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K-Bone Wallace "K-Bone" (England... I think...)

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Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (Oxford Landmark Science)
Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (Oxford Landmark Science)
by Michio Kaku
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Michio Kaku is one of the best communicators of science that I have come across, 18 May 2016
Along with Feynman and Cox, Michio Kaku is one of the best communicators of science that I have come across.

Without going into the mathematical side of things, Kaku presents a clear introduction to some of the key theories and developments in physics.

The writing style is easy and fun (the book doesn't try to be funny, but the humour is very enjoyable).

My only (not very) negative comment would be that almost all of the subject matter is covered in his later book Parallel Worlds - which also covers M-theory. That's not to say that this book should be ignored or passed over, but even though it holds up well in spite of the passage of time, readers who purchase both books (as I did) may find a lot of repetition.

The Book Of Souls
The Book Of Souls
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £12.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over-blown, over-indulgent, bloomin' marvelous!, 17 Sept. 2015
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This review is from: The Book Of Souls (Audio CD)
As always, the news that there's a new Iron Maiden album on the way has me as excited as a small child at Christmas.

Even the most casual Maiden fan has a fairly good idea what to expect from the band when they produce a new album. However, The Book Of Souls harbours a few surprises. The riffs have become far more melodic and the transition between light and shade doesn't jar as it has on some previous albums.

Bruce Dickinson's voice sounds as strong as ever and songs such as If Eternity Should Fail, The Book of Souls and Tears of a Clown are a joy to listen to. I was apprehensive towards album closer Empire of the Clouds, having read the blurb on the internet regarding the length and subject matter - an 18 minute song about the R101 crash?! However, not only is it a masterful song, but the addition of Bruce's piano playing fits in surprisingly well with the rest of the band.

Speaking of which, I don't know if Messrs' Murray, Smith and Gers have changed their guitar setups recently, but there seems to be a freshness to their sound (both collectively and individually) that hasn't been evident to me since Brave New World. My only gripe would be that Steve Harris' bass seems lower in the mix than usual and whilst that doesn't detract from the overall listening experience, I would have liked it to be a little more prominent than it is. And, of course, the bedrock that is Nicko McBrain's drumming is as solid as ever; indeed, he is a rare thing amongst heavy metal drummers in that he plays for the song, rather than to show off. Every roll and fill is played exactly right and provides the perfect lynchpin for the rest of the band.

Taken as a whole, The Book of Souls is a fantastic album. Yes, the lyrics are a trifle overblown at times and with many of the songs clocking well over the five minute mark it's evident the band are writing to indulge their own tastes; however, I think this is what makes the album for me. Speed of Light is the only full-speed-ahead rocker on the album and one that seems destined to become a live favourite.

All in all, The Book of Souls is a sign that Maiden are still making great music.

Shadows In The Night
Shadows In The Night
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £4.95

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What'll He Do (Next)?, 2 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Shadows In The Night (Audio CD)
This is an interesting animal. I think myself fortunate that I'm not overly familiar with previous versions of the material on this album so I'm not comparing this to anything other than Bob's previous work (though, based on how the man changes his spots from album to album, even that's a fairly tall order).

As always, Bob seems to have put together a band of top musicians as the playing behind his vocals is tight, but still has a lovely warmth to it. Indeed, the production could easily have the casual listener fooled into thinking they were listening to vinyl rather than CD...

And then there's Bob's voice. I've never had a problem with it in terms of how he uses it (even in later years when I think even the really diehard fans will admit that the pipes are distinctly battered). On this album, though, I think he's sounding better than he has for a while. Other reviewers say that his voice isn't suited for crooning and, yes, there are a couple of places where I think he wavers slightly, but there's a sweetness to his voice on this album that has been missing on the likes of Together Through Life and Tempest; have a listen to an especially tender performance on Full Moon and Empty Arms.

This album won't appeal to every Dylan fan, nor is it likely to set the airwaves alight in the way that some of his previous works have done, but Shadows In The Night has been a pleasant surprise. As Tempest demonstrates, Dylan is still a very capable songwriter, but this album shows he's still got it as a performer and interpreter of songs.

The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings
by Brian Sibley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £42.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely edition, 7 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Hardcover)
I have always wanted a nice hardback edition of this book and here it is. The illustrations are stunning and the presentation box is plain and simple - a plus factor in my opinion.

I assume that most people are familiar with Tolkien's work, but for those who aren't, this is one of the classic fantasy novels that everybody should read at least once (I read it once a year, myself). Allan Lee's illustrations are absolutely wonderful and some were used as inspiration for scenes in the film trilogy, so you may find yourself recognising certain images as you read. An odd thing, but I also found that the book was not too heavy as some large hardbacks can be. I'm not a weakling, but sitting holding a heavy book for long stretches of time (even after years of reading and re-reading I still find it an engrossing book) would tax anybody.

Some may think that this is a high price to pay for a book, but I think it's worth it as it is plain that a lot of love has gone into the production of this edition.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Before he was famous..., 7 Oct. 2014
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I was pleasantly surprised with this recording. I love Dylan's work, especially his earlier live recordings (the Folksinger's Choice and Bootleg Vol. 6 CDs are particular favourites of mine), but it's a fact that a lot of the source tapes used for these CD sets have deteriorated with age as is to be expected. However, the sound quality on this collection is very impressive (bar the occasional dropout which, in my opinion, adds rather than detracts from the listening experience). Dylan is on fine form and it's nice to hear him at this stage of his career where he's still just another folk singer. Some of the songs on this set would be recorded for his debut album, but there is a freshness about the performance on this album that I prefer to the studio versions - live he sounds slightly ragged, but in a good way.

People talk about 'history in the making', but for me this is just a lovely set of songs played well with no pretensions and no frills.

My only negative comment would be the cardboard sleeves on this and similar releases that can be a little too tight, but I'm not going to mark the set down for that.

Once I Was An Eagle
Once I Was An Eagle
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £14.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her strongest..., 27 July 2013
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This review is from: Once I Was An Eagle (Audio CD)
This is a solid effort; the lyrics are very good and I cannot fault the musicianship. Where this album falls down compared to Marling's previous releases is that most of the songs are of the quiet-musing type and, as such, there are very few points where the listener would be made to look up and take notice. Personally, I think her second album is the best she's released so far in terms of production and variety of material.

However, the first four songs are pleasant to listen to, especially with the segue from one to another; Master Hunter also provides a rare (and welcome) change in dynamic.

Moving away from the music, where this release really falls down is the packaging. I have no problem with the digipack format (it takes up less space on the shelf, after all), but with this album the disk and the lyric sheet are just shoved into a cardboard sleeve with nothing more substantial to protect the CD - personally I'd expect a bit more for the price.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2013 10:16 PM GMT

The Bonny Labouring Boy
The Bonny Labouring Boy
Price: £19.89

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bonny Labouring Boy, 30 May 2013
This review is from: The Bonny Labouring Boy (Audio CD)
I'll admit that I'm already biased in favour of this album in that I was born in Norwich and have been in love with Norfolk all my life. That said, I only developed an interest in folk music relatively late in my life and an obsession with the traditions of my home county even later. I stumbled on Harry Cox's singing by accident whilst watching a BBC documentary which featured footage of Harry singing 'The Bold Drover' and was instantly hooked. He may not have possessed the sweetest of voices, but what you get with this CD is a wonderful repertoire sung simply and without accompaniment or flourish. It also includes my favourite traditional song 'Barton Broad Ditty' as well as a detailed booklet containing and account of Harry's life as well as notes on all the songs and tunes. The sound quality does vary at times, but it must be remembered that these are basically 'field' recordings, though this certainly doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the album.

A lot of the songs were recorded at Harry's home and so the listener is treated not only to Harry's voice, but also to the ambient noises in the room - a log cracking on the fire, the sound of a clock and even one of Harry's granddaughters playing nearby. There are snippets of Harry talking about folksong and also conversing with those around him (the afore-mentioned 'Barton Broad Ditty' recording includes Harry explaining to those present the story behind the song). I think this adds to the atmosphere of the CD in an 'almost being there' kind of way.

There are precious few CDs of traditional Norfolk folk music available and this is one that I will certainly treasure.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Complete Four Disc Collector's Edition [DVD]
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Complete Four Disc Collector's Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sophie Wilcox
Price: £7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can hear the scenery creak..., 30 Nov. 2012
This series has it all; ropey (by today's standards) special effects, ham (and eggs) acting and wobbly sets/costumes.

And I love it!

I grew up watching these lovely dramatisations and, twenty years later, I find them more magical than a lot of modern adventure series that have been made. Yes, the special effects are very crude by modern standards, but there is a certain amount of charm to them, especially Aslan and some of the other creatures. My personal favourite was The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, though each serial is wonderful.

As for DVDs, the sound a picture quality has been cleaned up and they look marvelous for their age - OK, it means that you can see the joins in the animal costumes and some of the special effects look even more dodgy than they did first time around, but as I said earlier, this just adds to the charm.

The special features are on a seperate disc and are of some interest - I've always been fascinated by certain sequences in a 'how on earth did they do that?' sort of way, so thoroughly enjoyed some archive footage from Pebble Mill in which they explain just that.

As with the books, this is a collection that adults and children alike can enjoy - and you don't need to have read the books before you watch, I used to watch these when I was five or six years old but I didn't read the books until I was nineteen.

I recently watched the first of the new films and, although in certain respects you can't really compare the two, I prefer the BBC series.

Santa Barbara Honeymoon
Santa Barbara Honeymoon
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £6.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars After the honeymoon, 30 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Santa Barbara Honeymoon (Audio CD)
LA Turnaround was always going to be a hard album to follow. I actually quite like the songs on this album, and it contains some of Bert's best vocal performances. It's just let down by the OTT production - this wasn't the first time a producer had used the kitchen sink (Nicola, 1967). Lyrically, I think the album is quite strong and with the addition of bonus tracks (mostly live) it's a nice little package. The best of the bonus tracks is a stripped-down version of Build Another Band - written for Danny Thompson - which gives a hint of what the album could have sounded like without the horns and steel drums (what on earth possessed them?!)

No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 for 1, 13 Aug. 2012
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Ordered this, thinking it was just the book (as advertised). Instead, received the DVD with book enclosed - superb!

The DVD is very simple, just Martin against a grey backdrop talking about his style and tuning, but is the better for it - no fancy bells and whistles allowing the viewer to get the most from the lessons.

Haven't yet reached the stage where I can play any of the tunes through, but Martin's presentation and teaching style make this a very accessible DVD.

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