, but this album moves away from folk into singer-songwriter territory with a strong transatlantic feel, even though Nick's home city of Edinburgh is referenced through many of the lyrics.

The overall sound of the album is just right thanks to Nick's clear vocals (the wife said `Is that Cat Stevens? For once (!), she had a point; the timbre of his voice is reminiscent at times) and the clean, open production; acoustic guitar to the fore and just the right amount of colour provided by electric guitar, organ, accordion and fiddle etc. The songs are a mixture of well-judged covers (Steve Forbert's `I Blinked Once', the more obscure but fascinating `Ballad of Motorcycle Joe' by Brigid Kaelin, and a compelling re-run of Stuart Adamson's `Shattered Cross) together with Keir originals, all of which have strong melodies and thoughtful lyrics.

`Here's to You' gets things off to a rousing start with a forthright vocal and catchy refrain. Elsewhere the gorgeous `Tattered Star' and the narrative of `Corryvrekan Calling' soon lodge in the brain and demand repeat playing. The themes of the songs are also familiar; `Denmark's Girls' is a European re-write of the Californian version (sort of) and the wistful closing track `Festival Lights' takes `Homeward Bound' north and east from Widnes.

This is a melodic album of genuine depth from another of those really talented artists flying under the commercial radar. If you're at all interested in this sort of thing, `Fishing Up The Moon' comes highly recommended.


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