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Burjiz (Schaffhausen, Switzerland)

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Vertigo [DVD]
Vertigo [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Stewart
Price: £4.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Hitch--All at their Best, 1 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Vertigo [DVD] (DVD)
I must admit that reviewing a movie like "Vertigo" is a bit intimidating. Here is a classic that's been dissected, analyzed, and studied by film gurus everywhere. What can be said about this film that hasn't been said before? James Stewart, Kim Novak, and director Hitchcock are all at their career best. It's startling to know that it was a box-office and critical disappointment upon release in 1958, but over the years, it has apparently since been hailed as a masterpiece. No argument here. Even better is the DVD presentation. The picture is Ginsu-sharp and clear, with vibrant colors. The guys who did the restoration apparently put a lot of love into the project. I should also add that, as far as I know, this is the ONLY Hitchcock DVD featuring 5.1 surround sound. At times, it reveals its age, but it works best during Bernard Hermann's awesome score. While my favorite Hitchcock movies are "North by Northwest" and "Psycho," this film is a confirmed classic that belongs in every collection.


What's The 411?
What's The 411?
Offered by westworld-
Price: £7.41

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The One That Started it All, 29 May 2004
This review is from: What's The 411? (Audio CD)
This is the debut album from Mary J. Blige. In 1992, when New Jack Swing swung out of popularity, a new brand of r&b started to gain momentum. Blige was probably the first artist who introduced the genre that would later be known as hip hop soul. "What's the 411" is a solid collection of grooves with spark and attitude. The singles "Real Love," "Reminisce," and "You Remind Me" all sound as fresh as they did a decade ago and are great slices of well-crafted mid-tempo r&b. Her cover of Chaka's "Sweet Thing" has listeners divided. Some people like it, while others cringed at the thought of an upstart covering material from a diva so widely revered. But Blige's version of the song did work, as her bruised voice gave it the unfiltered emotion the lyrics demand. This wasn't Blige's best album, but "What's the 411" would be the beginning of a bright career for the artist we would later hail as the Queen of Hip Hop Soul.


N'sync
N'sync
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £5.02

4.0 out of 5 stars The One That Started it All..., 29 May 2004
This review is from: N'sync (Audio CD)
This is the debut album from NSYNC, and--big shocker--I happen to like it. There, I said it. There's no turning back. I made my confession, and if you have a problem with it, then please proceed to purchase the latest James Taylor CD. For the rest of us, it must be said that this album isn't going to win points for originality, but who cares? This album does well at what it aims to do: please the listener with catchy, nicely-crafted pop tunes with the cheese kept to a careful minimum. There's the bouncy, Max Martin penned numbers "Tearin' Up My Heart" and "I Want You Back," the ballad "God Must Have Spent a Little Time on You," the Eurodisco of "I Need Love," and the Full Force-produced "I Just Wanna Be With You." Truthfully, there are worse things on earth than NSYNC, who are better and more interesting than the ho-hum Backstreet Boys and second tier boybands O-Town and Dream Street. Everybody has a guilty pleasure, and when it comes to music, you may as well make NSYNC yours.


A Rush Of Blood To The Head
A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Price: £4.56

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe the Hype, 29 May 2004
When it comes to marketing an artist as the Next Big Thing, nobody can do it like Britain's hype machine. Oasis, Travis, the Stone Roses, and Radiohead have all benefited from generous UK publicity in the hopes of spawning the next international multiplatinum act. For this reason, I was apprehensive about buying Coldplay's "A Rush of Blood to the Head." Sure, I knew it got gleaming reviews and it shot to No. 1 in over half a dozen countries, but is the album any good? You better believe it is. While American acts have been running the nu-metal/rap-rock craze to the ground, the British, once again, put us Yanks to shame by showing us how rock is DONE. The disc is a winning mix of mellowed-out pop and edgy rock that recalls Oasis and shades of Radiohead, but the sound is certainly their own. My fave tracks of note are "In My Place," "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face," and the title track. Great hooks, impressive melodies, and smart lyrics. And while lead member Chris Martin isn't quite the most distinguishable vocalist around, his singing nicely compliments the music on this disc. "A Rush of Blood to the Head" is already on my list of the best albums of the year, and in my school of music, it gets an A-.


No Strings Attached
No Strings Attached
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £5.06

3.0 out of 5 stars The Verdict: Split Decision!, 29 May 2004
This review is from: No Strings Attached (Audio CD)
"No Strings Attached" is the ridiculously successful second album from NSYNC, and it's split between some decent material and really cheesy songs. Justin and Co. incorporate r&b into the grooves, and it works rather well. They do a formidable cover of Johnny Kemp's "Just Got Paid," while they pull off the Shekspere/Kandi composition "It Makes Me Ill." They also turn in two decent songs of Swedish pop: the catchy "Bye Bye Bye" and the guilty pleasure of "It's Gonna Be Me." Look elsewhere in "No Strings Attached," and you're crusing into patchy territory. First of all, anyone who includes a Richard Marx song ("This I Promise You") AND a Diane Warren song ("That's When I Stop Loving You") in the same album instantly loses a star in my school of music. Also, the rest of the songs are cheesy attempts at funk that sound forced and contrived. All in all, "No Strings Attached" is an intermittenly good record that suffers from some really bad material. Thankfully, they moved on to "Celebrity," which is a far more consistent effort. But while I honest enough to say that this isn't a very good record, you are advised to ignore some of the catty reviews on NSYNC. In the world of teen pop, much of the criticism is justified, but these guys are a step above the rest of the pack.


The Notorious Kim
The Notorious Kim
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £5.64

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Anticlimatic, 29 May 2004
This review is from: The Notorious Kim (Audio CD)
I know I initially raved about this album, but I'm liking it less with each listen. First of all, this CD was LONG. At over 70+ minutes, I swore this record was never going to end. It just kept dragging on and on and on. Add to this the second-rate material that pervades much of "the Notorious KIM." I dug "Lil Drummer Boy," as well as the faux-Latin flava of "No Matter What They Say." "How Many Licks" was also not half-bad, even with its cameo by Sisqo. After that...what else? There's too much filler on this CD, and it became a near-grating experience. This CD was released 4 years since her debut, and in those 4 years she had ample opportunity to come up with a WAY better record than this. Kim still has the skills. Now she needs the jams to complement her. Will she do better on her next CD? Time will reveal.


One in a Million (Re-Release) [UK-Import]
One in a Million (Re-Release) [UK-Import]
Offered by westworld-
Price: £20.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Her Spirit Still Lives On, 29 May 2004
This CD is the reason why I'm not too fond of recent releases from Ashanti and Destiny's Child. Neither of those artists can bring on record the realness Aaliyah conveyed on her second album, "One in a Million." Armed with beat-heavy production mainly from Timbaland, "One in a Million" is street-savvy r&b that remains ahead of its time and sets itself apart from many of its peers. The title track, the killer sensual slow jam "4 Page Letter," and the slammin' "Hot Like Fire" show that Aaliyah is most effective when her airy yet soulful vocals are set against the hip hop flavor of Timbaland. Not that she was a producer's puppet, mind you. She also does a formidable re-working of the Isley's "Choosey Lover," one of the CDs stronger cuts. But there are weaknesses. She's not 100% convincing on her cover of Marvin's "Got to Give it Up," and her sappy ballad, the Diane Warren-penned "The One I Gave My Heart To" sounds plain and wonder-bread, even with Daryl Simmons' production. However, they hardly dent the quality of "One in a Million," which holds its own as an above-average r&b record. Though she's no longer with us, we can always turn to this disc to relive the memories of the artist who still remains the Princess of r&b.


Bad Boy's 10th Anniversary... The Hits
Bad Boy's 10th Anniversary... The Hits

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Sham, Even With the Bonus DVD, 28 May 2004
You have to give Sean Combs credit for his bottomless ambition and determination to succeed, for without which, he wouldn't be the skilled businessman he currently is. A one-man-institution, he's made more than music: he's created a lifestyle and an attitude that everyone can easily identify. But his skills and market value as a producer are questionable at the least. (He did, to his credit, produce Mary J. Blige's 1994 classic "My Life") He's no longer the sought-after hitmaker he was back in 1997. Oh, sure, he's had a few moderate success including 2002's "This is the Remix" and 2003's soundtrack to "Bad Boys II," but you get the feeling that P.Diddy is running out of musical ideas and repeating the same formula over and over again. This CD, which celebrates ten years of hits at the Bad Boy label, could have been a great collection and a qualified guilty pleasure of bubblegum hip hop pop. Instead, it's a botched effort that looks more like a cash-in than a greatest hits album. For one, the tracklisting is frustratingly incomplete. Yes, Biggie Smalls is represented here in 8 of the 14 tracks, but it also skips Faith Evans, who is only represented as a guest on the Biggie tribute "I'll Be Missing You." Any of her singles from her last three albums would have fit in with the rest of the CD nicely. As for 112, their strongest single was, in my opinion, the excellent "Peaches and Cream," but you won't find that joint on here, either. I would have gladly taken that song in place of anything by the annoying Ma$e, whose "Feel So Good" single makes an appearance. And what about the Lox, anyone? Considering that this is the label's SECOND greatest hits album, "Bad Boy 10th Anniversary: the Hits" looks cheap, tacky and halfassed. Yes, it does come with a bonus DVD of some of the videos, but since this is a MUSIC review, that doesn't really count. All in all, a missed opportunity.
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Damita Jo
Damita Jo
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £3.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still in Control, 28 May 2004
This review is from: Damita Jo (Audio CD)
Janet Jackson is letting it all hang out on her fabulously down-and-dirty "Damita Jo." On this CD, Jackson's raunchy lyrics, which appear on a number of these songs, leave almost nothing to the imagination, exploring sexual themes that pick up where her last three albums left off. If the parental advisory sticker isn't a sufficient warning, then take a cursory look at the tracklisting: titles like "Warmth," "Moist," "Sexhibition," and "Strawberry Bounce." But there's so much more to "Damita Jo" than its eye-opening lyrics. While she faithfully reunites with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, she also branches out and works with other hitmakers like Kayne West, Babyface, and Dallas Austin. The result is her most diverse-sounding album to date. The flavor is still r&b, but with some new welcome kicks. Janet sets a romantic tone in the sweet "Spending Time With You," hooks up with Kayne West on the slammin' "My Baby," and collaborates with Babyface on "Thinking of My Ex," a killer ballad that should make current beau Jermaine Dupri nervous. Clubheads and DJs will salivate over the disco glitter of "Slolove," and "R&B Junkie" outright steals the hook off Evelyn Champagne King's "I'm in Love" and runs with it. As with Janet's last few discs, "Damita Jo" has its share of interludes, and their abundance threatens the flow and overall quality of the disc. One day, Janet will hopefully be confident enough to do away with the interludes and let the music speak for itself. And the weak "Just a Little While" was a poor choice for a debut single. That aside, "Damita Jo" stands tall on its merits and looks poised to be a solid hit during the spring and summer.


12 Inches of Cox
12 Inches of Cox

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Irresistible Mix CD from the Former Thunderpuss DJ., 25 May 2004
This review is from: 12 Inches of Cox (Audio CD)
Chris Cox is one half of the now-defunct remixing team of Thunderpuss, and he's easily one of the best DJs specializing in highly energetic, mainstream-friendly dance music. Equally talented as a producer, remixer, and DJ, Cox can spin rings around the hilariously overrated Louie Devito. His latest mix CD, titled with tongue in cheek "12 Inches of Cox," is an insanely infectious trip through high energy disco with a few touches of glossy house. Thunderpuss' own instrumental, "Head," is a brash rush of energy so flaming, the groove will give you third degree burns. Pete Heller's sensual mix of Daft Punk's "Faster, Better, Harder, Stronger," is a fine excursion of dark twisted house, while Pete Rauhofer's mix of Narcotic Thrust's "Safe From Harm" and Chris Cox's own "I Believe" are guaranteed to fill up almost any club dancefloor. Of course, Cox couldn't resist including at least one Thunderpuss remix in this CD, so we get Inaya Day's "Can't Stop Dancin'," the disc's closing track. Pity that Cox and former partner Barry Harris decided to call it a day for Thunderpuss, for they were among the few DJs worthy of my time and money. But if you want a reminder of how good Cox is, then pick up this winning mix CD.


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