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Jacob Hill (Sileby, UK)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Unit!, 28 Dec. 2012
This unit does everything it says on the tin, and more. Whatever your preferred medium, you can get it on here - CD, Tape, Vinyl, Radio - even MP3 and SD cards are supported. While I've yet to use said function, the ability to record vinyl to MP3 format is a great bonus to people like me who collect Vinyl but who don't want to have to buy a CD on the side just to be able to listen on the go.

One criticism - the speakers that come with the unit have very little bass. It's most pronounced when listening to analogue formats - vinyl and tape records sound quite tinny. However, there is a jack for a subwoofer on the back, and other reviews suggest this improves the audio quality significantly when used.

Even so, for the price this is great value. It literally does everything you could ask of a music system - and more - I had no idea there was a 78rpm function and have been having a dust-off of my grandparents records, which haven't seen the light of day for 30+ years!

Get the system, pick up a bass speaker with an AUX jack and you've surely got a music system for life here.


I'm With You [VINYL]
I'm With You [VINYL]
Price: £27.37

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. Just Brilliant., 27 Jan. 2012
This review is from: I'm With You [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Recently bought the Vinyl version of I'm With You from my local record store, and am pleased to report that the fears of peaking and distortion associated with the producer in charge of the record, the notorious Vlado Mellar (Vlad The Impaler to those opposed to the "Loudness" mastering technique,) are unfounded. This is a gorgeous master of an album which is brilliant in itself, but the CD of which, as with pretty much every RHCP album, was let down by poor mastering.

The drums are most noticably improved - no distortion present, and sounding much crisper. They don't drown out the rest of the tracks, and the result is that the other instruments are more clear and pronounced. The subtleties of Josh Klinghoffer's layered approach to guitar playing are more noticable now, and as such easier to appreciate.

And any Vinyl fan worth their salt will tell you that bass frequencies sound beautiful on an LP, and a band as driven by bass as RHCP sound great. I still believe Flea hasn't had a stronger album performance since Blood Sugar Sex Magik, so hearing the suite in all it's glory is great. :)

So yes, if you are a vinyl collector, get this. It's a great master of a superb album.

(The following was my review for the CD version: Still relevant if you've never heard the album.)

Well, after the underwhelming, drawn out filler-fest that was Stadium Arcadium, fans were left wondering what to expect from the new album. John Frusciante's fan club were distraught to see him depart (again) and it was left to backing guitarist from the band's last tour, Josh Klinghoffer, to fill the void. The result is a more subtle guitar performance, but one that truly lets flea kick loose, making this a much better balanced album than their last and a joy from start to finish.

Things kick off in spectacular fashion with Monarchy Of Roses, a barnstorming rocker, half Warped, half disco rock. No sooner have you had chance to catch your breath that Kiedis' spoken rap melds perfectly with Flea's funky bass on Factory Of Faith, which includes an infectiously funky outro that conjures memories of the late Hillel Slovak and reminds listeners that Klinghoffer can lead from the front too.

Next comes Brendan's Death Song, the first ballad on the album. Fans have drawn comparisons with perhaps the band's most famous track, Under The Bridge. And they would be right, with the swelling guitar licks and acoustic rhythm building into a powerful chorus. By the end of the track, it's a goosebump-triggering stadium classic remeniscant of King's Of Leon's Use Somebody - and Kiedis gives a stunning vocal performance with the chorus of "yeahs" in the track's conclusion. In my opinion, this is the most powerful 5 minutes and 40 seconds of music RHCP have ever recorded - it's simply breathtaking.

No sooner have we regained our composure and wiped the tears than we're propelled back into the funk rollercoaster with Ethiopia. Flea once again drops a great bassline, and Chad Smith's inspired 7/8 beat keeps the listener on the edge. Anthony's lyrics are so-so at first, but as the groove builds they fit the jam perfectly. Midway through, we're treated to some chorus-heavy guitar washes from Klinghoffer that once again signal that he is open to the styles of Slovak as well as Frusciante, but we're soon back into farmiliar territory for the Peppers with Annie Wants A Baby, with a bassline reminiscant of "This Is The Place" but little else to get excited about. It's perhaps the weakest track on the album, but even this is a good song, if slightly underwhelming.

Of course, the Chili Peppers are at their best catching you off guard, and the album is then abruptly thrown into an explosion of uptempo funk rock with Look Around. This is fast becoming a crowd favourite - Kiedis returns to his Rhythmic rapping for the second time while Klinghoffer's mixture of power and melody in the opening creates one of the best combinations between Flea and his guitarist since the Uplift Mofo Party Plan album. The chorus, for all it' simplicity, will be stuck in your head from the first listen.

Next up is lead single The Adventures Of Raindance Maggie. Again, Flea is in fine fettle, and Klinghoffer's guitar washes and Claptonesque soars in the chorus work well and suit the minimalist style that the Chili's sound best when exercising - something lost in the guitar heavy Stadium Arcadium. Kiedis is in his comfort zone, but again the chorus is catchy - "hey now, we've got to make it rain somehow" - and his scat singing in the outro is infectious. Plus, massive kudos for Chad Smith having the nerve to add cowbell after all his comparisons to Will Ferrell!

Did I Let You Know lets Flea loose with his french horn again, something we've heard sadly very little of since the Mothers Milk and Freaky Styley albums. It's subtle, and does mean we have an understated bass track here - perhaps so we can see flea play the former in live shows? Klinghoffer puts in a haunting and solid backing vocal here; forums were awash asking questions over who was singing, and even what gender they were - perhaps a slightly embarrasing testimonial for his powerful vocal range! But Klinghoffer is back to his forté in the next track, the uptempo Goodbye Hooray, which sees powerful instrumental performances from all 3 musicians. There's even room for a barrelhouse piano in the backing, and the psychedelic, trancey bridge midway through is an interesting dynamic which serves to make the closing minute, which culminates in a mindblowing rock-out ending, even more powerful.

Next is Happiness Loves Company, which is sure to be marmite to RHCP fans in the same way Cabron and the Zephyr Song were on By The Way. It's infectiously upbeat, and the prominent piano and Flea's rare appearence on backing vocals with bop-de-bop singing make it truly unlike any Pepper's song to date. It's reminiscant of Britpop, but executed much better than the butchering indie of the past decade.

Police Station is another Ballad, and another good performance from Klinghoffer. The piano stabs later on are strangely haunting, perhaps because it's not expected of the Peppers to use such an instrument so heavily. Not that it's a bad thing, and they meld nicely with Josh's soaring, minimalist style. Then there's Even You Brutus?, the last burst of rap on the album and a new direction for Kiedis, with him ditching the rhythmic flows for an almost-yelling contemporary 21st century style. I was unsure of it at first - worried, even, that the rap style which made Kiedis unique was going to be lost in favour of the mainstream. But on closer inspection, it's pulled off effortlessly and combines so well with the piano backing that what starts as a suprising departure from convention becomes farmiliar and impressive very quickly.

Into the album's closing strait, and first there's Meet Me At The Corner. It's very minimal stuff, with Kiedis again leading from the front. The lyrics are suprisingly introspective. It will never be a fan's first choice, but it's solid with another pleasant Guitar and backing vocal performance from Klinghoffer. Finally, there's Dance Dance Dance, which perhaps makes the most of the much-touted but little-exploited claims of an afro-pop influence on the album. The drum beat chugs along nicely, with Flea putting in one final shift before the close of the Album. Kiedis' initially grating orders of "Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!" become more and more infectious as more and more people join in with the song's progression. There's even room for one more sweet bridge from Klinghoffer, although it's over too soon. It's one of those "end of a party songs" - not too taxing for tired revellers, but upbeat enough to convince folks to keep on going. And with that the album recedes into the mist, and you're left feeling like the Peppers are truly starting fresh.

In conclusion, this album is, musically, flawless. Flea has perhaps not been as prominent on a RHCP album perhaps since at least Californication, perhaps Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Josh Klinghoffer, for all the gripes and disguisting scapegoating of a sizable number of so called "fans" who can't accept the departure of John Frusciante, proves himself time and time again, and yet is still subtle enough to let his band members shine instead of stealing the spotlight. Even so, he finds the space to put in a performance on Brendan's Death Song which could push Under The Bridge as one of the most iconic tracks RHCP have ever produced. Chad Smith is incredibly technical on the album, perhaps it's unsung hero who keeps everything rolling and has enough flourishes to grab the listener's attention throughout. Kiedis is the cherry on top, with a vocal ability that continually improves with each new album - again, listen to the stunning high notes at the end of Brendan's Death Song for proof that he is becoming a truly powerful singer. We also see an increased prominence of his famous spoken rap, as well as a new take in Even You Brutus?, which wraps up a solid performance all round from the band.

So I for one am comfortable to declare this the best Red Hot Chili Peppers album since Blood Sugar Sex Magik. There isn't a track on here that truly dissapoints, and you'll soon have your own favourites. Early fans will love Factory Of Faith, Goodbye Hooray and Look Around, while those who admire their contemporary work will love Police Station, Happiness Loves Company and Brendan's Death Song. Experimenters will dig Ethiopia, The Adventures Of Raindance Maggie and Monarchy Of Roses. So sit back and enjoy. The artwork is most certainly apt - you'll be left wanting a repeat prescription when the bug bites you.


Nintendo Selects : Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City (Nintendo Wii)
Nintendo Selects : Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City (Nintendo Wii)
Offered by Hauseinkauf
Price: £22.56

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Love AC, but this is ruined by Animal Tracks., 9 Nov. 2011
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
It is with a heavy heart that I commit this version of my favourite gaming franchise to the depths of a 1-Star review. I honestly love the Animal Crossing series, and have played regularly since the Gamecube version was released on September 23rd 2004. The feeling of freedom, the joys of collecting and the depth of things to do all make the games a refreshingly different series.

But this game is absolutely ruined for me and so many thousands of others by a poorly-implemented feature called "Animal Tracks." The developers intention was for paths of dirt to form where players had regularly walked, and had it worked it would have been a cool feature. As it turns out, it is utterly game breaking and killed any enjoyment I hoped to get out of Animal Crossing: Lets Go To The City.

For whatever reason, the feature was implemented at the end of game development with minimal testing. Running increased the speed at which the grass died, and buildings, whether you visited them or not, saw grass die radially around their entrances. Contrary to popular belief, if a player ceased running, the deterioration would still continue. The edges of rivers, as a high-traffic area that the player visits often while fishing, saw fast grass death too. The result was that, within a few weeks of game time, player's towns were beginning to look ugly and bare, and within a few months the town resembled a desert rather than the verdant paradise it was when you first arrived.

I say the feature is game breaking for a number of reasons. Firstly, to rectify the problem, one has to set the game clock back a number of months and continually log in and out, day by day, without moving from their front door. During this period, your town will likely become strewn with weeds, any flowers you have grown will probably die and, as you do not interact with any characters, it is possible (as happened to me) that your favourite neighbors may move away. This is game breaking because it defeats the point of Animal Crossing - to take each day as it comes and discover what's around the next corner. For a game that has Resetti the mole lambasting players who reset to go back and do things again, it seems incredible that one should have to do this just to enjoy the experience!

Secondly, when playing, players like me develop a genuine fear of entering grassy areas for fear of damaging them. Thus, we keep to set routes that make the game feel much more linear, and severely damage the exploration aspect of the game. So much as chasing a bug with a net can be enough to start the Animal Tracks process, I have found.

Thirdly, it penalises players for running anywhere by drastically increasing the rate at which the grass dies. Granted, this would be fine if the tracks feature did not apply to those who take the game at a slower pace, but it still does, and places like rivers, where the player would be foolish to run for fear of spooking the fish, still resemble a mud pit after a few weeks of regular playing.

Fourthly, Winter in this game is not only an ugly affair where grass is absent, as snow does not settle on dirt, but if the grass deteriorates enough, parts of the game simply don't work. For example, building a snowman requires the player to roll up snow, but rolling the ball over dirt reduces it's size. If two snowballs are spread far apart with large patches of dirt between them, it can be impossible to build one. This is perhaps nitpicking, but Winter has gone from being Animal Crossing's most beautiful season to it's most ugly - all thanks to Animal Tracks.

Finally, the chore of maintaining the town to prevent grass death overtakes any other pastime the player would want to undertake. Fishing? It'll damage the riverbanks. Going to the Town Hall? The grass around it will deteriorate. Planting flowers stops being a beautification scheme and takes on a joyless, protective light (as grass grows back faster under them.) Around buildings, the grass will die even if you don't visit for days. I would go to the city maybe once a week, I didn't play online so I rarely went to the Town Gates, and I'm the only player in my town. Yet the deterioration of grass around the bus stop and town gates was the worst in my village.

To add insult to injury, even if you do manage to return your town to its original beauty, which can take hours of joyless, damaging time travel, the process will begin again within a matter of weeks. Nintendo rarely put a foot wrong with their major franchises, but they managed to suck all the fun out of the game here.

And it really is a shame, because beneath the looming shadow of Animal Tracks there is a good game, with the most extensive collections we've seen yet, plenty of variety and a decent online mode. But when all that plays second fiddle to having to fight constantly against a mess-up of a feature implemented with little prior thought, I can't merit the game at all.

If you're interested in Animal Crossing but don't want the stress of this version, I reccomend the two previous games. Otherwise, wait for the 3DS version and pray it doesn't have the Animal Tracks feature. I may sound whiney or perhaps bitter, but i speak for thousands when I say I felt downright ripped off - as if I'd wasted my time for nothing.

Utterly Game Breaking. :(
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2012 2:19 PM GMT


Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City (Wii)
Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City (Wii)
Offered by complete games
Price: £18.00

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Love AC, but this is ruined by Animal Tracks., 8 Nov. 2011
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
It is with a heavy heart that I commit this version of my favourite gaming franchise to the depths of a 1-Star review. I honestly love the Animal Crossing series, and have played regularly since the Gamecube version was released on September 23rd 2004. The feeling of freedom, the joys of collecting and the depth of things to do all make the games a refreshingly different series.

But this game is absolutely ruined for me and so many thousands of others by a poorly-implemented feature called "Animal Tracks." The developers intention was for paths of dirt to form where players had regularly walked, and had it worked it would have been a cool feature. As it turns out, it is utterly game breaking and killed any enjoyment I hoped to get out of Animal Crossing: Lets Go To The City.

For whatever reason, the feature was implemented at the end of game development with minimal testing. Running increased the speed at which the grass died, and buildings, whether you visited them or not, saw grass die radially around their entrances. Contrary to popular belief, if a player ceased running, the deterioration would still continue. The edges of rivers, as a high-traffic area that the player visits often while fishing, saw fast grass death too. The result was that, within a few weeks of game time, player's towns were beginning to look ugly and bare, and within a few months the town resembled a desert rather than the verdant paradise it was when you first arrived.

I say the feature is game breaking for a number of reasons. Firstly, to rectify the problem, one has to set the game clock back a number of months and continually log in and out, day by day, without moving from their front door. During this period, your town will likely become strewn with weeds, any flowers you have grown will probably die and, as you do not interact with any characters, it is possible (as happened to me) that your favourite neighbors may move away. This is game breaking because it defeats the point of Animal Crossing - to take each day as it comes and discover what's around the next corner. For a game that has Resetti the mole lambasting players who reset to go back and do things again, it seems incredible that one should have to do this just to enjoy the experience!

Secondly, when playing, players like me develop a genuine fear of entering grassy areas for fear of damaging them. Thus, we keep to set routes that make the game feel much more linear, and severely damage the exploration aspect of the game. So much as chasing a bug with a net can be enough to start the Animal Tracks process, I have found.

Thirdly, it penalises players for running anywhere by drastically increasing the rate at which the grass dies. Granted, this would be fine if the tracks feature did not apply to those who take the game at a slower pace, but it still does, and places like rivers, where the player would be foolish to run for fear of spooking the fish, still resemble a mud pit after a few weeks of regular playing.

Fourthly, Winter in this game is not only an ugly affair where grass is absent, as snow does not settle on dirt, but if the grass deteriorates enough, parts of the game simply don't work. For example, building a snowman requires the player to roll up snow, but rolling the ball over dirt reduces it's size. If two snowballs are spread far apart with large patches of dirt between them, it can be impossible to build one. This is perhaps nitpicking, but Winter has gone from being Animal Crossing's most beautiful season to it's most ugly - all thanks to Animal Tracks.

Finally, the chore of maintaining the town to prevent grass death overtakes any other pastime the player would want to undertake. Fishing? It'll damage the riverbanks. Going to the Town Hall? The grass around it will deteriorate. Planting flowers stops being a beautification scheme and takes on a joyless, protective light (as grass grows back faster under them.) Around buildings, the grass will die even if you don't visit for days. I would go to the city maybe once a week, I didn't play online so I rarely went to the Town Gates, and I'm the only player in my town. Yet the deterioration of grass around the bus stop and town gates was the worst in my village.

To add insult to injury, even if you do manage to return your town to its original beauty, which can take hours of joyless, damaging time travel, the process will begin again within a matter of weeks. Nintendo rarely put a foot wrong with their major franchises, but they managed to suck all the fun out of the game here.

And it really is a shame, because beneath the looming shadow of Animal Tracks there is a good game, with the most extensive collections we've seen yet, plenty of variety and a decent online mode. But when all that plays second fiddle to having to fight constantly against a mess-up of a feature implemented with little prior thought, I can't merit the game at all.

If you're interested in Animal Crossing but don't want the stress of this version, I reccomend the two previous games, Animal Crossing - Gamcube - NTSC VERSION (US) and ANIMAL CROSSING WILD WORLD. Otherwise, wait for the 3DS version and pray it doesn't have the Animal Tracks feature. I may sound whiney or perhaps bitter, but i speak for thousands when I say I felt downright ripped off - as if I'd wasted my time for nothing.

Utterly Game Breaking. :(
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2012 12:03 PM BST


I'm With You
I'm With You
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £4.90

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Since Blood Sugar Sex Magik, 31 Aug. 2011
This review is from: I'm With You (Audio CD)
Well, after the underwhelming, drawn out filler-fest that was Stadium Arcadium, fans were left wondering what to expect from the new album. John Frusciante's fan club were distraught to see him depart (again) and it was left to backing guitarist from the band's last tour, Josh Klinghoffer, to fill the void. The result is a more subtle guitar performance, but one that truly lets flea kick loose, making this a much better balanced album than their last and a joy from start to finish.

Things kick off in spectacular fashion with Monarchy Of Roses, a barnstorming rocker, half Warped, half disco rock. No sooner have you had chance to catch your breath that Kiedis' spoken rap melds perfectly with Flea's funky bass on Factory Of Faith, which includes an infectiously funky outro that conjures memories of the late Hillel Slovak and reminds listeners that Klinghoffer can lead from the front too.

Next comes Brendan's Death Song, the first ballad on the album. Fans have drawn comparisons with perhaps the band's most famous track, Under The Bridge. And they would be right, with the swelling guitar licks and acoustic rhythm building into a powerful chorus. By the end of the track, it's a goosebump-triggering stadium classic remeniscant of King's Of Leon's Use Somebody - and Kiedis gives a stunning vocal performance with the chorus of "yeahs" in the track's conclusion. In my opinion, this is the most powerful 5 minutes and 40 seconds of music RHCP have ever recorded - it's simply breathtaking.

No sooner have we regained our composure and wiped the tears than we're propelled back into the funk rollercoaster with Ethiopia. Flea once again drops a great bassline, and Chad Smith's inspired 7/8 beat keeps the listener on the edge. Anthony's lyrics are so-so at first, but as the groove builds they fit the jam perfectly. Midway through, we're treated to some chorus-heavy guitar washes from Klinghoffer that once again signal that he is open to the styles of Slovak as well as Frusciante, but we're soon back into farmiliar territory for the Peppers with Annie Wants A Baby, with a bassline reminiscant of "This Is The Place" but little else to get excited about. It's perhaps the weakest track on the album, but even this is a good song, if slightly underwhelming.

Of course, the Chili Peppers are at their best catching you off guard, and the album is then abruptly thrown into an explosion of uptempo funk rock with Look Around. This is sure to be a crowd favourite - Kiedis returns to his Rhythmic rapping for the second time while Klinghoffer's mixture of power and melody in the opening creates one of the best combinations between Flea and his guitarist since the Uplift Mofo Party Plan album. The chorus, for all it' simplicity, will be stuck in your head from the first listen.

Next up is lead single The Adventures Of Raindance Maggie. Again, Flea is in fine fettle, and Klinghoffer's guitar washes and Claptonesque soars in the chorus work well and suit the minimalist style that the Chili's sound best when exercising - something lost in the guitar heavy Stadium Arcadium. Kiedis is in his comfort zone, but again the chorus is catchy - "hey now, we've got to make it rain somehow" - and his scat singing in the outro is infectious. Plus, massive kudos for Chad Smith having the nerve to add cowbell after all his comparisons to Will Ferrell!

Did I Let You Know lets Flea loose with his french horn again, something we've heard sadly very little of since the Mothers Milk and Freaky Styley albums. It's subtle, and does mean we have an understated bass track here - perhaps so we can see flea play the former in live shows? Klinghoffer puts in a haunting and solid backing vocal here; forums were awash asking questions over who was singing, and even what gender they were - perhaps a slightly embarrasing testimonial for his powerful vocal range! But Klinghoffer is back to his forté in the next track, the uptempo Goodbye Hooray, which sees powerful instrumental performances from all 3 musicians. There's even room for a barrelhouse piano in the backing, and the psychedelic, trancey bridge midway through is an interesting dynamic which serves to make the closing minute, which culminates in a mindblowing rock-out ending, even more powerful.

Next is Happiness Loves Company, which is sure to be marmite to RHCP fans in the same way Cabron and the Zephyr Song were on By The Way. It's infectiously upbeat, and the prominent piano and Flea's rare appearence on backing vocals with bop-de-bop singing make it truly unlike any Pepper's song to date. It's reminiscant of Britpop, but executed much better than the butchering indie of the past decade. If ever there was a second single from the album, this would be it, and I for one really dig it.

Police Station is another Ballad, and another good performance from Klinghoffer. The piano stabs later on are strangely haunting, perhaps because it's not expected of the Peppers to use such an instrument so heavily. Not that it's a bad thing, and they meld nicely with Josh's soaring, minimalist style. Then there's Even You Brutus?, the last burst of rap on the album and a new direction for Kiedis, with him ditching the rhythmic flows for an almost-yelling contemporary 21st century style. I was unsure of it at first - worried, even, that the rap style which made Kiedis unique was going to be lost in favour of the mainstream. But on closer inspection, it's pulled off effortlessly and combines so well with the piano backing that what starts as a suprising departure from convention becomes farmiliar and impressive very quickly.

Into the album's closing strait, and first there's Meet Me At The Corner. It's very minimal stuff, with Kiedis again leading from the front. The lyrics are suprisingly introspective. It will never be a fan's first choice, but it's solid with another pleasant Guitar and backing vocal performance from Klinghoffer. Finally, there's Dance Dance Dance, which perhaps makes the most of the much-touted but little-exploited claims of an afro-pop influence on the album. The drum beat chugs along nicely, with Flea putting in one final shift before the close of the Album. Kiedis' initially grating orders of "Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!" become more and more infectious as more and more people join in with the song's progression. There's even room for one more sweet bridge from Klinghoffer, although it's over too soon. It's one of those "end of a party songs" - not too taxing for tired revellers, but upbeat enough to convince folks to keep on going. And with that the album recedes into the mist, and you're left feeling like the Peppers are truly starting fresh.

In conclusion, this album is, musically, flawless. Flea has perhaps not been as prominent on a RHCP album perhaps since at least Californication, perhaps Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Josh Klinghoffer, for all the gripes and disguisting scapegoating of a sizable number of so called "fans" who can't accept the departure of John Frusciante, proves himself time and time again, and yet is still subtle enough to let his band members shine instead of stealing the spotlight. Even so, he finds the space to put in a performance on Brendan's Death Song which could push Under The Bridge as one of the most iconic tracks RHCP have ever produced. Chad Smith is incredibly technical on the album, perhaps it's unsung hero who keeps everything rolling and has enough flourishes to grab the listener's attention throughout. Kiedis is the cherry on top, with a vocal ability that continually improves with each new album - again, listen to the stunning high notes at the end of Brendan's Death Song for proof that he is becoming a truly powerful singer. We also see an increased prominence of his famous spoken rap, as well as a new take in Even You Brutus?, which wraps up a solid performance all round from the band.

So I for one am comfortable to declare this the best Red Hot Chili Peppers album since Blood Sugar Sex Magik. There isn't a track on here that truly dissapoints, and you'll soon have your own favourites. Early fans will love Factory Of Faith, Goodbye Hooray and Look Around, while those who admire their contemporary work will love Police Station, Happiness Loves Company and Brendan's Death Song. Experimenters will dig Ethiopia, The Adventures Of Raindance Maggie and Monarchy Of Roses. So sit back and enjoy. The artwork is most certainly apt - you'll be left wanting a repeat prescription when the bug bites you.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2011 10:57 PM BST


My Neighbours The Yamadas [DVD]
My Neighbours The Yamadas [DVD]
Dvd ~ Isao Takahata
Price: £11.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique offering from Ghibli, 21 May 2011
This is without a doubt nothing like any other Ghibli film out there. The animation style, which stays true to the Yamada's comic strip roots, is understated yet beautiful. The film itself plays out as a series of sketches which show the life of the family, and provides a humorous insight into what seems to be a regular modern Japanese family.

While the film has comical overtones, with a quirky, almost satirical sense of poking fun at the nuances of family life, this only serves to catch you off guard during the occasional touching moments. The hospital scene with the grandma is the clearest example, and leaves the viewer feeling even more strongly for the characters. At one point, the animation style itself changes to dictate a serious mood change. Small techniques like this suprise and excite in equal measure.

To suggest the film is dynamic is to lie through your teeth. It's normal life, and moves at such a pace. The beautiful animation of the opening sequence is perhaps misleading, but this is not to day the rest of it is not incredibly enjoyable. The crowning glory of the film is it's Haiku, which close many sketches and ooze the charm displayed throughout the film.

Go into this expecting Spirited Away and you'll come out disappointed, if not a bit confused. But then, you'd be a closed-minded individual if that was the case. Those who appreciate a more relaxing cinema experience should enjoy My Neighbors The Yamadas immensely. For me, it's one of my favourite Ghibli films, and that's saying something as I have enjoyed every single one.


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