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juliet R "Juli" (London,UK)

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Too Much Information
Too Much Information
Price: £10.85

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry In Motion, 5 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Too Much Information (Audio CD)
Maximo Park's fifth album Too Much Information is now out on release.Originally an EP,it was decided by the band that their songs were good enough to use on a full length album. The album is a riveting piece of work and is warmly welcomed by the band's fans old,new and embryonic.

"Give,Get,Take",the first track,is a sensuous teasing song made all the more intriguing by the words "I'd forgive you anything -you are a direct inspiration,"as,in the CD's credit,leadman Paul Smith's entry "Love to Becca-you are a direct inspiration",has the listener wondering if there's a romantic connection between Becca and the love interest in "Give,Get,Take".

But I digress. Too Much Information has a poppy,upbeat feel to most of the songs,but is rescued from too much mainstream information by tracks such as the subterranean"Brain Cells" and the Jonathan Richmanesque"My Bloody Mind".

Well-produced by the band themselves and engineered by David Brewis(Field Music),Duncan Lloyd and Lukas Wooller from Maximo Park,this album is a rich mix of words and music which holds the listener's ear immediately.

It's a newish direction for the band,but thankfully that old mysterious magic that they still retain secretes itself through this album's music.

The best and most "connected" track is,in my opinion,"Leave This Island".The tune is exceptional,the instrumental backing is tight and unflawed,and the steady drumbeat (Tom English)shows how Maximo Park,at their best,can be on top of their game.
A chart success?I'm really hoping so,with this song.

"Drinking Martinis"is rather a lovely song-a sad tale of romantic loss...and "Midnight On The Hill" is another poetically-worded track with a strong backbeat."Her Name Was Audre"is a rocking tribute to black poetess Audre Lorde,perhaps not a literary figure known by everybody,but nonetheless worth singing about.

The last track "Where We're Going" has singer Paul Smith in very good voice;it's a ballad-style song with beautiful backing vocals from MP's Duncan Lloyd.

The bonus CD of cover songs is also worth hearing.I particularly liked "Northern Sky" and "I'll Be Here In The Morning",by Nick Drake and Townes Van Zandt respectively.Both very beautiful,poignant songs.

TMI is an album which appears superficial on first hearing,but in fact has many layers to it. In some ways,it's a little more heavy-going than MP's previous four albums,but that's not to criticize.Suffice it to say that MP's followers will recognize it as another triumph for the band and for their fans.

Recommended.


Summer With Love: The Spanish Consultant / The Greek Children's Doctor / The English Doctor's Baby
Summer With Love: The Spanish Consultant / The Greek Children's Doctor / The English Doctor's Baby
by Sarah Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Read, 4 Feb. 2014
I have just discovered this author by chance and really enjoyed Summer,With Love.Expecting the usual corny romance,I was pleasantly surprised by the writer's easy style and luminous characters.

A lovely escape for those readers in need of a little R and R.


The Jazz Age
The Jazz Age
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Flappers Ahoy!, 17 April 2013
This review is from: The Jazz Age (Audio CD)
This CD was recommended to me by a well-known indie singer,so I purchased it.
I wasn't disappointed at all.Bouncy,breezy,scarily authentic,the thirteen tracks on here are very uplifting.
My favourite is the first track,Do The Strand,which sounds uncannily like Chris Barber's Jazz Band.

Well worth buying this cheerful,quirky collection of Roxy Music classic tunes.


What Katy Did (Puffin Classics)
What Katy Did (Puffin Classics)
by Susan Coolidge
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Tale Of Katy Carr, 26 Oct. 2012
I have just rediscovered What Katy Did,after a clearout of old children's books.My original copy was very worn and so I purchased this Puffin Classic from amazon,of course!

I was absorbed into the wonderful story of Katy Carr and her family,full of warmth,poignancy and charm,in which the heroine is shown a lesson when she falls out of a faulty swing in the shed at home and she has to spend long months recovering,unable to be active and enjoy life as she used to before the accident.

A host of marvellous characters appear in this book-Katy's austere Aunt Izzie,her loving father Dr Carr,her brothers Phil and Dorry,sisters Elsie,Clover and Johnny. Her siblings were modelled on author Susan Coolidge's own.The Carr children's mother died when Phil was four years old.

The shining light of Katy's difficult time is Cousin Helen,who suffered a similar accident but never recovered fully from it.

This story is indeed timeless and it could be read to children of today.I was totally immersed in this story and a bomb could explode while I was reading it and it wouldn't be heard by me!

Highly recommended.


Ceremonials (2CD Deluxe Edition)
Ceremonials (2CD Deluxe Edition)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waves Of Magic On This Album, 8 July 2012
In the sleeve notes to this album,Florence is quoted as saying to the ocean waves when she was a little girl:
"I'll make a deal with you.You stay there.You don't come any closer."

This really sums the album up.Produced by Paul Epworth,a modern-day Phil Spector,Ceremonials has a rich tapestry of songs and lyrics to entrap the listener's ear.Twelve tracks of gorgeous songs(my favourites being the kaleidoscopic Spectrum and No Light No Light),this album is far superior to Lungs(and that was a cracker).

Beautiful Florence weaves her spell on this record.She is a 21st Century Kate Bush.

The photos on the inner sleeve are lovely too,featuring Florence in a variety of pre-Raphaelite poses and floaty Isadora Duncan-style dresses.

Happy and tragic at the same time,this album is a bit of a treasure.I'm so glad I discovered it before it was too late.

Highly recommended.


Write This Down [VINYL]
Write This Down [VINYL]
Offered by ALL-MY-MUSIC-GERMANY
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sing This Song, 21 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Write This Down [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Ouch!!this single (released in Germany)from Maximo Park's album The National Health,has a sting in the tail.

It's about an old love of Paul Smith,the lead singer,who,having inducted him into a close relationship,proceeds to tell him she is expecting his child....and thus ignites his wrath.

Cleverly explained in the song's lyrics "Here's an entry....for your diary...dictation..Are you ready?"
this is an example of Paul's storytelling style in song.I love the chorus and the angry tone of the song

"I chose the warmest day...to rain on your parade"

Yet the song is not cruel at all.It's highly singable and very very catchy.

Chart material,this one is.


The National Health
The National Health
Price: £10.03

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maximo Return With A Message, 11 Jun. 2012
This review is from: The National Health (Audio CD)
You can't read the newspaper while listening to Maximo Park's new album The National Health.Complete aural attention to it is essential. Dedicated to the memory of Lee Pasfield,the band's former soundman,who tragically succumbed to brain cancer in 2009,this new album from Maximo Park is very powerful indeed.

Thirteen tracks packed with vitality,doom,heartbreak,hope,concern for the state of the country and for the world,and sonic bliss,command the listener to sit up and give their full attention to the songs.

Now somewhat matured with their sound,helped enormously by producer Gil Norton,MP stamp their musical individuality indelibly onto this album,much as they did with their debut one A Certain Trigger,back in 2005.

Lead singer Paul Smith,still only 33,has retained his position as indie music's classiest frontman,demonstrating a theatricality and vocal professionalism rare in today's crop of new(ish!) bands.

Keysman Lukas Wooller's stylish playing is a big part of the album,whilst the musical ability of guitarist Duncan Lloyd has contributed a sizeable chunk to the songs.

Tom English,the band's drummer,bolsters up the quintet with his solid drumwork-and bassist Archis Tiku is rock solid in there!

To dissect- standout tracks are:The National Health(urgent and chaotic),Write This Down(acerbic and vicious,but in a good way),Until The Earth Would Open(sad,wistful and visionary),Unfamiliar Places(yearning and poignant). I particularly liked the short intro When I Was Wild,which showcases Paul Smith's poetic talent in song.

The tracks are all very different,but joined by that slightly disturbing essence which this band are now well-known for.

The CD's cover artwork deserves a mention too.Depicting a graphically-designed black bird on a shocking pink background,it was inspired by Vorticist WW1 artist Wyndham Lewis's picture Blast.The bird can be viewed either way up and still have a meaning..."Sink or Swim"is the message of this album...take responsibility for your own life.It's in your hands.

The last two lines of the last track on the album Waves Of Fear,sum up Maximo Park's prophetic stance in the indie music scene of the 21st Century.

We're not going to leave
Until you're ready.

There are also four acoustic songs on the deluxe edition of The National Health CD.These include:

The Undercurrents(a lovely yearning track)
Hips And Lips(Lukas Wooller's piano led ballad)
Reluctant Love(heartbreaking)
Until The Earth Would Open-my current favourite of the four songs.The music to this one was written by Duncan Lloyd,the founder of Maximo Park and probably the unsung member of the band.

A surefire hit.Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2012 10:50 PM BST


Electric Warrior (Bonus Tracks)
Electric Warrior (Bonus Tracks)

5.0 out of 5 stars Riiight On!, 17 April 2012
How many more anniversary editions will there be of this great classic album?Will it go down in history,like the story of the Titanic?

E.W. is a classic,that's for sure,and it spans a generation. I bought the 30th anniversary edition CD in 2002,and am pondering on buying the deluxe 40th anniversary one...

Marc Bolan and T Rex are totally unique in pop history,and they won't ever be forgotten.Immortal tracks like Mambo Sun,Jeepster,Hot Love are 70s classics.Sexy,stylish and mystical,T Rex won the gong for best innovative glam rock group,back in the day.

An album to cherish and treasure for years.


The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £9.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Timewarp, 6 April 2012
For two years or so now I have had the song It Ain't Easy in my head...for the life of me I couldn't recall who sang it or where I had heard it.I searched on Youtube earlier this year and found out...it's a track from Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

When I learned that it is 40 years this year since that album was released,I bought the CD and relived all the madness..and the majesty of this album.

From start to finish it is a classic and my favourite Bowie album.For those afficionados,a plaque was erected in Heddon St. London W1 a couple of weeks ago,to commemorate the "landing"of Ziggy himself in that street. The plaque is only the second to commemorate a fictional character(the first being Sherlock Holmes in Baker St.)

But I digress. Of the eleven tracks on this album,Five Years and Suffragette City are my favourites.

The album cover has also passed into rock history,depicting Ziggy himself in a seedy London backstreet.A rock messiah to be reckoned with.

Recommended listening.


Loud
Loud
Price: £4.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hip and Stylish, 4 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Loud (Audio CD)
Browsing the cd section of my local Sainsburys store recently,I spotted Loud on the racks.Rihanna is an artist I hadn't heard much of..Umbrella and her hassle from Chris Brown being the two facts known to me..so I took a chance and bought the cd.

Wow,I'm so glad I did.Love it and have played it every day since.Rihanna can sing naughty words with style, and her Caribbean accent and jaunty rhythms charm in every song.

My favourites include S & M,Only Girl In The World,Cheers(Drink To That),and Skin(impossibly sensual).

So I can thoroughly recommend this CD and name Rihanna as the classy successor to Madonna.Lady Gaga as competition?Well,let's just say that Rihanna wins because of her mystique and femininity as a performer.

Great album!


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