3 used & new from £65.31

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Available to Download Now
Buy the MP3 album for £8.99

Bullets & Lullabies Double CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

Available from these sellers.
2 new from £76.83 1 used from £65.31

Amazon's James Rhodes Store


Special Offers and Product Promotions


Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Dec. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Warner Bros. Records
  • ASIN: B004BOJM9Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,349 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
4:00
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
2
30
1:37
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
3
30
5:18
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
4
30
5:22
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
5
30
2:13
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
6
30
6:02
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
7
30
5:01
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
8
30
4:15
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
9
30
5:32
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
10
30
3:10
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
11
30
10:20
Album Only
12
30
7:53
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
13
30
5:57
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 
14
30
6:42
Play in Library Buy: £0.99
 

Product Description

Product Description

Rhodes has forged a career through a resolutely unconventional path. As a child, he used his love of music as a form of escapism against a traumatic life of abuse. After turning down a music scholarship at the age of eighteen, Rhodes didn’t play the piano again for another decade, instead working in the City while battling drug and alcohol addiction, as well as spending time in mental institutions. The birth of his son was the catalyst he needed to quit his day job and to pursue the career he had always dreamed of.

Disc one, the ‘Bullets’ segment of the album features Rhodes’ performances of compositions by Ravel, Moszkowski, Beethoven, Chopin, Grieg, Alkan and Blumenfeld. The contrasting second disc, ‘Lullabies’, highlights music by Rachmaninov, Debussy, Grieg, Chopin, Ravel, Debussy and Brahms.

BBC Review

Bullets & Lullabies is a two-CD album that allows you to pick the disc to suit your mood. Disc one features fast and furious "Bullets", whilst the second disc of "Lullabies" is the gentler option. According to Rhodes, the album could have just as easily been called "Uppers and Downers" or "Cocaine and Benzos", a statement which pretty much sums him up.

Rhodes burst onto the music scene at the end of 2008 with his debut album, Razor Blades, Little Pills and Big Pianos. It was a racy title for what was a serious classical programme of works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Moszkowski. It's a similar dichotomy when you see him onstage – a floppy-haired, skinny-jeaned and t-shirted figure, enthusiastically describing his feelings about the music with the aid of a few sex-themed jokes. However, when he starts to play, it's an intensely classical programme with not a whiff of a crossover number. No wonder Warner Bros. Records have just snapped him up as their first ever classical musician. It's proper classical music, but in an overwhelmingly accessible package that screams mass market youth appeal.

So, on to Bullets & Lullabies, and it's the Lullabies that are more successful than the Bullets. With the latter, the passages of lightning-fast runs sometimes feel out of control, morphing into a sort of high-end fisticuffs between Rhodes and the music, as the one battles for supremacy over the other. The chief weapon in Rhodes' arsenal, other than sheer passion, is the pedal, and its heavy use occasionally renders passages a wash of loud noise. It's particularly noticeable in Ginzburg's arrangement of Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, and in Blumenfeld's Etude for the Left Hand, Op.36. However, once on to the Lullabies and away from the finger pyrotechnics, Rhodes is on firmer ground. Mily Balakirev's arrangement of the "Romanza" from Chopin's E minor Piano Concerto is a high point, playing to Rhodes' talents for making a melodic line sing, and for deftly defined ornamentation.

To a certain extent, it doesn't matter that this isn't the best piano playing in the world. It's a nice programme of works, snappily packaged. To that end, it's immensely appealing. Buy this for the classical-shy, although perhaps not for Alfred Brendel fans.

--Charlotte Gardner

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
James Rhodes's third album is, in my view, his best one yet. A double CD but each disc holds up as a separate collection of music of the highest quality. But take them as a pair and you get some idea of the bi-polar nature of this remarkable pianist, but it is not as polarised as that - the range of emotions evinced by this assortment is not as black and white as the packaging! All human life is contained within this programme of pieces - some of which you will recognise at once, others you will grow to adore. Regardless of Mr Rhodes's extraordinary journey into his present incarnation, the playing stands as some of the finest you will hear by contemporary performers. If you learn of his troubled past, it makes the beauty emanating from your speakers all the more miraculous. I have nothing short of admiration for this man - the melancholy of his 'Clair de Lune' haunts me long after the track has ended.

Buy it and love it.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I noted the 3 star review for this album which said that the recording and playing was poor and although i'm not high brow enough to be able to analyse the quality of playing, it sounds great to me. The quality of recording isn't 100%, i've got to say, i'm running an asus DX sound card and come sennheisser HD555 headphones and on one or two tracks i can hear some noise in the background when few notes are being played but this isn't noticeable once the track gets going.

On to the reason for the 5 stars and the odd review title. James Rhodes chose these songs himself, not because they're hard to play or because they're popular and would sell well but because he wanted people to hear him playing these tracks. The track selection is very personal and genuine which gives the whole album a much more emotional and heartfelt feel to it than almost any other album i've heard. It's very accessible as the CD comes with a short on why each song was selected and a bit of background on the original artists said by James Rhodes himself, shows he can be bothered which is a nice touch.

If you're just getting into or want to get into classical music then this is a brilliant album, it's accessible, has a bit of soul to it and James Rhodes is quite genuinely enthusiastic and totally besotted with the music, this is passed on to the listener in every way. This album is a bit different form most other classical albums of today, it feels more organic, he's playing because he wants to, not because it's his job to.
6 Comments 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An excellent choice of music: CD1 is active, powerful and passionate, played in James' beautifully unique and expressive style; CD2 is then soft, romantic and meditative - and if anything, even more deeply felt. The French Suites in particular are just gorgeous...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bullets & LullabiesI hate snide reviewers! Unless he is a really brilliant pianist the last reviewer was simply trying to be clever. James Rhodes has a genuine appeal and wonderful touch. His music is different, possibly because he plays with passion but not perfection. So what? I love this album and am so happy to have discovered him. Please make lots of lovely music for old ladies like me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio CD
There's an agenda here, as everywhere. Let's sell classical music to an audience wary or even snoring at the very word 'classical'. Let's make it look like a pop album, use a reasonably photogenic young pianist, let him write his own introduction and give the whole thing a suitably buzzwordy title:

Bullets & Lullabies

(Who else might that suit? Steven Seagal? ACDC? Meatloaf? Pamela Anderson?)

Yet at my record store this album played by James Rhodes is tucked away in the classical section, back corner, under the pianist's surname in the Piano section. If they really wanted to sell it to a young audience, why not put it in with the Pop music, where it might be noticed?

Anyhow, I listened with a pal, rather more analytical than me, who decided almost from the first track that he hated it, that the recording was shoddy and the playing inept. I didn't decide against it until the very end, when an intermezzo by Brahms died of old age before my very ears. BUT, I don't doubt the sincerity of the artist, and although I initially bridled at some of his notes, I couldn't fault his honesty or the scrupulous avoidance of anything academic or top-down in his approach to us.

But, as the BBC review quoted by Amazon makes clear, there's something dubious about the attempt to interest a listener by reciting the details of a tough childhood, drugs, addiction, finding a calling, redemption in music, blah blah blah. The telling statement is the bit about turning down a scholarship and taking music up again after ten years in the city boys' wilderness (if I got that right).

So, I guess I'm saying this album might, ought(?
Read more ›
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio CD
I heard James Rhodes being interviewed on radio in Sydney, Australia and was intrigued enough to purchase several of his CDs and I'm so very happy that I did so. His interpretations on all 3 CDs is as good as I expected from the interview!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Customer Discussions


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Look for similar items by category


Feedback