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Reviews Written by
alextorres (Near Bristol, UK)

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Offered by nagiry
Price: £8.96

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cranberries back to their roots., 22 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This new album of The Cranberries is rooted in the sound of their first two albums from nearly twenty years ago: "Everybody Else is Doing It..." and "No Need to Argue". If you're a previous fan of the band, then it really depends on what era of theirs you prefer to gauge whether or not you'd be enthused by this: if, like me, "To the Faithful Departed", or even one of the later albums, is your favourite, then this won't excite you. However, it seems that most fans prefer the first two albums' slightly softer, folkier material to the more rock driven "...Faithful...", so it seems like this will be a crowd pleaser. An why not?: it's melodic, pleasant, full of good tunes and a strong performance from the band...just your own personal taste to factor in...

You Talkin' To Me?: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama
You Talkin' To Me?: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama
by Sam Leith
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well written textbook on rhetoric., 29 Jan. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sam Leith's book on rhetoric is beautifully written - Mr Leith has clearly taken his own lesson to heart! The writing is humorous, witty and sprinkled with many direct examples of rhetoric in action from some of its greatest practitioners.

However, the book remains essentially a textbook on rhetoric, so it is unlikely to have lasting appeal to anyone other than someone who is in need of sharpening their public speaking skills.

The Casual Perfect
The Casual Perfect
by Lavinia Greenlaw
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.98

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful use of words, 8 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Casual Perfect (Hardcover)
I'll be honest - reading these poems, I rarely understood what Lavinia Greenlaw was really trying to say. However, the beauty of use of the language was such that it doesn't seem to matter. Greenlaw's use of words is fabulous - surely second to none - and there is a pleasure, as in all good poetry, of reading the poems aloud, finding the rhythm, the natural pauses with a resonance, and just being in the moment with the sound of the poem. Meaning may come with repeated reading and further thought, but understanding should not put anybody off acquiring this beautifully written poetry.


Trollied - Series 1 [DVD]
Trollied - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jane Horrocks
Offered by JCJ Internet Savers
Price: £6.79

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unwatchable!, 3 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Trollied - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an appalling situation comedy, set in a supermarket, that generates no laughter, despite the valiant efforts of some fine actors. The jokes - mostly based on atrocious word-plays on a sexual theme - are as stale as last week's bread. My wife and I found it unwatchable.

To see if it was just our sense of humour that wasn't up to scratch, we lent the video to some younger friends. Their response was similar, although they did manage to sit through a couple of episodes.

Save your money. Avoid!

A Dramatic Turn Of Events
A Dramatic Turn Of Events
Price: £7.18

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing by their own high standard, 31 Dec. 2011
I had read that "A Dramatic Change of Events" was Dream THeater's best CD since 1999's "Scenes From a Memory". Unfortunately, I found this not to be so; for me it does not come up to the standard of albums like "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" or their last album, "Black Clouds and Silver Linings".

By this stage of their career Dream Theater sound like...Dream Theater: there is really no new ground to tread for them and the album is structured similarly to "Black Clouds and Silver Linings", in that it contains a mix of power, metal numbers mixed up with quieter, subtler, even orchestrally derived moments. This isn't the problem - I think it would be unfair to expect them to change; the problem is that in the execution of the melodies, the rhythms, the power and the subtle arrangements they have not come up to the high standard they have set for themselves in the past. There are better melodies elsewhere, greater verve and aggression elsewhere, more beauty in the arrangements elsewhere.

The CD is not "coaster" material by any means, but it failed to live up to the expectation of "best since 'Scenes From a Memory'". Go into it with your eyes open to the fact that it isn't and you may not be as disappointed as me.

I, Me, Mine: New Introduction by Olivia Harrison
I, Me, Mine: New Introduction by Olivia Harrison
by George Harrison
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy in its own way, but not really an autobiography, 30 Dec. 2011
Enjoyable as this book is, it's billing as an autobiography of George Harrison is slightly misleading.

The autobiographical section is scant, the shortest in the book, and comprises some reminiscences that Harrison related to his close friend Derek Taylor with added biographical notes by Taylor himself.

There then follow some photographs and, finally - what is probably the most interesting part of the book - Harrison's song lyrics (up to about 1980, when the book was first published) commented on by George himself. It is these insights into his songs that are the most interesting part of the book.

So, beware - if you are after a detailed biographical account of Harrison's life, this is not it.

However, it remains an interesting book for fans of the man's music, as well as of his spiritual outlook on life.

AD Sangreal
AD Sangreal
Price: £19.59

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! - possibly their best!, 21 July 2011
This review is from: AD Sangreal (Audio CD)
Mandalaband's fourth album, their second in a few years after decades of inactivity, is possibly also their strongest. This is a group of musicians, under the guardianship of project leader David Rohl, that seems perfectly content making music in the studio for their dedicated followers. This album transmits a musical confidence that is rarely heard: it's difficult to explain in words, but there is an ease, a "joyousness" about the music that is extremely pleasing.

Mandalaband, of course, play music that falls under the banner of "progressive rock", but it is not the sort with complicated time signatures and songs that go on for ages. Here, the emphasis is firmly on melody and beauty of arrangement. Keyboards are often layered, often adding symphonic effects, there are sensitive extended guitar melodies, and other instruments such as Troy Donockley's collection of celtic whistles and uilleann pipes add wonderful texture.

As before, the album has a concept. The "Sangreal" is the cup in which, according to the Romano-Spanish legend told in these songs, Joseph of Arimathea collected Jesus's blood on Calvary hill.

You can choose to focus on the story or not, depending on your personal taste, but you will surely want to focus on the beautiful music, which to my ears is the strongest and most consistent of any of the Mandalaband albums. If you have ever enjoyed any of them, then "Sangreal" will delight you, as it will new music fans who enjoy beautiful melodies in tasteful arrangements.

The album's final track is a "bonus track" included in honour of Barclay James Harvest's Woolly Wolstenholme - one of the contributing musicians to Mandalaband over the years and who still managed to do play mellotron recording for some of these tracks - who died in December 2010. It's a sumptuous rendition of the classic BJH song "Galadriel".

An excellent album - enjoy!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2011 6:39 PM GMT


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More symphonic goth-rock bombast!, 19 July 2011
This review is from: Melotronical (Audio CD)
In "Melotronical", Factory of Dreams have served up a follow up to "A Strange Utopia" that is sonically very similar.

Anyone being led by the title and expecting a feast of music featuring the mellotron will be sorely disappointed! There are keyboards aplenty, of course, but the soundscape is much heavier than one would normally associate the use of that instrument. Instead, multi-instrumentalist Hugo Flores and vocalist Jessica Lehto - for that is who Factory of Dreams are - serve up another fest of symphonic goth-metal fusion. There are few quiet moments, the emphasis is on bombast: at times the keyboard layering and machine-gun drumming becomes extraordinarily intense.

It is a soundscape that has a certain appeal, and fans of the band will not be disappointed, but more general listeners are advised to listen to samples before splashing out their money. Personally, I find this onslaught style slightly overawing over the length of time of a modern CD. The previous album, "A Strange Utopia" had perhaps the better balance musically, or perhaps I just need to listen to "Melotronical" more...but I do have to be in the right mood for its intensity!

Fly From Here
Fly From Here

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe sacrilegious but....it's great!, 18 July 2011
This review is from: Fly From Here (Audio CD)
There's so much flak surrounding the fact that Yes have decided to record without Jon Anderson that it seems almost sacrilegious to say that I love it - I think it's great! Not only that but, given my experience listening to ageing vocalists, I think that Benoit David brings a youthful freshness to these songs that may otherwise have been dulled. His vocal performance is excellent - his voice is similar to Anderson's but slightly lower in tone and warmer timbrally.

The album itself is worthy of the Yes "brand". The suite of songs that takes up over half of the album, and which gives it its title, is replete with wonderful melodic music and rhythmic segments, without ever descending into the technobratics of playing or composition that I know some prog fans demand. That may be enough for some fans who hark back to the albums from the early Seventies to criticise but, for me, that would be churlish, as the music is not only very good, but worthy of their back history.

There's a couple of gorgeous sections of Howe's acoustic guitar, first within the suite, and then on the instrumental "Solitaire". The remaining tracks rise up to the standard of the song suite - nothing jars, nothing drags. The band have also avoided the pitfall besetting many albums these days - that of being over-long. At about 45-50 minutes, this is about right for an album listening experience.

It may not break new ground, but then I don't think that is waht many fans are after, just some enjoyable music. There's plenty of that!

Memories in My Head
Memories in My Head
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: £10.03

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but...beginning to repeat themselves, 17 July 2011
This review is from: Memories in My Head (Audio CD)
Riverside's latet EP, "Memories in my Head" is a throwback to their sound of the "Reality Dream" trilogy - which comprised the Out of Myself, Second Life Syndrome and Rapid Eye Movement albums - rather than being a development of the heavier, more Deep Purple-leaning sound of their most recent album, "Anno Domini High Definition".

That latest album left the fans divided. As ever, many fans prefer their bands to stay close to the sound that originally attracted them and, for Riverside, that meant the original progressive-rock trilogy (which, sonically, also included the original EP "Voices In My Head"). That soundscape owed more to Pink Floyd than it did to Deep Purple.

However, there is a danger that one can also continue along the same sonic path for too long...and Riverside may now have reached that point. Personally, I feel that staying close to "Anno Domini High Definition" would have been a more suitable development. There is truly nothing wrong with the current EP, "Memories in my Head", other than the fact that one is always thinking: "I have heard this before...". Of course, should this be your introduction to the band, then I suspect you may well think that it is brilliant!

That concern is what prevents me giving this latest EP five stars. It is perhaps a bit churlish denying such fine music the full score, but I feel that the band are treading water slightly...they have a really massive album/sound just within their grasp...please just reach for it guys!

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