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Reviews Written by
Peter Hill ""yoghurtknitter"" (Waterville Ireland)

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Chicas De Oro
Chicas De Oro
Price: £3.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Muchas gracias, 1 Jun 2014
This review is from: Chicas De Oro (MP3 Download)
Another great Spanish indie/pop band.
The opening track 'Chicas De Ora' has a very simple but incredibly infectious keyboard melody that quickly buries itself deep into your subconscious and then just keeps popping back up into your head when you can't but help whistle along to it again and again!!
All 4 tracks are similar up tempo happy (well it sounds happy but as i don't understand the Spanish lyrics that's purely a guess?) songs rolling along on guitar & keyboards with maybe a drum machine too?
Check out the You Tube video for the title track it's very cute too.
Music that makes me smile.

Rotación Y Traslación
Rotación Y Traslación
Price: £4.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Ole, 28 May 2014
Spanish Pop.... this wouldn't be my normal listening preference but this is just gorgeous. I think it must be the Spanish lyrics/vocals that give it that smooth velvety feel.
The songs, especially the opener 'en un momento', sound like they could easily have come from a 1960s film. The vocals are shared between the two (male & female) band members and there are spoken pieces, some bouncy brass and lots of sha la lahs.
They call themselves "twee pop" but that's too restricted (although i do like twee pop) as they're much more like 'sweet dreamy pop'.
If you like this album (it appears to only be available as 10 inch vinyl) look out for their earlier singles 'oso panda' (very similar to this) and 'la chica vampira' (much rockier) which are both unfortunately not on this download and also listen to Band A Part who are a similarly great Spanish band.

Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Frankie says ?, 28 May 2014
This review is from: Hunger (Audio CD)
As a lot of other reviewers have said this album has a definite 80s feel running through it (which is fine) but it also has some Britpop thrown in and there is some comparison with more recent bands such as The Ordinary Boys or the Rakes.
It's very catchy, with some nice staccato guitars with mostly short singalongable songs although 'Fragile' is much longer and more passionate/anthemic.
However, they tend to lose their way somewhat on tracks 7 through to 9 where they switch style to a more Talking Heads type sound (which is not my cup of tea) but overall worth 3.5 stars or 6/7 out of 10.

Classic Albums
Classic Albums
Price: £4.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evolution, 21 May 2014
This review is from: Classic Albums (Audio CD)
The first two albums, from this Italian Prog-Rock group, issued as a 2CD set is great value for money but the information included therein is very poor. No liner notes, or for that matter any information whatsoever, apart from the track listing seems like a missed opportunity by the label.
As far as the music is concerned it's above average prog-rock but done in the Italian way i.e operatic vocals and heavy on the keyboards.
Sung entirely in their native language, so perhaps non speakers may be missing out slightly, the keyboard sound is often very reminiscent of Tarkus-era ELP but they do have their own sound and are oft compared to their fellow countrymen PFM but unfortunately there's nothing as immediately catchy as "Celebration" on either of these CDs.
Both CDs have their good and bad points, the debut opens and closes with 2 short medieval/religious sounding pieces and to be honest neither are essential but it's with the long songs that they come into their own. Typically multi-paced and ever changing, these songs are mostly excellent and although heavy on the keyboard front there are also some nice guitar flourishes littered throughout.
The vocals are often dramatic but on the middle passage of 'L'evoluzione' (on Darwin) they almost sound out of sync with the music but weirdly it works quite well!
They get jazzy at times, there are even some Eastern influences but the "umpahs" (or the Italian equivalent?) on 'Cento Mani.....' (Darwin) are a bit too much for my ears.
Great value, mostly very good music and 3.5 stars or 7 out of 10.

Dr. Bronner's Organic Lavender Shave Gel 200 g
Dr. Bronner's Organic Lavender Shave Gel 200 g
Offered by Aroma
Price: £11.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Dr please, 13 May 2014
I normally use one of the Lush shaving creams in a tub but this was bought for me as a present and i must admit i'm pleasantly surprised.
It's organic, fair-trade, animal friendly and the company appear to be an ethical organisation.
I wouldn't usually choose Lavender as a fragrance but here it's fairly muted and not overpowering and you only need a small amount of the gel to obtain an excellent lather. It's lasted about 3 times longer than my normal Lush cream and is therefore great value for money.
The one very minor (and probably irrelevant??) complaint is the colour/appearance of the gel. I naively thought it would be a nice purple/blue colour but it's a quite drab brown affair!!
Highly recommended and i'm seriously thinking of changing to this product full time although perhaps with a different smell.

Broken Fences
Broken Fences
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.93

5.0 out of 5 stars When i say i love's real, 12 May 2014
This review is from: Broken Fences (Audio CD)
Simplicity isn't always a good thing, it can sometimes be bland and forgettable but that's definitely not a criticism that applies to this beautifully crafted album.
The two vocalists, Morgan & Guy, both have exquisite voices and their harmonies are stunningly effortless. Morgan gets the bulk of the vocal leads and i've not heard such an emotive voice as hers since the days of Sandy Denny.
Guy does get a lead vocal on 'lifeline' and a duet on 'digital 60s', the latter being one of the many highlights of the album.
The backing is generally low key with mostly picked guitar and some additional synths/orchestration. However, it's their voices that are the stars on show here and coupled with the catchy songwriting there's just nothing to dislike.
Who's it like/what's it like? I don't know....i suppose it's folk/americana but it's just so glorious it's in a league of it's own.

Flick The Vs
Flick The Vs
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £7.00

4.0 out of 5 stars The girls from the west ARE the best., 11 May 2014
This review is from: Flick The Vs (Audio CD)
I'm a relative newcomer to King Creosote only having 2 of his other albums and one of those is his collaboration with Jon Hopkins.
I have to admit that this one wasn't what i'd expected but after quite a few plays i'm warming to some of it's charms.
The 7+ minute opener utilizes cyclic beats/repetition/drum loops/vocoder and was a big surprise and similarly the next track 'two frocks at a wedding' continues the new sound and as he sings "you're scaring me now" the confusion becomes palpable but it's his singing style where he continually drifts into a much higher range that tends to grate especially as i love his 'normal' voice.
However (most of) the rest of the album is less fractious and 'camels swapped for wives' brings back normality and the tone continues with 'no way she exists' which has some nice sax and is very catchy. 'Fell an ox' is a very bare/minimal song, 'coast on by' has a heavy percussive opening and a catchy chorus, 'curtain craft' has some lovely staccato brass and 'raw circular prowess' closes the album in anthemic fashion with more strings/brass.
The additional CD has 5 extra tracks, 3 of which (the first 3) make this limited edition worth searching out.
So, although overall still a bit of a surprise/change, not an unpleasant one and worthy of 7 out of 10

See You After The War
See You After The War
Price: £11.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps too much bromide and not enough caffeine?, 4 May 2014
This review is from: See You After The War (Audio CD)
I loved their debut album 'Don't disappoint me now' but it's taken me a long time to get around to buying this, their follow up.
My initial impression was that this album was much more muted than their debut , so much so i had to dig out the former to do some comparison & confirm my suspicions.
After a half a dozen more plays i'm not so sure. It's certainly more restrained but the passion/tension is still there if simmering beneath.
My wife whilst overhearing both albums asked during the debut whether the singer was David Gedge's son but then on this album said he was more like Darren Hayman's lad. A bit too black/white for comparison purposes but i see the logic ie. the debut had some great songs with Wedding Present style guitars to the fore whereas this one, although having some lovely bursts of guitar, is much more laid back/lyrical but nevertheless still a very good album.
I don't think there's anything as good as 'every dog has his day' or 'joy adamson' but 'glasshouse' and 'all over glasgow' come close.
They've even included a few bits of brass on a couple of songs and 'erm' has an interesting spoken vocal. Although generally less catchy than it's predecessor, most of the songs do slowly grow on you and overall worth 7.5 out of 10.

The Dark Third
The Dark Third
Offered by cuddiwax
Price: £10.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Revolution ..prog style, 24 April 2014
This review is from: The Dark Third (Audio CD)
This was recommended to me as a good example of new prog-rock but in fact it's really a 'great' example and suggested this band could have been huge in proggy circles but based on reviews of subsequent albums it appears they changed direction which is a shame.
The vocals are shared between male & female members and the guitars are generally heavy, reminiscent of RATM on a couple of tracks but more Pink Floyd(ish) when they're in quieter mode.
The centrepiece of the album is the 12 minute 'The Bright Ambassadors of Morning' which is an epic ever changing piece that opens with spacey twiddly noises for 2 minutes before the drums kick in & the guitar (Dark Side of the Moon sounding) picks up the mantle. Nice harmonies then flow forth before the song title itself gets repeated for nearly a further 2 minutes, which initially i found a bit over the top but with repeated plays it starts to get imbedded in your brain. The guitars again take over, eventually getting very heavy towards the end, when the repeated title again re-asserts itself and finally it all ends as it started.
There are a couple of more nondescript tracks e.g 'the exact colour' & 'voices of winter' but overall a fine album and 8 out of 10 from me any day.

The Underfall Yard
The Underfall Yard
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Long train runnin', 21 April 2014
This review is from: The Underfall Yard (Audio CD)
I'm trying to catch up on some (recent) prog that i've previously missed out on so this 2009 release was highly anticipated.
I must admit my first couple of listens left me feeling a bit under-impressed but after some perseverance it's finally making sense to these old proggy ears.
Lovely artwork (always a bonus) and musically very intricate & technically good sounding like early Genesis (especially vocally) and guitar wise harking back to Fragile-era Yes, especially on parts of the title track and 'Victorian Brickwork'. They've included some nice flute and brass which both fit in well without spoiling the overall flow.
The vocalist has a fine voice and there are some excellent harmonies throughout and although i enjoyed it all i still feel it lacks the spark of something to make it special, hence only 7 out of 10 or 3.5 stars.

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