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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for Everyone
Jon Crosby's first record ('Visual Audio Sensory Theater') was full of dark brooding soundscapes, mixing a gothic feel and Gregorian chanting to create a beautiful, if not immediately accessible, record. For VAST's sophomore effort, he's recruited a full band line up and made a more traditional record, based around recognisable songs.
This time round, there's a...
Published on 27 Mar. 2002 by Ben Saunders

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promises much, but delivers very little....
I first heard of VAST in 1998, when the first album caused such a stir in 'metal' circles. A friend and myself both bought it and were struck by just how good it was. Sure, it was derivative, but it was so atmospheric and moody. A great album.
Thus, I expected a great deal from this one. At first listen I wasn't disappointed, but on further listening the cracks...
Published on 21 Sept. 2000 by setnakht4


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for Everyone, 27 Mar. 2002
By 
Ben Saunders (Stirling, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Music for People (Audio CD)
Jon Crosby's first record ('Visual Audio Sensory Theater') was full of dark brooding soundscapes, mixing a gothic feel and Gregorian chanting to create a beautiful, if not immediately accessible, record. For VAST's sophomore effort, he's recruited a full band line up and made a more traditional record, based around recognisable songs.
This time round, there's a strong influence of U2, and even the Beatles. Overall, the sound's a commercial industrial one similar to Filter or recent Stabbing Westward - still recognisably VAST, orchestral arrangements and Theatre of Voices samples, but with more accessible song structures, reminiscent of moments like 'Temptation' and 'Three Doors' on the first album.
First single, 'Free', sees Jon transform from the quiet, behind the scenes producer of the first album to an extrovert rock star, shouting defiantly 'You can't tell me what to do anymore'. That's not to say these songs aren't laden with plenty of pop hooks though, and nor does most of the album come over as heavy - much of it is actually slow contemplative orchestral ballads focusing on themes loss or sorrow, such as 'I Don't Have Anything' and 'Land of Shame'.
Whereas the first album mixed 'proper songs' with abstract instrumental sections, and worked better as a whole than any of its parts, most of this one consists of songs that could stand alone. Some fans of the first will doubtless be disappointed, and maybe even see the commercialisation of the sound as 'selling out'. That this record is more immediately accessible doesn't, however, mean it deteriorates with listening, in fact I'd say it's at least as good as the first, albeit in a slightly different style.
Opener 'The Last One Alive' is one of my personal favourites, somehow building in 'na-na-na' and the lines 'You won't find me cause I'll be/ On top a mountain pissing on your grave' into an anthemic tune without sounding stupid! It also sets the tone for the album's contemplation of loss - songs such as 'What Else Do I Need' and the later answer 'My TV & You'.
Rockier moments such as 'Free' and 'The Gates of Rock 'n' Roll' keep the mood from getting too downbeat. Despite its heavier points though, the album rarely deviates from its slow tempo and string arrangements; borne out by ballads such as 'A Better Place' and the closing track (and only instrumental) 'Lady of Dreams' this really is 'Music For People', in fact, it's music for everyone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not VAST part 2, 17 Jan. 2001
By 
Ben Saunders (Stirling, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: MUSIC FOR PEOPLE (Audio CD)
I'm not sure if that's good or bad. VAST now are more of a band than a solo project, and this album's a lot more about songs than one long soundscape. It's not like 'Visual...' or 'Free', but it's genuinely diverse and wonderful. 'Free' is one of the heavier moments, while 'My TV and you' is calmer. I'm still trying to suss this album out, it always offers something new, and the best songs aren't always the ones that first stand out. A very accomplished album from a pretty unique band, who have achieved critical acclaim from all over the musical spectrum (well, maybe not Steps fans, but my mum likes it and so do quite a few metal fans like myself) - you'll certainly get most from this if you're broad minded.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful VAST music !, 14 Nov. 2000
This review is from: Music for People (Audio CD)
I got Music For People by VAST a couple of weeks ago and was totally blown away !. This has got to be one of the best albums of the year !!. Jon Crosby creates a sweeping soundscape mixing rock, goth, classical and vocal chanting to produce a record of impressive scope. The luscious dreamy Lady of Dreams mixes a sumptuous string arrangement with guitar to make a simple but hauntingly beautiful song. Land of Shame and Blue sound stunningly Beatle-esque while the current single the uplifting, defiant Free is probably the rockiest ?! song on the album!. If you can imagine a hybrid between The Cure, U2, NIN, with a bit of the Beatles and an orchestra thrown in you'll maybe come up with VAST !...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vast do it again !, 6 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Music for People (Audio CD)
First of all, I am sick of people saying that this isn't as good as the first album. It's DIFFERENT to the first album, but still excellent in it's own right. It's definetely not as dark as the first album, and after my first listen (expecting more of Visual Audio Sensory Theater) I was slightly disappointed. However, listening to Music For People a second time (and not thinking of it as a sequel to the first album) I was able to appreciate that this is still a very professional piece of music. True, in some places you do feel that Jon Crosby has ditched the dark side of his music to replace it with almost happy choruses and a generally more mainstream feel, but a proper listen to the lyrics reveals that he is still far from writing unrealistic "nice" music. On top of this, all the songs sound very professional and well put together. Okay, some of the songs may take a few listens, but then so did some off the original album, and once they grew on you, you didn't forget them. More to the point, once they all grow on you, you have to admit there isn't even one track that you want to skip (a rare thing on most CDs these days!). If you've got a wide taste in music, like myself, then you'll appreciate Jon Crosby's fusion of the best elements from so many musical styles. I'm just waiting for the third album !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what you expect, but great anyway., 25 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Music for People (Audio CD)
After listening to "free" on MTV2 it was so good I thought I'd go and buy the album, so I did. I was expecting the album to be like the song "free" but its nothing like that, most of the tracks are very slow. That may turn a lot of people away, but I really enjoy this album anyway, simply because its really melodic and the jon crosby has a great voice and is obviously a great songwriter. If you like nirvana's MTV unplugged in new york you will love this.
The standout track has to be "free", its a classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars New Sounds..., 16 Mar. 2004
By 
A. CARTER "lovebeingamommy" (Virginia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: MUSIC FOR PEOPLE (Audio CD)
Vast have been one of my favorite bands ever since the first time I heard their music. The albums are just that good--from the first listen you want to listen more. Their sound is very original and may not be for everyone, but that is the beauty about it. I am proud to be a van of VAST and record sales or no record sales don't contribute to my opinion. They rock!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album just draws you in., 31 Oct. 2000
By 
NFFC Lad (Buckinghamshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Music for People (Audio CD)
I can't say I was really a fan of VAST until the single 'Free' came along on MTV2. I loved the track and the album certainly does not disappoint. Jon Crosby's history of listening to classical music is very evident. The album as a whole doesn't sound too much like 'Free' at all - it's very melodic and orchestral, and after a couple of listens it really grows on you. If you like 'Euphoria Morning' by Chris Cornell and laid back, introspective stuff like that I reckon you'll enjoy this. I'd love to be able to listen to other CDs as well - my hi-fi just won't let go of 'Music For People'! Fantastic stuff.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promises much, but delivers very little...., 21 Sept. 2000
This review is from: Music for People (Audio CD)
I first heard of VAST in 1998, when the first album caused such a stir in 'metal' circles. A friend and myself both bought it and were struck by just how good it was. Sure, it was derivative, but it was so atmospheric and moody. A great album.
Thus, I expected a great deal from this one. At first listen I wasn't disappointed, but on further listening the cracks began to appear. For me it was the reverse scenario of 'the music growing on you'. It 'fell away' from me! The more I listened the more superficial and 'sugary' it seemed. Where the first album had a vision and a feeling, this one just seemed to have a facade and no depth. There are good moments, but the weak ones outweigh them for me. I'm truly disappointed, I don't look forward to many album releases.
If it's easy listening with a pretend attitude you're after, then Jon Crosby is clearly the guy for you....
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a VERY GOOD CD, 22 Jan. 2001
This review is from: Music for People (Audio CD)
If I could I would give this CD 4 1/2 stars, because it is that good. Personally, I prefer this one to Visual Audio Sensory Theatre. Although it's not as dark as the above, Music For People has some really beautiful music in it, especially the last track which is a lovely romanticised instrumental. I'm not going to pick out any more individual tracks because they are all fantastic, and you should go and buy the CD and listen to it yourself. Yes the music is very slightly more mainstream, and is different to the first album, but it is very GOOD!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 31 Oct. 2000
This review is from: Music for People (Audio CD)
I have read reviews of Music For People, obviously written by people expecting a metal album and not liking it. Have you not listened to Visual Audio Sensory Theatre? It's not a metal album. Buy this album, by the end of 'Last Man Alive' you'll be hooked. Yes it can be gentle, yes it is different, but boy is it passionate! If you can listen to 'My TV and You' without at least one whistful sigh you have no feelings. He is on tour soon I'll see you there.
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