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P MARTIN (Hertfordshire, UK)

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Nothing Important
Nothing Important
Price: £11.54

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So bad it transcends good and finishes up back in bad., 9 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Nothing Important (Audio CD)
I read of a review of this record that commented it was evocative of Roy Harper in his "Stormcock" period. So I went and bought it.

And I have to say the reviewer was to some extent right.

If Roy Harper had lost both hands in a freak industrial accident, and therefore been forced to play his twelve string guitar with his teeth, had his vocal cords severed in the same accident (or perhaps another equally catastrophic event, the details aren't important, really) and then stapled roughly together, then the result might have been like this offering from Richard Dawson. As long as Roy had been stripped of any lyrical or compositional abilities he once may have had, that is. And even then I may be doing an injustice to Roy's dental hybrid picking skills, which would probably be better than any playing on this CD.

If atonal mumblecore "played" and "sung" in a devolved sub-grunge style by talentless wannabees is your thing, or if you're a devotee of the Cult of Cthulhu and wish to inflict pain and suffering on those around you, then have at it.

Everyone else should listen to a sample and move on quickly. Therapy will probably help in the longer term.


Storytone (Deluxe Version)
Storytone (Deluxe Version)
Price: £13.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The exception that proves the rule?, 19 Nov 2014
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I bow to no one in my admiration of Neil Young and his music. I've followed him for over forty years now, and been to see him countless times on both sides of the Atlantic, in all his different incarnations - folk, grunge, rock, electronic etc., and I have every album he ever released. I am even waiting for my Pono player to be delivered.

It's extraordinarily rare he produces something I don't like. However he's managed it this time. His voice is cruelly exposed on both the acoustic and orchestrated versions of these songs, and the lyrics are in some instances banal beyond belief.

I wouldn't recommend this CD to anyone except a Neil Young completist (but there are lots of us about).


Storytone
Storytone
Price: £8.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The exception that proves the rule?, 19 Nov 2014
This review is from: Storytone (Audio CD)
I bow to no one in my admiration of Neil Young and his music. I've followed him for over forty years now, and been to see him countless times on both sides of the Atlantic, in all his different incarnations - folk, grunge, rock, electronic etc., and I have every album he ever released. I am even waiting for my Pono player to be delivered.

It's extraordinarily rare he produces something I don't like. However he's managed it this time. His voice is cruelly exposed on both the instrumental and orchestrated versions of these songs, and the lyrics are in some instances banal beyond belief.

I wouldn't recommend this CD to anyone except a Neil Young completist (but there are lots of us about).


The Red Album
The Red Album
Price: £12.15

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My favourite colour scheme, 18 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Red Album (Audio CD)
The acid test for any cover of Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” is whether or not it makes me cry. Obviously the man himself’s versions do, whether it’s the original or the recent new acoustic version (I should explain I’m a hard-bitten bloke in his late fifties and not normally unduly lachrymose).
So how does this Red Molly version compare? At least two tissues’ worth of tears, so that’s pretty good. The other covers aren’t bad either, particularly that of “Homeward Bound”.
The original material isn’t quite at that standard yet, but I have a feeling it might not take too long to get there. In the meantime the musicianship and especially the singing leave me anticipating their next release with pleasure.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 11, 2014 12:55 AM BST


From Scotland With Love
From Scotland With Love
Price: £9.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant piece of art., 23 July 2014
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This review is from: From Scotland With Love (Audio CD)
Over the years King Creosote (aka Kenny Anderson) has been variously described in the national press as a “Scottish miserabilist” (the FT) –a highly unfair and limited summary of the rich range of emotions that King Creosote can evoke in his listeners, and as being in possession of a “pleasant baritone” (The Independent) – a vast understatement that does not do his voice anything like justice – he’s simply one of the best vocalists and (conveniently) lyricists I’ve ever heard. He is able to surround himself with other gifted colleagues and accompanists who support and showcase his talents admirably.
“From Scotland with Love” reflects these talents of musicianship and composition perfectly. It’s a fabulously produced and arranged set of pieces – more strings and more backing vocals than usual in a King Creosote recording perhaps, but that reflects the nature of this piece as the sound track to an otherwise silent film exploring the recent history of Scotland and the Scots http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b047lx52 .

It’s difficult to categorise this music, but of course it’s very Scottish and is firmly grounded in the folk tradition. But again that doesn’t do it full justice.

In fact the only way to do this music justice is to buy the CD and listen to it. So I recommend you do You won't regret it..


Life Is People
Life Is People
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.82

16 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Expectations, 29 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Life Is People (Audio CD)
I'm peeved - I bought this CD because I read a couple of five star reviews that made me think that Britain's own Bob Dylan (sorry, Donovan, close but no cigar) has been languishing undiscovered for decades before triumphantly re-emerging with the help of some established stars. And because I like Wilco.

Briefly, I was disappointed. The music itself is fine, as you might expect with the calibre of some of the backing artistes. The singing is, frankly, strained, but adequate.

In a fair and kind world the lyrics wouldn't be discussed, but even though I am flushed with post-Olympics bonhomie, I think prospective buyers should be warned that those of a delicate and discerning nature may be reduced to apoplexy by their trite nature. Aiming at a combination of heartfelt emotion and homespun wisdom, they achieve only a turgid mix of sentimentality and platitudes ("Like my old Dad said, Life is people" - says it all, really) which did indeed raise strong emotions in me, but none of them were the intended ones.

Worth avoiding unless you are curious about what all the fuss is, and have a few bob to spare.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2013 11:00 PM GMT


Finite and Infinite Games
Finite and Infinite Games
by James P. Carse
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Meretricious tripe for the feeble minded, 31 May 2010
Having an interest in Game Theory, and also seeing the praise this book has received from reviewers, not least on the Amazon.com site, I opened this book with high hopes.

Imagine my disappointment, therefore, on discovering that it is pure New Age-type drivel with a pseudo-philosophical style. Imagine my further disappointment on discovering that the book is a Trojan horse for encouraging religious beliefs, specifically Christianity, although the author pretends to deny this.

Don't be fooled by the references to Wittgenstein et al, this is altogether a mendacious piece of tripe which will appeal only to the feeble-minded.

Whilst this will leave a considerable number of potential buyers, I do hope you won't be one of them.

I recommend the works of Francis Wheen, Christophed Hitchens or Richard Dawkins as potential antidotes, taken as soon as possible after the original insult.


Hyperboreans
Hyperboreans
Price: £14.75

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All human life................., 21 May 2010
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This review is from: Hyperboreans (Audio CD)
This CD has it all - derring-do, redemption, humour, perfidy, murder, gallantry - and lyrics combined with fine traditional musicianship which I believe will bring a tear to the most jaundiced music lover's eye

Traditional folk? I think it's fair to call it that. Certainly not as left-field as the Unthanks (from whence she hailed) or Alasdair Roberts, two of my other favorite contemporary folk outfits, but none the worse for that.

Great tunes, beautiful lyrics, magnificent vocals, inspiring harmonies and brilliant melodies from Jackie Oates and her accompanists. What's not to like?


Pages
Pages
Price: £9.52

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 19 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Pages (Audio CD)
The first time I listened to this CD, I was intrigued. The second time I began to like it. The third time I fell in love with it.

The music is ethereal and moving, without a synth or an amplified instrument in the soundscape.

One of the many beauties of this fine piece of work is to detect, just occasionally, the odd hint of charming Irish brogue in the perfect diction of this impressive artist.

Rather tricky to describe the style or to suggest parallels with other artists, but it reminds me a tiny little bit of Kimya Dawson, but a transatlantic version with an orchestral backing.

Impossibly beautiful indeed.


Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!
Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!
Price: £6.17

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back, Jake and Elwood!!, 26 Aug 2009
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There is a British legend that King Arthur (he of the Round Table) is sleeping underground until he wakes to deal with the greatest crisis that will ever threaten the island of Britain.

Similarly we've always known that in a dark cave somewhere, possibly in the Catskills or even the Appalachians,the Legendary Blues Brothers have been hibernating, ready to be revived in a time of need.

That time is clearly now, because Black Joe Lewis and his Honeybears' latest CD is plainly Jake and Elwood brought back to life, dusted down for the twenty first century and brought blazing back into the limelight. Minus all the "Minnie the Moocher" nonsense of course, and with added "parenteral advisory lyrics".

All this is by way of a compliment. Terrific good time hard-driving, brass heavy blues music. Great fun and well worth buying.


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