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Profile for Andrew Shurmer > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Andrew Shurmer "Pendragon 579"
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The Machine Stops
The Machine Stops
Offered by nagiry
Price: £9.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not brilliant, not awful, just somewhere in between..., 16 Nov. 2016
This review is from: The Machine Stops (Audio CD)
First impression - noticed straight away that the lyrics to 'King of the World' are the same as the lyrics on 'The Prophecy' from 2012's ''Onward'' album. Completely different tune but the same lyrics recycled. Noticed a few other musical song structure themes from previous Brock/HW songs creeping in too e.g. The Damage of Life. And 'Lost In Science' has 'The Last Tango' from 'Brockworld' as a coda. Other observations? Might be a random stream of consciousness but here goes: The recruitment of Haz to my mind is a tacit admission that the band was lacking in the bass department up to that point. You can certainly tell when he is playing. The booklet misses out the lyrics to 'In My Room' and 'Tube', not sure why. Who plays violin on this album? I would expect it to be Fred but nobody is credited. Dave Brock has more vocal tracks on this album and [designated lead vocalist] Dibs has only two vocals. And Richard has none while Fred has one. Make of that what you will, but I think it works better with Dave stamping more of his presence on proceedings. There ARE some good moments on this album, e.g. Synchronised Blue, Hexagone. Others hand around too long and outstay their welcome e.g. The Harmonic Hall. Not sure it hangs together as a true concept album like 'The Chronicle of the Black Sword' does [beginning/middle/end], it's more a thematic album like 'Take Me To Your Leader' was. Overall it's not an immediate foot-tapper, repeated plays may help with that. But I do I think it's better than Onward [which I really couldn't get on with, despite several tries]. The production/mix is slightly better than last time [except 'A Solitary Man', that DOES need less polka disco beat and more bottom end (or something)] or is it that the song quality is higher?!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2016 7:16 PM GMT


Zennox 6-in-1 Midi Hi-Fi Turntable Music System Vinyl Cassettes Radio & CDs LCD Display with Speakers (Hi-Fi)
Zennox 6-in-1 Midi Hi-Fi Turntable Music System Vinyl Cassettes Radio & CDs LCD Display with Speakers (Hi-Fi)
Offered by CLIFFORD JAMES
Price: £299.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not entirely fit for the purpose for which it was designed..., 17 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Oh dear. OK first problem is the turntable platter is 7 inches wide, rather than the 11 inches wide style as seen on older Hi-Fi all-in-one systems. I would also say the tone arm is not heavy enough to do the job. This means previously pristine LPs and 12 inch records wobble and jump on playback. Also for some reason [noise-gate on pre-amp?] the sound on the turntable doesn't cut in when the needle actually hits the vinyl, it cuts in once the music starts playing, which of course means you miss the very start of the song being played. Combine these assorted problems and recording your vinyl to USB is never going to be satisfactory, like a handbrake on a canoe it is not fit for purpose. Again the recording process is a bit hit and miss, I have tried two units now [glutton for punishment] and sometimes the unit would read my previously pristine USB stick and sometimes it wouldn't. Then having got record to work there would be no music on playback of the recorded vinyl track, just silence. Then, if you were lucky enough to actually record something, on then transferring the USB to my pc [which has the Windows 7 operating system] it would refuse to play the USB stick at all, saying the tracks had errors on them that prevented playback. The folder created on the USB stick said that the file was created in 2009 so I would assume that the technology is too outdated to work on pcs, laptops or tablets with more modern operating systems like Windows 7. Tape playback and CD playback were fine, sound from the speakers seemed OK, hence two stars rather than one star...


Spacehawks
Spacehawks
Price: £6.87

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Odds n sods..., 2 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Spacehawks (Audio CD)
Well we have 16 tracks here, two of which 'We took the Wrong Step' and 'It's All Lies' are not actually Hawkwind per se [Dave Brock solo and 'Hawkwind Light Orchestra' respectively]. Of the remainder three tracks are remixes of recent album tracks, another is a shortened version of another recent album track, six are studio reworkings of "classic" numbers and four are genuine new numbers. Of these 'Sacrosanct' has a certain something, 'Lonely Moon' is beautiful but could do with being longer, 'Touch' is OK and 'The Chumps Are Jumping' isn't very good. Hmmmm. The three remixes of recent tracks are better than the originals [but they should have been mixed properly in the first place of course]. The six studio reworkings cannot by definition really match the originals (except Where Are They Now, which was never done in the studio first time around) and therein lies the problem, it seems a little pointless. I suppose this means that the next studio album should now contain all-new material as presumably all the recent 'reworkings' are all here aren't they? And if this means 40 minutes of killer new original material as opposed to stretching things out to say 50 or 60 minutes by adding reworkings then so be it. Otherwise take a leaf out of Blue Oyster Cult's book and don't do any new studio albums unless you have anything new to say!!


Cold Winter
Cold Winter

4.0 out of 5 stars Amanda Somerville strikes again!, 22 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Cold Winter (MP3 Download)
I like this song, a bit formulaic for some apparently, but good performances throughout and Ms. Somerville turns in a star turn as ever... Nice guitar solo and video too [now, about that word 'bravery' instead of 'braveness']...


The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere over the Sea) (Radio Edit)
The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere over the Sea) (Radio Edit)
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fender Strat has entered the building..., 22 Oct. 2013
Very good edit of the great album song. Lots of electric guitar in evidence here, which ought to appease those who have been unable to accept any of Mr Blackmore's output since 1997 [but sadly I doubt it]...


Paradise (What About Us?) [feat. Tarja]
Paradise (What About Us?) [feat. Tarja]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a revelation!, 22 Oct. 2013
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Nope I've never really listened to Within Temptation before but this collaboration with the mighty Tarja has certainly piqued my interest! Sounds a bit like Nightwish to my ears but crucially without the Hans Zimmeresque touches/annoyances that litter Imaginarium. This is a good symphonic metal song complete with guitar solo. Tarja may be holding back vocally a tad but ultimately this is not her gig, she is only guesting, so fair play there...


City of the Future
City of the Future
Price: £0.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Elric or LOTR?, 31 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: City of the Future (MP3 Download)
This great song sounds like it belongs on 'Chronicle of the Black Sword' and the lyrics perhaps suggest that Minas Tirith is the intended recipient [what is it with gleaming white cities in literature?]. Either way it is a great way to end the album and it does make you wonder whether 'Xenon Codex' would have a better reputation if Hawkwind had done a version of this and ended 'Xenon Codex' with it rather than the insufferable non-song that is 'Good Evening'. Either way Huw is sadly missed...


Say Yes!
Say Yes!
by Rick Wakeman
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good page turner...., 13 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Say Yes! (Paperback)
Takes Rick's career from the beginning up to 1995. It details the drinking, the marriages (and some of the divorces), the music and some of the bizarre happenings and stories that have since become Rick's forte. It is a very honest book so it does detail Rick's personal faith in some detail, obviously this won't be everyone's cup of tea but it would have been hypocritical to leave it out I feel. Obviously this is written before the stormy break-up with third wife Nina so the book ends on a positive 'non-grumpy' note...


Concerto For Group And Orchestra (Bonus one Audio DVD)
Concerto For Group And Orchestra (Bonus one Audio DVD)
Price: £14.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Fitting finale and epitaph to a modern composing great..., 13 Mar. 2013
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This is absolutely brilliant, every aspect works and Bruce Dickinson is a revelation [as part of a brave move to keep most of the other erstwhile members of Deep Purple away from proceedings]... So glad that the original score was recreated and transcribed... Proves without doubt to the classical purists that you don't have to be 150 years old [or dead, or both] to write 'proper' music these days...


La Bambola Di Pezza
La Bambola Di Pezza
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning voice..., 13 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: La Bambola Di Pezza (MP3 Download)
This lady has a stunning voice [the song is in Italian] and Rick Wakeman's superb ear for melody and arrangement do the rest... If you like opera and/or arias then it's game on.... Track the video down too because it is very clever (especially the end sequence)...


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