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Cold Cold Heart ~ Where Country Meets Soul Volume 3
Cold Cold Heart ~ Where Country Meets Soul Volume 3
Price: £13.01

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The blurred lines between Country and Soul, 29 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The last three songs aside, this is another very enjoyable selection of country songs getting a soulful makeover by some of the biggest (alongside lesser known) soul artists and groups of the Sixties and Seventies.

There really are some amazing recordings here. The Temptations deceptively simple sounding take of 'Little Green Apples' is jaw-droppingly beautiful with Paul Williams' vocals backed by some really intricate guitar playing. Each member of The Supremes get a verse to themselves on the soulful blues of 'It Makes No Difference Now' and they're swiftly followed by the powerful vocals of The Mirettes on their funky cover of 'Stand By Your Man'. Percy Sledge's version of 'True Love Travels On a Gravel Road' provided the template for all future versions (including Elvis) and George Benson's smooth vocals, the backing singers and brass blend so well together on the mid-tempo 'My Woman's Good to Me'.

About those last three songs: Two are from this century and The Isley Brothers 'The Most Beautiful Girl' is from 1986 and they sound totally out of place, particularly the latter which is all bad 80's production (and a drawn-out seven minutes long!). They're just too modern sounding and spoil the overall sound of this compilation. Thankfully they've been lumped together at the end.

With a playing time of 78:18 minutes and featuring well researched and extensive notes on all of the songs this is, excluding the last three songs, another near outstanding release in this series.


BRITA Marella Cool Water Filter Jug, 2.4 L - Lavender
BRITA Marella Cool Water Filter Jug, 2.4 L - Lavender
Price: £16.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Limescale free kettle and chilled drinking water, 28 Aug. 2014
I bought one of these a few months ago due to limescale forever building up in the kettle. Happy to report that since using it the problem no longer exists. The water filtrates through the filter very fast and, unless you're filling it more than once a day, the filters are good to last for 60 days (Brita recommend changing them every 30 days, but I suppose they would do). The slimline shape means that it fits in the fridge door shelf thereby allowing you to have chilled drinking water on tap (so to speak).


CSL - HDMI Switch 3D Ready / Full HD 1080p - flexible 3 port switch | 3 x IN / 1 x OUT | Dolby True HD / intelligent switch- automatic and manual switch
CSL - HDMI Switch 3D Ready / Full HD 1080p - flexible 3 port switch | 3 x IN / 1 x OUT | Dolby True HD / intelligent switch- automatic and manual switch
Offered by CSL-Computer
Price: £8.85

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connects Google Chromecast and Now TV box to television, 24 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this so that I could connect a Google Chromecast and a NOW TV box to my television that only has one HDMI input. It works perfectly but the Google Chromcast always takes precedence when I switch to HDMI (I suspect that it's something to do with Google, not this). However, you do have the option to manually switch between inputs using the button located on the top and it works just fine. I have the three port switch flexible model and if you're using it with the Chromecast, you can just about use all three inputs at the same time but it's a tight squeeze due to the Chromecast's shape and size. There are cheaper alternative versions of these types of devices available but this one is well made and built to last.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2015 1:23 PM BST


Bitmore Juucee 2600mAh Ultra Compact Portable Battery Backup Charger with LED Torch
Bitmore Juucee 2600mAh Ultra Compact Portable Battery Backup Charger with LED Torch
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Low capacity "get you thru the end of the day" battery backup, 23 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Slightly smaller but slightly heavier than a packet of Tunes / Starburst this is NOT the battery backup to pack if you're heading off camping or to a festival. Given its low capacity and size, this is for carrying around in your pocket or bag to get you through the end of the day. On a full charge it can power web browsing on an iPad 2 for approximately 80 minutes. Charging it via a USB cable (included) takes about 3 hours using a USB wall plug (not included). The outer case is made from a rubber type material and the torch is surprisingly bright.


Ipanema Girl: The Very Best Of
Ipanema Girl: The Very Best Of
Price: £3.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Effortless Cool of Astrud Gilberto, 23 Aug. 2014
Despite sometimes sounding detached from the music, Astrud Gilberto's effortless vocals nearly always radiate a sensual charm that connects with the listener and no one before or since sings a song quite like her. And some of these breezy Bossa Nova classics recorded between 1964 and 1970 are, just like her voice, unforgettable. The production, arrangements and instrumentation across all 28 tracks still sounds superb and the (non-chronological) track ordering is perfect. With a playing time of 78:17 minutes, this is stylish and elegant music.

A special mention for the cool retro cover design - it's so much better than the animated sleeve design on Decca's 2006 'Very Best Of' compilation. With concise liner notes, none of the totally unnecessary remixes that feature on the 20006 compilation and closing with the jaw-dropping 'Beginnings' (check out the bass on this cover of a very funky song by Chicago Transit Authority who later shortened their name and became AOR mega-stars Chicago), THIS is the Astrud Gilberto compilation to get.


Oral-B Pro 3000 CrossAction Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Oral-B Pro 3000 CrossAction Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Price: £44.99

22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good toothbrush but only if the price is right, 18 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using Oral-B toothbrushes for years and the oscillating action is really smooth and comfortable. It reaches all your teeth with ease and leaves your mouth and gnashers refreshed and clean. This model is no different in that respect.

Although it comes with a couple of brush heads, ALL Oral-B Pro toothbrush heads will fit this handle. The handle is slim and ergonomically sound. You'll need to leave it charging overnight to get a full charge - it takes 12-15 hours - and when fully charged I've been getting SIX days use when using it TWICE daily for 2 minutes each time. The instructions do recommend storing the handle on the charging unit to maintain full power and that "overcharging is impossible".

It pauses very briefly every 30 seconds, reminding you to change quadrant and continues running after the recommended two minute brushing cycle. The switch off mode is clumsy - it goes into another mode and it almost feels like you're having to forcefully switch it off and the pressure sensor is pointless - you have to be brushing so hard that you're slowing down the motor for it to light up.

Beyond the default 'Daily Clean' mode, it has a couple of extra ones - 'Gum Care' and 'Sensitive'. The Gum Care mode massages the gums (it's not uncomfortable but not something I'll be using regularly) and the Sensitive mode is just like the standard mode but slower. The default Daily Clean mode should cover most people's requirements.

Overall this is a very good toothbrush but when buying Oral-B it's worth shopping around a bit - the R.R.P. is way over the top for what this is and, at the time of writing, it's being offered for £45 which is a lot more reasonable. Ultimately, if you don't need the 'Gum Care' and 'Sensitive' modes, opt for the cheaper Oral-B Pro 2000 instead.


Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
Price: £29.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a dumb TV smart, 18 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have a basic TV that has a HDMI input but is not in the slightest bit smart. For £30 this is a superb little gadget that adds a lot of extra functionality to it. It's simple to setup - plug the Chromecast into your TV's HDMI socket and it's USB power cable into a wall socket, install the app on your Android or iOS device and follow the on-screen instructions on your device to get it connected to your Wi-Fi. When setup, supported apps will then give you the option to 'cast' the content from your device to your TV and allow you to carry on using your device as normal i.e. if you choose to cast a programme from the BBC iPlayer app on an iPad, you can close the app and continue using your iPad as normal and the programme will continue playing on your TV, independent of your device. You can also mirror websites from the Chrome browser on a laptop or PC to your TV as well as what you can see on the screen of most Android devices.

Some of the supported apps that make this worthwhile for me include:

BT Sport
Netflix
Blinkbox
BBC iPlayer
YouTube

For a full list of supported apps follow the link in the comment below.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 18, 2014 1:08 AM BST


Samsung 1.5TB Wireless Mobile Media Streaming Device for Android & iOS - up to 750 Movies
Samsung 1.5TB Wireless Mobile Media Streaming Device for Android & iOS - up to 750 Movies
Price: £148.05

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good device let down by a poor app and slow indexing, 17 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Slighty bigger and chunkier than a stand alone hard drive, getting media onto this streaming device is straight-forward. Connect it to your PC and drag and drop your files onto it. As well as a media streaming device you can also use it as a normal hard drive. I loaded it with approximately 1,800 CDs ripped to MP3 and 120 films ripped to MP4.

Setting it up with my Samsung Galaxy Tab was also really straight-forward. It creates it's own Wi-Fi hotspot that was recognised by the Samsung Wireless app I'd already installed. You can use it with an iPad using the web browser (there is no iOS app) but it was just far too buggy and unresponsive to make it worthwhile.

I must admit that I'm not that impressed with the app in both the way it's laid out and how it performs. It's absolutely fine with my MP4 videos. Because they're not in folders and sub folders, all 120 films showed up almost immediately and were ready to play but it's taking an age to index all of my MP3s that are in Artist/Album sub folders. After over 75 hours of use it's still indexing them and until they've all been indexed I can't see and therefore access all of my MP3s. Also, when playing back an album you have to select all of the tracks to playback the whole album instead of just hitting one 'play' tab. Additionally, the album artwork appears in the 'Photos' folder in the app mixed up with your own photos! It's all a bit clumsy.

Playback of MP4 films is superb - I've had three devices simultaneously streaming different films with no playback problems whatsoever. The battery is OK but nothing special - when playing back a film on one device it lasts for about 4 hours so if your using this with multiple devices in a car you might want to invest in a car USB charger. When playing back MP3 files encoded at 320kbps on one device, the battery lasts for approximately 6 hours.

Overall this is a good device that allows you to carry a massive amount of media around with you and play it back on your Android device. However, it's let down by a poor app, a limited battery and slow indexing. If Samsung can sort out these issues (particularly the app) and also make it run more smoothly on the iOS browser (or go one better and produce an iOS app) then this is a 4 Star bit of kit pushing 5 Stars. Until then it only rates 3 Stars.


Oral-B Pro 5000 CrossAction Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush with SmartGuide Powered by Braun
Oral-B Pro 5000 CrossAction Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush with SmartGuide Powered by Braun
Price: £66.01

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive toothbrush and features, 17 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using Oral-B toothbrushes for years and the oscillating action is really smooth and comfortable. It reaches all your teeth with ease and leaves your mouth and gnashers refreshed and clean. This model is no different in that respect.

It comes boxed with three different brush heads, charger, travel case, Smart Guide (clock) and a toothbrush head holder that integrates with the base of the charger. The handle is slim and ergonomically sound and you'll need to leave it charging overnight to get a full charge - it takes 12-15 hours. With a full charge I've been getting SIX days use when using it TWICE daily for 2 minutes. The motor is powerful and doesn't get much slower as the battery runs down, it just stops. The instructions do recommend storing the handle on the charging unit to maintain full power and that "overcharging is impossible".

It pauses very briefly every 30 seconds, reminding you to change quadrant and continues running after the recommended two minute brushing cycle. Switching it off is clumsy - it goes into another mode and it almost feels like you're having to forcefully turn it off and the pressure sensor is pointless - you have to be brushing so hard that you're slowing down the motor for it to light up.

The best thing about this brush is the Smart Guide. You need to pair it with the brush handle once and every time thereafter it will commence timing the amount of time you spend brushing (it's a bit like a stop watch - switch the brush on and it starts counting the time). I personally find this really useful as it ensures that my teeth get at least two minutes of cleaning time without having to count the number of 30 second pauses. It displays the time when you're not brushing your teeth so it's also a useful bathroom clock.

Beyond the default 'Daily Clean' mode, it has three extra ones - 'Gum Care', 'Sensitive' and 'Whitening' but, apart from the Sensitive mode (which is the standard mode slowed down), the Daily Clean mode should cover most people's requirements.

Finally make sure you get it at the right price. The R.R.P. is way over the top for what this is and the asking price on Amazon goes up and down like a yo-yo. Anywhere around the £60-£70 or less is a reasonable price to pay.


Still Dreamin' Wild: The Lost Recordings 1979 - 81
Still Dreamin' Wild: The Lost Recordings 1979 - 81
Price: £11.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dream Worth Dreamin', 29 July 2014
Over 30 years after the release of their one and only album, Donnie & Joe Emerson finally tasted success when Light in the Attic re-issued it a couple of years ago. This new collection from LITA features a further 12 songs they recorded in their $100,000 studio that their father financed by mortgaging most of his farm land. Initially I didn't have much interest in this album - lost songs are normally lost for a reason i.e. they're not very good - but when I saw it on the shelves in HMV I was reminded just how much I enjoyed Dreamin' Wild and took a punt. And I'm glad I did. Much like Dreamin' Wild, this is more or less a Donnie Emerson solo affair (Joe co-wrote one song and plays drums on a couple of others) and once again it highlights what a talented musician and songwriter he was.

Missing much of the naive charm found on Dreamin' Wild, Donnie's sound has evolved and these teenage symphonies are a lot more confident and assured. Admittedly the production and instrumentation, particularly the drum machines and synths, sounds very much of its time (very early 1980's sounding!) but nearly all of these songs are immediate, catchy and well crafted pop songs. The overall sound isn't too far removed from that of Hall & Oates from the same period and you can also hear the influence of the music Donnie was probably listening to at the time, including The Cars, Rick Springfield and Tom Petty. Strong melodies, addictive choruses and even some political commentary ('Big Money'), this is every bit as good as Dreamin' Wild. Housed in a gatefold cardboard sleeve, it clocks in at just over 40 minutes and once again features excellent liner notes.


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