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Andy Sweeney "music was my first love" (West Norfolk)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Great Western Valkyrie
Great Western Valkyrie
Price: £5.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their best yet, 24 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Great Western Valkyrie (Audio CD)
“Great Western Valkyrie”, the fourth studio album by California band Rival Sons is, hands down, one of the best hard rock albums I have heard all year. Their late sixties/early seventies rock influences are immediately identifiable, but they produce high-octane, contemporary music that means that they're not in any way dated or old before their time. With its big riffs and bombast, it's the kind of album that you can enjoy instantly on a surface level, but then repeated listening sessions reveal the rich depth to the compositions and some great lyrics which are easily missed on the first cursory listen. This four-piece are an impressive, tight outfit and there is very little flab on this lean, mean album which packs a punch with each song. The Led Zeppelin influences are especially prominent on “Good Things” and “Belle Starr”, which are both reminiscent of the “Houses Of The Holy” and “Physical Graffiti” era, but there are also hints of Deep Purple and the album opener, “Electric Man” immediately brought to mind the Jack White and Brendan Benson collaboration project, The Raconteurs, so “Great Western Valkyrie” has a solid and varied rock pedigree.

There is a certain raunchy nature to a few of the songs here with singer Jay Buchanan promising to take you to the sugar shack on the first track and a young woman showing someone how babies are made on “Rich And The Poor”; such topics could so easily have been sleazy in the hands of a less skilful lyricist, but the intelligence of the songs shines through the vocal delivery. The smouldering “Good Things” shows the more philosophical side to the band's writing and the excellent, hard-hitting, heart-wrenching “Where I've Been”, probably my very favourite track on this release, relates the point of view of an ex-junkie who has sold her body for drugs. Pleasingly, Rival Sons have lyrics to match the quality of the music, which often isn't the case in hard rock. As much as I enjoyed their third album, “Head Down”, this record is so much better and, in my opinion, a discernible step up in the quality of songwriting and arrangements. I liked them before, but this album has turned them from an act I quite enjoy listening to into one of my favourite contemporary hard rock bands. Quite frankly, “Great Western Valkyrie” is probably the finest piece of work they have released so far; more albums like this and they will soon be deservedly rising up to the top of the bill in the big summer rock festivals.


Going Back Home
Going Back Home
Price: £6.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roger, Wilko... not out!, 24 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Going Back Home (Audio CD)
“Going Back Home” was supposed to be a farewell album from Wilko after he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. His plans were to do one final tour then spend his last days recording an album's worth of songs with Roger Daltrey. One revolutionary surgery later and, thankfully, Johnson is still alive, cancer free, so we end up with a win-win situation: a superb, career-defining album and the great guitarist still with us. Facing losing such an excellent musician, Wilko has enjoyed perhaps the most attention he has ever received and, instead of the general public realising what a talent he was after he is gone, he remains alive and well and now, it seems, a lot more appreciated than he was before. Of course, it is a pity that it took his battle with cancer to have his talent put in the spotlight, but it is evident that he has won a lot more fans because of his heightened profile and, also, the way he dealt with his illness.

If you like good old fashioned rhythm and blues, then “Going Back Home” will be like a breath of fresh air to you. It is a piece of work jam packed full of spiky, incisive riffs, Daltrey's gruff, bluesy delivery and some top notch musicianship from a fine band comprising of Blockheads Norman Watt-Roy (Bass) and Dylan Dowe (Drums), Style Council founder and current Dexy's member Mick Talbot (Piano/Organ) and Steve Weston (Harmonica). It is a massively enjoyable affair, a deeply life-affirming, joyful collection of songs and a rip-roaring listen from beginning to end; a superb good old-fashioned blues rock album without pretension. Although it's all pretty much great, I do have a handful of personal favourites. The riff on “Ice On The Motorway” is irresistible, “I Keep It To Myself” completely sweeps you away with a relentless groove and the Dylan cover “Can You Please Crawl Out Of Your Window” surely joins the ranks of the greatest Zimmerman interpretations ever. The last of my picks from the album sees another classic riff glueing the toe-tapping “Sneaking Suspicion” together, but, quite honestly, there isn't a below-par song to be found here.

Daltrey and Johnson are a great pairing, complimenting each others' styles perfectly. Whilst, given the quality of “Going Back Home” it may be impressive to know that the album was recorded in just a week, the urgency and energy contained within these tracks make it no surprise. Johnson's playing, at times, borders on the aggressive and Daltrey is singing like his life depends upon it; unique circumstances produced a unique album. Long-term Johnson fans will already be familiar with many of the songs on the album, but the extra dimension provided by the Who frontman and the tangible spark of electricity running through these tracks means that it will be thoroughly enjoyed by both old and new listeners. I'm not sure what the future holds for this collaboration, as Roger is now throwing himself into The Who's fiftieth anniversary celebrations and Wilko is still recovering from the major operation that saved his life. Given the sheer brilliance of “Going Home”, we can only hope that there will be another Daltrey/Johnson record some day soon.


First Mind
First Mind
Price: £9.10

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly excellent debut album, 23 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: First Mind (Audio CD)
Nick Mulvey has been one of the undisputed breakthrough artists of 2014. With his début album, “First Mind” being nominated for the Mercury Prize and most of his many tour dates selling out, there haven't been many indie artists who have enjoyed as successful a year as him. Given the praise for the album, I decided to check it out for myself and was pleased to discover that the acclaim is well deserved, as “First Mind” is an intriguing, beguiling album which has been on heavy rotation on my stereo since I bought it back in August. Full of looping rhythms and rotating musical themes, many of the tracks have the common trait of being able to send the listener into an involved, almost trance-like state listening to them. Mulvey has an ear for an interesting rhythm, having studied music in Cuba and been part of the Portico Quartet, a group described as 'electronica meets future-jazz', and accentuating the beat is an important characteristic of his music, even when strumming or picking out a riff or melody on his guitar.

Although it may take the listener a few plays of the album to really get to grips with everything Mulvey is trying to communicate with this work, it soon becomes clear that there isn't a bad song on it. Indeed, there are more than a handful of thoroughly superb songs on “First Mind”. “Fever To The Form”, for example, is a corker, starting with a simple strummed guitar chord sequence, adding vocals and then slowly, instrument-by-instrument, becomes a powerful piece of music, yet still retains a pleasing mellow characteristic. The atmospheric “April” features Nick's mournful vocals and a picked arpeggio dancing over haunting synth chords in the background, whereas the excellent “Juramidam” is a much more forthright affair, featuring a slightly distorted acoustic guitar (with some nice harmonics for good measure) over a relentless, driving rhythm which increases in stature and becomes embellished with more instruments until the song reaches a moody, magnificent climax and then winds back down. “Cucurucu” radiates warmth, a tale of a child sitting underneath a piano listening his mother singing; it is a song with a great heart.

Another one of the many highlights is “Meet Me There” which constructs a masterful groove before reaching thrilling, soaring heights on the last chorus and the very last track, “The World To Me” is another fine and rather sparse example of Mulvey's intricate and distinctive songwriting style, finishing the album with aplomb. Overall, this album has a great vibe and it deserves all of the acclaim which has been lavished upon it this year. Listening to it from start to finish is simultaneously soothing and exciting, if that isn't too much of a contradiction. The only one misstep, if you can call it that, is quoting Olive's “You're Not Alone” (both lyrics and melody) on “Nitrous”; on an album with so much originality, the idea feels misplaced. Still, if that is the only thing that doesn't work, Mulvey must be doing something right and, in such a fickle, easily-hyped music industry, it is genuinely pleasing to hear an album that really does live up to all of the critical acclaim.


Songs
Songs
Price: £10.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better and better with each listen, 23 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Songs (Audio CD)
As someone who really loved John's début album, "From The Ground Up", I have to admit that when I first heard his follow-up, "Songs" when it was released, I was a little unimpressed. I decided to reserve judgement until I had got to know the songs a little more, but already I was thinking that perhaps the second album had been a little rushed. However, through the year, I listened to the album a few more times, as well as hearing the odd song which cropped up on a random mix on my iPod whilst out and about. Over the months, this piece of work has turned into something I didn't believe was anything special to a firm favourite of the year's releases. As well as it being a rather fine, soul-enriching piece of work as a whole, there are also a couple of songs which are nothing less than brilliant. When I listen to the album now, I find it hard to believe how I got it so wrong with my initial impressions but, in this instance, I'm more than happy to admit it.

John's most impressive asset, with the exception of his songwriting talent of course, is that beautiful, honest with a hint of roughness voice. There is a certain something about how expressive his voice is that draws the listener right into every single word. "When You're Here" is simply gorgeous; a country-tinted song, all warm piano and chiming guitars with the kind of melody and uplifting chord changes of an Eagles classic. There is a touch of Randy Newman (compositionally, not vocally, thankfully) about "She Knows", with its fragile, self-confessional tone and the graceful piano arrangement. Another highlight is "Never Cry Again", a contemporary country beauty and one of those songs that has a catchy, instantly timeless feel to it, as does the solemn "All That You Know", a beautiful, almost hymnal, composition. Also irresistible is "The One That Lives Too Far", a fractured tale of longing romance; if these songs had been released half a century ago, they would surely have been declared classics.

While I acknowledge that "Songs" may not be as instantly loveable as Fullbright's studio début, I don't actually believe that there is much between them in terms of songwriting quality or the passion of the performances. Of course, the second album doesn't have the surprise factor of the first, which could go some way to explain some of the slightly less enthusiastic reviews this time round. These songs do, however, reward the time spent getting to know and appreciate them; simply put, it's an excellent, convincing album if you actually listen to it properly and, quite honestly, more than just a couple of times. Fullbright, who is, at the time of writing, only twenty-six years old, has a truly promising future ahead of him and, while this particular album hasn't been appreciated as much as "From The Ground Up" by his audience overall, I have a feeling that it will more than stand the test of time.


BURBERRY Brit for Women Eau de Toilette 30 ml
BURBERRY Brit for Women Eau de Toilette 30 ml
Price: £30.00

4.0 out of 5 stars I really quite liked it... unfortunately my wife didn't!, 23 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's quite difficult to review a fragrance, because, generally, it's the kind of thing you either like or you don't. Burberry Brit has a scent that I quite like and, sadly, my wife really doesn't. It has a light, slightly citrus, slightly almond smell with a warm, floral, almost talcum-powder like undercurrent. I think it is rather pleasant, but, as my wife has said that she isn't keen on it and that the smell was starting to give her a headache, this will be the last I will probably catch a whiff of it in this house. It's a shame, because I think it's quite understated compared to some of the more powerful fragrances on the market. It comes in an attractive, classy little criss-cross bottle and would make a really nice gift for any lady in your life, or perhaps as a treat for yourself. Difficult to know what to rate this, given mine and my other half's very different views on the fragrance, so I guess a compromise of four stars it is.


Wahl Flex Rechargeable Massager
Wahl Flex Rechargeable Massager
Price: £16.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value massager, with only a couple of reservations, 23 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Both myself and my wife have muscular pain problems. My main source of pain is my lower back and, unfortunately, my wife has pain all over her body, so when I saw this massager, I didn't hesitate to order it. It's a powerful little thing and has quite a lengthy charge, so if you ensure it is fully charged before use, there won't be many massage sessions that will end prematurely when it runs out of juice. There are quite a few different attachments for the head, which swivels to adapt to your body contours... and one or two smaller ones which suggest that it can be used for intimate use, should that be of interest to anyone (there is a leaflet which explains what each attachment should be used for). There is a useful small, black zip-up bag for all of the attachments to be kept in too.

I suppose my only criticism of the Wahl massager would be the noise, as it does kick out a rather prominent buzz, only just slightly quieter than an electric razor and, also, it only has two settings - off and on, so you cannot adjust the strength of the vibration. It helps if you have someone to massage you as, despite the length and flexibility of the massager, you still find yourself contorting to get to somewhere like your lower back, but it's also generally easy for solo use too. I must admit that, regardless of whether it does any real good, it leaves my lower back feeling a little better afterwards, so, generally, I'm quite happy with it.


Family
Family
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £7.00

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into the Thompson family album, 22 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Family (Audio CD)
The only real surprise about “Family” is that the project hasn't happened before. Given the amount of talent in the family, gathering together the extended Thompson clan for a studio album seems like, as people like to say these days, a no-brainer. Alongside producer and project leader Teddy, “Family” features Richard, Linda, Kami and Jack Thompson, as well as Zak Hobbs, James and Rob Walbourne, Paulina Lis, Brooke Gengras and Muna Mascolo, all related to the Thompson family in one way or another. I believe that the natural reservation that anybody would have approaching this album is that even if you are a fan of Richard, Teddy or Linda you may not necessarily be a big admirer of the rest of the family's work, so most people will be wondering how good this project is, as a whole. Personally, I love both Richard and Teddy Thompson's music and have warmly enjoyed the times I have seen Kami and James support Richard without ever feeling any great need to purchase their albums afterwards. To describe Richard as a musical genius wouldn't be hyperbole and his two songs here, the caustic but richly melodic “One Life At A Time” and the superb anti-establishment, anti-austerity anthem “That's Enough” are, predictably, two of the best compositions on the album. Teddy acknowledges just what a tough act Richard is to follow on the gentle opening track, “Family”, as the self-proclaimed 'boy with red hair and no smile' fondly runs through a roll call, with warm words for each of his family members and some frank self-analysis for himself.

During “Family”, Teddy describes his mother as having 'the most beautiful voice in the world'. Respectfully, I disagree, and have never particularly been an admirer of Linda's vocals, but “Bonny Boys”, a heartfelt message to her sons and co-written by Zak, certainly shines. The sparse piano and vocals only track “Perhaps We Can Sleep”, co-written by Linda and Teddy, is also really quite lovely. The final track on “Family”, Kami and James' “I Long For Lonely”, is also a very pretty composition, featuring some extremely nice acoustic guitar work. Unfortunately, the rest of the album suffers, not from any kind of poor quality, but from being really very ordinary. “Careful”, also by Kami and James, is a helping of a generic soft country rock which is pleasant enough, but ultimately forgettable. Zak Hobbs' “Root So Bitter” sadly fails to get out of first gear and suffers by comparison, being on the same album as a songwriter and performer such as Richard. Jack Thompson's instrumental “At The Feet Of The Emperor” is interesting and listenable, but feels like an interlude between the songs rather than a good composition in its own right. Teddy's second solo composition on the album, “Right”, an up-tempo tale of heartbreak and being wronged, almost hits the mark, with James and Zak's guitar work being a particular highlight, but, musically, it treads old ground.

All-in-all, “Family” is a very listenable piece of work, but with varying degrees of talent in the family, it stands to reason that the compositional quality throughout the album will also be varied. Without wishing in any way to be unkind to individuals in the family, it really does seem a little obvious as to which members have been gifted with the most natural musical talent. Teddy, who describes himself as “betwixt and between, Sean Lennon you know what I mean” when comparing himself to his folks does himself a particular disservice, but you can certainly understand the sentiment from someone who has Richard and Linda as parents. So, is this album worth owning? Well, those who are particular fans of Richard will probably want to buy this, with his contributions being typically excellent, and those who favour Teddy or Linda will also be rewarded by a couple of good songs and favourable vocal performances. Despite the high standard of musicianship on display here, I don't think anybody could claim that “Family” is wholly excellent, which is a bit of a shame, but it contains just enough pleasing material to leave the overall impression of a pretty good collection of songs when you've finished listening to it. Personally, I'd have much preferred to have been treated to a new album by Richard or Teddy, but these songs will certainly tide me over in the meantime.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 24, 2014 11:19 AM GMT


The Art Of McCartney (Amazon Deluxe Exclusive)
The Art Of McCartney (Amazon Deluxe Exclusive)
Price: £16.42

24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a mixed bag, but worth buying overall, 17 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Paul McCartney is an artist who divides opinion quite profoundly in the music world. Mention the former Beatle's name on social media and there will usually be either on outpouring of love or bile. However, you will usually be able to prise one McCartney song they like out of even the most ardent critic, such is the breadth and appeal of the songs he has written in a career spanning way over half a century. Personally, I have been a huge admirer of Macca's talents over the years and, although am not one of those fans who believe that every single song he has written is unadulterated genius, I genuinely love the large majority of his catalogue. The man is one of the greatest songwriters of his, and perhaps any, generation. Evidently, many of the greatest names in music share a high opinion of Paul's work and this led to producer Ralph Sall gathering together an impressive cast of musicians and, over the space of a decade, recording what can only be described as a star-studded declaration of love for McCartney's music. With names such as Brian Wilson, Billy Joel, Roger Daltrey, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Smokey Robinson and Alice Cooper (just a handful of the most popular artists involved) recording some of Paul's most loved songs, it's almost guaranteed to be a fantastic album, isn't it?

Well, not entirely. There are a few undoubtedly excellent covers on "The Art Of McCartney" and I readily admit that these songs are well worth buying the double album for. From the first CD, Steve Miller's "Junior's Farm" captures the spirit of the original brilliantly, Brian Wilson's "Wanderlust" is a work of beauty, Jeff Lynne's crafted "Junk" is simply wonderful, Jamie Cullum's "Every Night" has a sound particularly faithful to the original and wins me over with charm alone and Paul Rodgers supplies an impressive vocal performance on his cover of "Let Me Roll It". The highlights of the second CD include Cheap Trick's Robin Zander & Rick Neilsen giving "Jet" a great workout, Heart supplying a superb vocal performance against some gritty bluesy guitar on "Letting Go", an impressively different and winning version of "No More Lonely Nights" by The Airbourne Toxic Event and Alice Cooper's surprisingly tender "Eleanor Rigby". Other treats which only fall slightly short of greatness are Willie Nelson's "Yesterday", an energetic "Got To Get You Into My Life" by Perry Farrell and a fun, ska version of "Come And Get It" by Toots Hibbert wih Sly and Robbie.

Perhaps the most disappointing contributions to this album come from Billy Joel. It's not that they're terrible versions of "Maybe I'm Amazed" or "Live & Let Die", it's just that Billy is so obviously out of his vocal comfort zone on the former that he sounds strained, struggling to give a convincing performance against the powerful instrumental performance backing him and the latter simply falls a bit flat. For an artist of Billy's calibre, the fact that he doesn't ace these two songs is both a surprise and a pity. Of course, it could be worse; Bob Dylan's vocal performance on "Things We Said Today" is utterly painful, whereas Harry Connick Jr.'s version of "My Love" is dreary and Barry Gibb's vocals on "When I'm 64" leaves him almost sounding like a parody of himself. Owl City's annoying rendition of "Listen To What The Man Said" is particularly dreadful, with the heavily treated vocals sounding totally out of place compared with the feel of the rest of the album and Dion's "Drive My Car" is the last of the real duds, feeling laboured and not containing any of the energy or sparkle of the Beatles original.

The rest of the album is perfectly decent, if unspectacular, and if any particular cover version has escaped being singled out for my praise or ire, then I enjoyed it just fine. I think, for a listener such as myself who is very familiar with Paul McCartney's back catalogue, I would have appreciated more of an adventurous choice of material, whereas this whole project is almost a greatest hits, with a couple of curve balls. I suppose it is no surprise that I enjoyed the less obvious covers a great deal more than hearing yet another rendition of "Hey Jude" and "Let It Be" for the gazillionth time in my life. Even then, B.B. King's "On The Way" and Smokey Robinson's "So Bad" weren't obvious choices and neither of them particularly improved on the originals. There are, however, lots of nice versions of McCartney classics to be enjoyed here, but only a handful of songs particularly excel which, I suppose, balances out the handful of stinkers nicely. I'm sure that other people listening to the album will have their personal favourites as well as the ones which don't quite hit the mark, but "The Art Of McCartney" is a worthwhile purchase for anyone who loves Macca's music, as well as fans of the artists who have contributed.


A Cynic, A Realist, An Undertaker
A Cynic, A Realist, An Undertaker
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £5.88

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant album from a massive talent, 17 Nov. 2014
During October 2014, I went to The Lexington, one of my favourite music venues in London, to see the immensely talented Nicole Atkins perform. I happened to mention this on Twitter the night before and a couple of my music-loving friends immediately told me in no uncertain terms to make sure I didn’t miss the support act, David J. Roch, a singer-songwriter from Sheffield. Having discovered quite a few great musicians by turning up early for the support acts, I normally make it a policy to get to the venue for when the doors open, but getting a tip-off about a particularly good artist from people who know great music added to the anticipation leading up to that evening’s music. Well, my friends hadn’t exaggerated; David J. Roch and his band played a dazzling set that demanded and received the attention of the Lexington crowd. His voice is a beautiful instrument, with a dazzling range and a masterful control of dynamics and the music, often subtle, folk-influenced songs which explode into powerful sonic waves of spine-tingling emotion, nothing short of captivating. The purchase of David’s two albums, “Skin & Bones” and his new record, “A Cynic, A Realist, An Undertaker” was a foregone conclusion after just a couple of songs.

The title of David’s latest album seems to be rather baffling, until you discover that, by day, he actually is an undertaker, dealing with death and loss on a daily basis. That rather rare insight his profession gives him and, as I can only imagine, the amount of time someone in that profession must spend facing both mortality and a wide spectrum of human emotions manifests itself in his thought-provoking lyrics, which have a depth and profundity as rare and beautiful as the accompanying music. Some of the subjects covered on the album are often heavy going and it is apparent that extreme emotional highs and lows have been attained to have the life-experience required to convey written words as pained and fraught as some of lyrics featured on this album, but they are a huge part of what makes it such a compelling work of art. Produced partly by The Bad Seeds’ Jim Sclavunos and Roch’s long-time collaborator David Sanderson, it is stressed in the liner notes just how much “time, thought, effort and patience” went into the making of this album and it truly shows. The songs are meticulously crafted and the performances creeping into the realms of perfection; this is the kind of album that cries out for a really good sound system to play it on in order to enjoy the full dynamic range, intricacies and emotional impact of the music.

In addition to the production and performances sounding aesthetically pleasing, “A Cynic, A Realist, An Undertaker” is absolutely packed full of memorable songs. “Don’t Let Go Yet” simply aches with emotion as David pleads “Don’t offer hope if you’ve no intention of staying” to his partner in one of those fractured relationships many listeners will be able to relate to; it is a magnificent performance and the emotional punch utterly convincing. “Hearts & Minds” is a gentler take on the theme of dying love and betrayal, with the graceful, poignant strings and Roch’s delicate vocals expressing the fragility of his emotions beautifully. The dark clouds gather over “Hell To Pay”, a deep, brooding track with an almost menacing air which builds to a powerful, dramatic conclusion. Closer to an actual love song, but still rather tortured and generally fatalistic is the superb “Love Remains” which features the beautiful vocals of Rachel Sermanni and a gently swelling, sun breaking through the clouds chorus. The almost impossibly gorgeous “Can’t Seem To Find You Now” sees Roch longing for a past love with such heartbreaking intensity that it’s difficult to get through it without becoming a little misty-eyed yourself. There is also a lovely bonus version of the track at the end of the CD album which has the addition of Sermanni.

Continuing the theme of love and betrayal, the accusatory, almost vicious “Rain” is arrestingly brilliant as David howls with pain and indignation as the trumpets snarl and snap along with the wronged protagonist. “Darling, you’ll have to stand and be judged one day, by your maker!”, Roch proclaims. Hell hath no fury like a singer-songwriter scorned, but when it sounds as astonishingly good as this track, you forgive him every ounce of vitriol. I would have to hesitate if asked to compare David J. Roch with any other artists. There are touches of Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley, Damian Rice and even classic folk-influenced classic artists such as Simon & Garfunkel sprinkled lightly all over this record, but it would be a stretch of the imagination to actually state that Roch sounds specifically like any of them. He brings too much originality and individual character to his music for any comparisons to comfortably stick. All-in-all, “A Cynic, A Realist, An Undertaker” is certainly one of the greatest albums to be released this year and a contender for one of the best break-up albums of all time. This rather amazing piece of work will resonate deeply with those who have been through the intense emotional roller-coaster that comes with losing someone they deeply loved; the hurt, betrayal, anger, hope and desperation… even the weary acceptance, David J. Roch has captured it all within some achingly beautiful, astonishingly excellent music. Downright essential.


Mattel Games Bounce Off Game
Mattel Games Bounce Off Game
Offered by a1 Toys
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My kids (aged 8 and 11) really like it!, 10 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Mattel Games Bounce Off Game (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I ordered “Bounce Off” for my eight and eleven year old kids, as something a bit different for them to do together. It has proved to be quite popular and they are still going back to it every few days even though they have had it for about a month. They both find it challenging and yet not too difficult, meaning that it is something they will persevere with instead of giving up; sometimes a tricky balance to achieve. The game itself is quite a simple concept, you have to bounce small, light balls into a grid of holes and achieve the pattern that is printed on the cards. You need plenty of room to play the game, but if you have a large family dining table, that is about perfect. The only slight negative is that there are only nine different patterns to achieve and a greater variety of patterns would keep the game a little more interesting. Other than that, it seems to be very good entertainment for slightly older children and, as such, my girls have both instructed me to give it five out of five, so who am I to argue?


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