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Profile for Nicolas CARR-FORSTER > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Nicolas CARR-FORSTER (London, UK)
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Places
Places
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going places..., 11 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Places (Audio CD)
Sorry to be blunt but in no uncertain very simple terms: move over Charlotte, your half sister HAS got a striking personality, a striking voice, a song writing talent, regardless of whose daughter she is. An astonishing first offering, a captivating performance throughout and a wonderful, sensitive and appropriate musical mise en scène by Etienne Daho. This girl must and will go far in music, well done! Can't wait for the next instalment :)


The Iron Lady [DVD]
The Iron Lady [DVD]
Dvd ~ Meryl Streep
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE IRON LADY, A FILM OF STEEL, 9 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (DVD)
After hearing many diverse impressions regarding the film, I was pleased to sit myself down and watch it when it was broadcasted on tv recently. To my surprise, I was utterly moved by the whole thing, Meryl Streep is outstanding, remarkably incarnating Margaret Thatcher, with subtle nuances, familiar traits of personality of the main character as well as offering a sadder, more sombre and reflective anxiety in Thatcher's later times. Faultless performance and faultless accent throughout, credible and captivating at all times. What was particularly successful was that it didn't go down the usual road of the obvious biopic, spanning from humble beginnings to full-blown glory but instead, a touching series of recollections of her key moments. The exploration of her husband Dennis, usually seen as a very grey figure in the background in Thatcher's heyday becomes of crucial importance as the sense of his loss is as heartbreakingly endearing as his part in her becoming what she became was fundamental; Beautifully performed by the cast and finely executed, without exaggerations, mawkish drama or literal cinematography, this is serious material offering a visual experience to remember and reflect on.


Velvet Goldmine [DVD]
Velvet Goldmine [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jonathan Rhys Myers
Price: £4.99

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A ROCK AND ROLL SUICIDE..., 15 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Velvet Goldmine [DVD] (DVD)
A very good cast, a lavish production oozing with energy, enthusiasm, imaginative symbolism, good costumes and make up. All in all beautiful on the surface, be it in its superficiality. For as thin as the glamorous coat of varnish may continue to entertain the viewer throughout, deeper is the shambolic misunderstanding of the glam rock musical era and all it stood for.

Todd Haynes completely highjacks the prevalent theme of outrageous cross dressing and camp drama which certainly infused the sounds and performers of the genre, to systematically associate it with a latent homosexuality which according to his film seemed to grip an entire youth movement besoted with their supposedly unanimously bisexual idols.
What Haynes totally missed is that this culture of cross dressing, cross gender performances and the whole bitch dandy thing is a very traditional British form of entertainment, existing way before the iconic victorian pantomimes and prevailing to this day. This doesn't have to do with homosexuality or bisexuality. In the early 70s, when the time was right, Glam rock beautifully whisked this familiar form of theatre up with loud electric guitars and progressively provocative sounds, briefly shaking the foundations of the establishment with its outrageously camp attitude and paving the way for Punk, another essence of the British spirit distilled to another level thereafter.

Besides the fact that the loose reference to the ascent of David Bowie and his collaborations with Iggy Pop are an unfulfilled rendition of the facts and a mish mash of apologetically vague comparisons, it isn't surprising that the grande dame of Glam himself did not wish to have anything to do with the project besides lending the title of his song for the film. Consequently, none of Bowie's song are to be heard throughout the film when these would certainly have been the best musical soundtrack to a film on the era. Already a big let-down. Instead we are treated to some fantastic original Eno which the film does not deserve and then some curiously tame covers of Roxy Music and lame, instantly forgettable invented imitations of Glam chart-toppers. Basically, for all its pretty glitter, Velvet Goldmine gets it completely wrong and for the those who were really there and remember, Glam was certainly a time of excess as the film accurately depicts but was not a revolutionary gay movement, when actually none of the big names of Glam are or were gay.
In fact it was in the very midst of the Glam period that the outrageous Jobriath came forth, claiming the tiara of Glamdom and announced that he was gay, a sensation which caused him to plunge into oblivion and be cast out of the limelight shining on the musical genre at the time!

Glam was all an act really, like a pantomime and its biggest stars, mostly still alive today, have moved on when the fashion simply died out.
It was time to put the wigs and the feathers away when no one was shocked or amused anymore and progress to other forms of music without particularly giving the impression throughout their careers and to this day that they still need wave the flag of an unfulfilled, confused sexuality which the film has them all subject to.
Todd Haynes took the subject too close to his heart, reading far too much into it and then expressing his identification to the very themes he brought forward in the film. And this is why it fails. A shame really, as Glam still deserves its close up...


Irm (Limited Edition)
Irm (Limited Edition)
Offered by Boutikpro
Price: £7.31

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE CHARM OF CHARLOTTE, 28 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Irm (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
Some people are born lucky, with iconic parents from which they can extract and form their own charm and image. In some photos, Charlotte's profile is an uncanny silhouette echo of her father Serge, whilst she sports the same baggy jumpers, t-shirts and teasing hot pants Jane did in the late 60s. For this album, more so maybe than for the beautiful previous '5:55' , a lot of work has been done to explore Charlotte's vocal potential, which it has to be said, is unfortunately not astounding in the purely technical sense.
However, it is the slightly anxious, out-of-breath whispers we loved to hear from Jane a few years back, which perfectly suit the music prepared here for her by prolific music-master Beck. It is that fragility and complex moodiness which firmly establishes Charlotte as the new sensitive gamine of cross-channel chanson. Beck composed an appropriate musical masterpiece for Charlotte who in turn, has grasped sufficient maturity to act it out perfectly. A great combination where middle-American quirkiness meets Parisian café existentialism.


Hotel Costes - 12
Hotel Costes - 12
Price: £17.12

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Très très chic..., 6 Oct. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hotel Costes - 12 (Audio CD)
Another superb, tasteful, seamless offering from Mr. Pompougnac whose intelligent choice of both sassy and intuitive pieces seems to get more and more refined as the collections are prepared year after year.
A lovely follow up to 11, c'est très très chic!


Yeah Ghost (CD Album)
Yeah Ghost (CD Album)
Offered by Mattpuss
Price: £10.52

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A BIG ZERO, 6 Oct. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Yeah Ghost (CD Album) (Audio CD)
There's nothing wrong with wanting to explore other musical avenues and to develop a progression in sound. Whereas 'Simple Things' and 'When It Falls' went hand in hand as an almost symphonic pair of sensitive, mature masterpieces of profound harmonies and arrangements, 'The Garden' moved away from that by demonstrating a new, raw musical direction, with more acoustic, sparse ballads which still held together very well and represented a yet undiscovered aspect of the team's creativity.
The problem with this little offering is that the boys are simply not very good at producing abstract electronica. Here, we are served with irritating tuneless pieces filled with unpleasant noise, dragging special effects and rather mediocre vocals compared to Sia's miraculous vocal offerings or Tina Dico, Sophie Barker or Mozez's elegant dulcit tones.
Apart from 'The Road' and 'All Of Us'-at times-, there is absolutely nothing of any substance or musical value on this CD and even so, the two are hardly groundbreaking. For the rest, at the best of times, you'll find what seem to be rejects from 'The Garden' recording sessions, if that.
After waiting for three years, this is very disappointing and I do hope the boys will read this and take notice because they certainly can do better as they've demonstrated before.
May this turn out to be an experiment which will soon be forgotten and for which they will be forgiven.
May Zero 7 return to form and ditch dabbling with sounds which people from the Compost, Sonar Kollectiv, Arision and Gilles Peterson's Brownswood labels actually know how to do.


The Kick Inside
The Kick Inside
Price: £5.79

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MIRACULOUS, 27 May 2009
This review is from: The Kick Inside (Audio CD)
Probably one of the most extraordinary albums ever written in the world. Essential piece of musical history.


Aerial
Aerial
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £19.95

12 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blow away.....please!, 27 May 2009
This review is from: Aerial (Audio CD)
We waited twelve years for this...an appalling, droning, mediocre collection of tedious tracks, painfully sung by a middle-aged mother whose voice has all but disappeared. What's the matter with geniuses who lose their creative abilities? I'd rather delve into the Kick Inside, Lionheart and such...not hear about some washing machine (especially when the high pitched chorus note can't really be reached anymore).
Retire gracefully, Kate...You were once a marvel in the history of music but if you have lost it, as demonstrated in this embarassing offering, just go and listen to your early stuff and you might see why I am so angry...
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 25, 2014 12:11 AM BST


City
City
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £6.76

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SARAH MAKES IT BETTER...?, 14 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: City (Audio CD)
...These were the words on one of the songs of Dubstar's last album in 2000...After they had moved towards something more acoustic and rocky, they disbanded and as a fan of the previous, I turned to Client for some more of Sarah's dulcit Newcastle tones.
Great disapointment for me as I truly believe the songs are simply boring, unmelodic, repetitive. It's clear that Dubstar's ingenious and creative musical songwriting is nowhere to be felt here and Sarah's voice is a painful reminder of the musical crowd she was once part of. I've heard that Dubstar are coming back for an album in 2008. She may have certain regrets and I do sympathise. Oh well, there's always another chance to make the usual cup of tea...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2009 1:35 PM BST


Shine
Shine
Price: £7.99

6 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Quit while you are still ahead..., 19 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Shine (Audio CD)
The genius who blessed us with timeless masterpieces like 'Hejira', 'Court and Spark' and 'For the Roses' amongst many might as well be a completely different person from this burnt-out, droning dirge which seems to endure beyond the welcome retirement she announced after the bombastic, pretentious, desecration of past gems which 'Travelogue' turned out to be.
The lyrics are poor, tiresome and bitter, the voice has not recovered and never will. Musically, it's thin, dull and all a bit like rehashed 'Turbulent Indigo' meets 'Taming the Tiger'.
One redeeming point is the decent 'If I had a heart' which could be beautiful if sung with a good voice.
I'm afraid to say, Joni WAS the pinnacle of singer-songwriting, an absolute miracle in music but I guess that like every star in the sky, her time came to fade away...


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