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Guy Incognito

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A New Career In A New Town (1977 - 1982)
A New Career In A New Town (1977 - 1982)
Price: £99.99

5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb. Sonically and musically., 3 Oct. 2017
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Ignore the bandwagon jumpers and nasty people who are jealous of the great work of Tony Visconti, and who are in hysterics over a tiny change in one song that appears in this set multiple times. Unless you're playing this on a high-end hifi, the supposed butchering of Heroes is barely noticeable.

There's nothing else to complain about, so just sit back, crank it up and enjoy some of the greatest music ever made.

Villains [Double LP, 14 prints, 180g vinyl, heavyweight tipped-on sleeve} [VINYL]
Villains [Double LP, 14 prints, 180g vinyl, heavyweight tipped-on sleeve} [VINYL]
Price: £26.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb return to form., 28 Aug. 2017
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Five stars are reserved for the band's highest watermarks (that'd be Songs For The Deaf and Rated R), but this album is the sound of how act two of QOTSA should be rolling. They're not dangerous or risky any more, but they are a good, solid rock band who've found a groove and know how to work it. Mark Ronson's production means it's not too heavy or weird, but it's hook-y and fun, and Josh is in great voice. Compared to the last two albums which had a couple of bright spots and lots of underwhelming stuff, this has taken 'Smooth Sailing' from the last album as its launchpad, and struts around in a way that they've hinted at before ('Make It Wit'chu', 'Skin On Skin') but take all the way to the top here. Sure the first single could soundtrack an identikit iPod advert, but it's the most straightforward thing on here and the rest makes up for it. You could say that 'Head Like A Haunted House' is an updated version of something by Neu, which you won't catch many chart-bound rock bands dong these days. (And unlike Radiohead, they're actually dong it well.)

New drummer Jon Theodore underpins the songs with a nice rolling sound, after a decade of the powerful but largely lumpen drumming of Joey Castillo, and a lot of the songs rest on the power of the rhythm section while the guitars and keys are great at locking into a formation sound, making 'The Evil Has Landed' a masterpiece of super-tight crotch-thrusting sleaze-rock. And yes, the ratio of good to bad is very much in the former's favour, with only two of the nine songs not being especially memorable or great (the finale 'Villains Of Circumstance', and the by-numbers 'Fortress').

So if, like me, you've been a fan for a long time and are buying this out of loyalty, you're in for a treat. It's nice to see that the band are upping their game after finally rediscovering a long-lost groove.

Lastly, if you're a vinyl purchaser, the special edition 180g vinyl package is a beauty - nicely pressed vinyl in a well-presented sleeve, with some excellent (if you like that sort of thing) 12"x12" art prints. There's also a download code for both mp3 and FLAC included.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Deluxe Edition)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Deluxe Edition)
Price: £13.99

12 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buy this if you want to hate The Beatles, because they sound terrible., 29 May 2017
Giles Martin clearly needs a new extension on his country pile, and he's making gullible Beatles fans pay for it with this dreck.

If you purchase this (as with Anthology, BBC Let It Be...Naked, Love or any other after-the-fact revisionism), you are complicit in helping to destroy the near-perfect legacy of The Beatles. Until the mid-90s, they were a band that went out on top with barely a bad song in their catalogue, then suddenly it seemed perfectly okay to tarnish that reputation with some half-baked nonsense of unreleased takes that cheapened their entire catalogue. Are they ever historically interesting? Barely. Are they ever actually listenable? Absolutely not.

And that's just what this set does. It sets out to ruin the album it's supposed to be celebrating. It's the album with its pants down, a magician showing you how his illusion works. It's work in progress nonsense that strips away the fun, romance and magic that the band once had (especially this culturally significant album) in the name of a quick buck.

What it boils down to is this: how can anyone justify paying hard-earned cash to hear the band plough their way through half a CD of inferior versions of Strawberry Fields Forever, when the perfection of the original exists?

If you like The Beatles, give yourself some credit, remember them as they were, and stay away.
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 20, 2017 10:04 PM BST

Plastic Ono Band
Plastic Ono Band
Price: £9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncompromising and utterly thrilling., 17 Jan. 2017
This review is from: Plastic Ono Band (Audio CD)
This probably scared off a few folks, and had a few more scratching their heads if they mistook it for the companion album by Mr. Ono with its similar cover and title. Basically this is a talented artist in full flight, backed by half of the most famous band in the world, and a competent if unexciting bass player in Klaus Voorman. The John-Ringo duo obviously had a HUGE impact on Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger, and display some absolutely ferocious playing. But the star of the show is Yoko, who spends the album working through her Janov-inspired therapy, with an incredible texture and tone to her voice - somewhere between an electric violin and a soprano sax. Her level of vocal control veers between methodic, precise use to uncontrolled bursts of sheer force, which is a marvel to behold - the sign of an artist truly expressing themselves.

Coupled with the found sounds and experiments in musique concrète, not to mention an Ornette Coleman sax accompaniment, this is a landmark album for a melting point between jazz, avant-garde and pop, foreshadowing both Neu and the foundations of industrial music in the late 70s. If you're brave enough to take the step of expanding you musical horizons, this is a great place to start.

I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A very good collaboration, 26 Oct. 2016
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As the first of the post-split Walkmen album to not feature any other former band members, and the first major project for Rostam after his departure from Vampire Weekend, this is a confident fresh start for both of the top-billed contributors.

It's not quite Hamilton Leithauser singing Vampire Weekend, but there's certainly moments like that, mixed in with the pair's mutual love of doo-wop (first shown on the songs co-written with Rostam on Leithauser's Black Hours LP), and a couple of familiar Walkmen-esque numbers, like 'The Bride's Dad'. Top of the pile though, are the gentle finger-picked acoustic guitars on 'In A Black Out', or the closing '1959' which features Deradoorian from Dirty Projectors offering bell-clear guest vocals in contrast to Leithauser's sandpaper tones over an arrangement as delicate as a bonsai tree. Worth it just for this track.

Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy
Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy
by Mike Love
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.89

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mike Love - not a genius, just a hard working guy., 28 Sept. 2016
An excellent opportunity for Mike Love to recast himself away from the cartoon villain role that's been unjustly put upon him, and he turns in an excellent account. There's lots here for the casual and dedicated Beach Boys fan to devour, and even with a healthy amount of skepticism, the end result shows that Mike Love brought out the best in Brian Wilson, but is also a fine commercial composer in his own right who's been dealt an uneven hand, sometimes through his own doing, but mostly not.

Regarding the Wilsons, he repeatedly acknowledges Brian and Dennis as a talented creative forces (especially Brian), but doesn't sugar-coat their less wholesome habits, which in turn makes the family dynamic all the more human, and heartbreaking to see when it goes wrong.

Mike's place in history is assured, and as he continues to work well into his 70s to keep the name and songs of The Beach Boys alive on the road, he deserves this chance to be positively re-assessed as a superb singer and one of the two driving forces that made The Beach Boys succeed as much as they did in their glory years.

..It's Too Late to Stop Now...Volumes II, III & IV (Live)
..It's Too Late to Stop Now...Volumes II, III & IV (Live)
Price: £12.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world's greatest live album gets three perfect counterparts, 9 Sept. 2016
So, there's practically no competition to the original LP being one of the greatest live albums ever made. I'm sure you like other live albums, but honestly this one is better, isn't it? Yeah, you know it is.

Anyway, the original LP is now expanded to the equivalent of four double albums, as vols 2, 3, and 4 are all 15 tracks of pure live bliss. No point in going over the minutiae, but I daresay any band or performer would give their right arm to have one gig as glorious and cathartic as this, let alone four. The setlist for each of these is different-but-similar, so there's some repetition, but the feel and playing in each is nothing less than stellar. Not just in the sense of it being technically good, but the feel (especially in the swinging rhythm section) is just perfect. John Platania's guitar work is just so tasteful and also tasty; when you compare him on the various versions of Caravan to how Robbie Robertson tackles in in The Last Waltz shows up Robertson as the lesser talented player. Dig also his crying guitar work on the Vol IV version of I Just Want To Make Love To You. Perfectly restrained playing but equally as expressive.

What's more, Van is vocally at his peak. Example: the version of Cyprus Avenue on Vol II, where his call and response with the band as he works up his cries of BABY to a throat-shredding but still incredible B-A-A-A-A-A-BY! is worth of any soul great, whipping up the audience in the rapturous outpouring of his testifying, and even puts the original album's stellar take to shame.

Van fan or not, this is a man at the height of his performing powers with a backing band and enough soul to make you beg scream and shout for more. I daresay Kevin Rowland (one of the few post-Morrison singers to match him for intensity) took a lot of inspiration from this tour, but this expanded template is still a joyous proposition. Buy, without hesitation.

Community - Season 1-6 [DVD]
Community - Season 1-6 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Joel McHale
Price: £42.99

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest television show of the last ten years bar none ..., 9 Jun. 2016
This review is from: Community - Season 1-6 [DVD] (DVD)
The greatest television show of the last ten years bar none (well, maybe Arrested Development). The good thing about it is that you can either binge on it without it getting tiresome, or watch any random individual episode and pretty much gain the same amount of enjoyment every time. The casting is without exception magnificent, and yes the fourth season is noticeably different due to Dan Harmon's departure. However, this works to its advantage as the later season progressed, laying the groundwork for it to become even more peculiar. The cast changes are generally well handled (there's more or less twelve 'main' characters), and even the departure of nearly half of the 'Greendale Seven' by the final series is buoyed by the two excellent newcomers (especially Paget Brewster, who should have been introduced far earlier).

There are too many standout episodes to go into detail, but there's at least one episode per series that manages to be funny, disgusting, poignant and involving in one go. If you're new to Community and want a taster, I recommend any of the paintball episodes, Hallowe'en episodes or Christmas episodes (especially the Glee--ripping high point of "Regional Holiday Music")

Highly reco-dean-ded.

Fallen Angels [VINYL]
Fallen Angels [VINYL]
Price: £16.92

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bob heads for the clubs, 31 May 2016
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This review is from: Fallen Angels [VINYL] (Vinyl)
If you were fool enough to think that Bob Dylan would spend his entire career as a mystic poet, either raging against the establishment or abstractedly delivering lines about his various romantic muses, it seems you don't get it. Bob does what he likes, and doesn't care what you think. Good for him. He owes the listener precisely nothing, and it's their choice as to whether you follow or not. Me, I like the idea of being in an intimate jazz club with Bob giving his best crooner schtick (black tie optional). I love the intimacy in the arrangements, and hearing Bob's close-mic breathing. It's easy on the ear, and far more appealing than listening to him espousing the glory of God, or his mid-80s productions. Come on, be honest - is this worse than anything on 'Under The Red Sky'?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 29, 2016 9:00 PM BST

Prince Johnny
Prince Johnny
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 22 Oct. 2015
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This review is from: Prince Johnny (MP3 Download)
One of two covers from former Walkmen members that features on Amazon Acoustics, this is an absolute triumph. Peter Matthew Bauer completely recreates the St Vincent song into something more wooden and organic, and puts in what appears to be a completely solo performance, but with so much passion that it seems like one of his own compositions. Despite only just starting his solo career after years as the organ player in The Walkmen, Peter shines as a solo singer songwriter and guitar player on this. Easily one of the best covers of 2015.

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