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Tragic Kingdom
Tragic Kingdom
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.50

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sunshine Sound of No Doubt, 2 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Tragic Kingdom (Audio CD)
A delightfully colourful album, with plenty of souring sunshine vocals that compliment the glorious blue skies of the accompaniying illustrations. As well as chronicalling the band`s bizzare adventures trying to sell rotten oranges in Anaheim, California, I think they perfectly portray an overall sound that has a real 'open air' feel to it.
This is enjoyable, spirited rock music with a noticable ska influence, but Ben Howard is right - this really is the sound of No Doubt and they shouldn`t be cornered too tightly into any musical sub-genres.
Highpoints for me include the uplifting 'Spiderwebs', my personal favourite 'Happy Now' [awesome, blissful chorus], 'Sixteen' which has a deliciously spiky edge, 'Different People' which is catchy and clever and the showstopping 'You Can Do It'. 'Just A Girl' features amazing warped guitar sounds. I certainly never found it annoying. Not all of the others are quite this good, but they`re all solid songs. There`s not one that I really wanna bin.
Tragic Kingdom is commonly thought of as No Doubt`s 'classic' album. Personally I think the others have their individual merits as well. Buy this album, then you`ll probably start collecting them all, cause No Doubt really are a fantastic band.

Dancing Stage Euromix (PS)
Dancing Stage Euromix (PS)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Gaming Experiance!, 14 Nov. 2002
Dancing Stage Euromix is a simltaneously phisical and mental challenge and it`s totally absorbing.You dance to the music,stepping on the arrows on the dancemat that correspond to the ones on the screen,starting with slow, simple 'up, down, left, right' combinations, then slowly building up to the foot-smashigly fast, eye-poppingly complicated dance moves of the harder levels.
This game demands a lot of energy and it`s sometimes frustrating when you keep on getting it wrong, but it all pays off in the end.It`s a real buzz once you really get into the rhythm.As you progess up through the levels it`s truly elating to find yourself stomping over levels that once seemed impossible [and inexplicable]!
You need a basic sense of rhythm to really get into this game, but you certainly don`t need to be a genius.
The difficulty grading is a bit complicated - some of the songs you can select are harder to dance to in 'standard' mode than others are in 'difficult' mode.I find it easier to go by the 'foot' ratings - each individual level is graded from one foot [simple] to nine [catastrophic]!
The music is great - it features some songs you might know like Cameo`s Word Up and Shaft`s Mucho Mumbo and some specially made 'Konami sounds'.Not all the arcade tracks are included, but I love the ones that are.Some of the Konami sounds are totally crazy - especially Afronova!End of the century WAS included the last time I checked.
Unfortunately there`s no sound test option so you can`t hear the music unless you`re prepared to make the effort.However, if you`re feeling really lazy the control pad option is also fun,as long as you use the triangle,x,square and circle buttons - not the direction buttons.It`s easiest when the left index finger 'plays the part' of the left foot and the right index finger does the right foot.It`s not as spectacular playing this way, but give it a try - it`s a brilliant sub-game.
On the minus side, I`ve experienced 'teething problems' with this game.Like a lot of other people I`ve had the dance mat slipping out of position and the arrows failing to respond.However, it`s possible to make the mat stay put by sticking down the edges [not just the corners] with parcel tape.Leave the top edge free and hopefully your sliding problems are over!When some or all of the sensors stop responding[it happens every so often - groan!], shaking the dancemat out a little and smoothing it down usually knocks it back into action eventually.I know it`s a drag, but it`s worth it!
If you`ve never had the guts to play this game at an arcade, get it now, then you can learn in your own space and time.Training mode makes this even easier - especially if you want to stop the invisible voice shouting things like 'are you a monkey?' every time you do something wrong! Also, buying this game and the dancemat for yourself will end up costing you a lot less money in the long run!

Read My Lips
Read My Lips
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £5.55

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully different, 16 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Read My Lips (Audio CD)
Sophie Ellis Bextor is a rare breed - a true artist making distinct and interesting pop music.To call this 'disposable pop' is just pure lunacy.To call this eighties electro-pop is more than a little far-fetched.Yes,she probably counts electronica among her influences,but that doesn`t mean she`s part of it.Hers is a truly eclectic,individual and original sound.Anyway, it`s not a crime to be inspired by a predominantly eighties genre,it just shows she has an open mind,which is anything but worrying.This album is in a world of it`s own,with some quirky,funky elements and an awe-inspiring dreamy vibe in some places.The music wraps itself around the listener in a way that truly surpasses the restraints of 'easy listening pop'.Generally speaking,this album probably holds the most appeal for fans of 'Take me home' [like me].I have my favorites,but there are no real duff tracks here.This surpassed my expectations,my faith in pop is strenthened!

By the Way
By the Way
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.22

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Things will never be the same, still I`m awfully glad I came, 3 Oct. 2002
This review is from: By the Way (Audio CD)
I have to admit I have mixed feelings about this new slower direction.I really don`t think I`d be bored with the Red hot chili peppers if they hadn`t decided to play down the funk/rock element.For years that`s been part of their musical style and are people really going to suggest that all seven of their previous albums sound gratingly similar? I sure wouldn`t.That said, all certainly isn`t lost - this is still a fantastic album.They`ve taken their more mellow side to a whole new level - it`s intensified and become more profound and involving than ever before.So don`t expect an album full of 'Scar tissue' clones.Don`t get me wrong, it`s a good song but this album is full of surprises.I have my preferences but none of the 16 tracks are a waste of space.I LIKE that its that long.Why some people seem to like every track but still wish the album was shorter I have no idea.Don`t think this is an album full of spineless mush either.There are powerful,passionate,moody,quirky and exilerating moments even during the slowest tracks.These are songs that don`t keep to the rules!Also,I don`t want to give the impression that their more raucous side is dead - there are louder,faster moments here,they`ve just been highly marginalised.Anyway,despite my various quibles I`m left in no doubt that the Red hot chili peppers are still a phenomenal band.To suggest that people only say they love this album because they`re followers is just plain patronising.I actually feel I`ve been quite harsh with my marking simply because my standards are so high when it comes to this band.This isn`t their best work,but its still a truly amazing musical experiance!

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