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Steps "steps_lowe" (Luxembourg)

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Absolution
Absolution
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £4.49

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prog Opera?, 19 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Absolution (Audio CD)
Who'd of thought that a bunch of scally wags from Devon could release, what may possibly be the album of the year?
'Showbiz' was a a generic album that had its share of high points and 'Origin of Symmetry' was perhaps a little ego inflated, but... 'Absolution' really is a revelation. Maybe Bellamy has stopped trying to prove himself, perhaps he now believes his own hype. Whatever the reason, the arrogance seems to have dissapated not dissappeared (as there's still a large amount of fretbopard frippery)and the resulting soundscapes are breathtaking.
Single 'Time is Running Out' lurches along building to a grandiose finale whislt the classicaly themed 'Butterflies and Hurricanes' and the edgier 'Tsp' have to be heard to believed. The music press is gushing about this record and rightly so, not for a while have so many geners been married so perfectly.
It is a space opera and your either gonna like it or you wont but 'Hysteria' and 'Stockholm Syndrome' really do deserve to hit the international ground running.
Its been said that Muse will write the 20th centuries 'Bohemien Rhapsody' after this, it doesn't seem like such a daft thing to say. The Darkness can keep their tongue in their cheek, for the moment this is the future of retrospective melodies.


Think Tank
Think Tank
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blur still have that crazy beat, 20 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Think Tank (Audio CD)
Come on you have to admire them really. Blur always continue to evolve with each release and Think Tank is no exception. Sure the main creative partnership of albarn\coxon has gone south but its hard to imagine any other band pulling this off so sweetly.
Albarn's daliances with mali music and of course the gorrilaz add a hint of funk to preceedings and dare i say it a certain sense of fun. Albeit fun thats missing from opener 'Ambulance' and the lyrical content is as deliberately oblique as ever.
William Orbit and Norman Cooks production is limited and throughout the album Blur use a variety of different sounds to structure the new direction, noticably a car bonnet and a suspicously noisy bed spring (Gene by Gene).
'Good Song' and 'Sweet Song' are the most notable ballads while 'Crazy Beat', 'We've Got A File on You' and 'jets' rock like a hillbilly at a logging contest. Replacing Coxon was always going to be difficult as was pleasing the Blur purists 'Battery in Your Leg' is a sad and fitting end to 'Think Tank' Coxon's telling contribution. Radiohead altered the play book a few years back and now so have Blur. It seems that while some people are scared of change Blur embrace it. Other bands really should take note.


Act Without Words
Act Without Words
Price: £24.27

4.0 out of 5 stars more like 3 1/2, 10 Dec. 2002
This review is from: Act Without Words (Audio CD)
This isn't easily listening ... Tribute To Nothings latest offering; Act Without Words is certainly an angry piece of work capturing within it's 43 minutes, the now trademark slamming riffs and introspective lyrics, but with an added diversity and deviance in direction. It's a difficult prospect; combining subtlety with the sound of balls being nailed to wood and Tribute To Nothing pull it off masterfully....almost.
On any record, the opening track is vital, it sets the scene and though often misleading, it needs to hit you instantly; 'Crossed Out' certainly grabs you, pianos clash with spiralling guitars and duelling vocals spit "do you ever think, just listen, think for yourself".
'My Decision', 'Silent Symbols' and 'Spoken Like Code' all resemble a 'Nurse' era Therapy scrapping with the Cardiacs, discordant guitar licks meet moments of quiet reflection. New guitarist Kris (joining late Feb 2002) undoubtedly adds a new energy to the group and perhaps even allows Sam more freedom on main vocal duties.
The inlay card suggests that amongst the guitar's and crashing symbols are cellos, violins and even a jazz guitar, in some ways the rawness of the production cull these moments and against the more brutal flashes doesn't quite have the effect we'd hoped for. Whilst Tribute To Nothing aren't afraid to experiment across the course of their tunes, carried over 10 tracks there is little real variation on the one main theme. 'Silent Symbols' mid point breakdown and infectious chorus is a definite highlight and while some of the lyrical content reads like teenage poetry ("I can feel the world slip through my hands, I hear the voices in my head"), 'The Solution' and 'Frequency of Understanding' are two of the strongest examples of what T.T.N are capable of. Things slow down on 'Try to Contain' before the strange blues alt rock jam of 'End Profile' gives the impression that the boys have tried too hard to be different.
This is honest playing, honest and in turns powerful, don't let the fact that 'Act Without Words' comes with a punk/hardcore label and although 'At The Drive In' comparisons are hard to avoid T.T.N have for the most part another feather in their collective cap. If this is an indication of the direction the boys want to go in then more power to them, this should (if there's any justice) in the mean time reach a wider audience.


Let Go
Let Go
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.74

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ties and vests, 10 Dec. 2002
This review is from: Let Go (Audio CD)
Let Go is the debut album from the girl with an interesting range in vests and ties. Forget that Complicated's video makes Avril Lavigne come off as a precocious brat, 'Let Go' is an impressive debut. The catchy choruses throughout the record are enhanced by the riff driven melodies on the likes of crashing opener 'letting go', the annoyingly titled 'sk8ter boi' and 'tomorrow'.
Trying to dissect a 16 year olds lyrical dexterity is like marking a school report of a self-professed skate punk. Avril Lavigne sings that she'd "rather be anything but ordinary" on her debut, but this self styled approach often drifts into the mawkish when it initially promised so much more.
With a record deal at the tender age of 16, Avril has booted some comparison to, fellow Canadian, Alanis Morissette and with it some of the more obscure intonations. Thankfully at the moment she doesn't appear to be stark raving bonkers. The pace is refreshingly varied throughout and her voice evokes the necessary range. 'Let Go' only flies when it should soar, hopefully as she matures and Chris Martin starts dating her, her lyrics will match the strength of her music.
"Wanna go trash the Mall?"


The Zephyr Song [CD 2]
The Zephyr Song [CD 2]
Offered by firefly-music-store
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars luke warm and fuzzy, 10 Dec. 2002
This review is from: The Zephyr Song [CD 2] (Audio CD)
Second cut from the Highly acclaimed By The Way album finds the the Chillis in a rather more plaintive mood. The psycadelic groove harks back to hazy afternoons and whilst it doesn't have the nonsensical zip of By The Way, the emotion of Scar Tissue or even the chorus of Californication expect to here this from nearly all the U.Ks pub juke boxes.


Come Back Around (Cd2) [CD 2]
Come Back Around (Cd2) [CD 2]
Offered by JB's CDs DVDs
Price: £0.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars they're back, 10 Dec. 2002
Grant and Taka are back. Following the tragic suicide of drummer Jon Lee (R.I.P) Feeder return with a stomping single preceding the fourth LP. 'Come Back Around' soars, hugging a glorious riff and a spanking chorus. Inevitably it's an emotional song "Come back around, I miss you around." and it's great to have em back. Similar in tone to the directness of Insomnia rather than the bubblegum fun of Buck Rogers a great cut from an awesome album.
Nuff said.


No Title Available

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Affleck CAN act, 10 Dec. 2002
Roger Mitchell handles a taught and provocative thriller that's as far removed from, previous movie, Notting Hill as could be. Thankfully his move to Hollywood hasn't seen him tread over a neat central plot conceit and deliver a bog standard genre thriller.
After the mid credits prologue, setting up the initial fundamental differences in characters, the movie begins proper, with a seemingly minor collision between; recovering alcoholic and insurance salesman Doyle Gipson (Jackson) and arrogant fast tracking yuppie Gavin Baneck (Affleck). Both in a hurry to attend court, Gipson to a vital hearing involving custody of his children and Baneck to a 100 Million dollar hearing during which he must present important documentation.
Doyle wants to do things by the book, Baneck wants a quick solution, a bewildered argument sees Baneck abandon Doyle by the scene in pouring conditions, with no way of making court on time. Baneck however has left the crucial document behind. What follows as Baneck seeks to retrieve the document is a battle of wills, the tension mounts as matters become increasingly frantic. Reconciliation's ruined by ego, stubbornness, revenge, competition and ultimately the human condition.
Essentially this is an essay on the virtues between right and wrong but also explores the pathos behind rage and redemption and also, in essence good and evil. The danger here would have been to preach to the audience based on the views of a morality tale and in doing so condescending the message Changing Lanes strives to deliver. Thankfully the script is carefully balanced, showing the best and the worst in the everyman and there are solid performances from the central leads (Affleck and Jackson) and the supporting cast members (Collette, Hurt and Peet).
Scripted by Michael Tolkein and Chip Taylor, the result is like a cat and mouse Falling Down, perfectly pitched with neither character being a flawed hero nor is this simply one definitive bad and good guy. The wronged and the wrong doer shifting throughout. This is an entertaining and arty movie a welcome addition to the mainstream only slightly marred by a disappointingly upbeat ending.


Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mother Too) [DVD] [2001]
Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mother Too) [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Maribel Verdú
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.14

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Smells Like Bread!", 21 Nov. 2002
Scandalously under supported by the British multiplex fraternity this delicious Mexican coming of age movie has been released on Dvd for you lucky peopel. Recent trends in cinema have bucked the notion of spectacle and bombast replacing it with rounded characterisations and plot driven indie movies. Arguably the New France, Mexico has become all the rage showcasing maverick directors and interesting films! Guillermo del Torro (Chronos, Others, Blade 2), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros) and this movies Director Alfonso Cuaron (Great Expectations and soon to be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabhan)
Two teenagers, Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal from Amores Perros) and Tenoch, (Diego Luna) who spend time doing parties, grass, masturbating and experimentation to fulfil the voids in their lives. Privileged Tenoch is son to a politician and Julio son of a secretary, their friendship (charolastras) and subsequent code (as brilliant as it is simple) has been solid since birth. With little to do in a crowded city, the pair hoodwink an older relative's attractive wife- Luisa - (Maribel Verdu) to accompany them on a journey to 'Heaven's Mouth', a beach they have just made up in a hope to get lucky. To their surprise she accepts and not for the most obvious reasons and so it begins - one of the best movies of recent years. Eclipsing even the mighty 'Amores Perros' at the Mexican Box Office.
The characterisations are spot-on in this intelligent road movie and from the off set you are either gonna like it or hate it. Luna and Bernal clearly have a wail of a time, as they are best friends in real life, as such the chemistry is clear to observe. The pacing is fast, the conversations faster and the opening scene features an arse bobbing up and down in youthful coitus. In less assured hands (Cuaron also writes) this could easily have descended in to an uneasy sex farce with nothing new or original to say as it is this a heart warming, deeply moving tale of friendship, puberty, sex, trust and mothers.
In terms of cinematography again Cuaron excels; crisp flurried movement, detailing city/landscapes with vistas and confident use of contrast. The irreverent plot lines and genius narrative offset against these visuals are delightful and juxtapose the realism with fairytale diversions offering, at times, a biting social commentary.
The trio of would be 'life evacuees' revel in a script of an unparalleled sense of fun, mischief and sincerity - the insults, trade off's and counter arguments are exchanged in scatter shot perfection. Luna and Bernal are outstanding and Verdu smoulders suitably, the epitome of femme fatale who may, just may tear the boys apart and break their code forever.
Cuaron masks a dark tale behind light moments of human observation and pointed humour. The existential angst and the pseudo link for travel and growing up is set within an exuberant balance of emotion (watch out for the not so hidden subtext). The end message is particularly poignant and endures even the most hardened filmgoers to examine his or her childhood experiences...


Stone Sour
Stone Sour
Price: £6.88

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars isn't this a bit old fashioned, 21 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Stone Sour (Audio CD)
Corey Taylor and James Root of Slipknot infamy formed this band long before they donned masks and orange boiler suits and terrorised worried parents of pre-pubescent's.
Those expecting a similar relentless attack on the senses will be disappointed, this is a pretty (in comparison) paired down affair echoing the likes of Alice in Chains and Metallica on a fairly conventional rock album. Most of you will already be familiar with the guttural opener "Get Inside" and the typically bare-chested aggression but delve a little further and there are a few surprises "Cold Reader" and "Monolith" are prime examples with giant riffs and emotional lyrical content.
Which is all the more surprising when "Bother", an acoustic song first heard on the Spiderman OST, breaks the noise. Corey has a great voice when he's not stripping paint with his throat and this tune more than demonstrates his range ahead of the subtler breaks on the Knots own 'Wait and Bleed' and 'My Plague'.
So, a guaranteed fan base already present and a sound suited to a wider general appeal Slipknot mach 2 this ain't. Its a lot less glam than Joey Jordison's 'Murderdolls' and sounds like it should have been released about 6 years ago but as a competent foray into grunge metal it works.
Kind of.


Intergalactic Sonic 7"s: The Best of Ash
Intergalactic Sonic 7"s: The Best of Ash
Offered by 247dvd
Price: £3.49

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too early but grand, 21 Nov. 2002
Ash, the oirish upstarts who had a platinum album before even finishing their A - Levels, release a best of compilation and included some b-sides too. Aaaahh bless em.
Middle men (and woman) really, Tim Wheeler et al are not horrendously good looking or really fashionable but as a singles band Ash are second to none, crafting sugar sweet, pop power tunes and this is a collection of their best ones on one album. Blinding.
Popping up when Britpop was at its stale peak Ash's energy and verve was a refreshing change, even if at first they seemed like a novelty. Early singles like Jack Names The Planets, Uncle Pat and Petrol were spiky gems leading on to the release of '1977' and the first hit proper; Girl From Mars.
The track order on 'Intergalactic Sonic 7"s' is random, no need for a date order on here, the band have hardly changed, 'Shining Light' and 'Burn Baby Burn' - arguably two of the finest pop singles of recent years are similar to early hits Angel Interceptor and Wildsurf.
This is as much of a collection of hits for Ash loyalists, with the freebie b-sides disc and new release Envy, as it is a great party album for those yet to venture into the world of the hard drinking pups.


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