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Andy Norton "Andy" (Oxfordshire, UK)

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Now That's What I Call Music! Vol 30
Now That's What I Call Music! Vol 30
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 10.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Slice of Music from the Mid-1990s, 1 Oct 2012
1995 has gone down into pop music folklore with the rise of Brit-pop, particularly the rivalry between acts like Blur and Oasis, and classic albums like 'What's The Story Morning Glory', and Pulp's A Different Class being released. However, this exciting era in pop music created some memorable dance, rock, and soul tracks too, in which Now 30 delivers with abundance.
CD 1 features a eclectic mixture of the pop music being made around the time, with classic tunes from Freak Power (Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out), The Boo Radleys (the ever-so-catchy Wake Up Boo!), The Human League (their forgotten gem, Tell Me When), and Oasis (Whatever). The rest of the disc is good too with its combination of pop and R 'n' B. So tracks from the likes of Janet Jackson, R Kelly, and Eternal are throw into the likes of boy bands (Boyzone, and East 17), established acts (Mike and the Mechanics, and Simple Minds), dance acts (Massive Attack, and Portishead), and material probably forgotten by those that were there (Scarlet's classy Independent Love Song)
CD 2 acts more like a top-notch dance compilation, with such gems from The Outhere Brothers (Don't Stop (Wiggle, Wiggle)), Alex Party (Don't Give Me Your Life), and N-Trance (Set You Free). However, the albums provides a good snap shot of that music scene with tracks that may have fallen under the radar from nostalgia (Strike's excellent U Sure Do) amongst the more-established anthems from the era, like Kenny 'Dope' Present the Bucketheads' The Bomb (These Sound Fall into My Mind).
Now 30 provides a solid slice of music from the mid-1990s, some of which is fondly remembered, and some of which are worth discovering if you happen to be a fan of this exciting time in pop music.

Now That's What I Call Music! 69
Now That's What I Call Music! 69
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.87

4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Compilation for That Part of the Decade, 27 Sep 2012
`Now 69' create a nostalgic picture for the start of the year 2008 for pop music, with its mixture of pop, rock, dance, and R 'n' B. This makes it a fun compilation for that part of the decade.

CD 2 boosts a top-notch collection of tracks that people remember fondly (Timbaland's Apologise, Adele's excellent Chasing Pavement, and Amy Winehouse's subliminal Love is a Losing Game), as well as tracks people will remember, but have probably forgotten amidst the back of their minds (Alphabeat's Fascination, Goldfrapp's beautiful A&E, and Amy McDonald's infectiously good This is The Life). CD 1 is the weakest out of the two discs, with tracks that were forever being played back in the day (Duffy's Mercy, Nickelback's catchy, yet trying to hard to make another anthem, Rock Star, and Soulja Boy's infamous 'Crack That' single).

Now 69 paints a fun picture with something to please most music palettes, and would certainly as one of the better instalments for the series for the 2000s.

So Alive [CD 1]
So Alive [CD 1]
Offered by SAS MUSIC & DVDS
Price: 28.96

4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Single from Ryan Adams, 16 Aug 2012
This review is from: So Alive [CD 1] (Audio CD)
`So Alive' is certainly a catchy gem from the American singer Ryan Adams. With a catchy chorus, and vigorous guitar playing it makes a memorable rock track from this era. The other tracks on the single are good too, with 'Ah, Life' being a heavier rock track over Don't Even Know Her Name.
`So Alive' is certainly a very good single from Ryan Adams. These songs will probably encourage others to check out his albums, particularly the very aptly titled album Rock N Roll, in which So Alive comes from.

Price: 5.22

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, 16 Aug 2012
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)
Joni Mitchell is certainly one of Canada's finest singers, and Blue certainly displays her at her finest. Highlights from this album include such beautiful tracks like My Old Man, Blue, and an excellent alternative to many Christmas songs from that era, River.
Whilst the album is nice to listen, you do seem to struggle to find anything more remotely different from one track after another track. Whilst that makes the album a melodic journey, it does mean that some of subtle differences between songs do get a bit lost. Therefore, whilst things gel very well for an album, listeners may find it difficult to pinpoint particular favourite songs after several listens.
Blue is just a nice album, highlighting Mitchell's vocal range, and gorgeous song writing ability. Whilst it is hard to nit-pick any major difference between tracks, Blue deserves a place in your easy-listening record collection with its melodic charm and vocal gravitas.

Bugs Bunny On Broadway
Bugs Bunny On Broadway
Offered by sellerfellauk
Price: 16.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Makes You Appreciate the Shorts, But Not Much Else, 14 Aug 2012
This review is from: Bugs Bunny On Broadway (Audio CD)
Bugs Bunny on Broadway sounds like it should work. You take the distinctive music of the celebrated Looney Tunes shorts, get an actual orchestra to perform, and the rest should be an enjoyable, audible experience. The album is an audible experience, but occasionally for the wrong reason.
Some of the musical recreations sound like they are missing that 'vintage' element of hearing the actual soundtrack from the shorts, particularly for those film scores that are meant to be musically important (High Note, and What's Opera Doc), making it sound like a disappointed re-recording of a golden oldie. The only track, which sounds like it has missed this tragic trend, is the score to Long-Haired Hare, the short that features Bugs outsmarting an opera singer. The reason for this is that is sounds like it came straight out of the soundtrack with the vocals and sound effects in tact.
Whilst Bugs Bunny on Broadway is not the album for the die-hard Looney Tunes fan, it does make you appreciate the shorts, but not much else, even with having an orchestra recreating the scores from these classic short films. So if you do feel like watching these shorts once again, it is probably because you fancy a proper fix for the music as it was originally intended to sound like.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
Offered by samurai_media_JPN4UK
Price: 21.76

3.0 out of 5 stars Too Eclectic for its Own Good, 23 July 2012
They say that variety is the spice of life. So you would expect a soundtrack to Beavis and Butt-Head Do America to be lively with its mixture of rock (AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne), ska (Rancid), rap (LL Cool J, Madd Head), funk (Isaac Hayes), and stuff that is not so easy to pigeon-hole (White Zombie, Englebert Humperdinck). However, this soundtrack is too eclectic for its own good, which means it loses any distinct direction that the album was meant to convey. Although fans of the film will enjoy hearing some of the tracks in its entirety (Rancid's I Wanna Riot), but it feels so musically disjointed that you wonder where these tracks feature in the film.
The soundtrack to Beavis and Butt-Head Do America may make you want to revisit the film, mainly because the album does not seem to gel as well as well as the film does. Probably worth a listen to revisit some of the more commercially viable tracks- Red Hot Chilli Peppers' fun take on Love Rollercoaster- but might be collecting dust for justifiable reasons afterwards.

Free Peace Sweet
Free Peace Sweet
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: 2.27

4.0 out of 5 stars A Nostalgic Slice of Brit Pop, 22 July 2012
This review is from: Free Peace Sweet (Audio CD)
Brit Pop was certainly a by-word for any kind of guitar rock and pop during the 1990s, which is when Dodgy released Free Peace Sweet back in 1996, and has all the ingredients to make an album of this calibre. Acoustic-led tracks (Long Life), catchy tracks destined to become radio-friendly singles (Good Enough, Found You, If You're Thinking of Me), and even stuff that just sounds enjoyable and memorable to the ear (Jack the Lad, In a Room, Ain't No Longer Asking).
Free Peace Sweet is certainly a nostalgic slice of Brit Pop from the mid 1990s that is definitely worth a revisit, with its catchy songs, quirky lyrics, and memorable music. If you are not aware of Dodgy, this is certainly worth a look mainly as it contains the hit singles 'Good Enough' and 'Found You', which is probably what the average listener to Brit Pop can recall from them.

The Fake Sound of Progress
The Fake Sound of Progress
Offered by CMS MEDIA UK
Price: 2.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Great as You Would Believe it to be, 27 May 2012
2001 was a significant year for the Welsh rockers Lost Prophets, with the release of their debut album, The Fake Sound of Progress, and gathering acclaim with the critics too, hailing them at the time as being "on the edge of greatness". That is certainly the case with this album, as it is miles away from being near such a metaphorical edge of greatness, particularly in retrospect with some of the latter albums being more noteworthy of being great, such as 2004's excellent Start Something album.
Whilst the tracks on this album are enjoyable, like Five is a Four Letter Word, the title track, and A Thousand Apologies, being amongst the cream of the crop for memorable reasons, the album just doesn't live up to such expectations. The album just does not have any sign of a hook that makes it worth repeatable listens. Whilst that may not be a bad thing for a debut album, it certainly matters in retrospect when they were competing with albums from the likes of albums from the likes of Tool and System of a Down (Lateralus, and the Toxicity album respectively.)
Therefore, whilst The Fake Sound of Progress is not as great as you would believe it to be, it has enough moments for fans of the now-established band to add into their album collection. Just do not be surprised to find that you cannot remember half the tracks after listening to this album.

Small World
Small World
Offered by CMS MEDIA UK
Price: 4.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Kind of Rock n'Roll They Are Renowned For, 28 April 2012
This review is from: Small World (Audio CD)
Huey Lewis and the News are the kind of group that can sum up a decade in pop music whilst having a distinctive approach to make them have that timeless charm about them, which stays with the listener throughout the years.
Whilst Small World has the kind of rock n' roll they are renowned for, the album does not necessarily have that melodic hook to make it memorable for the listener. However, in saying that, the album has some excellent tracks, including Walking with the Kid and the somewhat anthemic World to Me.
Small World may not be the quintessential album by the group; it certainly displays their distinct musicality down to a tea. Although this might not be the first album, you would want to get from them, if you have fallen in love with their more radio-friendly material, like The Power of Love et al. This is worth a listen when you want to explore what the group were capable of doing back in their heyday.

The Woman In Black
The Woman In Black
by Susan Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.86

3.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth the Hype, 15 April 2012
This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
Susan Hill's The Woman in Black has been gaining a lot of attention, courtesy of an entertaining, if flawed, screen adaptation of the acclaimed book, which has spawned a stage play too. However, whilst people may want to read the novel because of the exposure of the main story arc from the film and play may be disappointed, as the novel is not worth the hype, or praise that it has earned during its nearly-thirty years of its creation.
The Woman in Black's story is a pedestrian-paced supernatural mystery that only really has something productive occurring in every odd chapter or so. Therefore, if the pace may put you off from reading what might be a quick and easy read, you may have to think again, as Hill's writing style is overtly descriptive, making sure, you know every nook, and cranny of the major locations of the story before anything remotely dramatic happens.
Whilst this occasionally eerie novel may have its moments, it might not live up to the standards that the play or the film has produced in terms of scope and appeal. However, with Hill's massive back-catalogue of novels, this might be the odd blip in the radar of all things noteworthy from this writer.

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