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Reviews Written by
Damien Boyd

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The Storm
The Storm

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a Storm in a tea cup....., 9 Aug. 2006
This review is from: The Storm (Audio CD)
What follows here are a number of non-lyrical pieces of music that defy classification. It's not traditional in the normal sense because of its modern feel yet the instruments of traditional music are used. The album tone is extremely affecting, possessing an "influence" of a poem. I would recommend listening to the album while driving as it has a very calming affect. The first track is "the lark", a roving celebration, I suppose, to that tuneful bird. 12 minutes plus, I might add. Then the mood changes to the moody yet delicious piece called "the Titanic", a tribute perhaps, to the mighty liner. This tune is especially spiced up with wonderfully slow additions of instruments a la tubular bells. "The Storm", the title track continues in a similar vein, evoking a feel of huge waves, salt water spray and ever darkening clouds. "Finore" and "Tribute" are slower than the previous offerings with magical offerings, particularly from the wonderful Uillean pipes. "May Morning Dew" a very short piece evokes a mood of awakening and helps the album finish gently.

This album has reached "classic" status in Ireland with arguably the cream of instrumentalists working together.

A Fistful Of Dynamite (Special Edition) [DVD]
A Fistful Of Dynamite (Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rod Steiger
Offered by alentertainment
Price: £8.97

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive...!, 8 May 2006
I agree wholeheartily with the 2 previous reviewers and can add little extra to their splendid reviews. The most-excellent Sir Christopher Frayling does a voice-over which helps explain the background to the events. He is one of the original Leone fans and he is very passionate in his love of the Film making style used. I have watched this movie for over 25 years and it nevers fails to make me emotional. The music from Morricone (perhaps his masterpiece?) aids this process greatly. It also provokes greater universal debate e.g. Power, the long-term success/failure of revolutions (the end justifying the means), greed and poverty....

The ending of the movie is different to that shown originally on TV and I am still stunned by the final revelations..

The extras are to die for...

Enough said....

Cafe Del Mar - Ibiza - Volumen Tres
Cafe Del Mar - Ibiza - Volumen Tres
Offered by westworld-
Price: £20.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sounds of the sea and the air, 17 Aug. 2004
In summary a truly wonderful collection of latino tunes selected by Jose Padilla. This DJ sets out his stall right from the start with a central theme of tunes which start slowly and build up rhythmically. Its mostly noises (few selections have vocals) and the sound of the waves and the wind take centre stage. Some especially-striking numbers are "Walk on air" from Padilla himself, a Nova Nova piano offering, Pat Metheny's old chesnut "Sueno Con Mexico" and the jewel in the crown "Panama's Bazaar" by Eighth Wave. I felt perfectly refreshed listening to this CD. Best one of the Cafe Del Mar series so far for me!

A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Conveyance of a troubled mind., 17 Aug. 2004
This review is from: A Beautiful Mind (Audio CD)
"Appropriate" is the word best suited to James Horner's composition for this big hit movie. The music caught my attention mid-way through the movie as events started to go dreadfully wrong for the troubled mathematical genius. Up until this point it was typical enough of the gendre. This change in tone is the "secret weapon" within, conveying the slow disintegration of the protagonist's mind. What follows from tracks 6 to 10 is, for all intents and purposes, the same tune rearranged in many different ways. It is extremely menacing, allowing us to feel the pain of one man's inability to grasp reality. Eventually the mood changes to one of redemption and defiance as this man overcomes many of his inner demons. Despite the desperate tones this CD makes great background music and I would recommend!(particularly if you too felt that mid-movie mood change.)

The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland
The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland
by Hugh Thomson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A traveller's guidebook, 17 Mar. 2004
This book is dedicated to pilgrims everywhere. It is an epic story emanating from one man's decision to leave everything behind to discover, and later, re-discover Peru. It is told over a 20 year period and, in the process of discovering Peru, the author discovers himself. Hugh Thompson is one of us; he narrates as if he knows we are listening; he keeps us involved!
Most of us have a fair idea about Peru's historical ancesters - multiple tribes of Indians collectively knowns as "Incas",who worshipped the sun, wore colourful custumes and who shaped beautiful objects from the plentiful supplies of gold and silver. Alas, their world was to be turned upside down by 150 Spanish invaders who, with their modern weapons and protective metal gear, defeated a confused, vulnerable and highly superstitious race. Hugh breaks up this tragic history over the entire story as he travels through Peru. We are fed pieces of the history and we greedliy ask for more.
The books starts brilliantly - "Raiders of the Lost ark" was released just as he returned from his first visit to Peru and he excitedly watched it in a London cinema. Although too fantastic for words, the vision of "Indy" searching in caves for a lost inca idol is the stuff of legends. Secretly, we all see ourselves in that role - the discoverer of lost artefacts in forgotten, swampy, tropical jungles.
His first visit was in 1982. He sees an unrefined yet friendly place as he and some friends "rough it". There are many discomforts and food is constantly rationed as they trek off the beaten path. Alcohol, coca plants, excessively-strong joints and food-binges in Cusco become a regular respite. He becomes a real traveller and jokingly scorns the "tourists" who arrive at Macchu Piccu the easy way. Thompson is in awe of this lost city but he is looking for other forgotten locations, lost in the undergrowth. He is loath to give Hiram Bingham too much credit for "discovering" Micch Piccu. The city was known to locals and previous travellers but Bingham gets the credit for "reporting it officially". Thompson refutes the former's assertion that Macchu Piccu was a last refuge for Inca women, there to serve the last Inca and worship the sun as it broke through the mountains at dawn.
Thompson, like myself, feels a deep sense of loss at the distruction of the empire by a small group of greedy and brutal foreigners - the beautiful gold and silver idols they crafted melted to make bullion. This is turn mirrors the melting down and disintegration of a most distinct culture. It is a very tragic tale and the reader can become affected by the brutality of their demise.
Thompson eventually reaches the white rock, the last location of the Incas...and we take a deep breath and start to read it all over again....
As I contemplate a future vist to Peru this book will be my best companion...Top reading!

Say You Will
Say You Will
Offered by JB's CDs DVDs
Price: £10.68

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust them...this is what they do.., 21 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Say You Will (Audio CD)
Word for word, lyric for lyric, chord for chord, arrangement for arrangement...this may be Fleetwood Mac's finest recording. That is indeed a big boast but I have every confidence that fans will concur.
It has been a long time since the Mac recorded together...we have living off the tunes of the past gladly sheparding them in the "thanks for the memories" section of the CD stand. This album has been the surprise of 2003, firstly because of their sudden reappearance (brave in itself) and secondly because it is a truly wonderful piece of music.
The magic touch that Lindsey Buckingham brings to FM and, especially, to Stefanie Nick's songs can't be overstated. He has matured and, before its too late, realised that this band wins always over his solo career (good though it is).
It is true to say that there isn't a weak song on the album. It starts with typical Lindsey tracks "Whats the world coming to" and "Murrow's turning in his grave"...you know at this stage that somethings special has arrived
We then hear some really outstanding Stevie tracks..the September 11 gentle tribute "Illume" and possibly the best track "Thrown down"...with distinct FM guitar and harmonies.
Miranda is "Lindseys' answer, a song with a "tusk" feel. we note John McVie's tremendous bass contribution. "Say you will" makes the perfect pop song and rightly made progress in the charts. "Red Rover" is guitar heaven but also very touching and sad. "Peacekeeper" brings a sobering anti-war feeling. This track also made the charts and brought attention that the 2003 reunion is for real.
The album continues in this vein.."Come" is soft one minute yet furious the next. There are other gentle tracks "Bleed to love her" and "Silver Girl".
Near the end of the album we hear a most special track ""Everybody finds out", a song that experiments a little with sound and a song that suits that higher pitched voice of Stevie Nicks. "Destiny Rules" has the most catchy guitar riff.
This album has "grammy" written all over it.
Fleetwood Mac -Thanks for everything

Rumours Exposed: The Unauthorized Biography of "Fleetwood Mac"
Rumours Exposed: The Unauthorized Biography of "Fleetwood Mac"
by Leah Furman
Edition: Paperback

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good on relationships..weak on music genesis, 21 Nov. 2003
Fresh from last nights memorable concert in Dublin..yes..it was a magical experience to see them perform.
This book was a great guide to understanding how they came and managed to stay together in the hardest, most critical medium of them all. The book is at its best when dealing with people and relationships, time and dates and the general ups and downs of being in, arguably, the most entertaining and innovative rock band ever. The book is very good with details of band relationships and these facts are truly startling. Some very sensitive facts emerge from the lives of the individual members and noone is spared deep heartbreak. The rock and roll excesses are all here, also, and at times it makes depressing reading. However, with the release of their new and excellent album you always know that the story has a positive finale. So, all in all, after reading the book you will really feel you know this band. The author has an obvious soft spot for Stevie Nicks hence we hear a little more about her solo career.
The one weakness for me is the lack of real information about the songs genesis, particularly the classics. Also a discography at the end wouldn't have gone amiss with a summary of sales figures and who recorded their tracks.
The author may argue that the book is a biography so I supppose you need to check out other books on these facts.
Overall, though, a good book especially if you are preparing to see them in concert.

Jordan: The Comeback
Jordan: The Comeback
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.95

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No collection should be without it, 30 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Jordan: The Comeback (Audio CD)
Dont ever be without it...don't ever admit to not having it...?
A masterpiece of musical proportions with a deep, religious? and original title..."Jordan the Comeback". It starts in a blaze of glory with "Looking for Atlantis"...an explosive intro with fast moving drums and angelic harmonies.
"Wild Horses" is also terrific ...a cleverly written for our equine friends. However the tone/mood of the album changes throughout its so cosmopolitan ...A Prefab Sprout "White album", if you like.
Good value at 19 songs.

The Age Of Plastic
The Age Of Plastic
Price: £7.12

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of their time....by 2 decades..., 30 Oct. 2003
This review is from: The Age Of Plastic (Audio CD)
Buggles most remembered by "Video killed the Radio Star" and "Clean Clean" were another synthesier band in the early 80's who came, sang, experimented and then disappeared.
Well, they left a couple of decent albums that somehow seem to fit right into the 21st century. The feel of the album is the realisation of technology and change- using words like Plastic age, miss robot, astroboy, proles etc. a sign that the Buggles, perhaps, felt Big Brother was arriving?
Overall this little collection is another reminder of the wonderful inventiveness of the early 80's..an era that could not fit into the musically aesthetic 2000's..
Highlight of the album ?...Astroboy (and the proles on parade)..simple and gentle and I dont care what it means!

The Very Best of Andy Williams
The Very Best of Andy Williams
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £3.74

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The voice of easy listening...., 3 Oct. 2003
This may be the best value album of all time. A two CD set with a total of 50 songs...50 p per song?..
The album covers the familar Williams numbers (Happy heart for example) and a multiple of covers. He makes a smashing job of all the songs, drawing out hidden depths from well known numbers. Side 1, I think, is the stronger of the 2 CD's with many classic numbers, too numerous to mention. The highlight (?) being tracks 20 and 21 (Getting over you and The other side of me) which are sung with much passion and emotion. I suggest playing this music when you're feeling low...you get the feeling he's singing for you trying to lift the spirits.
No review would be complete without mentioning the most affecting "Happy Heart" a song that was in the charts when I was 3 years old...it still brings back awesome memories of youth. Happily, they used the song to great effect and irony in the film "Shallow Grave"...
Simply enjoy!

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