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James

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Galaxy
Galaxy
Price: £13.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth... but Funky, 7 April 2012
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This review is from: Galaxy (Audio CD)
Reading over the reviews other people have written, I'd say I largely agree with the people saying this is maybe leaning further towards the smooth side of the Jeff Lorber spectrum. Even so, I really like it. The production is super slick, and Jeff Lorber really kills his solos. Also, the takes of JLF classics are refreshing - it's interesting to see how Wizard Island has been developed, probably over the course of touring.

I'd also agree with others in saying this even better than "Now Is The Time", purely because it leaves out the vocals and focuses on instrumental fusion. The songs "Galaxy" and "Rapids" are probably my favourite, although with this album none of the songs feel like filler.

Basically, have a listen. I am definitely not a fan of smooth jazz, but I love this record. It's smooth in places, but still funky!


Cryptography: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Cryptography: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Fred Piper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Accessible, 20 Dec. 2011
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For such a short book, this covers a lot of ground and really got me interested in cryptography. The book is written so that anyone without a maths / programming background can understand it, and being a programmer with lots of large books I'm slowly getting through, it's nice to have a short and concise book for once!


Data Structures and Algorithms in C++
Data Structures and Algorithms in C++
by Adam Drozdek
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and engaging, 11 Jun. 2011
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As I'm teaching myself everything, I really needed a good book, that could both teach me everything and also be a reference later. The internet got me started but there wasn't anywhere that provided a complete, expert and thorough coverage of the topic.

I'm not sure why I picked this book, and now that I'm over half way through I can confirm it fits the criteria above. In it is all the essential structures and algorithms, but also lots of extras and bits of knowledge which have really got me interested. When transforming the data structure into code implementation, sometimes this can be difficult, especially with something like a B-tree or AVL-tree. However, Drozdek gives many coded examples, which are invaluable alongside psuedocode for understanding the concept. The diagrams are clear and useful, and the mathematical and complexity proofs mostly followable (although sometimes need a lot of thinking about!)

This is not covering an easy subject, so often I'll read through a chapter, thinking I've understood something but maybe not have got the whole picture. This is why the exercises and assignments are really important - many of them are hard and require thinking outside the box, but by doing them, you really know if you've understood something. They're not just questions with answers in the chapter, they're questions that require applying your knowledge and being inventive. So often, I actually learn more by answering the exercises and doing all the assignments than anything else.


Definitive Collection
Definitive Collection
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £18.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funky, 30 April 2011
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This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
The Definitive Collection is definitely the best of Jeff Lorber, focusing on his earlier fusion work, as opposed to his relatively boring, unadventurous later work ("Now is the Time" is an exception). There's lots of cheesy synth and smooth sounds, but there's also hooks, lots of energy, and some great solo moments, showing Jeff Lorber's profficiency at the keys.

I'm not sure there's any other music that I own that I've returned to as consistently as this CD. The CD itself is well balanced and the tracks well chosen. I guess the music is addictive, with "Wizard Island", "Fusion Juice" and "Tune 88" being the standouts. This isn't a smooth jazz record. It's pure instrumental fusion at its finest.


Donuts
Donuts
Price: £10.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 30 April 2011
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This review is from: Donuts (Audio CD)
Often with music, the stuff you don't get at first eventually becomes your favourite. Donuts is that kind of music, abrupt changes, random sirens and a massive variety of samples made it hard to understand to start off with, but after a few complete listens these become its most endearing qualities. The different tracks cover so many different emotions, each with loads of tiny details, many I'm sure I'm just missing.

I guess I'll just end saying this is a legendary album, and one that's changed my perspective in music. Definitely recommended.


Destroy Erase Improve: Reloaded
Destroy Erase Improve: Reloaded
Price: £9.52

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The music that inspires metal musicians, 20 Jan. 2011
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Meshuggah are fairly underground, while actually at the forefront of metal. Lots of bands, such as Metallica, Tool, Deftones, have been influenced by their sound. This album was the one that got them recognised, and for a good reason.

Accessible isn't really a word you can use to describe Meshuggah's music, but on a relative scale, DEI is the most accessible album. When first checking them out from other's recommendations I found a lot of their stuff very difficult to like, but when I heard the song Future Breed Machine something clicked. You might hate it after the first few listens, but you could find a rhythmic groove that for some reason sticks in your head, and the songs may grow on you.

Just saying other people like it isn't really a good reason alone, but there are some rhythmic hooks, crazy solos, a good mix of contrasts (acrid placidity). Also, they use polyrhythms over a basic standard 4/4 beat to create amazing grooves, which if you get into, will leaves its mark musically on you.

This kind of stuff is very heavy, and a lot of people find the fairly robotic vocals annoying. However, if you find you like it, the album stays fresh listen after listen. This album represents an evolution in metal... beep beep beep beep


Mamas Pride
Mamas Pride
Price: £7.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden gem, 30 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Mamas Pride (Audio CD)
I find it such a shame that King Karma is, for some unknown reason, completely out of the radar at the moment. This album is amazing and I think of equal quality of Black Stone Cherry and the Answer (both bands I really like). Mama's Pride has some powerful riffs and great tunes, and also a brilliant production, so it seems like an album that should be at least as well known as albums by the previously mentioned bands. My favourite tracks are "Into the Everlast" and "Heaven's Burning".

Also, I'm not sure if the band are having problems, or if they're just taking their time, but there isn't anything about a second album anywhere, their website seems dormant and they haven't been touring since 2008 (from what I can see). We can only hope that they will get some slots at a major festival, gain a bit more publicity, and come out with another solid album!


4G BLACK FLIP CASE & FREE GREY SOCK COVER FOR NEW APPLE iPOD NANO 4TH GENERATION + EXCLUSIVE NEW BLACK NECK STRAP
4G BLACK FLIP CASE & FREE GREY SOCK COVER FOR NEW APPLE iPOD NANO 4TH GENERATION + EXCLUSIVE NEW BLACK NECK STRAP

5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, 25 Oct. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After buying a leather ipod sock that was rubbish (and expensive too) this product was great. It's much cheaper than anything in the shops and you get both a sock and a flipcase. I haven't tried out the sock yet, but what I was really after was the flip case, which has a great design and protects my ipod nicely. The magnetic lock is really handy, especially for someone who constantly fiddling with the ipod! I would recommend this to any ipod nano owner.


The Pick Of Destiny
The Pick Of Destiny
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious album, 20 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The Pick Of Destiny (Audio CD)
Every song in this album is hilarious, thoroughly worth the money. Favourites include Classico, Papagenu and The Metal, although every song made me laugh.


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