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Reviews Written by
Scubaboy "sydwal" (Swansea, UK)
(VINE VOICE)   

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Carmengirls 11509-40 Ceramic Angel Curls - Curling Tongs
Carmengirls 11509-40 Ceramic Angel Curls - Curling Tongs

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good...., 6 Nov. 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Was surprised as I'm a bit sceptical when it comes to reviewing this type of product. My wife who has longish hair (just past shoulder length) used this and, contrary to some reviewers, she found it really easy to use.

Unusually perhaps, she found it useful even though she already has curly hair. She tells me that because she has tight curls, by using the product she was able to develop a softer, looser curl - so the product is also useful for those who have naturally curly hair which may be prone to frizzing.

The product is a girly pink colour so will suit younger users - it's certainly not easily mis-placed as you can spot it a mile away! Recommended.


Movies on iPod 2 (PC)
Movies on iPod 2 (PC)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No no no!!!, 6 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Movies on iPod 2 (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
How can a software manufacturer, who presumably spends a huge amount of man-hours and financial investment in a product, get it so wrong? Absolutely awful. I'm pretty au fait with computers so it's not my ignorance / stupidity that's the problem - just see the other reviews.

Could not get this to work at all, not even on my home movies DVDs, and like one other reviewer thought I'd lost my whole library at one point. Bearing in mind most DVDs are now copy protected, this will have absolutely no application at all for most people.

Couldn't give no stars but this deserves it. Pretty girl on the cover, though.


Little Bird
Little Bird
by Camilla Way
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not excited by this..., 17 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Little Bird (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Despite the description on the back, I didn't find the book particularly exciting. I was expecting an edge of the seat thriller but was disappointed - maybe that's my fault for misunderstanding what this book professes to be. An interesting story for sure, and very thought- provoking but the time jumps didn't help with the flow of the text and I found this extremely irritating at times.

On the plus side, some strong characters and interesting twists - some you can see coming from a long way off, others less so.

Would recommend as I think some readers (as evidenced by these reviews) will love it. Probably sexist, but I think women would prefer this to men(cue howls of protest from the guys who liked it!).


QuickBooks Pro 2008
QuickBooks Pro 2008

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What Have They Done?, 28 Sept. 2008
This review is from: QuickBooks Pro 2008 (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The other reviewers here have got it spot on. We've been using Quickbooks since the late 90s - it was a real benefit to us in running a small business. It was quick and easy to use, and did everything we wanted and more. However, this version is clumsy to use, overcomplicated and is more akin to Sage (which we hated!) than the original QuickBooks.

Earlier reviewers have suggested not upgrading to this if you've got an earlier version and I'd endorse that view. Why Intuit have messed with such a good, solid concept beggars belief. AVOID!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 11, 2009 12:03 PM BST


The Rough Guide To African Street Party
The Rough Guide To African Street Party
Price: £11.04

3.0 out of 5 stars Good and bad, 25 Sept. 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
MMMMM......some interesting stuff here but a lot of it isn't particularly easy listening. A few of the tracks are highly enjoyable and hit the spot on rhythm and melody but unfortunately they are few and far between.

Might suit someone who is trying to impress another with their "wide taste in world music", but that would be so pretentious wouldn't it? I can see how others would find this enjoyable, but just not my thing really, and not exactly my kind of 'party' music. Can't keep still to anything Latino but this just didn't do it for me.


Rowenta for Elite Brush Activ' 1000W Hairstyler CF9222
Rowenta for Elite Brush Activ' 1000W Hairstyler CF9222

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good...., 25 Sept. 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My wife used this product and was well impressed. She liked the ease of use. Nice and chunky to hold - great for older people who may have dexterity problems. Instructions nice and clear. She's used a rotary brush before but found that the button to reverse direction was difficult to access - that's not the case here.

The product didn't frizz the hair. The two attachment brushes are useful in different ways. One was great for the fringe / shorter layered areas, whilst the other was better on the main body / longer layers of the hair. The attachments are protected by a plastic case that ensure the brstles don't get damaged - an excellent idea, we thought. There's also a locking mechanism so that if the brush jams in your hair for some reason the brush won't pop off but will continue to work gently without ripping.

This item is chunky but lightweight - definitely suitable for travelling. My wife reckons she would just leave her hairdryer and brushes behind and use this.

So why did it lose a star? NOISE! Not the the turning motor, but the blower. These days there are much quieter dryers out there, but it's a minor inconvenience for good results, I suppose.

Highly recommended.


Rowenta  for Elite Lissima Clip & Press Hairdryer 1800W CV9132
Rowenta for Elite Lissima Clip & Press Hairdryer 1800W CV9132

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Big Let Down..., 25 Sept. 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As at time of writing I agree with all of the other reviews so far. Seemed so suitable for my wife who has fine, curly (dare I say frizzy? Sorry, love) hair. She was really excited about this product, but what a let down. This is what she told me:

VERY difficult to use. Useless for anyone with arthritis / dexterity problems. A problem seemingly not emphasised by others is that it can actually be painful! I tried the thing once and found that as you progress from the root to the end of the hair shaft it was pulling out my hair (and I can't afford to lose any more!).

She also complained of it damaging the ends of her hair because the ripping was actually leading to an increase in frizz. We really wanted to like this product, but alas a big thumbs down I'm afraid. It may suit someone with thicker hair who has a slight wave, but not recommended to anyone else.


American Civil War (PC CD)
American Civil War (PC CD)

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just too complicated for me!, 24 Feb. 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
OK if you're a keen PC strategist gamer, this may be just the ticket - other reviews here clearly reflect that. As an Amazon Vine reviewer without much experience in the field, however, I was prepeared to learn and had an open mind. This type of game has been around for years and, yes, I can see the attraction of them. Start off with an authentic historical background and put the gamer in overall control of one side or the other. You have the ultimate say, it seems, over every single detail of the campaign - right down to political and economic decisions (and the consequences!)

Huge credit to AGEOD who made the game - the attention to detail and historical accuracy shows not only that they've done their homework but put an enormous amount of effort into the overall feel of the game.

Given time I may well have persevered with this but even though I have a pretty good attention span I found even the tutorials mind boggling. There are simply too many things to think about for me, and huge kudos is owed to those who managed to get something out of this particular gaming experience.

My advice is this - if you're new to strategy games DON'T choose this. However, seasoned campaigners, like some of my fellow reviewers, will no doubt have the patience and experience to find the game rather rewarding.


First Flight
First Flight
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £16.65

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Stunning, 11 Jun. 2007
This review is from: First Flight (Audio CD)
I first encountered these guys when I heard the brilliant 'Most Beautiful Boy In Brazil' on the Bargrooves 'Al Fresco' compilation. Hed Kandi came a-calling and included 'Don't Deny Me Love' on a number of their compilations too, and I began to realise that the Physics tracks were often the best on those albums.

But I foolishly put off buying this until now, some years down the line. I needn't have been worried though. Sophisticated jazzy house is the order of the day with excellent musicianship all round. I don't agree with another reviewer who said that this stuff just 'floats through the air', implying that it's inoffensive wallpaper muzak.

If you like house OR jazz, you'll love this. It's not the heavier kind of house that the Bargrooves series sometimes falls into, but neither is it the commercial cheesy kind. The jazz elements are accessible though and the resultant fusion means that you just can't sit still for most of the tracks. No meaningful lyrics - it's all about the vibe.

'Most Beautiful Boy' still hits the spot is is undoubtedly the best track in my view - just listen to that bass line when the song starts up. But the rest is all good stuff as well. The quality of the musicianship is uniformally excellent - had a chuckle when the album credits just say 'Thanks to the musicians' almost as an afterthought - yet its they that carry this album from beginning to end.

I note that the boys have got some songs included on the latest 'Purobeach' album (number 3) that are not on 'First Flight' so looks like they're still around as at 2007 - but where's the second outing? I for one will be first in the queue.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 16, 2015 11:44 AM GMT


Sound Echo Location
Sound Echo Location
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very, very classy...., 4 Oct. 2006
This review is from: Sound Echo Location (Audio CD)
I bought this album on the strength of a few tracks that were included in the excellent Seamless Recordings (Bargrooves) compilations 'Escapism' Vols. 1 & 2. Have to say, I've not been disappointed at all. Glenn Gregory and Keith Lowndes have been around a long time as Heaven 17 and ABC respectively back in the 80s, and it's obvious they've got a great ear for a tune or two. The melodies here are often sublime, with ambient chillout being the overall theme - a world away from their pop past.

The album reeks class and is extremely well produced - as you'd expect from such 'old hands'. Don't buy this if you're expecting anything other than cool chillout that washes over you. A couple of other reviewers seem to have expected something else - I don't know why. Even so, there's more than enough to keep the listener interested, and songs such as the brilliant 'Starshine' and the exquisite 'Falling' make sure you don't drift off into ambient bliss.

So why 4 stars? Because it's an excellent album but not great. The title track is a bit of a disappointment. It's electro-heavy and sounds like someone twiddling knobs and buttons in a studio to me - maybe it's a grower. Also, the inclusion of the classic Joy Division song 'Love Will Tear us Apart' is a little incongruous. Beautifully done, but doesn't quite fit with the rest of the album for me. In spite of this, the album is worth a go as the overall quality of the music makes up for any minor shortcomings.


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