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Scarlet Jupiter (Europe)
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Born This Way - The Collection
Born This Way - The Collection
Price: £38.00

5.0 out of 5 stars 206. Born this way again (6th anniversary), 23 May 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Today marks the 6th anniversary of Lady Gaga's sophomore. Released on May 23, 2011, "Born this way" features the dance/synthpop style of "The fame/Monster", incorporating a wider range of genres (disco, house, heavy metal, opera, and rock'n'roll), while its lyrical topics include sexuality, religion, freedom, and feminism. It was a much-hyped album, supported by a strategically planned marketing campaign. It all worked perfectly. Gaga's message that "weird is cool" resulted in a loyal army of little mosters who looked up to her, the self-proclaimed Mother Monster. Accordingly, her emphasis on self-empowerment and self-expression became the overarching cultural ethos of a whole generation. Gaga, a bold, sexually ambiguous popstar was proof that anyone could have the world at their feet, as long as they worked hard and stayed true to their vision. The admirable dedication to pursue her goal, combined with the fantastic music she produced, made her millions of fans identify with her profoundly. 5 singles were released off the album: the title-track, an anthem about equality, was instantly embraced by the LGBT community; the Bible-infuenced "Judas" became a worldwide smash; "The edge of glory", an upbeat, bluesy song referring to the death of Gaga's grandfather, remains a fan-favourite; "You & I" was Gaga's foray into the country-pop that last album "Joanne" further explores; finally, "Marry the night", written as a homage to New York City, is one of her most powerful songs and videos to date, an autobiographical epic that will stand the test of time more than some of her more popular singles. "Born this way" is a true modern pop classic.
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Something Else
Something Else
Price: £7.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 205. As juicy and tasty as ever, 29 April 2017
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This review is from: Something Else (Audio CD)
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first release of "Dreams" with this acoustic, orchestral rendering of some of the greatest moments from their first 4 records, the beloved Cranberries are making a semi-comeback, complete with new live dates. It is a natural progression for many bands to strip down their sound, but here is a case where this transition does not lessen any of the band's firmness and appeal. The inspired approach brings the melodic quality of the songs to the forefront, gracefully enhanced by the strings of the Irish Chamber Orchestra. "Dreams" becomes even dreamier in its more lush context, and "Zombie", stripped away from its grungy aggressiveness becomes a somber little beauty. It is only "Ridiculous thoughts" that does not benefit from the new arrangements; being one of their most dynamic numbers, on here it loses its electrifying power, sounding rather safe. Dolores' trademark yodeling vocals are as euphoric as back in the day. And, if one regards the new tracks ("The glory", "Rupture", "Why") as a taste from the forthcoming new record (promised to arrive in 2018), then all us faithful (even some departed, too) Cran-fans will be delighted by a return-to-form comeback record - 2012's "Roses" was, admittedly, pretty uneven. Among the many things I love about "Something else" is that it cleverly nods to the band's first albums ie. the throwback "else" in the title, the return of the cute couch theme in the artwork. In these days of mostly generic pop numbers, this beautifully thought-out and executed collection makes me feel like I am back in the mid-'90s again...
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La La Land [Blu-ray] [2017]
La La Land [Blu-ray] [2017]
Offered by Direct Entertainment Supplies
Price: £14.89

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 204. A dreamy release (+ blu-ray product details + various editions), 26 April 2017
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Romantic, heartfelt, bittersweet, "La la land" is surely among last year's most talked-about movies, and perhaps one of 2015's unexpectedly (or maybe not so) successful releases. Too cheerful for some, almost liberating for others, it has managed to divide audiences worldwide. What is beyond doubt is the fact that it managed to revive the genre of old-fashioned musical, being one of the most beautifully captured onscreen stories told in quite some time. Regardless of one's interest in the genre, this particular DVD/blu-ray release is probably this year's most anticipated one, not just for musicals, but in general. Being one of the few who did not watch this on the big screen, I was eager to buy it on blu-ray. I am glad to have purchased the copies I did, because I loved the film, and so I was super pleased to be offered plenty of interesting and fun extras to feast my eyes and ears on! There seem to be many editions and exclusives for this, but I went for these 2: The simple but very elegant, white BestBuy limited edition steelbook (in order to match with my special blue vinyl edition OST); and 2. The Target 3-disc deluxe edition (so I can have as many extra features as possible). Both editions are stunning (obviously the BestBuy one is the fanciest-looking of all). The quality of the picture is astonishing - the colour palette is marvellous, the cinematography exceptional - lovingly and masterfully executed, the audio is a work of art - incredibly detailed; I am thrilled to have watched this in the privacy of my home, enjoying every minute of it. Overall, this is one the year's most essential purchases. Here's to the fools who dream, indeed!

Notes: Standard blu-ray+DVD+HD edition comes in a glossy and shiny slipcover, and features the extras listed below
The 4K edition includes the same bonus features as the standard blu-ray+DVD+HD edition
BestBuy exclusive blu-ray+DVD+HD steelbook edition (photo 1) features just the film, no extras are included
Walmart exclusive edition (photo 2) has different artwork, comes in a more colourful slipcover, and includes the same extras as the blu-ray+DVD+HD edition
Target exclusive 3-disc edition (photo 3) has different artwork, comes in a slipcover, and includes all the extras, plus an extra disc of 30' additional content
HMV exclusive steelbook (photo 4) is to be released on May 15

List of contents:

Aspect ratio: 2.55:1
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Run time: 308' (feature film - 128', extra features - 180')

Extra features:

Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down a Freeway (11')
La La Land's Great Party (5')
Ryan Gossling: Piano Student (5')
Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle's Passion Project (10')
The Music of La La Land (14')
John Legend's Acting Debut (5')
The Look of Love: Designing La La Land (9')
Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream (8')
Damien & Justin Sing: The Demos (5')
Marketing Gallery
La La Land's Love Letter to Los Angeles (7')
Ryan and Emma: Third Time's the Charm (6')
Song Selection (48:50)
Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Damien Chazelle and Composer Justin Hurwitz
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 17, 2017 2:33 PM BST


Wonderland
Wonderland
Price: £9.99

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 203. TT's Wonderland, 24 Mar. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wonderland (Audio CD)
Following their reform in 2006, Take That returned with "Beautiful world" and "The circus" (2008), both of which featured soft adult pop-rock/folk songs, developing from the pop-oriented material that established and made them a true sensation in the '90s. 2010's "Progress" was yet a different affair, sounding nothing like those 2 aforementioned albums, being a straight-up electronic record with a more upbeat synth-driven sound. 2014's "III", respectively, was their most accomplished set to date, taking their sound to an even higher level of sophistication and energy. Brand new record "Wonderland", feels like an album made to justify taking the homonymous show around the arenas. With just a handful of truly great numbers (anthemic first single "Giants", "New day", "Lucky stars") out-balanced by platitudes, many of the tracks on this are either uninspired or repetitive in parts, showcasing empty lyrics and weak melodies, or even lacking that instant pop quality TT are known for. The production is top-notch as ever. Of the 15 tracks (deluxe edition), Gary sings the lead vocals on 9 songs, Mark on 3, Howard on just 1, and 2 tracks have shared vocals.

The bright and colourful artwork (reminiscent of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's..." concept-wise, and using the colour palette from "Progress") is quite representative of the stylized approach of this new album (so glad they changed the initial green "underground" cover art). Deluxe edition is housed in a hardback book with a fold-out booklet. It is rather lovely and, even though the bonus tracks are not particularly strong, it is worth getting for the nice packaging. This edition, also, includes last year's collaboration with drum 'n' bass duo Sigma, "Cry". Overall, "Wonderland" may not be the greatest album in TT's discography, but fans will definitely want to have it. My rating might seem a little harsh, but let me just mention a couple of old tracks, and you will understand: "Another crack in my heart" and "The day after tomorrow". These 2 mere album tracks are enough to make one realize how great TT have been, the ultimate UK boyband of our times really. 25 years on, it is great to see this manufactured pop group standing as one of pop's brightest examples, still creative, still interesting. Whether they are a 5, 4 or 3-piece band, it is always a joy to have a new Take That album.

Note: TT will be meeting fans and signing copies of "Wonderland" today at HMV Oxford St., London, a sold-out event - Lucky UK fans, us overseas fans can only dream about such happenings :)
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Collected Solo Work
Collected Solo Work
Price: £34.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 202. Brett collected and totally worth owning, 19 Mar. 2017
This review is from: Collected Solo Work (Audio CD)
Proof that Suede's frontman' solo output is just as great as his work with the kings of glam in the early '90s, Brett Anderson's "Collected solo work" is a 6-disc bundle consisting of his 4 solo albums, a live disc, and an interview DVD. 23 bonus tracks (B-Sides, demos, instrumentals etc.), an accompanying 34-page booklet featuring among others Brett's reappraisal of each album (gotta love his honesty about the first records), and a multi-regional DVD, where Brett talks about the writing and recording of the albums, is what one will get. Surprisingly for a retrospective collection, no videos are included on here (he must have released some, hasn't he?). The packaging is the same as Suede's recent "Coming up 20" reissue (a hardback media book, with plastic trays where discs are held with hinges - a little sensitive but neat + nice-looking), a compact, nicely put-together package altogether. And as classy as the music included ("Slow attack" and "Black rainbows" are my favourites, love the sorrowfulness of them). I was tempted to order the signed vinyl box set of this, but being a completist, and a lover of CDs, went for the CD edition (why artists always sign vinyl, surely they could sign some smaller prints for the CD box sets). This package is perfect for those who would like to acquaint with Brett's solo works for the first time. These albums were largely, or completely, ignored when first released, even Suede fans did not pay much attention to them. Brett's career might be revalued with this release, I am well chuffed, as a Brit would say, with this beauty of an item!

List of ontents:

- CD 1: Brett Anderson (2007) + bonus tracks
- CD 2: Wilderness (2008) + bonus tracks
- CD 3: Slow attacks (2009) + bonus tracks
- CD 4: Black rainbows (2011) + bonus tracks
- CD 5: Live 2011/2010
- DVD: Interview to Luke Turner
- 34-page booklet featuring lyrics, photos, and notes by Brett
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Spirit [VINYL]
Spirit [VINYL]
Price: £24.49

17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 201. DM spirit shining underneath their fighting armour, 17 Mar. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Spirit [VINYL] (Vinyl)
With their trend-transcending individual style, and following on from 2013's "Delta machine", the mighty boys of Basildon return with a new album and an accompanying world tour. "Spirit", Depeche Mode's 14th studio album, finds synth-pop's favourite princes of darkness returning to form, with a set of songs that is punchy as well as pleasing. Delving once more into their bag of DM touchstones (pain, lust, religion and remorse), they add to the mix a focus on the political, urging a revolutionary response to volatile times (signalled by swaggering first single "Where's the revolution?"). Recent DM albums have emphasized mood over songcraft, offering more over-engineered production and heavy-textured synths than melodies and riffs. Hurrah! Those bickering about the direction they took after "Exciter", will be pleased to know that the bluesy feel that dominated the last couple of records is here transformed into a much more soulful sound; that soulfulness amid the misery is crucial towards making sense of "Spirit". It is a challenging listen for sure, but it turns out to be among their more cohesive and consistent albums.

And it is not all doom and gloom. Politics aside, it is easier to approach "Spirit" than "Delta machine", certainly a dozen times more than "Sounds of the universe". The edgy, slow-building opener "Going backwards", with its bass-heavy rhythm and nagging melody, the lush "You move", nodding back to the groovy "It's no good", the vulnerable "Eternal", the sleazy and spiritual "Poison heart", the redemptive "Cover me", reverential and fresh at the same time, the "Condemnation"-like "The worst crime", these are fine moments on here. What makes this band great for me is the pop appeal, and that is to be found on here in greater quantity than in the last 2 albums. Producer James Ford has revived the trio, offering some new fresh twists to the rather formulaic sound of late. As for Dave Gahan's vocals, he sounds slightly tired, but that cannot detract from the emotiveness of that kingly voice. Powerful, both in its sound and its message, "Spirit" is a highlight of DM's late era. A truly great band, "Depeche" cannot be more ironic a name for them, really. In a time where pretty much everything is "depeche", they most certainly are not.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 17, 2017 6:59 PM GMT


Confessions on a Dance Floor [VINYL]
Confessions on a Dance Floor [VINYL]
Price: £44.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 200. Groovy Madonna! (2017 LP reissue), 6 Mar. 2017
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"Confessions on a dance floor" is the album that brought Madonna right back to the dancefloor that she so righteously owned throughout the '80s and '90s. Revisiting many of her past works, the magnificence of this album lies in that, whilst it appears superficial, if one listens carefully, most of the tracks have something important to say, and they do this without preaching. From the opening tick-tock till the closing guitar chords, this cleverly-sequenced 12-song set is a glorious return to top form, featuring killer samples, challenging lyrics, seductive hooks, cool attitude, fine production. With no slow tracks, it really is amazing how well the record flows, balancing fabulous disco anthems ("Hung up", "Sorry"), superb electro stompers ("Future lovers"), sleek life-affirming grooves ("Jump"), and sublime chanting hymns ("Isaac"). The outstanding Confessions Tour enhanced sales for this euphoric album that crowned Madonna as the Disco Queen of the 21st century, and went on to sell 12+ million copies in total. Newly-pressed 2017 2LP edition, presents the record cut on 180 gram pink-coloured wax, and is again a limited pressing, just like that of 2005. Similarly, this new edition comes unmixed, another feature that adds to the item's appeal. The printing quality is excellent, the audio is superb, the gatefold packaging gorgeous, which altogether easily make this the best title in the 2016-2017 series of M vinyl reissues.

***** for the album
***** for this edition
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2017 11:48 PM BST


Where's The Revolution (Remixes)
Where's The Revolution (Remixes)
Offered by DVDMAX-UK
Price: £4.70

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 199. The revolution can wait (well, just until March 17), 3 Mar. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Being a "faithful and devoted" Depeche Mode fan, I feel obliged to buy their releases, no matter how important or unnecessary. Music has become so bland, and CD singles so scarce these days, it is almost impossible to find interesting releases that are worth spending £8 for. Well, here is one, though I would rather have all 10+ mixes of "Revolution" in one disc, instead of having to wait until April 28 for the 2LP 12" vinyl for the next instalment. Cannot but feel a little cheated, but noone is forcing me to purchase anything I do not want. This brand new CD single is a nice little DM addition to my collection, and I am happy to have purchased it. Truth be told, the song is nothing to get crazy about, though it is interesting to hear their ambiguous spiritual/political message, trying to get both sides talking. I find even more enjoyable the video with the brilliant Lenin references. Nonetheless, this is a tasty appetiser for the upcoming "Spirit" album. Roll on, March 17th!

Tracklist:

1. Where's the revolution (Album version) (5:00)
2. Where's the revolution (Ewan Pearson Remix) (8:35)
3. Where's the revolution (Algiers Remix) (4:55)
4. Where's the revolution (Terence Fixmer Remix) (6:23)
5. Where's the revolution (Autolux Remix) (4:17)
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The Albums [VINYL]
The Albums [VINYL]
Price: £349.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 198. Boys of glory, 18 Feb. 2017
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This review is from: The Albums [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Released in order to coincide with the kick-off of the band's This House Is Not For Sale Tour in North America, this is Bon Jovi's career-spanning box set, a massive and impressive collectible item. Including all 14 studio albums across 25 vinyl LPs, plus an extra disc exclusive to this release, the box set, also, features Jon Bon Jovi's 2 solo records. Super-comprehensive, then, and exceptionally designed, too. Every vinyl album preserves the original look and sound of the originals, with all LP jackets being exact replicas of the original album covers, inner sleeves, with unique custom labels. This is the first time the band's albums from the 2000s are pressed on vinyl, while others receive their first-ever US pressing, or they are being pressed for the first time in decades. Just like any self-respecting box, it features its contents cut on 180-gram heavyweight wax. Additionally, all songs have been mastered to the band's specifications to ensure exceptional audio quality (fans from the '80s, prepare to be blown away by the refreshed old sound - I know I was, and I do not get easily impressed).

Bon Jovi's discography has been boxed in the past, however, this is the first time their entire catalogue is presented in one, all-inclusive release. I am very pleased with the box overall, yet, there are two things I would improve. Although the matte finish is nice, I would rather have the covers glossy - it looks better and more luxurious. More importantly, what is greatly missing from such a pristine package, is a book to accompany the vinyls, with rare photos, liner notes etc. Similar box sets from smaller artists have one, Bon Jovi's box had to have one. Special mention for my favourite set by them, presented here as a 2LP set, as was originally intended back in the day. It holds the record for the hard rock/glam metal album to spawn the most US Top 10 hits (5), it is certified 7x Platinum by the RIAA, and was the first American album ever released in USSR (the answer in the photos below). With over 130 million albums sold, numerous hits, and nearly 3,000 concerts performed in 50 countries for over 35 million fans, Bon Jovi is simply one of the world's most successful bands ever, and "Bon Jovi-The Albums" is simply a monumental release.

Note: Potential buyers should note this: Prior to release, the box set was available on amazon.co.uk for £199.81, then jumped to £377.64. While searching, I found it on amazon.fr for €281 (=£240). At the time of writing, it costs £349.99, so, make sure you check different websites before ordering.

List of contents:

1. Bon Jovi (1984) - single LP
2. 7800° Fahrenheit (1985) - single LP
3. Slippery when wet (1986) - single LP
4. New Jersey (1988) - 2LP gatefold
5. Keep the faith (1992) - 2LP gatefold*
6. These days (1995) - 2LP with 2 bonus tracks previously unavailable*
7. Crush (2000) - 2LP gatefold**
8. Bounce (2002) - single LP**
9. Have a nice day (2005) - 2LP gatefold**
10. Lost highway (2007) - single LP**
11. The circle (2009) - 2LP gatefold**
12. What about now (2013) - 2LP gatefold**
13. Burning bridges (2015) - single LP**
14. This house is not for sale (2016) - single LP gatefold
15. Extras - exclusive 10-track compilation featuring “Always” and international rarities
16. Blaze of glory (Jon Bon Jovi) (1990) - single LP
17. Destination anywhere (Jon Bon Jovi) (1997) - 2LP gatefold**

* first-ever vinyl US pressing
** first time on vinyl

PS: Something to "always" remember:

Jimmy shoes busted both his legs, trying to learn to fly
From a second story window, he just jumped and closed his eyes
His momma said he was crazy - he said, "Momma, I've got to try.
Don't you know that all my heroes died?
And I guess I'd rather die than fade away"
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2017 10:46 PM GMT


La La Land
La La Land
Price: £9.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 197. Dreamers - and buyers - beware!, 12 Feb. 2017
This review is from: La La Land (Audio CD)
Potential buyers of the soundtrack on vinyl should take notice: While the standard LP (black vinyl) edition of this is fine, however, the limited, transparent blue LP edition is worth avoiding. It has terrible pre and post groove echo on both sides that can easily be heard before intros and on pauses in the middle of some tracks. The post-groove echo in particular is clearly heard at the end of some of the songs. Also, on the the blue vinyl there is a great deal of surface noise. Side 1 is pressed very off-center, so the frequencies fluctuate like mad. It is not just my copy, I have checked before reviewing, and it appears to be the case with most buyers of the blue vinyl. Thus, perhaps you would like to pay attention to the barcode for each edition, if you want to avoid the frustration of getting the gorgeous-looking but warped-sounding copy of one of this year's best soundtracks. My 4-star rating is about the actual music. Here's to the ones who dream!

Barcode for black vinyl LP: 6 02557 38804 6
Barcode for blue vinyl LP: 6 02557 11778 3 (best avoided)

**** for the standard LP edition
** for the limited blue LP edition
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