Music review entries

January 14, 2006

Riot on an Empty Street

Writing about web page

5 out of 5 stars

The Kings of Convenience are melodic genius. A Norwegian duo - two friends who live in London and their home town of Bergen in Norway. Their sound in this album is very reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel - they way their voices blend together (in fact they seem to mention them in Homesick). It must also be the "folk" touch in the semi-indie music. Its generally acoustic guitar and small accompanyment of other strings – but the emphasis is on the fantastic vocal ability of Eirik and friends.

Stumbled apon them by accident. Their name always seemed to pop up everywhere I looked, every computer playlist I saw had it. And its just brill brill brill. I've just put work aside just to listen to this album – time very well spent!. Can't wait to play it in a proper Hi-Fi.

Definately Full Five stars.
I love almost all the songs but especially:
I'd Rather Dance With You

July 22, 2005

Röyksopp – The Understanding

4 out of 5 stars

Only listened to it once so far, but a brilliant album from the Smokey Mushrooms worth commenting on.
I didn't really like Melody A.M. that much, just the first 3 tracks, it was just too electronic and slightly repetitive. Therefore I wasn't expecting this album to be anything spectacular.

This one is totally different. I've always had trouble putting Röyksopp into a genre. This one is even worse with an electic mix of Electronic, Dance, Trance, Alt Rock, Hip-Hop, Jazz and Classical. The vocals on the album are really great.

My faves are Triumphant, Only This Moment and Alpha Male.
FYI a 2 CD edition exists.

May 29, 2005

Revision Music: The Last Samurai Soundtrack

4 out of 5 stars

Its the time of the year when people revise hard. And your taste in music suddenly changes for a few weeks as you delve into Classical music to aid concentration.

Some classical music can be distracting, but it depends on a lot of things, mood, volume and the music itself. The lyrics-free music can help you concentrate on your work. And when you play some background music, you're not going to need select favourite tracks etc.

So here is the soundtrack to The Last Samurai which I found to be a very good film. This album is typically Hans Zimmer. His pinnacle album (and possibly one of the best movie soundtracks ever) was the Gladiator soundtrack. So following on from that was going to be difficult. There are similarities between this and Gladiator. There are a the same few themes repeated throughout the album. He blends the use of some Japanese instruments with common instruments, giving a bit more of an authentic feel. Its good moody tracks like The Way of The Sword and A Small Measure of Peace along with other (what I call "agricultural") tracks like Safe Passage and Idyll's End]. The soundtrack was a great match to the movie. Its well worth a try at least.

So in terms of revisiabililty its a 5 star. Humming in the background whilst you sort out your second order diffs.

May 18, 2005

John is a Legend

5 out of 5 stars

Fresh funky R&B, with a style that seems to span the whole history of R&B and Soul. He is that freshness to R&B, like Mos Def and Talib Kweli etc. is to Hip-Hop.

Very talented pianist and vocalist. Supported by Kanye West (these "new boys" seem to be coming up with more "new boys" very quickly. Legend has been in the background for people like Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and Kanye.

My favourite songs are Ordinary People, Live It Up and Stay With You and It Don't Have to Change
Plus the rare Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing (from Let's Get Lifted special? edition) is gooooooood.

Thanks to Sas for recommending it to me. I'm hooked now.

February 09, 2005

Furious Angels

Writing about web page

5 out of 5 stars

Hard to describe this CD. Its strong alternative rock with spoken word supplements. The music is so good, its been used in all sorts of TV programs like "Law & Order": I'm Not Driving Anymore and There's Only Me and movies such as "Matrix": Clubbed to Death (Agent Training Program) and "Matrix Reloaded": Furious Angels (which was also in Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix 3 computer game).

As well as big bassline tunes, the album also contains a flipside of many beautiful pieces of music such as Will You Follow Me?

Its very moody and emotive. Rob Dougan pours his feelings (not necessarily happy ones – with track names llike "Speed Me Towards Death") over this album. And you can see from the album art he liked to shoot (literally) a picture of himself repeatedly with a .22

Disc 1 with the Rob Dougan's voice gives his outlook on life (slightly angry and depressive sometimes), but with the Instrumental Disc 2, you are left to create your own picture of life to the music.

Its just a great collection of fantastic soundtrack tunes. Brilliant for the car – it creates the journey.

I like pretty much all of them, especially
Will You Follow Me
Clubbed to Death (Kurayamino Remix)
Furious Angels
Nothing At All

December 27, 2004

Jazz Supreme

5 out of 5 stars

This Jazz album is Absolutely Fantabulous!

Bublé sings with great maturity with his deep rich vocals, charisma and charm. And it suits everyone, and the ability to make non-jazz music into pure jazz genius.

When I first heard the Canadian, I thought he was a golden oldie, because of maturity in the voice not heard since 50s or 60s.

He sings a few usual Bing Crosby/Sinatra-type jazz classics: "Come Fly With Me" and "Fever" to more modern tracks, Swing and Jive – and he does justice to all of them.

The whole album sounds great, and there's some bonus christmas music.

My Favourite Tracks:
Summer Wind
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Let It Snow

December 02, 2004

Ray Charles Duets

4 out of 5 stars
A good collection of duets with a good range of artists. In the style you would expect. No surprises, just how it should be.

October 18, 2004

Kanye West

5 out of 5 stars

My hip-hop Album of the Year.

Very funny and creative. Fresh ideas. An alternative perspective on life.
Excellent "School Spirit" skits. My favourite tracks are "Slow Jamz" featuring Twista and "Never Let Me Down" featuring Jay-Z & J.Ivy.

Must remember not to be one (thanks Dr. C).

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