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    1. Garden State
    $13.49 $7.35 list($18.98)
    2. A Rush of Blood to the Head
    $13.49 $10.96 list($16.98)
    3. Picaresque
    $13.49 $11.10 list($14.98)
    4. Oh, Inverted World
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    5. Give Up
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    6. Fallen
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    7. Chutes Too Narrow
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    8. Music From The O.C. Mix 4
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    9. Napoleon Dynamite
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    10. Elevator
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    11. Some Cities
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    13. More Adventurous
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    14. Our Little Corner of the World:
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    15. Ditty Bops
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    19. Awake Is the New Sleep
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    20. The Band - Greatest Hits

    1. Garden State
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $8.99
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    Asin: B0002J58LK
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 29
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    Amazon.com

    Writer and director Zach Braff does a masterful job matching the charming, heartfelt tone of classic films like The Graduate and Rushmore in his motion picture debut, Garden State, so it only makes sense that the music he personally compiled for the soundtrack plays just as big a part here as it did in those films. Simon & Garfunkel's languorous "The Only Living Boy in New York" is an obvious thread, but aside from Nick Drake's "One of These Things First," Braff is able to carry the mood without getting tripped up in the past. Frou Frou's "Let Go" and Zero 7's "In the Waiting Line" supply soft techno touches, while Iron & Wine's "Such Great Heights" and former Men at Work singer Colin Hay's "I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You" offer understated angst. It's a pair of emotionally racked contributions from the Shins ("Caring is Creepy," "New Slang"), however, that really make this compilation a must-have. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more


    2. A Rush of Blood to the Head
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B000069AUI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 167
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Coldplay required a lifetime to make their wonderfully assured debut,Parachutes. But it tookless than two years for the moody British quartet to deliver a masterful follow-up. As a band Coldplay have advanced to a stage where they outshine nearly every oneof their rivals in terms of imagination and emotional pull. A Rush of Bloodto the Head is a soulful, exhilarating journey, moving from the catharticrock of "Politik" to the hushed tones of "Green Eyes" without once breaking itsmesmerizing spell. Singer Chris Martin takes his voice on soaring flights,reaching places only JeffBuckley previously dared to go. And the music is nearly flawless, apersuasive cross between PinkFloyd and the Verve.Even if they haven't come up with another "Yellow," you would be hard-pressed tocare. This is exquisite stuff. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

    Reviews (854)

    4-0 out of 5 stars What more can you say?
    This sophomore effort by Coldplay shows the music development of the band. They still talk about heartache and hope. These lyrics are complimented with infectious bass hooks and guitar riffs, interspersed with soft or loud piano and drum harmonies. "Parachutes" gave a glimpse of what the band can do, much like "Pablo Honey" did with Radiohead. And like Radiohead's "The Bends," "A Rush of Blood to the Head" shows Will, Gerry, Jon and Chris, with their different music stylings and influences, come together as four strong individuals with much to say while proving they have amazing talent.

    From the loud and somewhat dischorded harmony of "Politik" progressing to the quiet and subtle "Amsterdam," "A Rush of Blood to the Head" shows Coldplay's musical range--we see the eastern influence in "Daylight" and the folk-country inspired "Green Eyes"--all the while maintaing their signature lyric ballad ("Scientist," "In My Place," "Warning Sign").

    Why 4 stars? Even with the strength of all of the songs, the album still gives a hint of their potential. I'll leave the five stars until then.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Rush of Blood to My Head
    After winning one Grammy award (Best Alternative Music Album), two Brit awards (Best Group and Best Album), two VH1 awards (Best Kept Secret and "Big in Japan") and selling 1.2 million copies of their debut album Parachutes, Coldplay would have to do something miraculous to overcome the sophomore slump. With their newest release A Rush of Blood to the Head, they show the world that they aren't going down without a fight. When the album opens, with the heavy and resounding drums and guitars of "Politik", you notice the change that has occurred between albums. Coldplay abandons much of the love and loss theme that was prevalent in their early work and its place is a slightly more joyful and upbeat sound. The radio single "In My Place" follows this with equal strength, as does the entire album. Not one ounce of energy is lost as the album takes you on its spiraling journey through the mind of a musical genius. In a pop-culture music scene that is dominated by artists like Nelly, Eminem, and Linkin Park, a rock record emerges that gives hope to those of us who long for more. The standout track is definitely "Scientist", where Chris sings in earnest, "Nobody said it was easy, No one ever said it would be this hard." The raw emotion that he puts into his music gives Coldplay that unique edge over most musicians in the genre. My only complaint about this album is the tendency of some songs to sound similar. However, with the caliber of songs that are on this record, monotony can sometimes be welcome and even intensify the musical power. Finally the CD closes with "Amsterdam", where you are confuident that Chris Martin's vocals and energy have retained their strength and that Coldplay has once again delivered a near-masterpiece.

    4-0 out of 5 stars They are still kicking it!
    The sophomore effort from Coldplay is in no way a "sophomore jynx". It is not an extension from Parachutes either. It is totally different; not so much as a radiohead record but never-the-less different. Instead of coming off as indieish and a complete band effort, it sounds more mature and like a showcase for Chris Martin. This is due to the seemingly more emphasis put on the lyrics and vocals. Both of which are improved from their last outting. Also, their seems to be more keyboard used here especially on the two hit singles "clocks" and "scientist". It is difernet also in that it is much longer than thier debut; by over twelve minutes.

    This record excels on many levels along with the aforementioned. It works more as a pop record and therefore seems more appealing to the casual listener. It also contains the groups strongest songs to date. However, despite its brillience, it is not perfect by any means. Among its flaws lie within lyrics. The greater emphasis draws people in. And on a couple songs, like the title track, the lyrics try to be way too philisophical and fail to accomplish their goal. Also, the record contains a couple straight forward rock songs. They are not bad but not what Coldplay excels at.

    All of the flaws seem to make this record feel less complete, inviting track skipping and quick boredom. These are not qualities that Parachutes had and therefore AROBTTH is a slightly inferior record. I must urge people to pick this up though since it is still very very good. Don't expect the utter brillience from the first album to carry over however.

    TRACK RUN-THREW
    Politik- good opener despite werey lyrics.
    In my place- pure pop
    God put a smile upon my face- best rock song on the record
    The scientist- sweet piano and lyrics
    Clocks- captivatingly brilliant piano play
    Daylight- worst track but listenable
    Green eyes- good range of vocals and lyrics
    Warning sign- beautiful
    A wisper- driving guitar
    A rush of blood to the head- too philisophical but still good/great
    Amsterdam- best track

    3-0 out of 5 stars Hmmm...
    I bought this album after it won a Grammy for record of the year for "Clocks," a song that I loved. I was hoping that the Cd would measure up as well, as I had heard "The Scientist" and liked that too, but I was a little disappointed. I thought a few of the songs were dull and mediocre, but maybe because this isn't my favorite style of music?
    Overall, its an alright CD... I wish I had borrowed it from a friend before I bought it though, not sure I would have bought it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars alright you got me...
    this band is pretty awesome. Ordinarily you'll find me listening to music genres like grunge, punk, metal and all that but this is the one band I cross into the mainstream/emo vibe. I first heard the song Yellow and was hooked, then after I heard clocks thats when I really started liking the band more and more and now as much as I hate mainstream stuff usually I find myself a fan of coldplay, the guys are great musicians and have a simplistic vibe about them that makes this just calm, sorta chill out music. So to finish; good album, worth picking up. ... Read more


    3. Picaresque
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B0007M22S4
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 171
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Picaresque is yet more proof that the Decemberists' Colin Meloy is the songwriter who loves love—especially when it ends in death, ("We Both Go Down Together," "Of Angels and Angles"), disease ("The Mariner's Revenge Song") or in some other tragic way. This CD spends some time in the band's familiar old Europe setting, although Meloy also touches on politics, espionage, and even soccer. (Proving he knows his fan base, Meloy's "The Sporting Life," is the perfect shout-out to the kids who preferred the library to the gym.) Long-time fans will know what to expect from this album, which compares favorably to the other LPs on their catalog, and withDeath Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla on board as producer, the band seems poised to reach the greater audience they deserve. If you're not already a listener, don't wait another second to become one. With their remarkable vocabulary and bawdy-yet-literary imagery, the Decemberists are guaranteed to make you smarter even as they make you weep. Pop this in your CD player, grab a dictionary, rock and learn.--Leah Weathersby ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Flair for the Dramatic
    The cover of the Decemberists' new release is the first hint of what to expect: a literate yet melodramatic set of songs, done with an unusual musical blend of British folk-rock and old-style musical theater.Colin Meloy hasn't shaken his penchant for writing songs about doomed and tortured souls."We Both Go Down Together," for instance, is a rather upbeat tune about two lovers' suicide.And then there's "The Mariner's Revenge Song", a sea-shanty epic that reminds us in a colorful way how revenge is a dish best served cold.No one has really done music like this since Steeleye Span, and The Decemberists have definitely created a unique sound in carrying on this kind of musical tradition.They're obviously not for everyone, but anyone who enjoys rich, dramatic storytelling in the style of the old English ballads, will enjoy this CD.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before...
    Hmmm...the kids sure love this.Third time's a charm, huh?Pretty simialr to the first two.

    Really, this sounds like Jethro Tull's, "Songs From the Wood," which is to say, like "Aqualung" without the rockin', heavy bits.That's no good!

    After recently cranking the ass-ripping, scrumtrulescent wonder-phantasy that is "Bittersweet" from Roxy Music's, "Country Life," it's an absolute wonder to me that Bertolt Brecht-esque vaudvillian showtunes and sea shantys are such the rage and so "new-fangled" with all the younguns...

    Good but just extremely overrated...

    5-0 out of 5 stars rapturous pop music
    I bought Picaresque after downloading The Engine Driver from this website and was hooked.This CD is one of the finer acoutic-folk records ever recorded.The vocals are nearly pitch-perfect and the lyrics are immaculately conceived.From We Both Go Down Together to On the Bus Mall and on through Of Angels & Angles, this CD had me hooked with Colin Meloy gryocentrically spinning lyrical hurricanes between my ears all culminating in a record that is instantly one of the best I've heard all year.I haven't heard any of their other stuff, I must confess, but the Decemberists are easily one of the best bands out there right now and this is a must-have.Having been a fan of Bright Eyes and the Arcade Fire, to hear the two merged almost seamlessly into one became a listening experience unlike any other.This CD has led me to begin to explore music like Neutral Milk Hotel and Sufjan Stevens, both of which I hope to purchase soon (maybe even from this website).Above all, this CD is marvelous pop music, with influences from R.E.M. to the New Pornographers (see 16 Military Wives).If you own the new Weezer CD, when you're not crying, try listening to this, it'll make you happy.If you are looking forward to the new Audioslave CD, try this out and maybe you won't be disappointed as much when you buy the new Audioslave CD because you've got this to fall back on.Any fan of pop music should love this CD.Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire, Bright Eyes, and Decemberists all belong in the same company of modern musicians expanding upon pop music and creating sublime pop masterpieces that will one day be viewed as landmarks in an era that will one day, I am convinced, be viewed as one of the most, if not the most, musically vital period in the history of pop music.Again, just buy this CD, it awakens ambition.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Picaresque
    If I was rating this in comparrison to the other cd's in my collection, I would give this a three, but here on Amazon, it deserves at least a 4. I have known of the Decemberists for about a year and a half or so, and was looking forward to this release. For the most part, they come through, but they record is just a little to dreary. Great production and all, but this is my least favorite just because the record is consistanly two dark. These songs are great, but even when you "vibe" with the spooky/rainy feelings, out of knowhere comes "17 militrary Wives" which is awesome, but just so out of place at this point in the cd. Worthy of purchase,

    3-0 out of 5 stars Picaresque by The Decemberists paints stories
    If there was ever such a thing as 'theatrical folk pop', Picaresque would certainly fall into that category. There are the comparisons to Neutral Milk Hotel, but I would also place The Decemberists somewhere in between that and psych-folk artists like Mull Historical Society and Badly Drawn Boy. The main storyteller/vocalist/songwriter is Colin Melloy, a balladeer who weaves his tales amidst a backdrop of strings, acoustic guitars, and organs. Melloy's nasal-type vocals straddle Lee Mavers and Colin McIntyre, but that's almost secondary to the story he wants to tell, the picture he wants to paint. 'Picaresque' is catchy, safe, middle of the road pop/rock, and although it doesn't exactly push the envelope of music experimentation, music is also about telling stories, which is what 'Picaresque' and The Decemberists are, inheriting the tradition of story tellers, a folk-rock escapade guaranteed to brighten up your day. ... Read more


    4. Oh, Inverted World
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B00005JSHW
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 150
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2001

    Something extraordinary is afoot in Albuquerque. The Shins' first big-timerecord, Oh, Inverted World combines mysterious narratives with golden songstructures, resulting in lavish and opulent indie pop. Touches of Neutral Milk Hotel's lyricalmajesty and the nostalgic swirl of Echo and the Bunnymen abound.But the Shins' music--rich with acoustic guitars, flickering rhythms, and Casio-tonekeyboards--is distinct and peculiar. Worry mixes with abstraction throughout, and whileJames Mercer sings, "You led no celibate life / No skirt while chemicals danced on yourhead / You stole the keys to this ride / And your fables are falling tonight," you maywonder if he's been routing through your fondest, most troubling memories. This vitalalbum is easily among 2001's most distinguished recordings and one of the best Sub Popreleases to date. --Thom Arno ... Read more

    Reviews (174)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing, but too short!
    Well, let me begin this otherwise stellar review with my largest gripe: at 33 minutes, this album is just too short! Of course, that's more a compliment than anything else, but seriously, it takes somewhat of an investment of time to get into the "world" of this album, and the ride seems to be over a little abruptly. On the other hand, the short playing time may encourage listeners to do the two things they must to fully enjoy this dense and complex work: listen carefuly to the whole thing in one sitting AND listen repaetedly.

    You see, this is thinking-feller's pop-music. The vocals are, at first listen, difficult to hear--- and once you can hear them, you'll need to make some personal sense out of the lyrics, which can lean toward the solopsistic and opaque. In fact, what might grab your attention first is the brilliant arrangements of fairly standard instruments--- in "One by One all Day" the interplay between nyoln-strung accoustic and burbling keyboard sounds fresh and compelling--- the dreamy intro to the single "new slang", equally ear-opening--- check out the gloomy french horn behind "the past and pending". This record inhabits sonic territory somewhere between "Smiley Smile" and "Belle and Sebastian", yet manages to sound utterly original. The lyrics and fractured narratives have more to do with Pavement or Will Oldham, yet are equally unique. No one sounds or writes songs quite like The Shins.

    That said, I would have appreciated the vocals a little more front-and-center and clear in the mix. It's a trick Stipe managed with REM without compromising his hipster-cred. What's the point of writing great lyrics if no one can hear them? These songs deserve better--- the "lost in the mix" vocals smack of a gimmick and there is nothing, I repeat NOTHING gimmicky about this music.

    It is indeed and album that pulls you into a world of sound an images, but you'll need to bring your imagination and (at times) patience along for the ride.

    Great, cerebral music for intrepid aural travelers...

    4-0 out of 5 stars The ghost of Brian Wilson
    One of the suprising alternative releases of the summer thus far. How do you describe their sound? The echo-heavy vocals from James Mercer sound errily like Brian Wilson and almost as inhuman and difficult to decifer as Michael Stipe. "Oh Inverted World" is like the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" sessions meets Syd Barrett.

    The psychedelic acoustic guitars and cascading harmony of overlapping vocalization is reminiscent of a scratchy Simon & Garfunkel album that you might remember listening just before you passed out after a long night smoking too many J's.

    The highlight of the album is "New Slang", a resigned ballad where Mercer sounds as if he were the voice of Brian Wilsons ghost while the band overlaps in a melody that will remind some of the Cocteau Twins.

    However, the Shins missed a big opportunity to include the hypnotic and adictive song "Sphagnum Esplanade" from their 7" limited record release. In doing so, "Oh Inverted World" falls just short of one of the best releases of the summer and we lose out on enjoying the best song they've cut in their brief career. Its hard to figure what they were thinking?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Pop Album!
    This is one of the best albums I've heard in a very very long time. I heard of the Shins from all the hype they had created due to this album and its follow up Chutes too Narrow. Well, I had some money to blow and I went on down to my local record store to hear the next best thing to sliced bread and I found this one lone copy of Oh Inverted World and paid my money and left, not really expecting much. Boy, was I wrong, this album is like Syd Barrett(my most favorite artist ever), The Byrds and The Beach Boys all blended together into one blissful psychedelic mix. These songs are happy, friendly, subdued and of course a little drug induced. The lyrics are cryptic but lush on imagery and have a frank honest tone to them and their delivery by Mercer even futhers the impact. But the best thing about this album is the actual music in my opinion. Its like a warm cascading waterfall or a lazy summer day spent in the shade. It is definitley an odd ball on Sub Pop's catalog along side the grungy likes of Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney but I give Sub Pop a thumbs up for change and for finding one of the best modern rock-pop acts ever. If you enjoyed this album I reccomend Chutes too Narrow and Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs.

    3-0 out of 5 stars good but...
    this cd is better than Chutes too Narrow. Creative, and the lead singer has a cool voice. But it only gets three stars. All the songs sound a bit too much the same. Not enough variety. No amazing songs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where am I? a acid-induced dream?
    No, I'm listening to The Shins stunning debut "Oh, Inverted World"

    Each song is a masterpiece of its own right, but I prefer the seemingly different 'Past and The Pending' because of its interesting horn work and downtrodden feel. This band took the indie world by storm when this album came out. It was entirely out of left-field: A psychedilic (sp) rock band out of New Mexico? How does that happen? and what's that? They sound good? sign me up.

    Its interesting to note that the track 'Celibate Life' not about abstinence in its traditional sense, but rather keeping away from drugs, which can be seen as satrical given the era they are borrowing from.

    The imagery is what really sells this album. Nowhere else will you find emotional imagery as vivid as The Shins (ex. Her lips when she speaks are the valleys and peaks of a mountain range on fire) Its incredible to visualize and to just ponder.

    Definitely one of the best albums of 2001 even with all the other great debuts of the year. ... Read more


    5. Give Up
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000089CJI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 144
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (218)

    3-0 out of 5 stars The Postal Service -- Give Up | Junkmedia.org Review
    ...

    Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello and Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard knew they were on to something good as soon as they finished collaborating on the track "(This is) the Dream of Evan and Chan." That compelling combination of Tamborello's melodic knob-twiddling and Gibbard's literate vocals and forlorn delivery was the triumph of Dntel's acclaimed 2001 release Life Is Full of Possibilities. Not long after that first collaboration, The Postal Service was born. The relative strangers began recording in December 2001, swapping tracks on CD-Rs through the mail.

    Listening to the act's debut brings back the same sort of giddiness inspired in me by New Order's Low Life when I first picked it up a decade-and-a-half ago. The Postal Service expertly channels that adolescent spirit with an awkward blend of dance beats and melodic songwriting. However, the duo has updated the sound for the millennial set, pleasantly mixing Depeche Mode beats and bass lines, Pet Shop Boys melodies and Warp Records-styled twinkling tones and clicks. Orchestral samples and pseudo horns add an unusual flavor to "Clark Gable." Chunky, monophonic Casio-sounding keys tie the vocals to the beat in "Nothing Better."

    Two of the album's highlights appear right at the front end of the record. The first song, "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight," leads with brooding organ, before beats saunter in and steadily cruise through the first verse and chorus to a clean, ringing guitar riff. A second chorus pumps even harder and defies you to not sing along. This despite a characteristically bumming realization repeated by Gibbard: "I am finally seeing why I was the one worth leaving" (Christ, Benny, just stick a fork through my heart, why don't you?). Track two, "Such Great Heights," has already been released as a single. The catchy number apes Rod Stewart's "Young Turks," especially the beat and understated arrangement, albeit in an electro fashion.

    The remainder of Give Up is solid, though Gibbard's lyrics are less potent by the middle of the record, and Tamborello burrows perhaps a little too deeply into some of the thinner sounds of the cold '80s era that inspires him. "Sleeping In" stumbles a bit with Gibbard's trite invocation of the JFK assassination, but the murmured chorus, "Don't wake me, I plan on sleeping in," that drapes over a quiet acoustic guitar phrase is strong enough to carry the entire song.

    Perhaps the only shortcoming of Give Up is that the adherence to pop shuts out some of the more interesting electronic elements explored on Life Is Full of Possibilities. "Natural Anthem" is probably the most adventurous Postal Service tune, utilizing a relatively heavy break-beat, a looping string sample and more aggressive production, but clearly the duo's strengths are geared more toward hit-making than trailblazing. So, while the record isn't necessarily an instant classic, the unabashed embrace of simple pop sensibilities, both old and new, make it a record that is hard to stop listening to.

    Jay Breitling

    4-0 out of 5 stars Electronica redeemed...?
    This album of dancy electronic pop hasn't left my MP3 player since I bought it. It's like finding a lost and prescient New Order album circa 1985, filled with compelling and instantly memorable melodies. The lyrics are quite wordy, but they are also quite good, like on the melancholic opener, a guy going to visit his ex in a new city:

    "Smeared black ink...Your palms are sweaty and I'm barely listening to last demands...I'm staring at the asphalt wondering what's buried underneath: There I am. Wear my badge--a vinyl sticker with big black letters adhering to my chest. Tells your new friends I am a visitor here, I am not permanent..And the only thing keeping me dry is: You seem so out of context in this gaudy apartment complex/I'm a stranger with a doorkey explaining that I'm just visiting/I am finally seeing why I was the one worth leaving."

    "Give Up" is an excellent, warm and human example of a genre in which one's connection can sometimes get lost amongst the bleeps and blips of synths and Casios. One of last year's best!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Balance
    I have never been a fan of electronic music... and to be quite honest I probably won't convert anytime soon. I've always felt that the music never had an heart or substance to it; it was just too cold. So when one of my friends gave me this CD to listen to, I was worried and immediately the electronic bleeps and blurps made me tune out. But then I listened a bit more, to the lyrics and the melody and how perfectly they combined. This CD is amazing because you take the amazing emo-esque lyrics (honest, heart breaking... I love "I am finally seeing why I was the one worth leaving") and combine it with the most peppy and catchy music ever. I actually got to see them in concert (lucky me!!!) and I was worried how the album would translate but it was even better than the cd. This amazing little project is must for anyone, period; no matter what style of music you like.

    4-0 out of 5 stars lovely
    i have to say, i really enjoyed listening to this album. To be honest, one may get tired of the seemingly redundant pop/synthesizer beats but my that is hard to say, because this album altogether is just heavenly. My favorites are such great heights and brand new colony. i am looking forward to purchasing a few death cab cds also...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous in every aspect
    Wow what a great album. Benjamin Gibbard is one of my favorite artists of all time, so I bought this with high hopes. I had never heard of Tamborello, but hey, my focus was Gibbard. When I first listened to it, i really did try to keep an open mind, and then I ended up hating it. About a month later, I popped it in again after listening to every single Death Cab for Cutie album, and all of a sudden i was tapping my feet and flipping through the lyric book rapidly. How could i have ever thought this bad??!!

    As always Gibbard delivers with sharp, smart, and epic lyrics, turning what is obviously small events into the most important thing the world. The electronica takes some getting used to, but by the time you get past it, you see how perfect with the melancholic perfection of Gibbard.

    The standout tracks are #2, Such Great Heights, all for its lyrics, "i am thinking its a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned; #4, which is a duet played out like a tense and pleading conversation between Gibbard and a girl who is leaving him; and #8, This Place is a Prison, which is an extremely mournful song rife with touching lyrics.

    All in all a brilliant and lasting album. ... Read more


    6. Fallen
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000089RVX
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 98
    Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The Daredevil soundtrack provided a nice boost for this previously unknown quartet from Little Rock, Arkansas. Evanescence’s songs "My Immortal" and the imposing "Bring Me to Life" are clear standouts in the film, mainly because they work so well with the dramatic, eerie undertones of the storyline. They reappear here on the band’s debut, alongside a selection of similarly brooding tracks that evoke pensive artists like Tori Amos and the Cranberries. Vocalist Amy Lee has the kind of voice that can cause weeks of insomnia, but on songs like "Tourniquet" and "Haunted" she belies the music’s sinister mood with evenhanded spirituality, thoughtfully letting some light shine through the tempest. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

    Reviews (2018)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Something for Everyone...I guess. (4.5 Stars)
    I'm bad at headers, please forgive me.

    Evanescence was arguably the biggest breakout band of 2003. Now they're sold-out hitmakers that are loved by gothic teenagers, middle-aged women and music critics alike. (I'm naming these from personal experiences) ..now how does Evanescence measure up?

    You've already heard the most worthy songs on the CD. "Bring Me To Life" "Going Under" and "My Immortal" are the three best songs on the CD, so if you expect a CD full of beautiful "My Immortals" please search elsewhere.

    The rest of the CD is woven with pretty much alternating faster and slower songs. As far as standouts go? Aside from the singles, we also have "Everybody's Fool" which is lacking in lyrics but makes up for that in melody, and "Torniquet" which is full circle above-average but nothing spectacular. For lyrical depth, try "Hello" ..

    Amy Lee's voice is tolerable at worst. Her fashion sense may be a bit off-key, but her voice remains lovely and distinctive, and always matches the background (or vice versa, who knows where manufacturing may be lurking..?)

    If no one you know is buying this CD, you A) Live in a Ghost Town or B) Know nobody!..
    This album remains in the top 5 on the album charts after a year of being on it, selling upwards of 100,000 a week. Nice, right? One of those customers includes my lovely mother. Way to go Mom, you saved me fifteen bucks.

    I enjoyed it. It's worthy of removing forty minutes of your life.

    BOTTOM LINE: Good. Something everyone would enjoy.
    GRADE: A-

    5-0 out of 5 stars Blew me away....
    I just recently discovered Evanescence by mistake after visiting a friend's web site and clicking a link for Evanescence - Hello. I absolutely LOVED the track and, having friends who were obsessed with the album and the band, naturally decided to borrow/buy the album. A friend lent it to me, and here I am, listening, several days after becoming obsessed with it myself. I just cannot stop listening to it... Amy Lee's voice is so much more polished and mature than anyone else in her age group of singers, such as Avril Lavigne, Brittany Spears, etc. It's like an angel from heaven has come down to bless us with her talent, and it's no wonder why the song "Bring Me To Life" attracted so many fans to this small Arkansas band and singer! And, without further ado, onto the ratings... Going Under - This song is not my favorite, but nonetheless, it is a great song. The rock beat really strikes my fancy, and the lyrics are well-polished. 9.5/10 Bring Me To Life - The song that inspired Evanescence's fan base, and it's really easy to see why! The lyrics are great, the tune is wonderful, and it's really easy to pick up. It's haunting and rocking at the same time, and overall a great song. It has its shortcomings, however, as it will become really repetetive after a while of listening to it because it is so awesome! 9.5/10 Everybody's Fool - A great song, but it's basically repeating the same thing, merely in different words, through the entire song. 9.5/10 My Immortal - After listening to all of the album and Hello before it, this was my new favorite song. As another reviewer put it, it may be what heaven really sounds like. This is one of the band's songs that you hear everywhere, like Avril Lavigne's Sk8er Boi, and you just instantly love it, but you just never know who the artist is... then you find out, get the album, listen to the song and the rest of it, and become obsessesed instantaneously! Its haunting lyrics and beautiful piano make this an instant classic, not to be missed. 10/10 Haunted - Amy Lee sang the heck out of this one, and because of it, it's great. It's not quite at bloody as Tourniquet, but creepy all the same, and in this reviewer's eyes, creepy = good. 10/10 Touniquet- This song really makes you brood over death. Amy really convinces you that she's in serious pain when she sings so soulfully, and it makes you so sorry for her, that you just can't help but like the song. However, I'm not really one for the morbid-type, so marks down for the gruesome details. Don't get me wrong though; this song is still great. 9/10 Imaginary - Amy describes how she retreats into her own world to escape the horrors of this one, but she can't decide which one she likes better. Very soulful, just like all of the other songs on the album, and one of my personal favorites. 10/10 Taking Over Me - It seems like Amy is willing to drop everything and find her true love, who has taken over her soul and now is morunful for him because he left. The lyrics are great, and the entire song has a very catchy beat. 9.5/10 Hello - This is the song that got me hooked on Evanescence. Haunting and beautiful lyrics, Amy's beautiful voice that will keep you awake (and slightly insane because of sadness and other factors) for weeks to come, and absolutely haunting melody on the piano, this is my personal favorite song on this album. It maintains the sad note of Haunted and Tourniquet, but with much less violence. She doesn't know if she's sleeping or not, and then she realizes that death really does exist, and that nothing will ever be the same. Let me scream for a moment: I LOVE THIS SONG!! 10/10 My Last Breath - When I listened to this, the first time, I got the lyrics stuck in my head because Amy sung them so beautifully! The beat is catchy and fun, and the lyrics are great. Overall, a great song. 9.5/10 Whisper - This song is probably the worst one on the CD, though don't get me wrong; I still love it, but it just isn't up to par with the others. I do, however, love the Latin at the end; Amy translated it roughly to "Save us from danger, save us from evil," and it really fits the mood of the song. It gets pretty slow at the end, so that turned me off of it a little bit. Still a good song nonetheless. 8.5/10 Overall, this album is one of the most polished I've ever heard in years, and it really got me hooked on the goth/rocky genre. I simply can't wait for the next one! Keep up the good work guys!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Blew me away...
    I just recently discovered Evanescence by mistake after visiting a friend's web site and clicking a link for Evanescence - Hello. I absolutely LOVED the track and, having friends who were obsessed with the album and the band, naturally decided to borrow/buy the album. A friend lent it to me, and here I am, listening, several days after becoming obsessed with it myself. I just cannot stop listening to it... Amy Lee's voice is so much more polished and mature than anyone else in her age group of singers, such as Avril Lavigne, Brittany Spears, etc. It's like an angel from heaven has come down to bless us with her talent, and it's no wonder why the song "Bring Me To Life" attracted so many fans to this small Arkansas band and singer! And, without further ado, onto the ratings... Going Under - This song is not my favorite, but nonetheless, it is a great song. The rock beat really strikes my fancy, and the lyrics are well-polished. 9.5/10 Bring Me To Life - The song that inspired Evanescence's fan base, and it's really easy to see why! The lyrics are great, the tune is wonderful, and it's really easy to pick up. It's haunting and rocking at the same time, and overall a great song. It has its shortcomings, however, as it will become really repetetive after a while of listening to it because it is so awesome! 9.5/10 Everybody's Fool - A great song, but it's basically repeating the same thing, merely in different words, through the entire song. 9.5/10 My Immortal - After listening to all of the album and Hello before it, this was my new favorite song. As another reviewer put it, it may be what heaven really sounds like. This is one of the band's songs that you hear everywhere, like Avril Lavigne's Sk8er Boi, and you just instantly love it, but you just never know who the artist is... then you find out, get the album, listen to the song and the rest of it, and become obsessesed instantaneously! Its haunting lyrics and beautiful piano make this an instant classic, not to be missed. 10/10 Haunted - Amy Lee sang the heck out of this one, and because of it, it's great. It's not quite at bloody as Tourniquet, but creepy all the same, and in this reviewer's eyes, creepy = good. 9/10 Touniquet- This song really makes you brood over death. Amy really convinces you that she's in serious pain when she sings so soulfully, and it makes you so sorry for her, that you just can't help but like the song. However, I'm not really one for the morbid-type, so marks down for the gruesome details. Don't get me wrong though; this song is still great. 9/10 Imaginary - Amy describes how she retreats into her own world to escape the horrors of this one, but she can't decide which one she likes better. Very soulful, just like all of the other songs on the album. 9/10 Taking Over Me - It seems like Amy is willing to drop everything and find her true love, who has taken over her soul and now is morunful for him because he left. The lyrics are great, and the entire song has a very catchy beat. 9.5/10 Hello - This is the song that got me hooked on Evanescence. Haunting and beautiful lyrics, Amy's beautiful voice that will keep you awake (and slightly insane because of sadness and other factors) for weeks to come, and absolutely haunting melody on the piano, this is my personal favorite song on this album. It maintains the sad note of Haunted and Tourniquet, but with much less violence. She doesn't know if she's sleeping or not, and then she realizes that death really does exist, and that nothing will ever be the same. Let me scream for a moment: I LOVE THIS SONG!! 10/10 My Last Breath - When I listened to this, the first time, I got the lyrics stuck in my head because Amy sung them so beautifully! The beat is catchy and fun, and the lyrics are great. Overall, a great song. 9.5/10 Whisper - This song is probably the worst one on the CD, though don't get me wrong; I still love it, but it just isn't up to par with the others. I do, however, love the Latin at the end; Amy translated it roughly to "Save us from danger, save us from evil," and it really fits the mood of the song. It gets pretty slow at the end, so that turned me off of it a little bit. Still a good song nonetheless. Overall, this album is one of the most polished I've ever heard in years, and it really got me hooked on the goth/rocky genre. I simply can't wait for the next one! Keep up the good work guys!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hmm
    a music fan from hawaii must of been singing along to the songs again. I only got it for the first 3 songs and I ended up listening to the rest of it later. all of the songs except for track 10 or 11 I think are good. My copy was stolen earlier this year so I'm going to pick up another. Amy Lee's voice is very smooth and very high, which is why the music fan from hawaii must of heard something dying..he/she/it couldnt reach the high notes. Anyways This CD owns.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cool band with a cool cd
    The best song on the album is "My Immortal" and Amy Lee sings the hell outta every song on the cd. ... Read more


    7. Chutes Too Narrow
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B00009LVXT
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 196
    Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The Shins' sophomore album is a joy from start to finish, though it's rather different from their 2001 leftfield pop genius stunner Oh, Inverted World. That album was like a warm embrace from a long-lost pal. True to its title, all of the songs were of a piece, seeming to inhabit one landscape, with an invitingly similar sound throughout. Chutes is more far-reaching and decidedly eclectic. Each song is essentially its own genre exercise. There's singer-songwriter James Mercer's surprisingly Perry Farrell-ish wail on the almost indie-metal opener, "Kissing the Lipless"; the lovely pedal steel lilt to "Gone for Good"; the moody folktronica of "Those to Come"; and the Cars-gone-rockabilly riffing on "Turn a Square." The strongest song, the acoustic "Young Pilgrims," is stripped-down and brilliant. On every tune, Mercer packs more hooks and melodic invention than most bands do on one album. As a whole, it's an even better record than Inverted World. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

    Reviews (198)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Surpasses their debut "Inverted World"
    I am a big fan of the debut Shins album "Oh, Inverted World." It's got a warm, fuzzy feel and the lyrics are leaps and bounds above many indie bands on the scene today. The follow up, "Chutes Too Narrow", is a nice step forward for the band. James Mercer's vocals are on full display, no longer hidden inside reverb and multiple backing tracks. It's just him, singing his heart out, and he does a great job. This album is about the same length as their first, barely surpassing the thirty minute mark. Ten tightly focused tracks take you on a joyous ride through Mercer's remarkable lyrics. The standout tracks, "Kissing The Lipless", "Saint Simon", and "Gone For Good" are spread evenly across the album. Genres are across the board. Gently strummed acoustics are traded often for walloping guitars. "Turn A Sqaure" sounds uncannily like a Beatles tune. The only real let down is the album closer, which is a little bland in my opinion. Overall, an impressive sophmore effort from one of the best band's around. If you want the exact same sound as their debut, you'd best look elsewhere. These guys are growing by leaps and bounds.

    5-0 out of 5 stars How do the Shins do it?
    I love the Shins, so this review may be a little biased, but I don't care. Everyone should listen to this band. Their sound is like nothing I've ever experienced before. "Chutes too Narrow" is different from their debut, "Oh, Inverted World," but in a good, no great, way. If you liked that cd, then you will definitely like this one also. It's almost impossible to find anything wrong with it! The songs on this album are great from start to finish and after listening to it, you can't help but feel that much happier about anything.

    The chords and melodies are so beautiful (i.e. Saint Simon, Pink Bullets). So, Says I is my favorite track and I can honestly say that it is one of my favorite songs of the last few years. And believe me, that is saying something. It's just that good, jeez...this album renders me speechless. I go to bed to it every night, I just cannot get enough of James Mercer's magical vocals and the riffs. Oh, the riffs. This is an example of great music that is completely creative and unique.

    If you consider yourself a fan of good music, then you need to get this cd and "Oh, Inverted World." If you've never heard of the Shins, then it's time to be awakened. Your life will be changed for the better, trust me. Get ready to be amazed by the originality and perfect display of music that you are about to be graced with.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is really, really good
    Ok, when I picked this cd up, I knew absolutely nothing about it. It's possible that I'd read a review for it in Rolling Stone, but the point is that I bought this cd on vague curiosity alone. If vague curiosity has ever been rewarded, it was that day.
    If I had to choose a genre in which to place this album, I'd have to think about it for a long time and then throw up my hands and say "the really good music genre." Each song seems to have some kind of formula -- there's always an acoustic guitar, and almost always some drums, and every once in a while a new instrument will make a cameo. Other than that, every song is easily discernable from the others on the album, somewhat of a rarity in my experience.
    The real treat here is James Mercer's lyricism, which does a brilliant job of not only providing each song with its own mood and story, but also serving the song as an instrument in itself -- the sounds of the words he sings are just important to the song as the pitch of Mercer's voice.
    All in all, Chutes Too Narrow is an excellent cd that exceeds all expectations -- it did for me, anyway.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best album i've bought since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    I can't even describe how great this album is. You just have to buy it, put it in your CD player, and be blown away - just like I was.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My new favorite
    I was skeptical about this band at first but have grown to love this album. There is not a single song that I don't like. The lyrics are excellent and the tunes are very catchy, yet not too popish. I can't understand where people are coming from who write bad reviews for this CD, and usually when I buy a CD I can see the jist of both the good and bad.

    Sure these type of songs have been done before, but the way that they're done make the best set of tracks I've heard in a while, and it still sounds fresh even if it sounds familiar. It is a very fun album to listen to, especially after the second or third time. Like I said there is not a single bad track on the album. I would give it 4-1/2 stars though for being so short (which disappointed me the first time). What is better though, short and sweet or long and boring?

    I won't name any bands but I have bought a series of bad CDs in 2004 from major artists and then this one from a previously unknown band (at least to me) finally broke the string. It's refreshing, to say the least, and has renewed my faith in modern music. Maybe that's saying too much but I honestly think it deserves it and is not overhyped.

    Who should avoid buying this album? People who don't like independent bands that explore different genres, don't like catchy tunes, or people who simply hate the SUB-POP label and everything it stands for. ... Read more


    8. Music From The O.C. Mix 4
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007QMS20
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 297
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Album Description

    "A showcase for new music that’s fallen under the mainstream radar." ("All Things Considered," NPR, April 24, 2004) Musically the hippest show on TV, "The O.C." spawns the edgiest album yet from the unprecedented Music From The O.C. series. Headlining Mix 4 is a new song from alt-rock superstar Beck, "Scarecrow," co-written and co-produced with The Dust Brothers, and "Decent Days And Nights" from post-punk pop’s The Futureheads. Two other tracks also debut—chamber-pop quintet Matt Pond PA unveils its cover of "Champagne Supernova," the mid-’90s #1 Modern Rocker from Oasis, and ethereal alt-rocker Imogen Heap (half of the band Frou Frou) offers "Goodnight And Go." Music From The O.C.: Mix 4 is as sharp as Marissa and as cool as Seth. ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect cure for the Obsessive Compulsive!
    "Mix 4" is the latest soundtrack from the FOX television sensation "The OC". Once again, this great collection of songs blends soothing mellow rock, with pop, dance, rock and ballad to create a beautifully diverse and enjoyable listen.

    The music of "The OC" has gained considorable respect over the short couple of years, acting as the main launching pad for great artists including Death Cab, Jem and The Killers. Because of this show, and its terrific soundtracks, Mellow Rock and Alternative have certainly become two of my favourite musical genres.

    So once again, producer (and creator of the show) Josh Schwartz has intoduced more fantastic artists, along with their wonderful songs. I know everyone has their tastes, but for me, my Top 3 songs would have to be:

    1) "Cartwheels" - by The Reindeer Section: This is a soothing mellow rock song. It has beautiful musical arrangement, as it includes string instruments, which add a great melodic stength to the song.

    2) "Eve, the Apple of My Eye" - by Bell XY: this is a moving ballad which has gorgeous piano chords the whole way through. The lyrics are also very metaphorical.

    3) "Champagne Supernova" - by Matt Pond PA: this is a cover song of Oasis' original rock classic. This version is very well done, with energetic electric guitar and a string arrangement at the end, which adds real depth to the song.

    Other great songs include Sufjan Stevens' "To be alone with you" a calm, and relaxing mellow song. It's beautiful! To lighten things up, it features a "dancier" track, "Play" by Flunk.

    So as you can see, there is terrific range in the songs, from very slow all the way to very up-tempo, "The OC: Mix 4" is yet another brilliant soundtrack from the equally fantastic show! This is the perfect cure for an "OC" Obsessive Compulsive, such as myself! I can't wait for the next installment!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    I am a large fan of The OC and every Thursday night I am watching the show. I used to think it was stupid until my girlfriend got me watching it and my friend let me borrow Season 1 on DVD and I was obsessed. The same friend also purchased this CD and let me borrow it and it is awesome! I love the music in The OC because I am into this type of music, like indie and emo, etc.

    1. "Decent Days and Nights" by The Futureheads- 2.5/5
    An alright start to the album, but nah, it's not the greatest song. Still decent though.
    2. "Goodnight and Go" by Imogen Heap- 3.5/5
    At first listen I thought it was too "pop" music sounding but now I like it a lot, it's catchy and nice to listen to.
    3. "Fortress" by Pinback- 5/5
    Probably my favourite on the album. It's an excellent song and I listen to it often, Pinback is a band worth looking at.
    4. "On The Table" by A.C. Newman- 4/5
    Good song, catchy, and one you can sing along to even on your first listen to it.
    5. "To Be Alone With You" by Surfjan Stevens- 4/5
    Soft, nice, and beautiful. A good OC song featured on a romance scene.
    6. "Play" by Flunk- 3/5
    Okay, the woman's voice is sort've drony, but worth a listen.
    7. "Scarecrow" by Beck- 4.5/5
    Excellent song, Beck is the man. I am a large fan of Beck and was happy to see a contribution by him on this album.
    8. "The View" by Modest Mouse- 5/5
    Another great song. Again, I am a large Modest Mouse fan and after seeing them live at the club on The OC, I was happy they received a spot on the album. A faster sort of a song.
    9. "Hardcore Days and Softcore Nights" by Aqueduct- 3/5
    A good song, but not a fan of the vocals on the song. Maybe after a few listens I might like this song more, because when it seems like a song that could take a few listens to enjoy.
    10. "Cartwheels" by The Reindeer Section- 4/5
    A happy, peaceful, relaxing song. Nice to sit back and listen to.
    11. "Eve, The Apple of My Eye" by Bell X1- 5/5
    Excellent song! At first I thought the vocals were that of Thom Yorke from Radiohead. Amazing job done on this song.
    12. "Champagne Supernova" by matt pond PA- 4/5
    An excellent cover of the Oasis masterpiece, although I like Oasis' version one million times better. matt pond PA did an excellent job.

    All in all, a great album, it has it's ups and downs. If your a fan of indie/emo music, get this album. If your a g-unit rap-fan who likes The OC, don't get this album.

    Seth would be proud.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Anyone For Angst?
    The fourth installment in a great series of indie-flavoured soundtracks, the OC: Mix 4 strongly reflects the way the show itself has been lately - a bit more sombre and mellowed out, where the parties don't seem to be quite as frequent, and when they are - they're disasters.While there are a number of excellent tracks on this album, I found it didn't quite live up to the other soundtracks, but still, its a great buy.

    What I mentioned about the mellowness is true.Very few of the tracks channel any sort of get up and party emotion - although Futureheads "Decent Days and Nights" gets the album off to a rocking start, and Modest Mouse's "The View" is a bit more on the upbeat side.

    Truth be told, what really stands out on this album are the slower, angst-ridden songs - of which there are plenty."To Be Alone With You" is a very soft guitar number, "Cartwheels" is all about the dreamy harmonies, and "Eve, The Apple of My Eye" is a sweet Brit-pop esque rock ballad."Play" by Flunk ups the count of women vocalists on this album to two, in a sorta psychadelic style.Matt Pond PA lends a somewhat uninspired but altogether enjoyable cover of Oasis' "Champagne Supernova" as the closing track, which fans of the show will remember played as Summer & Seth reunited.

    The rest of the album is mostly mid-tempo rock/emo/alternative/indie tracks - with two particular shiners.Imogen Heap's "Say Goodnight and Go" is a nice electronica turn that hasn't been explored much yet on the OC soundtracks - and rivals her excellent track on the Garden State album as part of Frou Frou."Fortress" by Pinback is also excellent, to the point where these guys have crossover options if they want.

    All in all, this album is much more subdued, and doesn't offer quite as many 'gems' as the previous soundtracks - however, it is still a great addition to the OC collection, and even better, your music collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars more indie gems from TV's coolest soap
    I would have bought this CD just for the song by Imogen Heap (of Frou Frou, and by the way when the heck are they going to put out a new disc?). Fortunately, as with the rest of the "Music From the O.C." series, this one is filled with gems from popular as well as semi-obsucre indie artists, and will introduce fans of the show to musicians who deserve a wider audience.

    I'm not entirely sure who's responsible for selecting the songs for this series, but whoever it is has an ear for talent, and the entire series of CDs has helped me discover artists such as Jem, the Doves, South, the Album Leaf, and now with this latest release Pinchback and a genius named Matt Pond PA, who delivers a sparkling cover of Oasis' "Champagne Supernova."

    Whether you're a die-hard fan of the show or you can't tell the Coopers from the Cohens, do yourself a favor and buy this CD today. And then do yourself another favor and buy the CDs of the artists it features.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nearly As Good As Mixes 1 & 2
    Mix 4 offers much of the same terrific music as the first two OC mixes.The songs are great for listening to while doing just about anything (entertaining, driving, working out, relaxing, etc.).I gave this CD four stars -- as opposed to the five stars I gave Mixes 1 & 2 -- only because I didn't find as many "WOW" tracks on this disc as I found on previous albums.Still, it certainly beats most commercial pop/alternative music that is available these days, and it will fill out your "OC" iPod playlist quite nicely. ... Read more


    9. Napoleon Dynamite
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B0002XL1WG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 731
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    Amazon.com

    In a promising filmmaking debut, young BYU grad Jared Hess informs this indie tale of an aggressively nerdy backwater teen's foibles with the bittersweet dimensions of the director's own small-town upbringing, making it the dry comic hit of Sundance. Its soundtrack picks up on that earnest awkwardness via dollops of 80's new wave, both underexposed (Yaz' "Only You"; Alphaville's "Forever Young") and otherwise (Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy," a faithful cover of "Time After Time" by Sparklemotion), as well as moodier contemporary cuts by Rogue Wave (a live take on "Every Moment"), Figurine in full synth-pop revivalist mode and the nuvo-soul of Jamiroquai and Money Mark. Interspersed with a generous sampling of dialog snippets, John Swihart's shrewd, intimate underscore runs the gamut from "The A-Team Theme" to geek-friendly exotica and nervous cocktail jazz, stitching the score's disparate parts into a memorably quirky whole.--Jerry McCulley ... Read more


    10. Elevator
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B0007US8ES
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 323
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    Amazon.com

    Hot Hot Heat hail from Victoria, B.C., a town best known for imitating the queen's England in the service of tourism. But never fear: the high teas and manicured gardens are all well and good, this band knows that bad manners are what rock is all about. Case in point, the song "Goodnight Goodnight," in which a former girlfriend learns "you're embarrassing me, you're embarrassing you...this isn't goodnight, this is goodbye." There's nothing quite so much fun as a good dis song, and the Heat keeps the fun going on their newest album, Elevator. Virtually every track on the CD is short and sweet with plenty of energetic, poppy goodness. Standouts include "Ladies and Gentleman" (another semiburn: "everybody's got the same story--we never wanted him here, he showed up anyway."), "Middle of Nowhere," "Soldier in a Box"--well, I'll stop before I list them all. --Leah Weathersby ... Read more


    11. Some Cities
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B0007735HG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 864
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    Amazon.com

    In the three years between this album and its epic-scaled predecessor, The Last Broadcast, Manchester trio Doves were obviously doing something more artistically rewarding than mere touring. It's not that their sense of ambitious scale has waned. It's that it has been refocused inward here toward personal matters and the state of their Northern UK homeland. The title track and thumping, soul-inflected single "Black and White Town" state as much early on. But much more than Doves' subject matter has evolved as well. The album's sonically intriguing mix of influences fuse singer Jimi Goodwin's unabashed hook jones with bottom-heavy club rhythms and the restless, expansive instincts of multi-instrumentalist twins Andy and Jez Williams. Then, all is channeled through the fuzzy aura of too many youthful 3am's at Manchester's famed Hacienda nightspot.

    The gorgeous moodiness of "Snowden" and string-drenched, mouth-harp seasoned "The Storm" show how far the band has evolved from its early Sub Sub incarnation/Manchester heritage, even as the bigger-than-life "Walk in Fire" shows just how deep those roots go. It's a magnificent record, one whose sense of scale belies its innate efficiency, and arguably Doves' most wholly satisfying to date. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more


    12. Stop All the World Now [Special Edition]
    list price: $12.98
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    Asin: B0006A9GO0
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 115
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    13. More Adventurous
    list price: $13.98
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    Asin: B0002M5T7A
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 616
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    Are they alternative-country rockers or alternative rock crooners? That was the conundrum following Rilo Kiley’s 2002 release, The Execution of Things, and with More Adventurous, the band’s first record with major label support, we have our answer. Jolted by the divinely pure vocals of Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennett's howling guitar on prospective indie anthems like "Portions for Foxes," the Los Angeles foursome has two fists through the earth in their quest to depart the underground. It's obvious from the opening smack-talk sing-a-long "It's a Hit" that Lewis is the centerpiece of this 11-song pop consignment (leaving the capable Sennett to sing only the acoustic low-fi "Ripchord"), and the unabashed charisma that is her trademark infiltrates throughout—from rockers ("Love and War") to ballads ("Absence of God") to pop ("Accidntel Deth") to Dusty Springfield soul ("I Never"). And while the production is polished to radio-friendly, it fails to dull the charming accessibility of a band that wears progression as a badge. --Scott Holter ... Read more


    14. Our Little Corner of the World: Music From Gilmore Girls
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00006JIBS
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 765
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Television Soundtrack..
    Out of all the other television soundtracks that I have and that I've listened to, I think this one is one of the best ones. In a few other soundtracks, I maybe listen to about 5 songs and that's it. "Our little corner of the World" music from Gilmore Girls, has great songs. It has punk, it has a bit of rock and a bit of everything, especially the theme song sung by Carole King and her daughter Louise Goffin. Excellent!! I recommend every music lover buying this CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome To The Gilmore's World
    The Gilmore Girls is a great television program on the WB about a mother, Lorelei, who is from a well-to-do family, got pregnant at sixteen, left home to raise her daughter Rory alone. Now Rory is sixteen and Lorelei and her are best friends. They live in the quirky Connecticut town of Stars Hollow that is full of strange, but lovable townsfolk. The show is full of witty dialogue and has a hip sense of music. The soundtrack to the program shows off its eclectic musical tastes. Carole King originally recorded "Where You Lead" on her Tapestry album and the show uses an updated version she recorded with her daughter Louise Goffin as its theme song. Grant Lee Phillips plays a troubadour on the show who plays musical interludes throughout episodes and he contributes the strong "Smile". Sam Phillips does not appear on the show, but her music is a strong part of each episode and the little snippets of her simple la-la-la cues are sprinkled throughout the album. Another strong aspect of the album is that while it has many well-known artists like John Lennon, XTC, Big Star and Joey Ramone, it doesn't pick obvious songs from their catalogues, but lesser known gems. Mr. Lennon's "Oh My Love" is a beautiful and tender song, XTC's "I'm The Man Who Murdered Love" perfectly encapsulates Lorelei's love life. Big Star's "Thirteen" is a sweet acoustic number and Joey Ramone rips through a thrashing version of the standard "What A Wonderful World". The Free Design's "I Found Love" is a quirky pop tune from the early 70's and The Shin's "Know Your Onion" is a quirky pop tune from 2001. Other standout tracks include Ash's rocking "Girl From Mars", PJ Harvey's "One Line" and Yo Lo Tengo's "My Little Corner Of The World".

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Music for this "Corner"
    I admit to being a male Gilmore Girls fan. I cannot get enough of it. When I noticed this soundtrack I bought it immediately. The songs are great; they are from various eras in time and various styles of music are featured. My fave songs are What A Wonderful World, Oh My Love, Where You Lead and Girl From Mars. If you're a fan, this is a MUST!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars i found love!
    i've always loved gilmore girls, as a teenaged bookworm, quirk appreciator, & music obsessee, it couldn't have been more right up my alley. it's one of the funniest, smartest, strangest, pop-culture packed sitcoms around. amy sherman and daniel palladino really do love music, and it shows. this soundtrack hosts a great array of interesting songs! there is no absolutely no filler on this cd. it all meshes well together to make a strange, indiepop day in the sun. le sigh! buy the cd, spread the love.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Permanently in my stereo
    This CD is hands down the best CD ever. I am a huge music fan, being a singer and I think that Amy Sherman - Palladino and Sam Phillips did a great job on this compilation based on Gilmore Girls (my favorite show). Even if you don't like the show, it's a great CD to buy to explore music you don't hear on Top 40. It turned me unto so many great artists and bands like Sam Phillips and Grant Lee Buffalo. Buy it! ... Read more


    15. Ditty Bops
    list price: $13.98
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    Asin: B00063MCKW
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1581
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    As charming as the McGarrigle Sisters and pulsating as a scaled-down Lucious Jackson, Los Angeles duo The Ditty Bops call upon a 20th century grab bag of musical trends for the dozensongs that make up their eccentric debut album. Abby DeWald (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Amanda Barrett (vocals, mandolin, dulcimer) employ their effortless harmonies as instruments as they sashay through an influential spectrum that spans Bix Beiderbecke’s swinging twenties, through the Hot Club Quintet of France by way of Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys, and into the contemporary experimentation of producer Mitchell Froom (Elvis Costello, Suzanne Vega). The lyrics may never garner a Walt Whitman prize ("Why does blood turn brown when it dries?" and "Why can’t white people play the blues?" the Bops wonder in "Wishful Thinking"), but they do offer the perfect, sing-a-long complement for the twosome’s intoxicating, foot-tapping melodies. Give the record three spins. You’ll know every song. --Scott Holter ... Read more


    16. Smile
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B0002LI11M
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 38
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    The Greatest Album That Never Was finally is. The Beach Boys' uncompleted 1967 album Smile has remained the elusive touchstone of Brian Wilson's brilliant, star-crossed career for decades. Artistic Holy Grail and troubling professional Waterloo for Wilson, a tantalizing prism of unfulfilled promise to his loyal cadre of fans, its story has become pop music's Rashomon. Finally completed via spring 2004 recordings with his stellar, longtime touring band (none of the original '60s sessions were used, though they've been recreated here with often stunning authenticity), it's arguably as alien to contemporary pop as it might have seemed in its intended '67 context--even to ears freshly primed by the glories of Pet Sounds.

    Collaborator Van Dyke Parks's impressionistic, often mischievous lyrics conjure a collage of arcane 19th century Americana that's equal parts artful ellipse and aloof nostalgia. But wed to Wilson's innovative composition and recording techniques (echoing beat author William Burroughs's fabled cut 'n' paste methodology and exemplified by the modular "Good Vibrations"), the resulting semisuite confections challenge the boundaries of both song and album form, but with an insouciant charm that's as different from Pet Sounds as that landmark was from "I Get Around." Turns out those hypothetical comparisons to Sgt. Pepper's weren't so far off the mark. --Jerry McCulley


    Smiling with Brian
    Amazon.com Music Editor Peter Hilgendorf called Brian Wilson to congratulate him on the release of Smile, and to talk about the recording and some of the history behind this highly anticipated release. Listen now.


    Catch Up with Brian Wilson and the Legend of Smile:
    Here are a few lists to help unravel the stories and sounds of Smile.

    • Essential Brian Wilson CDs
    • Essential Brian Wilson DVDs
    • Essential Brian Wilson books
    ... Read more

    17. Oceans Apart
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B0007XBMC0
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 792
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    "Why do people who read Dostoyevsky look like Dostoyevsky?" The Go-Betweens return in good form on Oceans Apart, their third post-reunion disc. Relatively modest next to towering achievements such as Tallulah and 16 Lovers Lane, the disc is a grower, impressive and moving in its glimpses of truly human moments. The sturdy, rootsy backing here allows wry Robert Forster and unaffected Grant McLennan to range across familiar territory while finding new, small delights there. A handful of songs rise to the top, sure to make their places on fans' mix tapes; among them are McLennan's "Boundary Rider" and Forster's "Born to a Family" and "Here Comes a City." Early copies of Oceans Apart contain a bonus disc with live versions of a half dozen Go-Betweens classics. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Go-Betweens strongest post-reunion album yet.
    The Go-Betweens were a critics' darling in the 80's, and broke up in 1988, only to get together with all but the original drummer in 2000.Their first two releases since they got together have been solidly above average, but lacking the flair of their previous work.Oceans Apart regains that flair.They just play...amazingly well together as a group, creating a sort of very immersive new-wavey atmosphere that signifies the possibility of getting another Go-Betweens album as good as their last pre-breakup album, '16 Lovers Lane' (Which I highly recommend, by the way).The only problem is...the songwriting sounds very forced at times.The vocals for any given song rarely cover more than half an octave, and they're all grouped together in the same trite, predictable pattern.Luckily, the instrumentation is so immersive that you enjoy the badly written songs regardless.Oceans Apart is among the stronger albums of the year, particularly if you like new-wavey pop/rock.If you liked the other post-reunion albums, Friends of Rachel Worth, and Bright Yellow Bright Orange, you'll probably like this one more.

    4-0 out of 5 stars IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
    If you're looking for the type of popular music that the citizens of Brisbane, Australia are able to conjur, this is it. Without doubt the Go-Betweens are the sunblessed city's most original and prodigious songwriting exports, and though one might look to Seattle, New York, London or California for the songs that define musical preference, the Go-Betweens take their place among the finest in their field.

    When Forster and McLennan made the decision in 1977 to form a rock band, few who knew them then could have imagined their artistic odyssey would still be rattling along so swimmingly 28 years later. Through sheer weight of committment to a collective dream, their journey took them from three song gigs at dance halls in their city of origin to the famous CBGB's in New York, to support engagements with REM then cult appeal in England, Europe and the US. A swag of critically acclaimed albums in the eighties delivered the Go-Betweens a place in the pantheon, but for all the effort they were denied acclaim where it might have mattered most - on the charts. So too was the Beach Boys classic "Pet Sounds" at the time of its release. Get the picture?

    It's a situation that's always failed to distract the pair from their vision and we, the fans are more fortunate for it.
    They stepped back for a time, delivering a handful of solo albums during the nineties, but they've returned in a big way here, acknowledging the sum of the parts is a more fulfilling route to take.

    "Oceans Apart" is the second album produced by the quirky and imaginative creative talents of Robert Forster and Grant McLennan, since they re-united in 2001 for their (in my opinion) best album to date "The Friends of Rachel Worth", and it continues their career-long quest to achieve widespread appeal.

    Reviewers agree, with superlatives like "masterpiece" and "triumph" flooding the critical landscape. Again the pair have written five songs apiece with "Here Comes the City" among Forster's best, a tune that rings with the universality of the Go-Betweens best known song "Streets of Our Town".

    You buy this album because McLennan and Forster are poets and musicians of unique talent and drive, who create music wholly unaffected by the cult of celebrity, that has seen the contempory landscape littered with talentless and pretty (but rich) stooges. They're still "hungry" and it shows. With "Oceans Apart" they are poised to move beyond the respect and admiration of the peers.Play it once it's good but like any great album, play it a second and third time it might even reduce you to tears. Castles in the South of France beckon, at last.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Here Comes a Classic (Sort Of)
    The arrival of a new Go-Betweens album is always a hugely exciting event.For what its worth, I agree that this album fits best in the catalog of the Go-Betweens the first time around, more so than the latest two efforts.I'm one of a few, though, who regards Friends of Rachel Worth as one the better albums of the past few year, by anybody.As usual its best to first parse the record into Robert Forster's and Grant McLennan's numbers.RF contributes tracks # 1, 3, 6, 7 and 10.GM chimes in with # 2, 4, 5, 8 and 9.The balance between Forster's edgy and challenging songs and the jangling soft melodies of McLennan are still evident and it works well.RF's eclecticism is evident by a recent interview in which he named Pride and Prejudice, On the Road and Confederacy of Dunces as among his favorite books.Few albums have ever started off with the excitement of the first notes of Here ComesA City, and it manages to extend the headlong rush most of its 3:25.It deserves to become a major single and live show favorite, and has already been heard here in the US on satellite radio channels.It sounds like a train rushing headlong in the night through the outskirts of a city, which is what it purports to describe, prettied up with a killer, unforgettable guitar riff.The only downers in the song are that it could be longer and that it fades out with a whimper rather than a bang.I hope at some point we see an extended version of what is an instant classic and right up there with the best GB songs of all time.Another RF beauty is Darlinghurst Nights, which evokes all the pain and joy of the memory of leaving home and going to a strange new town."And always the traffic, always the lights, climbing that hill star studded nights" evoke dead on memories of Sydney Eastern suburb nights.The Mountains Near Delray is a dirge and is my least favorite while Born to a Family evokes too many memories of other similar Forster melodies.But Lavender is another strong combo of melody and lyric, showing off Robert's great sense of humor.Grants songs are a mixed bag but Boundary Rider (the only song recorded in Brisbane, not London) is great (also too bloody short!) and could also be a great single.This Night's For You - while not exactly as kick ass as Neil Young's This Notes For You - is riveting when played loud.So this album was well worth the wait and like greeting an old friend, even if it hasn't pushed the boundaries too much.The huge and deserved buzz for Here Comes a City should guarantee some airplay for the album in Oz and abroad.The extra disc with six live songs is a nice but not essential bonus from a band who doesn't have much published live material (prior to the re-release of the older albums anyway ....).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Oh . . . My . . . God!
    I have been a huge fan of the Go-Betweens' '80s stuff since, well, the late '80s. But I drifted away from Forster and McLennan during the '90s, not paying too much attention to their uneven solo careers, and when the first reunion album came along, I didn't even check it out, though I did go see them live.

    But I recently picked up the second reunion album, since I'd heard so many raves about it. It was good, but still not up there with their very best. And so now this new album. I must admit, the hype (MOJO rated it a "MOJO Instant Classic") lured me in, and I made sure I got a copy the day it came out. Listened to it three times in a row, and boy am I hooked. Forster is in rare form, and while the jury is still sort of out on McLennan (where is that melodic genius that displayed in the '80s and lost in the '90s?), as a whole the album is up there with their best. I need to give it a bit more time so that the McLennan songs sink in better, but I'm thrilled to have a record this challenging and engaging at this point in their career.

    And I haven't even gotten to the bonus live disc yet! ... Read more


    18. I am a Bird Now
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B000777J2S
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1907
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    It’s not often that an album released in January gets called one of the best of the year in near-unison, but the second full length by Antony and the Johnsons is so startlingly beautiful that it simply has to be. Like his friend and compatriot Devendra Banhart, Antony is a super-talented singer-songwriter with a flair for dramatic artsong. But the cherubic Antony is so original he must get mistaken for an alien quite often; he sings like a bluesy opera singer and switches timbre from masculine to feminine in the space of a breath. The only vocal comparison that comes close is Nina Simone. Antony’s honest lyrics deal with deep wounds and troubled desires with matter of fact poetry and subtle humor, as in a short story by JT LeRoy. Aided and abetted by a versatile band that’s often closer to chamber orchestra than rock act, Antony delivers a visionary album with I Am A Bird Now. Oh yeah: Rufus Wainwright, Devendra, Lou Reed andBoy Georgeall appear on here, too. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    4-0 out of 5 stars wow
    This cd is unlike any I've ever heard. I would recommend you buy it based on that alone. The songs are so touching and genuine that you can't help but feel moved. You must hear it. If nothing else listen to the sound bites.

    5-0 out of 5 stars one of the mostbeautifull albums i've heard
    Antony is with no doubt one of the most dramatic, soulfull, beautifull voices that i have ever heard in my life!
    Poetic and dramatic lyrics..you can consider this a dark album, but still full of love and happiness..with simple piano melodies, it will get stuck inside your head and soul for a long long time..!
    I am a Bird Now opens with a suberb song..although this is that kind of album that you can't decide what's your favourite song on it..every song is deadly beautifull!!
    With guest vocalists like Devenra Banhart, Boy George(i got surprised by this guest i may say..what a beautifull voice Boy still has), Lou Reed, Rufus Wainright and Julia Yasuda, who added their talent too...this album is alredy a masterpiece for me!!!
    For lovers of Nina Simone, Nick Drake, Nick Cave(boatman's call era), you all gotta hear this and trust me...you'll be overwhelmed!!!



    2-0 out of 5 stars Nothing special
    This guy's got a great voice, but the album is definitely missing something.I bought it from the reviews alone (and the appearance of Rufus on one of the tracks), but I was pretty disappointed all in all.

    However, the album has its good moments.A few well put-together chords and vocals.One or two powerful crescendos.But just not enough of them.Not an exceptional songwriter.

    The feeling I walk away with is, "a very low-key pity party."Though I still do listen to a few tracks when I'm in the right mood.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stunningly Beautiful
    What a magical discovery this album was. The person that recommended this to me is definitely on my Christmas Card List for life.

    I Am A Bird now is a sweepingly beautiful affair, from start to end. From the delicate bluesey opening of Hope Theres Someone, Antony stamps his unique style down from the outset.

    Even though we have several cameos throughout the album, Antony's style is always there, these powerful performers seem to blend in perfectly, rather than swamp the delicate nature of the music. Boy George's voice on You Are My Sister is divine (even though, had I known it had Boy George on it, my instant snobbery may have turned me away - thank god it didn't), and Rufus Wainwright's rendition of What Can I Do? is heart-breakingly beautiful - even if it is just over a minute in length; it demands several listens, over and over again, just so you can cry out "Mama! Help me liiiiive!" along with him. And of course there's Lou Reed's [spoken] opening to Fistful of Love, a cracking lead in to the album's best track (in my opinion); a kind of Elvis-style croon-a-thon, slow to start but building up throughout.

    I defy anyone to not put this album on repeat; it just begs to be left on. Sublime.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Well....
    Um, can anyone say Vibrato, just a joke. But seriously he does kinda have his style down, although it trembles like the knees of a frightened child. Some songs are startlingly beautiful, and I would argue that in some instances it's his voice that makes it so. Although there is some very good songwriting here. Anyone who likes moody, haunting balads with somewhat intresting content, although not for everyone, enjoy. ... Read more


    19. Awake Is the New Sleep
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00078GIAQ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 702
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Ben Lee has been a mainstay on alternative rock airwaves; it’s hard to believe the Australian singer/songwriter is still only 26. For album number six he comes full circle on a decade of recordings, working with producer Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Smashing Pumpkins) who spearheaded the sound of Lee’s debut record Grandpaw Would in 1995. Awake… follows a comparable blueprint of 2002’s Hey You Yes You: uncomplicated, unassuming, no-gloss pop songs. But there is evidence of a newfangled wisdom in Lee and his sketches of songwriting dexterity, which include the distinctive pop-rocker ("Catch My Disease"), the persuasive ballad ("Get Gotten"), the adoring folk number ("The Debt Collectors") and an indulgently experimental nine-and-a-half minute opus ("Light"). Code one could be the riff-fully sanguine opener ("Whatever It Is") in which the author proposes we chase our instincts, then verifies on the ensuing 13 songs that he does just that. "They might tell you that you shouldn’t," sings Lee, "But do it. Whatever it is." --Scott Holter ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    3-0 out of 5 stars In response to Human "Master Critic"
    After reading your review of Ben Lee's `Awake is the New Sleep', I was so taken aback by its stupidity and short-sightedness that I had to write a response.
    I don't think it is valid to criticize music purely on the grounds that it doesn't conform to "certain rules of songwriting and music in general that must be obeyed".Should we be calling the police?
    For your information HMC, good music ignores what it popular, what it expected and what is safe.Luminaries from Mozart to The Beatles to Eminem defied expectations on what music should be and as a result, changed the face of music for the better.
    If we don't have artists who break these "rules", either by trying to fit five words where only four will fit or using non-scale notes and chords or fusing discordant styles of music, nothing changes and as a result music becomes stale.
    Don't criticize an artist for trying something different, for trying to be individual.
    And what's all this about non-western scales sounding strange to our ears?How is this relevant?
    "Hmm, I was thinking of buying the new Ben Lee CD but after reading all this about non-tonal pentacostic scales, I think I'll buy something by an accomplished artist".Please.This seems to me as someone may have taken a music course at community college and wants to show off.
    Awake is the New Sleep is a solid pop-rock album that is evidence of a songwriter not scared to wear his heart on his sleeve.It is sure to please Lee's solid fanbase.For new listeners, it won't change your life but it does have its moments.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Surprise
    I hadn't heard of Ben Lee until I saw a review for Awake Is the New Sleep in a magazine, and I gave it a listen on my Napster to Go account. It's a catchy, captivating album with some great songs (Whatever It Is, We're All In This Together, Begin, Catch My Disease).

    I'm a big David Gray fan, and this reminds me a little of his style. Not his sound, but his style.

    I'll have to hear some of his other stuff before I determine whether this measures up to it or if he's "trying too hard" as others have said, but I do know this is a well-produced album that I keep listening to again and again.

    1-0 out of 5 stars He sucks...read more to find out why
    Ben Lee sucks.When you listen to his songs, you can tell that he takes his "craft" much too seriously.I've pinned down the primary reason why his songs are so bad.Here it is.His lyrics aren't actual lyrics, they're more like bad poetry forced to fit in a song.Let me explain.It seems like Lee sits down and writes a poem, or some lyrics (if you can call them that) and then tries to force the lyrics to fit a certain tune that was also written separately.So his songs don't sound like actual songs, but rather just words sung to some music.Lee's songs lack cohesion.Many of the words don't rhyme or fit the structure or precedent set by the words which came before.I'm an accomplished musician, and there are certain rules of songwriting and music in general that must be obeyed, or else the result sounds strange to ears that are used to the norm.Yes, originality is good, but it must exist within the confines of the rules, or else the result suffers.Have you ever wondered why traditional music from other parts of the world sounds just a little but off to our Western ears(think music from India, the Middle East)?It's because those cultures use a different tonal scale in their music.Instead of having the familiar "do ray me" scale based on octaves, they have a pentatonic scale or something even more radical.That's why their music often sounds a little strange to our ears.Lee does use the octave scale, but it's his lyrical flow that's off.The words and the music don't get along very well together.He simply says what he wants and forces it to fit the music.Lee truly sucks.I hope he rots in hell for innumerable centuries.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Trying Too Hard
    I saw Ben Lee last night at the Independent in SF. While I enjoyed his show, the songs he played which were all off of this CD were not as great as anything he's done previously starting with Noise Addict (Meet the Real Me, Young and Jaded) through his first 2 solo efforts (Grandpaw Would, Something to Remember Me By). As he said of his first solo album " i didnt try very hard to make good records in those days, and thats why they are so good i guess. pop pop pop. songs about girls. sunshine. sadness."
    -Ben Lee
    I think on this album he IS trying too hard. Maybe that's why it's not his best effort. I still think lyrically he is a great songwriter...i.e. very personal, witty and heartfelt... musically this album repeats itself a bit much for my taste. Having seen him 4 times now, even while I was watching him I kept thinking this song sounds too much like the last song. I would not recommend this album except for diehard fans that must have all of his stuff. I am however still a fan of Ben Lee!! No mistake about it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Surrender" to Ben's Disease
    ben lee is just amazingly talented and I was just gobsmacked when i first heard this album (and haven't been able to stop listening)
    I would list my favorite tracks, but there really isn't any that I don't love.
    Ben Lee is all about surrendering.Surrendering to love, surrendering to faith.His music is about opening your heart and "awakening" yourself to truly live life.There are risks, you will get burned, he sings, but the joy and peace that comes from surrender is worth everything. ... Read more


    20. The Band - Greatest Hits
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
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    Asin: B00004YL5D
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1498
    Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    It seems odd that the Band emerged in 1968, defying the counterculture's extravagant rejections of U.S. culture with literary, often Southern-tinged musical and lyrical vehicles. Hearing this 18-song anthology, with its heavy weighting toward the quintet's first three albums--Music from Big Pink (four tunes), The Band (five tunes), and Stage Fright (three tunes)--what still stands out is the Band's command of yearning vocal harmonies, their sense of plainly laid melodies that reveal acoustic depth, and a nostalgia for an imagined American culture. With all their quirkiness and the advance of Robbie Robertson as their centerpiece, the Band lost their celebrated place in the rock pantheon within a decade. This set, which opens so magnificently with "The Weight," "Tears of Rage" (cowritten with Dylan), and the big organ-vamping "Chest Fever," declines rather steeply on the final tracks, "Acadian Driftwood" and "The Saga of Pepote Rouge." Up till then, however, this set is fantastic. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Band "Greatest Hits" 2000
    I can be pretty lazy, and I have been lazy with only owning this compilation CD from the Band. In my opinion, they are one of the greatest bands of all-time. A great album if you aren't familiar with the group, but more than likely you have heard classics like, "The Weight" and "Up On Cripple Creek." So don't be like me, go get as much of the Band's music you can right now

    Highlights:
    "The Weight"
    "Up On Cripple Creek"
    "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where's the tracklisting???
    I bought this CD from a local CD shop. I had to actually go to the store to figure out the tracklisting of this CD because for some reason, AMAZON doesn't list it.

    Anyhoes, excellent compilation, although it does lean heavy on the Band's first 2 albums, Music From The Big Pink and The Band.

    But all The Band essentials are here: The Weight, Up On Cripple Creek, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Shape I'm In, It Makes No Difference, etc.

    And the best part - Its digitally remastered!!!

    A++ on the compilation!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Greatest Hits-compilation that does justice to its subject
    Opening with one of The Band's very best songs, the superb acoustic folk-rock narrative "The Weight", this collection does an excellent job of collecting most of the seminal, idiosyncratic Canadian-American ensemble's best songs.

    Originally known as Bob Dylan's backing group, The Band, once they finally debuted on record in the summer of '68, played an instantly recognizable and utterly unique blend of rock, R&B, country and various folk music styles, creating a dense, muscular sound dominated by Robbie Robertson's weaving guitar, Garth Hudson's icy, majestic Lowrey organ, and Levon Helm's supple drumming. With Robertson as the main composer, Helm shared lead vocals with pianist Richard Manuel and bass player Rick Danko (as is evident on songs like "The Weight and the epic "Acadian Driftwood", where the role of lead vocalist passes between two or three musicians).

    This compilation also includes the AOR-standart "Up On Cripple Creek", the grand ballad "Tears Of Rage", the up-tempo rocker "Rag, Mama, Rag", Richard Manuel's inimitable falsetto rendition of "I Shall Be Released", the swinging "Saga Of Pepote Route", and Robbie Robertson's classic "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", a song which is in every respect so much like an immortal folk-evergreen that it is hard to believe it has been around for only 35 years.

    There are some wonderful lesser-known songs here as well, like the tough rocker "Time To Kill", the New Orleans-styled R&B of "Ophelia", and a wonderfully melodic, superbly arranged take on Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece".
    The Band's three first albums, and 1975's "Northern Lights, Southern Cross", are all classics among modern popular music, and all of them deserve a listen. But this is a fine sampler, and a terrific place to start.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Justice to the Year 2000 Remastered Series
    The Band's "Greatest Hits" is one of the very few compilation albums that those interested in the group would be fortunate to buy before actually buying the original albums themselves. The reason for that is solely because this Greatest Hits package is from the Band Remaster series of 2000; each track here represents the amazingly sharp and high quality job the sound engineers did in restoring The Band's original catalog of work. Each track here will prove to new fans that, if they're interested in dipping into the career of this remarkable group, they should definitely choose the CD's from the 2000 editions. This is most notable on the tracks from "Stage Fright"--'The Shape I'm In' and that album's title track far outweigh the relatively flat sound heard on earlier remastering attempts. To be specific, Garth Hudson's wildly immaculate keyboards, the effects on Rick Danko's vocals, and Robbie Robertson's unusual guitar work are finally heard the way they were meant to be.
    But other than that, it has to be said that the track selection is classic--but predictable. The sequencing is a bit uneven as well...in other words, Richard Manuel's glorious, hymn-like vocal and piano on 'I Shall Be Released' somehow doesn't fit placed between the wonderfully bizarre 'Chest Fever' and the "drunkard's dream" 'Up On Cripple Creek' (which was ironically The Band's only Top 30 hit in the US). Also, the relatively mediocre 'Time To Kill' was obviously only included because it was a minor hit for "Stage Fright." Perhaps it could have been better replaced by 'The Rumor.' The classic duet between Manuel and Van Morrison on '4% Pantomime' (from "Cahoots") is missing, and the albums "Moondog Matinee" and even the swan song "Islands" could have been represented much better.
    But in the end, despite the standard compilation album bringdowns, "Greatest Hits" serves best as a clue to new fans that the 2000 Remastered Editions are the best way to go.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Buy the early albums instead.
    The Band is by all accounts seminal, legendary, and awe-inspiring. What else would you expect from a group that could get away with naming itself "The Band"? For some reason, however, the great songs just haven't yet been sequenced in a coherent "hits" package. Maybe it's just not possible.

    To those unfamiliar with The Band, the individual songs on this CD will probably not seem drastically different in approach and style. To those people, I'm sure, it all sounds vaguely like what is categorized these days as "Americana". For those who have had a chance to wade deep into the aural landscapes of the albums, this effort at plucking songs for a retrospective probably isn't any more satisfying than previous compilations.

    If you really want the most accurate retrospective, I'd suggest "The Last Waltz", which is the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's film documenting a final concert at which the Band invited old friends and mid-70's highlighters to join them in one last shebang. Mavis Staples singing in "The Weight" on that album is an astonishing vocal performance.

    Don't get me wrong; these selections are all worthy, and those who put them together did an admirable job in trying to incorporate the popular hits with those that struck a chord primarily in Band junkies. But if you're a close listener, I just don't think this selection, or any sampler of this band's oevre, can ever be as satisfying as listening to "Music from Big Pink", or "The Band", without adornment.

    I will say, though, that those who bought earlier "greatest hits" compilations should be happy to know that "Acadian Driftwood" is included on this CD. That song shone like a jewel in the otherwise leaden "Northern Lights - Southern Cross".

    For those not familiar with the Band but have been hooked by hearing "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down" or "Up on Cripple Creek" on the radio, buying this CD should not be a disappointment. The men who comprised this group are each among the finest, most creative, most emotive artists that have ever played rock music. But there's a case to be made that this group's great albums, like the aforementioned "Music from Big Pink" and "The Band", are so cohesive and powerful standing alone, that a greatest hits effort can only seem haphazard and spotty in comparison. ... Read more


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