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Mr. Jon Peache "Jon P"
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Logic3 MIP107K i-Station7 iPod Speakers - Black
Logic3 MIP107K i-Station7 iPod Speakers - Black

1.0 out of 5 stars Would prefer a docking station that works, 20 July 2010
I don't see that there's a great deal wrong with the sound quality of this station, it's certainly better than a number of others I've heard. However, after buying mine in December 2009, the power pack stopped working a few months later. I exchanged it for a new one, and the power pack has again (July 2010) given up on me. Needless to say, I'll be getting my money back and buying something that lasts longer than 3 months.


American Idiot
American Idiot
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.89

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal pop punkers get political, 4 Nov 2004
This review is from: American Idiot (Audio CD)
Who'da thunk that the most outwardly political album of 2004 would be recorded by a bunch of middle aged punks who 'sold out' years ago ?
Well, that's exactly what happened. American Idiot is a concept album, but don't let that put you off. Equal parts Queen, Clash and Pink Floyd, this is an essential album, and ranks alongside Dookie as the band's finest hour.
The opener and title track would fit in nicely alongside the likes of 'Basket Case' and 'Welcome to Paradise', but it's with the rock opera of 'Jesus of Suburbia' a song of 5 parts that Green Day circa 2004 really earn their stripes. Telling the story of disenchanted youth of America today, it is wide ranging in its styles, matched only by 'Homecoming' later in the album.
'Holiday' is possibly the most anti-Bush statement to be made, it's spoken word 'address' during the middle 8 as full of vitriol as the Pistols ever were. 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' and 'Are We the Waiting' are rock ballads at their finest, while 'St Jimmy' reverts back to the thrash punk style that has served the band so well.
The following three tracks, whilst OK, do not really stand much comparison with the rest of the album, although 'Extraordinary Girl' has a catchy as hell chorus.
It is 'Letterbomb' however which is the spark for the album's finale, with its closing refrain one of the finest endings to any song ever. 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' is the final ballad here, before 'Homecoming' follows 'Jesus of Surburbia' into the rock epic hall of fame, with Billie Joe even letting Mike and Tre take over on vocals. The final track, 'Whatsername' is a fitting end, and although Billie Joe can 'remember the face' but 'can't recall the name', this is an album which will remain in the listener's memory for a long time to come.


Hot Fuss
Hot Fuss
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.42

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retro Album of the year, 10 Jun 2004
This review is from: Hot Fuss (Audio CD)
The Killers are the oddest of bands. They hail from Vegas, they have anglophile tendencies and sound like all the best 80s bands rolled into one. Thanks to some amazing live shows, this album has become one of the most eagerly awaited debuts in recent memories.
And rightly so. Bass heavy 'Jenny was a Friend of Mine' borrows considerably from Bowie's 'Ashes to Ashes' and forms part of a trilogy (along with 'Midnight Show' and an as yet unreleased track) about the murder of a girl by her jealous ex. Compelling stuff, and a great opener to the album.
The two singles, 'Mr Brightside' and 'Somebody Told Me' (again seemingly about jealous lovers) sound even better when complemented by the rest of the album than they do in isolation.
'All These Things That I've Done' is surprisingly uplifting, with its gospel chant of 'I've got soul but I'm not a soldier' and echoes of Suede's 'New Generation' and is probably the stand out track on the album.
The irony-free 'Glamourous Indie Rock n Roll' sounds mawkish at first, but after repeated listens show singer Brandon Flowers' words to be entirely sincere - something other bands in the 21st century (hello the Strokes) have struggled to do.
It does all end on a bit of a whimper though, 'Everything Will be OK' fizzling out where the singe preceding it have shined like supernova. Still, you'll struggle to find another album this year which melds Duran Duran, New Order and Oasis quite so effectively.


The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.93

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as clever as it thinks it is..., 27 May 2004
A story of religious conspiracies, eccentric Englishmen and an albino monk - on paper it sounds like essential reading. However, 'The Da Vinci Code' is written by an American for Americans, and for all its intriguing mysteries and puzzles, it comes across as alternately condescending and smug. At times it is painfully obvious that this has been written with the big Hollywood screenplay in mind, what with its trite dialogue and woeful attempt at interior monologue.
The tale concerns the murder of the curator of the Louvre, and the secret society to which he belonged. Expert in cryptology Robert Langdon is prime suspect, but after being rescued by the victim's estranged granddaughter, Sophie Neveu, the pair set out to uncover the truth behind the murder and in doing so, stumble across the secret of the Holy Grail, enough to bring the church to its knees.
Whilst the religious history espoused by Brown is at times deeply compelling, it is at times extremely repetitive. The 'clues' left behind by the murdered curator are at times child-like in their simplicity, and it is odd that a Harvard professor should have such difficulty in solving them - I mean, backwards writing, that's pretty obvious.
In the end, it's difficult to really care what happens to any of the characters, and despite a reasonably surprising twist towards the end, the book leaves one feeling wholly unsatisfied.


Rock N Roll
Rock N Roll
Price: £8.48

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Golden boy of Americana goes back to his roots, 12 Jan 2004
This review is from: Rock N Roll (Audio CD)
This is as extraordinary album as will be released this year. Recorded (as rumour would have it) after Adams’ intended album release was rejected by his record label, and he was told to go away and write something more commercial (NB the record turned down by Lost Highway is what has become ‘Love Is Hell’ parts 1 and 2). So, Adams just whipped up ‘Rock n Roll’ part tribute to his contemporaries and influences, and part Adams’ own unique interpretation on the whole New Rock Revolution movement. Just don’t expect an album of the alt.country which he’s become famous for.
Adams wears his influences on his sleeve here – ‘This Is It’ is his Strokes tribute, all tinny drums, with the sound of a record recorded in a garage in Brooklyn, albeit something more personal than has yet been recorded by Adams’ New York counterparts. ‘She’s Lost Total Control’ on the other hand is what Joy Division would have sounded like today, if they were from New York, and Ian Curtis had taken singing lessons from Lou Reed.
‘Shallow’ is Adams’ take on ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ (or should that be ‘Get It On’?), more Oasis than Oasis have been of late. Even the lyrics (You gotta do what you do/You gotta say what you say) are the kind of thing Noel Gallagher was knocking out years ago.
‘1974’ is bog standard 70s rock, nothing special, whilst ‘Wish You Were Here’ is notable as a foul-mouthed paean to an absent lover, with Adams in more reflective mood than usual. Single ‘So Alive’ is probably the peak of the LP, with its U2-esque guitars, Adams’ falsetto towards the end of the song showing he’s not just a one trick pony. Backing vocals on the next Darkness LP anyone?
Unfortunately, ‘Luminol’ kind of reminds me of Westlife’s ‘Swear It Again’, for reasons I can’t really define. In truth though, I’d guess it was actually inspired by Interpol’s spiky pop, with its staccato guitars and swooning keyboards. ‘Anybody Wanna Take Me Home’ on the other hand is an obvious tribute to the Smiths, from the self-loathing of the lyrics to the jangly guitars to the final fade out-in which is straight from ‘That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore’. However, Adams tongue is firmly in his cheek, which sets this apart from the rest of the Smiths’ copyists to have emerged over the past 20 years.
Adams has also called in a few of his famous buddies, actress Parker Posey providing backing vocals to the fierce ‘Note To Self: Don’t Die’, and former Hole/Smashing Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur appearing alongside Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong on the jaunty, short (and sweet) ‘Do Miss America’.
Ironically, the least rock ‘n’ roll of the tracks here is the title track, a stripped down effort showcasing the emptiness of the whole rock scene, Adams singing wistfully ‘I don’t feel cool at all’, completely at odds with the feel of the record elsewhere, and Adams’ calculated posturing during his live shows. And that’s the most curious thing about this album – whilst it is undoubtedly a fine collection of songs, like Adams, it’s completely contradictory, which leaves the listener feeling ultimately empty. From one track to the next, it’s not clear which version of Adams is going to show up – the winsome troubadour of ‘Rock N Roll’, or the druggy rock animal of ‘Shallow’ or ‘Note To Self: Don’t Die’.
Still, at least this keeps the listener on his toes. If you’ve never been sure about Ryan Adams, this is well worth buying as a showcase of Adams’ versatility as a singer-songwriter. There’s definitely something for everyone here.


Deja Entendu
Deja Entendu
Offered by westworld-
Price: £19.98

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dashboard Confessional endorsed US rock, 12 Jan 2004
This review is from: Deja Entendu (Audio CD)
A quick glance at the track listing is enough to show that Brand New aren’t your typical US frat boys, who’ve struck lucky and got a record deal. Song titles such as the fine (and long) ‘Good To Know That If I Ever Need Attention All I Have To Do Is Die’ are a bold statement of intent in anyone’s books, but largely, this promise is delivered.
The album opens with ‘Tautou’, a brief, sparse (yet kind of ethereal) intro, which is a good way to set the tone for what is to follow.
Future single ‘Sic Transit Gloria’ is all creeping, funky bass and guitar, and the antithesis of those Hip Hop/R n B songs that boast of the artist’s sexual prowess. Singer Jesse Lacey has written this from the point of view of the sexually inexperienced male, terrified of his impending coming of age moment with a more dominant woman, a nice reversal of the man as sexual predator stereotype.
Lyrically, Lacey at times calls to mind a less eloquent, American Morrissey (albeit without the sense of humour), with his biting cynicism of those around him. Nowhere is this more evident than on (the possibly Home Alone inspired) ‘Okay, I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t’, seemingly an ode to a former lover, during which he declares his band to ‘be the best at what we do’, and that ‘it hurts to be this good’. It’s not clear how seriously we should take these claims, though one suspects the band don’t believe their own hype this much. The line ‘I hope you come down with something they can’t diagnose, don’t have the cure for’ is one which sticks in the throat, and should mean something to anyone who’s suffered from a nasty relationship fall out.
One of the most touching moments comes on the less cynical, twisted love song of ‘The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot’, Lacey declaring his feelings for a former lover who he has wronged in some undisclosed way. Clearly full of regret, it is one of the few times on the LP that Lacey allows his mask of cynicism to slip to show he’s not a complete misanthrope.
Elsewhere, ‘Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis’ is reminiscent of the Foo Fighters’ ‘Tired Of You’ in its’ simplicity, whilst ‘Guernica’ is another example of the quiet verse/loud chorus formula which works so well throughout the LP, with an explosive shouty bit in the middle 8.
Closer ‘Play Crack The Sky’ is the only fully acoustic track on the album, and draws analogies between the end of a relationship and a sinking ship. The ending, with the coda ‘this is the end’ is sublime, and a great way to end one of the albums of 2003.
If there is any criticism to be made, then it can only be that sometimes Lacey has too much to say, trying to fit too many words into each line, so that on occasion songs sound cluttered. The listener can do nothing but focus on the lyrical content, around which most of the songs here seem to have been written. Whilst this is fine at present, it remains to be seen whether Lacey can find enough inspiration to keep up the standard set here over too many more albums.


Automatic
Automatic

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Automatic' for the people, 30 Dec 2003
This review is from: Automatic (Audio CD)
If you own, or have heard any of Psychocandy, JAMC's brilliantly apocalyptic debut, you'll know what the Reid brothers are capable of. And although 'Automatic' isn't quite up to their early standards, it is a fine rock n roll record nonetheless.
The squall of feedback is all but gone, as is their habit of recording in disused tube lines, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing, making the album as a whole more accessible than its predecessors.
Opener 'Here Comes Alice' is fairly standard fare, with some nice 'doo doo doo's towards the end, whilst 'Blues from a Gun' apes Dylan lyrically, but is years apart sonically.
Highlight of the album for me is 'Between Planets', a track which surges along with a guitar part so uplifting, it renders the lyrical content obsolete.
It's hard to say exactly how this album fits in with the rest of JAMC's canon, and more difficult still to imagine its place in the UK scene on its release. It is clear however, that it has been extremely influential, possibly more so than Psychocandy, due to the band's heightened pop sensibilities. But, as an introduction to one of the finest bands to come out of East Kilbride, this is ideal.


Is This It?
Is This It?
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.40

7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype, 30 Dec 2003
This review is from: Is This It? (Audio CD)
Chances are you've heard some of this album already, or at the very least read about it. A word of warning - don't be sucked in by what's be written by those oh so cool hacks at the NME. This is a distinctly OK album, which left me bitterly disappointed.
After bursting into the public consciousness in 2001, the Strokes' debut received the kind of praise lavished upon genuine classics. Difference is, this is an album bereft of any real emotion. OK, the music is pretty good, there's some great licks, and Julian Casablancas' raw vocals are the epitome of rock n roll. But, once you scratch the surface, there doesn't seem to be anything there except carefully honed nonchalence.
Lyrically, there isn't one song here which inspires any kind of emotion in me, with the possible exception of the visceral 'New York City Cops'. Too often Casablancas' lyrics give nothing away about him as an artist, settling instead for dull platitudes such as 'When we were young, oh when did we have fun/always/always'. Yeah, thanks for that.
Chances are if you've read this you're probably going to buy the album anyway, but don't say I didn't warn you. The best thing about 'Is This It' is just how apposite the title is.


Barbed Wire Kisses
Barbed Wire Kisses
Price: £7.68

2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For fans only, 29 Dec 2003
This review is from: Barbed Wire Kisses (Audio CD)
I love JAMC, they're one of my favourite bands, but this compilation of rarities and B-Sides left me feeling a bit underwhelmed.
Their first single, 'Upside Down' created a storm on its release, and it's not hard to see why, with its swathes of feedback and distorted vocals. This song alone is justfication for buying the album if you have an interest in the British indie scene of the mid 80s.
There's not really a great deal here otherwise. Future single 'Sidewalking' is only OK, while 'Kill Surf City' wouldn't have been out of place on 'Psychocandy'.
It's worth giving a mention to the cover of 'Surfin' USA', which brilliantly brutalizes the Beach Boys classic, and also the stripped-down acoustic version of 'Taste of Cindy', which shows a softer side to the Reid brothers, though is still black as coal lyrically. 'Cracked' is curious in that it is not especially listenable, but lyrically consists of little but thinly disguised obsceneties, a la the Sex Pistols.
In short, this album is not for the faint of heart, but probably essential if you call yourself a fan.


A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar
A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Change isn't always for the better..., 15 Aug 2003
I suppose I should have known that this album could never live up to my expectations. Of course, it was always going to be dificult to follow up 'The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most' and Unplugged, which probably explains the shift away from the acoustic heartbreak songs heard there (especially on Places...). Don't get me wrong, this album has some great moments - 'Hands Down' sounds better than ever, and closer 'Several Ways to Die Trying' is an epic masterpiece, but there are a few too many songs here which just don't inspire any kind of emotion in me - which is something previous DC albums have done with ease. Without wanting to sound snobbish, DC are probably destined for big things - great for them, but annoying for the fans who were there from the start and don't want their band to be hijacked by a bunch of fratboy wannabees. This is by no means a bad album, just a disappointment from the perspective of a massive fan.


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