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Agnostic Duck (Gloucestershire)

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Heat Of The Rising Sun
Heat Of The Rising Sun
Price: £12.76

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh - the disappointment., 5 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heat Of The Rising Sun (Audio CD)
I really thought I couldn't go wrong with this - Geoff and John - icons!!!
WRONG! This just does not work for me. It's lumpy, hesitant and uncomfortable.
A live set of material ranging from Icon (obviously), Yes, King Crimson, Buggles and UK.
For such fine and notable musicians to let this out, is - disappointing.
With the added talents of Dave Kilminster on guitar and Peter Riley on drums I was sure that I was in for something much better.
Recorded at some Japanese concerts during early 2009, the overall ambience and recording quality is - for guys of this calibre - poor.
I don't want to wear the word out, but I REALLY am disappointed! I suppose when your expectations are high you believe you're in for something special. Well, my expectations were crashed. This is at best - a novel bootleg!
John and Geoff - why?? You are worth SO much more!
I'll now look forward to the new Asia "XXX", which does appear VERY promising.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 8, 2012 12:06 PM BST

Crimes and Reasons
Crimes and Reasons
Price: £19.63

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music to wake you up?, 5 May 2012
This review is from: Crimes and Reasons (Audio CD)
It has - I believe, been said that Steve's work is dismal, depressing and negative. The "music" is often lively enough, but the lyrics can be somewhat melancholy and gloomy.
BUT - my opinion is that Steve wakes us up to what is happening around us.
Themes relating to substance abuse, gluttony,ethnic cleansing, famine, old age, political corruption . . . . !
Okay - one might say - "I've heard enough about all that. I want joy and fun in my life; a bit of over indulgence!!"
Well - perhaps the two go hands in hand? I don't think Steve is saying 'the world is ending, don't have fun'. Maybe it just reminds us of parallel existences; good and bad going hand in hand. Steve is a song-writer sharing his feelings; it's what song-writers do! To be honest, I find it a POSITIVE experience, it keeps me in touch.
Joined by Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel et al), Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard, Genesis, Tears For Fears et al), Gary Chandler (Jadis) and the must missed Martin Orford (IQ) who comes out of retirement. The music is polished and stylishly delivered. Good melodies and rhythms mean that the aforementioned lyrics need not invade if you don't want them to!
If the picture I have painted is a little dark then I may have done this fine recording an injustice, but thematically, there isn't a lot to "laugh" about.
However, I really like it and I like Steve - AND, I'm a pretty cheerful and positive person!!! I just end up counting my blessings.
A fine CD that you really get into or just listen at a lighter level.

Price: £6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!! They're not wrong!, 17 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Archangel (MP3 Download)
Buying this was a real long shot and not normally something I'd give a second glance to.
Am I glad I did!!
I suppose it's classical but it is little hard to categorize it. There is a "rock" feel to it.
Powerful - often explosive this is absolutely Wagnerian in its presentation.
Intense "orchestrations" - big choral voices, it has a breathless nature.
It sounds a bit silly, but I'm not sure whether it is a real orchestra at times but who cares, it has the most amazing grandeur.
The soundtrack to all epics because it has such an epic presence. Powerful (yes, I'll use that word again) percussive elements and thunderous crescendos run throughout this set and rarely lets up!
The (most of the) other reviewers are not wrong - this is quite something.
I know nothing about these guys and I am still discovering this wonderful recording.
I'll say one thing - it is more "Terminator" than "Emma"!!! Not one for a quiet evening in!

Flying Colors [Limited Edition]
Flying Colors [Limited Edition]
Offered by MLG Merch
Price: £9.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps - what we have come to expect?, 28 Mar. 2012
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Should I write a review and would it be worthy? Well - a review is so arbitary.
Here we have Steve Morse, Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Dave LaRue and the rather handy Casey McPherson.
So, maybe, part from Casey - you know these guys!!
This is kind of Prog with "variations" and it is good!
Great production, great musicianship and a fine record.
One of the finest guitarists, one the very best drummers, a great bass player and a superb multi-instrumentalist with a 'new guy' - McPherson, who doesn't let the side down.
Strong, confident lead vocals from McPherson backed up by the best.
Great rock music that dips it's toes into a variety of rock styles whilst maintaining a superb balance.
The songs are full of great 'hooks' and are a joy to listen to, with considerable contrasts - "Kayla" is beautiful. whereas "Shoulda Coulda Woulda" is much more of a thrash out by comparison!
It seems to me as though Neal Morse is generally "back seat" here. For a performer who so often takes the lead, his contribution is much less dominant.
Having said that all these guys pull together on an album that pleases and, in places, throws up a few surprises.
A very fine rock album of the highest calibre; what I have come to expect! As for the expectations of others, I do not know?

Strange New Flesh (2CD Expanded Edition)
Strange New Flesh (2CD Expanded Edition)
Price: £13.47

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Below expectations, 3 Mar. 2012
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What a band of musicians. A great quartet - Jon Hiseman (drums), Gary Moore (guitar), Neil Murray (bass) and Don Airey (keyboards); something to look forward too?
And yes, the musicianship is first class, but those vocals!!!
Somewhat naively, I thought this would be largely instrumental, but my memory did not serve me well.
Beginning most promisingly with a belting "Dark Side of the Moog" a healthy and punchy instrumental one thinks - "ah this is the stuff"; great start. Thereafter the vocalist steps in.
Mike Starrs is not a BAD vocalist per se; it's just that on this recording he tends to wail and scream and he is no Ian Gillan!
At times he keeps it level and you think, "not bad", then he seems to lose it.
For me it spoiled the experience of this set and maybe I should have researched it better. But for me the pull of Hiseman, Moore, Murray and Airey was too strong; they are superb!
So - it is really mixed emotions, I will just skip one or two tracks.
Not a terrible experience and I readily accept that some may favour the vocals but - in the main - they're not for me.
A blend of Jazz Rock, Rock and Jazz Fusion (a strange amalgam) - the instrumental performances are of the highest order.

The Grand Illusion + Pieces Of Eight - Live
The Grand Illusion + Pieces Of Eight - Live
Price: £11.65

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mmm? Mixed feelings - but . . . ?, 7 Feb. 2012
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I love Styx and the original albums are absolute favourites - Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight are amazing.
Sadly what (or who) is missing here is Dennis De Young.
The vocals struggle at times and despite genuine effort so much is lost in transition.
The band play great - no let down there! Lawrence Gowan puts in some VERY convincing keyboards reminiscent of the "originals" and Todd Sucherman powers out on the drums. I am certainly NOT dismissing Tommy, JY or Ricky Phillips who add more than their weight; and old Chucky Panozzo is in there somewhere.
The live sound is pretty good but there seems to be an empty space.
One of my favourites and much anticipated was the live workout of "I'm Okay" - alas it is spoiled by a minute of inane "babble" at the beginning. Thankfully thereafter they get it together but Tommy struggles as he does on another real kicker - "Great White Hope"
I did hover over five; but . . . I am, perhaps, a victim of expectation?
You must make your own mind up. I DO NOT regret getting this for one moment and there are FIVE star moments!! Hey - four means I like it, and I do.

Nine Paths
Nine Paths
Price: £12.94

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Prog!, 8 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nine Paths (Audio CD)
Prog rock is a strange animal and I sometimes feel uneasy about the label - whatever, this is a smooth, well constructed and well produced album from an accomplished band.
All the elements are here - layered keyboards, tricky guitar runs, great rhythm support from strong bass and drums - and good vocals speaking lyrics that sometimes make no sense! That's Prog Rock!!!
This band improve all the time and this a worthy addition to their burgeoning catalogue.
Plenty to keep the avid Progger happy here.

The Many Sides Of Dave Edmunds: The Greatest Hits And More
The Many Sides Of Dave Edmunds: The Greatest Hits And More

4.0 out of 5 stars Great retro feel - solid rock and roll, 8 Jan. 2012
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Just wonderful "good 'ol boy' rock and roll - in a nutshell. I firmly believe that Dave was woefully overlooked and underrated.
Great arrangements of fundamental rock songs with a few twists. Very enjoyable and I really like the "aged" feel of it. I particularly like the muted, wall of sound treatment of "Baby I love You" and "Born To Be With You".
Nice clean musicianship and production and all kept fairly simple - its almost songs to hop and bop to. Rock on!!
I am aslo pleased it has the wonderful instrumental, "Sabre Dance".
Nice one Dave - good stuff!!!

Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD]
Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD]
Price: £16.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great set at GREAT Value!, 7 Jan. 2012
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What if we've heard it before? You are into Yes or you are not into Yes!
The "classic" line-up doing what they do best - and I for one am always happy to hear the variations.
The 6 Studio tracks on this set are quite interesting and - as far as I know - exclusive to it.
FOUR Cds + a live set DVD running at 147 mins! To be honest, it's a treat and at £10.99, what is there to beef about?
This is Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White doing their thing - it's great.
"Close to the Edge", "Starship Trooper", "Awaken" and "Siberian Khatru" - will I ever tire? Not personally - no!
If you are a Yes aficionado, then you either will or you won't; I did and am very happy with my purchase.

Destroy all Monsters
Destroy all Monsters

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes - I like it!, 15 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Destroy all Monsters (Audio CD)
I just cannot agree with Ironspider's interpretation of this.
YES - it has a "Pop Rock" and there is a "lightness" to it.
Quite frankly it isn't about classification it is about enjoyable music and I find this enjoyable and entertaining.
Well played and with good production - I would put it firmly into the lighter side of AOR; if I had too!
I really do not it pretends to be anything it isn't. Whack it on and enjoy the spin. You can REALLY listen to the record, or have it spinning nicely as you work.
Prog? In places. Rock? Again, some nice riffs and runs. Pop? What does this mean?
There are 9 tracks, all of equal quality. Some a bit slower than others and a few that crank up the pace.
It's a bit of all and still has its own character. Comparisons and references to It Bites, *Frost, Darwin's Radio are quite understandable.
I believe to be a 'safe bet' and say - well done Dec et al. Good record!!

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