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Scarlet Jupiter
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Biophilia Live 2014 (2cd+DVD)
Biophilia Live 2014 (2cd+DVD)
Price: £19.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bjorkphilia, 15 Feb. 2015
The "Biophilia" project began as a planned 3D film with Bjork's longtime creative collaborator, Michel Gondry, eventually materialized by directors Nick Fenton and Peter Strickland. When the homonymous album was released in October 2011, even by Bjork's increasingly esoteric standards, it was a hard album for fans to digest (3 years on, even avid Bjork fans, like myself, stand aloof towards it). Bjork had then talked about a multimedia project encompassing music, applications, the internet, installations and live shows, only enhancing the idea of her avant-guard nature. This exploration of the intersection of music, nature and technology, using a broad variety of digital and traditional instruments, is "Biophilia Live".

Recorded live at London's Alexandra Palace in September 2013, on the final night of a 2-year tour, this critically acclaimed film presents the multi-dimensional concert, offering a whole new perspective about Bjork's vision of "Biophilia". Watching the fascinating spectacle of this live performance, proves extremely enlightening as regards to understanding and appreciating the concept behind it; it is only after witnessing these that it starts to make some - or full even - sense, to the extent of being hailed by the public and critics as an imaginative, captivating audio-visual project. Most certainly the stunning visuals employed in the show prove most vital, just like Bjork's presence, an inextricable component in the whole project.

Although her direct interaction with the audience is minimal, her emotional connection to the songs is compelling, with the directors marvelously framing her physicality and facial expressions, making the contact between the artist and the audience stronger and deeper. Dressed in a futuristic bubble-wrap costume, wearing a frizzy, rainbow-coloured wig, shrieking and wailing (often simultaneously!), the embodiment of boisterous tranquility, with her charming childlike enthusiasm and wonder, she provides some of the show's most sublime moments (ie "Isobel"'s haunting hymnlike performance, one of her all-time finest, and the disarming sensual intimacy of "Hidden place" - interestingly enough, both no "Biophilia" tracks).

One cannot help but be impressed by this revolutionary artistic creation, another triumph on Bjork's intriguing trajectory. Biophilia (a Greek word meaning "love of living") is a groundbreaking multimedia extravaganza of a project that could not have been conceived or executed by any other but Bjork; this visionary artist who, 21 years into her solo career, remains unpredictable, yet, magnetic. Even though a film cannot replicate the immersive experience of actually witnessing a concert, this is a unique experience for all viewers. If some fans still find it impossible to enjoy "Biophilia", in Bjork's own words" "One day, it will happen. One day, it will all make sense.". Possibly. Maybe.


Let's Get To It: Collector's Edition LP/2CD/DVD
Let's Get To It: Collector's Edition LP/2CD/DVD
Price: £79.34

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's get to it, it calls for it!, 12 Feb. 2015
Only 3 years between her debut and "Let's get to it", it is unbelievable how much Kylie really changed and developed. With previous album "Rhythm of love" cementing her gay icon status, as well as her signature sound, Kylie took more creative control on this, and quite a risk by changing her sound to a more urban feel. Obviously not concerned with just scoring hits, and clearly adopting a more refined approach to her work, being more than happy to get as far away as she could from the control and confines she was feeling at PWL (by this time this was released, Matt Aitken had left the SAW team), the album's tracks are more varied than those on "Rhythm of love". And, although it did not sell as well as its predecessors, that did not discourage her; she continued in this direction on her 1994-1997 releases, where she got to fully blossom into an underground diva.

Out of the 4 brand new re-issues, this is the one I anticipated the most for, being early Kylie's fave album of mine, plus, because up until some years ago, this was her most hard to find album. The remastering is brilliant, and the care given into assembling this package is more than evident (I am not a fan of big-sized box sets but this is superb). My favourite part of the package has to be the promo videos and special TV appearances, they are truly fantastic. But this is a fan's delight, with tons of remixes, photos and notes to enjoy. My only complaint is the price; I have splashed out nearly 100 euros for this limited collector's edition. I only did so for sentimental reasons, but I will be picking up the 2CD+DVD editions of the other 3 titles, and I would expect most fans to do the same. All in all, this has absolutely been worth waiting for so long ...I guess I love it like that!


Vulnicura
Vulnicura
Price: £7.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Violently wounded emotional landscapes, 31 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Vulnicura (MP3 Download)
Billed as Bjork's "break-up record", "Vulnicura" leaves little to speculate. The cover image of Bjork with a gaping chest wound, provides a visual representation of the album's thematology. As for the curious title, when broken down, the latin words "vulnus" and "cura" respectively translate to "injury" and "healing". Though hardly a novel concept, Bjork takes this personal and introspective matter, and skillfully renders it universal, by creating an album in which to find solace, despite its heartbreaking content. After a long period of philosophical (and often pretty inaccessible) albums, she returns with the most human-centered album of her career, which, to those familiar with her work, is some kind of apocalypse. Especially, when considering that the record leaked, and was rush-released, a fact that seems to have done Bjork an inadvertent service, thus, allowing listeners to focus purely on the the actual material. The album's 9 songs, chronicling the story of a relationship, are almost inextricably linked with one another. However, special mention has to be made of the album's glorious centrepiece, "Black lake", and the dramatic opener "Stonemilker". Reaching further than ever before, with "Vulnicura", Bjork proves that she is a phenomenal artist and, also, an amazing human being: wacky, weird, wondrous, wonderful.


American Beauty/American Psycho
American Beauty/American Psycho
Price: £5.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars American experiment, 19 Jan. 2015
Comebacks are hard, but Fall Out Boy seem to know how to avoid the risk of a possible failure. As it would be rather predictable to attempt recapturing their successful brand of alternative punk-pop sound once again, instead, they choose to borrow from different genres and mix various elements, in order to craft a sound that is actually their own. With numerous samples, plenty of pop culture references, roaring guitars, killer hooks, and sharp deliveries, the result is a small triumph. Single ''Centuries'', which turns Suzanne Vega's ''Tom's diner'''s hypnotic "du du du du" melody into a contemporary anthem, and pre-destined hit "Uma Thurman", which brilliantly juxtaposes the Pulp Fiction actress to The Munsters theme tune, are devilishly irresistible slices of electro-rock. "American beauty / American psycho" is filled with such complexities, which, combined with some skilled songwriting, work surprisingly well for the most part of the album. Seems that Fall Out Boy have reached their experimental phase, and what a pleasure it is to be doing so in such a winning manner!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2015 10:20 PM GMT


The Pale Emperor [Deluxe Edition]
The Pale Emperor [Deluxe Edition]
Price: £12.99

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor's new clothes, 19 Jan. 2015
"Blow us a kiss, we'll blow you to pieces", says the verse to "Killing strangers", opener (and one of the standout tracks) to "The pale Emperor", a fireshot at American culture, reminiscent of its creator's glorious, infamous past. "We're killing strangers, so we don't kill the ones that we love", bears the chorus. Hmm, scary thought but so very true... "You're a paper doll, I fold you how I want", he goes on on "Warship my wreck", to continue: "Cannot say, I'm breaking the rules, if I can glue 'em back together", displaying a vulnerable side that has very rarely been heard in the past. Along with single "Third day of a seven day binge" and closer "Odds of even", these cuts - that are some of Marilyn Manson's best ever- are rather indicative of the overall thematology and sound of this new album, his best in a decade.

On "The pale Emperor", his 9th studio record, Manson unleashes a soul-baring mood of his frayed character. Nothing scary or intimidating about it. Instead, with just a few bursts of the delicious stadium glam rock of the past, MM feels less bold and adventurous than in the past, often sounding, well, pale. But the few punchy tracks are enough to make up for the plenty midtempos on here, and also show his knack for hooks that appear sickly sweet but are rotten to the core, proof that no-one else does wasted decadence with such swagger as his. Heavier elements are very low compared to previous albums, becoming exceptions rather than standards, but there is reason for this: "I realised that I need to focus more on creating than destroying", said Manson in a recent interview with Metal Hammer, giving an insight into his change in mind-frame.

Back in the late '90s and early '00s , Marilyn Manson's videos used to be small works of art, full of symbolism, incredible cinematography, exceptional set/costume design. His music was equally compelling; hammering anthems and breathtaking ballads with personal and universal quality or appeal, containing agression and fragility, frustration and optimism, often all within one song. Everything about MM meant or signified something, stirring controversy and fascination, making him a true gothic industrial icon. My personal favourite, "Holy Wood", is a little too heavy, too ambitious and too self-indulgent, however it is a stunning, intense landmark of an album, a timeless 70+ minute opus of musical, lyrical and artistic genius. But nothing stays at the height of their power indefinitely, which is only natural.

Marilyn Manson can boast that he is a man aware of what has been going around him. "The pale Emperor" feels like the product of a clear mindset, from someone who is not trying to relive his former glories or reclaim the edginess that made his name in the first place. That would be stupid to do at this point; equally pointless is to go into the new album, expecting another "Antichrist superstar" or "Holy Wood". Although "The pale Emperor" is pretty far from incomparable to MM's top material, it significantly boosts his relevance (which is rather necessary, following his failed-glam-figure status of late years), being an honest album that manifests that Manson's music can work surprisingly well without the shock element. Being wicked certainly suits him (after all, he is the former God of F**k), but he is more than that.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2015 7:14 PM GMT


Corpse Bride [Blu-ray] [2005] [Region Free]
Corpse Bride [Blu-ray] [2005] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Tim Burton
Price: £10.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect match to die for, 15 Jan. 2015
Released in 2005, "Corpse bride" had most wondering whether it could top Tim Burton's magnificent, groundbreaking classic animated romp, "The nightmare before Christmas". Although it is very much in the same thematic vein, it is even darker in tone, with its creator's gleefully morbid imagination at full speed. Despite its grotesque title, with a charmingly original storyline based around someone accidentally "marrying" a corpse, "Corpse bride" may sound like an odd, slightly twisted concept at first, but it ironically proves to be a most inviting and heart-warming film. Reknowned for his weird and macabre tales, Tim Burton here presents a story that finely balances between romantic pathos and gruesome laughs, creating a hilarious and bittersweet animated operetta. The voice-casting is first-class, and the mood of the film is greatly aided by the wonderful dark, jazzy score and songs by Danny Elfman. Among the biggest achievements is the exquisite animation. Being the first stop-motion film to be created wholly on digital cameras to capture an ultra-sharp image (which is complimented highly by the Bluray transfer), the bonus features give some amazing insight into how this dreamy gothic fairytale was created, and the effort involved in bringing it to life. A stunning film to look at, visually, and a true work of art, technically, "Corpse bride" is utterly mesmerising, one of Burton's best pieces of work ever (and a cut above "The nightmare before Christmas"). Enchantingly sublime, it is nothing short of a masterpiece.


Travelling
Travelling
Offered by Side Two
Price: £4.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The joy of travelling, 18 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Travelling (Audio CD)
Initially dubbed Tourism 2, 2rism and T2, "Travelling" is the sequel to the 1992, 7+ million-selling album of "Tourism". Followed on from the massively successful world tour of Roxette's "Charm school" album, it features a mix of studio and live material, newly-arranged old songs, stripped down or acoustic versions, big ballads and power pop numbers. Although it could easily have been scattered and unfocused, instead, it is cohesive and fun collection, finding the band reunited, rejuvenated, and sounding as good as they ever have. Filled with the hook-laden pop brilliance one has come to expect, there is a strident Beatles-esque feel, making the album sound refreshingly different to their previous ones. Per Gessle's talent for writing irresistible, catchy pop songs, assisted by Marie Fredriksson's fragile and powerful vocals, are the reasons to their songs sounding nostalgic and fresh at the same time, and improving with repeated listenings. Proof of their neverending inspiration, is the new version of their classic hit "It must have been love"; with 5 other already recorded versions, it could seem rather unnecessary to add another one. Listening to Marie's mesmerising delivery, with an orchestra backing the track, surprises and excites. Roxette have always been a breath of fresh air in a world full of the stench of pop mass, just like their fellow Swedes, the all-conquering ABBA, were some decades earlier. If you like to travel in style, "Travelling" is a perfect accessory.


The Holy Bible 20
The Holy Bible 20
Price: £38.65

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything must glow, 18 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Holy Bible 20 (Audio CD)
1994 was such a great year for music, as some of my all-time favourite albums were released: Tori Amos' magnificent "Under the pink", Sinead O'Connor's fragile "Universal mother", the Cranberries' nostalgic "No need to argue", Suede's elegiac "Dog man star". The latter, back in October was presented in a fantastic limited edition package. Now the Manic Street Preacher's phenomenal "The Holy Bible" gets a neat deluxe treatment, too. Remastered by James Dean Bradfield and Tim Young, the album is presented on heavyweight vinyl, for the first time since a limited run in 1994. Also fearured are the band's 1994 Astoria show recorded by the BBC, and a collection of acoustic performances recorded at the band's 2014 Radio 4 Mastertapes session. Obviously this edition is for fans and collectors, so anyone reading this most probably is familiar (possibly obsessed, too) with the songs. For those who are not aware of this record, it is one of the darkest albums ever recorded, one that has to be listened to in order to witness and appreciate its penetrating, astounding brilliance. Not the ideal Christmas soundtrack (unless suicidal!), but an ideal Christmas gift. Happy X-mas everyone! Love wins, share it.

Contents:

- VINYL: LP pressing on 180 gram vinyl
- CD 1: "The Holy Bible"
- CD 2: "The Holy Bible" (US mix)
- CD 3: B-Sides
- CD 4: Live
- HARDBACK BOOK (40pp): Includes rare photos and artwork, handwritten lyrics and notes from Richey Edwards, and by the band

Tracklisting:

LP (Side A)

01. Yes
02. Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayit'sworldwouldfallapart
03. Of walking abortion
04. She is suffering
05. Archives of pain
06. Revol

LP (Side B)

01. 4st 7lb
02. Mausoleum
03. Faster
04. This is yesterday
05. Die in the summertime
06. The intense humming of evil
07. P.C.P.

CD 1 "The Holy Bible" and CD 2 "The Holy Bible" (US mix)

01. Yes
02. Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayit'sworldwouldfallapart
03. Of walking abortion
04. She is suffering
05. Archives of pain
06. Revol
07. 4st 7lb
08. Mausoleum
09. Faster
10. This is yesterday
11. Die in the summertime
12. The intense humming of evil
13. P.C.P.

CD 3 B-Sides

01. Sculpture of man
02. New Art riot (In E minor) (live from the Clapham Grand)
03. Too cold here
04. You love us (original "Heavenly" version)
05. Love's sweet exile (Bangkok live)
06. Drug drug druggy (live at Glastonbury)
07. Roses in the hospital (live at Glastonbury)
08. You love us (live at Glastonbury)
09. Love torn us under
10. The drowners (live)
11. Stay with me (live)
12. La tristesse durera (Scream to a sigh) (vocal mix)
13. La tristesse durera (Scream to a sigh) (dub mix)
14. Faster (dub mix)
15. Faster (vocal mix)
16. Revol (previously unreleased)

CD 4 Live

-BBC In Concert, The Astoria, December 1994-

01. P.C.P.
02. From despair to where
03. Yes
04. Faster
05. She is suffering
06. La tristesse durera (Scream to a sigh)
07. Slash 'n' burn
08. Motorcycle emptiness
09. New Art riot
10. Life becoming a landslide
11. Revol
12. 4st 7lb
13. This is yesterday

-Radio 4 Mastertapes, Maida Vale, September 2014-

14. 4st 7lb (excerpt)
15. Faster
16. PCP
17. This is yesterday


The Pinkprint
The Pinkprint
Price: £12.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From trash to class, 15 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Pinkprint (Audio CD)
(Former Nicki Minaj hater, hence the title) With hype from MTV VMAs, and previously released singles "Pills 'n' potions", and especially "Anaconda", as well as one of the best guest line-ups of the year (including Chris Brown, Drake, Ariana Grande and Beyonce), expectations for her new album were high, but Nicki Minaj has definitely delivered. Making a departure from the dance-pop-flavoured second album, the cartoonish rap queen presents on "The pinkprint" a harder, edgier sound, closer to her traditional rap-hip-hop beginnings, brightened with poppier melodies, and most surprising of all, actual singing. Her tongue can run faster than one can spell Iggy, but only a few songs on here can approach the velocity of previous material. With the album's lyrics touching upon themes of family, insecurities and loss, among others, it is surely more fitting. She engages in her usual fast flow on a couple of fun and uptempo cuts, and it works in her favour (with the exception of the utterly skippable "Anaconda").

"Feeling myself" is among the most interesting upbeat tracks, but I am not going to spoil the fun by giving away the "fun" element of it, it has to be listened to! "Trini dem girls" is another one. Yet, for all the album's fierceness, it keeps returning to heartache, mostly evidenced by the slower cuts ("I lied", "Bed of lies"), particularly by the absolute standout, closing track "Grand piano"; an unexpected ballad that features piano (naturally) and, wait for it, a violin! Vulnerable and personal, showcasing immense growth vocally in contrast with the almost robotic delivery of the past, this is Nicki Minaj deeply connected to her own artistry, sharing a rare moment of intimacy with the audience. All in all, "The pinkprint" reveals a different, more balanced side to Nicki Minaj's character, presenting some of the most superlative work of her career. Never thought the day I would speak so positively for her "Minajesty" would come, but here it is. Just like its minimalistic, elegant cover art, "The pinkprint" is bold and memorable.


Greatest Hits: Decade #1
Greatest Hits: Decade #1
Price: £7.99

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All-American gal done great, 9 Dec. 2014
There is something very likeable about Carrie Underwood. So many pretty blondes out there, yet, she is one of the few who seem genuinely nice. It helps that she sings nice songs, too; cannot remember anything by her that made me cringe with embarassment. Naturally, then, this release was instantly appealing to me. Wrapping up 4 albums, numerous hit singles, awards and distinctions, she celebrates 10 years in music with "Greatest hits: Decade #1". This 25-track collection includes 23 of her hits (4 of which on previously unreleased versions), as well as 2 brand new songs: "Something in the water", the anthemic lead single; and "Little toy guns", which deals with domestic abuse. Both new songs are examples of her ability to balance finely between the intimate and the universal. Whether they are fun, feelgood songs, or somber, contemplative numbers, her songs are equally entertaining.

Her obvious amazing vocals shine through throughout the album - after all, she did not become American Idol for no reason! Come to think of it, she has never had a tough time finding an audience; she remains effortlessly relatable nowdays, as much as she was back in 2005. In fact, without actively seeking mainstream popularity, she has become a strong country-pop artist who is able to generate hits, in the country music industry which is male-dominated for the past few years. Thus, celebrating this first chapter of her career with the release of "Something in water" with its overtly religious lyrical theme seems like a full circle moment for her to return to (debut single, "Jesus, take the wheel"). Could be perfect timing since all trends are cyclical. For me, an all-European guy, this remarkable and talented "All-American girl" has many reasons to be celebrating. Here's to "Greatest hits: Decade #2", in 2024.

Special mention for "Temporary home". Love wins, share it.


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