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Profile for Penny Crayon > Reviews

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Penny Crayon "anticosmopolitanism" (Cardboard Box, OK)

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Offered by Fast Fulfilment
Price: £7.89

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dry is right darling, 9 July 2004
This review is from: Dry (Audio CD)
Sometimes an album of great rock songs is all you want from an album and this is what Dry is. Every song on here is a memorable, exciting, raw and intense voyage into Polly's throbbing young heart - and if you've picked up on her as a result of her last few albums, you may be surprised by the youthful voice on this record. I think it's still her best album 12 years after its release and is probably the best place to start a collection of her music.
In terms of the sound quality, this is a record that could really do with the old ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED treatment - I find that I have to play it a few notches louder than all my other CDs, which must be blamed surely on the mastering process. So come on EMI - get Polly's debut remastered tout suite! Even if it does mean paying an extra fiver - upon its release of course, this version'll be available for a pittance, so you can snap it up then without stretching the purse strings.

Absent Friends
Absent Friends
Price: £9.11

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming, 17 May 2004
This review is from: Absent Friends (Audio CD)
I guess people struggle to tell the difference between Nigel Godrich and Radiohead - it's Godrich that produced and therefore created his own identifiable sound on Regeneration and while that was, i believe, a fantastic album, The Divine Comedy do better with self-produced albums and their own sound. The fact is, Neil Hannon is a brilliant song-writer whether he's suited up and pomping it up or long haired and singing sappy perfect love songs. Thus, this album is predictably full of really strong songs which cannot always be defined as pop songs as such. That, strangely enough, is this albums only failing - the songs just aren't witty, memorable or likeable enough on their own. Absent Friends is a notable exception, which almost reeks of Cassanova era exurberance. On the other hand, Hannon crafts a brilliant album which is cohrently structured, atmospheric (eg.Leaving Today/Wreck of the Beautiful) and thoroughly engaging. So, don't expect to love every TRACK on this, but this is certainly a strong effort from Hannon and important in the Divine Comedy canon.

A Grand Don't Come For Free
A Grand Don't Come For Free
Offered by Entertainment Direct
Price: £3.44

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bring It Back, 14 May 2004
At least this confirms that The Streets are not just another urban act who release an interesting album then disappear into the mire. This is an interesting, if inconsistent album which I didn't really like the first time I set it into the machine. But it's an intruiging idea to have a running story on such an album and it manages to work, surprisingly. However, there just aren't the tunes on this album that there were on Original Pirate Material. The first 5 tracks on his first album were simply great songs with great hooks and wicked lyrics, there's only a couple such tracks on this one: namely blinded by the lights and Fit But You Know It. Dry Your Eyes thoroughly lets the side down - it's a breakup track, but it's a sentimental, unintelligent song, which should make you reach for the skip button rather than nod your head in solemn empathy. Skinner's wit is his strength, his honesty is admirable but when he becomes earnest and sentimental, it's a bit sad.
So there's many strengths on this record, but the young Brummie should remember that the public gets very tired of people who wish only to wallow in their own self-pity (even if it's part of a running narrative). Bring out the tunes Skinner!

Car Boot Soul
Car Boot Soul
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £9.49

7 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leave it for the summer, 18 Feb. 2004
This review is from: Car Boot Soul (Audio CD)
Buy this in the summer. Buy it then and on those hotter than hot nights when the windows steam up from the heat of you own body even with the air con on and the window open when you're waiting for your body to let you sleep - play it. Play it in the car on the way home from a night out or a trip to the beach. It's for warm evenings in a British summer. Don't, like I did, buy it in an ugly Northern city on a mild autumn day and try to learn to like it through a drudgy, slushy student winter. It's not as fun.
I'm giving it three stars because outside summer, I don't think it's musically challenging, I don't rate it as anything other than background music and I think perhaps it should only be sold during those two hot months in this country. It can be a dull, uninspriring listen, that's all I'm saying. But I can absolutely understand how someone could love it.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Special Edition) [DVD] [1982]
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Special Edition) [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ Henry Thomas
Offered by Discountdiscs-UK : Dispatched daily from the UK.
Price: £15.72

99 of 119 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NO! NO! NO!, 10 Jan. 2004
Good Lord no! ET is my favourite film ever made. I remember watching it a million and a half times when I was 8 and could happily watch it a million and a half times again.
This version of the film is an absolute catastrophe. The old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it - Spielberg has disregarded this saying and in fact, has managed to break the film in the process.
The digital remastering of films is a brilliant if dubious way of re-presenting films, but messing around with scenes using computers is a no-no. The scenes in question look incredibly fake, add nothing to the film - the one in the bathtub completely disrupts the tone of the movie, ET's face becomes a different colour (!!!!!!!!!!) when the computers come in to play and it just means that your enjoyment of the movie decreases. You end up laughing at it. The very last scene (I'm in tears thinking about it) is completely ruined by the criminal messing around with ET's face as he says: "I'll be right here". Oh God! Where art thou?
In brief, because I'm angry, I would like to sell my copy of this release but I don't want to pass the burden on to someone else - everyone should enjoy the film in its original form: remastered yes, but tampered no. Unfortunately, as it stands you can only buy the 1982 version remastered WITH the crappy 2002 version. Well, I'll just have to do that and throw the spare DVDs away. Please believe me. I adore this film.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2015 4:30 AM GMT

Radiohead -- 7 Television Commercials [DVD] [2003]
Radiohead -- 7 Television Commercials [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Colin Greenwood
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £5.82

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only 7?, 23 Aug. 2003
I'm afraid Radiohead need to gets their backsides in gear. Sure, they make some good videos, but so do Blur (who've produced a Vid of all their music videos) and so does Bjork, and her Volumen DVD compilation should be an example to the Oxford boys to get their thumb out and get some work done on DVD production. We could've had a DVD of every Radiohead single here - including the very rare Pop Is Dead and more recent singles.
This just isn't worth the money I'm afraid. Don't buy it unless you're loaded.

Jam: The Complete Series [DVD] [2000]
Jam: The Complete Series [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Amelia Bulmore
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £19.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant DVD of a Great Show, 4 July 2003
The DVD is well worth owning if you've seen and enjoyed the show. Chris Morris clearly oversees the DVD production - it's chock full of extras, all of them bizarre and confusing like the show.
You can watch deleted scenes and rehearsals, see 3 different versions of every episode, have subtitles (which, in this case, are hilarious, methinks), read the comprehensive music and cast credits, watch Adam and Joe's mickey take of the show, watch two scenes with audience sound and some other stuff I haven't had time to look at.
It's a really wicked DVD production, though I don't know about anamorphic doodaa and framing and suchlike. It all looks good with my big blue eyes.
Buy this if you like Jam. If you don't like Jam, like Jam.

Wild Strawberries [1957] [DVD]
Wild Strawberries [1957] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Victor Sjöström
Offered by MyAubergine
Price: £22.98

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwrenching Masterpiece, 21 April 2003
I think this was the first Ingmar Bergmann film I had ever seen. I had heard that his films were either very deep or very dull. This is deep, but by no means dull - I'd say it's the strongest argument I've seen for cinema being considered art. Watching Victor Sjostrom's character facing the brink of death and looking back nostalgically at his youth, the movie seems to capture the human sense of grief over the passing of time, and getting old - indeed, of mortality.
The performances are terrific - Bibi Andersson couldn't be more cute if she tried and Ingrid Thulin clenches her teeth with admirable restraint throughout. Sjostrom is suprisingly strong - he hadn't acted for nearly 10 years prior to this film, was famed for being a director.
There is no doubt that, like most of Bergmann's films, it operates on several levels, but this is his most accessible film. It moves at a gentle pace but it is constantly captivating and thoroughly moving. If you want to get into his films, then I would advise you to start here. You won't regret it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 3, 2015 6:59 PM BST

Riot Act
Riot Act
Offered by Hot Cakes
Price: £15.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It took some time, 21 April 2003
This review is from: Riot Act (Audio CD)
Actually, when I first bought this I didn't really like it. I've always had a problem with Pearl Jam's complacency/confident swagger on previous records. Though I enjoyed them both, I felt that No Code and Yield were somewhat forced, like they were just going through the motions. Binaural reinforced my belief in their greatness, and I looked forward to Riot Act for some time. However, listening to tracks like Love Boat Captain I started to believe that the band had become lost again - 'It's been sung before, but it can't be said enough - all you need is love'. I don't know, there's something I don't like about that.
But I've warmed to it, even the 'Ladysmith Black Mambazo' imitation. I don't believe this is one of their best albums, but it's hardly a weak showing. It took me some time, but I can't discredit Pearl Jam - it's not really possible for them to make bad music.

Open Heart Zoo
Open Heart Zoo
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.47

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONe of the best of 2002, 2 Feb. 2003
This review is from: Open Heart Zoo (Audio CD)
Like one or two of the other reviewers of this album, I find the number of Radiohead imitators in the music industry at the moment annoying; Travis, Coldplay, Stereophonics and Muse are among the notables, but more frustrating is the fact that many of them seem to deny any connection between their music and that of the Oxford quintet (and so do their fans).
Then along comes Martin Grech, who happily wears his Radiohead influence on his sleeve, and yet manages to craft enough originality in his voice and his music to set him clear apart from them. Sci-fi rock seems rather a good description of the tracks - densely layered sound gives this a depth that is, at times, a little overbearing, but which works more often than not, especially when track 7 Notorious opens up into an beautiful orchestral melee half way through. His voice is astonishing - more gargling and slightly more croaky than Thom Yorke's, and able to communicate emotion in the same knowing way.
To conclude, this is an album which draws a great deal from Radiohead, but its roots lie as much in Nine Inch Nails and Metallica. Buy it. It's great, it is.

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