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New Routes
New Routes

5.0 out of 5 stars A Lulu of an album!, 19 April 2015
This review is from: New Routes (Audio CD)
Okay, please feel free dismiss the unoriginal title of my review, but 'New Routes' really is a gem in Lulu's vast musical catalogue. It's just a shame that so many people aren't even aware of it's existence.

After a fruitful association with the Columbia label and Mickey Most as her producer, Lulu spread her wings away from the rinky-ding pop material that didn't take advantage of her raw and soulful voice, and she signed to Atco Records in America in 1969.

Now working with the likes of Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd, who had previously worked with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Eric Clapton, she cut the first of two albums at Mussel Shoals in Alabama, and 'New Routes' was the best. This LP, with that fabulous picture of Lulu on the front, contained the soulful 'Oh Me Oh My', which became a big hit in the States, a hauntingly beautiful rendition of 'Mr. Bojangles', which I've rarely heard done better, two tracks by the Bee Gees: 'Marley Purt Drive' and 'In The Morning', and an excellent cover of Frankie Miller's 'After All (I Live My Life)'.

Like the next album, 1970's 'Melody Fair', 'New Routes' was well-received in the States, but it failed to do anything back in Britain. Perhaps it was to American in it's style? Maybe! Personally though, I think that Lulu has having trouble ditching the pop star image that had been given her, unfairly in my opinion.

'New Routes' is one of Lulu's best-ever albums. But here's the thing, you should buy the compilation: The Atco Sessions 1969-1972, which includes all these tracks, every song on 'Melody Fair', some unreleased recordings, and a booklet with rare pictures and comments from the lady herself. It's a real collector's package.

Track listing
1. Marley Purt Drive
2. In The Morning
3. People In Love
4. After All (I Live My Life)
5. Feelin' Alright
6. Dirty Old Man
7. Oh Me Oh My (I'm A Fool For You Baby)
8. Is That You Love
9. Mr Bojangles
10. Where's Eddie
11. Sweep Around Your Own Back Door

Price: £3.43

2.0 out of 5 stars Brady and Hindley, 19 April 2015
This review is from: NEDDIE AND HESS (Kindle Edition)
'Neddie and Hess' is another book about Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, the notorious 'moors murderers'. It is presented in the form of a novel, and is reasonably well written, although I felt that the author was trying a little too hard to make his writing 'clever' that he appeared to lose sight of his subject.

The research for 'Neddie and Hess' (nicknames that the killers gave to each other), as the authors clearly states in the forward, was formed by reading Emlyn Williams' 'Beyond Belief', a dated book that was semi-fiction, and many of Williams' theories have since proved incorrect. Not a bad read, well written and certainly unusual, but I can see why it's only available for the Kindle. This is not a factual account of the crimes so be warned.

Russell Kane - Smokescreens &  Castles Live [DVD]
Russell Kane - Smokescreens & Castles Live [DVD]
Price: £7.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very funny man!, 19 April 2015
One of my best pickups from Poundworld recently was this DVD. I was familiar with Russell Kane via his appearances on TV shows like 'Mock of the Week' and when he presented 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! NOW!', and found him quite funny. I'd never seen him perform comedy before, but I'm so glad that I bought 'Smokescreens & Castles', and was only disappointed with that this appears to be his only DVD at the moment, because I wanted more.

In his campy and theatrical style, Russell is filled with energy as soon as he sets foot onto the stage. The show, recorded in 2010, focuses heavily on his rather complicated relationship with his father, and although he speaks honestly about his dad's old-fashioned views and ways that were typical for men of his generous, it was still very obvious to me that he really did love his father, and he embraces these stories. Likewise, he is able to poke fun at his routes and hometown, because he feels such affection for them.

Clearly a very clever man, Russell Kane's comedy is deeply personal, very refreshing, and extremely funny. This is one of the best comedy DVDs I've seen in a long time.

Suck It And See
Suck It And See
Price: £7.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An experimental album, 19 April 2015
This review is from: Suck It And See (Audio CD)
The Arctic Monkeys' fourth album was certainly very different to the first two in it's style, but a change of direction had already begun in 2009 with 'Humbug', their third album. Unlike several of my friends, I started playing 2010's 'Suck It And See' on repeat virtually straight away. The album is very experimental, with songs that are less dark and fast, and largely more slower and wistful, this is quality guitar pop, with smart lyrics and the usual energy throughout. Some of the tracks aren't as instantly engaging or memorable as those on Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, so I'd recommend that you give them a few spins over before you make your judgement.

What I like about this one is that it has a real vintage feel to it, very 1970s but with a modern-day twist. The lads were maturing nicely with this album and progressing further as serious artists. That's not to say that I personally regard it as good as the early stuff, I don't, but I still rate 'Suck It and See' highly. It didn't spawn any really big hit singles, but songs like 'Reckless Serenade', 'She's Thunderstorms', 'Black Treacle' and 'Brick By Brick' are solid tunes. You also get a re-recorded version of 'Piledriver Waltz', although, if I'm honest, I much prefer Alex Tuners' solo version.

Polished, overlooked and underrated, buy this album and give it a chance.

Shine Vol.6 [40 Track Double Album]
Shine Vol.6 [40 Track Double Album]
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £5.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic indie goodness, 19 April 2015
'Shine' was a series of compilations focusing entirely on the biggest indie rock bands of the day, sort of a 'Now That's What I Call Music' for this particular genre. This double album, released in September 1996, and contains 40 solid tracks, big hits from major Britpop artists, and several which are quite obscure now.

Track listing

CD One
1. Paul Weller : Peacock Suit
2. Charlatans : One To Another
3. Manic Street Preachers : A Design For Life
4. Suede : Trash
5. Dodgy : Good Enough
6. Ocean Colour Scene : The Circle
7. Shed Seven : On Standby
8. Menswear : We Love You
9. Cardigans : Lovefool
10. Blur : Charmless Man
11. Ben Folds Five : Underground
12. The Divine Comedy : Becoming More Like Alfie
13. My Life Story : 12 Reasons Why I Love Her
14. Sleeper : Sale Of The Century
15. Babybird : Goodnight
16. Joyrider : Rush Hour
17. Boo Radleys : What's In The Box? (See Whatcha Got)
18. Presidents Of The United States Of America : Lump
19. Rocket From The Crypt : On A Rope

CD Two
1. Cranberries : Free To Decide
2. Electronic : Forbidden City
3. Oasis : Champagne Supernova
4. Cast : Walkaway
5. Pulp : Something Changed
6. Longpigs : On And On
7. Terrorvision : Bad Actress
8. Levellers : Exodus (Live)
9. Mansun : Stripper Vicar
10. Imperial Teen : You're One
11. Northern Uproar : Livin' It Up
12. Heavy Stereo : Chinese Burn
13. Elcka : Look At You Now
14. Lush : 500 (Shake Baby Shake)
15. Dubstar : Elevator Song
16. Sarah Cracknell : Anymore
17. Ruth : Valentine's Day
18. Bawl : Beyond Safe Ways
19. Sussed : One In A Million
20. Kenickie : Punka
21. Placebo : 36 Degrees

Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £2.50

4.0 out of 5 stars A consistently good album, 19 April 2015
This review is from: Illumination (Audio CD)
Paul Weller's voice and music was sounding as good as ever when he released his sixth solo album in 2002. 'Illumination' might actually be my favourite out of all of his albums, and there isn't a track on it that I'd skip over.

Highlights include the breezy opener 'Going Places', the beautiful 'Leafy Mysteries', the bluesy 'Call Me No.5', which is a duet with Stereophonics' singer Kelly Jones, and the acoustic-sounding 'One x One', a collaboration with Oasis's Gem Archer and Noel Gallagher.

Perfect for driving, walking, or just relaxing in the Summer, 'Illumination' creates a wonderful feeling whenever you listen to it, and is of consistently high quality. This is one album that should satisfy not only avid fans of this song-writing great, but to people who just appreciate good, uplifting music.

Diehard Weller fans though will probably want to get their hands on the limited edition version, Illumination [CD + DVD], which includes a bonus DVD featuring three live songs filmed at The 'Route of Kings', Hyde Park, and the music video for the single 'It's Written In The Stars'.

Mother's Day [DVD]
Mother's Day [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rebecca De Mornay
Price: £5.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Great thriller, with top performances, 19 April 2015
This review is from: Mother's Day [DVD] (DVD)
The sadistic members of a villainous family return to their childhood home, which has since been sold. The three brother's latest crime spree has backfired, and they need money to make their escape. They terrorize the new home owners and their guests. Yes, it's another one of those home invasion movies, but with a difference, the added ingredient is the criminal mastermind behind these lads, their complex mother, beautifully played by Rebecca De Mornay.

I thought that 'Mother's Day' was a fantastic film, and this is coming from someone who isn't usually very good with watching 'blood fests'. Some of the violence here did make me scrim in my bed, but it was okay, for this movie has so much going for it. I enjoyed the good plot, the interesting characters, played with first-class performances, and there was even some priceless black comedy that set me about laughing. Filled with suspense from beginning to end, what I most interesting was watching the characters who are held prisoners, make their decisions, which left me questioning whether or not I would have done the same had I been in their shoes.

'Mother's Day' may have a rather cheap name, but it's not what you might expect, it's a good little thriller. Rebecca De Mornay is especially superb in her part.

This Modern Glitch
This Modern Glitch
Price: £8.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insanely catchy album, 18 April 2015
This review is from: This Modern Glitch (Audio CD)
I was quite a fan of Liverpool's The Wombats' debut album Guide to Love Loss & Desperation, and at first I was under the impression that album number two wasn't as good. Now, I can safely say that it is just as good, if not better.

I just love this band and their quirky, upbeat, feel-good music, with the completely relatable and highly 'British' lyrics. It's very unlikely to win these guys any awards, but who cares?, it's just so fun, and the perfect remedy to lift you're mood after a difficult day. 'This Modern Glitch' is far more electronic than the first, but still maintains that indie-rock feel, rather like Two Door Cinema Club. My pick of the songs is 'Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)', which had me hooked on first listen, a very catchy tune with a real Britpop feel.

Keep this album with you throughout the Summer.

The Balcony
The Balcony
Offered by Dynamic Solution UK Ltd
Price: £5.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely amazing debut !, 18 April 2015
This review is from: The Balcony (Audio CD)
I can't recommend this album highly enough to all lovers of good indie-rock music. This exciting and energetic debut flows like fine wine with one great song after another. It's so good to see this kind of music back again with Catfish and the Bottlemen, four young Welsh lads who claim that their songs are ''loud, explosive, sexy and young - and full of guitars'' - well they aren't lying.

There are so many tracks on here that could be singles, that it's impossible for me to single only a couple of then out, so buy 'The Balcony', and pick you're own favourites. If you think of them as like a successor to the Arctic Monkeys with a sound like The Strokes, The Kooks, and the early Stereophonics, you wouldn't be far off the mark. A very catchy album from a very promising band. Real British music rocks!

Shine Vol.4 [21 New Blazing Indie Hits]
Shine Vol.4 [21 New Blazing Indie Hits]
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Last of the single 'Shine' albums, 18 April 2015
'Shine' was a series of compilations focusing entirely on the biggest indie rock bands of the day, and were kind 'Now That's What I Call Music' albums for this particular genre. This fourth entry was released in January 1996, contains 20 solid tracks, and marked a change, because the sets then went from single discs to doubles.

Track listing
1. Cast : Sandstorm
2. Pulp : Mis-Shapes
3. Supergrass : Mansize Rooster
4. Menswear : Sleeping In
5. Shed Seven : Getting Better
6. Northern Uproar : From A Window
7. Ocean Colour Scene : The Riverboat Song
8. Skunk Anansie : Weak
9. Number One Cup : Divebomb
10.Marion : Time
11. Longpigs : Far
12. Blur : The Universal
13. Echobelly : Dark Therapy
14. Gene : For The Dead
15. Stone Roses : Ten Storey Love Song
16. Radiohead : Just
17. Lightning Seeds : Lucky You
18. Cardigans : Carnival
19. Dubstar : Anywhere
20. Smokin' Mojo Filters : Come Together
21. Oasis & Friends : Fade Away

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