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Mr. Christopher J. Welch "hippymusicman" (Essex, Uk)

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Happy Ending
Happy Ending
Price: 7.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost A Happy Ending, 23 Jun 2014
This review is from: Happy Ending (MP3 Download)
Whilst waiting for Chris Difford to polish off his batch of lyrics for the new Squeeze album (apparently the soundtrack to an upcoming ITV bio on DJ and raconteur Danny Baker) Glenn Tilbrook took the opportunity to put together his 4th solo album - Happy Endings. It's a fairly low key collection with Tilbrook playing most of the instruments, including Ipad keyboards, and a polished 'made at home' vibe. Whilst it's no 'Eastside Story' this album boasts at least 3 really great songs - 'Ray', 'Persephone' and 'Everybody Sometimes' - earworm melodies, supreme musicianship and some of Tilbrook's finest vocals for a decade - he certainly sounds refreshed and reinvigorated. What the rest of the songs lack is the full band treatment and Difford's gruff bass vocals and, more importantly, his killer bittersweet lyrics. Squeeze fans however will find much to enjoy.

Sticky Wickets
Sticky Wickets
Price: 11.18

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sticky Wickets (Audio CD)
Duckworth (Thomas Walsh) and Lewis (Neil Hannon) return for a second album of rib tickling/pathos driven cricket themed pop/rock. As before you need to have no real knowledge of the gentlemen's game to enjoy the music - but if the mood strikes you may even learn a thing or two from these 12 tracks.
Those who enjoy the layered beat group harmonies of Walsh's band Pugwash and the clever wordplay and inventive arrangements of Hannon's divine day job will find much to love on Sticky Wickets. 'Third Man', 'Out In The Middle' and 'It's Just Not Cricket' are cut from the same cloth as prime ELO (the vocal inflections and harmonies on Third Man are especially Lynne like) whilst 'The Umpire' is a perfect downbeat lament every bit as good as the terrific 'The Nightwatchman' from DLM's pastoral debut. The title track is a great Stonesy rocker and the foot tapping 'Mystery Man' successfully channels Madness at their most nutty and original.
Only on 'Line & Length' does the album falter - it's 80's synths and over the top electronic arrangement seemingly beamed in from another record entirely - but even this is delivered with such verve and tongue in cheek enthusiasm that you don't really begrudge messers Ducky and Lewis a little self indulgent noodling.
With Nick Seymour (Crowded House) on bass duties, Tosh Flood (Pugwash)on guitar and cameo's from Daniel Radcliffe, Stephen Fry and Henry Blofeld, Sticky Wickets is a triumph. And any band that can put together an hypnotic track seemingly nurtured from the DNA of Hey Jude, Monty Python and The Rutles - 'Nudging & Nurdling' have got to be either genius's or total madmen. You chose.

Mind If We Make Love To You
Mind If We Make Love To You
Price: 9.87

4.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL ADVENTURES IN SOUND, 11 Sep 2012
Forever to be known as Brian Wilson's backing band of choice the Wondermints have often struggled to get across their own self penned and played material. Mind If We Make Love To You sees the band ditching most of the power pop Fountains of Wayne comparisons in favour of harmony drenched trippy songs that faithfully update the late 60's early 70's sound of their former boss's group.
Thankfully this is no mere pastiche project - these tracks are every bit the equal of the Beach Boys at their very best.
Highlights are many - On The Run, the soaring Shine, Another Way and the Beatlesque Something I Knew. It's all very polished and beautifully produced and, of course, the harmonies are inventive and immaculate.
That's the only real reason this doesn't get the magic 5 stars - the album just needs to let rip once or twice and maybe strip back the arrangements on occasion.
Which really is only a minor quibble as anyone buying this will instantly fall in love with the Beatles/Beachboys homage's on offer.
Highly recommended.

Stand Upright In A Cool Place
Stand Upright In A Cool Place
Price: 13.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WELCOME RETURN OF THE DODGY GEEZERS, 21 Feb 2012
Cheeky Brit poppers Dodgy always had a lot more to offer besides the perky singles, suntans and Hollies harmonies. A terrific live act and, with Free Peace Sweet, one of the best albums of the decade (punning title aside). Cleverly the new album keeps all the good bits - catchy chorus's, sublime vocals and excellent musicianship but tones down the laddishness and over eagerness to please. This is a mature record.
Throw in nods to today's contemporaries Fleet Foxes and Midlake, mix in the Who, Hollies and late period Beatles, and Dodgy have just about nailed the comeback record. Highlights include lovely downbeat opener TRIPPED AND FELL, potential hits WHAT BECAME OF YOU and BACK OF YOU and the glorious Lennon like ONLY A HEARTBEAT. There's even a decent cover of Dylan's TANGLED UP IN BLUE on the download version. This is how to do it Blur. Dodgy have laid down the gauntlet.

The Olympus Sound
The Olympus Sound

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Olympus Sound (MP3 Download)
The Duckworth Lewis Method did much to elevate the profile of head Pug Thomas Walsh in 2009. A top 40 UK album and appearances on national TV and Radio to promote the 'best cricket album ever' helped spur our gallant boys onto a convincing Ashes win. It was also a cracking record.
Well now it's time for Walsh to step back into the spotlight with his own band Pugwash. Anyone with a fondness for melodic, crafted and smart pop/rock will know these Irish boys already. If your new to the Pugwash experience then The Olympus Sound is a wonderful introduction. It may even be the bands finest, and without doubt most coherent and accessible, long player to date.
Now down to a core four piece, with occasional help from Dave Gregory, Neil Hannon and Ben Folds, Pugwash have upped the ante with an album full to bursting with potential hits, delicate ballads and Beachboys quality harmonies.
There You Are, Fall Down and Here We Go Round Again are swaggering guitar pop gems (the latter featuring backing vocals from XTC head honcho Andy Partridge) overflowing with lovely musical flourishes and earworm melodies. First single Answers On A Postcard is a jaunty, cheeky Madness/Small Faces style foot tapper, Be My Friend Awhile the best song Jeff Lynne didn't write and gorgeous closer Four Days is the perhaps Walsh's greatest track yet.
It's hard to criticise The Olympus Sound - it's erudite, beautifully played (stand up and take a bow multi-instrumentalist Mr Tosh Flood) and the vocal arrangements are exceptional. Lyrically peerless (think prime Elvis Costello and Ray Davies) and bursting with clever touches - the parping Penny Lane keyboards on Here We Go Round Again, the perfectly realised string arrangement gracing To The Warmth Of You and the Steely Dan like chord changes and vocals on the stunning See You Mine. Yes there's nothing massively original about what Pugwash do but, when you find yourself grinning like an idiot as yet another mile wide chorus hoves into view, it matters not. And who but Thomas Walsh could compose a ditty based on the tone only dogs can hear - 15 Kilocycle Tone - then turn it into a great tongue in cheek Revolveresque wigout.
FAB. In all senses of the word.

*****This 2012 version of the album comes with 3 bonus tracks - Heal Me, Happy Again & Waltz With Me...all of which are excellent. The latter is a symphonic masterpiece that would have sat happily on ELO's OUT OF THE BLUE and still been a highlight*****


Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2012 8:07 PM BST

As Far As Yesterday Goes
As Far As Yesterday Goes
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 12.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PUSH THE BUTTON....FEEL THE LOVE, 29 Jun 2011
The latest from Seth Swirsky and Mike Ruekburg is a different animal to their debut.
Still in love with all things Beatley and Beachboys this time round they throw in nods to Steelye Dan, Elvis Costello and the Bryds.
These songs are crafted homages but, like Irish popsters Pugwash, messers Swirsky & Ruekburg are smart enough to place their own unique stamp on what could otherwise have slipped into pastiche.
Highlights are plentiful - Caught In The Middle is a pitch perfect early Lennon stomper, Sandreen a catchy as hell harmony drenched popper whilst both Picture and On A Summer Day would sit happily on a Sunflower era Beachboys album.
Flashes of Harrisoneque guitar, honky tonk piano and strings colour the beatgroup backings and smart musical flourishes are abundent.
Occasionally you find yourself wishing the Red Button boys would cut lose and rock out but its probably not far off the mark to say that As Far As Yesterday Goes is the best thing either songwriter has done.

Answers On A Postcard
Answers On A Postcard

5.0 out of 5 stars The Irish Beatles.....with Suggs and Jeff Lynne making the tea..., 27 Jun 2011
Catchy slice of smart ELOish pop. Lush, beautifully produced and 'once lodged in brain' impossible to stop humming. Great non album track 'Heal Me' rounds off a classic single. If there's any justice in the world Pugwash will be the 'Olympus Sound' of summer 2011.

Dexter - Season 4 [DVD]
Dexter - Season 4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael C. Hall
Price: 11.88

This review is from: Dexter - Season 4 [DVD] (DVD)
You would think that by the end of three consistently smart and well written series the premise of Dexter - tormented serial killer works for the police and only kills bad guys according to the 'code'- would have worn a little threadbare. Well fear not Dexter afficinados because season 4 is an absolute corker from start to shocking finish. Dexter himself has settled into a kind of domestic unbliss and now has a new baby to juggle alongside his day job and 'other' commitments. The arrival of a new nemesis - the Trinity Killer - suddenly makes our hero's already hectic life something of a living nightmare.
Now all this would be fairly standard Dexter fare were it not for the fact that John Lithgo has finally been freed from TV comedy and supporting roles in minor Hollywood movies to give what is, up to this point, the performance of his career. Lithgo is stunning.If this were a movie we are talking multiple Oscar stunning.
You can probably guess the outcome but, as with all the Dexter series so far, it's how the show gets there that is the real fun. Red herrings, major character deaths, romance, comedy (very black), domestic problems, sex and lots of swearing. Business as usual then - but with added Lithgo business has never been brisker. Get it.

Kick-Ass [DVD]
Kick-Ass [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chloe Moretz
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 3.82

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT DOES EXACTLY WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN, 13 Aug 2010
This review is from: Kick-Ass [DVD] (DVD)
Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass is refreshingly one dimensional. A graphic Novel brought to the big screen with wit, intelligence, kinetic violence and a killer school girl. Hyped to the max pre-release by the tabloid press and 'angry from Manchester' baiting from the moment it's brilliant trailer hit the web, Kick-Ass became instantly assured of cult status. Thankfully the hype was justified.
The story of an 'ordianary' teenager becoming a Youtube overnight sensation as the masked vigilante Kick-Ass is so obvious that you wonder why it's never been attempted before. Of course with no power comes no responsibilty and soon our hero is beaten, bloody and VERY broken.
What follows is a brilliantly scripted, foul mouthed and exciting movie that tips it's claret splattered fedora to everything from the re-imagined Batman franchise to Tarantino, John Woo & Sam Raimi's Spidey flicks - all with a big fanboy grin and an ear for a classic one liner. Chloe Moretz excels as Hit Girl and Nicholas Cage revists his bug eyes, tick twitching past in a beautifully judged performance as 'Big Daddy'.
Aaron Johnson is also excellent as the timid teen transformed into the iconic Kick-Ass, but this really is Moretz & Cage's show.
It's violent, it's great fun and in no way to be taken seriously. Kick-Ass is possibly the greatest guilty pleasure with no guilt attached that modern cinema has ever conceived. Mary Whitehouse would have hated it.

Spot the Difference
Spot the Difference
Price: 18.21

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Spot the Difference (Audio CD)
Obviously released to cash in on the extensive American tour, and the Winter trek around the UK, Spot The Difference is possibly the most bizarre record Squeeze have ever released. Basically a collection of their better known singles re-recorded during 2010 featuring the current band line-up and with a guest vocal from Paul Carrack on Tempted.
Quite why messers Difford & Tilbrook wanted to mess with the sublime originals is a mystery, one suspects licensing deals and copywrite might have something to do with it, but whatever the reasons this is for die hard fans only.
In all fairness trying to re-create the recording techniques, the sounds of wobbly antique synths, 70's drum machines and sequencers must have been a nightmare. No Gilson, no Holland and, for the later tracks no 'bendy' bass from Keith Wilkenson. It's also worth noting that both Tilbrook's and Difford's voices have changed and matured over the years.
Some of the tracks work really well - Pulling Muscles From A Shell, Goodbye Girl and Black Coffee In Bed (replete with much tighter backing vocals). Others such as the Tilbrook sung 'Loving You Tonight' pales against the Paul Carrack original and Some Fantastic Place loses much of the emotion and beauty of the sublime original.
The problem is that everything is a little TOO perfect - the energy, the odd mistake, the excitement of knowing just how good they really were is missing.
BIG SQUEEZE is still the best way to enjoy the Deptford boys past glories - plus you get all the great B-Sides.
Next time round lets have a new collection of Difford & Tilbrook originals. Thats what we all really want.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 4, 2010 12:43 AM GMT

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