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Dean (Alford, UK)

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At Least For Now
At Least For Now
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes an artist creates something beautiful in which the influence of their world is to ..., 28 Dec. 2015
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This review is from: At Least For Now (Audio CD)
Sometimes an artist creates something beautiful in which the influence of their world is to the fore and which in some small way brings to mind artists they themselves admire. Rarely does that something succeed in condensing all this stuff into something breathable - into something that can seem more meaningful, peculiar and precious than all the many things that caused it to be born into light. This is great music.

It is easy to imagine the temptations of the modern studio getting the better of these songs in any other hands. The DNA of the material is pure. In places it soars. It might be a wilderness ripe for exploitation. Though what value the wilderness tamed? Benjamin and the team around him are obviously alive to this fact. And so instead there is skeletal definition to each song. The recording, instrumentation and balance are a lesson in discretion. And most notably, the voice shows no evidence of tampering. It retains a unique identity. Benjamin and his voice are one. There is spit and polish, but no shiny surface. We know this is the same voice with which he thanks someone serving in a shop or laughs at a joke or shares a conversation. There is clarity, there is meaning. We decide how to respond. I respond by being taken places I have always wanted to go but never knew until I pressed play for the first time.


The Things I Love Are Not At Home
The Things I Love Are Not At Home
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars You probably don't know how much you like the Son(s) yet, 26 Dec. 2015
You probably don't know how much you like the Son(s) yet.. but there's still time. The Son(s) seem to be somewhere off the radar, untroubled by trends, enjoying what they do and sharing that with us. Actually, as I understand it, once a full band, The Son(s) are now one man, and this album represents the vision of a gifted songwriter and musician.
From the wonderful horns and vocal harmonies of its melodic past era opener to more contemplative moments, this album of ten new songs rewards close listening. Instrumentation is inventive and electronically organic. Synths and nameless sounds sit comfortably among familiar acoustic bandmates. Lyrically, The Son(s) are revealing. Each taught tale a miniature offering. There's a familiar humanity to lines like 'it doesn't matter anyway, but who needs love'. Sometimes there is wonder, sometimes something forlorn lost or broken - things we only know when we are up close, as if wandering the wilderness of Yukon, randomly stopping now and then to pick up a stone, only to find that it has been carved by a human hand. Perhaps, one way or another, we are never really alone. This album could come from nowhere else but these islands. Born in mist, revealed by the blessing of sunshine. These beautiful songs may tread a path to your heart and mind.


Couperin: Harpsichord Works
Couperin: Harpsichord Works

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couperin in living detail, 4 Mar. 2015
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Delivered within a two days of ordering.. perfect disk.. very pleased. Thank you.

Couperin's music will transport and delight anyone who appreciates baroque period music. Pierre Hantai's performance is in my opinion, rather special. Nothing of the instrument's nature or character is disguised by the recording process. Some may wish for a slightly more dead space without evidence of a performer. But here wood resonates and the movement of mechanisms and keys are revealed as if you were seated in the same room as Hantai. This sense of defined space surrounding instrument and performer is further brought to life by the sound of Hantai's breathing, which may be heard on occasion. The detailed recording and Hantai's virtuosity make this a must have Couperin disk. If you enjoy this wonderful music, I recommend Hantai's recordings of Scarlatti's sonatas, and in particular the first of the three disks, which were also recorded for the Mirare label.


Stained Glass Reflections: Anthology, 1960-1970
Stained Glass Reflections: Anthology, 1960-1970
Price: £35.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stained Glass Morning, 18 Feb. 2014
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Forget, if you can, anything you may have heard about Scott Mckenzie. As an artist he is sometimes lazily dismissed as a one hit wonder, yet he had a career in music before and after the phenomenal success of San Francisco. An aversion to life in the limelight post San Francisco led Mckenzie to abandon his considerable fame for obscurity throughout the 1970's. However, he did not abandon music completely, later touring with The Mamas and the Papas and co writing one of the biggest selling hit singles of the 1980's for the Beach Boys. Mckenzie's remarkable talent as a player, singer and song writer is captured on a number of recordings made during the 1960's, but nowhere more so than on Stained Glass Morning released in 1970. Mckenzie, who plays piano and twelve string and wrote all the songs for the album, was joined in the studio by some notable session men, Ry Cooder among them. The resulting album is remarkable on a number of levels. There's the voice, sonorous and demanding of close attention. The quality of the writing, consistent and at times, not just good, but strikingly so. And at it's core lies the enigma of a gifted man who wrote one beautiful album before seeking out the quiet life in Virginia Beach. While other artists have covered songs from Stained Glass Morning, it has never emerged from the mists of decades past. As an album, lost or otherwise, it offers much more than a poignant symmetry between life and art. Luckily for us then, that we can hear it in its entirety on this Raven released CD.


Be More Like Water
Be More Like Water
Price: £7.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars idmonster - Be More Like Water, 1 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Be More Like Water (MP3 Download)
Pendle Poucher, the gifted British composer and producer behind idmonster, delivers his debut album on the Knitted Cat label. Running just shy of 40 minutes, Be More Like Water is a concise and profoundly cinematic set. But there are no grandiose orchestral gestures here, no head pounding thrill rides. Guitar, harmonium and piano interplay with newly invented sounds. The result is balanced and organic, each carefully crafted piece revealing subtle colours as if shedding veils. With music of this depth, so bejewelled with detail, it is difficult to listen without images flooding the mind. On headphones the experience is immersive, which given idmonster's background in music for film and television, makes perfect sense.
East Arm, the albums waveform and white noise opener, gives way to I Was Drifting Plankton, where equatorial warmth surrounds strummed guitar and organ. Piano chords chime in the flow of unidentifiable sounds, marking the point where idmonster's world is properly introduced. Exe, a sensual lesson in movement which shimmers like heat rising from tarmac, bares comparison to Cliff Martinez's extraordinary score for Soderbergh's 2002 remake of Solaris. Four tracks in and Flat Calm is the first piece to feature conventional drums. Its Germanic rhythms and distorted guitar, which sounds as though it's played through a length of drain pipe, move the album into a sub-surface realm. Think Holger Czukay and Jacki Leibzeit jamming in a disused tube station. At the geographic centre of the album, Conform Or Be Swept Away combines piano and vibes with the sensuality of a body shifting in a chair, of shuffled paper and rustling clothes. Then bowed Siberian strings appear to usher the piece to its arresting close. Fool Moon begins with the short languid flight of an electric bee, before it drops into a liquid abyss. Here as elsewhere, idmonster's electroacoustic mix sparkles from within its own dark shadows. The more percussive Sleeps With The Fishes begins with what sounds like something tapping inquisitively on the hull of a fibreglass boat. The rhythm, a faltering heartbeat of cracks and knocks, forms the backdrop to layers of synth and organ. Overdriven guitar singing with feedback coils and entwines, yet nothing is drowned in its grasp. Then the mood changes once more. Perigee is a short with a shock ending deserving of a spoiler alert. The sense of place idmonster creates here is uncannily lucid, with dreamy instrumentation caressing what may be the barely audible evidence of somebody else's reality. When a piano gives way to distant voices shouting into the silence between loud cracks, the effect is unnerving, as if we have played witness to something no one should see. As Perigee dissolves, so West Arm comes suddenly into view. Minimalist keyboards repeat clustered notes which wriggle to clubby electronic rhythms. At this point it is worth mentioning that while the sumptuous evolving electronics of Be More Like Water provide a deep listening treat, it also works as the perfect accompaniment to passing landscapes in the car. Finally, we are reminded how sparingly repetition has been employed across the album when idmonster delivers a last sonic twist in the tale. Start Something New may be the only song in the set, but it feels at home here and serves as a fitting coda to all that has gone before. The mystery singer's voice is heavily processed, rendering it genderless. A catchy lyric suggests that ultimately, only doers succeed. As if to prove that point, a faltering guitar twangs along to the main melody, striving to imitate its master. Then suddenly it is over. A breathy mellotron is the last thing heard in idmonster's world. And what a richly textured, beautiful world it is.


Rockabilly Psychosis and the Garage Disease
Rockabilly Psychosis and the Garage Disease
Price: £14.25

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seven slices make a good meal, 11 Sept. 2013
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The first seven tracks on this CD re-issue of a 1980's vinyl Big Beat compilation are the reason you should buy this disk. The remaining tracks focus on Big Beat signings and do not represent the best the label had to offer at the time of original release. It's likely Big Beat were hoping to shift a few extra records by The Meteors off the back of this compilation, which was actually bought by those seeking out otherwise difficult to find 1960's oddball rockabilly, surf, pyche and punk 45's. Tracks on offer by The Sting Rays, Guana Bats and Meteors seem asthmatic when set against the whacked out electric invention of The Sonics, The Trashmen and Hasil Adkins. Among the remaining nine tracks on this compilation, those by Jimmy Dickinson, The Milkshakes and The Gun club offer good examples of 1980's garage rock and psyche. The Gun Club's Jack on Fire deserves a special mention. It's a pity The Gun Club came and went largely unnoticed. Many bands and performers never find the audience they deserve - which is why compilations such as this exist, unearthing lost gold and reminding us that Peter Griffin isn't the only one who goes fruit loop over maddeningly catchy yet obscure 1960's garage. A mixed bag then. Get your copy while you still can.


Born to Die
Born to Die
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £5.95

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great voice, but..., 15 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: Born to Die (Audio CD)
Were startling beauty and image alone enough to make me buy an album, in Lana Del Rey's case I just might have been persuaded. But it was the voice of Video Games that persuaded me to part with my cash.

However, I was unprepared for the sense of growing disappointment brought on by every listen to this album. Sure, there are catchy melodies and that incredible voice - which is almost sublime in places. And there is a knock out track in Video Games. But the clueless production really grates. Many of the songs suffer the indignity of being completely undermined by absurd samples chanting nonsense in rhythmic stabs throughout. Think chart friendly hip hop crossover hits of the 1990's and you will be close. In places this record is in danger of being crushed by cliche. Such mediocre production comes as a surprise, all things considered. So if you are going to buy this album, buy it for the pleasure of the voice alone. And hope that if Lana Del Rey makes another record, it will be produced by someone with an imagination to match her vocal talent.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 19, 2013 10:25 AM GMT


2 (Twin Pack) X Anti Allergy "ULTRAFRESH" treated Memory Foam Pillow / Pillows Treated With , Guenine "SERENITY VISCO 5000" BRAND, With A Luxury Neck Pillow
2 (Twin Pack) X Anti Allergy "ULTRAFRESH" treated Memory Foam Pillow / Pillows Treated With , Guenine "SERENITY VISCO 5000" BRAND, With A Luxury Neck Pillow

1.0 out of 5 stars Want a stiff neck?, 6 Jun. 2011
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These pillows were suggested to me by the retailer as being a good value offer when I bought a memory foam mattress topper. At first they seemed fine, if a little firm, but it wasn't long before they became a pain in the neck. After just a couple of weeks the foam became clumpy and hard within the pillows as the foam was compressed by the weight of my head. A couple of months after purchase, the pillows seemed to have no memory at all of the shape they were when I handed over my money. They ended up in the bin and I was out of pocket for a product that was not fit for purpose.

A good night's sleep is an important ingredient to the quality of life. Don't get sucked in by a worthless "bargain" as I did. Invest in it and don't waste your hard earned cash on bed products just because they are cheap. Definitely not recommended.


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