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CK (Risca)

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Angela Test, The [Limited Edition]
Angela Test, The [Limited Edition]
Offered by Music Soup
Price: £8.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Superb, 24 Aug. 2005
How best to describe Leaves? There's something very mystical about the music, which may be derived from their homeland. Iceland; a place full of ancient tales, dramatic scenery and Bjork music. Thank God she isn't the sole representative of the Icelandic music scene.
Leaves are a bit different from the rest of the indie crowd that have developed in recent years. Every song is full-bodied and mixed to perfection, and listen to those lyrics! Other bands (Editors for example) have song lyrics that would shame a five-year old but Leaves have written cohesive material. A perfect example is in 'The Transparent';
'A whisper in my ear, I turn around there's nothing there,
They've all disappeared,
A distant sound of footsteps in the air.'
What about the title song, 'The Angela Test'? It may well be the best song I've ever heard. It's one of those tunes that sticks in your head, going around and around driving you mad. And 'Good Enough'; what a fantastic rock song. And the subtle air of menace in 'Should Have Seen It All'. And the beautiful crescendo leading into the final chorus at the end of 'The Spell'. There's so much here to praise, it's impossible to explain it all.
The only way for you to find out is to buy one of the best albums this year by one of the best bands around.

Young For Eternity
Young For Eternity
Offered by NetsavesUK
Price: £4.93

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn!, 14 July 2005
This review is from: Young For Eternity (Audio CD)
It's rock. Proper, pure, undiluted rock. It's raw, brash, larger than life. And I love it. This is music that deserves to be played loud. It's so full of youthful energy.
I first heard of The Subways through their debut single, 'At 1AM', and after that I was hooked. Ironically, the only problem I have with this album is that 'At 1AM' isn't given its own track. It's sort of tacked onto the end of 'Somewhere' after 6 minutes of silence. What's the point of that?
The Subways are an incredibly talented band. The music is so much more than the sum of its parts. Lead singer Billy Lunn has a great voice which works so well with the music and his girlfriend/bassist Charlotte's backing vocals are the perfect accompaniment.
If you don't buy this, you are a traitor to good music.

Another Code: Two Memories (Nintendo DS)
Another Code: Two Memories (Nintendo DS)
Offered by Ihr-Heimkino-
Price: £46.59

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Too Damn Short!, 6 July 2005
There is no doubt in my mind that Another Code is a game of sheer, unadulterated brilliance. The puzzles are fantastic, making a good use of the DS' touch screen and mic features. The story is...I'm trying to think of a better word than superb. Exquisite. Not only does the progression of the game pull you into Ashley's story, but it pulls you into the story of the Edward family too. By placing the game on an island, the producers have created a perfectly sealed world. What's more, it's all so well constructed that it all seems very believable. The graphics are excellent, the music is atmospheric, a chimp could use the control system...BUT IT'S FAR TOO SHORT!
The only remedy is for everyone to buy this game, then maybe Nintendo will make a longer sequel.

Dirty Words
Dirty Words
Price: £6.16

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why is Brandon Flowers putting on a Midlands accent?, 6 July 2005
This review is from: Dirty Words (Audio CD)
Oh, hold on...he isn't because despite the similarity, this isn't The Killers. This is The Departure and lead singer David Jones' vocals are one of only a few differences that mark this Northampton quintet as a separate band from the aforementioned Killers. If you can get past the lack of originality though, you'll find a lot of good music.
I must admit that the first time I listened to the album all the way through, I was quite disappointed. Up until then I had only heard the first two album tracks, 'Just Like TV' and 'Talkshow', which had piqued my interest. When I heard the other tracks, however, I felt a bit cheated. Many of the songs seemed to blend into each other and some sounded like unused Killers b-sides. Some still do.
Thankfully, I spent some more time with The Departure and their brilliance revealed itself. Not just musically (like some fantastic riffs and the beautifully delicate opening of 'Just Like TV') but lyrically too. In 'Time', for example, Jones sings 'I can't touch for fear I want more, More of the same in large amounts', a superbly knowing line as The Departure seem to realise that they will be constanly compared to the likes of the Killers.
I really like this album. It isn't constant as some of the songs just don't seem strong enough to be there, but it's a decent debut from a band I'm hoping to see more of in the future. The biggest problem that I can see the band having to overcome is escaping the sentance 'Great...if you like the Killers.'

So Far From Real
So Far From Real
Offered by Smaller World Future
Price: £27.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Time Coming, 13 Jun. 2005
This review is from: So Far From Real (Audio CD)
I mean, wow! I got this record ages ago but I recently felt motivated to review it. Obviously, the more recognisable tracks, if you own 1080 Avalanche, are 'Choke' and 'Killing Me', which are good tracks but not the absolute best. All the songs are very strong (I'm loathe to use the cliche 'All killer, no filler') and have riffs and lyrics that have a tendncy to stick in your head.
I can't recommend the album enough. If you like Cauterize, visit their web-site at [...] for links to songs from the new album, 'Paper Wings', which has been a long time coming. I really hope that Amazon will sell it too (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Buy the album. Kiss my feet later.

Eragon: Book One (The Inheritance Cycle)
Eragon: Book One (The Inheritance Cycle)
by Christopher Paolini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.49

21 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Rings? Pah!, 15 May 2005
My God, what a book! I'm quite happy to say that this may very well be the best book I have ever read. Everyone goes on about how Lord of the Rings defined this genre and about how it's still the best. I'm sorry, but that is straight off the stable-floor. Lord of the Rings is dull, tedious, word-heavy and, worst of all, Tolkien procrastinates to the point of disbelief ( the worst of these being the fact that he managed to make a trilogy out of such tripe). Peter Jackson is a miracle-worker.
Eragon is the book LotR should have been. I don't really want to give too much away because Paolini has put some fantastic twists into the story, but I can say that the book moves at a tremendous speed. By the time you finish it, it really does seem as if you've been on a huge journey. The writing is so good, it puts you into the world of Algaesia and you feel the tension as Eragon and Brom enter the deserted town of Yazuac, you feel the worry of the Varden's hopeless battle against the Urgals.
Eragon is such a stupendous acheivement by Paolini (considering he started when he was 15). It has raised the bar of the genre. I can only hope that the next book, Eldest, can live up to standards set by this book.

The Bravery
The Bravery
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £3.77

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny, 20 Mar. 2005
This review is from: The Bravery (Audio CD)
The Bravery are often compared to The Killers. Except they don't sound like them. The Killers' songs are slower with a more laid-back attitude towards the music. The Bravery has a real enthusiasm. Most of the tracks are bouncy, with a good rhythym that make you want to move. I defy you to listen through the album and not find your foot tapping at the end. The Bravery do have a lot in common with The Strokes. In fact, in 'Public Service Announcement' and 'The Ring Song', I could've sworn that Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas was singing.
Something that struck me about the album was how different the songs were in relation to each other. They all have clearly identifiable beats and riffs right from the first listen. I've bought some albums where you have to listen for months on end just to spot the song boundaries because they're so similar and even when you have you still get confused about which is which.
The Bravery may not be very original, but they are very good. If you want one of the best albums this year then buy this. You won't regret it.

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