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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb album of chiming pop songs, 4 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Swimmer (Audio CD)
I bought this album whilst at University back in the 80s just on the back of a review in 'Record Mirror', having never heard of the band before. From the first time, I just loved it and it remains one of my favourite albums. The first three tracks are an absolute masterclass in producing perfectly crafted guitar pop songs that gently gnaw their way into your brain. Steven Lindsay's vocals are yearning, heartfelt and plaintive and the lyrics are emotional without being cloying. I'm still astonished that the band weren't much more successful; Virgin, who signed them, clearly believed they were going to be.

For me, the standout track is "Christina's World" but it's hard to single out any others. The easiest comparison to make is Lloyd Cole and the Commotions but that doesn't really tell the whole story. The similarity is that each band's songs don't have choruses in the traditional sense but the Big Dish's sound is somehow simpler and more charming. I cannot recommend this too highly.

United States of Europe
United States of Europe
Price: £1.99

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All Plot and No Character, 21 Dec. 2011
The main plus point here is that there is an excellent plot which bounces along, making it hard to put down. However, the characterisation is pretty thin and it's not very well formatted with each sentence being a separate paragraph; this may make the writing seem weaker than it is. There's the nucleus of a really good book here, along the lines of "51st State" by Peter Preston, but it does need quite a lot of fleshing out beyond just a plot. Perhaps the biggest achievement of the book is that it made me sympathetic to the Eurosceptic cause which is no mean feat!

Having said all that, it was a pretty enjoyable and harmless read.

Something Sensational to Read in the Train: The Diary of a Lifetime
Something Sensational to Read in the Train: The Diary of a Lifetime
Price: £5.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 21 Dec. 2011
This was a really good read; touching, endearing and highly entertaining throughout. My only real gripe is to do with the formatting on the Kindle which meant that the huge numbers of footnotes weren't terribly accessible but this didn't really detract from the overall experience. Mr Brandreth is an outrageous name-dropper but that's a big part of the appeal of the book; it's an insight into his life and how it touches on the lives of the (generally theatrical) famous. What astonished me was how anyone could build a career on being an after-dinner speaker and knowing a little bit about virtually everything and perhaps that's why I loved the book so much - it seems like an insight into a bygone era.

This is warm and witty and I thoroughly recommend it.

I Came Here To Blow Minds
I Came Here To Blow Minds
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £9.34

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful, 12 Aug. 2011
Utterly dreadful. This may be the worst album I've ever bought and boy, do I own some rubbish. Ms. James wrote all the songs which was clearly a terrible idea; she does have the ability to produce some tunes that border on adequate but the lyrics are the real catastrophe. It honestly seems as though the lyrics and tunes were written entirely independently of each other so she is reduced to gabbling words in an attempt to make them fit the music, which they don't. I enjoyed Transvision Vamp's 1st 2 albums but the ill-fated third album is a bit too ploddy for my tastes, however it stands as a work of genius when compared to the abomination which is "I Came Here to Blow Minds"
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