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Guy A Johnson (UK)

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Electric
Electric
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 21 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Electric (MP3 Download)
Haven't got anything extra to add here - but just wanted the chance to add my 5 stars. Read the other positive reviews - they truly reflect the exquisite energy of this new PSB outing. Like Relentless Part II - with a bit more structure. Highlight - Vocal. :-)


Love is a Bourgeois Construct (Remixes)
Love is a Bourgeois Construct (Remixes)
Price: £3.39

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic mixes & extra tracks, 21 Sep 2013
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Brilliant mixes & brilliant value. Love the extra tracks - a bit more experimental and interesting - delving less into melody and more into the electronic sounds of Kraftwerk.


Rewind The Film
Rewind The Film
Price: £19.62

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Show me the wonder!, 21 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Rewind The Film (Audio CD)
A fantastic follow to 'Postcards' - an album that sounded just like a greatest hits album. Each song could have been a single. Here, the opposite is true - it's full of album tracks, with some potential singles. The motown-ish 'Show me the wonder' is a perfect example of the latter category, as is 'Builder of Routines'. 'Rewind the Film' is utterly beautiful and worthy of its length. Final track '30-Year War' - another masterpiece. Buy it - and sit down and listen to it. It isn't all immediate - but it is worth the investment. As far from 'Generation Terrorists' as they could get, the nearest Manics album it resembles is 'This is my truth' - but don't let that put you off. In truth, for a Manic format and sound, its standalone.

Beautiful and arty, brooding and melodic - an album full of wonder!


The Carrier (Culver Valley Crime)
The Carrier (Culver Valley Crime)
by Sophie Hannah
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex, accomplished & wonderfully intelligent, 12 Sep 2013
I am an avid fan of Sophie Hannah, having read every one of her psychological crime novels, and The Carrier does not disappoint. It has a complex plot, peppered with odd situations, some of which may seem incredulous, and, like these situations, her regular characters are also quite odd - Simon Waterhouse and the Snowman in particular, who both have their own particular way of doing things.
However, whilst some readers have found this frustrating, this for me is what makes Sophie's novels stand out. She really delves deep into the psychological twists and turns of her characters' minds, maps these throughout her stories as much as she does the narrative surprises. The result is something very unpredictable and quite unique; I don't know any other psychological crime writer who quite pulls it off in the same way. She also makes you think - the motives and the reasoning she unveils don't always sit comfortably; they jar against what we might have naturally assumed. Maybe this is what frustrates some readers, what they find a little too far-fetched - for me, it is the absolute joy here. Mainly entertained, I'm also being challenged a little - a little like anyone who has to work alongside or live with the exasperating yet very clever character Simon Waterhouse.
Avoiding spoilers, the story centres around Tim, awaiting trial for a murder someone else says he didn't commit - but Tim is adamant he did it and has people to eager to back up his story. Further, he's also resolute that he had no motive at all. The cover blurb suggests that maybe he's done something worse than murder...
As with her other books, the point of view alternates between 1st person narrative - in this case a close friend of Tim's, Gaby, who gets drawn into finding the truth - and the 3rd person narrative from Charlie Zailer and her police colleagues - cleverly switching your perceptive as you finish one view and begin another.
Overall, another fantastic novel from Sophie Hannah. Cleverly plotted, wonderfully characterised and a story that doesn't give up the very last of its twists and turns until the close. No wonder Sophie has been asked to write the forthcoming Poirot novel - now there's something to look forward to...


Axis
Axis
Price: £0.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 5 May 2013
This review is from: Axis (MP3 Download)
Love it! Best PSB track in a long time. It's relevant, it's massive. Stuart Price has taken their disco sound and brought it right up to date - for once. They can be forgiven for Winner and Together now. They even make dancing cattle look very cool in the video. Shades of Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk have been suggested - but ultimately it's very, very them. Deserves to be huge in sales as well as sound - it won't be, but who cares when they've just produced their finest track since the 90's?


Axis
Axis
Price: £0.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enormous track, 5 May 2013
This review is from: Axis (MP3 Download)
This track is outstanding - I'm a huge fan, and some of their recent singles - Winner, Together - have not been my favourites and would not have attracted me to them in the first place. But Axis? Blimey. It's a huge track - in length, in sound, and in it's timing too. It's exactly what is 'of the moment' in pop music and PSB are in there, leading the way (for the first time in a long time). Lots of comparisons have been made - Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx - but for me it's like Stuart Price took their 1993 album Relentless and gave it his magic twist. And to be clear - this isn't a retro, 90's sound at all. It's massive. Sound effects everywhere and it really builds, returning to each segment in the track with a variation or a new depth. In the video, their dancers even dress up as cattle and make it look cool. So deserves to be huge - it won't be, of course - but who cares when they've just made their best track since the 90's?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2013 1:17 PM BST


Overgrown
Overgrown
Price: £7.59

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishingly beautiful, 15 April 2013
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This review is from: Overgrown (Audio CD)
Where to begin describing Overgrown? I'm going to struggle, as I've not heard anything like James Blake before. As with his self-titled debut, it's simply unlike anything else. (Unless I've simply not listened to enough music.) Not sure who to compare him to or which genre to put him in. It's experimental, soulful, jarring, distorted, melodic and serves the unexpected - although, that said, this is exactly what I expected album number two to sound like.
Blake has a great vision for his musical landscapes. There's a sense it's all in his head and it's not something you can simply reproduce on sheet music - maybe a storyboard, instead? Maybe.
Opening and title track, Overgrown, is subtly beautiful and one of the least experimental tracks on the album, luring you in with an underplayed soulful voice, gradually building synths and percussion.
I Am Sold sees the experimental production values switched up a notch, but the musicality is just as rich, in particular the way Blake uses and plays with his remarkable voice.
By track three - Life Round Here - the synths do a little more of the quirky stuff and the landscape continues to build.
I'm not going to cover this track by track, but needless to say - in my view - there isn't a duff one here. I'm on my fifth listen and still finding surprises, still trying to hold onto the tunes and not quite managing it - a good thing, I know I'm not going to bore of this easily.
Parting track - Our Love Comes Back - brings the album full circle to something similar to the beginning - soulful voice, subtly building synths and underplayed sound effects.
If you particularly welcome the more experimental works of Radiohead, Elbow and Kate Bush, then this should appeal - I say should, because I really don't know. That's just the nearest I can get to a comparison; that's the nearest I can get to understanding just why I'm so drawn to this artist.
Final word on it all: astonishing.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 23, 2013 6:31 PM BST


Bloodsports
Bloodsports
Offered by Sent2u
Price: £10.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hit Me... With Your Majesty...., 15 April 2013
This review is from: Bloodsports (Audio CD)
On hearing there was a new Suede album in the offing, I had my fingers crossed that lessons from their last outing had been learnt and that, as well as reviving that classic Suede sound, there might be something of a development in sound, too. Asking too much? Maybe. Did they deliver? I think they did.
For me, it has the colour and poppiness of Coming Up, but with a slightly maturer, fuller sound. Opener Barriers, and the catchy Hit Me could both fit nicely between any of the tracks of their singles albums. It Starts and Ends With You is classic Suede - a few listens and you are singing along as if you've known and loved it for years; I honestly didn't expect to find a new Suede song I liked as much as this. Whilst slower tracks like the dreamy Sometimes I Feel I Float Away and closer Faultlines grow at each and every listen.
Overall, Bloodsports has perfect mix of instant tracks and growers. Whilst a throwback to their 90's heyday, it sounds fresh and contemporary, rather than a colour-by-numbers attempt to replicate past success. At ten tracks, they avoid any fillers - similar in length and impact to Coming Up and avoiding the flaws that marred Head Music in places.
It maybe is too early to say, but if Bloodsports is not the best Suede album, it is definitely on its way to being my favourite.


Kind of Cruel: Culver Valley Crime Book 6
Kind of Cruel: Culver Valley Crime Book 6
by Sophie Hannah
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute triumph - I loved it!, 5 Nov 2012
Let's make it clear from the outset - I absolutely love Sophie Hannah's books. She is one of the authors I anticipate very highly. So, I'd find it hard not to give a good review - but I thought Kind of Cruel was one of her very best.
I see a number of less favourable reviews here and I think one reason I don't agree is that I really like the odd (and at times testing) relationship between Simon and Charlie. In this instalment, you get a bit closer and it's in keeping with the psychological slant Sophie always takes.
What I particularly love - and it appears to be what others find hard to swallow or even unbelievable - is the fact that her clues are made up of ordinary, domestic details which - through clever narrative plotting and by interweaving psychological oddities - are quirky, interesting and, ultimately, gripping. These novels are very clearly well researched and, as well as being page-turners, are fascinating and utterly original.
In Kind of Cruel, different narrative techniques are used to excellent effect and this further draws the reader in and is an excellent plot device that delivers twists and keeps you guessing.
So, if you like the flawed relationship of our oddball lovers and have enjoyed the Sophie Hannah's previously intricately plotted domestic/psychological thrillers, I urge to you pick this one up - very soon.
If those are the bits you didn't like - that's a shame. I think what others here have highlighted as flaws are in fact the very point and are what makes these novels - for me - stand out.
Next one is out February 13 - not wanting to wish time away, but it can't come too soon. Another triumph!


Elysium
Elysium
Offered by Side Two
Price: £3.99

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their very best, 11 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Elysium (Audio CD)
It's probably very close to Behaviour in its feel and the less uptempo sound overall. But - like Behaviour - it work very well as an album. If you're after another Very or Yes - you're in the wrong place. Don't be fooled by Winner - the weakest track. Highlights are A Face Like That, Leaving, Have A Go and the absolutely glorius Requiem In Denim & Leopardskin - up there with Being Boring. Truly wonderful.


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