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Price: £6.24

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 5 Feb. 2005
This review is from: GEMSTONES (Audio CD)
as one half of the moldy peaches, adam green is often associated with their lo-fi, infantile 'anti-folk'. don't be put off, he has, over the last couple of years, become the best songwriter in the world. gone are the string arrangements from the brilliant 'friends of mine', replaced instead by groovy organ sounds. what remains is the fact that the 15 songs here are, without exception, superb. most of them are around 2 minutes long, so it's hard to get tired of them. the lyrics are very very funny and just a little bit strange, and adams voice is quite impressive. it's hard to pick a favourite, but 'gemstones', 'bible club' and 'who's your boyfriend' are especially good. this is classic songwriting with beautiful melodies and a hint of silliness, and i cannot praise it enough.

Chutes Too Narrow
Chutes Too Narrow
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i can't possibly praise this album highly enough, 30 July 2004
This review is from: Chutes Too Narrow (Audio CD)
everything i heard about the shins before hearing this album seemed to portray them as a quirky, odd, 'indie' band. this all may be true, but it somehow makes them sound like an exclusive underground thing. their music, however deserves a much wider audience. after a few months of owning this album, i can confidently say that it is the best pop album of the last 5 years. singer james mercer is without doubt the latest in a line of brilliant american songwriters, from brian wilson over black francis and rivers cuomo. the ten songs featured here are beautiful and uplifting, each single one has a brilliant melody.
track by track:
1. kissing the lipless: a low key opener, a grower rather than an attention grabber. starts with a strummed acoustic guitar and then almost turns into a full on emo-rocker. but not quite. 8/10
2. mine's not a high horse: a subtle yet insisting melody, nice keyboard arpeggios in the chorus. 8/10
3. so says i: a full on jangly guitar rocker, also the first single. very enthusiastic singing and great guitars just make me wanna get up and do something. the lyrics are basically a big telling off for man "we are a brutal kind". 9/10
4. a relaxed acoustic number, once again a fantastic melody and cool lyrics. 8/10
5. saint simon: the stand out track, an absolutely stunning piece of music. a beautifully sung hauntuing melody against a complex, lush musical background; the best song of the century. 10/10
6. turn a square: a rockier number guaranteed to put a smile on yer face: "a glimpse of her ankle and i, react like it's 1805" 7/10
7. pink bullets: another amazing song. the lyrics are pure poetry, the song itself is a thing of true beauty. a simple acoustic guitar and a lovely guitar line; 10/10
8. fighting in a sack: another upbeat number, similar to 6. 8/10
9. gone for good: a wonderful country song with a very memorable chorus and cool lyrics as always. 10/10
10. those to come: the least remarkable song on the album, features only james mercer singing over a sparse acoustic. lovely nonetheless. 7/10
the only slight problem is that it is too short. it is otherwise perfect.

Sleep / Holiday
Sleep / Holiday
Price: £7.07

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, 9 July 2004
This review is from: Sleep / Holiday (Audio CD)
at first i was slightly dissapointed by this album, it is somehow more sparse and muted than their previous work. no more harpsichords, choirs or orchestras; instead, the songs are nearly all based around acoustic guitars, piano and violin. however i find it is their warmest, most comforting album yet. my track by track review:
1. Waking for Winter: 9/10 great opener, one of the more upbeat songs on the album and i like the words: (i once new a lady from southend dear sadie, she gets up in the morning her hands they aren't steady)
2. Happiness: 9/10 a classic gorky's ballad with a great chorus and very nice lyrics
3. Mow the Lawn: 6/10 the 'rock' track, amusing if fairly average, not nearly as good as equivalents on earlier albums.
4. Single to Fairwater: 7/10 nice but repetive, euros sings from a female (or gay) point of view which is interesting
5. Shorelight: 9/10 written by richard james, unremarkable at first, after a couple of listens it becomes wonderful. very sparse instrumentation, which is typical of this album.
6. Country: 8/10 upbeat nostalgic number which does exactly what it says on the tin: country. short but sweet
7. Eyes of Green Green Green: 7/10 nice enough but not their greatest. as close as gorky's have got to filler.
8. South of France: 8/10 lovely harmonies, great melody, but somehow sounds incomplete.
9. Leave my Dreaming: 9/10: see above. haunting melody, beautifully sung but leaves the impression of a demo. brian wilson would have made a pocket symphony out of this one.
10. Only Takes a Night: 7/10: another richard james song; not quite as good as shorelight but in the same vein. watch out for the acoustic thrash at the end.
11. Pretty as a Bee: 5/10: unnecessary, too long and doesn't really go with the rest of the album. very repetitive to the point of being dull, the organ sound is annoying. a definite low point
12. Red Rocks: 9/10 the album ends on a high with this, a very quiet and muted song which only reveals its beauty after repeated listening.
all in all a quality album, but not up to their usual high standard. i would still recommend this to anyone and everyone.

Nightfreak & The Sons Of Becker
Nightfreak & The Sons Of Becker
Price: £4.07

4.0 out of 5 stars very very good, 7 Feb. 2004
nightfreak and the sons of becker is billed as a mini-album, though it has as many tracks on it as both the previous releases. the songs are a lot shorter, rougher, faster and less produced than magic and medicine. the quality of the songs is, however up to the usual high standard, grey harpoon and sorrow or the song being the highlights. i only gave it 4 stars because the rockier tunes get a bit annoying after a while, but definitely worth buying.

Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000]
Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Nanako Matsushima
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 10 May 2003
This review is from: Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
hollywood remakes tend to be unnecessary commercial mistakes, unimaginative directors making new versions of films that don't need to be remade with the sole purpose of making a lot of money. however, after watching both the remake and the original, it must be said that ring is something of an exception. the new film is the most terrifying, brilliant horror film ever. i literally couldn't sleep for weeks. until i saw this, the japanese original. without meaning to be disrespectful, the technological limitations and lo-fi production make it pretty underwhelming. the special effects are frankly laughable, and the plot is a lot more confusing than in the remake. it is still a great story, and it is interesting if you have never seen a japanese film before. the acting is arguably better than in the new version, but it seems a tight budget is costly in the horror genre, as it failed to scare me even the slightest bit.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars their best, 10 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Maladroit (Audio CD)
this album is less immediate than any of it's predecessors, and this could explain some of the hasty negative reviews on this site. it doesn't help that the album gets off to a slowish start with the unspectacular "american gigolo". "dope nose" is the real album opener, but it is followed by "keep fishin'" which perhaps should have been put somewhere in the middle of the album. however, the band then manage to sustain an amazing run of 8 brilliant songs in a row. "take control" is an instant classic, just pure, heavy guitar pop with a catchy metal riff that was made for air guitar. "death and destruction" is a slower number with some excellent guitar soloing halfway through. "slob" "slave" and "space rock" are all edgy pop songs, the latter being the best song on the whole album despite seeming unremarkable on first listen. in between those is "burnt jamb" which deserves a mention for it's funky riffs and nagging melody. "fall together" and "possibilities" are probably the two catchiest songs on the album, the former could have been on pinkerton. after that the pace slows down. "love explosion" should soar, but it never really gets off the ground, and "december" is a nice way to round things off. but of course someone just had to put "island in the sun" on the end of it.
i'd say it just edges pinkerton as their best album. the quality is the same, so maladroit wins by virtue of having more tracks.

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sweet, 10 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Weezer (Audio CD)
this album is pure melody concentrated into half an hour of power pop. weezer are not to be held responsible for blink 182 or wheatus, this is a different game altogether. there is more quality in these 10 (or 11) songs than in most bands' entire careers. the melodies are simple and go straight into your bloodstream. it's a relentless sugary rush from the catchy "don't let go" right until mournful "o girlfriend", with 8 other fantastic tunes in between. it's tough to pick a favourite, but i'd have to say "glorious day".

Mclusky Do Dallas
Mclusky Do Dallas
Price: £8.78

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars album of the year so far..., 6 May 2002
This review is from: Mclusky Do Dallas (Audio CD)
if you buy this because of all the pixies comparisons, then be warned. true, it takes the ferocity of certain pixies songs, ie "tame", "crackity jones", "something against you", but it lacks their sensitive melodic side. where pixies had kim deal to balance out black francis' screams, mclusky's bassist just screams along with the lead singer. most of the songs here are louder, faster and more distorted than anything pixies ever did.
that's not saying that it's just tuneless dirge. there are some great tunes hidden in the noise, most notably "gareth brown says" "to hell with good intentions" "chases" and "whoyouknow".
and the lyrics are really funny too.
so it's not surfer rosa part 2, but it sure beats any other rock album of the last couple of years.

Barely Legal
Barely Legal
Price: £6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars punk rock!, 27 Feb. 2002
This review is from: Barely Legal (Audio CD)
this is the debut album by the hives, who in the last couple of months have been subjected to immense media hype in britain. they are a hilarious concept, five young men wearing suits and ties, with ridiculous pseudonyms like chris dangerous and matt destruction. but their music is some of the best punk rock ever writtten. every single song on this album is fast, and most of them are under two minutes long, but they are nowhere near as monotonous as most of the other thrash punkers around. their influences are diverse, from the bad religion on speed of AKA IDIOT to the 50s influenced "i'm a wicked one" to the brilliant metal riff on automatic schmuck and "hail hail spit and drool", which could rival everything the ramones ever wrote. there is some mystery over who writes their songs, but whoever randy fitzsimmons really is, one things for sure: he's a genius!

Trompe Le Monde
Trompe Le Monde
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Price: £5.94

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fool the world, 11 Jan. 2002
This review is from: Trompe Le Monde (Audio CD)
before buying this record i had every other pixies album released. i was told that this one was "their worst", "heavy metal", "raw", "dissapointing". it is in fact none of these things, least of all heavy metal. and sadly it lacks the raw edge of surfer rosa. what it actually is is a less immediate and more rewarding version of bossanova, with the same lyrical themes, and surf rock. on first listen it's unspectacular, but after a while its genius is revealed, shining where bossanova stagnated at some points. standout tracks are alec eiffel and motorway to roswell, but it is overall a fantastic album.

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