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Oz : Season 4 [DVD]
Oz : Season 4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Christopher Farmer
Price: 18.46

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oz goes south, 21 May 2009
This review is from: Oz : Season 4 [DVD] (DVD)
Oz is expanded to 16 episodes for the first time, unwisely in my opinion.

Many of the plotlines are outrageously implausible (ageing pill, Dr Nathan's continued close contact with perpetrators of crimes involving her), irritatingly betray well-wrought character profiles (Clayton's ridiculous escapades) or are just crudely pulled together to make a point before being swiftly forgotten about (the shooting at the start, the TV documentary, the non-wedding mentioned by a previous reviewer).

The writers begin to abuse the narrative prop that used to make the show so dynamic- the regular influx of new and interesting inmates. Characters arrive merely to support a storyline, rather than the storylines developing around the characters.

There are also just too many deaths and too few repurcussions; as if the writers wanted to wrap up the stories as quickly as possible and couldn't be bothered to deal with the aftermath as they once would.

From being a show that took care to 'unpack' and explore stereotypes; studying tribalism and showing us that even the sickest criminals are human beings too, it resorts here to lazily enforcing them. By the time the IRA member arrived and promptly decided to make a bomb out of washing powder (because, you know, that's what they do), my patience was worn through.

Goodbye Oz- thanks for the good times.

Collected Poems
Collected Poems
by Paul Birtill
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars unrelenting misery, 17 Mar 2009
This review is from: Collected Poems (Paperback)
Now that Peep Show has made obsessive self-hate and brutal inner-confessions, er, 'cool', I hope that this excellent collection might find a wider audience. Nothing beats Paul's own deadpan delivery of these darkly humorous ditties, but the recurring themes of jilted affections, suicide and general misanthropy give you an insight into this man's highly perceptive and deeply pessimistic mindset.

Very funny, extremely bleak.

Breaking And Entering (Underworld, Gabriel Yared)
Breaking And Entering (Underworld, Gabriel Yared)
Offered by NetsavesUK
Price: 6.32

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars??, 29 Mar 2007
It's pleasant enough, but if I want some genuinely calming piano music I'll slap on a Chopin nocturne or two, and if I want an ethereal film soundtrack with a hint of menace to drift away to I'll listen to Vangelis's Blade Runner score.

This just meanders frustratingly, like a tired ant toddling along your window ledge, trying to get home but not knowing where to go. It pains me to slag off Underworld, as I'm a fan of most things they've done, but this is a bit of a disappointment (as is the film).

File under: uncohesive, ponderous

Neon Bible
Neon Bible
Price: 7.05

7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars s'alright, 17 Feb 2007
This review is from: Neon Bible (Audio CD)
I have to admit, I was fairly under-whelmed when I first heard Intervention on the radio. And the album as a whole does not approach the cathartic heights of Funeral. Of course it doesn't. But given that their debut album was one of the best records of the last five years (at least), I won't hold that against them.

So, it's good. Brooding melancholy, excellent instrumentation (as you'd expect) and smart production. I find the cynical Amazon reviewer's sly tone rather ugly- what does he have against them?

If you've not heard of them, get Funeral first. If you love Funeral, get this too. You might be a bit disappointed, but not for long. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 21, 2008 4:29 AM BST

The Letting Go
The Letting Go
Price: 9.70

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's really good, actually, 4 Jan 2007
This review is from: The Letting Go (Audio CD)
don't know what all you naysayers are going on about. It might even be my favourite Will Oldham album - yes, including There Is A Darkness. Deffo the best thing he's done since then, at any rate. Having read reviews I was expecting the backing vocals to drown out everything, but they are well-placed in the mix throughout. Aren't they? Well, I like it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2009 5:56 PM GMT

The Warning
The Warning

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm Looking For A Place To Get Lost", 4 May 2006
This review is from: The Warning (Audio CD)
I think this could do it for them. They've progressed leaps and bounds from the intriguingly skewed but slightly amateurish palate of Coming On Strong to create something altogether more profound.

There are no weak tracks here, and the sound as a whole is rich and warm, with delicious bleeps and washes of synth meshing wonderfully with the octave-apart double vocals. Highlights? The gorgeous, pining melody of And I Was A Boy From School, the impossibly fun *hit* single Over And Over, the cheeky beats and lyrics of the title track and the soothing and beautiful soon-to-be-come-down-classic So Glad To See You are all pretty flawless, but the whole album is full of delights.

"This is a warning, I'll spell it out for you"- Hot Chip's sound is refreshing and unique, and if there's any justice 2006 will see them hit the big time. Nice one boys.

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