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Sam harris

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Rock., 30 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Badmotorfinger (Audio CD)
This is nothing but pure rock/metal, they don't stop. Their are no mellow songs on this album.
These songs are perfect and you can listen to this album with out skipping a track.

Chris Cornell sets the bar for any future vocalist, with the power of Robert Plant, the range of Freddie Mercury and a stage presence as big as Michael Jackson. He's the complete package. Here are some key vocal moments courtesy of vocal expert Youtube Timi T.

>B4s on Rusty Cage, D5 and F5s on Slaves and Bulldozers, F#5s on holy water, a falsetto A5 on Face Pollution and my personal favorite the scream going from D5 up to G#5 on Jesus Christ Pose. Also there's an amazing scream at the start of New Damage.

Lyrically as well Chris does the bulk of the writing, some of his lyrics are freakin' incredible, Johnny Cash covered Rusty Cage on the strength of it's lyrics, In Outshined Chris invents a phrase which people have been saving for years 'I'm lookin California and feelin' Minnesota' Then theirs the Fiery lyrics of Jesus Christ Pose which contrary to popular belief is not about blaspheming it's about the fake christian ministers who feel they're better than you when they haven't done S***. Drawing Flies (My favorite Soundgarden song) is just amazing, heck I brush my teeth to this song the lyrics are outstanding.

Kim Thayil warped guitar walks a fine line between metal and psychedelic and it sounds damn good, Ben bass is played strapless and badass, catchy dark rhythms on every song. And I haven't even got words to describe how awesome Matt is drumming, he truly is one of the greatest drummers of the last generation.

All in all this is one of the greatest pure rock albums in all it's majesty begging to be listened to again and again, it get outshined by Superunknown, but personally I think this album is just as good or maybe even better, where there are a few more pop influenced songs or soft songs (Black Hole Sun, Fell on Black Days) on Superunknown but on Badmotorfinger the rock never stops and that's why it's just incredible.

King Animal
King Animal
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.84

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Grunge Album, 9 Sept. 2013
This review is from: King Animal (Audio CD)
Ok. I know a lot of people will say "grunge is a media term for the rock bands in Seattle" but I imagine this is what a grunge album was meant to sound like, .

Chris' vocals have no doubt weakened, I mean come on he's 48 here. However although his power has gone and his roar has become of a whine, His range is still there. Chris is still one of the best vocalists outshined by his past self. He really brings out the richness in his low singing. For examples of his vocal prowess the high notes on By Crooked Steps, A thousands days before and Eyelid's Mouth are still jaw dropping and he still belts out a few screams here and there on Rowing, Non State Actor and Taree.

The unusual time signatures can throw new listens off but its a signature part of a Soundgarden song and it's one of the makes them unique. Kim's guitar is even more catchy and every song has a riff that will be stuck in your head for days (Been Away Too Long, Attrition) Matt is still one of the busiest drummers around, with Matt smashes away to perfection (Non-State Actor, Attrition) and Ben once again delivers the dark funky bass and some nice backing vocals.

The lyrics are beautiful, multilayered and gothic, Bones of Birds, Black Saturday and Rowing are my personal favorite lyrically, Rowing being a metaphorical story of not knowing what the point of life is, the mechanical repetition of rowing comparing it to life and the further we go through life the more we lose our innocence "Rowing is bleeding and bleeding is breathing, Breathing is feeling burning and freezing, Keep getting dirty but I started out clean"
Black Saturday is a beautiful acoustic number where Chris does his best country vocals although I still haven't figured out what the song is about, whether it is religion, a past love or growing old. Who know's all I know is these lyrics are some Chris' best.
Bones of Birds is about having children and trying to bring them up the best you can in a work so broken, Chris says "it's about not wanting them to lose their innocence" (Tried to build on bones of birds).

This album is a work of art ranging from the rocky fist pumping By Crooked Step and the guitar driven been away too long, to the more mainstream pop sounds of Halfway There (which sounds like a Carry On outtake), the psychedelic bluesy tunes Bones of Birds to the folk/country Black Saturday. I would actually rank this as my 3rd Soundgarden album. Everything adds another layer to this album, Chris' range is at its widest since Superunknown, They all play with perfect chemistry it's hard to believe that this is their first album for over 15 years and they're already working on a new album!

Welcome back to the King's of Rock, The alpha males of grunge it really has Been Too Long.

Stay Positive
Stay Positive
Price: £10.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Best?, 5 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Stay Positive (Audio CD)
There isn't a track on this album which doesn't beg to be played again and again.
It's a summer album and it feels like it.

Craig's vocals are his best in this album, clearer but just as gritty and rocky as usual. It helps because you can hear every part of drunken poetry can be heard.
Speaking of drunken poetry, this album once again shows us why Craig is quite possibly the greatest lyricist of this generation.
The prime example is Both Crosses which contains just as much religious metaphors as any song on Separation Sunday. The lyrics are well crafted.
Obviously the guitar solos are present, ranging from the barre chord anthems to the perfect finger picking on songs like Lord, i'm Discouraged. It's classic rock.
As Craig Finn announced in the first track "our songs are singalong songs" and he's right. Perfect examples are Stay Positive and Slapped Actress with chants perfect for live performances.

Every song consists of layers and layers everytime you listen you appreciate the lyrics, the singing, the guitar work and the crazy keyboard/piano pounding just a little bit more and how they all work in unison to create an almost perfect album possibly their best.

And the believe the message of this album is bad stuff happens, but you can get through it, Stay Positive. And I think that just adds to this album's awesomeness.

It's going to take a lot of listens to fully appreciate the songs though so make sure you give it a chance.

Across a Wire
Across a Wire
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £6.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain., 25 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Across a Wire (Audio CD)
It's so damn cheap, for 2 CD's as well.

The first CD is from their VH1 Storytellers session, which consists of stripped down intimate versions of their songs, played softly and told as stories. You can feel the emotion seep out from your speakers. The Highlights are Round Here, Mr Jones and Anna Begins. It really sets Adam out as one of the best lyricists of the last generation. The lyrics come alive when he sings them with such soul, they really reinvent every song.

The Second CD is are more like the other original songs. That'll make you want to "get the hell up" The highlights are 'A long December' and 'A Murder of One'.
They really play with passion here.

Although it seems strange for a band with only 2 studio records to release a live album. You won't be disappointed and for such a small price it's just such a bargain.

Dandys Rule Ok
Dandys Rule Ok
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £13.89

4.0 out of 5 stars A Dandy Dandy Debut, 25 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dandys Rule Ok (Audio CD)
No 2 songs sound the same. And although a few songs are a bit bland and the Rave Ups outstay their welcome there are some real rocky and soulful tunes.

This album has a mix of different songs, they range from the fun pop T.V. Theme Song, to the beautiful 'Just Try', From funky rock tune 'Grunge Betty', to psychedelic electric Jam sessions and the Bluesy 'Not Your Bottle'.

Although it's not my favorite Dandy Warhols album and I would recommend 13 tales or Welcome to the Monkey House for starter albums. But this is a solid album which every Dandy fan should have in their collection.

Lonely Avenue
Lonely Avenue
Offered by Side Two
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical Stories., 8 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lonely Avenue (Audio CD)
Okay. So my initial reaction was that this album was a bit average, nothing special and the only song I really loved was From Above.

But when you actually take the time to really listen to this album (I had it on my Ipod) then you realize the beauty of the song or should I say musical stories.
After a few listens these songs really stood out.
>A Working Day - The first track, at less than 2 minutes its more of an introduction tune, however Hornby is spot on with the lyrics which are hilarious and Ben arranges the music perfectly. My favorite line from the album "Some guy on the net thinks I suck and he should know, he's got his own blog".
>Picture Window - This song is tragic, Hornby's lyrics paints us a picture of a mother in hospital with her dying son and trying not to get her hopes up just to get them crushed. It'll definitely grab at your heartstrings.
>Levi Johnston's Blues, This is a lot of fun based on the boy who had a one night stand with Sarah Palin's daughter and was expected to change his religious views and grow up apparently the funny; insanely catchy chorus is from his tweets.
>Your Dogs - We all have that neighbor who blares out their music or makes too much noise, hopefully it's you with this track on full volume. Ben pounds away on his piano to perfection, every key is hit perfectly, real funky, funny tune.
>Practical Amanda - This is a lovely song, most couples will have the practical one and the dreamer. Hornby may not have the voice to sing this too his wife but Ben does beautifully, he sings with passion in this one. And when he belts out "I've got no time for dates and plans, no I'm to busy dreaming" You'll have goosebumps everywhere.
>Belinda - It's about an aged singer who's one hit is about his ex, and everytime he sings this song it reminds him of how he messed up. Not only is this beautiful but there's a hidden version of it probably suggesting what the song that the singer sings would sound like, it's like a cross between Elvis and The Doors. Funky stuff.

But then you've gotta wonder does Ben feel this way when he sings The Luckiest or Brick it reminds him of his failed marriage or his abortion it's truly sad to think this. It's no wonder so many singers suffer from depression.

Anyway to summarize Hornby does a fantastic job with the lyrics, making them comical, multilayered stories. He also doesn't stick to the conventional ABABAB rhyming scheme, in fact in most songs he doesn't rhyme, that's because he's a author not a songwriter and these are stories.

Ben Folds arranges the music perfectly even the strings, backing vocals, pianos ,drums, sound effects are all perfect. And Ben Folds does his best singing since Rockin' the Suburbs in my opinion.

This is a sort of project that should be repeated. I want a lonely Avenue 2.0, it wouldn't take too much time, because they never both have to be present. That's the crazy thing about this album, it's all done by Email but it sounds tighter then most bands albums nowadays.

(The only advice I would give was to not swear so much in songs, in a couple it works but in songs like Practical Amanda they just end up putting some dirt on an otherwise perfect song)

Strung Out In Heaven
Strung Out In Heaven
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.02

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Time Machine to the 60s, 3 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Strung Out In Heaven (Audio CD)
Now the Anton Newcombe probably doesn't have an original bone in his body, nearly every song he records sounds like a complete rip off of other bands but I guess after 7 years as a band and as many albums you can be expecting less inspiration more recycling old music to make new (my opinion) HOWEVER...

>It sounds freaking good, who cares whether they're ripping off bands or not when they can churn out tunes like going to hell or Nothing to lose.
They also have a gift of extremely catchy songs and repetitive lyrics.

>Spun and Love are perfect examples you'll be singing the choruses in no time.

> More key tracks include the alternative take of Dawn (originally from Methodrone), Maybe Tomorrow and Lantern.

> However a few negative moments occur, Jennifer is rather dull and Got My Eye on You is basically the slowed down guitar of Not if you were the last Dandy with some pretty poor lyrics and vocal work.

>There are an array of instruments that are played superbly, prime example is the catchiest harmonica piece since Bob Dylan's the times they're a changin' in the song Wasting Away. Despite the amount of instruments you can still hear Joel's tambourine throughout and surprisingly even though the recording was incredibly cheap and rough the instruments avoid clashing to much. Great guitar riffs and finger picking.

>The Vocals are good as well, The lead singers have 3 vocal modes, sneer, drone and British. Yet despite this using a whole bunch of vocal harmonies, it actually sounds good, Anton and Matt know what voice will suit the song and the singing in the choruses are what really stands out.

Overall 8/10 if only they had marketed their music they could have been the next Beatles and the music industry wouldn't be so awful. Well I guess immediate gratification can be a bummer in the long term.
You'll love this if you like any 60s music, literally any 60s music it's hard to believe this was released in 1998.

The Best Imitation Of Myself: A Retrospective
The Best Imitation Of Myself: A Retrospective
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £16.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to a Great Artist., 3 Aug. 2013
I think it was about 2 years back, when I saw a Ben Folds recommended video on youtube, I remembered hearing him on Over The Hedge and decided to check it out. That song was landed then it was you don't know me, Jesusland, still fighting it, Kate; basically all the music videos. Finally I wanted to get a hard copy and this seemed to be my best bet. I purchased it and I must have played that album over and over again.
What make Ben Folds stand out our his funny lyrics, his fantastic piano playing(on parr with billy Joel and Elton John), he can really make the piano rock, he's like a modern Jerry Lee Lewis, they're styles are very similar. He doesn't just play piano though for 'rockin the suburbs' he played drums, bass, guitar and piano with his wife doing backing vocals. His vocals as well, so his range is nothing special nor his power, but theirs something genuine and emotional when he sings that just hits a note listen to The Luckiest and Still to understand what I mean?

On this CD you will find songs from all his studio albums to date, Most songs will grab you the first time you listen like philosophy, underground or Annie waits. Some of them make take a few more listens...

Here I am today my new favorite band Ben Folds Five are back and I've seen them live, got 12 Ben folds/ben folds five albums and I am still looking for more. Everytime I play a Ben Folds track I always get a positive reaction, my parents love the slow mellow tunes, my friends love the piano rock songs and my twin sisters(who are 2) dance to nearly every Ben Folds song.
Ben Folds also led me to great artists like Elliott Smith and Hotel Lights.

In short this is a gateway to widening your music taste, a great introduction to one of this generations finest artists and even if you just get the album and don't buy any more Ben Folds albums I guarantee that the songs on here will be some of your favorite.

Heaven Is Whenever
Heaven Is Whenever
Price: £14.27

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are We Listening To The Same Album?, 31 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heaven Is Whenever (Audio CD)
I'm looking at these reviews and I'm thinking are we listening to the same album?

I had all the hold steady albums but I left this one til last and I was worried that their streak of 4 fantastic albums would run dry.
As soon as the opening track folk style guitar plays you know that it's not going to be the same as the other albums.
Franz and his mustache is sorely missed but they make up for it with a range of different instruments and backing vocals.

You didn't think they could churn out the same album over and over and we wouldn't get sick of it, I think this is possibly the biggest risk a band can take experimenting with genres and styles but it's the best bands that can pull it off.
Song Highlights
>Soft in the Center - A real fantastic tune, the chorus is key here. A Real singalong chorus and perfect bit of simple advice "you can't get every girl".
>Rock Problems - This is as rocky as they get on the album. Giving us our dose of Barre Chords and you know what I think we can sympathize.
>We Can Get Together - Touching, beautiful tribute to drummer Matthew Fletcher, Craig shows his soft underbelly. This is easily as good as 'First Night'; Heavenly.
>Hurricane J - A new character is introduced to us Jessie. I don't know what about the song makes it click but it's an instant hit.
>Barely Breathing - Containing a clarinet solo so you know it's good. The lyrics are funny, beats are funky and you can't help but smile when Craig Finn asks "Who the hells the blue guy?" when he is given a pamphlet of goddess Krishna.
>A Slight Discomfort - What a way to end the album, great lyrics, excellent song but I especially like the way it concludes the album, pounding drums and piano eventually fading into static.

Lyric Highlights
>Heaven is whenever we can get together
Lock your bedroom door, and listen to your records - We can Get Together
>She said the theme of this party is the industrial age, and you came in dressed like a train wreck - The Weekenders
>"And You say you're a princess, But I remain unconvinced, I've seen the guys that you've been with, They don't much like princes" A Slight Discomfort
>You can't tell people what they want to hear if you also want to tell the truth
- Soft in the Center

This is a truly incredible album, the lyrics are less metaphorical but more relatable which has it's merits, the songs are relatable and that's something they haven't achieved before. As Craig Finn once sung "our songs our singalong songs" and now they truly are.
So yeah the sounds a little more 'mainstream' but they still rock it out, the lyrics are still better than 99.99999999% of other songs being released today. Maybe we've set the bar to high. But if you compare other albums released in 2010 the lyrics are better, the music is richer and the singing has more grit than ever.

It's different for sure but that's a good thing, this means the bands here to stay because if it's a change in the product that means they've got fresh ideas and it's nice to see their creative juices flowing.
This may take 3 listens or so to get into all the tracks but listen to it with an open mind.

Live [CD + DVD NTSC]
Live [CD + DVD NTSC]
Offered by VECOSELL
Price: £27.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Before His Voice Changed, 30 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Live [CD + DVD NTSC] (Audio CD)
I'm not sure when it was but you can notice the difference between his voice on 2001 Rockin' the Suburbs and 2005 Songs for Silverman, Less range, more mature, some could say a bit richer. But if you like me prefered his voice in his early days then this is the album for you.

He hits all the right notes sometimes he actually goes higher than on the studio recording. He improvs a lot of piano, this is evident on songs like the last polka. Ben Folds is quite possibly the best rock pianist of the past 20 years.
For all the songs that you've already heard studio recordings of, expect to hear them stripped down with a much rawer sound.
But if what you haven't heard before that really make the album worth that bit extra.
>The cover of Tiny Dancer on DvD you can see him joking around with glittery glasses. Great cover as well Elton would be proud.
>The Minor Version of Song for Dumped where he totally reworks the song and you can here Darren Jessee's missing lyrics.
>The Shooting of the Front Cover when Ben poses for the front cover and tells the crowd to act angry.
>The first recording of Rock this Bitch which would later be played over 60 times in different versions.
>Silver Street A rare early studio recording was never released, It's an amazing song that would fit in on Reinhold Messner easily.
>The solo on the end of philosophy.
>One Down the real gem of this album, A rare b side, but it's a funny song about songwriting, it's really superb.

There's also the little touches, the crowd singing on 'Not the Same' and 'Army' will have you wishing you were there. He changes the lyrics on Army and Song for the dumped as well.

An overall fantastic buy, every Ben Folds fan should have it in their collection, especially the fact that you can get a used DVD and CD for under £2 from one of the most talented pianists is just unheard of.
What a Bargain.

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