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Simon J. Hill "goosehillmusic" (England)

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Rattle That Lock
Rattle That Lock
Price: £6.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but a little disappointed., 22 Sept. 2015
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This review is from: Rattle That Lock (Audio CD)
Been a fan of Floyd/Gilmour ever since my parents put DSOTM on their Quad stereo system back in 1973, when I was at the tender age of 7! Every album since has been greeted as an event in my household. This one was pre ordered back in August and arrived on my mat on Friday morning last week. I have to say I am a little disappointed with this album, the songs are here, the guitar is haunting and the voice is still strong as he approaches 70. What's wrong? The songs are not around for long enough, they fade out just as they get going.

If this is supposed to be a concept album about ageing and embracing death then the whole piece should flow as one. In my view the instrumentals 5am, Beauty and And Then should be longer and the songs should be connected with segue's. A missed opportunity for me. Maybe he didn't want the album to sound like a Floyd album but I've listened to this over and over and there are some fantastic moments. In Any Tongue and Faces of Stone are probably the most Floydian sounding but they again fade as you just want them to go on for another couple of minutes! A Boat Lies Waiting is heartbreaking, it even has a Richard audio file on it over a strong piano lead which brought a tear to my eye as he sings "what I lost was an ocean, now i'm drifting through without you"

There are other songs on here that flirt with jazz, blues and even a waltz. Don't get me wrong, I did really enjoy this album, if it is his last then it's a good way to bow out. This is classic Gilmour and will not disappoint fans of On an Island (2006). I just personally wish there was more of it as a cohesive whole and not stop start fading songs.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 25, 2015 3:40 PM BST

The Book Of Souls
The Book Of Souls
Price: £6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Album!, 4 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Book Of Souls (Audio CD)
OMG this album has everything and more any Maiden fan could want! It is without doubt their best album for a long time. I'm speaking as a life long fan from day 1, this then denim clad lad from 1980 headbanged to 'Sanctuary' on 7" with my hard earned wages at the tender age of 15! Little did I know then that I would be still getting excited about a new album 35 years later. I've followed the ups and downs of this band and revelled in their successes and cried through their lows (RIP Clive). This album is a spectacular return to form, not that they wavered far away from brilliant at any time! The songs are top notch on this release with a clear concept, as we all get older we realise we are not as immortal as we thought we were and that the fragility of life is more prominent in our minds. The band have reflected on these thoughts especially Bruce whose 18 minute 'Empire of the Clouds' is just a stunning piece of song writing.

It's all here to behold, the classic maiden sound, great riffs 'The Red and the Black' just fantastic resting in Ancient Mariner territory. I can't praise it enough actually, just class tunes, one after another in an awe inspiring segue of sound only the Irons can produce. I implore everyone to buy this album, it's a master class of heavy metal. I ask any past fan of Iron Maiden who abandoned them when you 'grew up and got serious about life' to revisit them with this album and realise what you have been missing!

A stunning album by a fantastic band still at the top of their game.
Up The Irons!

Planet Earth by Prince (2007) Audio CD
Planet Earth by Prince (2007) Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars Self Promotion Success!, 19 Feb. 2015
Prince's 24th album will ultimately be remembered for the controversy surrounding the UK distribution of the CD and the subsequent 21 Nights in London gigs at the 02.

Columbia Records were expecting to distribute the CD here in the UK until Prince struck a deal with the Daily Mail to offer it free. Prince was paid £1m which when you think about it, is good business! Columbia got the hump and refused to distribute it in the end and we saw big high street sellers such as HMV selling copies of the Daily Mail to get the album to their customers, bizarre!
The fact that to date the album has shifted 300,000 copies without advertising worldwide is testament to his loyal fanbase.
Musicians involved for this work included Marva King, Sonny T & Michael Bland with contributions from old friends Shiela E, Wendy & Lisa.

As for the music 'Planet Earth' 'Guitar' & 'Future Baby Mama' are the resident classics that have all the best of what Prince has to offer. The stunning title track and my favourite off the album has a delicate piano intro and the song builds into a crescendo of guitars and vocals in unison. The present state of the enviroment and America's foriegn war policy seems to be his main gripes.
'Guitar' is just a great song, even Rolling Stone magazine had it at No.39 in the Top 100 singles of 2007. Being at the 02 myself, the song was received as well as all of his other classic songs, needless to say the song demonstrates his gift with the guitar.
'Future Baby Mama' is a gorgeous slice of Prince you know he probably played all by himself, Linn Drum, bass, vocal harmonies and an infectious chorus and Prince talking to his woman as if undressing her!! The song also won the Grammy award for Best Male Vocal Performance 2008, so somebody must have liked it, 1 star reviewers!
'Call Me Mr Goodnight''Only One U Wanna C''Resolution''All The Midnight's In The World' are typical of a Prince release, good, solid well constucted songs that roll along nicely but will inevitably get lost in his vast back catalogue.
'Lion Of Judah' is another fine example of Prince's guitar work and vocal harmony and points to his now religous beliefs as its about the Christian tradition of the Lion of Judah representing Jesus.
"Many Christian organizations and ministries use the Lion of Judah as their emblem".

'Chelsea Rodgers' is my main hang up, the reliance of his backing singers and Shelby J in amoungst screaming horns is just too raucous for me, the song was used as a costume break at the 02 gig and I didn't like it then either! So Planet Earth for me is a statement from Prince that he's still around, still relevant and still brilliant!

Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £7.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His Finest Achievement Up Until This Point!, 19 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Bad (Audio CD)
So much has been said about this release already, I thought I might as well throw my two penneth's worth in too!
The year is 1987, it's been 5 years since Thriller, the most successful album of all time. How do you follow such an accolade? Why bother? Michael had achieved everything you could possibly achieve as an artist.

Personally I think Michael wanted to prove that he could be responsible for his own success. 'Off The Wall' (1979) included 10 songs of which Michael wrote and co produced 3, the fantastic 'Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough' 'Working Day and Night' and 'Get on the Floor' which were arguably the album's best songs. The rest of the album was written and produced for him by Rod Temperton, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Carole Bayer Seger and of course Quincy Jones, you definitely get the impression he was being looked after 'in house' so to speak. This album has sold about 20,000,000 units. 'Thriller' (1982) came along 3 years later and was more of the same really! Michael wrote 4 of it's 9 songs which is still less than 50% of it's writing credits, which we all know is where the money lies! 'Billie Jean' 'Beat It' 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' and 'The Girl Is Mine' all co produced by Michael as well showed us that he was growing in confidence as a song writer and had clear ideas on how he wanted his music to be heard. It went on to sell in excess of 65,000,000 units! But, you still felt this overriding sense of artistic shackles being restrained, still being chaperoned by bigger people in the business.

The five years that followed 'Thriller' is all there to see, Michael went from being a successful pop star to world icon and all the attention, bad and good that comes with that title was splattered all over our newspapers for all to see. 'Bad' (1987) is Michael Jackson's crowning glory and his biggest personal triumph in a his career thus far. He had written a reported 50 songs, of which he had recorded 30, he wrote 9 of the 11 songs officially released and co produced all 11 with Quincy Jones of which this was to be the last collaboration. For me this was Michael's awakening, he matured and became the ruler of his own destiny, the shakles were off and he was set free. This album has since shifted in excess of 45,000,000 units. Now 28 years later, we all know how that destiny played out for him. It still fills me with immense sadness that Michael is no longer here making music because no matter how we felt about the man and his failings, he was an exceptionally great musician and 'Bad' should be remembered for the time that Michael came of age.

The Endless River
The Endless River
Price: £16.91

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fond Farewell., 10 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Endless River (Audio CD)
It's finally here, a new album from my favourite band in the world, just saying those words is something I thought I would never say again. I'm amazed that there are almost 100 reviews on here already and even more bemused at how some so called Floyd fans have totally slated it. It just goes to show that the Floyd still provoke people's consciences, whether its positive or negative! Gilmour and Mason quite clearly stated that this album was going to be predominantly instrumental in interviews about the release, so I'm not sure what some people were expecting to be honest, some of the comments about this album show a complete lack of understanding of what The Endless River and the Floyd are/were all about.

This is Floyd's swansong, a final goodbye from the band that has pushed all the boundaries in music you can dare to push! Gilmour and Mason have sifted through hours of instrumental pieces from the Division Bell sessions and used what sounds like other snipits from their vast back catalogue to bring us a moving tribute to their dearly departed friend Richard Wright, the whole album is tribute to his genius. It's a listening experience, a journey of ambient mystery, when listened to it takes you on an emotional voyage through all of their past albums. Gilmour was involved with the Orb's Metallic Spheres back in 2010 which was a similar project, an ambient trip with hardly any lyrics and just maybe, got the idea for this album from that.

What about the music, it's over an hour if you include the extra audio tracks on disc 2 and segues from track to track, it is very good in a lot of places and excellent in others, as a complete piece I do love it, which is what a 5 star review is according to amazon! Side 1 parts 1-3 Things Left Unsaid with Richard Wright audio, It's What We Do and Ebb and Flow are quite beautiful and atmospheric. To think they didn't originally use this is testament to the fact just how good the Floyd are/were. It's by far the best side out of the four and I realise why they open the album as its just classic Floyd reminiscent to Shine On. Richard's keyboard parts are stunning and I realise much to my sadness that I will never see this 'live', but then begin to relish in it's dreamscape. With Shine On we had to wait over 8 minutes for lyrics, just think of The Endless River as a 47 minute intro before lyrics!

Side 2 parts 1-4 sound more like Division Bell out takes, Anisina nods in the direction of Us and Them with a nice sax solo but not from Dick Parry this time. Side 3 parts 1-7 with Allons-y parts 1&2 have elements of Run Like Hell and has Richard's recording of him playing the organ at the Albert Hall in 1968 sandwiched between them. Talkin Hawkin revisits Keep Talking with new Stephen Hawking narrative.

Most of the Floyd's most memorable pieces have long instrumental segments, 'Shine On' and 'Echoes' being the obvious ones, 'Dogs' 'One of These Days''More' and most of 'Obscured By Clouds' are all fine examples of Pink Floyd at their instrumental best. Of course, the one song that does have lyrics, Side 4 part 4 'Louder Than Words' does act as a sort of epilogue to the bands 50 year career and has all the Floyd trademarks :- Gilmour's vocal, female harmonies, Wright's exquisite keyboards, Mason's soft and precise drums and of course the guitar we have all come to love and adore over the years.

If given the choice whether to hear this or not I would have opted to hear it because come on, its the Floyd! I don't feel conned by the band at all. For me I feel saudade, really pleased that I have heard the music that's been locked away up until now but sad that, this is it for my most favourite band in the world. They have literally been the soundtrack to my 50 years on this planet. Roll on the new David Gilmour album next year.

Big Music
Big Music
Price: £4.99

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 7 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Big Music (Audio CD)
Now you could say that music when you are 16 has a different effect on your senses, as we all seem to fuel dreams that we too could be rock stars, make untold riches and have millions of idolising fans. For me personally, I had an old lamp stand I strutted around my bedroom with pretending to be Jim Kerr, Gary Numan, Midge Ure and the like! Speaking as a fan who first heard the driving beat of 'Love Song' back when I was at school in 1981 made me stop in my tracks and turn the radio up, it was really that good.

Fast forward 33 years and this 49 year old Dad of 2 with a mortgage and any dreams of being a rock star faded and gone stopped in my tracks again when the song `Honest Town' is being played on the radio. All those lost teenage feelings come rushing back and I'm in my bedroom again daring to dream! I suppose that's the magic of music, it can take you anywhere you want to go.

Well here it is, the Minds have come full circle and released an album of stunning quality filled with drop dead fantastic tunes! Big Music is no surprise to the legions of fans that have stuck with them through the bad times, the music press is quick to report that this is the best album in 30 years. No, It is the result of years of hard work, touring and proving the doubters and non-believers wrong. It proves that the Minds are significant and that they will take their place as a creditable force in the current state of the music industry.

There isn't a duff note on this new album which incidentally is their 16th album release in a career spanning 37 years. Since the rough sounding post punk `Life in a Day' (1979) they went on to be one of the biggest acts in the 1980's with `New Gold Dream 81,82,83,84' (1982) for me being their finest opus. `Street Fighting Years' (1989) was the last album to feature original member Mike MacNeil whose sense of atmosphere and concept of both rhythm and dynamics was often considered an essential part of the group's popular sound. He left the band in 1990 and it had a catastrophic effect on Simple Minds. `Real Life' (1991) and `Good News from the Next World' (1995) and `Neapolis' (1998) all had their moments but something was definitely amiss.

Into the 2000's and the much derided `covers' album `Neon Lights' (2001) confined them to bargain basket material. Things were at an all-time low and I genuinely felt that was it for them. But No, it was here the hard work began and I've watched patiently as the Minds have slowly clawed their way back to the limelight. Of course you can't do it without quality material that can stand up on its own, `Cry' (2002) was a painfully ignored album that had a lot of potential, the unreleased `Our Secrets Are The Same' (2004) showed that the band had recovered and were ready. To my mind Big Music is on a par with the previous two releases `Black & White 050505' (2005) and `Graffiti Soul' (2009), they have revisited past albums and honed in on their sound once again, listening to this album you can just feel that the music is back to stay, and for me, it couldn't have happened to a better band.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2014 11:57 PM GMT

Lower Reaches
Lower Reaches
Price: £13.13

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Half of Me absolutely loves this!, 10 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lower Reaches (Audio CD)
Well, Justin Currie has released his third solo album, let the stars rejoice as he is surely one of our most original hidden talents, as a poet and songwriter he has written some of the most poignant and meaningful songs out there. It's his uncanny knack of making light of loveless relationships, desperation and disappointment with beautiful uplifting tunes and sings them with a voice that has not wavered in over 25 years.

It will not surprise you that I have followed Mr Currie's career since 1989's Waking Hours where at the tender age of 24 he wrote songs that connected with my experiences in life, Nothing Ever Happens, Move Away Jimmy Blue, Kiss This Thing Goodbye and This Side of the Morning all struck a chord with this particular poor downtrodden unlucky in love soul!

Fast forward 24 years and he is doing exactly the same thing! His voice transports me back to those times when how you felt about your relationships was the only important thing in life, now with children, a mortgage and the everyday pressures we all feel, I can identify with Half of Me as if I wrote it. A song about half of you being the dutiful husband, the loving Father, of sometimes feeling trapped in a life where you question "what is the point of it all?" whilst the other half of you yearns for excitement in any form, to be reckless once again and to hell with the consequences, resonate with me totally!

Justin Currie is a marvellous talent and it beggars belief why he is not more appreciated than he is in music circles, I'm off to see him at Bristol in a couple of weeks' time and can't wait. This album is almost 34 minutes of musical poetry at its best, some say that's too short but I'm just glad that he's still writing, still observing life in his own inimitable style and still sounding fantastic.

Oh and by the way, the other half of me loves this album too!

Mid Air
Mid Air
Price: £9.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply, sublime!, 21 May 2012
This review is from: Mid Air (Audio CD)
Paul Buchanan, for those of you who have not had their lives enriched, is the reclusive and enigmatic vocalist and chief lyricist for the band The Blue Nile, one of modern music's best kept secrets. The last material we heard from this man in album form was 2004's `High', so as you can probably tell 8 years later I am chomping at the bit for this album! I pre ordered a deluxe copy on Paul's website and have had the privilege of listening to it all over the weekend before its official release today.

This is an album of 14 beautifully delicate and simple songs for piano and voice you will ever hear, together with Blue Nile stalwart Calum Malcolm at the controls, he delivers just the right amount of romance to intrigue the listener into seeing and understanding his world. He's been doing it since The Blue Nile's debut `A Walk Across The Rooftops' (1983), where they were described as "a riddle wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a raincoat" which just about summed them up. Painfully shy, secretive and selective about output since there has only been 3 more albums worth of material. `Hats' (1989) `Peace at Last' (1996) and the aforementioned `High' have helped this band be strange, elusive and enshrouded in myth for the past 29 years. If you are interested about this band and need to know more, then I have to recommend Allan Brown's book Nileism: The Strange Course of the Blue Nile. It's a frank and honest insight into how the band evolved and how those beautiful haunting songs came to be.

This is why the release of this album in certain circles is big news, most people will let it go by unnoticed and miss out on what is a truly masterful piece of music. The title track `Mid Air' is heartbreakingly uplifting, played with the softest of touches and supported with strings and Paul's majestic voice floating across the top which adds the mystery to the dreamscape you can lose yourself in. You can more or less use that description for the other 13 tracks on the album!

The lyrics as ever are the most important part, for me any way. It's just wonderful to sit in a comfy chair with my earphones envisioning the images Paul is trying to portray.

In hallways and railway stations
Radio, across the morning air
A crowd of people everywhere
And then the people, all running forward...
(Easter Parade, 1983)

From a late night train
Reflected in the water
When all the rainy pavements
Lead to you...
(From a Late Night Train, 1989)

This may not last until tomorrow
So look at all the love you borrow
And time will tell us all
We could be laughing
We could be married
Tomorrow morning...
(Tomorrow Morning, 1996)

Are these the bells?
That chimed and ring
The wedding days
The children sing
Please do not throw confetti
On the ground...
(Days of Our Lives, 2004)

The buttons on your collar,
The colour of your hair,
I think I see you everywhere
I want to live forever,
And watch you dancing in the air
All the lies and make believe,
The very things that one day leave
But I can see you standing in mid air.
(Mid Air, 2012)

If you are debating whether or not to buy the deluxe version you will find it on Paul's website, it is quickly selling out, so hurry. It has ten extra tracks, seven of which are alternative versions of Two Children, A Movie Magazine, My True Country, After Dark, Tuesday, Half The World and Mid Air. The three extra tracks, Have You Ever Been Lonely and Lost are similar in sound to the album with God is Laughing sounding more like a Blue Nile track, as it includes bass and guitars.

Buy this album if you want to be inspired by a true Scottish poet, quite simply, sublime.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2012 7:50 AM BST

Carrying Lightning
Carrying Lightning
Price: £15.96

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angel Status!, 22 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Carrying Lightning (Audio CD)
I'm in love with Amanda Shires! She is an accomplished singer songwriter who can sing like an angel. I first became accquainted with her whilst she was on a couple of tours with Rod Picott at the Bonaventure Club, Bristol. At first she was accompanying Rod with her fine violin playing and backing vocals and fantastic cowgirl boots on his 'Summerbirds' tour of 2007.

In 2009 they both released a joint venture called 'Sew Your Heart With Wires' where she obviously had a more hands on roll on the tour, including a solo spot for her to promote her stuff. This particular fan fell head over heels for her when she treated us all to a great rendition of 'Put Me To Bed' from her previous album 'West Cross Timbers'. I duely snapped up a copy of that album there and then where it has become a firm favourite, in fact I didn't pay for it! So engrossed in conversation with her whilst she was signing it I forgot to hand over the money! So if I catch her on a forthcoming tour I'll have to come clean and confess!

This album of 12 songs is a far more mature affair than her previous opus, more of a band sound, well produced and the songs are well structured and sung extremely well. Album highlights for me have to be 'When You Need A Train, It Never Comes''Swimmer' and 'Detroit Or Buffalo' Her violin playing has improved ten fold as there are a number of great solo's on these tracks.

So, if you want to hear what's new in America's ever improving Country/Americana scene, then you can't go wrong with this. Try and catch her on tour as she is well worth the experience.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2014 6:09 PM GMT

Build A Rocket Boys! (Digipack)
Build A Rocket Boys! (Digipack)
Price: £13.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Attack On The Senses!, 19 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Album No.5 from Messers Garvey & Co is rapidly becoming my favourite of them all. Up until this point 'Leaders Of The Free World' has been up there as my personal fave since 2005. That album comes as close to perfection in music as you can get. With this new release which follows on from musical accolades and that final breakthrough album resulting in them being Mercury Music Prize Winners in 2009 they have exceeded expectation with a thankfully unrushed album of sublime tunes.

The first 6 tracks on this album have you smiling, thinking and crying with their magnetic charm. 'The Birds' is over 8 minutes long and opens the album that has it's feet firmly in Guy Garvey's childhood, a nostalgic trip of missing family life and the unsettling feeling of not fitting in to a new neighbourhood. 'Lippy Kids' according to Q, was a key song and written in defence of the British teenager or victim, as Garvey put it, "the anti-hoody rubbish that goes on in the media, the perceived thought that everyone who stands about on street corners is a criminal. 'With Love' and 'Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl' comes from the heart, first love poems are something we can all remember and Garvey has based these songs on his, the latter being very minimalistic and one of the best tracks they have recorded. 'The Night Will Always Win' brought a lump to my throat when I first heard it, Garvey's voice being on top form here. I think why this album appeals to me is that I'm very nostalgic about my past and these songs tap into that emotion with accute accuracy.

'Neat Little Rows' and 'Open Arms' are the 2 strongest candidates for singles, the former having been released already. Apparantly when struggling for inspiration lyrically, Guy Garvey would visit Peter Gabriel's Real World Studio's for ideas. Peter being one of my favourite artists of all time may be another reason why I love this album! 'High Ideals''The River' and 'Dear Friends' are the rest of the songs that make up this record along with a 1.5 minute reprise of 'The Birds' certainly continues the theme of reflective nostalgia. I am very thankful that Elbow didn't succomb to the 'commercial market' and release an album of radio friendly tunes, they must always have an edge to their music and challenge the listener to actually think. With 'Build A Rocket Boys' they have achieved just that. 5 Stars!

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