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And She Closed Her Eyes
And She Closed Her Eyes
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £7.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ideal background music for Yoga!, 17 Feb. 2015
This review is from: And She Closed Her Eyes (Audio CD)
I have given this three stars because to give it two stars indicates I dont like it which is not strictly true. But again I cant say I like it. It just "is".

I bought this in a charity shop for £1 so thought I could not go wrong. Having played it several times I am still undecided whether to give it back on the basis I would not want it in my collection. On balance I will probably keep it but I doubt whether I will be playing it very often. I don't see it as a grower.

I have a number of Scandi/Nordic cds ranging from The Raveonettes to Seabear. And of course a lot of that regions music is finding its way into our tv programmes whether imported from the region or home made in the UK. Much is made of the music painting soundscapes but this really does not apply here.

Much is made of this singers voice. However I found the voice extremely thin, uninteresting and lacking in character. In fact if she stood up in a standard UK folk club and sang like she does on this cd the audience would probably want their money back - unless it was open mic night. The backing instrumentation is really stripped bare but there are a couple of tracks where the wind instruments add a nice laid back jazzy feel. But taken as a whole disappointing. Having listened to it yet again I am left reaching for The Raveonettes to kick start my brain!


The Locked Room (The Martin Beck series, Book 8)
The Locked Room (The Martin Beck series, Book 8)
by Maj Sjowall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A perfectly respectable follow up from "The Abominable Man", 6 Feb. 2015
I note in this 8th book in the series that there is a lot more quite bitter and ironic social commentary on the social problems facing Swedish society at the time of writing and this is nicely woven into the plot.

I did not give this five stars because I found it a little strange. We are still presented with a formidable cast of new and familiar characters and two apparently unconnected plots and I like the way the authors bring out the connections towards the end. There is a lot of humour both sardonic and farcical running through the book such that at one stage I thought I was reading a comedy of errors right out of a Will Hay film from the 1930s. So far in the series "The Abominable Man" stands out as one of my favourites and in that respect "The Locked Room" which came right after it was a bit of a come down from the tensions built up in that one but undeterred I will press on to the next in the series.


Priest
Priest
by Ken Bruen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best of the first five in the series, 10 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Priest (Paperback)
I believe this may rank as possibly the best of the first five in the series.

When I reviewed "The Dramatist" I thought the finale was a little over the top even for Ken Bruens hard hitting way of dealing with Taylor. Having now completed "The Priest" I see now that the impact of what happened in the previous book has a huge impact on Taylor and those around him throughout "The Priest".

All the Bruen hard hitting writing style and humour are present and correct in this novel. I believe the story telling is a lot more focussed on plot development and the writing carries it along at quite a pace. All the characters are well drawn .

I cant praise this highly enough but it really helps to start at the beginning. Nearly all the characters featured here have a history that has surfaced in the earlier books.


The Dramatist: A Jack Taylor Novel
The Dramatist: A Jack Taylor Novel
by Ken Bruen
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Another stunning slice of "Irish Noir", 2 Jan. 2015
I love the Jack Taylor novels and am steadily working my way through them having started with "The Guards".

"The Dramatist" is well up with the best of them. I could not really put this one down and I always feel slightly disappointed when I finish the last sentence because when you travel with Jack Taylor it is generally quite a roller coaster of a ride without a safety belt. But then I have "The Priest" waiting for me on my bookshelf and I cant wait to open up that first page.

Anyone new to Bruen should not expect a routine police procedural or a private tec methodically going through the clues and solving of the case. In most cases they seem to solve themselves as JT moves through the streets of Galway dishing out the dirt or getting it thrown back at him in spades.

Bruen has a very distinctive almost poetic style of writing which is such a joy to read. Often short sharp sentences delivered with a lot of humour. In some way he reminds me a little of James Ellroy.

A highly recommended series.

My only one regret was the final literary punch which came right out of the blue and in my opinion was a little OTT even for Bruen.


Stay Gold
Stay Gold
Price: £7.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure gold from start to finish, 13 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Stay Gold (Audio CD)
The superb follow up to "The Lions Roar". Again packed with wonderful catchy tracks. Compared to "The Lions Roar" this appears to be aimed for a more commercial or wider audience although I reckon "The Lions Roar" does have wide audience appeal even though you sense its roots are in Americana.

The overall sound of "Stay Gold" is in my opinion decidedly more lush and I feel its roots are firmly placed in the West Coast of America rather than Kentucky, Virginia or Tennessee. But that is not in any way a criticism more an observation of a subtle change in direction.


The Lion's Roar
The Lion's Roar
Price: £7.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Americana - Swedish style, 13 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Lion's Roar (Audio CD)
An absolute winner!!. How did these sisters slip under my radar. Every single track is filled with delicious harmonies, lovely instrumentation, catchy hooks that stay with you long after the music stop and smart lyrics. On some tracks the phasing of the singing has very slight echoes of Nanci Griffith. You don't have to be a c/w fan to love this cd.


Strawbs
Strawbs
Price: £9.65

4.0 out of 5 stars A classic Strawbs folk cd, 6 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Strawbs (Audio CD)
One of the great joys of the Strawbs for fans if not for the group itself is that in my view they never really found their sound. In whatever format they found themselves they were always blessed with superb musicians and excellent songwriters - especially Dave Cousins who in my opinion writes more as a poet than a songwriter. And because they never really found their sound each cd stands or falls on its own unique merits.

This cd is very much on the folk part of the line that moves towards prog rock. And its a great cd. There are some classic tracks here with some superb songwriting and great musicianship.


Dogstar Rising: A Makana Investigation (Makana Mystery 2)
Dogstar Rising: A Makana Investigation (Makana Mystery 2)
by Parker Bilal
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent follow up to "The Golden Scales", 28 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I thoroughly enjoyed the first Makana novel.

"The Golden Scales" introduced me to a new cast of interesting characters set in Egypt at a time when corruption at the highest levels, religious intolerance and an all pervasive and brutal secret police force is rife. My only concern with this opener was the way the author hurtled the reader towards a fiery finale - almost as though the author turned up the heat in the hope that Hollywood would come calling.

"Dogstar.Rising is an excellent follow up. Another very interesting plot line and another set of interesting characters added to which the author appears to capture the real atmosphere of life on the streets of Cairo during such turbulent times. What I particularly liked about this second outing for Makana is that the pacing of the plot is a lot more measured. This time the author has not hurtled us towards a climactic finale but nevertheless it still manages to be a real page turner. I can generally tell if I have really been stimulated by a book by my level of disappointment when I finish the final sentence. That was the case with this one but at least I can comfort myself in the knowledge that the third in the series is already out.


Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
Price: £9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I need more stars to grade this cd. 5 is not enough!!!!, 13 Oct. 2014
Is this the cd that Etta James never made but should have. I can definitely hear Howling Wolf's "Wang Dang Doodle" in the track "Something Wicked".

Lucinda Williams has come up with an absolute corker of a cd. The whole cd just oozes a heady mix of Memphis blues, soul and gospel.

Supported by a set of cracking musicians she at times produces sounds and rifts that the Rolling Stones in their hey day would have been proud to make. And yet this is Lucinda Williams through and through with her trade mark voice and lyrics to match and there is always that underlying hint of alternate c/w in other tracks.

She has managed to deliver a double cd comprising 20 tracks and as you play it through you notice every track is as strong and powerful as the one you have just listened to. An absolute gem!


Haydn: London Symphonies, Vol.1
Haydn: London Symphonies, Vol.1
Price: £8.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Just what the doctor ordered, 13 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wont profess to be a classicist. Like a good glass of beer I know what I like and I like both this cd being vol 1 and I also like vol 2.

I am not a listener who either falls into the "the big band" recordings school or the back to basics school of thought who like their classical music played on period instruments although I have to say I find some of the recordings played on period instruments to be a little thin. So I presume these recordings by Sir Colin Davis fall into the "big band" category. But I really enjoy them because they are to my untutored ears relatively bright and breezy when they should be and the sound throughout is beautifully crisp and clean. Some might say these symphonies dont make too much demands on the listener but for me whether I play vol 1 or 2 they are just perfect for a relaxing Sunday morning. And what makes them especially attractive is that you get so many symphonies at an incredible price.


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