Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now
Profile for Kindle Customer > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Kindle Customer
Top Reviewer Ranking: 10,922
Helpful Votes: 1142

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Kindle Customer (Leeds, England)
(VINE VOICE)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-16
pixel
Fun with Kirk and Spock (Star Trek: A Parody)
Fun with Kirk and Spock (Star Trek: A Parody)
by Robb Pearlman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars THESE ARE THE PAGES..., 3 Nov. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you 'get' Star Trek the original series, with all it's gaudy costumes and 60's philosophies, you'll love this. And even if you don't know Nomad (psychotic satellite), or Gorgan (megalomaniacal, non-corporeal entity), or Gav (Tellarite), or any of the other 1st, 2nd or 3rd season references, it's STILL laugh-out-loud funny. FUN WITH KIRK AND SPOCK is a beautifully bound and presented send-up of American learn-to-read books, but for the older generations. Occasionally, the humour (sorry, humor) is very sharp - the piece with Uhura and Abraham Lincoln, for example, is a history lesson with uncomfortable echoes that still resonate today. Of course, it wouldn't be Star Trek without Kirk's leading man foibles, Spock's internal struggles and McCoy's heightened emotions, all shown in ways you've always suspected but never thought about, at least not like this. Every series regular gets their characters thrust into the spotlight and even those poor 'redshirts' can't avoid what is almost certainly an untimely demise. Yet again. The text is complimented by perfectly rendered illustrations which convey everything you need to know...and all in the name of education. I think it's fair to say that the author has definitely NOT dropped a Balok with this wonderful book (UK vernacular, apologies).

More, please.

See this book?
See how this book works its magic?
Now you're smiling.
Is that a laugh, too?
Yes, yes it is!
So laugh out loud.
Boldly if you can.
And split that infinitive as well as your sides.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


LOCKED OUT FROM THE INSIDE CD UK LOST HOUSE 2009
LOCKED OUT FROM THE INSIDE CD UK LOST HOUSE 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars THE ULTIMATE NINE BLACK ALPS ACHIEVEMENT, 19 Oct. 2016
A hugely accomplished album, the levels of artistry and craftsmanship on LOCKED OUT FROM THE INSIDE show NINE BLACK ALPS at their creative best. This is the one where hackneyed comparisons are ditched and they find their true identity and individual voice - which is collectively Deep, Heavy and Loud. Yet also subtle and nuanced. And that's what I love about this band. The low frequencies may hurt your eardrums, particularly on 'Salt Water', 'Every Photograph Steals Your Soul' and 'Buy Nothing' but they're counterbalanced by songs as beautiful and reflective as 'Silence Kills', 'Bay of Angels' and 'Ghost In The City'. A crystalline sledgehammer is the only way I can describe the cumulative effect on the senses.

There's no Buzzcocksian-influenced numbers this time around but 'Full Moon Summer' tips its hat towards 'Street Of Dreams' by The Damned, and 'Silence Kills' is a golden slab of masonry from 'Wall'-era Pink Floyd. 'Porcupine' is slightly hampered by a progressively whiny guitar solo (which grates badly in its final five seconds) but the song's a survivor and a high-volume delight.

Killer choruses abound, 'Salt Water', 'Along For The Ride', 'Vampire In The Sun', something NBA have developed into a fine art on the supposedly 'difficult third album' and accompanying syndrome. Sam Forrest's vocals are strong and a lynchpin to the musicianship which is equally inspired. Lyrically, the darker tones, of which there are many, are punctuated with a trademark sense of humour and the whole thing is topped off by a production that is clear and exciting, ready to throw you happily through a plate-glass window (after having first slapped you hard in the solar-plexus, of course). The gatefold sleeve (my favourite NBA artwork) is a colourfully creepy night sky affair, with ominous clouds and some kind of dark satanic mill in the foreground, disturbing imagery that if stared at for too long...I can only imagine the effect the 12" vinyl cover might have on someone who reads too much into such things. Not me, of course.

In short, 'Locked Out From The Inside' is the ultimate Nine Black Alps achievement.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


Stay Together
Stay Together
Price: £9.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars JUST PLAIN DISAPPOINTED - PLEASE READ THIS AND UNDERSTAND WHY, 11 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Stay Together (MP3 Download)
I was really looking forward to this, but I'm disappointed.

Oh yes, and annoyed. And let down.

Why? Well, I've written over 150 reviews on amazon to date and only one other has been posted with two stars. God, I HATE writing negatively about others' creative endeavours, so I usually avoid. But every so often something comes along which simply cannot be ignored. Okay, if I'm in two minds (or the 3 star category) it's usually a case of making polite fun of whatever's under scrutiny, because humour can tell you so much more about a thing, or indeed a person.

Anyway, to reiterate, I'm mostly p****d off about the latest album by KAISER CHIEFS. Did I say I was also disappointed? There was a key moment, a warning sign on the otherwise brilliant 'Education, Education, Education & War', in the shape of the overly-bloated 'Coming Home'. But I never thought for one nanosecond it would morph into this, this...what exactly?

Question is, what on earth went wrong? Plenty, if my ears aren't made of cloth. First of all, the production has taken a bloody great big roll of sandpaper and softened every edge going. Which means that whatever gave the Kaisers their originality and, better still, their quirkiness, is now all but gone. And we're all the worse off for it, no question. It seems like everything on 'Stay Together' has been geared for mass teenybop consumption - the kind of thing that makes teenagers think they've got mature listening tastes when in fact many have anything but. As an example, I point you in the direction of Coldplay who, from their fourth album onwards, lost the plot completely. Okay, I concede they're all billionaires thanks to the nippers' purchasing power, but credible artists...no.

There is just one good song on this album. The other 11* are disposable. And how painful is that statement to type? The slinky 'HIGH SOCIETY' stands head and shoulders above the others because it has that indefinable Kaiser magic which, thank god for small mercies, the production hasn't quite managed to squeeze the life out of. (If pushed, or faced with a semi-automatic, I’ll also give the nod to ‘Why Do You Do It To Me?' But is it as good as anything on EEE&W? I really don’t think so.) Of course, Ricky Wilson's vocals shine throughout, though he occasionally tries a little too hard to get into the perceived 'character' of some of the numbers he's performing (too indifferent to be specific here, sorry). And the other band members are de facto seriously gifted musicians, but they're all flailing around in a fog of stifling lethargy. This is the heart of the problem: Too Many Cooks. I swear, if there were nuggets to be sieved I'd be using caps lock throughout, but it's almost all fools’ gold.

I accept that if Kaiser Chiefs have made a conscious decision to evolve their sound and style for bigger chart success, then I can hardly blame them for positioning themselves in line with the money. But this just can't be the way forward, can it? Forgive me, but I hope this album isn't that successful. Let it instead be an abject lesson in how to screw up a formula that has, up to this point, worked. I remember reading, in the dim and distant, Ricky saying something along the lines of how much he'd like the Kaisers to do their own 'Abbey Road'. It may be aiming high, but at least it's aspirational. However, with the exception of the aforementioned 'High Society', this sorry effort isn't even a minor footpath. Boy, are they going to find it hard to sell this stuff live.

So ditch the superfluous (it can be done) and get back to what you do best. And evolve, by all means, but don't let your personality be suffocated in the process. Remember, you're a great band. Amen. All this should be a given, it makes sense. But I'm not confident, it's just an opinion, right? And I wonder if many people actually share it (*sigh*).

Okay, end on a hopeful, even positive, note. Best Case Scenario: whoever these imposters are, let's hope the genuine articles reappear the second they've got this 'thing' out of their systems and then follow up 'Stay Together' with the most amazing LS version of a certain band's NW8, get my drift?

REALLY HARD TO RECOMMEND
*There's a 'hidden' 12th track...don't bother. Oh, but I just loved the reference to (Leeds) City Varieties on track 9 (how could anyone from my neck of the woods not?)


Brian Pern: The Life of Rock/A Life In Rock/45 Years of Prog Rock (BBC) [DVD]
Brian Pern: The Life of Rock/A Life In Rock/45 Years of Prog Rock (BBC) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Simon Day
Price: £19.99

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE LIVES OF BRIAN, 29 Jan. 2016
Superb spoof, blending fictional rock worlds with its many counterparts in real life almost seamlessly. I say 'almost' because the most perfect send-up of all, and where the benchmark still resides after all these years, is Rob Reiner's 'This Is Spinal Tap'. And for one simple reason: the music in that film stood up in its own right, the soundtrack being an actual decent stab at 'proper' heavy rock. Unfortunately, the efforts of Brian Pern over several decades of changing tastes in popular culture are not quite as memorable, which gives rise to the question: where's the wonderful Mitch Benn when you need him? As a result, the whole enterprise just misses the mark, but only by a whisker.

However, it all looks fabulous and is acted with a decent amount of conviction by a group of very talented and, again unlike Spinal Tap, seriously famous faces. But thank God for BBC4 and it's huge archive of classic and not-so classic cuts; because of that, there's tons of stuff available to dissect and re-stitch together in weirdly recognisable forms. The swearing is of course copious, but it fits the world-weary nature of our former prog-rock gods perfectly (they're always seriously p.o. about something, usually each other). And the story of Brian's life - both on the road and behind the scenes with his vulture/manager and bitterly estranged/untalented family - and the many musical turns it has taken since starting out, hangs together very well indeed.

VERDICT: Made with considerable skill and inventiveness, Simon Day headlines a classy and, above all else, funny 'rockumentary' that will stand the test of time (and repeated viewings).

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


THE FALL AND RISE OF HUGH CORNWELL
THE FALL AND RISE OF HUGH CORNWELL
Price: £9.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HUGHDUNNIT, 26 Oct. 2015
I'm lucky enough to have seen HUGH CORNWELL live - first in '79 as a Strangler, then twice in the noughties with his stripped-down backing bands - and this new solo retrospective, THE FALL AND RISE OF, is as good a reminder of how he got to where he is now as you're likely to hear. He can write beautiful, affecting songs when he wants to and there are several here amongst other very well-chosen numbers. I've always had the highest regard and blokey affection for this unique musician but that has sometimes translated into me being a tad 'picky' about some of the solo albums, which I've felt may have contained the occasional missed opportunity (see earlier reviews).

Just my opinion of course, but it does at least show I'm bothered.

The above collection, however, is superb and you really should make it a focal point and favourite of yours. Cornwell is at heart an old rocker, the quintessential guitar-totin' guy with the black suit, eyes and hair who isn't afraid to let his roots show, particularly with the driving 'Leave Me Alone', 'Hot Cat On A Tin Roof' and 'Please Don't Put Me On A Slow Boat To Trowbridge' - the trademark sardonic wit, as always, a key part of his musicality. Long may both continue. As for the beautiful songs I referred to, well, they're obvious to anyone with a heart: 'Lay Back On Me Pal', 'First Bus To Babylon', and 'One Burning Desire'.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell [Blu-ray]
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Alan Bentley
Price: £15.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY KIND OF MAGIC, 10 July 2015
A slow-burner of a first episode but then, almost without realising, you're drawn into one of the best BBC period fantasy dramas in a LONG time. Fantastically imaginative visual effects, but played out with a subtlety that places JSAMN head and shoulders above the usual genre offerings (the Battle of Waterloo scene climaxing with the giant, rain-soaked, mud hand was a cgi masterpiece and perfectly integrated). The atmosphere, script and acting also makes this a very human story to which a sequel just has to be commissioned and, given the source material, that ought to be beyond question...if, of course, those damned final viewing figures have risen to the occasion. (And just one more reason why we can't allow the Corporation to be brought down from behind the mirror, so to speak, by narrow-minded and destructive tory policy. You know, this may be a good time to dig out and start wearing my old 'Don't Blame Me I Voted Labour' badge).

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds [DVD] [NTSC] [2003]
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds [DVD] [NTSC] [2003]
Dvd ~ Brian Wilson

5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT VIBRATIONS, 23 Jun. 2015
Compiled from several sell-out live performances in 2003 of his brilliant PET SOUNDS album, this is BRIAN WILSON at his late-career best.

Fellow bandmembers, most notably the superb Wondermints, are also at the top of their game; both musically and vocally they're as tight as you could ever hope to wish for, short of actually seeing THE BEACH BOYS themselves, circa 1966. Okay, Wilson may be looking somewhat ravaged by the direction his particular rock and roll lifestyle took him, but his voice has survived in fine shape and the combined harmonies, present in almost every song, sound quite beautiful within the impressive surroundings of London's Royal Festival Hall.

There's a few disconcerting wardrobe changes to contend with (the result of editing together the best elements from different gigs) but highlights are many, especially:
WOULDN'T IT BE NICE
SLOOP JOHN B
GOD ONLY KNOWS
I JUST WASN'T MADE FOR THESE TIMES

And the final, electrifying, bonus of GOOD VIBRATIONS. I would have loved to have been there.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


Mind Meld - Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime [DVD]
Mind Meld - Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Shatner
Price: £3.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TO OLDLY GO..., 9 Jun. 2015
Kirk & Spock. Shatner & Nimoy. Bill & Leonard. Two veteran actors now in their eighties chatting informally about their careers and the glory days of STAR TREK. Shatner is, as always, an irrepressible force of nature unlike the more reserved Nimoy, yet both are resolutely on the same page regarding critics and some oft-repeated rumours of in-fighting and scene-stealing, not to mention pay disputes, budget cuts and off-stage relationships. The boys want to set the record straight.

And, in a way, they do. It's certainly no secret that James Doohan, who played Scotty, disliked Shatner intensely for the cavalier way he would treat his co-stars, displaying little regard for their feelings and often muscling in on their limelight. Nimoy, on the other hand, may have been far more diplomatic in how he behaved but he was nonetheless a ferocious negotiator and fiercely protective of the Spock character. Both men conclude that since they were the stars who carried the show then what they did was only fair and right. Well, perhaps.

MIND MELD is, as one old Vulcan might say, a fascinating insight into the actor's ego and includes some frank admissions of very human failings and tragedies - Nimoy's alcholism, the loss of Shatner's wife in a swimming pool accident and the ups and downs associated with being forever typecast as Starfleet's finest. There are some sweet reminiscences about DeForest Kelley (the actor who played Dr McCoy, a kind and gentle soul both in space and in real life) who completed the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic to perfection - a unique balance of characters never bettered in any of the spinoff shows. Tribute is also paid to creator/producer GENE RODDENBERRY.

Not absolutely essential and probably not to every fan's taste, MIND MELD is still worth having if you want to see another side to two living legends (and longtime buddies), laughing, joking and riffing on about phasers and Orion Slave Women and nerve pinches and Hortas and IDIC and all the rest of the stuff that went up to make the finest science-fiction show on tv. Ever.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Sad postscript: only Shatner remains in the first team now - I hope he carries the torch for a few more years because, beyond that, what is actually left except perhaps the Undiscovered Country..?


4 Rather Tasty Tracks
4 Rather Tasty Tracks

5.0 out of 5 stars KITCHEN-SINK SUBVERSIVE, 24 April 2015
This review is from: 4 Rather Tasty Tracks (Audio CD)
JOHN SHUTTLEWORTH is a brilliant comic character and the songs on this CD demonstrate just how wickedly funny Graham Fellows' 'Versatile Singer/Organist' is. I saw him perform them at The Leeds Playhouse earlier this year and laughed throughout. Just check out the lyrics to 'I Can't Go back To Savoury Now' and 'Two Margarines' - utterly, mundanely, insanely brilliant. But I feel there's also something deeply subversive going on here too, perhaps on a subconscious level I can't quite access. I mean I get the joke, but it actually doesn't wear thin - unlike a lot of so-called 'comedy' numbers. And to be able to do that is clever. Fellows is a gifted musician, and through John Shuttleworth he's created the most unlikely exponent of droll yet philosophically-mental pop songs ever performed on a Yamaha PSS51. Oof!

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


Punk! (In Pictures)
Punk! (In Pictures)
by Ammonite Press
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars PUNK SNOT DEAD!, 16 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Punk! (In Pictures) (Paperback)
From the Daily & Sunday Mirror archives. The Sex Pistols dominate throughout but the punk movement as a whole is pretty well represented. (A shame I wasn't a couple of years younger as I might have featured in the odd pic but I was marching through the capital protesting against the nuclear arms race instead). The book does, however, successfully capture the era and most of the photos come with dates attached so you can see who the real punks were and not the pretend wannabes of later years.

A useful pictorial reminder of fairly recent British history, with some of the sights, sounds (and smells) of a politically turbulent but musically exhilerating time. How did that chant used to go? Ah, yes: Punk Snot Dead! Or something like that.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 23, 2016 2:42 PM BST


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-16