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Ian Murphy "murphmanz"

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Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
Price: £9.91

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the first half alone, 25 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The tracklisting on the back of the CD spaces the 12 tracks like the two sides of a vinyl album and in truth this is a record of two halves. The first six are stunners to my ears. The potential hinted at by Richard X's remix of I Didn't See it Coming from the underwhelming Write About Love album is fully exploited in an exceptionally strong run of songs. The electronic pop of Nobody's Empire through to Enter Sylvia Plath combines brilliantly with the melancholic tone of Stewart Murdoch's vocals.

The second side seems to run out of steam immediately with a suddeness that's almost shocking . These later songs may have been intended as a more reflective contrast with what had gone before, but in truth they just sound lacklustre and characterless. I'm at odds with some other reviewers here in failing to get the appeal of Play For Today which simply seems long to no great effect to me. Maybe with time this might grow on me. Only the closing Today (This Army's For Peace) stands out, with a genuinely affecting dreamlike feel that rounds the album out with a beautiful finale.

Normally an album this divided would feel like a three star effort, but the sheer strength of the first half (and the closing song) means that this is well worth a purchase.

Price: £9.99

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sad decline, 1 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Meteorites (Audio CD)
I desperately wanted to like this album. Every Bunnymen album since Evergreen has been heralded as 'a return to form' or 'their best since (insert title)', only for a sense of disappointment to kick in when actually unveiled. Meteorites has its fair share of lauditory reviews, but its hard to believe that 5 star reviews and words like 'genius' are appearing on Amazon's product page in commection with what's actually on offer.

Each to their own, but this is desperately thin stuff when compared to even the Bunnymen's recent albums, let alone their early 1980s glory days. Like What are You Going to Do With Your Life, Meteorites has the feel of one of Ian McCulloch's solo albums with a smattering of Will Sergeant's (still inspiring) guitar appearing here and there. Far from presenting evidence of McCulloch's 'genius' the songs on Meteorites reflect the steady decline of a once great and ideosyncratic talent with an increasingly bland and conservative series of mid-tempo strumalongs. Grapes Upon the Vine offers a particular low point, appearing to be a series of chords in search of any ideas, and the relative highpoints of Constantinople and Lovers on the Run would be classed as filler on their earlier albums.

Youth's production is strong throughout and ensures that the album often flatters to deceive, but the promise hinted at through many of the arrangements of song intros fails to be supported by the actual songs themselves. Sergeant's guitar still has clout when given the chance, but its difficult to imagine what the guitarist gets out of this project anymore, particularly when contrasted with the imagination on offer in his Glide and Poltergeist work.

I'm not looking for another Ocean Rain from the Bunnymen any more, just something that took a few chances and did something unexpected occasionally. It says a lot about those first four albums that I'm still hoping.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 9, 2014 10:49 AM BST

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy [Blu-ray]
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Elijah Wood
Offered by Magic Movies Ltd
Price: £14.11

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional film making, 22 Jan. 2012
I've just watched these and the idea that these are one star films (as some reviewers would have it) is ludicrous. While I love the extended versions, they're hardly without their faults. The Fellowship extra scenes added some depth to the story, but the Return of the King had some dramatic tension destroyed by the undead army additions.

The theatrical cuts are still exceptional and thoroughly deserved the Oscars handed to them. They rattle along with real adventure and the visuals on the blu ray editions are utterly beautiful. Highly recommended and excellent value.

Shadowplayers: The Rise and Fall of Factory Records
Shadowplayers: The Rise and Fall of Factory Records
by James Nice
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last - a real book about Factory, 30 May 2010
Finally someone has written a real history of Factory Records that doesn't fall into the trap of unquestioningly re-hashing the myths. James Nice has produced a history of the Manchester label that gives a more substantial version of events than those previously published. Nice includes the part played by the 'lesser' lights among the Factory artists - Section 25, Stockholm Monsters, etc. - and isn't afraid to be critical of the decisions made by the company.

As a thorough and relatively academic work, 'Shadowplayers' offers a nice counterpoint to the entertaining, but one-dimensional version of events in 'Twenty Four Hour Party People' etc.

Dan Dare Pilot of the Future: Voyage to Venus Part 1 (Classic Dan Dare)
Dan Dare Pilot of the Future: Voyage to Venus Part 1 (Classic Dan Dare)
by Frank Hampson
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Artist Gets His Due, 10 Oct. 2004
Frank Hampson's classic Dan Dare work from the Eagle comic gets the high-quality treatment that it deserves in this re-print; the first of (hopefully) a long series. These stories provided a vibrant shot of colour in the Britain of the 1950s. The beautiful draughtmanship of Hampson's art shines through in this volume. The hard work, care and attention to detail that he put into his Dan Dare stories is emphasised in the foreword, which recounts the creation of the Eagle and of Dan Dare. If the subsequent volumes are of this standard (and volume two would indicate that they will be) then Frank Hampson's creative genius has finally got the treatment it deserves.

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