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MGMT - CD
20 New from
No boast intended but I was well into MGMT (Management) before they became big. I found out about them through AMG before Oracular Spectacular came out. Of course I was utterly blown away when the CD was released but didn't expect it to be such a hit despite all the catchy tunes: one doesn't necessarily lead to the other, take Yeasayer as a recent example. Several months later and it seemed almost everyone was into them. The first reviewer here is clearly disappointed: I think it really depends on your expectations and what other music you like listening to. To me there is a strong Secret Machines influence on Congratulations: MGMT seem to be doing what they like best which is to be free of an obvious song structure which has its origins in the Syd Barrett era, prog-rock etc. Anyway I feel that the first 5 tracks are strongest (Siberian Breaks goes on too long for me) and it really does need Brian Eno to liven things up again. I also found the last two tracks weak but perhaps I haven't listened to this enough yet. Not a classic but well worth buying. Four stars: but adding an extra one to balance the overly negative reviews that will appear given time.
The Courage Of Others
Midlake - CD
19 New from
Wasn't too sure at first: there is, after all, a different feel to this than previous Midlake. It takes a few listens to get into, slowly lulling you in. But once you're there, as it were, you will be truly overwhelmed - haven't stopped listening to this since it arrived. Hopefully it has the same longevity as the Fleet Foxes CD . Favourite of the year so far. Wonderful - but let it grow on you.
The Proposal (2009)
17 New from
Predictable, cliched and flat, need I say more - had the misfortune to see this on the big screen. A free preview so the only loss incurred was two hours of my life. Would have avoided if I'd read the review in the Guardian, which rightly slates this dross. Suppose I'm not the intended demographic - this is really a chick flick, after all, but really one of the worst made in the last year or so. If you haven't worked out the ending within five minutes this may well appeal to you.
Grand Slam Tennis (with Wii MotionPlus)
2 New from
Yes, this is possibly if not probably the best game on the Wii - can't understand some of the bad reviews out there. Motion Plus adds a whole new dimension - feels almost like the real thing. Some have said they've had trouble with it - could this be another Tiger Woods 09 when bad reviews come in because people haven't got the hang of it? Online is superb, career mode superb, can't see Virtua Tennis beating this. A must buy. Love it.
jOG: The Body Motion Controller
Gifts & Gadgets
3 New from
Brilliant concept forcing you to jog on the spot to be able to play - Mario Power Tennis works very well as does Sonic Rush. Shame price has dropped since buying it - well worth the money though. Good construction and design.
WSC Real 08: World Snooker Championship 2008 (with Wii Remote Cue Attachment)
Snooker is a slow game, so it's not for anyone who wants a quick arcade blast. Settle down with a nice cocoa on a damp day and it is a pleasure to play. I have this on Wii and 360 - prefer the Wii though because the cue attachment adds something fresh.
Alight Of Night
Crystal Stilts - CD
22 New from
Outstanding. Literally outstanding. Okay, the influences are transparent - Mary Chain, Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine, but these are whirled into a staggeringly rich and original texture. The first time you hear this you will be bemused, perhaps disappointed, but with each listen it will make more and more sense, and you'll find yourself stirred. Nu-gaze doesn't get any better than this. My CD of the month, if not the year. Wonderful.
Howling Bells - CD
13 New from
I've been fortunate enough to get hold of a preview copy and it doesn't disappoint - a much, much lighter feel to the first and with less shoe-gazing - but after a couple of listens it begins to make sense. The only downside is that it's over way too soon so I'll be buying the double CD version when it comes out. Okay, not as good as the first one but how do you surpass perfection?
PDC World Championship Darts 2008
3 New from
Just been playing for an hour. First twenty minutes I was tearing my hair out and then the penny dropped. You have to bring back your hand with wiimote the way you would a real dart and then thrust forward, releasing 'a'; it's all in the timing and composure - if you jerk too much you won't release the dart or it will go awry. Played a tournament, got to the final and lost by a whisker. Very tense really - like real darts. Shame you can't play on-line. Perhaps you need to reduce the sensitivity if having problems.
We Are The Physics Are Ok At Music
We Are The Physics - CD
9 New from
Wild and unrelenting, a non-stop assault on the ears and fantastic while it lasts - math-rock, post-punk, call it what you will, this is an excellent debut.