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Jimmy Lovesey (Cardiff, South Wales)

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Before I Go To Sleep
Before I Go To Sleep
by S. J. Watson
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Compelling, 8 Sep 2011
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Hardcover)
I have to say I really cannot fathom the negative reviews that I have read on this page - I have no idea how anyone could find this book boring. Yes I worked out the twist relatively early on, but the genius of Watson's writing is that he leads you on to the twist (or at least gives you a strong suspicion of "something") but then subverts that by lulling you back into a false sense of security until... BAM!

I personally could not put doen this book... I actually read the whole book in one day which is the first time in years that I have done that. I could not reccomend this book more highly.

Charlie's Angels: Complete Fourth Season [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Charlie's Angels: Complete Fourth Season [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Jaclyn Smith

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than you may imagine..., 31 Oct 2009
There's no doubting that the loss of Kate Jackson is a kick in the face to Angels fans. She really was the glue that held the show together. However, Season 4 is not all bad.

Shelly Hack is quietly introduced in the double length premier which crosses over with "The Love Boat", but other than that its business as usual. Bizarrely the opening episode has full focus on Cheryl Ladd rather than the new Hack, and it is immediately apparrent that this season is all about the individual rather than the ensemble. Cheryl Ladd and Jaclyn Smith take turns in being the star, and only upon episode 9 does Hack get a chance to shine. It shows that actually, she can act, and her character works in this show. Then in episode 10 we fibally have an ensemble piece. Unfortunately - too little, too late.

However, there's still lots to enjoy here, and its definately a worthy addition to the Angel fans' dvd collections!

SEGA Mega Drive: Ultimate Collection (PS3)
SEGA Mega Drive: Ultimate Collection (PS3)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: £16.80

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SONIC GAMES - No lock on ability, 29 Oct 2009
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This is a great collection of classic games but disappointingly it does NOT utilise the lock on capability of Sonic & Knuckles. Very unfortunate as Sonic 3 and Sonic&Knuckles is essentially one game.

Apparently this was due to "time constraints" but, well, they should have held out a bit longer then! There's plenty of space to fit it all on here.

Doctor Who - Battlefield [DVD] [1989]
Doctor Who - Battlefield [DVD] [1989]
Dvd ~ Sylvester McCoy
Price: £8.50

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally on DVD, 31 May 2009
Battlefield is without question the worst story from season 26 of Doctor Who (the final of it's original run). That, however, is like saying that "Fixing a Hole" is the worst song from Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club, i.e., its such a damn good collection that the worst is still really good!

Battlefield sees the return to Doctor Who of UNIT, Bessie, and the good old Brig. It's a thrilling mythical yarn based on Arthurian legends which casts the good Doctor in the role of Merlin... literally! As the Doc learns that one of his future incarnations takes the identity of Merlin in order to command the righteous in battle agains the evil sorceress Morgaine in an alternate dimension.

The Who take on Arthurian mythology is thoroughly entertaining, and refreshingly doesn't try to explain away the apparrent use of magic using sci-fi technobabble. McCoy and Aldred are by now completely comfortable in their respective roles, while Nicholas Courtney effortlessly slides back into his role as the now much older Lethbridge-Stewart, without falling into the trap of acting like he's still the age he was during the Brig's heyday in the 70s. You can tell he relishes the oppurtinity of portraying the older, retired Brigadier having to step back into action, realising he is no longer as capable as he used to be, and fleshing out his character's background in scenes where he is off duty and acting alongside Angela Douglas as his wife, Doris. Also worthy of note is Jean Marsh as Morgaine, a talented actress who manages to add layers of depth to the somewhat cliched role of the villainess sorcerer.

And while watching remember to pay attention to the cliffhanger of episode two, Sophie Aldred's screams of help are not all acting as this particular stunt went horribly wrong and almost killed her.

To sum it up, Battlefield is an entertaining and original Who story, and started the show's final season in fine form.

True Confessions (Platinum Re-Issue)
True Confessions (Platinum Re-Issue)
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hooked on the 'rams..., 31 May 2009
The third long player from the 'rams was a transitional one, seeing the last time they collaborated with Swain&Jolly, and the first time they did with SAW...

True Confessions, the title track opens the album. It starts with a driving force - strong rhythmic drumming and dance beats that lead to a dark-sounding dance/pop song, and very 80s too! The song has echoes of their earlier work, but at the same time is unlike anything they had done before. Ready or Not follows, in a similar vein, and next up is the mysterious-sounding Trick of the Night. Trick is a song that almost - almost - wouldn't have seemed out of place on their previous album, but its production is just a tad too... spangly. Dance with a Stranger sees the 'rams in seductive mode, accompanied by latin-influenced beats, whilst In a Perfect World takes things back up a notch, a powerful yet dreamy number about finding that special "someone". The next track is where all hell breaks loose - the album has slowly been bulding up an intersting sound as a slightly dark, self-assured dance/pop record, and then that song happens. Venus is a song that needs no introuction, the girls along with SAW took a relatively unknown song by a relatively unknown band and made it their own, in all cheesy 80s glory, the video made to accompany it was the first time they ever had a truly glamorous image, which they would later be known for. Its placement on the disc can seem odd today, as its the song that would have to be track 1 on a pop album made now. Normal service is resumed with Do Not Disturb, which mainly suffers from being the song that has to follow that monster of a track. A Cut Above the Rest and Promised Land are both nice enough tracks, but neither have strong hooks, and one can't help but think had this album cut these two tracks and had a 9-track playlist like their last album, it would have been stronger as a whole. More Than Physical is the first really great song since Venus, its not as shimmering or camp as the aforementioned track, but its sexy and fun, and the last single they released that had any of the girls' grunge from their earlier days. Hooked on Love isn't as strong as the closing tracks from their first two albums, but thematically its a good place to end, as, like the opening track, it seems to enbody what the album as a whole is about.

True Confessions stands up as an entertaining pop album, and paves the way for what was to come for the group.

Bananarama [Platinum Re-Issue]
Bananarama [Platinum Re-Issue]
Price: £13.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hotline to Heaven, 31 May 2009
The self titled follow up to Deep Sea Skiving , comes accross as a much stronger and more confident effort than their debut, but musically it follows much the same formula.

The album opens with one hell of a bang, the powerful, pounding Cruel Summer, still one of my favourite Banarama tracks, probably the best known track from the Jolly&Swain era. The album carries on with another blazer of a tune, Rough Justice, OK, so this is a song with a social conscience, that tries to relay a serious message - probably not the best thing for a girl-group to be doing, but luckily its a catchy and entertaining pop song to boot! Unfortunately, then mediocrity kicks in. The next two tracks - King of the Jungle, and Dream Baby, are not neccesarily bad, but are not particularly catchy nor have particularly engaging lyrics, so one could be forgiven for hitting the stop button and putting something else on at this point. Fortunately, for those that persevere, after the brief Link (does what it says on the tin) we have Hotline to Heaven, which is where the album picks up, and the 'rams get on their soapbox again (this time about drugs). State I'm In is a brilliant little track, that juxtaposes an upbeat and chirpy melody with lyrics describing the breakdown of a relationship. This is then perfectly followed by Robert Deniro's Waiting, the second biggest track off the album (following Cruel Summer), and one of those great songs for girly nights in! . The album closes with the beautiful and touching Through a Childs Eyes, which only suffers from being a tad too short, if it had been a few minutes longer it could've been a great epic ballad!

Aside from a slight dip in the middle, this is another strong release from the 'rams. Although it sees them developing their earlier style with better production values and a more powerful overall sound, it is still very samey when compared to their first album, and had they carried on in this direction, they could have got boring very quickly...

Deep Sea Skiving [Bonus Tracks]
Deep Sea Skiving [Bonus Tracks]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't it make ya feel good?, 31 May 2009
Deep Sea Skiving was the ram's first long-player, a grungy sounding pop album that introuced the world to Keren, Sara, and Siobhan, and their odd layered vocal sound.

The album kicks off with the incredibly catchy and sexy Shy Boy, a gorgeous song full off "Shoop-shoop-ahhs", and is the girls at their flirtatious best. Doctor Love, although initially fun, gets boring very quickly, and is a good contender for worst song on the album, and I'm not sure whether its position as 2nd track on the album was a good idea. What a Shambles is lyrically my favourite track on the album, whats not to love in a song that's chorus revolves around "Washing all your Laundry, and Riding on a Bus" . Next up is the Fun Boy Three collaboration Really Saying Something, this is the 'rams at their dirtiest and grubbiest, there's not much I can say about this song, as its one of their big iconic tracks, unfortunately, the 'rams other FB3 collaboration - It Aint What You Do doesn't make an appearance here, very dissapointingly even the remastered release fails to include it as a bonus track. Cheers Then is the most melancholy track on the album, but it is also one of the stronger tracks, as the girls lament on a relationship that has come to an end. We are then presented with Aie-a-Mwana, quite simply put, an insane Swahili dance number! Its a great, fun, track, but sticks out on the album like a sore thumb. Especially odd as the aforementioned omition of It Aint What You Do, which would have been much more at home on the album. Keeping the tone firmly upbeat, the 'rams then sing about being Young at Heart, a feel good song that bounces along, and would later see widespread success when The Bluebells covered it. The next 3 tracks are the 'rams with attitude: Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye), the perfect break up song, when you just want to stamp your feet and shout at that loser of an ex ; the forgettable Hey Young London, and the truly brilliant Boy Trouble, which is the only other track to manage the sex-appeal and flirtatiousness of the opening track. The album closes with the stunning Wish You Were Here, the first time melancholy creeps back in since Cheers Then, where as the previous track had been acknowledgement at the end of a relationship without being too bothered about it, Wish You Were Here sees the 'rams pining for times gone, and wishing for the return of an ex (lover? friend?), and proves a satisfying conclusion to the album.

All in all, it's not my favourite Bananrama album by any long shot, but overall I think it'd a strong debut from the girls

Please Yourself (Platinum Re-Issue)
Please Yourself (Platinum Re-Issue)

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Movin' On..., 31 May 2009
Please Yourself saw the first release for the band as a duo, and their last release for London Records.

The album opens with Movin On, which immediately strikes you as the campest and glitziest song the girls have done to date. Gone is the darker and heavier mood from Pop Life, instead with this album we seemingly have all out glittering disco. Not that this is bad per se, but Movin On is not a particularly strong number. Last Thing On My Mind is better, its still glitzy and camp, but played out at a slightly slower tempo, with a tinge of melancholy. It is impossible to listen to nowadayas without thinking of the infamous Steps version, but the 'rams original is subtler and superior. Let Me Love You One More Time is another poor track, unfortunately, a rather dull and uninspiring ballad reminiscent of Once in A Lifetime (from Wow) but no where near as good. Thankfully, the album has its first true belter of a track next, with the 'rams take on Andrea True's More More More. Andrea's original is a sexy and entertaining number, but for me, the girsl own this song. With re-jigged lyrics and a truly dazzling hi-NRG disco sound, this is how the 'rams should do cover versions (after the dissapointing Long Train Running). Luckily, Is She Good To You is another belter of a track, much much stronger than the opener, a really feal good pop song. Only Time Will Tell and Give it All Up For Love are both strong, yet slightler more serious numbers, still firmly in the disco genre however. They don't set the stereo alight, but they're listenable enough little tracks, and both conjure up images of po-faced drag queens vogue-ing. You'll Never Know what it means is a serious contender for best song on the album, a belting and powerful dance floor-filler that is littered with cries of "set yourself free", truly marvellous! You're Never Satisfied may give you the impression initially that you've hit the back button on the stereo, as although its OK, it is very reminiscent of Give it All Up for Love. The album ends with I Could be Persuaded, which is another ballad, not brilliant but a vast improvement on Let Me Love You One More Time.

Please Yourself is a nice enough album - OK to have on in the background when you have friends over for drinks, but isn't one you'll want to sit and listen to over and over - bar a few stand-out-tracks. Not a bad album by any means, but very dissapoiting, especially after their last two albums.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 12, 2013 1:01 PM GMT

Wow! [Platinum Re-Issue]
Wow! [Platinum Re-Issue]
Price: £5.90

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild, or What?!, 26 April 2009
'WOW' (standing for Wild or What?) was Siobhan's last as a card carrying 'ram, and it followed on from the success of "Venus"(from their previous album, 'True Confessions') with an SAW produced album of shameless joyous trash! But boy, what trash!

"I Can't Help" It was as outrageously and in-your-face sexual as the 'rams had ever been at this point, with the girls purring "Boys say, I'm good enough to eat". The album then amps up the attitude with "I Heard a Rumour", which is another blinder of a single, as the girls mouth off at a cheating ex of theirs. The 3rd track ramps things up even further, with "Some Girls" - this is my favourite track on the album, and its gobsmacking that it never had a single release! In this the girls teasingly chide the cluelessness of most men when it comes to understanding women. "Love in the First Degree", the most famous track from this album, is almost dissapointing after the first 3 tracks. Sure, its a fun and feel good catchy pop-song, but lacking the personality and attitude of the earlier tracks. Thematically the placing of the track here is probably for the best, as the next track, a sweet love song called "Once in a Lifetime" would have jarred terribly after "Some Girls"! Next up is the moody but fun "Strike it Rich", which is slightly darker (a la True Confessions), and sees the girls screaming Life's a Bitch!. "Bad for Me" and "Come Back" are not stand out tracks, I'd probably class them as the worst two on the album, but that only goes to show how good the rest of this album is! They're both entertaining pop songs, albeit with a slower tempo than the opening tracks. "Nathan Jones" is the album picking up a gear again, but one can't help wishing that the remix later featured on the greatest hits album was the version here, as it would've fitted in better with the other tracks. The album ends on a bang with "I Want You Back", which ended up being the first single released with Jacqui on. One slight sour note, is for those seeking out the remastered albums, is that "Love, Truth & Honesty" (the new track included on the Greatest Hits released in 1988) isn't here as a bonus, as although it had Jacqui, it is more thematically a 'WOW' song than a 'Pop Life' one (and no, its not on that album either!) On the subject of bonus tracks, as well as single mixes the bonus tracks we do great are great fun - especially the fantastic "Mr Sleaze"!

'WOW' stands the test of time as a fantastic, feel-good pop record. In my opinion, its their best.

Pop Life [Platinum Re-Issue]
Pop Life [Platinum Re-Issue]
Price: £13.71

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Direction for the 'Rams?, 26 April 2009
Four years passed between the release of 'WOW' and 'Pop Life'. New member Jacqui was eased in slowly with re-recordings of 'WOW' songs for single releases, some new tracks for a Greatest Hits collection, and a charity cover of the Beatles' "Help" (along with Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Kathy Burke) before she would feature on an original full-length album. 'Pop Life' proved to be the only long-player to feature Jacqui, and the last to feature Bananarama as a trio.

The album opens quietly with "Preacher Man", a nice enough pop song that is catchy and hummable but lacking the oooomph that their previous album openers boasted. The next track, their take on "Long Train Running", sounds much more powerful and confident but it is still lacking that certain something, oh yeah, fun! "Long Train Running" is dreadfully serious and seems lacking in any fun, the first time I listened to this album I was seriously worried that the rams' had lost their magic. Luckily, "Only Your Love" manages to deliver the goods. With the confidence of the previous track, bags of fun & attitude and litterred with "Whoop-whoops" and "na-na-na-na-na"s its up there with the 'True Confessions' & 'Wow' singles in my book. "What Colour are the Skies" is the girls in more serious and contemplative mood, but is a thoroughly enjoyable tune, and unlike Long Train, it doesn't suffer from its seriousness. Wow, I never realised before how bothered I was by Long Train! "Is Your Love Strong Enough" follows, and continues the confident and serious tone of the album, but its tempo and beat are ramped up slightly from the previous track, so no danger of getting bored! Coming firmly in the middle of the album is "Trippin on Your Love", a song which is consistently panned by ram fans, and I for one have no idea why! Yes, there are a few dodgy rap bits (as you'd expect from pop music at the time), but its an absolutely joyous little number that is often cited as having acid-house influences - so if you're a fan of that genre who also enjoys cheesy pop I highly reccomend you check this song out! By now the album is in full swing, and for those who worried it may be slightly heavy on the more serious numbers, the next track should see you heave a sigh of relief, as "Aint No Cure" proves high camp disco-pop, but still managing to stayin sync with the album as a whole, and not at all sounding like a 'Wow' reject. "Out of Sight" blasts its way into life with drum n bass beats, a crowd cheering, and the girls screaming. It's absolutely dripping with attitude, and manages to squash any lingering doubts one may have had after the opening two tracks. "Megalomaniac" follows, and may be the best song the girls ever recorded. It's a 6 and a half minute long sonic masterpiece - yes, its the Bananarama equivalent of Revolution No.9(!) - a driving, powerful and engaging track! When this song ends you may have expected the album to as well, as it seems like there really is no where else to go. However, there are 2 more tracks to go. "I Can't Let You Go" starts off with a riff that wouldn't sound out of place on the soundtrack to a low-brow drama about a brothel in the 1970s (listen to it to see what I mean), and that's not a bad thing at all. Its a dirty and grubby sounding little number, and all the better for it. The album closes with the relatively short and sweet "Heartless". It's not as good as the 3 songs preceeding it, but it manages to perfectly end the disc - the attitude of "Out of Sight", the dirtiness of "I Can't Let You Go", and the glamour of "Only Your Love".

Aside from faltering a bit at the start, overall 'Pop Life' is another strong album for the girls, and proved they could go on without Siobahn...

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