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Dm Blackwell "Dazmb" (UK)

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Only Child
Only Child
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - buy it, 8 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Only Child (MP3 Download)
Fabulous set of mixes. All bathed with the devine Ms Bextor's lush vocals. Fantastic - buy it.

Depeche Mode : Monument - the English ed
Depeche Mode : Monument - the English ed
by Dennis Burmeister
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More MONUMENTAL than Monument, 8 Mar. 2014
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Easy to read, fascinating and essential for all Mode lovers. Seeing all the German, English and US vinyl releases in pictures with associated catalogue numbers and press releases, together with promotional items for every single and album is wonderful and credit to the authors for this detail. Their labour of love has paid off, and is one which must not be underestimated.

One or two typo's in the German to English translation process that has taken place, but nothing major.

A fabulous book, worth every penny. Buy it. End of story.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 13, 2014 8:40 PM GMT

Rebellion (Lies)
Rebellion (Lies)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Version - SEB Shows Her Class, 15 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Rebellion (Lies) (MP3 Download)
Probably as good as Arcade Fires original, songs like this are a one fingered gesture to all those who dismiss Sophie Ellis Bextor as fluff pop princess. She is a great singer with a voice that is unique, and you can actually understand the words she is singing. How rare is that in these days of nasally female vocalists who don't so much sing each word so much as kill each word with vibrato.

Saw her at O2 Academy London a couple of years ago singing this song - a brilliant and criminally underated British talent.

Price: £6.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A future classic perhaps?, 15 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Brilliant (Audio CD)
Partly a review but also my thoughts and response to an Amazon review slating this album relative to the 'comeback' albums of both Tears for Fears and OMD.

I like all three of the bands (although not a hardcore fan of any) so I have to contra that opinion. I'd say that TFF definately did NOT pull it off with Everyone Loves A Happy Ending. I have never heard an album so overated by the fans on Amazon. There are far too many filler tracks and nowhere near enough innovation for it to be worth it's Amazon 5 stars. Remembering that TFF left off still a massive band with Seeds Of Love selling 5 + million, but the comeback album went almost unacknowledged by the media. It was a commercial flop too, and listening to it it's not surprising it did not break through to mainstream success in the end. If they wanted to achieve being a 100% clone copy of The Beatles they have succeeded, but it is frankly a bland version of Seeds of Love with all the best bits of that album thrown in the bin leaving just a cluttered 60's sonic pastiche to fill in the gaps left behind. No more than 4 good tracks on the album in total (and one of them is a UK edition bonus track). A sad end to a former brilliantly innovative duo who have written some of the most memorable and enduring pop songs in history.

I will say that OMD pulled off the making of a great album with History of Modern. I loved it overall and it's a very very good album for sure (one of the best of 2010 I'd say) but I'm hearing no filler on Brilliant - HoM has too many tracks on it and they are not all strong enough to make one fully coherent album to my ears anyway.

Brilliant on the other hand is just one track less but more concise (still one track too many though), and Ultravox have given it a fighting chance by laying out a far clearer sense of what the album is about and where it is going start to finish. Like OMD they have managed to maintain their wonderful sonic signature from yesterday and update it with todays electonics. I'd say slightly more successfully than OMD managed though, as Brilliant is dark and unmistakably Ultravox throughout where as the second half of HoM after Sister Marie Says drifts off into sounding too generically radio-friendly 'happy' MOR pop. Some of the songs production and instrumentation could be from any number of bands, with only Andy's singing giving it away. You can't say that about Brilliant. The drums, Violin, guitar, piano and synths are all signature Ultravox start to finish.

Brilliant is brilliant IMO, as close to 5 stars as damn it it can't be rated at 4 as it's far greater than it should or could be expected to be. Strong songs, fine arrangements and quality production abound. First listen and it's effortlessly impressive. But listening over and over (on a good Hi-Fi) and you start to hear the high quality mastering and the intricate sonic details that make it so much better than the poor quality 'walls of sound' that so many bands and producers foist on our ears these days.

The test of a great album for me is if it rushes by your ears quickly and is over before you know it without having any moments where you consider skipping tracks or are conscious that you are not loving what you are hearing - and on that basis Brilliant scores top marks. I feel surprised that it is such a great album, but then again perhaps we should of expected nothing less from a combination of Ultravox and Steve Lipson.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2016 12:08 PM GMT

The Wall [Experience Edition]
The Wall [Experience Edition]
Price: £19.58

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Wall = What happens when one ego / influence takes over a band...., 22 April 2012
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To my ears The Wall is a bit of a rambling and unfocused mess - a hotch-potch of ideas that don't quite work. For that reason it never really hits the highs of DSOTM or WYWH.

I'm not interested in taking sides in the Waters / Gilmour battle, but for me if it wasn't for Mr Gilmour's two relatively straight to point songs (Comfortably Numb + Run Like Hell) the album would be even more unfocussed than I feel it already is.

However you can't ignore some of Roger's moments of brilliance on the album. But I feel it's a shame that his total input was not more focussed for the good of the project. Perhaps his influence was simply to great at that point, choking all others off... who knows.

So there is enough greatness floating around to earn a 4 star award - but only just IMHO.

I think that disk 3 on the Experience edition is actually a lot more interesting than the main album. Some really nice moments of extended songs that allows the rhythm and melodies to develop far more than the finished versions. By the time you get to programme 3 you are hearing some great grooves. Shame these did not make it to the final cut of The Wall.

A Broken Frame (With Bonus Disc)
A Broken Frame (With Bonus Disc)
Offered by hifi-media-store
Price: £22.72

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of their so-called 'Dark Phase'...., 9 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's ok as an album - no one who has listened to DM albums from more recent times will be under any illusions that this is not their finest hour. But it has a couple of great tracks on it (The Sun & The Rain + Leave In Silence), some good (Meaning Of Love) and some just ok (the rest). But it was work in progress at the beginning of the Gore song era, and as a defiant message to the world that life would continue post V Clark then it succeeds IMO. The band had yet to get discover samplers and the sound is classic analogue. Without a master musician in the band yet (queue Alan) the melodies and arrangements are quite simple. But that has a charm in itself (if only they had taken note of this album & paired down the production on the analogue synth based Sound of the Universe album to make it less claustrophobic sonically...)

It's a good CD/DVDA package, the DVDA 5.1 mixes are great, the documentary is very insightful and interesting (and it does feature Alan Wilder too even though he was only a live performance keyboard player at the time... come back Al, all is forgiven!!), and the bonus live and studio tracks are worth a listen too.

Perhaps the main reason to buy this package with DVDA is that you get a chance to gaze at that incredible album cover picture upscaled on your big flatscreen TV! Worth it for that alone IMO.

Has there ever been a more wonderfully striking album sleeve picture? I for one can't remember seeing one.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 26, 2012 12:54 AM BST

History Of Modern
History Of Modern
Price: £8.87

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't listen to BBC's John Doran - this is a great record, 30 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: History Of Modern (Audio CD)
John Doran are you an idiot? You need to wash out your ears and stop spouting such nonsense. To say this is " a poor return to form " is in effect you admitting that you would not know a great record if it was right in front of you. This is an awesome piece of work from the band, sounding new and refreshing yet magically linking back sonically to their 80's work. A difficult feat in itself, they have achieved this goal perfectly. This is not a comeback album from OMD, that would be to undermine the acheivement of creating something new whilst maintaining the heritage of sound that all OMD fans will recognise and love. There truly is barely a bad track on it, with perhaps only two being close to 'filler' material. The rest are total stonkers.

SO, WASH OUT YOUR EARS DORAN. You clearly have NO taste in music.

Best album of 2010 IMO.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 24, 2010 2:40 PM GMT

U2 360° At The Rose Bowl (2DVD Deluxe Edition) [2010] [NTSC]
U2 360° At The Rose Bowl (2DVD Deluxe Edition) [2010] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ U2

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If I could give it 3.5 stars I would..., 6 Jun. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am giving my opinions here as a U2 fan who went to the 1st Wembley 360 gig last year. And as the owner of 30+ concert DVD's (including 6 U2 concerts).

Starting with the good: The 2nd 'Extra's' disk is great, with some really good stuff on it especially the main 360 documentary. I would give this extra content disk 5 stars. But it's the inclusion of one thing on this extra content disk that is the start of my unhappiness with the main concert film on disk 1...

The 'bonus' track of Breathe on disk 2 is as all U2 fans know the opening song of the 360 shows. The song signals the entrance of the band 1 by 1 (Larry first starting up the drums, then Mr Clayton then Edge and finally Bono). And adding to it's importance is the music and video sequence just prior to this. David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' starts up and their is a little U2 backing piece called 'Soon' that follows it combined with a clock countdown that fires up on the big 360 video screen. This is a REALLY big and important opening to the show that sets the scene and excitement - but not only is it missing from this bonus track Breathe, but it is missing from the start of the main concert film which instead has been given the opening song as 'Get On Yer Boots' (boooo...... worst song on the NLOTH CD).

Why boys, why? Why have you taken a scalpel to this important bit of the concert? I think I speak for most U2 fans when I say I'd rather ditch the weak GOYB for Breath. And even if you did have to have GOYB instead of the much better Breath for disk running time purposes (can't see why but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt) then ok. But you've really ruined the opening of the concert by not having the aforementioned Bowie/Soon clock countdown.

Ok, so got that off my chest. But it gets worse. The editing of GOYB is a total abortion job. What was the editing team on for this first song? Acid? There are so many camera edits, changing rapidly from one cut to the next and so quickly that you only see a few seconds of one of the band before flying off to another shot. I'm not kidding when I say that it actually made me feel nauseous. And I've never had that sensation before. A Tears for Fears concert DVD was the worst i'd seen before - but this is in a different league. Truly awful editing in my opinion.

Now the good news. Strangely this lousy editing only lasts for that one song. By the time the 2nd song gets going the editing team have calmed down (or the effects of the acid tablet they had taken have worn off :) ). For the rest of the show the editing is better and the camera changes much slower. It's not in my opinion the best U2 concert representation I've seen though by any stretch. Even the Vertigo tour DVD from Chicago is superior, and the Vertigo Milan and Elevation Boston show are streets ahead. In fairness to the director I think the 360 show was probably a big challenge to shoot. There must have been a difficulty in getting such a huge stage with the distances involved recorded in a way to give some kind of show intimacy like the live audience had. So I'll give them the benefit of the doubt!

Some other criticisms:

The awesome majesty of the 360 stage spaceship is not really shown until way too far into the show. I would have liked to have seen more distant shots showing it's scale and things like the vertical lasers and the top of spire mirrorball. You don't really appreciate from the concert film the technical masterpiece that Willie Williams and Mark Fisher created for the boys. For example the Unforgettable Fire / City Of Blinding Lights / Vertigo segment when the video screen decends is not as spectacular as shown as it was in reality.

The film stock they have used is a bit too grainy. The performance was HD shot, but comparing the quality of the video here to the awesome quality of the recent Killers & Police concert DVD releases it falls far short of the best.

The U2 'baby' spaceman menu intervention between encores is silly and needless.

A minor one this, but the pictures in the booklet are also naff quality. Again they are grainy and lack clarity and focus. Not in a good way like if Anton Corbijn does them, but in an amature way like if I had taken the photos myself! Come on Tara Mullen - please pull your socks up with regards the quality of the packaging & presentation. It's not good enough for a band like U2 (the richest band in the world to boot) to have cheap packaging.

Ok, so that's me done moaning. Here are the good points:

The audio recording mix is really good. It has a rawness to it that I've never heard on a U2 concert DVD before. It's like they've decided to not over-process the sound in post-production and that's great IMO. You can hear Edge's guitar in a more intimate way than before - warts and all. That's appreciated.

The songs are great of course (notwithstanding the slightly naff GOYB). It' great to hear The Unforgettable Fire. In fact that trio segment of Unforgettable Fire / City Of Blinding Lights / Vertigo is an awesome one and real highlight. THe epic Moment of Surrender is a spine tingler too (why was it not the 1st single boys... Should have been brave and released as Brian Eno said).

Also uber cool is Bono and THAT JACKET in Ultraviolet! Fricken' Lazers man, in a coat! Only he could pull that off.

Another great shot is when the helicopter filming the show flies right across another highup camera. An amazing image that.

So to my star ratings:
Packaging - 3
Concert film - 3.5 (would have been a 4 but for the unforgivable butchering of the opening of the show)
Extra content disk - 5

So that averages out at around 3.5 / 4 - and as three stars is too harsh I will give it 4. But if there was any way I could do 3.5 I would.

The bottom line for me is that this concert has not been edited/filmed in a way that is either sympathetic or representative of what was an awesome live experience - and as such it is in no way U2's finest concert on film.

I'll happily go and put on my flame-proof jacket now - can I have some lazers in it please to cushion the blows that doubtless are about to come my way ;)
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 7, 2013 10:57 PM GMT

Paul McCartney in Red Square [DVD] [2005]
Paul McCartney in Red Square [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Paul Mccartney
Offered by skyeblue
Price: £2.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moscow concert - Spoilt by the integrated documentary, 14 Feb. 2010
I have to agree with others who have written the same as I am. The Moscow concert is actually a documentary really, with talkie bits between EVERY song. As a one-off historic standalone concert it would have been great - with a very enthusiastic and mesmerised Russian audience seeing for the first time someone they could never have imagined they would ever see perform in their country. And the performances of the songs by Macca and his (ace) band are stella. The back catalogue available to him is of course the greatest of any performer in the world. And he does all his classics justice here.

Such a shame they chose to release it as a documentary-concert. The documentary is interesting, don't get me wrong. But it would have benefitted from being an item in itself. Say a bonus feature.

On the plus side there is a second concert from St. Petersburg that was filmed during Macca's next world tour and whilst it is only 30-40 minutes in length it is at least an uninterrupted performance. The setlist is fantastic too, with some of the less-often played songs.

The sound quality is good on both concerts, however the visual quality of the St. Petersburg gig is slightly poor in my opinion. It has a grainy quality to it that just looks like poor quality film stock was used.

But hey, it is Macca. He is a legend. And here you have legendary songs played masterfully by Paul and his band. And that makes up one star in my eyes that would otherwise have been docked if it had been anyone else.

Live From The Royal Albert Hall [Includes CD Album] [DVD] [2009] [NTSC]
Live From The Royal Albert Hall [Includes CD Album] [DVD] [2009] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ The Killers
Price: £17.99

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not a hardcore fan, but this is sheer brilliance, 29 Nov. 2009
Let me start by saying that i'm not the world's biggest Killers fan. I like them, and a lot of their songs. And I have seen them live as support for U2 @ Cardiff Stadium on during U2's Vertigo tour. But I'm not a blinkered fanboi of Messr's Flowers and co..

But credit where it is due. This is a live concert DVD of immense brilliance. It's not unusual these days for concerts to have audio and video captured in high quality, but sometimes that is not enough. What makes this so special is firstly the setting of the Royal Albert Hall and secondly the way it has been edited to give a very intimate and revealing glimpse of the band pre, during and after a concert.

Setting: To shoot this DVD @ RAH is a stroke of genius by the band. I am so glad they choose not to record one of their more ubiqitous festival performances (although there are some extra tracks on the disc from festival performances...). To be honest I have been getting a bit tired of seeing The Killers every year on TV during the summer headlining this or that festival. The RHA show is small enough to be intimate, but big enough to be impressive. And it is a fabulous venue, and they have made it the centerpiece of the show by having outside the venue street shots as well as 'flying' down the hallways and backstage with the band. It gives you a real sense of the venue missing in so many concert DVD's where a band is playing some anonymous concrete arena. This emphises on the building creates extra feeling and intimacy for the concert. For example, following Brandon during a song out from the stage back into the public concourse and through a door way back onto a balcony in the hall shows how interconnected the place is - with only a short distance between the stage and any part of the hall.

Editing: This too is very good. Far too many concerts are edited with a million different camera shots a minute, so you literally flash from one band member to the next over and over. They have avoided this by having longer shots on one of the guys at a time, or sideways shots that capture two or more of the band. It's been very well thought out, and respectfully edited. Some nice crowd shots, overheads and black and white film bits only add to it's greatness.

A very good set list is chosen by the band (although sadly no Glamourous Indie Rock & Roll..), and they are all in excellent form as musicians. Sometimes I've felt they seem a bit wayward playing the festivals, but not here. They are tight and on the beat.

I have about 30 concert DVD's from various bands. This is without doubt one of the very best I have seen.

Well done to The Killers. Showing how it should be done, this is stunning concert DVD (and CD of course)

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