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Raul Malo - CD
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I loved the Mavericks. I enjoyed Raul's first solo effort, 'Today' and I loved what he did with the classics on 'After Hours' - but this CD combines the best of all three worlds, essentially, functioning as a timely and welcomed reminder of exactly what this man is capable of.
- Mavericks-style toe-tappers that have you singing along after one chorus and humming them for the rest of the day? Check.
- Latin-style songs with catchy riffs and infectious rhythms? Check.
- Ultra-cool jazz-country that sounds like it needs to be played in a dimly lit basement club (a la 'After Hours')? Check
One heck of a good album, with 'instant classic' written all over it? Most definitely.
The tracks Moonlight Kiss, Hello Again, Lonely Hearts, and You Always Win are simply brilliant and I can imagine covers bands (especially those on the country circuit) up and down the country racing to get lyrics copied and chords worked out. If you go out to see country bands regularly, I'd get used to the idea of hearing some of these pretty soon.
I can't agree with the reviewers on other sites who say there isn't a weak track on the disc as I found some of the later tracks on the album to drift a little too much and be a little too long, but hey, they might be 'growers' and I might change my mind in a month or so.
If you like me, have enjoyed everything he's done so far and were worried that his first album of original material for 8 years would be something of a departure, don't panic, just buy it and love it - simple.
Lego Batman: The Video Game
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If you want the quick version of this review, then just check out the last paragraph. Want more detail - read the full thing.--------------------I'm guessing that the majority of people buying or considering buying this game will have bought or played one of the previous Star Wars / Indiana Jones-based games. Some of you may even be concered, as I was, that this would be 'more of the same' just with a new theme. How wrong I was.
Yes, the controls are 95% the same as the other games, yes, the humour is very smilar, yes, the menus and basic structure of the game will be familiar if you've played LEGO games before but it's the differences that will get you hooked.
This is a far more smart game, you will regularly end a story mode level with 1, 2 or even no cannisters found. The idea of having multiple suits (necessary due to the lack of variety in usable heros) is well executed and whereas you will still enjoy the very limited story mode, you will LOVE the free play levels. Use heros in villain levels, use villains in hero levels, remember that cannister that was just out of reach? Remember thinking there was no way to get that other cannister? It all opens up in free play and will have you constantly saying, 'Aaaahhhhh, so THAT's how you do it!'
The little things like using tightropes, or the clever (and not nearly as awkward as some people say) Bat-arang targetting system are easy to get into and really add to the game. The bigger things like hero levels and villain levels, suits etc are so well done that you immediately pick them up and wish they were in the other games (LEGO SW levels playing as the villains would be awesome).
This game wipes the floor with the (at times rather dull) LEGO Indy game and it is slightly darker and vastly more challenging than the original L:SW games. In short, don't even begin to write this off (as I know some magazines have) as being yet another LEGO game with all the same moves / gimmicks but with a different theme. This is a very different and much better game altogether.
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This is quite simply the best book that any guitarist could ever read: and that is regardless of their age, experience, style, talent or reason for playing guitar.
If you play guitar then you should read this book. If I was going to teach guitar, I would use this alongside any text I can think of and make the rule that if you cannot agree with the sentiments of this book then you should quit.
This book even has gems of quotable wisdom for players of every abailty and experience. Newcomers will get a solid foundation to build on (and will be put off if they are seeking to play for the wrong reasons), intermediate players will get help on how to deal with criticism, how to keep focussed on improvement, how to deal when you feel you've hit your limits etc - and en experineced player will be able to make sure they've kept true to themself, whilst ensuring that they have not strayed from the reasons they first picked up the instrument.
The book is filled with quotes and just enough inspiration to keep you going without it becoming over the top sickly, new age nonesense.
In my particular experience, this was like someone put into words my exact approach to playing guitar and the exact approachI had always wanted to take but didn't fully realise / could not put into words.
I have read this 5 times and continue to dip into it like a Bible. When I read it the third time, I read the final word of the final page and went immediately back to the start for my 4th time through - it is that good.
Plus, it's short, cheap and yet can have such a massive impact on your playing. Amazing for a book with no actual chords, music, TAB or transcriptions.
Plus each chapter starts with a quote from a legendary musician to help with the inspiration.