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Reviews Written by
Chris Hurst "groovy-accountant"

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Let Go
Let Go
Offered by westworld-
Price: £14.98

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why didn't I find them sooner?, 22 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Let Go (Audio CD)
This was one of the best albums of 2002, and indeed that's how i found it, in a top 100 albums of 2002 list. From the review I knew it had to be good and I was in no way disappointed. The opening track, Blizzard 0f 77, desrves to be included in greatest song debates, so perfect are its accoustic chord changes and wandering lyrics. It even lends its lyrics to the title - "On a plane ride the more it shakes, the more I have to let go".
The album continues with a more up-tempo track, the Way You Wear Your Head, before more gentle genius on Fruit Fly and Blonde on Blonde. The single Inside Of Love might almost seem pathetic to begin with, but gradually lodges in your brain, for days on end, until the only way out is to play it again, to make sure you can hum the instrumental break properly to yourself in future.
Hi-Speed Soul has just stunned me by appearing in a commercial in the UK, despite being one of my least favourite tracks here. Clearly Moby is unavailable for any coffee table noodling for the moment. Later on, Killian's Red is the inspired epic this sort of album desperately requires, a monumnet to being in love despite the world - "I almost love this town when you're by my side". Closer Paper Boats is more exceptional maudlin pop.
Basically, do yourself a favour and find yourself a copy of this album.


Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.97

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect rock entertainment, 22 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Jimmy Eat World (Audio CD)
Like many people, I came to Jimmy Eat World through Bleed American, their most immediately accessible album. This often means that the songs fade through repeated listening, and that other albums offer a better long term prospect, but in my opinion this is easily the best they've produced.
Salt Sweat Sugar is a blistering start, all chugging guitars and shouted chorus, before moving into more melodic territory for the next few songs, including the infectious The Middle which briefly threatened to take JEW mainstream in the UK. It didn't though. Then we're on to the album's highlight, the single Sweetness. This song is so simple, so loud, so perfect, its the song we should all have written. The next song, the name of which escapes me, is almost as good, before the quality starts to waiver very slightly towards the end.
Nonetheless, this is an album that improves with listen after listen, with a new song each week becoming your favourite off it. This is extremely high praise in my book.


The Warriors [VHS]
The Warriors [VHS]
VHS
Offered by pkeylock
Price: £9.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ultra violence - if you were still in the seventies, 22 Oct. 2003
This review is from: The Warriors [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I caught the Warriors by accident some time ago, no idea where or when. Its been lodged in the back of my mind since then, so when I saw it in a sale at a rival outlet, I took the plunge.
The basic plot (and it is basic) is that New York in the 70s is divided into gangs of around (or possibly exactly) 9 people. They are on the verge of coming together for the purpose of generally smashing up the city, when the prospective leader of this supergang is assassinated. The eponymous Warriors are framed for the murder, and duly have to escape across one side of New York to the other, avoiding rival gangs and police alike.
This makes up virtually the entire film and is no bad thing, the tension as they race from one gang's territory to another is palpable. The hierarchy that seems to be in place between the gangs is highly believable. An example of this is the petty insecurities of The Orphans, a low level gang trying to be more important than they are.
The much publicised violence is pretty tame by today's standards, and the fight scenes in general lack a certain frenetic realism, but this doesn't really detract from the spectacle. Each gang is an artistic statement in itself, such as the painted faces of the Baseball Furies.
I have a few personal quibbles, however. Such as why would the gangs want to just smash up the city if they all got together? That's just a rubbish plan in anyone's book. The love interest is also grim, looking like a sulky slapper you'd pay good money to avoid. Although this might have been the point.
Still, the chase across the city is excellent fun, and is probably best viewed as just that. I'm by no means convinced that this is the stylised masterpiece some would have you believe, but well worth watching none the less.


Blackadder: The Complete Blackadder Goes Forth [VHS] [1989]
Blackadder: The Complete Blackadder Goes Forth [VHS] [1989]
VHS
Offered by scrumpyjane
Price: £15.95

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ah, there you are Darling., 21 Oct. 2003
This used to be my favourite of the four series, but just recently the joke has worn just very slightly thin with series 4. Don't get me wrong, its still a mile above most other BBC comedy of the last 20 years (how does anyone laugh at anything in Keeping Up appearances?) but the writing isn't quite as sharp as the sublime series 3, or series 2.
Nonetheless its crammed with memorable quotes and characters. Lord Flashheart makes another welcome appearance, and Baldrick's slug balancing act is excellent. Fry and Laurie provide comedy kudos (although Laurie's character George grates after a while), but the best bit of all is the final moment, where the big push over the top claims all but the top brass, in a surpirisingly moving moment. A great way to leave the series in truth, although I'd love some more. Blackadder in Space, anyone?
Just me then.


Championship Manager 4
Championship Manager 4
Offered by marxwax
Price: £8.03

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars B+, tries too hard, 14 Oct. 2003
Of course Championship Manager is more a religion than a game. This is the updated prayer book for those who feel the need to keep up to date.
But in truth its not quite the all round experience that the previous versions have been. The new 2d game view is undoubtedly entertaining, although i have my doubts about the goalkeepers, but its seems to have been at the expense of the depth of player stats if you don't have a Pentium 8 with a hard drive the size of Weymouth.
This was what we loved in previous versions. The lack of any game highlights didn't stop those all night 12 hour sessions with a mate at university (no sniggering), and it certainly didn't stop me informing those around me watching backwater European football of a certain player's best attributes, despite never having seen him play in the flesh. Tigran Gspeian? Pretty decent technique for an Armenian midfielder.
The triumph of digging out some dubious Swedish teenager only for him to become world famous seems to have been lost, or at least diluted. Maybe it is more realistic, but you can have too much realism. I'd be highly aggrieved if I got shell shock from too much Command and Conquer.
Having said all this, its still a great game. There's still hours and hours of amusement to be had playing it. Its just that it had so much to live up to.


The Crow Road
The Crow Road
by Iain Banks
Edition: Paperback

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banks' best, 14 Oct. 2003
This review is from: The Crow Road (Paperback)
As the blurb always likes to point out, Banks is a phenomenon. Only problem is, he's a bit of an inconsistent phenomenon. For every Espedair Street to suck you in, there's a The Bridge to kick you back out.
No problems with the Crow Road, though. The quality of storytelling is uppermost here, with no need to rely on fancy literary tricks as is sometimes the case with Banks, just good old fashioned writing. Our hero Prentice is a fully rounded human being. He's smart, stupid, insightful and obtuse in equal measures, and he makes you feel for him from the first moment.
Moments such as Prentice waking up with a spectacular New Year's hangover and wondering 'what have i done?' are handled with such aplomb that you might as well have made a complete fool of yourself and only find out through reading the book. His inability to notice the attentions of his female best friend, and his equal willingness to come to the most unlikely of conclusions from the slightest evidence about the death of his uncle only endear him all the more.
This is a book that I never tire of reading.


Levelling The Land
Levelling The Land
Offered by RAREWAVES
Price: £9.85

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous, 13 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Levelling The Land (Audio CD)
God I love this album. None of the songs grate even after the thousandth listen, and each has become my favourite at one point or another, to be overtaken again, only to regroup to make another attempt to woo me.
At the same time they were the first band i ever saw live, at Rivermead in Reading in '93. One Way is the song for a generation, and the fact that its used every time anyone wants to show traveller types on TV proves it.


The Day Today - 2 [VHS] [1994]
The Day Today - 2 [VHS] [1994]
VHS
Offered by Discountdiscs-UK : Dispatched daily from the UK.
Price: £5.05

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely bang, that's the Day Today!, 13 Oct. 2003
Words alone are insufficient to explain the value of this series. Every item of this fabulous news satire, every character, every tiny detail is so cleverly observed that the casual observer might not (and in the case of my parents, didn't) even notice that it is a satire.
Chris Morris, in Jeremy Paxman mode, is in vicious form. No one, with perhaps the exception of the lovely Valerie Sinatra on the travel desk, is safe from his wrath. Hapless reporter Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan receives more than his fair share ("Peter! You've lost the news!) but guests fair no better. A poor unfortunate jam festival organiser is told she could raise more money by effectively begging, "even if you were twice as ugly as you are, which is very ugly indeed!".
Elsewhere, the war coverage is so accurate that the recent coverage of Gulf War 2 might just have well have been the Australia - Hong Kong war reports played on a loop, Alan Partridge is in fine form ("That was liquid football!) and the various bit part players all hit the spot.
My favourite moment is probably the heartless report on the victims of the bombdogs, 2 OAPs and a dog. "Being old, they would have died soon anyway, but the dog was in the prime of life."
Classic.


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