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Product Reviews

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186 (89% helpful)

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  1.  Toys that will last forever...


    There are very few sequels that can follow in the footsteps of it's outstanding predecessor. But Toy Story 2 not only manages to do this, it's possible it could be accused of being better?
    Pixar's first Toy Story itself is a wonderful melange of characters all brought to life by enhanced computer animation. The results are breathtaking. Spectacular detail is given to the toys, their movement, settings and colour which leaves us with a visual feast. But the story itself...that's where the real star is.
    Toy Story 2 continues a few years on when our hero's yet again find themselves in extraordinary situations. This time however we find it's Buzz and friends who are out to find and save Woody from a mean money hungry toy collector, who's also the owner of a local toy store.
    Along the way Woody discovers he's the star of a children's cowboy show called Woody's Roundup from years gone by, and is in fact a very sought after toy. With his Roundup team (new additions Jessie, Stinky Pete and his trusted horse Bullseye,) they're all put together, packaged up and ready for museum life in Tokyo...or are they?
    Toy Story 2 is another delight that doesn't necessarily aim for any specific audience age group. A smart, amusing family film that kids and adults will love. A gem.

  2.  A Book You Should Read...


    In life It's amazing how some people just manage to carry on. I mean we've all had bad days, maybe a string of them, but with E those bad days must feel like a lifetimes worth.
    Things The Grandchildren Should Know is a touching insight into the emotional life and career of Eels creator and front-man E. A man brought up in an insecure family, from the other side of town, with little going for him except for his love of music. A man that then saw his family lost to cancer, drugs, suicide, and the 9-11 attacks. But astonishingly manages to pull himself back from his grim realities through writing the most beautiful but frank music which he later uses as an outlet for his grief, his memorials and his rare joys.
    As if that's not bad enough, he struggles with relationships and break ups too (as you will discover with his latest record End Times.)
    This book is a truly wonderful gateway into his losses, heartaches and his rise to a singer/songwriter/musician that Is unquestionably equal to that of Lennon, Cobain and Dylon. E bears his heart and soul to us all, reveals his fears, embarrassments, and how he got to be who he is today.
    Believe me, after reading this you won't ever complain about missing that bus or having a bad day in the office again!

  3.  Falling Down Slightly Short...


    Often described as 'the best band you'll never know', the Tindersticks are back with another sideways glance at alternative music.
    Falling Down A Mountain unfortunately stumbles short of what the band have produced with past efforts. It does however fair better than their last outing The Hungry Saw which clearly felt like they had had too much time off beforehand!
    The opening and title track is a slightly jazzed up affair which often feels like it's not going in any direction at all. It's a strange entree, which left me wondering is this what to expect from things to come? Thankfully not, as it picks itself up with one of the albums best songs Harmony Around My Table, a joyful whimsical tune . However the obligatory duet Peanuts (with special guest) struggles to carry the brief momentum.
    Eventually, with some welcome, and little relief we get to the second half of the album which leaves the arty side behind and on a whole does come close to who the Tindersticks really are. Miserable tales and deep swooning with sometimes upbeat melodies and pretty strings. At last, we find ourselves in their familiar territory, and I don't want to leave.
    But when Falling Down A Mountain finally comes to an end, it may not be considered the most memorable record by Tindersticks. But I'll happily take it anyway.

  4.  Beautiful End Times...


    With End Times E has got the familiar Eels safety net out and lands in it perfectly. After a slightly different turn with Hombre Lobo, this record is back to the Eels we know and love. Although It covers little new ground, it does continue in all that Eels do so wonderfully well.
    Again he plays on his heartache that's been his life's story and draws on some of his past and most recent emotional experiences and pours it out through his music. Whether it's romantic breakups, losing family to cancer and suicide, his music is once again laid bare for us all to wallow in.
    Simplicity is beautiful, and in End Times we are given another reason to celebrate E and his songs. Take any tracks from this album and you will see what an accomplished singer/songwriter/musician he really is. It's difficult to pick any standouts, but The Beginning; Gone Man; Mansions Of Los Feliz and Little Bird are all worth a special mention.
    I find it hard to say anything other than what a beautiful record this is. But what else can you expect?

  5.  An electric compilation...


    I'm going to come straight out and say it ...not only is this is one of the best electronic 80's compilations, but one of the best 80's compilations you will find on the market. And lets be honest, the 80's compilation market is quite strong and plentiful. But this is, and will probably remain the one to have. Yes it is guilty of missing out one or two big songs that others might include, but where this stands out is the number of great songs from the beginning to the very end. A fine testament to a musically strong era.
    It would be difficult to pick out some of the best tracks on this CD, and possibly a bit unfair too. But only if you don't know them very well Gary Numan / Tubeway Army - Are Friends Electric?, The Human League - Love Action, Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84), Furniture - Brilliant Mind and Sigue Sigue Sputnik - Love Missile F1-11 are just a few of a fantastic collection.
    The other thing I quite like about this Electronic 80's CD compilation is that it doesn't claim to be the best, the greatest or the most essential in it's title. It doesn't need to. That all becomes obvious when you read the track listing.
    What is clear to me though is that someone in the office at the MoS knows their music here. It's well thought out, doesn't cheat you with second rate songs half way through, and is absolute value for it's price. A complete crackerjack CD set.

  6.  Big night for Big Country...


    I'll have to agree with all the other reviews below, that this is a very fine live performance. Although If I'm a little critical, but being completely honest, it's probably not the tightest live gig by a band, but for pure energy and heart, this show is right up there with some of the very best concerts caught on film.
    For a few years around this time of recording, Big Country were at the top of the tree. Just like early U2, The Alarm and Simple Minds, Big Country were writing good rock anthems that were a reminder of how we used to live, our heritage, and the good and bad of growing up. Their ballads had a tender story at it's heart, their heavier material centered on the real struggles of life and growing up. But ultimately leaving us aware of our backgrounds and who we are.
    Later on in their career however It all changed when they started to take the American influence route, they caught the 'Rattle And Hum' bug so to speak! And although some of that was OK, it just never quite matched the strength of this earlier material. Sadly further on from that, Stuart Adamson the man and voice behind Big Country died in 2001.
    But we should all thank him and them for leaving us with this excellent and much loved show, and the superb album 'The Crossing' which it's centered around. Brilliant.

  7.  Do you hear what I hear?...


    Imagine waking up on Christmas morning and you've got a nasty cold, or the oven doesn't work, or worse still the TV blows! Not a great start, but heck it's still Christmas Day. And just like that, it's kind of how i find Christmas In The Heart.
    As some other reviews have stated, I was sceptical when I read Dylan was putting together a Christmas record. I became even more sceptical when I saw the song list. But I was always hopeful he could pull it off. And, well, he has, but only if you can separate the music from the voice!
    Dylan is such an iconic singer, for obvious reasons, that it's sometimes difficult listening to him sing the kind of songs choirs and the Salvation Army are famous for singing. This is not meant to be a thumbs down, I just find it a little uncomfortable in a traditional kind of way!
    I actually like Dylan, and along with him I also like the Tindersticks, Eels, Grandaddy and various others, but I don't expect any of these to release a Christmas album, but if they did, I'm sure I would find that strange too.
    I'll admit though, I am a fan of Christmas music. I like some of the cheesy stuff, I like the choir stuff a lot, and I like the crooner stuff too. But I am a very big fan of the music itself. I love the music of Christmas songs and carols whether it be by big band, orchestra, or just plain church bells, and this is where his album stands up, it's simply beautiful in places. It's a delightful mixture of old and new styles without losing any of it's magic. The backing vocals, harmonies, are lovely along with the arrangements. Even the insertion of sliding guitars every now and then work well. You do get that feeling some hard work has been put into this record to give you a sense of occasion, rather than an attempt to make a quick buck from the Christmas market. Anyway, I firmly believe that's not Dylan's style. So hats of to production, and content.
    So overall it's difficult to see where this fits, or who's the winner. Is it typical Dylan showcasing Christmas music, or traditional Christmas music showcasing typical Dylan? Whatever it is, I unfortunately find the partnership a little uncomfortable. Please don't get me wrong on this, I will play it, but maybe not when I'm looking for that Christmas cheer...but then again, I should have expected that from Bob?

  8.  Eels do it again...


    Eels have, and will always remain one of my favourite acts. The honest sound of good ol' rock 'n' roll, grunge, blues and country mixed with slight touches of electronica have always been a powerful contrast to E's often tormented and dark lyrics.
    In a life containing so much pain and grief, E has consistently produced outstanding music which must make him arguably one of the most celebrated songwriters of the last fifteen years.
    With this latest release, you might say it has been split into two with touches of previous work which becomes obvious over both halves. By this I mean the first half is very much their 'Souljacker' and 'Shootenanny', and the second half is their 'Daisies' and 'Blinking Lights'. Although I don't think Hombro Lobo reaches those heights of some of his previous records, notably 'Electro Shock Blues' and Dasies Of The Galaxy', it's still a great album containing exactly what you would expect, and a bit more from E and his band.
    In all Hombro Lobo remains another fine collection of songs, expertly produced, and put together by a dedicated musician/songwriter. It's just I wish I could give this five stars, but I need to be honest to myself here - it's close, but it isn't quite as good as some of their previous work. Still, please buy, you will not be disappointed

  9.  Nothing original about this collection...


    Ok, well, here we go again...another 80's collection. Look around this CD set, see what you have already, then it might not leave too many tracks left.
    Most of these songs are just about put on every 80's compilation, so therefor it's nothing new, has nothing fresh about it, it just feels 'same again please'. If however you are looking for your first 80's collection, you might want to carry on looking around a bit more. This may not be the place to start!!!
    That said, there are a few reasons why I ended up giving this three stars and not two. Sleepwalk - Ultravox, The Sound Of The Crowd - The Human League, It's My Party - Dave Stewart And Barbara Gaskin and Mandinka - Sinéad O'Connor are all very good songs, and if truth be told there are a couple of others. The price also, is rather good at these lean times. But overall, it doesn't quite hit the spot, it wants to, but manages to fall flat compared to many, many other 80's compilations out there.
    I would like to have seen whats on CD 5 and 6, as it could make some difference to the rating. Until then, I'm afraid three stars is all I can give for a compilation that in the end, trips up where most of them do...it doesn't offer anything different.

  10.  A disco CD anyone can love...


    I'll admit it, I thought I was going to be unsure with this CD. Firstly the title. I'm not sure what the baby angle is, if only to look catchy!! And lets be honest, not all the tracks on this compilation are strictly disco. But then again, I don't really care about all that, because despite the title and track listing, there are some great songs on here that will get any baby, kid, adult, or granny shuffling their stuff.
    Apart from one or two tracks, and I won't mention them because it would seem a bit harsh, this looks like it's been put together to have fun with, and It has a kind of fresh feel to it. So this three disc set should suit most.
    What I really like though, is you will find a few outstanding songs that will always be considered classics...so I will mention them. Odyssey - Use It Up And Wear It Out, Shalamar - I Can Make You Feel Good, KC & The Sunshine Band - Give It Up, Stephanie Mills - Never Knew Love Like This Before and Indeep - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life are all fabulous disco songs that will stand up well to anything in today's dance scene. On top of that lets not forget Dancing Queen, YMCA, Funky Town and All Night Long, it's then you might realise that you get your money's worth with this.
    However, and unfortunately as with most compilations, some songs start repeating themselves, and it would be fair to say that this is no exception. We've heard them plenty of times before, and probably got most of them, but this does have a modernistic feel about it. A clever mixture of old and new.
    So anyone who has a party planned, or simply wants to boogie to their iPod or in the car, this looks like it'll be perfect. And if you're like me, couldn't boogie for food, it still looks good.