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Bill Merrill (San Antonio, Texas, USA)

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When There's Good to Be Done
When There's Good to Be Done
Price: £27.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent folk album from Minnesota duo, 20 April 2016
For discerning music fans who love American traditional folk, there are bounteous rewards to be found on the latest album by husband-and-wife duo Curtis & Loretta. Each of the dozen songs on *When There's Good to Be Done* was written by Loretta about a real-life person or people who acted heroically in ways large or small. For example, "The Bridge" tells about a survivor of the tragic 2007 Minnesota bridge collapse who overcame severe injuries with a spirit of determination. There are also inspiring stories of war survivors, others who had to fight through great injustices, and even a moving account of Loretta's own parents' lives. The songs all flow nicely along with the duo's fine vocals and a wide array of acoustic instruments. Great stuff!

Price: £21.44

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spacey ambient music from Mathieu & Sylvian, 22 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Wandermüde (Audio CD)
Wandermude is an album of futuristic ambient themes from German "sound artist" Stephan Mathieu and the multi-talented David Sylvian. Electronic musician Fennesz also contributes to one track. The pieces are haunting and somewhat formless in terms of melodic content (more tones than melodies), and thus traditional vocals with lyrics would make little sense. The cover photo of the gloves from a space suit gives the listener a hint of what he or she is in for; hearing Wandermude gives the feeling of floating through space, but in a vaguely overwhelming and menacing scenario.

Pieces In A Modern Style 2 [2 Disc Edition]
Pieces In A Modern Style 2 [2 Disc Edition]
Offered by onepeecd
Price: £12.95

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decade on, Orbit provides a worthy sequel, 2 Sept. 2010
Mr. Orbit's first Pieces collection (in 2000) was an enjoyable set of electronic interpretations of classical themes, and now he's come out with another dozen Pieces. Where in the first collection he took on Barber, Ravel and Satie, this time it's Elgar, Faure and Grieg. As before, what Orbit does with these pieces is a poppier, less sterile version of Wendy Carlos' synth classics. And once again, he's put out additional bonus tracks, on the 2nd disc of this 2-CD edition. The bonus disc features five additional new pieces, plus guest remixes of themes from the primary album. My favorite among these 2010 Pieces is the shimmering, delightful "Aquarium" (from Saint-Saens); an initially unrecognisable, futuristic-sounding "Peer Gynt;" and the "robots in love" feeling of "Paradisum." But all dozen are relatively good. I'm less enamored of the bonus disc. For example, I think Orbit was wise in leaving his "Carmen" off of the main album; it's rather ordinary. As for the remixes, by people such as Digweed and Timo Maas, they succeed only in sounding like the latest dance tracks you might hear in a generic dance club. But then I'm not as much into that sort of thing, so take that for what it's worth. By the way, there is a companion CD of the classical originals of these Pieces also available (something also done in 2000). It's called Pieces in the Original Style 2, also on Decca.

For Lack of Honest Work
For Lack of Honest Work

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid collection of live Rundgren songs, 31 Aug. 2010
This review is from: For Lack of Honest Work (Audio CD)
After listening to all three and a half hours and three CDs of `For Lack of Honest Work,' I can tell you it's mostly high quality live recordings. These are bootlegs that range from 1971 to 2006, more or less sequenced in chronological order. There's a gap in time, though, with nothing at all from '96 to '02 (not necessarily an essential period from the artist) and a few other years missing along the way. As you might expect, the sound quality improves as you go along. Some of the early recording are spotty, but just about everything on discs 2 & 3 sounds great. I'm assuming the producers of this 3-CD set sorted through many more hours of live recordings before choosing these particular 43 performances. By and large they did well at selecting really good stuff. I especially liked the solo acoustic "Love of the Common Man" (Florida '03) and the a cappella group backing Todd on "Real Man" (NYC '78), plus there are some amazing electric guitar solos, as on the mind-blowing instrumental "Mister Triscuits" (London '75). Unfortunately there are a few duds mixed in too, such as the chaotic messes made of the "Sunset Blvd" medley and "Black and White." I could have done fine without ever hearing those two cuts, and some of the Broadway things on disc 2. Overall, though, the good FAR outweighs the bad here, leaving a rich bounty for Rundgren fans.

One important note on the packaging. This set suffers from a problem that also plagued the recent ELP 4-CD box. They were released by different record labels, but they both appear to have used the same packaging company. The individual cardboard trifold sleeves for each disc were apparently glued with bad glue, or the glue wasn't allowed to dry completely before the CDs were inserted. Some of the glue dried onto the CD surfaces! My thanks to (US) customer reviewers who noted this problem with the ELP set and offered solutions. (Goo Gone worked well for me.)

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