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Travelling
Travelling
Offered by Side Two
Price: £4.79

5.0 out of 5 stars The joy of travelling, 18 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Travelling (Audio CD)
Sequel to the 1992, 7+ million-selling album of "Tourism", and initially dubbed Tourism 2, 2rism and T2, "Travelling" followed on from the massively successful world tour of Roxette's "Charm school" album. Featuring studio and live material, newly-arranged old songs, stripped down or acoustic versions, big ballads, power pop ditties, it could easily have been a scattered, unfocused collection. But, instead, it is cohesive and fun, 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 an evident 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 Friedriksson's fragile and powerful vocals, is the reason to their songs sounding nostalgic and fresh at the same time, and improve with repeated listenings. For example, how necessary or great could a new version of their classic hit "It must have been love" really be, with 5 other already recorded? Listening to Marie's mesmerising delivery, with an orchestra backing the track, provides the answer. Roxette have always been a breath of fresh air in a world full of the stench of pop mass. Just like the all-conquering ABBA, their fellow Swedes, they seem to be "touched by the hand of God" (to borrow the title of one of the songs on here). If you like to travel in style, "Travelling" is a "perfect excuse" (to borrow another one).


The Holy Bible 20
The Holy Bible 20
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Everything must glow, 18 Dec 2014
This review is from: The Holy Bible 20 (Audio CD)
1994 was a great year for music. Some of my all-time favourite albums were released: Tori Amos' magnificent "Under the pink", Sinead O'Connor's "Universal mother", the Cranberries' "No need to argue", Suede's sublime "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 knows most probably is familiar (possibly obsessed, too) with the songs. For those who are not aware of this record, I will just describe it as 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 180gm 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 Pink Print
The Pink Print
Price: £14.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From trash to class, 15 Dec 2014
This review is from: The Pink Print (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: £10.99

3 of 4 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.


Beyoncé [Platinum Edition]
Beyoncé [Platinum Edition]
Price: £28.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Platinum and flawless, 6 Dec 2014
5 million copies sold, and following her highly profitable Mrs. Carter World Tour, the unstoppable Beyonce is back with this special limited edition box set of her record-breaking, self-titled conceptual opus. It features a live DVD with 10 performances, plus artist commentary; an extra CD with 2 brand new songs ("7/11" and "Ring off"), and 4 remixes (including the remix of B's song for H&M, "Standing on the sun"); and a mini version of the official 2015 Beyonce calendar. The original CD+DVD are still here, making this a pristine package that truly lives up to its "platinum" status, which seems to have become synonym with Beyonce. Whoever dismissed the album as another paint-by-numbers record, certainly has missed the point of one of the greatest pop records about freedom to express sexuality, to be imperfect, and to enjoy themselves (a notion further enhanced by the new, so very different for B's normal niveau, video for "7/11"). Those who have bought the original version of "Beyonce" are going to be frustrated, but this is a spectacular repackage that really has to be bought. I was going to slay Bey for shameless cash in, but this is simply too good to miss.


Abba Gold Anniversary Edition
Abba Gold Anniversary Edition
Price: £20.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A B-rilliant B-lazing A-nthology, 4 Dec 2014
With around 30 million copies sold around the world, "ABBA Gold" is the second all-time best-selling compilation, behind The Eagles' "Their greatest hits" (1971-1975), and followed by Madonna's "The immaculate collection" and Queen's "Greatest hits". This new anniversary edition (40 years since ABBA won The Eurovision Song Contest with "Waterloo") comes in a gold DVD-sized steel case, including 3 CDs, a 20-page booklet, complete with a removable lenticular cover. The 3 CDs are: CD 1-"ABBA Gold", CD 2-"More ABBA Gold" and CD 3-"B-Sides"; the booklet contains the same text (by Jan Gradvall) and images as the "ABBA Gold-40th Anniversary edition" issued earlier in the year, as well as photos. Obviously the attraction of this edition is the packaging; aimed mainly at fans and completists, this is a special release. Even for those who own parts of this package (most probably everyone!), it is still worth adding to one's collection. There is not much to say about the songs, but I would like to add Benny Andersson's words about the music of ABBA, which happens to be for me personally the reason I love it: "We did melancholy undercover. Even the happiest songs are fundamentally melancholic." Thank you for the music, indeed.


III
III
Price: £11.00

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars III's a charm!, 2 Dec 2014
This review is from: III (Audio CD)
Robbie's cheeky personality, Mark's playful sex appeal, Gary's fantastic songwriting, Jason and Howard's amazing dancing skills, these individual talents combined, gave this fivepiece their place in pop music history. But it has always been the music that earned them a place in the hearts of millions worldwide. From their delicious cover of "Could it be magic", the sorrowful "A million love songs", the irresistible "Relight my fire", the heartbreaking "Babe", the pop perfection of "Back for good", the melancholic "Never forget", all the way to the divine "Patience", the gorgeous "Rule the world", the motivating "Greatest day", the universal "The garden", the superb "The flood" and the nostalgic "When we were young", Take That always stood out from their progeny on account of releasing songs of variety and quality.

Balancing finely between upbeat numbers and sentimental balladry, they consistently maintained their pop element. Especially on the albums following their reunion on which they further experimented with new genres, not fearing the risk of enriching their sound. 2006's "Beautiful world" and it's follow-up "The circus" (2008) were both classic ballad-oriented pop-rock. Last album "Progress" (2010) was a more ambitious and exciting record, leaning heavily on electronic beats and textures, with ballads taking a backseat to stylish electro-groove stomps. It is no wonder, then, that for their new album, Take That take their sound to an even higher level of sophistication and energy. Clearly on top of their game, they seem to know exactly what they are doing, presenting some of the best tunes they have come up with.

First single "These days"'s Chic-style funk guitar riff with the Pet Shop Boys vocal effects, is the poppiest song they have done since they got back together; "Let in the sun" and "Higher than higher" have the catchiest choruses, while the soaring "Freeze" and "Into the wild" will make Coldplay's Chris Martin green with envy. The quiet "Flaws" builds up into a poptastic ballad in just 3 minutes, while "Get ready for it" with its thumping drums and a middle eight to die for is another euphoric cut (has to be a single), ending the set on a high note. Bonus track, "Do it all for love", is hands down one of the finest songs they have ever done, so, the deluxe edition is recommended just for that track alone. If "Progress" was Take That's boldest effort till now, then "III" is their most accomplished, just behind the career-best - and my personal favourite - "Beautiful world" (hence the 4-star rating).

Never in a million years anyone could ever imagine that a boyband could still be around 2 decades later, and be as relevant and creative as ever. This is only one of Take That's endless achievements throughout their eventful, much celebrated career. From the glorious days of the early '90s, their shocking split, Robbie Williams' rise to superstardom and Gary Barlow's fall from grace, all the way to their 2006 triumphant reunion, and despite losing members along the way, Take That have become the epitome of a boyband, the template of how a manufactured product should be developed, establishing themselves as the greatest pop band to emerge from the UK since the Beatles (well, they were a boyband in a sense). "Beautiful world", "The circus" and "Progress" were all multi-platinum sellers. "III" is another one in waiting, it deserves to do so.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2014 1:38 PM GMT


A.I. Artificial Intelligence [Blu-ray] [2001] [Region Free]
A.I. Artificial Intelligence [Blu-ray] [2001] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Haley Joel Osment
Price: £6.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artificial Intelligence, Natural Magnificence, 29 Nov 2014
The "12" viewing certificate does not mean that there is material not suitable for younger audience, but clearly has to do with the more adult-oriented overall theme of the film, and their understanding / appreciation of it. The story of a young boy-robot programmed with emotion, as naive and simple as it may seem, proves a most complex and demanding affair. Yet, it makes for a riveting tale of how the feeling of love is overpowering his robotic programming. Not coincidentally, just like Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The little prince", "A.I." is also a universal piece of art, with the youngest, yet, most wise protagonist. "The little prince" taught us that the essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart. "A.I.", respectively, tells us that children give us the truthful wisdom we seek. This impressive Bluray presentation is most satisfying with the often massive audio and visual improvements (the much talked-about grain issue is finally put to rest), contributing to the movie's conceptual and executional excellence. Only let-down is the absence of any new extras, as those featured on here are the exact DVD bonus material with nothing new added. Still, a must-have item. Incredibly inspired, immaculately executed, spectacularly entertaining, utterly sublime, "A.I." is Steven Spielberg's (and Stanley Kubrick's) hidden masterpiece, a breathtaking contemporary fairytale.


The London Sessions
The London Sessions
Price: £9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much o-Blige-d!, 26 Nov 2014
This review is from: The London Sessions (Audio CD)
In early 2014, Mary J. Blige recorded vocals for a remix version of "F for you", a song by British electronic garage-house duo Disclosure. The remix was re-recorded for release as a single and became a Top 10 hit on the UK Dance Chart. Inspired by its response, Blige moved to London where she spent a month recording in RAK studios, collaborating with a host of young British acts. These sessions resulted in a whole new album, one which is set to rejuvenate MJB's career; she is coming hard with it, totally reinventing her sound. From her urban hip-hop days next to P. Diddy to Disclosure's deep house, she has come a long way. Often accustomed to, but not worn out by personal hardship, MJB is synonymous with soul-baring honesty and a roller-coaster range of emotions. "The London sessions" is proof of her evolution as an artist, a great example on how music has no boundaries. Personal favourite tracks include "Right now", mixing her deep, heartfelt vocals with Disclosure's smooth, yet detached, production (works a treat), and "Doubt", a pure, raw, anthemic ballad so real, it hurts (not since her "No more drama" days have I heard this much emotion from her). Shaping up to be one of her best albums, she did right taking a leap of faith. "I was never expected to do more, jump further, move the extra mile. But breaking boundaries happened for me... And I won't stop as long as I live.". Her words, she is damn right.


Biophilia Live
Biophilia Live
Price: £25.43

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bjorkphilia, 26 Nov 2014
This review is from: Biophilia Live (Audio CD)
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 from a visionary artist who, 21 years into her solo career, remains unpredictable, yet, magnetic. It could not have been conceived or executed by any other but Bjork. Even though the film cannot replicate the immersive experience of actually witnessing a concert, if some still find it impossible to enjoy "Biophilia", in her own words" "One day, it will happen. One day, it will all make sense.". Possibly. Maybe.

Tracklisting:

CD 1

01. Oskasteinn
02. Thunderbolt
03. Moon
04. Crystalline
05. Hollow
06. Dark matter
07. Hidden place
08. Virus
09. Possibly maybe
10. Mouth's cradle

CD 2

01. Isobel
02. Sonnets/Unrealities
03. Mutual core
04. Cosmogony
05. Solstice
06. One day
07. Nattura
08. Declare independence
09. Sacrifice
10. Bat sounds

Bluray

01. Oskasteinn
02. Thunderbolt
03. Moon
04. Crystalline
05. Hollow
06. Dark matter
07. Hidden place
08. Virus
09. Possibly maybe
10. Mouth's cradle
11. Isobel
12. Sonnets/Unrealities
13. Mutual core
14. Cosmogony
15. Solstice
16. One day
17. Nattura
18. Declare independence
19. Sacrifice
20. Bat sounds


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