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Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them)
Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them)
Price: £4.36

4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to argue with Ehrman's analysis, 10 Dec. 2014
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A pretty fair summary of some of the blatant contradictions and inconsistencies in the New Testament, with analysis of where and why they might have entered the church's mythology and what (if anything) can be deduced about the real beliefs and practices of the early Christians from the bible.

Would probably be most productively read by somebody who actually believes the bible is a reliable source of information about the life and philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth, as it is pretty obvious when you look at that such a belief requires some reconsideration, at the very least.


Minx M5 Multimedia Speaker System for PC, Mac, laptop and desktop computers
Minx M5 Multimedia Speaker System for PC, Mac, laptop and desktop computers
Offered by Cambridge Audio
Price: £99.95

4.0 out of 5 stars useful for hooking up your computer in an environment where ..., 10 Dec. 2014
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A decent set of speakers for the size (they are really tiny), useful for hooking up your computer in an environment where space is limited. The integrated sound card is definitely a nice touch if you're using your PC's onboard sound... connect them via USB to take advantage of the higher quality DACs. If you're used to using PC speakers plugged directly into the motherboard then this difference alone will probably an improvement.

The speakers have a reasonably full sound with plenty of definition, though they are a bit toppy, especially when you turn the volume up - not surprising given that the satellites are so small they're barely more than tweeters. Because the satellites are too small, rather more of the low end is pushed through the sub than you might expect, so spend some time with familiar music getting the level right for the subwoofer to balance them... it shouldn't be too far off the midpoint.


KRK KNS 8400 bk
KRK KNS 8400 bk
Offered by Jb's Music Store
Price: £99.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A decent pair of headphones with plenty of definition and ..., 10 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: KRK KNS 8400 bk (Electronics)
A decent pair of headphones with plenty of definition and detail, though if using them for mastering be aware that the bottom end is a bit subdued ... you'll probably end up overcooking the bass.


Songs of Love & Hate / Love & Hate in Dub/ In All Languages [2CD + DVD]
Songs of Love & Hate / Love & Hate in Dub/ In All Languages [2CD + DVD]
Price: £15.25

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent album, held back by the flat mastering, 10 Dec. 2014
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Songs Of Love And Hate is a decent Godflesh album, though a bit riffy and repetitive compared to their best work. Unfortunately its light has been hidden under a bushel by whoever mastered it, with a muted top end which almost buries the guitars and robs the bass of its sludgy power. Unfortunately this reissue does nothing to improve the mastering (it is identical to the original release). You'll have to remaster it yourself to appreciate the album fully.

Love And Hate In Dub is an interesting companion, allowing JKB to exercise his more diverse musical interests in a way which the label probably didn't allow him to do on the main release. It is mainly a curio though, as none of the songs is well developed enough to withstand repeated listens.

The third disc is just some of the bands videos... I don't particularly see the point in watching music, but they're nice to have I suppose.


Godflesh / Selfless / Us and Them
Godflesh / Selfless / Us and Them
Price: £14.59

5.0 out of 5 stars This boxset contains two of Godflesh's best albums (self-titled and 'Us And Them') along with their ..., 10 Dec. 2014
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This boxset contains two of Godflesh's best albums (self-titled and 'Us And Them') along with their worst album (Selfless). The self-titled album especially is one of my all-time favourite albums, something of a life-changing experience when I picked up the vinyl on my 14th birthday, with its leviathan like riffs and stark, mechanical beats and JKB's impenetrable vocals.

Note that none of the discs is remastered, despite claims by the label in some places - they are identical to the original single disc releases. It's a shame, because they definitely benefit from a bit of tweaking - especially self-titled, which is not nearly as soul-crushingly powerful as it was on vinyl.


From Gehenna To Here - Limited Edition
From Gehenna To Here - Limited Edition
Price: £9.86

2.0 out of 5 stars Awful mastering, 10 Dec. 2014
BE WARNED, the mastering on this CD is absolutely atrocious - it's hard to fathom that somebody could actually have listened to it and thought "yeah, that'll do"... "Power", especially, sounds like it is playing on a tinny little speaker in another room.

To be fair, these early Nephs recordings are pretty lo-fi Bauhaus knock offs to start off with, a far cry from the extravagant, perfectionist and technically accomplished production on their later albums... but they weren't as bad as this CD would have you believe.

I would say ONLY purchase this if you have the facilities and the inclination to do your own remastering... the songs do polish up alright with the application of some serious EQ and a limiter, but otherwise I would say make do with the passable versions of some of the tracks on the Dawnrazor CD.


Embassytown
Embassytown
Price: £4.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Embassytown starts off brilliantly, with a fascinating world imagined by China Miéville ..., 21 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Embassytown (Kindle Edition)
Embassytown starts off brilliantly, with a fascinating world imagined by China Miéville and the incredibly bold move of a plot largely driven by philosophy of language, which has probably never been attempted before. Things take a bit of a downturn in the second half when Miéville attempts to introduce conflict/crisis to give the book a bit more of a traditional narrative... the plausibility of the situation takes a hit, and the book becomes less satisfying as a result. This is fairly typical of Miéville though - great at imagining and describing worlds, not so hot at finding a dramatic narrative to fit into them.


Anathem
Anathem
Price: £8.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi done right, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: Anathem (Kindle Edition)
ANATHEM is a serious piece of science fiction - a vast, dense novel full of philosophy, maths and quantum physics that develops a novel ontological theory from the work of multiple philosophers and scientists from Earth's past and somehow weaves it into a cracking sci-fi action adventure... eventually. The book starts off slowly, with the first 100 pages or so rich in detail and description, introducing us to Stephenson's world and defining concepts and terminology... but not a lot exactly happens. The slow start is deceptive though, as once the characters' normally stable reality gets disrupted, events gradually become more dramatic until the universe so carefully constructed at the start of the novel has been completely turned on its head.

ANATHEM is definitely a novel of ideas... long sections involve little more than characters discussing philosophy, maths and physics, and some familiarity with those subjects is probably necessary if the reader is going to get the most out of it. Although the ideas are usually explained in the novel, familiarity with the earth-bound thinkers and theories that are being referenced would probably help with appreciating what they are talking about. Plato's theory of forms and Hugh Everett's many-worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics are particularly key subjects.

ANATHEM is science fiction as it should be done - a well realised world which echoes but is not our own. It's not just an adventure story with spaceships (though it is that too), it's an exploration of ideas and concepts from across the spectrum of human intellectual endeavour, a book which challenges the reader to think. Neal Stephenson has done a commendable job taking a fairly hefty chunk of philosophy and science and converting it into a ripping yarn.


The Very Best Of The Doors
The Very Best Of The Doors
Price: £4.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Classic music ruined for no reason, 14 April 2014
I'm glad I decided to listen to this on Spotify before purchasing, because there is now no need for me to waste my money. I love 'The Best Of The Doors', but as a relatively old CD the mastering is a bit timid - it doesn't sound bad, just doesn't use the full dynamic range of the CD and has quite a bit of hiss, so I thought it would probably be worth investing in a remaster. It probably still would, but this certainly isn't the remaster that's worth investing in! Every track has been remixed, radically changing the sound and 'feel' of most songs... whole instrumental and vocal parts that were not in the original song suddenly appear, whilst others that were once prominent are relegated to the background. Instruments have significantly different tones and timbres, the percussion seems completely different in places... if you've never heard The Doors before you will probably still come away from this compilation thinking "Wow, they were a great band", but if you're at all familiar with the original sound then the differences here will be jarring and distracting.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the original mixes, and they are a piece of history - a part of our cultural heritage. This compilation is an inexplicable betrayal of that legacy. Avoid.


With Us Until You'Re Dead
With Us Until You'Re Dead
Price: £9.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Archive's darkest album yet, 13 Mar. 2014
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Archive have been going for the longest time without making any noticable impression on the public consciousness, but WITH US UNTIL YOU'RE DEAD shows them to still be increasing in confidence and sophistication, and contains some of their darkest material to date - there is a theme of violence running through the album, with some brutal beats and distorted noise echoing the intensity of the lyrics - CONFLICT is a particular standout, with the nihilistic message carried as much by the menacing rhythm track punctuated alternately by some gnarled guitars and tense string swells as the words. Occasional islands of calmness provide some contrast / relief.


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