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James Choma (Ohio)

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Robyn Is Here
Robyn Is Here
Offered by westworld-
Price: £4.92

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Voice, Great Songs, 15 May 2004
This review is from: Robyn Is Here (Audio CD)
I want to state that I hated the "teeny-bopper" movement of the late 90's through 2002. I don't like anything by Britney Spears, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Mandy Moore, etc. To me, these groups/individuals are corporate products with little talent and a lot of luck.
With that out of the way, I want to say this album by Robyn Carlsson stands head and shoulders above anything put out by the individuals mentioned above. More surprising is that Robyn writes her own material and won Best Female Artist for 2002 at the Swedish Grammy Awards. Beyond this album of material from 1997, she kind of fell off the map. But as a few other reviewers had said, had she released this album two years later, she would have made a name for herself.
"Do You Know (What it Takes)" and "Show Me Love" are the two strongest songs on the album; excellent material written when she was all of 16 years old at the time. There are some duds on the album, but as a whole, the album is a joy to


Deep Dream Decoder
Deep Dream Decoder

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bill Nelson's Deep Dream Decoder, 15 May 2004
This review is from: Deep Dream Decoder (Audio CD)
Bill Nelson has got to be one of the most prolific musicians from the past 30 years. Not only was he the driving force behind the legendary Be Bop Deluxe, he has also recorded something close to 30 + solo albums to date! With these recordings he crosses many musical boundries: Rock, Jazz, Ambient, Techno, Dance, Trance, and Blues. He's quite an amazing guitar player too!
"Deep Dream Decoder" was actually part of a 1995 4 CD compilation (My Secret Studio Vol I) that's no longer available. In my opinion this is the best of the 4 discs with its intelligent lyrics and driving guitars. It's more in the Techno vein, but it's done very well, with melody. With all Bill has released over the years, this is probably my favorite disc of his material. Standout songs are "Golden Girl," "God Bless Me," "Dissolve," and "Rise". Great material!


Air Age Anthology: The Very Best Of Be Bop Deluxe
Air Age Anthology: The Very Best Of Be Bop Deluxe

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD is Amazing!, 15 May 2004
If you want a sample of what the Be Bop Deluxe was all about, this is the CD to get. Interestingly enough, Bill Nelson has been actively releasing CD since the Be Bop Deluxe called it quits.
I am a fan of many of the 70's UK rock bands (T. Rex, Bowie, Cocknet Rebel to name a few) and had heard of the Be Bop Deluxe and Bill Nelson, but never sought out their recordings until now. This my first sample of the group's output. I'm amazed at what I missed out on: Great guitar playing, sonic soundscapes, and wonderful lyrical imagry. I found every song on the CD enjoyable and will be seeking out the band's outher CDs to fill in the gaps this complilation doesn't cover.
This album brings you the highlights from "Axe Victim," "Futurama," "Sunburst Finish," "Live in the Air Age," "Modern Times," and "Drastic Plastic".


Euphoria
Euphoria
Price: £46.50

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Overlooked Album, 15 May 2004
This review is from: Euphoria (Audio CD)
1998 through 2000 were bad years for bands whose highpoints were the 80's. Def Leppard, along with other bands from their era tried to change their sound to fit in -- the only other alternative was to fade away. With "Euphoria" the band returned to the signature sound they left off with after "Hysteria". Had this album been released after "Hysteria" rather than "Adrenalize," I think it would have done much better. Since it was released during the "Dark Ages" of music: the boy-band-brainless-teen-pap era, the album never had a real chance for chart success. Now that the music listening audience at large seems to be coming back to its senses, I'm hoping people rediscover the good music that was being produced during these lean years. This is one album that deserves another listen.
This truly is a very good album of material. "Demolition Man," "Promises," "Paper Sun," "It's Only Love," "21st Century Girl" and "Day After Day" are really good Def Leppard songs while the rest are only so-so. There is definitely a high level of energy throughout "Euphoria" that the band seemed lacking on their previous effort, "Slang," and it shows in the music. There are a few exceptions on the CD (the cheesy "Back in Your Face" comes to mind), but those tracks are forgivable for all the good material contained within.
If you lost track of the band after "Hysteria," pick this album up, as it's a good place to see all the good music you've been missing!


X
X

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Musicianship -- Average Songwriting, 15 May 2004
This review is from: X (Audio CD)
"X" won't rank as my favorite Def Leppard CD, but it has its moments. To me, the bands' albums have always had a nice balance between ballads and churning rock anthems. "X" seems to lean too heavy upon the slower material; even the more upbeat songs seem a little tame when compared to their past material.
There are a few bright spots: "Torn to Shreds," "Love Don't Lie" and "Cry" are excellent songs. On the other hand "Four Letter Word," "Girl Like You" and "Gravity" are dismal musically and lyrically.
I don't really see the "boy band" comparison some people have made -- maybe a little on "Gravity" but that's about it. I don't think the band would be going down that path. Typically when a band matures (Def Leppard has been at it 20+ years), the music does tend to get toned down.
If you're a rabid fan, make this a part of your collection. If you're new to the band and would like to know a little more about their music, try "Hysteria".


Aint Life Grand
Aint Life Grand
Offered by dark city blues
Price: £13.73

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like Hard Rock But Don't Have This Album? Get it!, 15 May 2004
This review is from: Aint Life Grand (Audio CD)
It's rare that I can listen to an album the first time and instantly like it. "Ain't Life Grand" is one of those CDs. I found myself hitting the replay button on the first three songs alone!
The previous reviewers are correct, there is definitly an Aerosmith/Zeppelin groove on the album, but with Slash's unmistakable guitar work, it's got a style all its own. "Been There Lately," "Just Like Anything," and "Shine" are steller songs that stick with you long after you're done listening.
This has got to be one of the best releases of 2000-2001 in the Hard Rock genre. Why radio stations that play Classic Rock aren't picking up on this, I don't know. But why let them decide what you listen to anyway? They're missing out on a good thing -- don't let this happen to you.
If you're tired of manufactured teen pop or tired replayed Classic Rock tracks, give this album a try. It has just about every element you could want. If you're a Guns 'n' Roses fan, this is an example of the great material they could have been putting out had they not fallen apart.
It's good -- really good.


Crusader
Crusader
Price: £14.53

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Saxon CD, 15 May 2004
This review is from: Crusader (Audio CD)
This album still sounds good to me 17 years later. Excellent musicianship, great production and a heavy sound make this a great addition to any fan of 80's heavy metal.
Favorite songs are: "Crusader", "Do it All For You", "A Little Bit of What You Fancy", and a cover of the Sweet's "Set Me Free".
Byford has a bit of a high voice, but it goes well with the music and rounds out what I consider to be a timeless classic of mid-80's heavy metal. Enjoy!


Young Men Gone West / Book Early
Young Men Gone West / Book Early

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two of My Favorite Albums, 15 May 2004
City Boy is a band whose music got better with every album. "Young Men Gone West" is one of my favorite albums. This band was light years ahead of its time and it beats most of the current music on the charts. Of course, that's a matter of opinion, but this music is so inventive. Best songs on the album are:
Bordello Night
She's Got Style
Young Men Gone West
Millionare
"Book Early", on the other hand, contains the band's biggest hit, "5.7.0.5." It's often regarded by critics as the group's best effort. Personally, I like "YMGW" a little better - but not by much. Stand out songs are:
Goodbye Laurelie
Cigarettes
What a Night
Moving In Circles
Dangerous Ground
After listing to these two albums, you'll be asking yourself why this band never made it to the big time. Excellent stuff!


Tanx
Tanx
Price: £8.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marc Bolan's TANX, 15 May 2004
This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
This album to me represents the last great T. Rex album. This was Marc Bolan's attempt at breaking big in America after having conquered the UK charts. It ranks as my favorite T. Rex album, (actually, my favorite album of all time) with some of Marc's most melodic songs.
After the phenomenal success of "Electric Warrior" and "The Slider," Marc's record company expected big things. What Marc gave them was "Tanx;" an album very different from its predecessors. Unfortunately, the critics and many of the fans didn't like the direction Marc took and the album was deemed a disappointment.
Why is this my favorite album of all time? When I first came upon this album several years ago, after all the bad critical press it got, I was expecting the worst. My thought was, Heck, I loved Electric Warrior and The Slider, how bad could this be? I put the needle down on the turntable and was captivated for the next 40 minutes or so.
"Oh, my darling there are many ways..." The album opens with the guitar boogie and spacey lyrics of "Tenement Lady," a combination of two songs. You'll note on disc 2, it's listed as "Tenement Lady/Darling". Two songs fused together into one great one. Lots of great production work on this one.
"Your mama said, clean out your head, boy..." Next is "Rapids," with lots of guitar slide overdubs. Again, lots of spacey lyrics in a Bolan boogie mind poem.
"I'm just lookin' for a change in my luck.." "Mister Mister" is great light acoustic song with a great sing-a-long at the end. Excellent orchestration by Tony Visconti.
"This is a song that I wrote when I was young..." "Broken Hearted Blues" is, to me, one of the most beautiful songs Marc Bolan ever wrote. Beautiful lyrics, beautiful orchestration, Marc in perfect voice... poetry set to music. Possibly the best song Marc ever put on an album. The only complaint I have it that it was too short.
The rest of the album just flows beautifully. From start to finish, I never skip a song. Plus you get the added bonus of the Marc's singles from '73: "Children of the Revolution," "Jitterbug Love," "Sunken Rags," "Solid Gold Easy Action," "20th Century Boy," and the beautiful "Free Angel".
Disc 2 is made up of alternate takes. It gives you some insight into the workings of the songs a they developed from the rough mix stage to T. Rex classics. These outtakes were once sold separately as "Left Hand Luke: The Alternate Tanx". Here you get the whole package in one.
If you've fallen under the spell of Bolan's words and music, but don't have this album yet, get it now. This album to me is one of the best by the band, and as stated before, one of my favorites of all time.


Anthology
Anthology

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction to a Great Band, 21 Mar. 2002
This review is from: Anthology (Audio CD)
City Boy... have you ever heard of them? If you have, you've been fortunate enough to hear some of the most inventive, wonderfully crafted, inspired music on the market. If not, this is a good place to start.
This multi-talented group began in the early 70's and eventually broke up in the early 80's but they left a legacy of music that stands the test of time and will be enjoyed by fans of all ages.
I have to admit I'd have included several alternative songs - but when you're faced with putting together a comprehensive collection, everyone has their own opinions. I just think it's great a compilation is out on the market.
If you like this album, make it a point to try the albums that make up the Anthology. They're economically priced as 2-on-1 CDs and are well worth the money. Enjoy!


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