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    $13.49 $12.29 list($18.98)
    1. Spamalot (2005 Original Broadway
    $13.49 $11.49 list($14.98)
    2. Funeral
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    3. Mitch All Together
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    4. Deadwing
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    5. Frances the Mute
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    6. Strategic Grill Locations (Dig)
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    7. The Right to Bare Arms
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    8. Haughty Melodic
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    9. Free To Be ... You And Me (1972
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    10. Harmful If Swallowed (CD &
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    11. Seussical: The Musical
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    12. American IV: The Man Comes Around
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    13. De-Loused in the Comatorium
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    14. Oscillons from the Anti-Sun
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    15. Overcoming Obstacles; A Self-Hypnosis
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    16. Brian Regan Live
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    17. Greetings From Michigan: The Great
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    18. Chakra Suite
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    19. Has Been
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    20. Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby

    1. Spamalot (2005 Original Broadway Cast)
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007OY2TE
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 16
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    As gleefully silly yet wickedly smart as the beloved British comedy troupe and their 1975 cinematic savaging of the Arthurian legend that inspired it, this adaptation ofMonty Python and the Holy Grail by MP's Eric Idle and longtime musical co-conspirator John Du Prez has much more on its feverish agenda than merely trashing King Arthur and firmly upending his Round Table. The film's plot remains largely intact, but its core songs ("Knights of the Round Table," "Brave Sir Robin") and comic thrust have been both expanded and satirically redirected, a musical comedy shotgun that takes dizzy aim at pop culture in general, and Broadway in particular. After typically Pythonesque distractions that somehow find us in "Finland..," stars David Hyde-Pierce, Tim Curry, Hank Azaria and company get busy conjuring the Lady of the Lake with the unlikely help of "Laker Girls..," while cast members Sara Ramirez and Christopher Sieber deliciously skewer contemporary Broadway cliches via the loopy showstopper "The Song That Goes Like This," a tune whose reprise also deliciously sends up every overwrought stage diva from Merman to Minelli. Idle has shrewdly ripped off--well, interpolated--Life of Brian's "Always Look On the Bright Side" for the new show, and even a snatch of "The Lumberjack Song" in "He Is Not Dead Yet." "You Won't Succeed on Broadway" reveals the frankly Semitic secret to stage success, and the French get can-canned on "Run Away!" Meanwhile, our bravest knight is de-closeted on the Manilow-mauling "His Name is Lancelot" before the familiar sound of clomping coconut shells brings down the curtain on the season's goofiest if satirically dead-on comic delight. --Jerry McCulley

    Have Fun with More Irreverent Musicals


    Urinetown

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    The Frogs

    Zanna Don't

    Hedwig and the Angry Inch

    Avenue Q

    ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The review that goes like this
    Once in every Amazon.com page there comes a review like this. It starts out with an intro and ends up with...um...an ending?

    Anyway, "Spamalot" is an outstanding musical, complete with amazing singing, wonderful orchestration, and hilarious farce. My favorite songs are "The Song that Goes Like This" and "Diva's Lament." The former is a love song about singing love songs. I'm not sure that the Lady of the Lake and Galahad are in love, but they sure know how to sing love songs, and to tell the audience how to do it. In the latter (Diva's Lament), the Lady of the Lake has not been onstage since the first act, and she is not at all pleased about it. Another great one is the Laker Girls' Cheer. The Lady of the Lake's handmaidens suddenly turn into cheerleaders to welcome Galahad to King Arthur's army.

    Purists who expect an exact retelling of the movie may be a bit disappointed, as several plot points have been changed. For example, it has been "politically corrected." As far as I can tell, references to God have been replaced by the Lady of the Lake. Considering the nature of the references to God in the movie, I'm OK with that. Instead of searching for the literal Holy Grail as they do in the movie, the grail has turned into a metaphor for the thing that each character wants the most and is seeking to find (thus removing references to Jesus).

    Also, the ending has been changed. Since I don't want to spoil the suspense, I won't tell what happens, but I was happy about that. The movie, though great, is so anticlimactic.

    My biggest problem with the musical is that two characters turn out to be gay, which is not at all in keeping with the legend. (But then, when has Monty Python stayed true to legend?)

    Overall, I think this is a great musical, and it will be enjoyed for years to come.

    "I can't believe there's more. It's far too long, I'm sure. That's the thing about this [review]. It goes on and on and on...

    The [review] always ends like this!"

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the show that goes like this
    I bought this CD the day it came out and I wish it had come out sooner! This is a wonderful Broadway Score!! Eric Idle certainly has given the Python fans and the Broadway fans something to share. It has some of the catchiest music I have heard in along time. I'm acutally listening to it right now.
    From the opening (Tuning) it starts out with a laugh. Then we move into the overture and Historian's Introduction to Act 1. That track sets the tone for the entire show. You know you are in for a laugh. I really admire people that can write songs like this. I wish I was that talented.
    Now to the music istelf. My favorite track on this CD is "The Diva's Lament (Whatever Happened To My Part)." This really struck a cord with me because, being in theater, I know people like this. I can actually picture them singing this song and being serious about it. Especially the line "Call my agent dammit!" Then she complains about it again in "TWice In Every Show." I really enjoy shows that take the time to make fun of themselves and have a good time doing it. Like Urinetown. Some other songs of honorable mention are "The Song That Goes Like This," "Find Your Grail," "You Won't Succeed on Broadway" and "His Name Is Lancelot." These are humorous songs that (to me) really sell the show. It was also nice to see them use some of the Python songs. "Knights of the Round Table," "Brave Sir Robin," "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" and "Finland." Of course some of the lyrics have been changed and others have been added, but they make the songs better in my opinion.
    As for the performers... all do a great job. I LOVE Sarah Ramirez. That woman can belt a song. I truly hope she wins a Tony Award. As for the male cast, I was surprised at David Hyde Pierce. It was nice to see him cut loose and act crazy. Chris Seiber does very weel in his songs, especially The Song That Goes like This. I'd love to sing that song. Tim Curry is good, but sometimes I feel he overplays it a bit. I know this is comedy (and I might change my view when I actually see the show in June) but he really overdoes it on some of his songs. Hank Azaria doesn't do much solo singing but what he does do is great. He was quoted once saying that he was cast in the show for his voices and not his singing and dancing. Well, we shall see when the Tony Awards are announced.
    All in all this is a great CD to add to your collection. It has comedy, great music and a great cast. Don't pass it up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Broadway show, as only Monty Python can make it
    I saw this musical at The Shurbert Theater in Chicago. At I never laughed so hard at a show period. It combined the chaos of Python with the production values of Broadway. I think it cost more to make the musical than it did in the orginal movie in 1974. Anyway, it was treat because it was the most star studded show I had ever to date. Not including seeing Sally Ringwald in When Met Sally, and David Hasseloff in Chicago, both in London. This show starred Tim Curry as Graham Chapman's role of King Arthur. When he first stepped on stage the theater erupted. So did I, because I always admired Curry. He had an amazing performance which I excepted him to do. Since he was great in Rocky Horror Picture Show. He was well perpard to off the wall crazy. Another star was David Hyde Pierce, Miles of the great show Frasier. He played "Brave" Sir Robin, Eric Idles part, who also wrote the musical. He was also incredible including one number called You Won't Succeed On Broadway(If You Don't Have Any Jew) He did a whole number just spoofing Jewish Musicals. Including Fiddler On The Roof where did the bottle dance, which got him an ovation. The next big name was Hank Azaria. He does like half the voices on the Simpsons. He could definatly do this show, where he played Sir Lancelot, and the French Taunter. Played orginally of course by John Cleese. One note about the show was that Cleese was the voice of God. I'm surprised he wasn't credited. Oh well. THe most amazing thing about the show was that the supporting cast could keep up with the big three and many times stole scenes from them. One BIG example of that was Sarah Ramirez. OMG!!!!! She was commanding and was the typical Broadway diva, which was her all around character, but she played the Lady Of The Lake, The Witch and The Cow!! They gave the cow that the French threw at the knights had its own song! Other great performers like Christopher Sieber,(who played Sir Galahad) Micheal Mcgrath(Patsy) Steve Rosen(Sir Bedevere) and Christian Borle( who for the record was the singing clerk in Thats On E-bay commerical. The songs were great. Of course they took the "Knights OF The Round Table" song. But they also included the " Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, and Hole OF The Universe from different movies. They include most of the famous scenes from the movie. THe black knight, which got an ovation. THe killer rabit, Prince Herbert. The knights that say Nie. The show was amazing the alubm is too. But if you want the full experiance, you might want to see the show.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
    Take it from a Monty Python fan who's planning a New York trip around this production, this is a must have for an self-respecting Pythonier. This album features the current and original Broadway cast of the new musical (opened March 17, 2005) basedon the infamous "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."Python member Eric Idle co-produces, lovingly ripping off moments and songs from the original. Although there are more than enough new material to make up for such indiscretions, like the inclusion of Life of Brian's "Bright Side of Life."In fact, any fear of redundancy is squished as if by a big Flying Circus foot, when stars like David Hyde-Pierce, Tim Curry, Hank Azaria lend their talents and voices to giving a fresh face to this much revered material. And speaking of fresh faces, with the introduction of the Lady of the Lake, played by Sara Ramirez, who is only referenced briefly in the movie, Spamalot achieves new levels of Broadway satire. For example, Ramirez is featured in the hilarious "The Song That Goes Like This," and "Whatever Happened To My Part?" a shot atstage and divas in general.
    Tim Curry (of Rocky Horror and the recent CD readings of the Lemony Snicket series) sounds terrific, his voice is better now than ever.While this is no substitute for see the production, I think, along with all of its links (like the historian's intros) the albumn creates a great feel for the stage show's energy.So Runnn Awwway to buy this CD.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A WONDERFUL ENTERAINING CAST ALBUM
    I just purchased the cast album of Spamalot. Unfortinatly I haven't seen the play, but judging by the cast album it must be a very entertaining musical. I haven't enjoyed a cast album like this in a long time. I've played it over and over and I enjoy it more every time I play it. It's fun, tuneful, and the cast is just wonderful. I guess if you see the play you can actually come out humming songs, especially Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life. Listening to this song, it's like having Jerry Herman back on broadway. I highy recommend this CD. ... Read more


    2. Funeral
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002IVN9W
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 188
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    Album Description

    Montreal's Arcade Fire brings a theatricality, an intensity, an insanity, and a penchant for amazing hooks to their debut full-length. You've never heard such energy, beauty, and emotion from such a young band. Fans of Neutral Milk Hotel, Broken Social Scene, and Roxy Music's first two albums will have a new favorite band. ... Read more


    3. Mitch All Together
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000DZ3HR
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 638
    Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (113)

    5-0 out of 5 stars You may have seen Mitch at the store.
    I like the previous reviewer, read at Mitch's Website that he reads these reviews. So I really hope he reads mine. It would be able to tell Mitch how awesome I think he is. Anyhow...

    I love Mitch's comedy. I have to admit that I enjoyed the first disk more, primarily because of Mitch's delivery. It is very odd, and slow pace, which I think many people sounds inexperienced or timid, but that's not the case. It's just Mitch's relaxed style, which makes every joke just a little bit funnier. On this new disk he went away from that a bit, but I prefer the old delivery. That being said, its still awesome, and much funnier than any comic I have ever heard.

    I listen to the albums all the time, and I laugh just as hard each time. Also, the DVD is great. The uncut version of the comedy central special is awesome. But damn, that crowd was harsh. I hope Mitch reads this and knows that he has made me, and all of my friends, laugh our asses of about a million times. I introduced Mitch's comedy to all of my friend, who all love him also, and tell their friends about him.

    YOU RULE MITCH! I LOVE YOU. CAN WE BE FRIENDS?

    5-0 out of 5 stars End of transaction
    As a point, I play this album for anyone who hasn't heard it. So far, every last one of those anyones has loved it. I wouldn't presume that Mitch's comedic style is for everybody, but I'd be shocked to meet someone who could sit stone-faced listening to Mitch say something like "I saw a wino eating grapes. It's like, Dude, you have to wait." In fact, I played the CD for my cousin while we were driving in his Jeep -- I had to take it out because he was laughing so hard that he was swerving off the road.
    The first time I listened to Hedberg, a friend of mine loaned me Strategic Grill Locations for a road trip. Now that I've seen how other people react to his comedy (in person, and in the unedited Comedy Central special), my initial reaction makes so much more sense than it did then. I definitely had the "what the fu#k's up with this guy" vibe for about the first quarter of the album. So did the friend I was driving with. Then before I knew it, I had tears rolling down my cheeks.
    I'd recommend Mitch Hedberg to anyone who likes comedy. There is nothing in here other than a little foul language to offend anyone -- well, unless you're watching the DVD and know anyone like I do who is missing fingers or a hand (you other fans know what I'm talking about). If you've actually read all of this review, you've already wasted time that could have been used laughing. Get off your ass!

    5-0 out of 5 stars One really funny hippie
    This dude is pretty funny.... for a hippie. Atleast I think that he is a hippie. His laid-back delivery of the jokes does seem to remind me of Steven Wright, but this guy is much more funny than Wright. His material is all over the map and doesn't seem to follow any kind of format. It's like comedy spoken by some witty guy with a serious case of ADD. I think that this is a good buy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars MITCH!!!
    You'll either love it or you'll hate it...or you'll think it's okay. Any way you slice it, Mitch Hedberg is one extremely funny man. His jokes tend to be really bad, but his delivery makes you laugh your a$$ off. I'm not really saying that his jokes are bad...what I mean is, they tend to sound like something a 7-year-old would say, but somehow Mitch makes you go "oh, yeah, I didn't realize that." Or at least, you'd be saying that if you weren't laughing so hard. I don't think that made any sense at all. But I do know this: Mitch likes Monster Magnet. Mitch likes sandwiches. And Mitch likes hotels. That's all good with me.

    Oh, there's a CD and a DVD in here. They're different sets, so there's like twice as much laugh as you may think when you go to buy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars on a...bun spaghetti and blankets
    This guy has got to be the funniest mother f-----r on the planet. Not only do you get the CD, which is completely new stuff, but a dvd with the uncensored versions of his comedy central presents special and his debut on premium blend. What are you waiting for??!! Buy it you f---ing pr!ck ... Read more


    4. Deadwing
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007XT87G
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 198
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Before the Mars Volta made prog-metal fashionable again - with a little help from the Dillinger Escape Plan and My Chemical Romance - Porcupine Tree's 2002 US debut, In Abstentia, had already laid most of the groundwork. For the middle-aged British quartet led by Steven Wilson, '70s rockers like Rush and Yes (with whom the group toured after the album's release) never went out of style but instead left behind grandiose scriptures to be studied for all of eternity. So while tighter and more efficient in spots ("Shallow," "Halo"), Porcupine Tree's Deadwing faithfully keeps the technically proficient epics coming, peaking with multi-tentacled 12-minute "Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here)." --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Deadwing is really good but In Absentia is great, enjoy both
    My 15 year son and I just drove 150 miles to see Porcupine Tree and it was worth every penny and mile. Excellent sound and music in a small venue. With songs from In Absentia, Deadwing, and Stupid Dream, it made for a perfect concert. I'd like to think of Porcupine Tree as a contemporary form of the early Genesis with Peter Gabriel (Trespass or Selling England), with a little mix of King Crimson (Bible Black or Red), while throwing in some very nice Steve Wilson (PT) influence that helps set it apart from the those groups. Production work is solid, the music is moving, and the lyrics mysterious. Only wish they would have played Open Car from DeadWing or Strip the Soul from In Absentia in the concert. But Shallow (DW) and Blackest Eyes (IA) made up for it. Check out their schedule on Ticketmaster and go see this group. You'll be screaming for more encores...........

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good News "IT ROCKS!" -Bad News "IT ROCKS"
    Well Steven, you've caught a wave to our local AOR grind and crud station. Though a novelty hearing Porcupine Tree trashing Tool, this outing is, indeed, a dead wing - it never gets off the ground. It's a sad day when Adrian Belew has to stand in to carry off the best two guitar solo's on the disc. It never occured to me in my wildest dreams that I'd be giving a PT release the thumbs down. The only redeeming quality is that this may bring (long overdo) attention to a band thats a heck of alot better than you'll hear here. Why one of the truly remarkable guitarists of our time (among other instruments) has been in a retrograde orbit since "Siginify" continues to baffle me. If you want to hear SW in his prime, listen to the classic "Dark Matter." Or better yet, get a hard-to-find issue of "Coma Divine." Now THAT'S a mind blower. My stunning introduction to PT was "In Absentia". It has been played more than any collection I've owned in 30 some odd years. If you're new to PT, don't miss their early stuff. In doing so you'll come to recognize what a truly remarkable band they are. I'll wait hopefully for the next release.

    3-0 out of 5 stars PT De Los Average
    All-in-all a somewhat boring release by PT.PT is one of my favorite bands and contrary to other reviewers, I don't think it is anything like In Absentia.....in fact, it feels more like some of the more weaker releases from "up the downstairs" or signify" era, but with more up-to-date guitar distortion.Beautiful melody is generally lacking and replaced with dry, brooding jams.Even though I rated it average, I am rating against the 'PT standard'.....so Deadwing is worthy of attention over most music out there.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Deadwing or how to leave the best song out of an album
    I must say that I'm a bit disappointed with this album. I don't know exactly why I'm disappointed because "Deadwing" is not a big departure from the "In Absentia" sound, which at the same time is not a big departure from the "Lightbulb Sun" sound, and I love both albums. Maybe that's why I don't love "Deadwing", because it doesn't break much new ground like previous albums. Do you remember the jump between "Sky Moves Sideways" and "Signify" ? or the one between "Signify" and "Stupid Dream" ? You won't find this here. The first thing you notice is that the guitar solos are moving further away from the Gilmour sound SW had in the past, which in my opinion, is a good thing. The second thing you notice is that the "heaviness" is more apparent here than "In Absentia". "Shallow" is the main proponent here, people keep saying this song works better in the context of the album, but I think it kills its flow badly. The worst song in my opinion. Before you start drawing conclusions about me, I must say that I have no problems with distortion, right now one of my favorite bands is Isis, but, I don't know, this kind of "american" or Led Zeppelin sounding riffs don't work very well with PT, for example, the hard parts in "Deadwing" or "Mellotron Scratch", and that awful Dream Theater impersonation in the middle of "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" feel out of place and ruin those otherwise cool songs in my opinion. "Halo" is the only song where the hard guitars blend in the song perfectly. The haunting chorus in "Open Car" is another example of great use of distortion, but then, the verse, which sounds similar to "Strip The Soul", one of the weakest songs in "In Absentia", kills the mood of the song. Then, we are left with the mellower songs in the album, Lazarus", "Start Of Something Beautiful" and "Glass Arm Shattering" which, in my opinion, are the best songs in the album. But, they are nowhere near the brilliance of "Half Light", which inexplicably, SW has left out of the album. My CD doesn't have the new "Shesmovedon" so I can only comment from a mp3 file. To put it simply, this new version is a clear case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    I'm reading all these reviews saying "Deadwing is their best" and "Deadwing rulez", and I'm starting to doubt if I'm listening to the same album as those people, because I don't think it's that great, it's only ok, it ranks below "Signify", "Stupid Dream", "Lightbulb Sun" and "In Absentia" in my list. One thing I'm sure is that this album won't gain new fans outside the prog and classic rock circles, Deadwing has all the elements to please the fans of these genres, and to scare people outside them. I, for one, hope SW leaves this "metal" obsession he has now, and moves into a new direction, and please, not a "back to our roots" one.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Consolidation, Not a Stretch
    Most Americans heard of Porcupine Tree with the release of 2002's In Absentia, and had a lot of catching up to do.Unapologetically progressive, it was obvious that Steve Wilson's musical collective grew up on Yes and Floyd and Tull and Genesis.Yet this being the new millennium, they were also familiar with Metallica-sized riffs and System of a Down-esoterica.Since prog is the new punk, Porcupine Tree are now seen as harbingers. Deadwing, their tenth (I think) studio release, is a consolidation not a stretch.The heaviest numbers are the most concise, especially the one-two punch of "Shallow" and "Halo".Elsewhere, they jam, particularly well on the opening title track.They're superb at it, they are, but they aren't Zeppelin, and they remind me of a wonderful (and obscure) progressive outfit from the late 70's called Crack the Sky, whom I have to admit I'd rather listen to. ... Read more


    5. Frances the Mute
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007GAEW6
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 318
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    If one needed further proof of the contemporary revival/reassessment of the ambitiously overwrought sensibilities once so reviled in 70's rock, this aggressively mind-bending second album by The Mars Volta offers it up in spades. Band mainstays Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Baxter-Zavala insist that labels like "prog" don't interest them, and that this is emphatically not a "sequel" to 2003's De-Loused in the Comatorium. What it is was thematically inspired by a stranger's diary allegedly found by late bandmate Jeremy Ward, the basis for an expansive, often amorphous musical head-trip that brews psychedelia, trance, hard-rock and free-jazz into a daunting new whole. The dozen tracks here represent but five "songs" proper, though the band's disdain for conventional track banding inspire it to sound more like a stream-of-consciousness soundscape from Can--or a dark, lyrically inventive, if decidedly troubled corner of their ids. On the "Umbilical Syllables" portion of "Cygnus.." and "The Widow" Bixter-Zavala invokes the wailing,Zeppelin II & III spirit of Robert Plant set against a feverish, swirling melange that's anything but the blues. The vocalist coaxes "L' Via l'Viaquez" en Espanol, while his band indulges its space-mambo conceits with an evocative spirit that recalls Latin Playboys at their most mischievous. It's an album that loops back on itself in a haunting ellipse--and one whose boundless ambition makes Pink Floyd sound like three-chord bar punters by comparison.--Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Reviews (267)

    3-0 out of 5 stars What a waste of talent
    After having placed De-loused as the best CD so far in the new millenium, I was really looking forward to their new record. And it has been a major dissapointment. I truly believe these guys are much more talented playing rock than playing prog. And in this CD prog dominates the whole thing. The few moments of rock brilliance are scarce and separated. If De-loused had some moments were songs started to go nowhere, here nowhere is the place where songs reside, appearing only for few moments. Omar has proved again he needs a producer with enough courage to cut songs where they have to. They seem to make longs songs just for the sake of it. Led Zeppelin played a song during 30 minutes and you didn't lose yourself. Here is just you are never found. These guys are probably the most talented guys out there right now. But TMV is having the attitude of the teeneger: rebel without a cause. Knowing they could be the greatest band, they burn their own talent. It is a real shame that such bright people don't understand that the most stupid are the ones who believe they are always right.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I Want My $$$ Back
    I don't get what everyone is raving about. This has to be one of the worst albums I have ever purchased. The only redeeming qualities are track 2 and the fact that you can use the CD as a Frisbee.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unreal, beyond comprehension
    This is possibly the most addictive, amazing album I have ever heard. To all those people who complain about the lyrics having no meaning, just take a second to realize that art is a personal thing, even if it is shared with others, meaning is not always something which artists choose to share. This album destroys all pre-concieved notions of what an album should be, what a genre should be. It is beyond description, and probably was meant to be just that. It is literally the best rock album that I know of that has come out since about 1980, and don't try to peg me as a prog fan, this has about as much to do with prog as it does with anything else. It is a melding of all of the musical influences of each member of the band, and as such, it is much more. It is something that must be experienced. If you like top 40 music, just move on. The Widow is the only track that stands a chance of pleasing you, and is easily the weakest track on the album. Seriously folks, this is one of the best rock albums of all time. And I don't say that loosely. I bought this album thinking, well, I'll give it a chance, and within the first couple of minutes it reeled me in. I have listened to it probably 30 times all the way through in the week I have owned it, and I can guarantee that I will listen to it thousands more before I put it on the shelf, if I ever do. One last thought, unless you live nowhere near a "Record Store" you should skip Amazon and go buy it at an INDEPENDENT RECORD STORE. If you live in Alaska or Idaho or something, then go with convenience and buy it from Amazon. They aren't all bad, but they, along with Wal-Mart and Best Buy, are helping destroy small record stores, and so are YOU if you buy from them instead of supporting your local independent store. That said, I like Amazon, but I don't want to lose my local store, so I always try to see if they can get something before I order it from Amazon.

    5-0 out of 5 stars VERY good!
    5 stars for the 32 minute song at the end, this album could have been just that song and it would be great. All the other songs are pretty good as well, but number 5 is pure Genius!

    5-0 out of 5 stars MUSIC IS SAVED!!
    This is the best music that i've heard since Led Zeppelin IV.I believe that this is the classic rock of our time.Every song contributes to the great story of a person looking for his biological parents.If you do not have this album then you probably should start working on that, broseph.But hey don't overlook this one, seriously. ... Read more


    6. Strategic Grill Locations (Dig)
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $11.99
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    Asin: B0000YTOQM
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 773
    Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best comics i have heard
    ive seen mitch all over comedy central and late night with david Letterman and i have been to one of his shows and bought this cd there. It is so funny. it is unedited and even the parts that didnt go well with the audience, mitch had something funny to say. His unique style and delivery sets him apart from most comics and his quick qit keeps you on your toes. there is no down moment and mitch keeps you asking "where does he come up with this stuff." i have yet to play this cd for someone who didnt enjoy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Six people isn't convincing...but...
    Mitch is the man to watch for! Mitch's delivery is mellow/laid back on this cd not only is he funny, but he makes you see things in a different light. Not everyone can do comedy about everyday life instead of politcal views, etc. I have both of Mitch's cds, they're both great, but I like this one the best!

    5-0 out of 5 stars You'll need an oxygen tank.
    He has an offbeat delivery that grows on you quickly. Good Lord, this guy is funny. I first saw him on a Comedy Central special and thought, why haven't I heard of him before? People compare him to Steven Wright because he does a lot of observational humor but he is more varied and interesting in demeanor. I'm thinking more like George Carlin re wordplay and intelligence. But this Mitch fellow is a treasure and I enjoyed 'discovering' him accidentally while channel surfing. I didn't think that sort of thing happened anymore in the heavily marketed and hyped world we live in. Five stars all the way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Here comes the funny
    Hands down, the funniest thing I've ever owned, heard or seen. Mitch has a mellow, laid-back delivery on this CD that's absolutely hysterical, and some off-the-wall one liners and jokes that catch you off-guard. Give the previews a listen, and if you find them remotely funny, pick up the CD. Soon, you will be sharing his CDs with all your friends, and quoting him daily.

    5-0 out of 5 stars fruit on the bottom... hope on top!
    Mitch Hedberg is a comedy genius. I have been a serious comedy fan for most of my life, and in terms of the sheer creativity and inventiveness of his material, I'd easily put Mitch among the top five standup comics of all time. The material reminds me a lot of Steven Wright and (to a lesser extent) Woody Allen's standup comedy (yes, Woody Allen was a standup comedian once, and he was one of the best). The material is incredibly off-the-wall and absurd -- Mitch has a gift for taking even the most mundane things in life and finding the humor in them. Anyone who can make a screamingly funny joke out of the inside of the top of a yogurt container is seriously talented. In addition, Mitch's vocal style is unique. He talks as if he just learned to speak a few days ago, and continually puts the stress on the wrong syllables of words. It's weird but it's oddly charming, and you will find yourself talking like him if you listen to his jokes too much. This CD contains tons of really great material, and every comedy fan should own a copy of it. I hope that Mitch gets the recognition he deserves -- he's truly one of the shining stars of standup comedy. ... Read more


    7. The Right to Bare Arms
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B0007QS4T6
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 435
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Album Description

    Larry the Cable Guy's "Git-R-Done!" call-to-arms is sweeping the country. Now The Right To Bare Arms, recorded in Houston in January 2005, becomes his first solo effort to to be originally released on a major label. A blue-collar guy for the red states, Larry the Cable Guy reaches for the sky with The Right to Bare Arms. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars We laughed so hard we were in tears
    My husband and I received our copy of "Right to Bare Arms" yesterday. We couldn't wait to here it. Every one of his stories had us laughing so hard that we were in tears. I didn't even know he had a new CD until last week so I ordered it immediately. We have just about wore out his other's. We love him. His stuff never gets old. We aren't even Red Necks!

    5-0 out of 5 stars PC is not Git'n R' Done!
    Don't you dare call Larry a dummy.Beneath his bib overalls, giant hillbilly arms and thick accent could be one of the smartest guys out there right now doing standup.Why?Because he has common sense, and uses it in his act and he succeeds on many levels.Yes he resorts to some low blows here and there (wiggle worms in particular but it's still funny I admit), but the audience feels the resonance in his unPC ness you can almost here a revolution forming with their applause, casting off the slaven shackles.Larry doesn't stoop to church bashing to get a laugh (his analysis of the "exercise program" at the Catholic church was in good taste and spot on, I should know) endless drug humor which I think gets touched on only a smidge, nor use a lot of profanity either.I don't mind profanity but if you can be funny without it more power to you.Larry has skill and delivery to get him through the shows.

    A great leap beyond his first CD LORD I APOLOGIZE since it's longer and has newer material (well stuff I haven't heard anyway).The bits of music are here, the toddler mail is here, but still no Christmas Carols and his analogies are severly cut down (ie I was as angry as a skinhead watchin' the Jeffersons!)It's okay though since the rest of the material hits a home run.To close, Larry rocks and I hope theres more to come.

    gitrdone!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Once again a redneck masterpiece from Larry
    # 11 is the best only because Larry talks about the preset hitting cripple people to heal them. The Toddler mail once again is great.
    (My first review so it SUCKS)

    GIT-R-DONE! ... Read more


    8. Haughty Melodic
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B00080EV7A
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 349
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    Amazon.com

    Finally, the world is treated to Mike Doughty's first "full-band" album since Soul Coughing disbanded in 1998. Doughty has clearly morphed from hyperactive ironic hipster to a world-class songwriter with lyrics that are funny ("I want to run away and join the office") and self-deprecating but never emo ("All my life I've been slow and senseless/Not struck dumb I'm just dumb that's all"). If you're looking for faults you can always find them, and to be sure some of the playing is overly "pro" and not as funky as M.D. live. The perfect pedal steel touches throughout are actually icing on this cake, and the drummer dude from N.E.R.D.'s metronomic bashing's hardly a bummer. The songs on the album will be familiar to fans who've seen him live, and thanks to Haughty being recorded over a long stretch of time (the songs themselves honed that way too) it has a "greatest hits" feel to it: all killer, no filler. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more


    9. Free To Be ... You And Me (1972 Television Cast)
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
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    Asin: B000002VDL
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 283
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    There are thousands upon thousands of children's albums out there, but the one that quietly left its mark with more '70s children than perhaps any other album was this disc. Free to Be...You and Me was a pet project of proud feminist Marlo Thomas (a.k.a. "That Girl"), and it was born--according to the liner notes--by the desire to provide her niece with music "to celebrate who she was and who she could be." Harry Belafonte sings "Parents Are People," ex-football great Rosie Grier offers an incredible, touching melody titled "It's All Right to Cry," and Diana Ross waxes future-positive on "When We Grow Up." A great hour of brain food for young--and not-so-young--children. --Denise Sheppard ... Read more

    Reviews (153)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Marlo Thomas & Friends- Free to Be You and Me
    Most of the songs are delightful and positive. I do have one serious problem with one track however. The "Housework" track promotes a negative attitude toward housework that should not be instilled in anyone. My wife and I enjoy housework! Obviously, one's attitude toward housework is subjective, and therefore, should not be presented as a fact that mommy and daddy hate housework, and so will you when you grow up. Since we all have to do housework, we should promote a more positive attitude toward it. There is dignity in all honest work, including housework. I want my children to learn to enjoy housework. The track should focus primarily on the cooperative, fun, and rewarding aspects of housework. Incidently, if you want THE MOST FABULOUS (6 stars) children's music audio/video, check out Parachute Express' "Feel the Music." Our entire family dances and sings to it every day! It is absolutely fabulous! Ron Schlegel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Makes me wish I grew up with this
    On an episode of "Inside the Actor's Studio," Gwyneth Paltrow cited this album as one of her major influences in life. This piqued my interest, and I grabbed it at my local library. I was so pleased that I wished my parents had this for me when I was a child in the 1980s.

    The messages are all very positive and life-affirming, even for adults. The "Free To Be... You And Me" theme song is just joyful. I love "William's Doll" for the pure affection of the Grandmother. The story of Atalanta is great, even for girls today. The line from Atalanta's father, the King, "Everyone gets married. It's what people do!" was surprisingly resonant. Not everybody gets married; some are meant for single life. The story's happy ending was satisfying, and good parents would be pleased if their daughter or son was happy whether they were married or not.

    "When We Grow Up" and "Glad To Have A Friend" show how good friends in childhood can really form a child's personality and outlook on their future.

    I love this, and I love that it sounds like the 19670s. Perfect.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Begs more questions than it answers
    I read a ton of the reviews and decided to check this CD out at the library to listen to it before buying. I was not one of the nostalgic parents who remembered this from childhood. After listening to it, I decided not to buy it. I REALLY did not care for this CD. Not only did I feel there was too much talk and not enough music, but the talk itself begged questions that probably don't even cross the minds of your average 2-3 year old (such as the "girls are just as good as boys" theme)-- your girl won't even wonder if she's as good as a boy if you don't make a "thing" of it and just treat her right. Anyway, this CD bugged me a lot because of issues like that.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Still timely after all these years
    I'm happy to finally own this album after having seen the video as an elementary school child. There are both songs that children can still sing when they feel they are too old for "children's music" such as "Free to Be You and Me" and whimsical songs smaller children would like such as "Helping." This album had a few pleasant surprises I didn't remember as a child, such as the hilarious "Housework" performed by Carol Channing. This album is startlingly ahead of its time with its message of self-esteem, liberating ideas on gender, and unselfconsciously racially integrated cast.

    I feel the language and subject matter in this album can be safely rated G (even in "Boy Meets Girl," when a girl and boy baby humorously debate who is the girl and who is the boy). This album is safe for households concerned about media encouraging bad behavior in their children. On the other hand, this album is best avoided by households that wish to instill "traditional" gender roles in their children.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Yes! On to the next generation...
    This album was one of my formative influences as a kid. Now that many of my friends are having kids of their own, I'm passing it along to all the new parents I know.

    If you love(d) this album, do yourself a favor and get the companion book, _Stories for Free Children_. It explores the same themes of compassion, cooperation, and fun.

    On a side note, it was a revelation to come back to "Free to Be" in my college years and realize how many of the performers were Famous People. ... Read more


    10. Harmful If Swallowed (CD & DVD)
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B00009V7U2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 303
    Average Customer Review: 4.96 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (211)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Laughed so Hard, I Cried
    As an avid Dane Cook fan, I went out and bought this lovely cd/dvd combo the day it was released...and I wasn't at all disappointed. This cd is actually a re-release of a cd Dane had available to buy on it website (which I bought months ago). So despite being familiar with nearly all the material on the cd, with the exception of a hysterical bonus track, I still laughed my ... off. Tracks 18, 19, and 22 remain my favorites (Just Wanna Dance, Head, and Not So Kool-Aid, respectively) and the bonus track is a guaranteed knee-slapper. Dane is a very animated and physical comic and the dvd does a great job of showing this. The uneditted version of his Comedy Central Presents special is almost worth the price of whole set alone. This is when the tears started spurting from my eyes; it was just that funny. If his bits about Catholic mass, car accidents, board games, and his ex-girlfriends don't have you rollin' in the aisles, then you, my friend, don't have a soul. Harmful if Swallowed is perfect for any comedy fan. Dane is a comic genius. Plus, you get a cd AND a dvd for the price of just one cd. It's a great deal. You won't be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dane Cook Rocks My Skull!
    Dane Cook is the hottest comic around that you may not know. This CD/DVD is hilarious. There are 24 tracks on the cd and I promise you'll be in tears by the end of it. The DVD is packed with almost 2 hours of video, including a full one-hour UNCUT stand-up performance that made it on Comedy Central. Dane gives 110% at every performance and does everything to make his fans laugh. I don't care if you have to beat up your nana that cheats at monopoly to get the $ for this CD/DVD, you need to hear this. The art on the actual cd's is worth the money...I laughed out loud when I saw it. Dane will have you rolling on the floor by the end of his performance. Forget Chris Rock, Forget Mitch Hedburg, Forget Jerry Seinfeld...Dane Cook is the comedian for a new generation...Check this out. You'll be quoting with your friends after the first time you listen to it.

    -MFC

    5-0 out of 5 stars Whoever invented steam sucks!
    This is good comedy. As with most recorded comedians, the delivery is funnier than the joke itself. I was wholly unimpressed with his delivery until I saw the DVD. Dane Cook is as animated and colorful as Pablo Fransisco and as random as Dave Attel, which makes for a fun show, but he has placed himself in a high competition zone. For the hilarity of his comedy he deserves five stars, although for both overall laughs and laughs-per-minute he falls behind such heavyweights as Lewis Black, Mitch Hedberg, and Robin Williams.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
    Can't say enough good things about this CD. Will make you cry from laughing so hard. If your a comedy CD afficianado as I am, this is a must own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Orgasmic
    By far the greatest comic performing today and the funniest CD ive ever heard. ... Read more


    11. Seussical: The Musical
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B000056QFG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 853
    Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Seussical: the Musical, which is based on Dr. Seuss's beloved characters, made the news even before its Broadway opening, as tales of disastrous out-of-town tryouts multiplied and creative turmoil abounded. But the show has its fans--Rosie O'Donnell, for one, likes it so much that she jumped in to play the Cat in the Hat for a month while Roger Bart was on vacation. And guess what? As conceived by Ragtime's Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Seussical isn't nearly as bad as its reputation would suggest. While Junior digs the familiar characters, Mom and Dad will notice that "A Day for the Cat in the Hat" could be an outtake from Cabaret--if that show had been rated G, of course--while "It's Possible" suddenly turns into an Elton John-type romp midway through. Easy on the ear and very pop, this is a kid-friendly cast album that won't insult an adult's intelligence. --Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more

    Reviews (75)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great music, Great show.
    I personally love this CD mainly because over 4/5 of the songs are good. The tunes are catchy, the lyrics are good (although Seuss himself should have gotten more credit on the lyrics than was given to him.) The lyricist mainly does a pretty good job of sounding like Seuss, though there are some bad lyrics here and there. Some of my favorites are ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE, AMAYZING MAYZIE, ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE, HERE ON WHO, and HAVIN' A HUNCH. Oh, and you can't forget CHASING THE WHO'S. Horton is great for the part, nice softer voice, very sweet sounding. Gertrude is great, she deserves a tony. David Shiner is wonderful as the Cat in the Hat, although he sometimes sounds kind of strange, but i guess that is just the show. Jojo is great, and has a good voice for an 11 year old, he certainly sings better than I could when i was 11. If you love musical theatre, (and even if you don't) buy this CD!!!! It's well worth your 14 dollars, or however much it is.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Seussical- a plotless revue would have been better!
    Despite the bad reviews the show got, the music from this show is outstanding! Being a music teacher and drama director, I can honestly say that this one of Broadway's best scores in years. I think the idea of a Dr. Seuss musical is wonderful but I think they did it wrong. It should have been a revue giving each Dr. Seuss character their own moment to shine. Instead, the musical weaves all of the stories together- many in which I forgot about. However, the main plot is "Horton Hears A Who." Even as an elementary school educator, I did not remember every detail of the story so it was hard to follow the cd. Why isn't the cat in the hat the main character? I can understand how people who are not that familiar with the stories dislike the show. I wish I could rewrite it for them as a revue using the genuine score which would fit! My favorite tracks are "Oh The Thinks You Can Think" -that's how you open a bway show!, "Green Eggs and Ham" -yet we have to wait for the curtain call to hear it and there's no Sam I Am?, Horton and JoJo's ballad "Alone In The Universe," "A Day For The Cat In The Hat," "McElligot's Pool," "Notice Me, Horton," "Here On Who," "How Lucky You Are," and that's it. The rest is ok but so related to the plot. The cast sings brilliantly especially Horton, Gertrude, JoJo and although I'm not a fan of the character , Sour Kangaroo is fantastic. Finally, David Shiner who plays the Cat in the Hat who got ripped to shreads by the critics is absolutely PERFECT!!!! He's sounds very giddy, bubbily, and priceless! The critics knocked his singing but the cat should alter singing, speaking, and word play- a la Seuss. Bravo Mr. Shiner and forget those critics- I think they wanted you to fail. *One more think: When I cast my school productions, I give the parts to the kids who deserve them whether male or female. However, I'm really glad Rosie O'Donnell, who I am a fan of, didn't sing the role on the cd- I think a male should play the cat . So listen Mr. and Mrs. Weissler (the producers,) I admire your talent and energy in bringing this production to the stage and making the cd possible, but I think the revue format would have worked better with many of the vocal selections. If you would like me to rewrite the show for you from an elementary educator's point of view, let me know!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE SEUSSICAL!
    This CD is INCREDIBLE! There are TONS of songs, GREAT songs. I can say not ONE thing bad about it!!! In the booklet at the front of the CD you they have all of the words to EVERY SONG except for reprises and i think there are only 2!!! I advise you to BUY IT NOW!!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars SEUSSICAL SOUNDTRACK is AMAZING
    The Seussical soundtrack is amazing! The songs are great, the singing is great (especially Janine LaManna as Gertrude, Sharon Wilkins as the Sour Kangaroo and Anthony Blair Hall as Jojo - a great voice!) What mostly amazed me was the percussion by Warren Odze and Charles Descarfino in the orchestra. The percussion was fantastic! I can't stop listening too this cd! Seussical truly is amazing!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great
    I cant wait to be a part of this musical this summer. It is a very fun show. It is a breath of fresh air from lots of other musicals. Its not that I don't like depressing musicals, I DO! But it feels good to see a happy musical. ... Read more


    12. American IV: The Man Comes Around
    list price: $13.98
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    Asin: B00006L7XQ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 297
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    On first thought, the idea of the Man in Black recording such covers as "Bridge over Troubled Water," "Danny Boy," and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" might seem odd, even for an artist who's been able to put his personal stamp on just about everything. But American IV: The Man Comes Around, which also draws on Cash's original songs as well as those by Nine Inch Nails ("Hurt"), Sting ("I Hung My Head"), and Depeche Mode ("Personal Jesus"), may be one of the most autobiographical albums of the 70-year-old singer-songwriter's career. Nearly every tune seems chosen to afford the ailing giant of popular music a chance to reflect on his life, and look ahead to what's around the corner. From the opening track--Cash's own "The Man Comes Around," filled with frightening images of Armageddon--the album, produced by Rick Rubin, advances a quiet power and pathos, built around spare arrangements and unflinching honesty in performance and subject. In 15 songs, Cash moves through dark, haunted meditations on death and destruction, poignant farewells, testaments to everlasting love, and hopeful salutes to redemption. He sounds as if he means every word, his baritone-bass, frequently frayed and ravaged, taking on a weary beauty. By the time he gets to the Beatles' "In My Life," you'll very nearly cry. Go ahead. He sounds as if he's about to, too. Unforgettable. --Alanna Nash ... Read more

    Reviews (236)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reach out and touch faith...
    This American Recording is different. On this album Johnny Cash (who is now 70 years old) never tries to fool himself or us listeners into thinking that he's going to keep on making album after album after album. Let's face it - the voice is even more ragged and torn than last time (American III) and the lyrics are even more desolate, lonesome, and dark than ever before. But this album of new and old originals & covers is probably one of the most beautiful I've ever heard.

    Johnny Cash is not a singer. He never was. But without that dark baritone these songs would not have the impact that they do. I could talk about ever individual track on the album - but I'd rather just make it short and sweet by mentioning a few personal favorites.

    "The Man Comes Around" - A Cash original that seemed to take a lot of time to get down (coming from the linear notes). Amazing song about that thing called the apocolypse and judgement day. Nobody could do it like Cash. Nobody...

    "Hurt" - Johnny Cash takes one of Trent Reznor's (Nine Inch Nails) best songs and makes it even better. Not only does Cash make the song better but he also makes it seem as if the song was meant for just him. Oh, and there is a word change. Where Reznor would say "I wear this crown of sh*t", Johnny now says "I wear this crown of thorns." The change first kinda put me off but then it seems that Johnny's variation make much more sense then the first.

    "Bridge over Toubled Water" - just a great cover of an amazing classic. Fiona Apple adds some tender backing vocals that help Johnny along this tune of trouble and redemption.

    "First time ever I saw your face" - Just as where Cash left off on "Spiritual" (from American II) he starts back at with this one. Truly beautiful. Sounds as if they recorded it in a church for Johnny has this amazing echo on his voice. If you don't get tears in your eyes from this one, you're hopeless.

    "Sam Hall" - one of the "lighter" tracks, but still painted in black.

    "I'm so lonesome I could Cry" - I don't know how it happened. They got 2 of the most interesting singers to appear on a country classic. Nick Cave (who's a big favorite of mine) lent "The Mercy Seat" to Johnny's last American Recording (III), but this time he's lending his voice. Cash and Cave swap lines from this Hank Williams classic.

    "We'll meet Again" - so you go through this dark and cold world where people can't even remember how to pray let alone carry a bible and then you come to the end and a smile is finally cracks and some light pours through as the door opens. Cash ends on a positive note and the whole damn Cash family joins in at the very end.

    Who knows if Cash will record anymore albums. It's hard to tell. The man is in and out of the hospital constantly (or so it seems) and any one of us would've probably called it quits. Elvis didn't make it, Orbison didn't make it, but the Man in Black is still reaching out and touching us. He's still tormented by the feeling that music must be played. He's still not thinking that this will be the last song he sings. He's still got soul and he's still got love.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Songs from the other side of the grave
    Ever heard a dead man sing? If you personally lack that singular experience, then listening to this album is probably as close as you will ever get. I am referring not to the man's much-publicized recent health problems, but rather to his voice - one of the great treasures of American music - on this recording. Although it is as unmistakable as ever, you can hear the age, the experience, and the wisdom in Cash's voice - not to mention the depths of dispair. I pray I can sound this good when I am 70. The lyrical content of the album is in keeping with this motif. Though it contains only one newly-written song - something which I don't think many people have realized, as almost every review I've read of the album refers to multiple new songs - it is one of the most autobiographical albums of Cash's career. The vast majority of the songs focus either on death or on looking back at one's life. The one new song, the title track, is an absolute masterpiece and - dare I say - one of the best songs Cash has ever written (though, indeed, if Johnny wrote "three dozen pages of lyrics" to the song before weeding it down to what we have on the album, as he states in the booklet, surely he could have found a replacement for the "father hen" verse.) Scary and convincing, it gets the album off to a great start, and deftly sets the tone for the rest of the material. What follows are 12 covers - some traditional, some very well-known - as well as new workings of two classic Cash songs. These latter two tracks are highlights of the album, and Cash's new throaty growl sheds a previously undreamed-of light on Give My Love To Rose. The covers, on the other hand (and unlike on the previous albums in the American series) are more of a mixed bag. Though the man has proved again and again that he can perform absolutely any song in existence, the key to the covers on the previous American albums is that they were, for the most part, relatively obscure songs - or, at any rate, not tracks as well known as Desperado, In My Life, and Bridge Over Troubled Water. There are already so many versions of these songs out there (not to mention the fact that the original versions were already perfect and incapable of being equaled) that the question of whether or not we need one from Cash is debatable. Though I would not call them necessarily superfluous - I actually quite like the album's version of Bridge - they certainly were not necessary. Apparently, Cash and Rubin (probably the latter more than the former) now consider a diverse set of covers obligatory. Still, some are essential. Cash's version of Trent Reznor's Hurt is masterful and lends the song a depth and profundity merely hinted at on the original. Though NIN fans might be quick to dismiss Cash's changing the lyric "I wear this crown of ...." to "crown of thorns" as an old man's squeemish desire to be PC, it, in fact, makes much more sense than the original line, as well as being more meaningful and profound. Having never before heard Sting's original version of I Hung My Head, I was surprised to find that this great song was written by a songwriter that I normally despise; of course, Cash makes it his own. Bridge Over Troubled Water, which has been maligned in many reviews but which was also nominated for a Grammy, is a nice rendition; to this day, it is hard for me, just like anyone else, to imagine the song without Art Garfunkel's soaring angelic vocals, but Cash's deeply emotive growl is a nice trade-off. The Man In Black's duet with his greatest prodigy, Nick Cave, is also a worthy track. That said, though I hate to critize one of the greatest singers of our time, the man seems to have merely mailed in his version of the oft-covered Beatles classic In My Life - though it can still manage to draw a tear from your eye, just from thinking of Cash's life story while listening to him sing it. Though not quite as good as the previous American albums - perhaps it is time for the man to move on or re-evaluate their format - this is still a very good album, worth owning for the first two tracks alone. One can only hope that the sentiment Cash expresses in the final song - We'll Meet Again - holds true.

    4-0 out of 5 stars As cool as it is moving.
    It's amazing how popular this album became, but that's fine, just more people to love "Johnny Cash". This 4th of the "American Recordings" albums is as good as the others, though you can hear that his voice is weaker than it was before. His originals here are all excellent as always, especially the title track, however "American 4" is also cover heavy. He does the popular "Nine Inch Nails" song "Hurt", as well as songs by "Simon And Garfunkel", "Sting", "Depeche Mode", "The Beatles", and "The Eagles". As always, he seems to make each song his own. Overall I actually like "Unchained" better, but this and all of his albums are wonderful. It's the sound of cool country.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get the version with the "Hurt" DVD
    Buy the version with the DVD containing the "Hurt" video, the most moving music video I have seen. Without the video, the song is powerful; with it, one can experience even more, as the images are well selected and well arranged.

    Although I am an atheist, I enjoyed Cash' version of the End Times on "The Man Comes Around," using such interesting phrases as "The Father Hen will call his chickens home" and the Biblical parablic allusion about the virgins trimming their wicks.

    Perhaps the most moving line is to hear Cash, with his faded voice, sing, in "Streets of Laredo," "It was once in the saddle
    I used to go dashing," realizing his dashing days are long gone, with the sum of his days nearly expired as well.

    A wonderful album that you do not want to miss. Just be sure you get the DVD, as well.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Last Testament.
    His voice is weathered but the overall effect is quite good. The cover of the Trent Reznor song, "Hurt," is surprising in its complexity and beauty. I would never have expected Johnny to sing that song so hauntingly which is in keeping with the theme of the free video DVD which is attached. "Danny Boy" is strong but the title track is superlative. His short interpretation of the biblical passage of the white rider bringing death is fantastic. I was not prepared for the way in which in this CD grew on me. ... Read more


    13. De-Loused in the Comatorium
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $13.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00009V7T2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2092
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (333)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow
    When Cedrick and Omar left At The Drive-In at the brink of stardom many people thought they had lost their minds. At the Drive-In had achieved a rare combination of commercial and critical success and several music publications had pegged them as the next Nirvana. Nevertheless Cedrick and Omar knew they could never create the music they desired to create in that setting. After breaking up ATDI they assembled a cast of supermusicians and consolidated under the name The Mars Volta. Their debut album Deloused in the Comatorium attests to the power of their creative vision. A stunning fusion of Post-Hardcore, Prog-Rock, Free-Jazz, Classic Rock, and Salsa; it could be the most revolutionary rock album since Radiohead's Ok Computer. The visceral energy and creative songwriting of ATDI remain, however the standard Post-Hardcore backdrop has been replaced with a style all their own. The emotional and intelligent themes of their past work also remain. The entire album is a tribute the the late Julio Venegas, a close friend of the band who commited suicide in 1996. It is a fictional account of the visions he possibly experienced in a coma following a failed suicide attempt, however the lyrics are often abstract and it is possible to derive your own meaning from them. This is a must-buy for any fan of quality music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Breath Of Fresh Air
    Finally, a cd I don't mind spending my hard earned money on! I can't stop listening to this disc. I have been so bored with all of the "wanna be / sound like that band" crap that I kind of gave up on the music biz. Mars Volta really doesn't bring anything new to the music arena. They've done a great job reinventing prog-rock. They've taken Yes' "Close To The Edge" album and added a harder edge, some latin rhythm flavoring, and a live feel I have not heard on any recording in a while. When I listen to this record, I get the feeling that I'm at their live show. I can't wait to see them tonight (they will be in town tonight). At The Drive In was good. Mars Volta, to me, is better. With the addition of Red Hot Chili Pepper's Flea on bass, this collection of songs is something not to be missed. Flea is excellent on this one. If you're a drummer, like me, you owe it to yourself to check the drummer out. BUY THIS CD!!!!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well...I'm De-Loused
    Let me Preface this review by saying this is my favorite CD I own. That being said, It still gets 4 stars, not 5. While the band is enormously talented, the production is over the top. This really shows through in "Cicatriz ESP". The song starts and ends strong, but whats with the 3 or 4 minutes of ambient noise in the middle? I also am a strong believer that, while the lyrics have a cool sound, they are absolutely there as a formality; and no one, including the writer, really understands what phrases like "Exoskeletal junction at raliroad delay" really means. The Vocals are absolutely fantastic. That man has an amazing range. Theres some amazing fast pitched tempo changes such as on "Drunkship of Lanterns". All in all its a fantastic cd if you don't mind a little over-indulgence on the writer and producers part.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Effort Appreciated
    To quote another review, I appreciate what The Mars Volta is trying to do here. But the fact of the matter is that it's not easy listening.

    When I first heard this CD, I thought the people who recommended it to me had gone insane. It sounded awful. But I decided to keep coming back to it every once in a while, as I am a big fan of concept works and I could tell the band had put a lot of thought and effort into the project.

    Gradually, I started to like a few of the tracks - Televators, Son Et Lumiere, and Inertiatic ESP. These kept bringing me back, and from there I began to appreciate a few of the others. The only songs I still don't "get" are This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed and Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt.

    Anyway. The point here is that while the songs definitely require some adjusting to, the album as a whole is a coherent, focused work. And I like that. Especially when most bands just seem to throw twelve unrelated tracks on a CD and call it an album. That's why I give this album five stars: it's unique, creative, and inspired. And that's a lot more than 90% of the bands around today can say.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Emo band discovers Prog
    Neil Peart of Rush plugged these guys in the recent Drum! Magazine (along with Porcupine Tree), so I figured I check them out. It's pretty high-energy, sort of spastic music, which sounds like a cross between Elliott, Cave-In, and King Crimson. I expected better drumming, given the recommendation, but it's serviceable. The third song "Roulette Dares" even has a Rush homage at 2:02 minutes (YYZ). The guitar-work is the real strength, but there are so many Robert Fripp-sounding riffs throughout the album that I'm undecided as to whether it's cool or just derivative.

    As a whole, the cd is somewhat erratic, the songs don't "build" structurally so much as do the Nirvana loud-soft, fast-slow modulation, but sometimes the music just gels, as in song #10 "Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt", which even manages a Corea-esque jazz feel. ... Read more


    14. Oscillons from the Anti-Sun
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $22.99
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    Asin: B0007YMRWS
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2664
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    When you're a prolific band that also happens to be mighty friendly to your obsessive compulsive collector fan base, you wind up releasing a lot of singles and EPs with material that's otherwise unavailable on your albums. And here, for the price of a Japanese pressing of the Fluorescences EP on an auction site alone, you get Stereolab's eight Elektra EPs, from 1993's Jenny Ondioline to 2001's Captain Easychord. The "groop"'s collaborative EPs ( Crumb Duck, Uilab) are not included, but there is a DVD with rarely-seen videos and television performances. This box set serves far more than a plug-the-gaps exercise for trainspotters; as with the singles collections Switched-On volumes one, two and three (did we not mention this band is prolific?), it's an intriguing retrospective of the band in their mature years. And unlike those comps, this set often highlights the band's more lengthy, experimental songs. "Les Yper Yper Sound," for instance, John McEntire's distorted, delightfully repetitious reworking of "Yper Sound" from Emperor Tomato Ketchup, is spine-tinglingly awesome.--Mike McGonigal ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Stereolab-'Oscillons From The Anti-Sun'(Too Pure)3-CD/1 DVD
    'Oscillons...' gives fans a real treat,a three audio disc and one DVD box set.Total of 35 songs,of which 28 will be new to most Stereolab followers EXCEPT for those die-hards who put out big $$ to purchase past import releases.Despite it's cheap-o packaging,this box set is very nice to have.Most of the tracks are lesser known singles and B-sides.The DVD is great,with it's live performances,video clips and other visual surprises.Should appeal to fans of Air,Yo La Tengo,Spacemen 3,Mouse On Mars and Tortoise.

    5-0 out of 5 stars God Bless Stereolab!
    This box set is a welcome addition for the die-hards AND casuals, and it's nice having all of these EP's and singles in one place. I have no idea why others are having such a hard time opening their boxes however; it's really not that hard! And aside from one tiny little split in the corner, my box seems really sturdy and finely made.

    The sticker set is a wonderful addition to this box collection, so make sure and get your box set now before it goes into a second pressing and they disappear! The set includes eight (8) 4x4 inch stickers with great art work. Suitable for framing! At just around twenty bucks for 35 tracks and a DVD, you just can't go wrong with this. Even if you've not heard one single lick of a stereolab song and if you're a semi-casual fan of electronic music, try them out!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Damn That Packaging
    I really do like this latest compilation from Stereolab but I do have to knock a point off for the packaging that the band insists on providing.I thought the last two Switched On compilations were annoying with their flimsy cardboard but this one beats them both (although my copy of S.O. 3 did fall apart about a minute after I got it so I couldn't put the disc in with out it falling out).With "Oscillons...", Stereolab gives us an incredibly difficult to open as well as bulky box with cheap sleeves inside to hold the discs, including the DVD.C'mon, are you so against simple plastic jewel cases?Well, other than the box it comes in, I do indeed recommend this latest compilation from Stereolab even like many other fans, all of the trouble we went through to get those import EPs and singles seem to have lost its shine now that a proper domestic collection is out but at least you had them before a lot of others and thus got the pleasure of hearing some of the band's finer material years before a lot of people did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ketchup in a box!
    Ok, I kid - it's actually "catch up" for all those of us who discovered Stereolab later rather than sooner.I'm sure I'm not alone - my first Stereolab CD was 2004's sublime Margarine Eclipse, which prompted me to search for the earlier CDs and EPs.My advice to fellow latecomers: dive into this box set!As other reviewers noted, this is a great collection.

    A few thoughts about the DVD included in this set: one of the first things I heard about Stereolab was that they were exceptional in concert, and I was disappointed that I could not find any DVDs of their shows.The DVD in this collection has eight "promos" followed by three live performances from UK television.With the exception of Jenny Ondioline, the promos are not typical music videos.They are more like surrealistic dreamscapes (think Dali, backed by synthesizers, broadcast on early PCs - a hoot) set to music.Next, the first live video is a superb, driving rendition of French Disko, gone a bit trippy with TV special effects (think Austin Powers).And then come two gems from the Later...with Jools Holland show (ca. 1996).For all those of us who were late to the party, here's proof that Stereolab -- in addition to being electronic, cerebral, political, carefully crafted, etc., etc. -- are terrific live.These performances of Cybele's Reverie and Les Yper Sound are a great glimpse of what we missed, including the late, lamented Mary Hansen.We can only hope that there are more live performances in the vault and destined for future DVDs, and look forward to the band's future tours.In the meantime, I highly recommend the videos and three CDs in this box set.

    A final note for the old-time Stereolab fans who already own the EPs collected here, but not the Jenny Ondioline promo: there's a moment in that video, when the always serious Laetitia Sadier starts to smile and turns away from the camera and toward Mary, who's smiling back...talk about a perfect moment. As a previous reviewer said, Mary, rest in peace.And long live Stereolab!

    5-0 out of 5 stars have to agree with the first 2 reviewers..
    ...but elaborate a little bit on both. The music on this is beyond cool, I can't say enough about it, so I'll leave it at that.

    But... the packaging is *extremely* tough to open - mine's already pocked with fingernail marks from trying to pry it open, and the cardboard box seems to be splitting at some of the outside joints. And I've had it for all of 18 hours. It's not enough really to knock a star off of my review, but it's more than a little irritating.

    And yes, like reviewer #2 said, it is a bit frustrating now for me to look over the hundreds of dollars worth of import cd's that have now been rendered obsolete by about $23. Have I had $100's worth of enjoyment over the years that I would have otherwise spent without this music? Well, that's debatable, but I'll say "yes, I have."

    The stickers of all the various single covers are very cool - I'm tempted to plaster my guitar case with them, but then they'd get messed up. What's an OC (obsessive completist) to do??? ... Read more


    15. Overcoming Obstacles; A Self-Hypnosis Journey for Unlocking Creativity, Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
    list price: $17.99
    our price: $17.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000544DX
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4390
    Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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    Album Description

    In this powerful and inspiring CD, Melissa Rose, C.Ht. guides you with her soothing voice through the relaxing experience of guided meditation, self-hypnosis and transformational imagery.Her desire is to help you identify and unlock those obstacles keeping you from attaining your life's potential and give you the tools needed to accomplish your goals. This CD is perfect for those looking to improve their professional and personal lives and is ideal for all areas of self-improvement which include, but are not limited to Motivation, Habit Control, Stress Reduction, Sales & Sports Perfomance, Creativity and Confidence. ... Read more

    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Relaxing
    When I listen to Overcoming Obstacles I feel calm and relaxed. Melissa has a very soothing voice that helps put me into a tranquil state. This CD has helped me release my fear of writing creatively. I would highly recommend this CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful, Relaxing Gift
    I was given this CD as a gift and it certainly has been one. Living a hectic life in a big city leaves me drained and stressed out. I was looking for a tape that would help me to meditate, though I wasn't quite sure what that meant. Melissa Rose's calm reassuring voice just eases you immediately into this meditation thing. You can really feel yourself relax and your frantic brain calm. I definitely felt calmer and more rejuvented after listening and also more confident about dealing with life's dodgier side. I try to listen to it a couple times a week. If you already meditate or have been wanting too, but like me weren't sure what to expect...try this one!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good for Relaxing, Motivating, and Building Confidence
    I bought this CD about a year ago and recommended it to my friends since. I like the first part because it gives the theory behind the guided imagery and some good things to do to support your goals. I like the second part (the guided imagery) because it is very effective in helping me relax. I listen with earphones as I ride to and from work - someone else is driving, of course. The guided imagery uses allegorical images to remove the effects of self-doubt and to help the listener identify his/her higher self without explicitly saying that. I recommend that a few grammatically incorrect remarks be removed the next time this CD gets mass produced. It doesn't take away from the effect of the CD, but also doesn't reflect well on its professional quality. I recommend this CD to all interested in moving forward toward their goals.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Soothing and Empowering all at once
    Melissa Rose has an incredibly soothing voice... It's actualy very sensual and relaxing. I find myself longing to hear her voice again even days after I listened to the CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best thing since the discovery of chocolate.
    I've tried a number of self-hypnosis and meditative recordings over the years, but none have had the ability to put me under as quickly or as deeply as this one. Ms. Rose has skillfully taken the audio hypnosis genre to a new level. In the introductory track, she immediately puts you at ease with a comfortable, friendly demeanor, speaking in clear, everyday language which allows you to build a sense of safety and trust. Some may be put off by the more familiar tone, but I found it refreshing.

    In the second track, she guides you through a number of visualizations in a calm, low-key tone that seems to bypass much of the transient noise in your mind and speaks directly to your inner consciousness. Here, you are offered new perspectives, some very good imagery for overcoming personal roadblocks, a bit of regression to simpler times before such obstacles existed, and a wealth of positive and believable affirmations. The accompanying music is surprisingly good. Light and meandering, it never gets tiresome.

    At the very least, you'll feel like you've had a long talk with a caring friend who wants to share a more positive perspective on life. I highly recommend this work and I'm not EVER selling mine. :) ... Read more


    16. Brian Regan Live
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000001ZGN
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1039
    Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (103)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Funniest Comedy Album I've Heard in Years
    Brian Regan is now one of my new favorite comedians. This CD is off the hook! It's so hillarious.....and it's CLEAN!! Who would've thought. I mean, sure, there are some funny clean comedians, but not like this guy! "Brian Regan Live" is one of the funniest comedy albums you will ever hear.

    I can't even explain why this CD is funny. It's something your going to have to hear for yourself. Every track is hillarious, with Brian Regan never missing a beat. Some of the funniest tracks are, "you too and stuff," "crank calls," "stupid in school," "blasting zone," "kid's party games,"......aw forget it! THEY'RE ALL GOOD! EVERY TRACK IS FUNNY!!! Funniest line: "The big yellow one is the sun!"

    What are you waiting for? Stop reading and BUY THIS CD NOW!! If you love comedy, then you will enjoy this album. Brian Regan is one of the best in the game. I hope that he comes out with another album. Even though he admits he's not that smart, he is a genius when it comes to comedy. "You too! Take luck...take care....of the luck....the luck that you bring with it...." Great album! I loved it, and I will continue to love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I got a Six!! I got a Six at the sun stare!
    That's how many stars I would give this cd if it were possible; six. Brian Regan has taken the world by storm... At least the world that knows about him. Tell all of your friends to listen to this cd because it is the most hilarious comedy on the market. Brian uses everyday things that most of us don't even think about to propagate the most gut busting laughter that there ever was. If you like good clean jokes and can appretiate some really goofy humor, then by all means buy this cd. Even after listening to it eleventy billion times I still laugh at ever spin of the shiny disc. So you too should join me and my comedic friend, and turn your stereo into the jokester of the night, sure to please everyone at the party. Take luck.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good clean fun!
    First of all, the best thing about Brian Regan is the clean language. He doesn't need to shock you to be funny and our whole family, kids included, can safely listen to him. Secondly, he makes you laugh so hard you cry. His material is about everyday things looked at in an unusual way. Third, if you ever get the chance to SEE him perform, his facial and body expressions make him even more hilarious. I highly recommend Brian Regan to anyone and everyone!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Funniest CD I've ever heard
    It's amazing to me how not many people have heard of Brian Regan, he's a lot funnier than many comics who are extremely well known. Every time I listen to his CD I laugh, I enjoy the whole thing. The donut lady and stupid in school are especially hilarious. I highly recommend this CD, it will have you laughing the whole way through. It's also a great CD b/c you can listen to it w/ the whole family, he manages to be funny without having to be vulgar or profane. Get this CD!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Funniest stand-up you'll ever hear
    I used to work in the box office of a comedy club, and I saw lots of great comedians. However, this guy was, by far, the funniest I ever saw come through there. Harsh language never bothered me (I heard plenty of it while working at the comedy club), but it was refreshing to see a comedian who made people laugh because he was funny, not because of his use of taboo words. The people who would come to see Brian Regan ranged from college frat guys to grandparents, and he'd have them all screaming with laughter with exactly these bits that are on this cd and more. I only hope more cd's follow this one to more fully capture the complete library of his stand up routines.

    He is old-school, having the laugh-from-the-gut hilarity of Jerry Seinfeld, combined with the energy and expression of Jim Carrey. ... Read more


    17. Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lakes State
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00009V7TZ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 755
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (24)

    5-0 out of 5 stars ~
    I don't hand out five stars on a whim. I tend to feel a bit guilty when I do because 99.9% of the albums out there aren't worth five stars. This one is different.

    I tend to be fairly critical of indie hype. Usually when I follow up on it the results are disapointing. For instance The Postal Servise, GY!BE, Sigur Ros, and so forth. All albums that recieve critical acclaim and have indie kids pooping thier pants. All really bad albums.

    So I did not expect much when I finally decided to give this album a chance. Lo and behold, it blew me away.

    Lyrically it revolves around the state of Michigan, which should doom "Greetings From..." to a life as a novelty item. Unexpectly, however, the quality of songwriting and execution makes this a must-have cd.

    Stevens can craft moments in music. Moments that live and breathe within the listener. Every note is meticulously places within the whole without sounding forced or trite. He knows how long is long enough and how long is too much.

    The album is helped out with the borrowed background singers from The Danielson Famile, who create lovely harmony. Stevens plays just about every instrument under the sun, and mixes it perfectly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The musical genious of our time?
    First off, I would like to list some reasons why people would not listen to this album. 1) They never heard of it. Well, blame the pop industry for giving the public crap. 2) It sounds like it's going to be a "folky" album. True, Stevens uses the banjo a good deal (though not half as much as his new album, "Seven Swans"), but when you get to the bottom of the album and finally "understand" it, you come to the realization that it has no true genre. Maybe that's what good music is - music that transcends all genres of its time. 3) It's much too soft and downbeat for my taste. Some people just can't take such mellow music, I understand, but this album is, if anything, uplifting and energizing. Despite a lack of percussion in many of the songs, Stevens manages to fill the silence with a myriad of instruments and beautiful, melodious backup vocals. Surprisingly, most of your attention will probably fall on the lyrics. Intertwined with masterful imagery is a theme of a past life in Michigan. Stevens weaves in fantastic memories that are so personal, they could almost be from your own past. All in all, this album is as close to perfection as I've seen in the 2003 releases, and it will inevitably go down as one of Indie rock's greatest achievements - if "Seven Swans" doesn't top it, which is a true possibility.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Musically Great, Lyrically OK
    Sufjan Stevens is certainly the most musically inventive songwriter to come around in a while, and the production and arrangments here are breathtaking. He appears to be heavily influenced by the Drag City sound (Smog, Jim O'Rourke, David Grubbs etc.) but not encumbered by his debt to those artists.
    Stevens' childish voice gets a bit cloying on some songs though, and the lyrics are just fair. The ones about God are pretty annoying actually, not because they are about God, but because they sound naive.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wish I could give it six stars
    I've never written a review for Amazon.com before, and I am proud to make Sufjan Steven's "Greetings.." my first review.

    Truly a gifted songwriter who has crafted a beautiful masterpiece about life in not just Michigan, but combining the depression of our failures, with the joy of the belief in God.

    Sufjan never apoligizes for his Christianity stance, it's a part of who he is, I admire him for that, and I consider him to be one of the best songwriters today. I enjoyed "Seven Swans" his recent 2004 recent as well, but it is not comparable to this masterpiece.

    Few cds I would give a 10 out of 10,
    the only four I would would be

    Flaming Lips - Soft Bulletin
    Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    Neutral Milk Hotel - Aeroplane Over the Sea
    Pixies - Doolittle

    I am thinking this cd might be near perfect, and time will evaluate it. For now i'll just go to bed listening to his soothing humble voice

    5-0 out of 5 stars amazing
    I know this isn't all that helpful, but I am rendered entirely speechless by this album. It's subtle, thoughtful, and sentimental (but not overly so). all I can say is, incredible, remarkable, fantastic, buy it. ... Read more


    18. Chakra Suite
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005OMHN
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1777
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Puts me to sleep (but that's a good thing)
    I have trouble staying asleep some nights, and I've recently found that certain types of music or sounds can put me in a relaxed state. Steven Halpern's "Chakra Suite" is one of the best for this purpose.

    The chakra suite is supposed to be used to meditate on each of the seven chakras or power centers of the body. I am not one who meditates, on chakras or other things, but if you do meditate, this is supposed to be a good aid to focus one's energy and concentration. The bonus on this CD is the "Spectrum Suite" and another bonus, Sonic Satori thath is supposed to use the power of sonic entrainment. a psycho-acoustic technology with an effect on brainwaves.The music involves notes with 8 cycles per second, which is said to synch the brain to relaxed brain waves, for example:
    Alpha - 8-12 CPS (associated with relaxed, calm, and creative waking state)
    Theta - 5-7 CPS (associated with dreams, suggestive states, hypnagogic states)
    Delta - 1-4 CPS (associated with deep, dreamless sleep)

    Whatever the effect, I find playing one of the suites as I lie in bed, relaxes me to the point where I drop off easily. I also like it for a quick relaxation break during a stressful, long day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Peace
    There is a scientific principle called entrainment. If two items are vibrating side by side at different speeds then the item that vibrates at the lower speed will adjust to vibrate at the same frequency as the other object.

    Examples of this are swings in a playground that are swinging out of sync and adjust. Also, in a clock store you may notice the pendulum clocks of the same size swinging back and forth in unison.

    Applied to sound your different chakras or energy points vibrate at different frequencies and notes vibrating at a specific rate for a prolonged period will cause your energy points to reattune themselves, and bring your chakras back into balance, and promote a sense of well being and peace.

    This cd applies these principles using swirling harmonics and overtones and beautiful instrumental sounds such as chimes and bowls including the rhodes piano to create an atmospheric sound.

    I can feel the musical vibrations resonate thoroughout my body, and I certainly do feel more relaxed even after a short listen.

    This record has been rated as groundbreaking by New Age Voice.

    I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars VERY EFFECTIVE
    I have listened to many different "chakra balancing" CDs, but this is the only recording where I have actually distinctly felt the sounds or appropriate chakras resonating the exact chakra spots - I could feel, without wondering if anything is happening, the sound vibrating in my body right where it's supposed to have an effect - so for that purpose, this is my favorite CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Totally relaxing and Works!
    I love this CD, I listen to it daily to balance my chakras! Even if you don't believe it actually balances your chakras, it is beautiful and relaxing to listen to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
    While healing from a fractured ankle, I played this several times a day. I don't know if it accelerated my healing--I suspect it did. It certainly helped me to relax and deal with the inactivity. I continue to listen to it for sheer pleasure and relaxation and play it in the background much of the time. I would recommend Chakra Suite to almost anyone, regardless of musical preferences. ... Read more


    19. Has Been
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002RUPH4
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 153
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    Album Description

    From pop-culture icon William Shatner comes Has Been, an album unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Produced and arranged by Ben Folds and featuring numerous notable guest appearances, Has Been is the result of the collision of two great creative forces — a surprisingly pop-driven, lyrically potent collection of songs to enlighten and entertain.

    Throughout Has Been, Shatner’s own insightful lyrics are masterfully woven into perfect pop melodies written and arranged by Ben Folds. Giving Shatner and Folds a hand on the project is an incredible lineup of singers and musicians, including Jon Auer, Adrian Belew, Matt Chamberlain, Joe Jackson, Lemon Jelly, Aimee Mann, Brad Paisley, Henry Rollins and Sebastian Steinberg.

    Highlights include the poignant "That’s Me Trying," penned by Ben Folds with High Fidelity author Nick Hornby, a brilliant version of the Pulp Britpop classic "Common People," featuring vocals by Joe Jackson and closing track, "Real," a duet with country star Brad Paisley, written exclusively for this project. ... Read more


    20. Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006785T
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2025
    Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    This is a real sleeper of an album, literally. Smooth-jazz musicians--including Peter White, Dave Koz, Norman Brown, David Benoit, and others--play music here to put babies to sleep. Fans of New Age music, specifically what came out of the Pacific Northwest in the '80s, may find many of these 14 tracks reminiscent of that period. Long-time listeners of smooth-jazz radio may be reminded of the kind of ethereal, spacey music that was played in the early days of the format. Many of the songs are as obvious as Brian Culbertson's somnambulating "Brahms' Lullaby" and Koz's "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," but some are inspired choices with creative arrangements and strong performances. Koz and his brother Jeff shine on the Beatles' title tune and the other Lennon/McCartney chestnut, "Blackbird." Brown's take on James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes" is also moving, while not straying from the stillness of the concept. Perhaps the standout track is the superb performance of vocalist John Stoddart on Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely." --Mark Ruffin ... Read more

    Reviews (37)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
    This is probably the most beautiful lullaby collection I've ever heard. My 2 1/2 year old son absolutely adores it . . . especially the versions of Hush, Baby and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. The music is far from old fashioned, yet it is amazingly relaxing and calming --- even for a very excitable little boy. While it is great for a small child, I find it the perfect music for adults to listen to when taking a nice relaxing bubble bath or trying to unwind for the evening.

    I'm a huge Dave Koz fan and always adore his selection of guest artists (Peter White, David Benoit) and this CD is no exception. They all made fabulous contributions to this album.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Indescribably Beautiful
    From the first lush, bell-like sounds of "Blackbird", it's obvious that this CD is all about the lullaby. And I've never heard a prettier collection of music in my life.

    Maybe it's the sentimentality of being the father of a 15-month old, but more than a few tracks brought me near to tears, and that's on the first listen. Each expressive note evokes the sounds of a small stuffed animal, mobile, etc playing those tinky notes that sounds like the sweetest music ever played. Highlights are "Blackbird", Brahm's Lullaby, "When You Wish Upon A Star", "Golden Slumber", and....."Isn't She Lovely". The soft, amazing, understated vocal for this song creates an interpretation that floored me. Be warned - you will never forget it. It's a reworking of the song that rises well above Stevie Wonder's and really brings out the words in a whole new, beautiful way.

    I'm sure this is not for everyone. It's very mellow. There's no great improvisations for the jazz purists. But it's a great sound and I think every new parent should receive a copy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Get this one and for sure get ANGELS ALL AROUND too
    I like this CD very much. I like it almost as much as my best lullaby CD, ANGELS ALL AROND ULLABIES, by GENIE.

    I would get them both.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect gift for new parents
    This CD is amazing. My husband is a fan of David Koz and he bought this for our now 16 month old son. When I first rocked and held him to the sounds of Isn't she Lovely...I just cried at this miracle I held. The songs are very soothing, even to me and as soon as I put this CD on, my son knows it's time for sleep. Of all the many lullaby CDs I have, this is my favorite! I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very soothing music
    My sister bought this for my husband and I at the birth of our baby girl. She was touched by the fact that one of the songs was titled after her neice (Charlotte's song). The CD is very soothing, relaxing and beautifully made. It's been one of our favorites all these months. If you are a "smooth jazz" fan, you'll love it! ... Read more


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