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Greatest Hits: My Prerogative [Digipak with Bonus Remix CD]
Greatest Hits: My Prerogative [Digipak with Bonus Remix CD]
Offered by Amazin Deals *****
Price: 4.56

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars InTOXICatingly good, 23 Nov 2004
Spears' career has had it's ups and downs. Her debut single "...Baby One More Time" was an instant classic, but the follow up, "Sometimes", was awful. Things didn't really pick up amazingly until her second album, with the fantastic title track "Oops!...I Did It Again". A better album, but the singles (with the exception of "Oops!" and "Stronger") weren't as good.
Then, without any real warning, things started to turn around greatly. Her third self titled offering was fantastically done, very little filler, and a whole lot of killer. Lead single "I'm A Slave 4 U" was the standout, definitely, but it was unwise to overlook "Overprotected", "Boys" or even her cover of "I Love Rock & Roll". Even the initially nauseating CrossRoads ballad "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" was a grower. Spears' credibility continued with her fourth album, In The Zone, which featured contributions from Madonna, the Ying Yang Twins, Moby and R. Kelly, among others.
It is telling that the real standout track on Greatest Hits: My Prerogative is from In The Zone. "Toxic", with it's orchestral strings and mid-tempo dance beat, is a playful joy of a track, and in my opinion, Spears' best yet. GH:MP really is a collection of practically perfect pop music. If duff tracks such as "Sometimes", "Lucky" and "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know" had been cut, then the collection would be damn near pop's classic hits collection (Madonna's Immaculate Collection) in quality.
All the Britney hits we know and love are here - from the debut "...Baby" to the gorgeous "Everytime", with three 'new' tracks included for good measure. The first is a reworking of Bobby Brown's 1980s classic "My Prerogative". I myself believe that Brown's original lacked production, and the overproduced R&B/Dance sound of Britney's cover sounds fantastic. When Britney growls "I see nothing wrong in spreadin' myself around!" you really do believe her.
Second new track on the collection is "I've Just Begun", an outake from the In The Zone sessions. Some may recognise the track from Special Editions of In The Zone. It's funky and catchy, sounding at times vaguely like No Doubt's brilliant "Hella Good". Another potential hit for Britney, if she wasn't taking a break.
But for those with Britney's previous albums intact, there are two real bonuses with this collection. Firstly, closing track "Do Somethin'" and the extra disc. On "Do Somethin'", which follows "My Prerogative" brilliantly, Britney yells "I see you lookin' at me like I'm some kinda freak! Get up outta ya seat - why don'cha do somethin'?" with more attitude than she has in any previous song. If only she'd release "Do Somethin'" before her break, she could have a massive hit on her hands (especially with the right video), but that's quite unlikely.
As for the bonus disc, the remixes are all good, but a majority are too lengthy. The remixes of "Toxic", "Breathe On Me" and "I'm A Slave 4 U" spring particularly to mind. The real standouts here are the Hi-Bias Radio Edit of "Everytime", a nightclub love song to rival such club hits as Angel City's great "Do You Know", the JXL Remix of "Outrageous", in which Britney goes all reggae on us (reminiscent slightly of "The Hook Up" from In The Zone). Finally, the absolute stunner of the bonus disc comes right at the end. The "Chris Cox Megamix" is an incredible rush through "...Baby", "Crazy", "Slave", "Oops!", "Stronger", "Everytime", "Overprotected" and "Toxic". Sounds weird, I know, but listen to it. It's brilliant, and a good single choice (the video is currently being rotated on the music channels).
So, all in all, My Prerogative is a fabulous celebration of all things Britney. Oh, hell... all things pop. One little ommission - all the tracklistings suggest that the DarkChild remix of "Overprotected" is featured. It's not. It's the original version - but they're both as good as eachother, so who cares?

Something To Remember
Something To Remember
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Price: 4.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Defintely something memorable, 13 Aug 2004
This review is from: Something To Remember (Audio CD)
Something To Remember is Madonna's second compilation and is advertised as "A collection of her finest ballads", which is completely true. Despite a few naff tracks, namely "I'll Remember" and "One More Chance", there are plenty of highlights here. Her duet with Massive Attack, "I Want You", is both moving and chilling, and her all her classic ballads including "Live To Tell", "Crazy For You" and "Take A Bow" are here. If you're not much of a Madonna collector and only own The Immaculate Collection and GHV2, Something To Remember is another essential, especially if you're a fan of ballads.

GHV2 (Greatest Hits Volume 2)
GHV2 (Greatest Hits Volume 2)
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Price: 3.27

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great hits collection, 13 Aug 2004
GHV2 opens with the brilliant dance track "Deeper & Deeper", which ends with the familiar lyrics "You've got to / Let your body move to the music..." from her classic "Vogue". From this, you know what to expect. Polished, mature and likeable pop music from the undisputed queen of pop. Madonna's Erotica phase continues with title track "Erotica", a seductive and slightly scary exploration of human sexuality, which is another classic track in the bag. In fact, so many of these tracks are simply amazing, from the dance-pop of "Human Nature" to the brilliantly produced "Music", that it's hard to describe simply how good this album is. The only dip in quality is during "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" and despite this being a pretty good song, it really doesn't fit here. GHV2 does the unthinkable and manages to rival The Immaculate Collection, which is something that few albums by Madonna have ever done. Good on her!
The only problem is the lack of new stuff. Unfortunately, there are no brilliant new tracks like there were on The Immaculate Collection ("Justify My Love", "Rescue Me"), although this is the first of her albums that "Beautiful Stranger", the bouncy, summery Austin Powers theme, has appeared on.
GHV2 is a must for anyone who missed Madonna's 90s albums, and it gives you just what you want - all killer, no album filler...
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Under My Skin
Under My Skin
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Price: 3.89

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same but with a rockier edge, 1 Jun 2004
This review is from: Under My Skin (Audio CD)
Following Let Go (a grower, I admit), which centred around pop hooks, with a few rock ballads thrown in for good measure and the odd guitar here and there, it was inevitable that the follow up, Under My Skin, would be more of the same. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Avril's changed a few things on this album, however. The Matrix are out and various other co-writers are in, most famously, Ben Moody, the ex-Evanescence guitarist/co-writer. His influence is seen on the more different tracks, whether he wrote them or not. The use of piano on "Together", "Forgotten" and especially "Slipped Away" is very Evanescence, with "Slipped Away"'s opening instrumental somewhat mimicking "My Immortal".
Lead single "Don't Tell Me" sounds fab, a mix between "Losing Grip" and "Complicated" but Avril's lyrics still leave something to be desired: "I'll have to kick your ass and make you never forget... get outta my head - get offa my bed, yeah, that's what I said." Um, indeed. However, every now and then Avril comes out with great lyrics. This happened on the first album with the amazing "Naked" and on this album with "Nobody's Home", co-written by Moody. Dark, moody and touching, "Nobody's Home" tells the tale of a girl who's lost her way and it is fantastic, the highlight of the song being towards the end when Avril sings: "Her feelings she hides, her dreams she can't find, she's losing her mind, she's fallen behind..." This song is possibly her best yet.
Whereas a lot of Let Go needed to grow on you, Under My Skin is more immediate. "Losing Grip" style "Take Me Away" hits you instantly, as does rock ballad "Fall To Pieces" and "How Does It Feel", which echoes "I'm With You", the best single from Let Go.
As before, there are a few weak tracks, but nothing as terrible as "Nobody's Fool" on Let Go. "Who Knows" is slightly repetitive and similar to the brilliant "My Happy Ending". The album finishes proper with "I Always Get What I Want", possibly Avril's first genuinely punk song. And it falters slightly because it doesn't really suit her.
Despite the Matrix's absense, Avril still manages to create a "Sk8er Boi" Part 2 in "He Wasn't" which on album track sounds reasonably punky, but if released as single and played to death on radio (a la "Sk8er Boi") will become nothing special.
And nothing special is the best way to describe Avril. She's not an amazing vocalist, she's not a fantastic lyricist. But put her with the right songs, and it'll all work out fine. Nothing too serious here, just a good bit of fun.

American Life
American Life
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Price: 2.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some killer - some filler, 1 Jun 2004
This review is from: American Life (Audio CD)
Madonna's latest album American Life has been slated by most critics, but this is unecessary, to be quite honest. Admittedly, some of this album borders on the terrible, "Nobody Knows Me" is particularly bad and the rap segment of "American Life" is one of Madonna's lowest points in her career, beaten possibly only by her terrible cover of "American Pie" on her Music album. The problem with the album is that the singles chosen from it (with the exception of "Hollywood") have been average. "Die Another Day" is interesting, but ultimately mediocre, "American Life" would have been fine if only she'd left out the rap and "Love Profusion" is something of a rip-off of "Don't Tell Me", but that can be overlooked, making that track pretty decent. "Hollywood", however, is amazing in both lyrics and sound. The message in the song is blatant - Hollywood ain't what it's cracked up to be - and who better to admit this than the Queen of Pop?
The album tracks are a bit hit and miss too. The start of "I'm So Stupid", with the acoustic guitar sounds promising until on the word "I'm" Madonna's voice cracks into an electrical sound. From here the song becomes an electronic-rock song, which is as weird as it sounds. The mid-section of the album, however, is fantastic. The selection of love songs, with "Intervention" being the highlight, are fantastic. "Nothing Fails", another of these love songs, echoes her classic "Like A Prayer" when on the line "I'm not religious but I feel so moved it makes me wanna pray" a gospel choir appears from nowhere to bring the song to its close. Speaking of echoes of classics, the closer "Easy Ride" is reminiscent of "Frozen" which is always good.
Hit and miss it may be, but American Life is never dull. "Mother & Father" is very interesting indeed. A confessional akin to Christina Aguilera's "I'm OK", P!nk's "Family Portrait" and Madge's own "Oh Father", things are spiced up by rhythmic techno beats which change the mood. There's even another one of those raps at the end to throw you off course.
So American Life isn't that bad. Get it for "Hollywood", the love song centrepiece and "Easy Ride", and also for a bit of interesting fun. Even the bad tracks are growers in the end, and you'll soon desensitise to Madge's dubious rapping skills on "American Life" and "Mother & Father".

Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 4.66

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great rock album, 23 Jan 2004
This review is from: Fallen (Audio CD)
"Now I will tell you what I've done for you / Fifty thousand tears I've cried" begins "Going Under", the first track on Fallen, and it sets the mood for the rest of the album. Fallen is about bad relationships, holding on for more and in some instances, depression. Amy Lee's vocals are very impressive, as are the lyrics (co written by Lee and guitarist Ben Moody). "Bring Me To Life", their number one duet with 12 Stones' Paul McCoy, follows "Going Under", and this is followed by "Everybody's Fool", which is another slice of Nu Metal/Goth rock. The first change of style is on "My Immortal" which is a haunting piano ballad, showing off Lee's vocals to the max. Following this, we see Evanescence's religious influence ("Tourniquet") as well as some powerful depression songs ("I know I can kill the pain if I will it all away" sings Lee on "Whisper"). The overall highlight of the album, however, is "Taking Over Me", which is comparable to "Bring Me To Life", but even better.
The only complaint about the album is that the songs sound quite similar, but it's hard to find a rock band that doesn't nowadays. Get Fallen, and enjoy it without worrying about the similarity.

The Singles 1992 - 2003
The Singles 1992 - 2003
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 3.96

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gwen and her boys' greatest hits..., 23 Jan 2004
This review is from: The Singles 1992 - 2003 (Audio CD)
There is no doubt (excuse the pun) that No Doubt wouldn't be where they are today without the talented and beautiful Gwen Stefani at the front. Singles is their first greatest hits collection, and possibly their last should Stefani's solo career take off and she decides to leave. However, it is a nice look back at one of the best American pop-bands' long career. The album kicks off with a high, the catchy and irresistable "Just A Girl" and continues with two more great tracks, a cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life" and the dancehall classic "Hey Baby". Things begin to take a dip, however, and great songs like "Hella Good" become more sparse. No review could go without mentioning "Don't Speak", their greatest song to date. The whole album seems to work towards this track, before taking a dip again at the end. A highlight of the UK version, however, is the acoustic version of "Underneath It All", which is better than the original.
In short, Singles is a worthwhile purchase for any music lover who has fond memories of songs like "Don't Speak", "Just A Girl" or "Hella Good". Just steer clear of "Excuse Me Mister"...

Try This
Try This
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Price: 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Let's "Try This"..., 9 Jan 2004
This review is from: Try This (Audio CD)
She's done it again. How do you follow an album that sells 10 million copies worldwide? Like this... Although Try This is no M!ssundaztood, it is still a fantastic, must have album. Try This kicks off with "Trouble", which is a catchy pop-rock song, co-written by P!nk's new producer-friend Tim Armstrong (from Rancid, and also part of The Transplants), with loud drums (Travis Barker of Blink 182 fame), big guitars (Armstrong again) and memorable lyrics ("If you see me coming down the street, then you know it's time to go 'cause here comes trouble"). The album then moves onto second single, and just like M!ssundaztood's genre skipping, it sounds nothing like "Trouble", but this is no bad thing. This continues throughout the album, which stretches from pure pop ("God Is A DJ"), epic rock songs ("Waiting For Love"), spiky pop punk ("Try Too Hard") and even rap-rock ("Humble Neighborhoods"). The album's highlight is definitely "Love Song", however, Try This's closer (if you don't count hidden track, the profane and fabulous "Hooker") in which P!nk sings a beautiful tribute to (ex)boyfriend Carey Hart.
So, Try This is a fantastic, accomplished album. It doesn't vary as much as M!ssundaztood, but that doesn't really matter. It's a must have!

Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.50

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely "Beautiful", 12 Oct 2003
This review is from: Stripped (Audio CD)
Christina Aguilera breaks out of the "teeny bopper" pop bracket with her sophomore album "Stripped", which is an amazing mix of many different genres. On the pop side, we get songs such as "Cruz", "Underappreciated" and "Soar", all of which contain the brilliant vocals you'd expect from the talented Miss Aguilera. Her surprising rock-edge, which is seen in "Fighter" and "Make Over", also works really well. Throw in some fantastic R&B ("Dirrty", "Get Mine, Get Yours", "Infatuation") and finish it all off with some show-stopping ballads ("Walk Away", "The Voice Within", "Impossible") and this has everything you could ever ask for from a pop album. Christina even explores her past, a la P!nk's "Family Portrait", with a genuinely upsetting tale of an abusive father and husband, with "I'm OK".
"Stripped" is an album best described by the best single released from it. Simply "Beautiful".

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Price: 2.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Pink Power..., 4 May 2003
This review is from: M!ssundaztood (Audio CD)
I first recieved "M!ssundaztood" as a gift for my birthday almost a year ago, and it hasn't left my CD Player since. The album is laden with stunning tracks of every genre, from trashy dance ("Get the Party Started") to soulful jazz ("Gone to California"), the LP never fails to please. Despite claiming to have a "Split Personality" on the first album, Pink only really starts to show her confused self on this album... One minute she's talking about being gorgeous and demanding "Respect", and the next she's fighting her reflection in the catchy "Don't Let Me Get Me". She's a troubled little girl on "Family Portrait", but a depressed "addict" on "Just Like a Pill". The full album closes with the haunting "My Vietnam", a track, which, rather melodramitically, describes her childhood as "her Vietnam", but the over-reaction isn't that noticable. Other highlights include the guitar blaring rock track "Numb", the duet with mentor Linda Perry, "Lonely Girl" and the "can't bring me down" anthem "18 Wheeler", of which the only problem is the censoring of f**k. "M!ssundaztood" is the wakeup call for all the people who have yet to notice Pink... have you woken up yet?

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