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Pardeep Maniplatesh

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Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The best follow-up album in the last 34 years!!!, 10 Oct. 2016
This review is from: Bounce (MP3 Download)

As someone who loved the first 2 Beat albums from 1980 and 1981 respectively (and was lukewarm on their 1982 third album that was more pop than ska), this ticks nearly all the boxes for me. I loved Dave Wakelin's vocals on the early albums, but after listening to Roger's excellent singing on this album you might find yourself asking "Dave who?"

This is more similar in style to "I just can't stop it" than "Wha'appen", with a catchy and fairly fast paced ska/reggae style. Maybe it could have been even more brilliant with one or two tracks like the excellent "Drowning" or "Dream Home in New Zealand" (or even a "Mirror in the bathroom" style track) to provide a little more variety, but it's a very infectious and strong album.

The only slight negative I can really think of is that without Saxa The Beat miss out on some of the best Saxophone solo's ever recorded. The saxophone on this album just doesn't sound like The Beat (apart from maybe "Avoid the obvious" which could have sat comfortably on either of The Beat's first 2 albums).

I'm not sure if there are any stand-out tracks since they are all so excellent, but a few of my favourites are "Heaven hiding", "Avoid the obvious", "Side by side" and "Busy busy doing nothing".

I also quite enjoy "Close the door" too, not because it is one of the strongest tracks, but because musically it sounds a little like very early UB40 mixed with "General Public" by General Public. A little different from anything previously recorded as The Beat. The line "Come and shed some inspiration" is sang almost identically to "Come and join our federation" from General Public.

If you love ska and pop-influenced-reggae then you must own this album.

The Book Of Souls
The Book Of Souls
Price: £14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great listen from end to end, 9 Sept. 2015
This review is from: The Book Of Souls (Audio CD)
I started off by just skipping through the tracks and having a quick listen to each track. Nothing jumped out at me and my first thoughts were "boring" and "same old stuff".

However, when I took the time to listen to the entire album from end-to-end I realised two things:
1. There are no absolute stand-out tracks on this album - nothing to hook you on first listen,
2. BUT every track is very good and worth listening to in its entirety

When I stopped searching for the "instant wins" and instead listened to the album as an complete piece of work I got it, and have now listened to it from end-to-end about 5 times with a big smile on my face.

With previous Iron Maiden releases I've often heard the first (or second) single, loved it, listened to the album and then felt a little disappointed that the album did not excite me as much as the single had.

This album is different - in this case I love listening to the album, but struggle to find any track that really stands out for me. They are all very good, but none really grab me as the "stand out" track.

Is that a good or bad thing? - I feel it is a good thing, because this is an album you will want to listen to over and over again. Whereas many albums have 2 or 3 excellent tracks and a lot of fillers, this has 100% very good tracks and no fillers at all.

As an album I have to give this 5 stars, since as an album it really works, whereas were I reviewing "Speed of Light" as a 1st single I'd probably want to award it just 4 stars.

Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to their very best, 29 Sept. 2014
This review is from: NO GOING BACK (Audio CD)
I've always respected this band, but for me their best stuff was up to and including their single "Straw Dogs". By the second album I thought they had become too commercial and lost their edge.

There have been lots of albums since then with several different line-ups, some albums better than others but nothing that overly excited me ... until now.

NO GOING BACK is absolutely brilliant. The passion from the first album is back, combined with great guitar and drums and re-energised song-writing.

I can listen to this album from end-to-end and, with the exception of the one filler "Guilty as sin", never get tired of listening to any of the tracks.

If you like punk or fast-paced rock then this is an essential part of any record collection. SLF are back to their very best, and this could be the best rock album you'll hear this year.

Rewind The Film
Rewind The Film
Offered by Edealcity
Price: £12.95

6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sad to say that I hate it, 26 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Rewind The Film (Audio CD)
I've been a Manics fan since the start. Loved Generation Terrorists, Holy Bible, Journal For Plague Lovers etc. In fact, I've found something I like on all their albums until now.

I know this will be an unpopular review with fans, but with all the inexplicable 5-star reviews I felt obliged to provide a different opinion.

To me, Rewind The Film sounds lazy and pointless. Only one song has worthwhile lyrics and musically it just floats along without ever getting going.

This week I have listened to two new albums: Rewind The Film by Manic Street Preachers and Between Dog and Wolf by New Model Army. Both albums seemingly have good music-industry reviews and both represent a more laid-back sound by their resective bands.

Whereas I think the NMA album is absolutely brilliant, I struggle to even listen to all of Rewind The Film. Clever lyrics and putting some effort into the songs can make a vast difference to the way an album sounds.

If you like rock then I would suggest you avoid this. If your favourite Manic albums were This Is My Truth and Lifeblood then you may like this - after all, lots of people seemingly love it if all the great reviews are to be believed!

If this is the direction the Manics are moving in then I'm afraid my days as a fan will be coming to an end :-(
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2013 1:07 PM GMT

Between Dog And Wolf
Between Dog And Wolf
Price: £9.05

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very relaxing album, 24 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Between Dog And Wolf (Audio CD)
If you are looking for songs like "Today is a good day", "Get me out", "No rest" or "Here comes the war" then you won't find them on this album.

About the most lively this album gets is on my favourite track, "Tomorrow Came".

However, despite being fairly easy listening, it (in the most part) avoids sounding boring. There are great drums on this album throughout, and enough audible guitar to keep the album interesting.

The normal NMA great lyrics are here, but the sound has matured and almost floats above the words. I would have to class two or three tracks as fillers, but on the whole a very well constructed album that flows well from start to end.

Standout tracks for me are the radio-friendly "March in September", the melodic "Lean back and fall", the foot-tapping "Seven times" and the more traditional NMA sounding "Tomorrow came".

If you want volume and lots of guitars then look elsewhere, but if you want a good easy-listening album with tribal-sounding drums throughout then you won't find much better than this.

Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da
Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da
Offered by plusnoise
Price: £4.95

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great mix of all past Madness styles in one album, 1 Nov. 2012
I'd give this 4.5 out of 5 if I could.

This is a mixed bunch of songs, covering sounds you might have heard on any of their albums from their early days right up to Norton Folgate.

I must say that I don't agree with all the reviews, which shows that this album manages to cater for quite different tastes. Personally, I prefer the early ska sound of Madness (instead of the later pop sound), so I'm reviewing this album based on the fact that I really wanted it to be a One Step Beyind or Absolutely.

Song my song:

MY GIRL 2 - slightly repetitive and too radio friendly for me to love it, but very catchy and (as others have said) sounds a little like Tainted Love mixed with Good Thing (which is not necessarily a bad thing). [7/10]

NEVER KNEW YOUR NAME - slower than some of the other tracks, but a beautiful song with a disco(ish) feel to the chorus. [7/10]

LA LUNA - I have noted that some reviewers love this song. I struggle to even like it much. For me, one of the weakest tracks on the album. Lots of trumpets accompany almost spoken vocals. Might have been a good choice for an instrumental. [5.5/10]

HOW CAN I TELL YOU? - another slow(ish) song (in places), but great lyrics and fun to listen to. Has a really catchy chorus. [7.5/10]

KITCHEN FLOOR - another catchy sing-a-long that you'll be singing along with after a couple of listens. Some great guitar solos here too. [7.5/10]

MISERY - a new(ish) sound from Madness. A rather jazzy sound (merged with the early-days Madness fairground sound), and a backbeat that reminds me a little of Chas and Dave! [8/10]

LEON - mid-paced track that is a little in the style of some of the later Beatles work (slightly Strawberry Fields feel to this song). Fairly catchy, but the jumps from upbeat music to almost talking vocals are a little annoying in places and impact the flow. [7/10]

CIRCUS FREAKS - a little odd sounding in places, but another catchy tune that would not have sounded out of place on the Absolutely album. [7/10]

SO ALIVE - has a beat not vastly different from Misery, but with a little more of a typical Madness sound (although, scarily, the "once in every lifetime" section sounds a little like Summer Holiday era Cliff Richard in places!) - Another fairly catchy song. [7/10]

SMALL WORLD - another almost spoken slow song. Beautiful music, but just never seems to get going. Sorry Madness, but this one bores me. The chorus does lift the song slightly (but reminds me too much of modern day Take That) [5/10]

DEATH OF A RUDE BOY - a nod to their roots. Not as fast as you might have expected back in their One Step Beyond days, but this certainy has more of a ska feel to it than anything else on the album. [8/10]

POWDER BLUE - horrible organ(ish) intro and spoken vocals get me yawning before the song has really started. It does pick up a bit once it gets going and has some good lyrics, but if you prefer the more catchy songs then you might struggle a bit with this track. [5/10]

BLACK AND BLUE - absolutely brilliant! My favourite song on the album. Very catchy chorus compliments a song with a light ska back-beat. This would have not seemed out of place on One Step Beyond or Absolutely. If it had not been for the pointless "wedding bells" section of this song I might have given it a 10. [9/10]

MY GIRL 2 REMIX - starts quite slowly, so not as instantly appealing as the normal version. However, this does not sound so much like Tainted Love and Good Thing - there is a much more typical Madness feel to this version. If you can get through the first half of the song then the second half really comes to life (with a few shouts thrown in for good measure). I much prefer this to the main version - just because this has a "ska" feel to it rather than the "pop" feel that the main version has. Really catchy. [8.5/10] - this should have been the single!

Overall a very good album, but for me three quite boring tracks (LA LUNA, SMALL WORLD and POWDER BLUE) prevent it from getting 5 stars. Not sure why "Big Time Sister" did not make the album.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2012 4:50 PM GMT

Humax FOXSAT-HDR Freesat+ 320GB HD Digital TV Twin Tuner HD Recorder - Installation Recommended (Old model)
Humax FOXSAT-HDR Freesat+ 320GB HD Digital TV Twin Tuner HD Recorder - Installation Recommended (Old model)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but software could be better, 21 Feb. 2011
This is a great product, lots of functionality and you can access ALL free channels being broadcast over the satellite (not just the Freesat ones). However, as a previous Sky and Virgin customer, these are the issues that I have found with the Humax box:

1. If you are recording in Freesat mode, then you cannot switch to non-freesat mode. Despite having two inputs, the device is incapable of splitting between the two modes. So, you may view/record multiple channels in Freesat mode OR in non-freesat mode, but you may never combine the two. This can be annoying if you want to record on Freesat whilst watching non-freesat (or vice-versa).

2. File management is much more complex than it needs to be. Rather than just deleting a recorded file after watching it, you need to go to the Media page, then click "OPT+", select "File Manager", find the recording you wish to delete and then choose to delete it. It is just as complex trying to move things into folders to keep the HDD tidy, although at least Humax offers folders, which not all systems do.

3. You may record a wholse series or record a single program, but you may not set a reminder for a whole series! In Sky you may set reminders for a whole series, but with Humax you need to choose to record the whole series, and then go through the complicated file management system to delete episodes after watching them. Why do Humax not think people might just want series reminders?

4. To switch between Freesat and Non-Freesat mode, you need to go to the Menu, then click another couple of options before finding the "STB" facility. Why not just have a button on the remote control that switches between Freesat and non-freesat? - It would be so much easier. Also, maybe a button for file management would also be good.

5. I find the software sometimes slow to respond to the controls and, even with new batteries, the remote signal is only detected if I point it directly at the box.

Overall, this is a great piece of kit at a good price. Lots of features. The problem is that it does not seem to have been designed for the customer. I think the Humax software design team need to have a rethink. The remote has lots of buttons on it, but some common tasks require going through a complex menu system instead of having a button available on the remote.

Come on Humax - why limit such brilliant technology with such a poor user interface?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2011 12:33 PM BST

No Title Available

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purchased for the wife (but I quite like it), 15 Nov. 2010
I purchased the wife Beautiful World a few years back, but could not bring myself to buy her The Circus, since I couldn't stand any of the singles released from it. Any sane man never buys his wife an album that he can't bear to have her playing around the house :-)

I'm not a massive fan of The Flood, but the wife likes it and I could live with having to listen to her play it, so I purchased Progress for her.

There are moments when I do like Take That - if I'm honest I do quite like Back For Good, Never Forget, Patience, Shine and Rule The World. Although, overall, I probably prefer Robbie's early solo stuff over most of Take That's stuff.

After listening to Progress I was quite impressed. There are several tracks on the album much stronger than The Flood.

My biggest criticism is that there is too much electronic music and not enough real music. Robbie's return has resulted in some brilliant music, but also some sounds that let down what could have been a near-perfect album. Even so, I believe this to be Take That's best album (to date). I could not award 4.5 stars, so decided to be kind and award 5.

For me, as a man and not a traditional Take That fan, the stand-out tracks are:

SOS - Frantic "end of the word" vocals combined with a catchy Take That chorus and without too much electro sound to ruin it. For me, this is the best track on the album. I heard someone compare this to London Calling by The Clash and, although musically the songs are one million miles apart, lyrically this is as close to Joe Strummer as Robbie/Mark could ever get.

Kidz - Not vastly different from SOS, although not quite as good or catchty. Even so, very hard not to sing along with. Certainly a much stronger track than The Flood. Lyrically, this shows just how much Take That have developed. Love all the "hey hey hey hey".

Eight Letters - The only Gary Barlow ballad on the album. I'm not a fan of ballads, but this song is very good and I'm sure it will appeal to the more traditional Take That fans who just want an album of soppy ballads. This is certainly a ballad that I can listen to (whereas, I really can't stand Greatest Day from their last album).

What do you want from me? - This is almost a Mark Owen album. He might not be the strongest singer, but many of the outstanding tracks feature his vocals. This is a personal song from Mark about his broken relationship. Not as good as SOS or Kidz, but it picks up about half-way through the song. My biggest grumble is that the first half was not made as good as the second half. Start playing this song from half-way through and it is a Take That classic, but play it from the start and it is just another album track. I wonder how many women really respond when someone tells them "I still want to have sex with you" via a million-selling album :-)

The are, of course, other good tracks, such as The Flood. Also, one or two that I feel could have been better. Overall, an album that might take a little getting used to, but certainly very strong lyrically and some standout tracks.

I think had SOS been the first single, then they would have certainly secured the #1 spot in the UK single's chart upon release. If I were to pick 3 more singles from this album, then it would have to be SOS, KIDZ and EIGHT LETTERS (to keep the traditional fans happy).

Please ignore anyone who gives this album just one or two stars. I can understand that some fans are upset by the change of style, but since I am not a fan I can say without any bias that this album is certainly not as bad as some would have you believe. I'm sure that giving the album a one star review is not going to make the band decide to go back to doing purely cheesy pop or soppy balads. Take That have developed into musicians, which I believe is a good thing. If a few people can't appreciate just how good some of the tracks are, such as SOS, then I wonder what they have in their record collection at home - certainly nothing I'd ever want to listen to :-)

Postcards from a Young Man
Postcards from a Young Man
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.24

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst Manics album ever, 26 Sept. 2010
Normally, the lowest I'd ever expect to give a Manics album is 4 out of 5 (such as "Know your enemy").

However, this release just seems completely pointless and an attempt to regain their pop success of the late 90s.

We've had Everything Must Go, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, Lifeblood and Send Away The Tigers. Is there really any need for this album?

I thought their last album, Journal For Plague Lovers, was their best work since The Holy Bible, so I was looking forward to this release.

What a disappointment. If you put EMG, TIMYTMY, LB and SATT into a pot, added lots of water and mixed well, then this album might be what you'd expect - a watered-down version of their poppier moments.

I think the Manics are at their greatest when they rock (Holy Bible, Journal, Terrorists etc). Maybe the pop sound gained them commercial success over ten years ago, but I really can't see this regaining that success for them. I think a credible hard-rocking album to follow up Plague Lovers would have been a better move.

I hope the next album restores my faith in the Manics. I still hope they have some more tracks like Faster, Peeled Apples or Bag Lady in them.

The Punk Rock Anthology
The Punk Rock Anthology
Price: £8.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing, 6 July 2010
This review is from: The Punk Rock Anthology (Audio CD)
We probably all know ANL best for "So What" - the song became more famous than the band.

I owned their first album, and absolutely loved it, but I thought the material released after "For You" was very weak and I lost interest in the mid 80s and stopped paying attention.

I was amazed when I heard just how good this album is. OK, as expected, the second part of the first CD represents their weaker period in the mid to late 80s, but the second CD comes back to life with some absolutely wonderful tracks.

If you like punk and you like intellegent, funny, meaningful and/or disgusting lyrics then you need to own this album.

There are so many stand-out tracks on this album that I can't possibly list them all. I counted at least 25 tracks that I could not resist singing along too. Catchy as hell, funny, rude - the perfect CD to play at high volume after getting home from the pub and wanting to annoy the neighbours :-)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 19, 2011 2:29 AM BST

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