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Profile for Stirling Runyon > Reviews

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Content by Stirling Runyon
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Reviews Written by
Stirling Runyon "on lookout" (sydney, australia)

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Just A Little Lovin
Just A Little Lovin
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Embrace the difference!, 11 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Just A Little Lovin (Audio CD)
Instead of the big Springfield arrangements and melodramatic vocals, Shelby Lynne's versions are scaled back to something more intimate and reflective. There's a live quality to the vocals that I like. Dusty was obsessive about the way her vocals were recorded, sometimes line by line and word by word to get close to what she wanted. I'm enjoying these stripped back arrangements on this beautiful collection of songs. The small band arrangements and understated vocals makes this distinctly Shelby Lynne rather than a slavish homage to Dusty.

Love Is The Answer
Love Is The Answer
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £15.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last, a Streisand album that doesn't drive me from the room, 10 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Love Is The Answer (Audio CD)
My wife is a big Barbara Streisand fan, I am not! The nasal quality of her voice in the upper register when she over emotes grates. Her ability to wring every last bit of melodrama she can find out of a tune and a lyric irritate the hell out of me. And too many of her orchestrations come straight from the treacle factory.
On this album she has decided to do something different. She doesn't push her voice at the melody or oversell the lyrics. It's still distinctly Streisand but she reigns in her excesses and lets her voice serve the songs. She's still gives dramatic performances of the songs but they are understated and her voice sounds great when she isn't trying to push it all over the shop. It is a beautiful selection of melancholic songs so you probably have to be okay with that to enjoy this cd.
The quartet version of the album on the 2 cd edition is very fine indeed. Diana Kraal, her band and arrangers have done very fine job indeed.

Speak Low [Australian Import]
Speak Low [Australian Import]
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £10.45

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boz Scaggs sings jazz, 22 Feb. 2013
I really enjoy Boz Scaggs' music and have several of his CDs but this one is very different. This cd fits into the jazz/jazz vocalist genre and includes songs from the great American songbook by the likes of Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael & Duke Ellington. I love his voice on this and I like it when artists I admire do something different. It's a gentle, late night jazz cd with Scaggs backed by some terrific musicians & arrangements.
Definitely not a typical Scaggs cd so well worth giving the samples a listen if you're considering buying it.

Raa Raa the Noisy Lion Huffty's Interactive Train
Raa Raa the Noisy Lion Huffty's Interactive Train

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun, 11 Dec. 2012
My 22 month old son loves Ra Ra and loves this toys. With a bit of help to make up stories and suggest ideas he takes off with this. It doesn't do all the work on its own, it needs a bit of adult input but that's fine. I make this point because some reviewers of these Ra Ra toys don't think it does enough. It works for my son and we've been having a lot of fun with it. The sounds work well and it withstands a bashing from little hands.

The Essential
The Essential
Price: £21.43

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation, 21 Jun. 2011
This review is from: The Essential (Audio CD)
I bought this recently and think it's a terrific compilation that's had me singing and dancing! I used to own the earlier solo albums on vinyl and am happy to replace them with this, it includes most of my favourite tracks and all the hits. The sequence of tracks is mostly chronological and works well. The first cd goes from the first solo album up to Still Crazy After All These Years while the second cd covers Graceland, Rhythm Of The Saints, 'The Capeman, You're The One and Surprise. Good value for money and excellent sound.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 19, 2011 11:27 AM BST

Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2
Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2
Price: £10.24

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully performed set of great songs, 21 Jun. 2011
I really like Randy Newman, particularly live, but don't particularly enjoy the arrangements of many of these songs in their original guise, I think many of them have dated badly. Stripped down like this, the quality of the material and Newman the performer just shine through, with bags of personality and wit. You're in the hands of a consumate songwriter from start to finish.
I have to stop to listen to this cd, it doesn't work for me if it's background sound, which is no bad thing.
If you liked the first volume of the songbook don't hesitate, it's a great cd. If you're new to Newman this or Volume 1 is a good place to start.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 11, 2012 2:11 PM GMT

100 Kindle Books - ON CD
100 Kindle Books - ON CD
Price: £14.74

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent idea, 26 May 2011
This review is from: 100 Kindle Books - ON CD (DVD)
100 books that are in the public domain and can be downloaded free but if you want to pay for them then this is the cd for you. Gathering them together like this for ease of storage and access is a great idea and at this price it's a bargain.

Price: £41.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful ambient cd, 20 July 2010
This review is from: Neroli (Audio CD)
This is gentle ambient music with plenty of space between the sounds and it takes its time to unfold. I like to leave it on replay so it can drift around the house for hours while I go about my business. I've never tried to listen to it from beginning to end in one sitting, so can't be certain that I've ever heard every note on it, but I always enjoy what I hear. It's very peaceful and doesn't demand your attention. I'm not sure why other reviewers suggest anyone listens to other Eno albums before this, on those recommended he's performing his songs or making his more dramatic ambient sound pictures, albums containing several tracks. They are all well worth a listen but are quite different to what he's playing with on this cd.

The Heart and Soul of Tal Farlow
The Heart and Soul of Tal Farlow
Price: £7.52

5.0 out of 5 stars If you like jazz guitar ..., 19 May 2010
... this is a lovely collection by one of the very greatest. I was a fan already having seen him play several times but I didn't know these recordings. What strikes me about his playing is how energetic it is, his exploration of the melodies is full of youthful swing and vigour; he mellowed a lot as he got older but you can see his masterful way with slower melodies and harmonics on tracks like These Foolish Things. Farlow had the most enormous hands, so he played chords and changes you don't often hear, making him a sublime accompanist.
There are five bands here, from a sextet to a trio, and Farlow is outstanding in each setting. Well arranged and some fabulous inventive soloing. He was a generous musician and the the other musicians are well featured here.
I noticed one reviewer's reservations about the sound but my copy is perfectly listenable and for a transfer I'd say the quality is generally good.
Very good value for money and a good starting place if you haven't heard Tal Farlow.

Live In Seattle
Live In Seattle
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.29

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally caught up with this album ...., 19 May 2010
This review is from: Live In Seattle (Audio CD)
... I'm not sure what took me so long. I'm often disappointed by live recordings but this is music that gains its vitality through live perfomance especially in the hands of master musicians. Martin Hayes is a wonderful lyrical fiddle player but the star for me is Dennis Cahill; his guitar accompaniment is ethereal and understated, with a lack of ego that allows Hayes to explore each melody and lets each delicate arrangement breathe. The standout is the second track which fuses together about a dozen tunes over 25 minutes! I thought it might outstay its welcome but it's inventive and mesmerising throughout.
I noticed the comment about Dowd's No 9/Come West Along The Road fading out and share that reservation but I don't think it detracts from what's gone before. In the performance of those tunes Cahill and Hayes are also exploring slightly different territory with is looser swing and jazz inflections.
The Lonesome Touch is my favourite of their albums but this is a beautifully recorded cd of the alchemy that happens when Cahill and Hayes play live together.

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