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G. Byrne "Rob byrne" (Ireland)

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Cote D'Azur (Cadogan Guides)
Cote D'Azur (Cadogan Guides)
by Dana Facaros
Edition: Paperback

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly Poor Guide, 24 July 2011
Pro's:Only guide focusing on the Cote d'azur.

Cons: Misleading, uninformative, filled with irrelevant information, poorly bound.

I bought this guide as it is the only true travel book that focuses solely on the Cote d'azur and not on the wider area of Provence. The book seemed to hold promise as a viable alternative to the mainstream offerings of Lonely-Planet and Eyewitness. However thats where the positives end, the authors Mary-Ann Gallagher and Linda Rano ramble through the guide about events in the Cote'd'azur hundreds and even thousands of years ago, making the book feel more like a history lesson than and actual light read travel guide. The writers also appear to have a dislike for the area, they complain about the traffic, pollution and tourist stalls, while they describe many towns as 'tacky', which is something that cannot be said for the picture postcard villages of the cote d'azur. You certainly get the impression that these authors have never visited some of the towns they write about. Looking the section at Cannes three pages are written on its past, but little short of one page is written on the sights and activities of the town itself. The book also contains some wrong information about Bus stops and numbers, especially in Nice. By the end of our 6 days holiday in Nice the first 16 colour pages had fallen out, highlighting the fact thats its made down to a cost. Its a truly awful guide and should be avoided at all costs.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2016 12:58 AM GMT

Disco Volante
Disco Volante

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To obscure or its own good., 30 May 2011
This review is from: Disco Volante (Audio CD)
If your reading this your probably aware that Mr. Bungles Disco Volante is by far their most experimental effort and the worse for it. The album explodes into its deranged life with the awful "Everyone I went to High School With is Dead", a heavy metal number thats plods its way through the best part of 3 minutes. Things improve a little with a trio of schizophrenic but likable tracks, "Chemical Marriage", "Carry Stress in the Jaw" and "Desert Search for Techno Allah". "Chemical Marriage", probably the most mainstream track has trippy vocals courtesy of Patton and flitting organs/synths, while Desert Search for Techno Allah" is a middle eastern frenzy, but oh so brilliant. Sadly, this is where the joy ends. From "Violenza Domestica" runs nine awful, dark, obscure, long tracks of what can only be described as noise. Even the album closer "Merry Go Bye Bye", with its strong Beach Boys style opening is destroyed as they shift unknown music genres. After their funky self titled debut and the diverse but brilliant California, Disco Volante seems to obscure to even be enjoyed by the most patient music lover. Theirs no doubting the bands technical ability, but Disco Volante seems as though it belongs to an extra-terrestrial planet.

Album Of The Year
Album Of The Year
Price: £6.58

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Work, dogged by Savage Professional Reviews., 29 May 2011
This review is from: Album Of The Year (Audio CD)
This is an album that has fallen violently as a victim of harsh professional reviews, as a result Album of the Year was the Last Faith no More album (post Mosley) to be added to my collection. Not expecting too much, I was wholly impressed by it. The explosive opener and aptly titled track "Collision" showed that Patton & Co still hadn't lost their knack for producing killer metal tracks. Contrasting greatly with "Collision", the second track, "Stripsearch" possibly the most spaced and chilled song FNM produced, sharp keyboards, a strong bass line and of course Patton's atmospheric vocals make it a classic. From here this get even better, the single "Last Cup of Sorrow' features Patton singing through a telefunken tube mic, it shows the bands incredible ingenuity to combine the most obscure elements of the music world with mainstream rock. Grinding guitar work winds it way through the Angel Dust-esque "Naked in Front of the Computer", while the tempo is altered again by the emotional "Helpless", when compared with the rest of the album its a drawn out affair with nothing much happening, however Patton saves the day with delectable vocals, harmonies and even the odd whistle. Track six brings us into the world of Mr. Bungles "Ars Moriendi" and "Desert Search for Techno Allah",sporting a middle eastern vibe, perhaps its not my favourite track but it adds a new dimension to the album. "Ashes to Ashes" is the albums centerpiece, its awesome riff provided by new guitarist Jon Hudson combined with its heavy atmosphere, saves the embarrassment caused by the not so like FNM `She Loves me Not", ok its provides a lounge music laid back feel to the album, with the slightest sense of irony, but it is a filler. The drive faster "Got that Feeling" encompasses all that we know about FNM's ability to shift genres with a flick of a switch, its punk-nu metal feel reminds me somewhat of System of Down. The last three tracks couldn't be any more different, the military "Paths of Glory", a tribute to those lost in war is dark and broody. The epic album closer "Pristina", a tale of two lovers parting in the war torn town of Pristina, Yugoslavia, it is without a doubt the most emotional piece of work FNM ever produced, you can just sense the sincerity in Patton's voice. Album of the Year didn't break any musical boundaries, but its a cohesive effort from a band who's relationship that was quiet the opposite. Personally I feel this the best of the post-Jim Martin albums FNM made, a truly solid effort.

Nine Types Of Light
Nine Types Of Light
Price: £7.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but tinged with sadness., 30 April 2011
This review is from: Nine Types Of Light (Audio CD)
This is my first foray into TV on the Radio and what can I say? Well firstly, the album is tinged with sadness, a day after I purchased the album I heard news of their Bassist, Gerard A. Smith's tragic passing away at the untimely age of 36, this for me has changed the dynamic of the album immeasurably. The opener, "Second Song", opens with spoken word and dives into a smooth funky beat. Soon things settle down, the African inspired "Keep you Heart" is pretty oddball to say the least but not obscure enough for it not to be liked, and after a few listens it develops in into a charming, heart warming feel . `'No future Shock" continues to funky vibe that traces through the album. "You" is an absolute gem, open hearted, rich synths give it an 80's pop ambiance while Tunde Abesbimpe's vocals sweetly keep the momentum flowing. "No Future Shock" is simply addictive, with a tight hook that implants itself deep into the brain. "Killer Crane", is melodic and Proggy, couple that with the most beautiful lyrics, "Sunshine, I saw you through the hanging vine" and a mandolin quietly strumming in the back ground and you have a classic album centerpiece. The single "Will Do", continues the gentleness with aplomb. The closing stages of the album contain the more rocky tunes, "Repetition", TV on the Radios take on Kraut rock, finishes ablaze with a momentum building rap. The curtain caller, "Caffeinated Conscience", a Faith no More-ish, furious rock song, proudly contrasting with the rest of the album.
TV on the Radio have manages something so hard to find in todays music world, it is an album that tugs at every emotion, but overall it makes you happy, the basic desire we all want to feel when we hear and for that reason, their technical genius becomes irrelevant. Without doubt its a sure contender for the best album of 2011.

Shadows Collide With People (U.S. Version)
Shadows Collide With People (U.S. Version)
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars His Best, even now in 2011, 6 Feb. 2011
As the proud owner now of pretty much every Frusciante work, I think i'm qualified enough to say that this his his best album. The album opens with the quiet Electronic synth intro of Carvel, which breaks out after a minute into some beautiful tapping guitar work and catchy strong lyrics. The First thing that strikes the listener that ,it dosnt sound like Frusciante's previous three albums as his voice sounds well trained and it's polished production. This is in no doubt down to his drug free life and the fact that this was and still is the most expensive album Frussciante has ever produced. The next track is a powerful duet with Josh Klinghoffer, who has now taken up his duty at the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The next track "Regret", is a little repetitive, however the simple lyrics do hint at his attitude towards his own past. "Second Walk", would fit into any Chili Pepper album, while "Wednesday's Song", keeps the smiles up. The second half of the album opens on "This Cold", which emphasises how strong, Frusciante's voice has got since those Smile for the Streets you Hold days that no one wants to go back too. Track 11, "Song to Sing when I'm Lonely" for me is the Albums centerpiece and truly encapsulates the mood of the album. It's both happy with a surf rock vibe and technically good, while managing to be radio friendly, which is something that could'nt be said for his solo music from the 1990's. The final tracks include the emotional "Time Goes Back" and the apt closing electro acoustic "The Slaughter". So is there any weaknesses? Well Yes, the instrumental electronic and irrelevantly named -00 Ghost 27, sticks out like a sore thumb for being both completely unlistenable and awful, while Failure 33 object fairs little better. Overall though they do little to damage a cohesive, emotional, polished and strong album, from a truly unique artist.

Tremulant Cdep
Tremulant Cdep

4.0 out of 5 stars A Sign for what was to Come, 4 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Tremulant Cdep (Audio CD)
This Ep is somewhat of a crossover from the late works of at the drive and the building blocks of what would become De-Loused in the Comatorium. The opening track "Cut that City", is classic Volta with a prolonged, quiet intro which opens into an explosive beat and in common with Cedric's future works, abstract vocals. "Concertina", is a little more subdued, Cedric hops from Spanish to english while Rodriguez' eerie guitar riff hammers away. The Closing song "Eunuch Provocateur", is a masterpiece of Mars Volta-esque chaos, backward radio interview pieces open to an explosive riff and unbelievably fast drumming, while constantly changing tempo's adjust the songs dynamic's by the millisecond. Overall and excellent albeit brief debut album by the Mars volta.

Walking On A Dream
Walking On A Dream
Price: £5.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Singles overshadow an Average Album, 29 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Walking On A Dream (Audio CD)
The majority of those who buy the experimental duo's Walking on A Dream album will buy it solely for the albums excellent array of singles. The album overall is reminiscent of MGMT's recent offerings. The opener "Standing on the Shore", has a dreamy summer vibe, which is a common theme carried through the rest of the album which is carried of successfully due to Steel's unique voice. The second track "Walking on a Dream", needs no introduction, with its oddball chorus and rich vocals. "Delta Bay", is a true oddity with its schizophrenic indulgence while "We are the People, is a true synth pop great, with a true enigmatic quality. The instrumental, "Country" seems out of place and too sedate for such a theatrical album. Things go further downhill with the dull and indulgent "The World", before everything is saved by by the experimental, bizarre but strangely appealing hip hop/funk song "Swordfish Hotkiss Nights". The album's curtain call "Without You", a downbeat, but likable end to a true roller coaster album. So much of it achieves greatness but the poorer tracks fail to make it a cohesive debut.

Becoming A Jackal
Becoming A Jackal
Offered by speedia-media
Price: £2.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie, Gentle...Beautiful, 28 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Becoming A Jackal (Audio CD)
For those of you that don't know, this isn't Conor O'Brien's first foray into music, his previous project "The Immediate", an Indie rock band that was met with limit success outside the UK and Ireland, which split up in 2007. Conor O'Brien is clearly an exceptional talent, every track is written and every instrument except for some Brass sections is preformed by him also. Becoming a Jackal is a wistful and gentle record with some suspense fired in for good measure. The opening track "I Saw the Dead", a dark, brooding opener with a melodic gentle piano section that builds up with suspense to match the dark lyrics to end with a loud thump, with its intent to shock the listener into the imaging the outcome of the story being told through the song. The radio hit "Becoming a Jackal" is next up with its Simon and Garfunkal inspired harmonies and chorus'. The next few song's add to the spiritual and emotional theme of the album. "Home" appeals for its honesty and simplicity, while "That Day" another radio hit here in Ireland exposes the qualities of O'Breins voice. "Set the Tigers Free", is probably the most upbeat and my personal favorite on the record. The last three tracks continue with the proven formula of the beginning of the record, of sobriety and beauty. Technically 'Becoming A Jackal" is probably not the best record of 2010, but it's polished production coupled with honest, hidden beauty of Conor's lyrics and instrumentation make it one of my favourite.

The Lady Killer
The Lady Killer
Price: £4.08

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man, this is good!!, 21 Jan. 2011
This review is from: The Lady Killer (Audio CD)
Typically, if Gnarls Barkley is anything to go by, The hit singe "F*** You", should overshadow this album just as "Crazy' did with his last soul filled venture. Simply is Doesn't. The opening track seems seems a little disjointed and out of place, but the second track "Bright lights and the Bigger City" get things right into motion, with its sporadic spaced out synths and 70's disco-soul ambiance. The hit single "F**** You" is up next and even though one would expect this track make every song other seem ordinary it doesn't. Wildflower is a sublime soul song, with catchy couplets, while Bodies embodies a darkness that reflects his Goody Mob roots. "Please' is a pleasant Duet, though nothing spectacular. From the track "Satisfied', Cee-lo Green gets into a soul pop groove while one track seems better than the other, its simply that good. "It's OK" is without doubt my favorite song of 2010 . "Old Fashioned is a heart wrenching song, which demonstrated why Cee-lo is claimed to have the greatest voice in soul today. The album's final song on some versions is a cover of Band of Horses, "No one's Gonna Love you Baby" again Green's talent shines through as he makes the song is own by adding a soul twist. Overall this is my favorite album and perhaps the best of 2010, not one song is weak or a filler, Cee-lo has poured every thing he has into this album and it shows, through its sheer beauty and enigmatic quality.

East / West
East / West

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Effort, 19 Jan. 2011
This review is from: East / West (MP3 Download)
East/West is Joe Cleere's first album and overall is pretty good effort. I got the album from a friend who was pretty impressed but, really I wasn't expecting much. All to many times comes an new aspiring Irish artist which rock star intentions and fails miserably, but this is different. Joe Cleere's approach to this album is methodical, the album has a polished feel, its well produced too which heightens one's appreciation for the music on offer. Cleere focuses on the Rock side of indie, while his guitar work is melodic and very like John Frusciante of RCHP, while his voice is pretty distinct, form your usual Indie rock trash. The Album opens on the catchy "Road to Nowhere", which starts the album on a high, the high then continues onto "All the Same", with a flowing chorus and strong backing vocals. Other high points include "Sick Day" and "East/West". By far the most accomplished and commercial song is "Queue", with great guitar work, strong vocals and ironic lyrics. However the honeymoon doesn't last forever, the album can tend to go into the oblivion of mediocrity, with "Thing's we'll never know" being the case. However the overall album of cohesive and has an enigmatic quality which clearly shows the talent and bravery of Joe Cleere in todays music business.

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