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Our Love
Our Love
Price: £7.99

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Infectious Electronica, 6 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Our Love (MP3 Download)
'Our Love' is the sixth studio album from Dan Snaith, aka Caribou. Following his small departure as Daphni, Snaith's return completes a four year wait following the ever popular Swim.

Like the artwork, the music on 'Our Love' is complex, layered and delightfully colourful. Each tapestry pulsates with a rich and warm beat and the album manages to hold a peculiar feeling of melancholia and optimism together. This allows the album to sit nicely in your headphones in solitary confinement but also not sound out of place in a group setting - 'Our Love' is both bedroom and dance-floor compatible.

It's a truly infectious record that demands successive listens. Instantly accessible but also rich in sound to maintain your interest. You will have a lot of 'love' for this record. Caribou fans should be delighted.

Listen to: 'Second Chance', 'Can't Do Without You', 'Mars'


Always Returning
Always Returning
Price: £10.76

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hazy Shoegaze Returns with Ulrich, 12 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Always Returning (Audio CD)
Always Returning is the fourth studio album from post-rock shoegaze outfit 'Engineers'.

This time around, good friend and complimentary producer Ulrich Schnauss takes a full position within the band's make up and the album is all the better for it.

Those who still revel in this shoegaze genre (which has admittedly taken a step back in the last decade) will without doubt enjoy what is much of the same from a very familiar band. I don't believe their sound has changed much at all in the last ten years. But perhaps the electronic infusion of Ulrich may be what's needed to give the group a fresher and more dynamic sound.

Engineers have always given me an ethereal place to slip into when I need to detach; there are a few tracks here that take me back to this place very effectively. But coming in at just 40 minutes - it's by no means their best - and Ulrich's influence on tracks like 'Innsbruck' seems few and far between. A welcome addition to their collection which probably sits a little too comfortably in it.

Disc 2's Intrumental version works very well in some and not so in others - but its a smart move and highlights the production talent.

Listen to: 'Innsbruck', 'It Rings So True', 'Always Returning'


Plastics
Plastics
Price: £5.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Debut, 14 July 2014
This review is from: Plastics (MP3 Download)
'Plastics' is the soaring debut album from Eaux, the descendants of post rock band Sian Alice Group.

Dropping their acoustic live instrumentation for a more synthetic base this album serves as a scintillating sign of the times. Perhaps this is down to taste, but it seems that alot of post rock is losing way to more electronically infused soundscapes. Indeed witness first hand the diminishing supply of fresh new bands at festivals and the evergrowing influence of electronic music and the popularity of the electronic dance tents.

That aside, this is a truly affecting work - stacked with atmosphere most of the tracks on 'Plastics' ascend into an all over wash of spine-tingling crescendos. This is an album that is instantly accessible and enjoyable but also delivers more on relistens. Sian Ahern's voice melts into the electronic pads to bring a concoction somewhere inbetween Goldfrapp and Coteau Twins but often with a driven Massive Attack purpose. Music to get lost into.

Listen to: 'Head', 'The Lights Falls Through Itself', 'Zero Zero'


Supermodel
Supermodel
Offered by Entertainment Direct
Price: £2.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Intriguing Collection, 25 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Supermodel (Audio CD)
Supermodel is the second studio album from the indie-pop-rock crossover band Foster The People.

The new album follows the success of their 2011 début Torches. Opinions aside for the moment, those looking for a second 'Torches' will be left wanting. Not to say that this record doesn't have its unashamedly pop moments ('Coming of Age', 'Are You What You Want to Be') but 'Supermodel' take a significant detour towards a more eclectic sound.

And no doubt this was fully intentional. Head man Mark Foster intended this record to be more 'gritty' and that it certainly is having been produced on the road during their 2012 tour in a portable studio. The record dips into various rock influences intended to extend as far back 'the kinks' and 'the clash' but actually stomping on more recent ground i.e. Thom Yorke ('Goats in Trees') and The Killers ('The Truth'). In fact often its very easy to forget what band you are listening to.

Lyrically the album deals with the (clichéd) "ugly side of capitalism". Infused into the music after the music was created (i.e. in a two stage process) the words often sit uncomfortably with the sound. But where the lyrics fail the music certainly excels. I bet you never expected Foster The People to produce a truly great track like 'Goats in Trees'.

The most exciting thing about this album is that the after scratching away the pop façade created by 'Torches', Mark Foster et al. have exposed a fascinating underbelly that shows intermittent signs of brilliance. This is not a 5* album but there are many outros and a few singular tracks that hint at a promising future. The album has already split critics and fans / but in my mind this a positive step forward. In searching for the best summary of the album I couldn't top the comment made by Q magazine in that this is an "album of transition rather than a definitive statement".

Listen to: 'Ask Yourself', 'Nevermind', 'Goats in Trees', 'Fire Escape'


Sigh
Sigh
Price: £16.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Minimally Expansive, 12 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Sigh (Audio CD)
This is Valentin Stip's first full length release. Val is a 21 year old from Paris who was originally a piano player.

Having already toured with Nicholas Jaar the album has been released on his label - with such backing this 21 year old must have some talent and the release is highly enjoyable. Whilst his piano takes a small feature 'Sigh' mostly excels in its warm electronic soundscapes. I wouldn't say its as good as previous EP but there are alot of promising qualities in this young producer's work.


BaByliss for Men 7847U I Trim Stubble
BaByliss for Men 7847U I Trim Stubble
Price: £24.55

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Gimmicks and Does The Job, 12 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this as a replacement for a similarly cheap beard trimmer whose shield had cracked.

Having used plenty of beard trimmers before i can say that the most important thing is that you are not sucked in to paying silly amounts of money for gimmicks. That includes 'stubble vacuums' that never pick up the mess, digital displays that are largely irrelevant or electrics motors to adjust the length - all of these may look or sound cool but they are for me completely superfluous to the intended use.

This is a great value beard trimmer. It may take one or two shaves to get the right technique for your facial shape but I seemed to adapt eventually so have faith.

There are 30 different length adjustments between 0.5mm and 15mm (so there's way enough scope to find your length) which are adjusted using a small dial which doesn't seem to slip as easily as some other trimmers I have previously used. Just remember to bring down the shield to keep the length uniform. you can also remove the length adjustment to trim up lines... or other areas of your body! The shaver is cordless and the shaver lasts long enough for a substantial amount of shaves(just depends obviously how long you shave for) - so you don't have to charge it after each use. It plugs through the mains to charge. You can rinse the head under the tap and use the provided brush.

All in all a great product and without the gimmicks!


Celestron X-Cel LX 9 mm/1.25-Inch Eyepiece
Celestron X-Cel LX 9 mm/1.25-Inch Eyepiece
Price: £67.37

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pay The Price For Quality, 12 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In the field of eyepieces (excuse the pun) it really does make a difference if you pay that little bit extra. If we are talking about magnifying 200+ times you should appreciate the sensitivity these instruments have to build quality.

With the Clestron X-Cel you are paying in some cases more than double a cheaper alternative, but in return you wont be buying twice and you will notice (if you have any others) the stunning difference in image quality. This particular piece comes highly recommended and the field of view is fantastically wide - great for the moon!


When Fraser Met Billy: How The Love Of A Cat Transformed My Little Boy's Life
When Fraser Met Billy: How The Love Of A Cat Transformed My Little Boy's Life
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinatingly Honest and Humane, 12 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really enjoyed this book. From the outset it shone as a truly honest and warm hearted book. The writing was lucid but avoided unneeded flowery language and this helped to enhance the genuine emotion in the story.

Alone it makes a wonderful read - I've had small experiences with autistic children and I love cats (whilst neither of these are prerequisites for reading) but I hadn't thought about the complimentary nature of these two beings can tell us a great deal about ourselves and how we conduct our own lives.

For the mother in this book her observations tell a tale that explains the real meaning of unconditional love.


Love Letters
Love Letters
Price: £7.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Loved Love Letters, 11 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Love Letters (Audio CD)
Love Letters is the fourth studio album from Joseph Mount and his Metronomy collective.

This album has been hotly anticipated, riding on the back of 2011's Mercury nominated The English Riviera. I myself have been eagerly awaiting this release; my expectations heightened by the fantastic single 'I'm Aquarius'.

After my first listen of the album I decided to browse through a collection of critic reviews. I was pretty astounded at some of the comments that ranged from 'dull' to 'uninteresting' - most reviews claimed a pretentious aura that follows Mount and the lack of delivery in this album. I wasn't aware that the band split opinion so much and I was certainly not aware that this was a bad album from my first listen.

Since last night I have now listened to the album three more times. Not because I was trying to figure it out, but simply because I really really enjoyed it. Apart from perhaps the instrumental failure of the strangely minimal/kraftwerk 'Boy Racers' all the tracks possess a quality and feeling that I can indulge in. I actually loved this album and I'm starting to wonder what exactly people expect a band to produce these days? I may agree it's not as good as their last but it still stands up as a really pleasurable listen. Reminiscent of Supertramp or Motown, Metronomy dive into the 60s but there still remains the heartfelt longing and quirky undertone that fans will still adore.

The empty synthetic drumbeats intend to push the focus onto Mount's lyrics which are often left wanting and are not too advanced. For a lot of people this seems to be a real let down, but for me I don't particularly mind if the music sounds great. For music I would prefer it this way round than the other! And actually I quite like the nostalgic 'love letters' theme that pines for a romance of times gone - when you think about it this way the classic 60s music influence makes a lot more sense and sounds right.

Listen to: 'The Upsetter', 'I'm Aquarius', 'Month of Sundays', 'Call Me', 'Never Wanted'


So Long, See You Tomorrow
So Long, See You Tomorrow
Price: £5.00

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Same Same But Different, 3 Feb. 2014
'So Long, See You Tomorrow' is the fourth studio album from Bombay Bicycle Club.

Despite being brandished in 2006 by NME as "the hottest band to come from North London for quite some time" BBC have managed to shake off the indie-hipster tag and continually come out with fresh sounding music; following a three year hiatus the band return with their distinct and unique vocal harmonies.

This is one of my favourite bands and, having looked forward to this release for some time now, I can say that I am not disappointed.

A lot is being made of the band's eclecticism, especially after the second album Flaws took a crudely acoustic sound. Yet despite the said departure I would claim that their sound has remained unambiguously consistent.

Once again the band revel in their sumptuously layered vocals - but there is a significant focus this time on percussion and beat work. 'Carry Me's' repetitive oscillation ebbs around house music whilst 'Home By Now' begins with a hip-hop funk; 'Whenever, Wherever' sounds like a drum and bass tune and 'Luna' suggests Bhangra dancefloor. Whilst the variation can be taken for a lack of firm identity I prefer to interpret it as a band willing to take on new sounds and experimentations.

And yet the band's zest and youthful energy, epitomised for example by the title track 'So Long, See You Tomorrow', remains in abundance. This will be a welcome addition for Bombay Bicycle Club's loyal following and a suitable introduction to newcomers of a band that has managed to maintain its image and passion despite an ever changing musical backdrop.

Listen to: 'Carry Me', 'Luna', 'So Long, See You Tomorrow'


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