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1. Stand Up
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2. The Forgotten Arm
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3. Songs For Silverman
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4. The Beekeeper
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5. Stand Up
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6. Songbird
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7. Afterglow
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8. Now What
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9. The Very Best of Sheryl Crow
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10. A Ghost Is Born
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11. Life for Rent
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12. Crash
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13. Under the Table & Dreaming
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14. Rebel, Sweetheart
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15. Paint the Sky with Stars:The Best
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16. White Ladder
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17. Songs For Silverman (Special Package)
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18. Rockin' the Suburbs
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19. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
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20. Jagged Little Pill

1. Stand Up
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0008D5HMK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Don't let the headless CGI dancer on the cover fool you. While Stand Up has a more organic feel than 2001's radio-ready Everyday, it is hardly an invocation for carefree days spent twirling on the grass. Instead it is a call to arms that carries over much of the insurrectionary spirit the Dave Matthews Band brought to 2004's Vote For Change Tour. Matthews, sounding rawer than ever, swerves between optimism ("To change the world you only start with one step," he sings on "You Might Die Trying") and angst ("See the man with the bomb in his hand/Everybody wake up," goes "Everybody Wake Up [Our Finest Hour Arrives]"), while producer Mark Baston, best known for his small-time work with big-name pop acts like Beyonce and 50 Cent, responds by putting the marching band rhythms of Carter Beauford in the front and galvanizing the music with a crisp R&B edge, most evident in the totally--okay, partially--crunk "Stolen Away On 55th & 3rd." --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

Reviews (298)

1-0 out of 5 stars Chicks like this stuff..why?
If you're a man and wanting to buy this record then just end it right now. If you're a woman, stop PMSing and listen to better music.

1-0 out of 5 stars Taking a stand ...
I do like the Dave Matthews Band a lot but I am taking a stand on this album.

I love my iPod and I love my CDs. I do buy music.

I actually purchased this Dual Disc album but took it back when I learned that I could not upload it into my iTunes library.

Obviously, this new anti-copying format on STAND UP has enough iPod entusiasts upset that DMB addresses it on their website.
Well ... sorry Dave ... I am not going to upload this disc as a WMA file and then burn it so I can upload it again into iTunes.

PS ...I think that DMB should cooperate with Apple (and not vice versa) in making an easy solution to this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Non-corporate!Yay!
I was mildly surprised by this latest release from DMB.I had stopped listening to them for a while, shortly after I noticed that they were putting out live album after live album.Two- and even three-CD live sets twice a year for about three years straight!And all with the SAME SONGS on them!It was getting ridiculous, and I basically got tired of waiting for new stuff from them, so I kind of gave up.A shame, considering I was such a big fan of DMB.Their sound was getting very corporate and manufactured (even for them!) around that time as well, and had strayed away from what they sounded like starting out.
This album returns (sort of) to their roots, and it's a pleasant curve.When I heard songs like "Bring That Beat Back" and "American Baby" (the first single), it took me back to their pre-"Under the Table" days, and I got a little misty-eyed.It sounds like they had a lot of fun making this one, and the fun shows in ditties like the catchy "Louisiana Bayou" (you can't help but "ooh" along with Dave and the guys on that one; you'll see what I mean when you listen to it).
One thing I frowned at, though, was the drums.Carter Beauford is one of the premier drummers on the planet, but he takes a back seat to a drum machine on a lot of the tracks.When he does take the lead on the drums, it's a lot more low-key than I was used to hearing.That aspect is fitting, considering the album's so laid back, but a DRUM MACHINE?!That's about the only thing that reminded me that once musicians go corporate, it's really hard for them to keep it out of their music.
Still and all, this is one of DMB's better albums.Not their best by a long shot, but it's nice to see that in some ways they haven't forgot the sound with which they started.
I also would like to let people know about the disc itself.There's some sort of protection written into the disc that prevents most computer media players (Windows Media Player, et al) from ripping the CD to your computer.It seems that the record company is so afraid of piracy that they've fixed it so the only way you can listen to the CD is to actually stick it into your CD player/PC and listen to it that way.You can't even rip it to your MP3 player or PC.If CD's are going to be this way from now on, then there may not be much of a future for CD's themselves; people are going to just going to resort to downloading music.
Anyway, enjoy the album...if you're a DMB fan, you'll probably dig it.I sure did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Album, despite what the skeptics say
Let me start off by saying that many people have been jumping the gun on their review of this album. As far as this being the worst album of 2005, you might want to think again. The Dave Matthews Band has been coming out with hit after hit on every album they release, and Stand Up is no exception. Dreamgirl is sure to be an eventual hit on the radio, along with Steady As We Go and Out of My Hands, to mention a few.

This album catches the rawest, most pure emotions, from the band, and that is evident in Out of My Hands, with the one and only David J. Matthews taking a break from his guitar and playing the piano and displaying just how diverse the band truly is. Matthews is not the only one who puts down his original instrument to pick up another one. Boyd Tinsley puts down his electric violin and replaces it with an electric mandolin on a few songs and Stefan Lessard, the band's bassist, plays the electric guitar on Hunger for the Great Light (he plays the opening riff to the song).

DMB continues to stun and amaze their fans with their style of music. They play what they want, and they don't care what the world thinks about them. The band is so proud of this album, and so should EVERY DMB fan who buys this album.

Another point I wanted to bring to everyone's attention was the statement that someone said there are no "JAM SESSIONS" on this album. If you would listen to the album and give it a chance, you would realize that about 85-90% of the songs on the album have jam outs, whether at the end or in the middle of the song, they are there. There is a jam session at the end of American Baby, Louisiana Bayou, Hunger for the Great Light, and You Might Die Trying, just to name a few. I'm personally getting tired of hearing all these alleged dave fans bashing this album.

Now, I know there are a lot of skeptics out there who believe this album is horrible. But the album has to grow on you. I was a fan of the album from the beginning, but a lot of my friends needed to listen to it a couple of times to really enjoy it. The mood of this album is very relevant to the title "STAND UP". It makes you want to stand up and dance along with the hip-hop/pop like beats in some of the songs (Stand Up (For It) and Stolen Away).

This album also displays Mr. Matthews at his lyrical finest. With lines like "I would do most anything, girl, to be the apple of your eye"/Steady As We Go and "I was feeling like a creep as I watched you asleep, face down in the grass in the park, in the middle of a hot afternoon, your top was untied and I thought how nice it'd be to follow the sweat down your spine"/Dreamgirl, you can really feel the emotions and love he puts into his music. ("The first time I kissed you, I lost my legs"/Old Dirt Hill)

I would HIGHLY recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of good, quality music.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is B side album
This is the worst album of 2005. DMB is gone bad now. What happened to Jam sessions? Even debut album of other bands are good. Stay away from this one. ... Read more

2. The Forgotten Arm
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0007YLLK2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 49
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Marked by a distinctly more middle-aged melancholy than her previous releases, Aimee Mann's The Forgotten Arm is a successfully conceived story album, following a couple through the life of their relationship. There is much for old and new fans here, as Mann lifts vignettes from the love-and-hate affair of a boxer and his girlfriend like sepia-toned snapshots from a county fair. In fact, it is in just one of those sticky, hot fairground parking lots where the romance blossoms and progresses "in the back of a Cadillac, that's her asleep in the mirror in back." The syncopated, bluesy melodies and strong ensemble of musicians make for a polished effort, and Mann’s gimlet eye doesn’t miss much--from the seductive pain of addiction, bout-induced memory loss, and finally to the inevitable discussion about having (or not) a baby. If indigo is the mood for most of Mann's work, then The Forgotten Arm may be closer to lavender, given the seasoned humor and perspective evident in standout tracks such as "That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart" and "She Really Wants You." This one's a keeper. --Megan Halverson

Best of the Largo-ites

Bachelor No. 2, Aimee Mann

I Heart Huckabees, Jon Brion

XO, Elliott Smith

Heartbreaker, Ryan Adams

Virginia Creeper, Grant Lee Phillips

When the Pawn..., Fiona Apple

... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars Quality everywhere to be found
Listening to her is like turning on the radio in the seventies and hearing great singer/writer cuts that exude warmth and naturalness. The writing as always is trenchant and the production is superb. As if that weren't enough, the cd packaging is in book form replete with artwork / lyrics and a photo of Aimee on the back that is as beautiful as the music contained within.

5-0 out of 5 stars The unique Aimee Mann has done it again.
Let's just say from the start that I have given up trying to be objective about Aimee Mann a long time ago. I fell in love with the woman's voice and songwriting abilities the minute I first heard "Voices Carry" in 1985 (which she recorded with her former band Til Tuesday) and followed her around ever since, through thick (the long overdue success of the "Magnolias" soundtrack) and thin (the strangely impersonal and generic "I'm with stupid", her only small misstep in a 20 year career as a recording artist). Her recordings have never ceased to amaze me for two very simple reasons : 1) This woman can WRITE songs that are at once compelling, memorable, catchy and deeply emotional 2) This woman has a singing voice that doesn't sound like anyone else's - the minute you hear her, you KNOW it's her.

This said, anyone who'll take a close listen to her latest album "The Forgotten Arm" will know that Aimee is still one of the most arresting artists of her generation. The album loosely follows the ordeals of two lovers on their path through addiction and alienation, and the music is the key that holds it together : a straightforward, earthy production that echoes vintage rock and roll, all the while sounding totally contemporary. Aimee has stripped down some of the chubbier production tricks of her previous solo albums, and delivered an album that's both richly textured and minimalistic. Of particular interest is the fact that she has been using the piano a lot more than before, and not just on ballads, giving back this underrated instrument its rightful place.

The songs are all amazing, but some of them are of particular interest. The debut single, "Going through the motions", is a clever and catchy pop-rock affair; however the real potential smash single is "I can't get my head around it", a song that will lodge itself in your brain forever. "I can't help you anymore", "King of the jailhouse" and "I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas" arejust as deserving, and the album finds its emotional core with the one-two punch of the achingly beautiful "Little bombs" and "That's how I knew this story would break my heart". "Dear John" and "Goodbye Caroline" are strong rockers and "Beautiful" concludes the album with lyrics that are both mournful and hopeful, leaving the listener to make up their own mind about the way this story ends.

Some will find that this album lacks the emotional depth and sonic adventureness of "Lost In Space", its predecessor; and while it's true that nothing here quite rivals songs like "Invisible Ink" (Aimee's crowning achievement as asongwriter), "It's Not" or "The Moth", this album succeeds exactly by NOT trying to imitate what has already been beautifully recorded. Aimee is a truly challenging artist and "The Forgotten Arm" is a great reminder of that.

4-0 out of 5 stars That's Actually 3 and a half stars...
Aimee Mann makes me wish that records were still pressed on vinyl. I'd love to be able to look at the artwork and the lyrics in big print while I listen over and over. And as another reviewer noted, you have to listen over and over to get the hooks, which this cd has, but not as many as usual for Aimee. There are a couple of great songs on here ("Going Through the Motions" and "Video"), and a lot of really good ones ("King of the Jailhouse," "She Really Wants You," "I Can't Get My Head Around It" and "Little Bombs"); but this cd hooked me only about as much as "Whatever." If you're an Aimee Mann fan, you may find that this collection pales in comparison to the last two (but I'm a freak for "Bachelor No. 2," and "It's Not" from "Lost in Space" is the MOST PERFECT Aimee Mann song ever). Even a pale comparison, however, is better than 98.9% of what's on the market musically today.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Cotton Candy Knockout

"The Forgotten Arm" has a melodic and harmonic beauty matching Aimee Mann's all-time best offerings.

There is a real sense of time and place to the sound here.The songs flow.If "I'm With Stupid" was a wintery Londonesque album this is a summertime Americana album, harking back to her Virginia roots, evoking a time and place with both the sounds and the imagery she employs right from the opening line: "Cotton candy was king on the midway that spring..."

Her voice has never been richer, delivering those trademark "low notes" right when it counts and showcasing her heavenly upper range on "Beautiful" and "That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart" - one of the most quietly tender and beautiful ballads she has written since "No One is Watching You Now" or "Ray."

Joe Henry deserves a lot of credit as well for his imagination in helping shape the sound.The injection of a little new blood makes a world of difference on "The Forgotten Arm," with great guitar work from Jeff Trott, punchy drumming at faster tempos, and a very tight core band that you can tell has been touring together for a while. The mix is fantastic with some extremely bold, shimmering, explosive sonics for a "stripped down" album.

For all the justified attention Aimee Mann's lyrics get, her music might just be even better.Nobody is writing catchier songs, and she is often at her best here.Though her songs are mostly about off-kilter relationships, even the cynical observations are wrapped in layers of humor, vivid imagery and sticky sweet music.The difference is in her cleverness and details.Nobody delivers a musical and lyrical combo punch as well as Aimee Mann.

4-0 out of 5 stars As alongtime Mannlistener and Largo visitor
I find this album consistant with Mann's work...especially with what she has done apart from Jon Brion.Consistancy has it's good and bad points.If you are looking for beautiful melodies and well-constructed lyrics, you will not be disappointed.Every song is a pitch-perfect performance.
But maybe Mann is too consistant?In some ways it is all almost too controlled, too perfect.It would be nice to have her break out and let loose.Brion seemed to tap her impovisational spirit a bit more than her current producers.And the result was less consistant, but also less predictable.Even live Mann is consistant, each song sounding eerily likeher recording of it.Maybe that is what crowds want: the familiar.But I miss the exploration of the unmined spaces of a song that people like Brion (or Dylan, or Lucinda Williams)provide...and Mann sometimes allows herself and her audience. ... Read more

3. Songs For Silverman
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0007WF1XC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 72
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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What's great for Ben Folds fans —true fans, not the kind who signed on after hearing 1997's un-Ben-like radio hit "Brick" —is that Songs for Silverman picks up right where the excellent Ben-comes-into-his-own Rockin' the Suburbs left off in 2001. These are heartfelt songs: sometimes cheeky and occasionally heartbreaking. "Gracie," written in a hopeful key for Folds' young daughter, unravels to playful but brilliant piano plinks; "Late," for the departed singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, sidesteps straight-on sadness to convey a sense of lost camaraderie; and the clear-eyed "Landed," delivered in Folds' unadorned, tree-trunk sturdy voice, will inspire untold revelations for those stuck in stalled relationships. The music, meantime, maintains its sharp edge: "You to Thank" juts out with the help of a two new players in a celebratory jazz direction, while "Give Judy My Notice" dabbles in country and a chorus swells for "Jesusland." Throughout, Folds' piano work remains a pop-music goodie bag that defies duplication. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

Reviews (54)

2-0 out of 5 stars Decent CD but BEWARE!!!
The music is pretty good (though still not as good as Ben Folds Five), and the DVD features are kind of a cool bonus.But frankly, I would rather have had just the music in a format that would play on all my CD players.The audio side would only play on 2 of the 4 players I tried it on (haven't tried my car yet which is obviously important).

4-0 out of 5 stars "Why you gotta Act Like You Know When You Don't Know"?
Ben Folds brings a certain classicism with his signature style on SONGS FOR SILVERMAN.It is obvious that Folds is a brilliant songwriter, vocalist, and phenomenal pianist. The reason I think that Folds is underrated as an artist is because he is for some an "aquired taste" per say.He isn't your typical rock or pop artist.He is in the elite league of the "piano-power" artist which includes himself, Tori Amos, and recently Vanessa Carlton.I think that if more people were to hear Folds, he would surely be more popular because as an artist, he has a lot to offer.I'd be certain that if more jazz listeners were to hear him just play they'd certainly be wowed by his pianistic skills (I'm a jazz listener and musician that is wowed).

But SONGS FOR SILVERMAN did give Folds his largest opening as well as his largest debut numerically.The biggest trap that Folds falls into is filler material. The best song is offered right at the beginning and it is "Bastard" which experiments with odd meter and an incredibly enthralling fuzzy bass line. His incredibly catchy line is the title of this review "Why you gotta act like you know when you don't know", he sings enthusiastically.

"You To Thank" and "Jesusland" are fine tracks as well. And there are certainly other enjoyable listens.The true highlight is "Bastard" though. Folds piano skills and his vocal sophistication are flawless on hits as well as non-hits.This music has a light feel that is not boring in the least.This is a very nice album.4 stars.

1-0 out of 5 stars Where is The G.I. Folding Action????
I Went To A Ben Folds Concert To See Ben Fold Something...Boy was I dissapointed!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Must Listen For Any Fan
This latest release from Ben Folds is by far his most mature offering, and not simply for a second song written for his children. The lyrics are incredibly witty and real, not unlike the story-like albums "Ben Folds Five" and "Naked Baby Photos." Ben continues to make dynamic and gripping rock 'n roll with his piano, while delivering vocal tracks that make you swear he hasn't spent most of the last decade on tour. For anyone who will have an appreciation of where this album fits into his life, pick it up and listen to it. Again and again and...

5-0 out of 5 stars Silversongs for man
Ben Folds, completely ignored in France, deserves all the attention of all those which likes the pop one and the songwriters with subtle melodies and refined harmonies. I draw the attention of those particularly, inconsolable as I am to it myself, of the disappearance of Elliott Smith. Because Ben Folds forms part of this family of musicians who can find melodies and athmosphères immediately captivating without never falling into the facility. The two men knew each other and estimated themselves mutually. Ben Folds offers to us besides in this album "Late" a very beautiful song dedicated to Elliott, simple, and direct - one could not make any more beautiful homage. If Elliott were a guitarist: Ben Folds is a pianist (and a good one !). All its songs are arranged around a base piano-bass-battery (traditional formation for the jazz but less in the pop one, Ben not hesitating besides flirting with jazz, as in "You to thank".) Strings, choruses and guitars come enjoliver these beautiful melodies. Its texts are full with humour, full with an irony which would surely make smile Randy Newman itself ("You to thank", again). One will appreciate this familiarity which one immediately has with the musical universe of Ben folds, who releases an obviousness which had with the musical culture of the artist and the very personal transformation of his pop influences into catchy songs. One will precipitate several times of continuation on Jesusland and especially Landed, potential hit, which would have made green of jealousy the Elton John of the great time - that of Tiny Dancer.
It should be noted that this disc exists in a Dualdisc edition: a universalCd side, a DVD side. the dvd one has the advantage of offering one mix 5.1 of the album, a making of of the album which introduces Ben Folds well, and an alternate version of Landed with strings which does not have anything gadget. ... Read more

4. The Beekeeper
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B00076EPQM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 207
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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After Scarlet's Walk, Tori Amos' 2002 ambitious sonic travelogue that took her to all 50 states, penning love letters to America along the way, the fiery earth-sprite has fashioned another high-minded concept album, tying her 19 songs--and one not-so-hidden track--into a garden motif that's part a retelling of Alice In Wonderland, another A Little Shop of Horrors. The Beekeeper chronicles her rather autobiographical protagonist's journey through what seems to be an overgrown labyrinth of the subconscious as she experiences a series of life-altering events and emotions. In addition, living in Cornwall for the past decade has certainly had an effect on Amos, she even takes inspiration from Daphne Du Maurier's classic novel Jamaica Inn, which takes place on that rugged seacoast, but the greatest change is the grit in her voice; on a song like "Hoochie Woman," she sounds like she's channeling Chrissie Hynde--a welcome change from some of the preciousness of her earlier work. She also surprises with the steely, eloquent resolve on a song like "Goodbye Pisces" one of the better break-up songs in recent memory.The Beekeeper returns the quirky singer to the same whimsical terrain of 1992's Little Earthquakes, but with much stronger storylines, and a much more assured and nuanced voice. Her best yet. --Jaan Uhelszki

Recommended Tori-phernalia

Tori Amos: Piece by Piece

Tori Amos - Welcome to Sunny Florida

Little Earthquakes

Under the Pink

Tales of a Librarian

Scarlet's Walk

... Read more

Reviews (248)

4-0 out of 5 stars Can't get enough of Tori!
I love Tori. What more can I say? Seriously, though, it's not my favorite ablbum, but a great one none-the-less.

3-0 out of 5 stars Consider it her 'stagnet' genius.
Tori 'n' I go back...
Sunset Blvd.. Gazarris.. Selma...
This record disapoints.
Complaintaincy? Husband? Tash...
Is it the end?
Remember the hardwood floor my friend,
Sprout an earthquake again!


5-0 out of 5 stars One of Tori's Best.
The CD starts with 'Parasol,' a straight forward track that doesn't waste anytime in showing what the album is about, in most cases the album seems, to me, more upbeat than her previous records. Almost every track is performed with a full band - in fact the beautiful 'Original Sinsuality' is the only song to just feature Tori and a borsfendor.

Each song the album is different, though one can see the logic for Tori's Garden categorizations upon hearing the tracks. There are many moods represented here on the album. One can bop along to tracks like 'General Joy' and 'Cars and Guitars' or be entranced by the blissful serenity of 'The Beekeeper' and yet still not have full grasp of what can be found on the rest of the Album.

This album is a great addition to the Tori catalogue especially as a parallel to her earlier, sometimes down-trotten (but brilliant) albums. Another exciting progression is Tori's use of the Organ, which lends a new energy not explored on many of her previous albums. (I had the honour of seeing Tori in concert a few weeks ago - just her a Piano, a keyboard and and Organ. Brilliant.) Tori has made a brilliant album that has taken progressive steps in her sound while maintaining the songwritings standard that had made her one of my favourite artists.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lacking passion, but full of quirk
As has been thoroughly noted, "The Beekeeper" as a whole lacks punch. Tori's words sounds angry, but her music sounds subdued. A woman scorned does not sing like that. Her voice is generally lacking passion on this CD.

It's often lyrically and musically predictable. Take this line from the first single, Sleeps with Butterflies: "Are you having regrets about last night? I'm not." Do you want more lyrics from other songs? Are you sure? Okay, how about "Take a walk down memory lane, past a watermelon stand on the way" or "The sexiest thing is trust." I cringed at many of the lyrics, which were repetitive and obvious.

Musically, it's got a little jazz, a little funk, a little gospel, which shows that she's not done taking risks. I'm not sure if all the risks worked out for her this time, though. "Sweet the Sting" is a gorgeous, groovy song, one of the best on the album. But on other songs like "Cars and Guitars" and "Ireland" she makes some weird noises like she's impersonating musical instruments like ,"ch ch ch cha" and "shnanana." It's a little awkward. Both those songs could easily be put in a car or travel commercial.

Other songs are completely forgettable, like "Mother Revolution" and "Ribbons Undone." She could have made this 19-track album a little more tolerable with a little editing. Many songs were also overproduced - and Tori is best straight-forward and raw.

Still, those who are ready to toss her out because she's no longer the feminist icon that she was in the early 90's are really missing something. She's matured, changed, yes, but her songs are still weird and at times mesmorizing. The title track, "The Beekeeper," is a complete masterpiece. For those unsure whether to invest in this album, I would recommend downloading the title song and "Sweet the Sting." If you 'get' the songs, try "Parasol," "Marys of the Sea" and "Witness." If you're feeling particularly weird, try "The Power of Orange Knickers," which despite its odd title is pretty smart.

Anything else I need to say? Hm... the album is divided up in six parts from "elixirs and herbs" to "rock garden." I have no idea what that means. I guess that's why it's a concept album, though it screams pretentious to me. I also heard that the six parts represent the six sides of a honeycomb and six parts of femininity. Huh? She's still in her own world, that's for sure.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pages From A Cornish Scholar's Diary
Feb. 27th [2005]. Gretchen came down. Brought The Beekeeper with the supplies from London. Fresh salmon frying and the tide rolling in.

Feb 28th. Sat up late with The Beekeeper. Quite pleasant, you know. 'Barons of Suburbia' a bit like 'Carbon,' isn't it? 'Toast' a bit like 'Gold Dust,' isn't it?

March 2nd. While at darts last evening, the boys at the Umber Lion [were] all over The Beekeeper. Bertie says Amos has "lost her poignancy." Davy tried to convinced Old Simon that The Beekeeper is among Amos' best. I concurred.

Too much ale. Hammering from the tin mines kept us awake until dawn.

March 4th. A puffin defecated on my head while [I was] bringing in the mail. Father Callaghan says it brings luck. Rain all day. Wrote for five hours without interruption.

March 5th. 'The Power of Orange Knickers,' 'Ireland.' Each different from anything Amos has previously done. Therein lie their appeal.

Biddy Early stopped in to listen to 'Garlands' on my DVD. Proclaimed it the best thing on [The] Beekeeper. Said it's typical Amos--keeping the best tracks off the albums. Had me play it over and over until she could confidently hum the melody. I watched her from the doorway until she disappeared over the hill, her vegetable basket swinging on her arm.

The well dry again. Shall I get a bird to keep Bishop and me company? A parrot, a pair of finches, a myra bird?

March 10th. Colin and Martin shouting "Who knew the Middle of the Road was located in Cornwall?" while walking through the village. Laughter, astonished looks. A man I didn't recognize yelled after them in Gaelic, "Cornish waters are not that shallow!"

'Jamaica Inn' a bit like 'Martha's Foolish Ginger,' isn't it?

March 13th. Played The Beekeeper for Mrs. O'Casey, the charwoman. Somber reflections on better days as the peat crackled. Christina, Mrs. O'Casey's young daughter, quoted an Amazon reviewer: "The Beekeeper sounds like a CD you'd find in your mother's SUV."I said, "Oh, no, not at all, not at all." But the three of us fell asleep during 'Ribbons Undone.' When we awoke, it was after three a.m. Mrs. O'Casey was embarrassed no end.

March 17th.Stopped in at Mawnan Churchyard at twilight. Copious notetaking. John Curtin, the sexton, has a theory. He says that seven of The Beekeeper tracks sound like children's songs, more or less. Thinks Amos is unconsciously writing for children, due to her daughter's presence in her life. Aleister, the grave digger, shouted over, "Frothy and accessible pop songs are not what Amos' constituency require. Look what happened to Joni Mitchell after Mingus." During confession, elderly Father Dwyer whispered through the screen, "The Beekeeper has no teeth."

Trying to put my mind on other things. The hammer [has] gone missing again. In a dream I asked for cabbage, and the clerk said, "Sir, it's sold out." What could it mean?

March 19th.Another tourist believes he has spotted Mowgawr off the coast. Craning necks aplenty. The chimney's blocked up [for] the third time this season.

Bishop caught a hare by the rocks.

Little Christina playing Candy Land in the courtyard with the local urchins. "The songs on The Beekeeper hopscotch all over the place like the squares on this game board," I heard her say as we passed. I found myself staring down at the linear path of colored cubes, entranced.

March 20th. Finished the chapter on piskies while playing Bach, Satie, and Wizz Jones. The Beekeeper. No catharsis. Johnny Kelly the sheep herder calls it "formulaic." There is not one thing in life to make it bearable.

March 22nd. Gretchen here. I said, "I am convinced The Beekeeper has already surrendered all its secrets." Gretchen: "They were few, anyway."

I ran into old Michael Barrett down by the culvert. He called 'Sweet The Sting,' 'Witness,' and 'Hoochie Woman' "pastiches." He predicts a late spring.

I thought Thomas would get a mug of ale thrown in his face when he called 'Goodbye Pisces' "merely pretty" at the Lion last night. But Kate Cloran only yawned, and Mary Creevy said she still had a morning's washing to do.

March 24th. A sense of coitus interruptus in 'Sweet The Sting,' when surely a sense of inflagrante delecto is what's required? The climax of 'Barons of Suburbia' falls flat--why does the narrator say she "is piecing a potion"? And concerning "she is risen"--has "she" risen because the potion has been pieced? It's a muddle.

Played Under The Pink and Boys For Pele through. Instantly transported. Then 'Cooling,' 'Purple People,' 'Playboy Mommy,' 'Lust,' 'Strange,' 'Indian Summer.' Gretchen asked for 'Tombigbee.' We made love on the hard wood floor.

March 26th. The stained-glass widow on the north side has a substantial crack in one pane. The wind coming in. Thatch in my corn flakes this morning. Positive word from Thames and Hudson. 'Parasol' a bit like 'Amber Waves,' isn't it?

Something in The Times about Amos and "granola feminism." Gretchen got a jolly laugh over that. Bishop did his business over the thing before I was able to finish [it].

I dreamed I climbed the ladder to the attic and found "Come back, Kate, all is forgiven" scrawled across the east wall. What could it mean?

March 27th. Patrick O'Hagan borrowed the Saab for a trip to Ireland while the Beekeeper was in the deck. Shall I have Gretchen send down another [copy]? No. I can hum the better tracks, and I still have 'Garlands' in the DVD, which sounds a bit like 'Yes, Anastasia,' doesn't it?

There was some kind of a ruckus in the village. Gretchen passed some of the locals burning a figure in effigy. Nasty business.

Sat up late reading Strindberg's Ghost Sonata. So good, some parts.

[Here the record ends]
... Read more

5. Stand Up
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Asin: B00082ZSP2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 192
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6. Songbird
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 157
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Songbird cherry-picks tracks from the three locally released albums of Eva Cassidy, whose hauntingly beautiful vocals went virtually unheard outside her native Washington, D.C., during her short 33 years with us. Lost to melanoma in 1996, Cassidy sang with an unaffected purity and an astonishing ability to make both classic and contemporary songs sound like they were written just for her. Sting's "Fields of Gold" finally lives up to its title through the alchemy of Cassidy's transcendent rendition, while other tracks on this anthology showcase her ease in the realms of pop (Christine McVie's "Songbird"), soul ("People Get Ready"), gospel ("Wade on the Water"), and traditional standards ("Autumn Leaves" and "Over the Rainbow"). Framed by understated jazz and pop arrangements, Cassidy's clear, soulful voice and exquisite phrasing make her that rarest of vocalists whose interpretations are a complement to any song. A fine introduction to a true talent. --Billy Grenier ... Read more

Reviews (496)

5-0 out of 5 stars from Solo Piano Publications
I usually review piano and keyboard CDs, but this album is so good and is making such a stir that I decided to throw in my two cents. One of my adult piano students gave me this CD for my birthday, and I had never heard of Eva Cassidy, so I was a little skeptical. Just goes to show that there are still new wonders to discover! Compiled from three previously-released albums, "Songbird" clearly indicates the many facets of Cassidy's voice and the incredibly natural way she was able to use it to convey such depth of emotion. From standards ("Autumn Leaves", "Over the Rainbow") to gospel ("Wade in the Water", "Wayfaring Stranger", "Oh, Had I A Golden Thread"), rock ("Fields of Gold", "Songbird", "People Get Ready"), and gorgeous ballads ("I Know You By Heart", "Time is a Healer"), she slips effortlessly from one genre to another with a voice as pure and honest as a Judy Collins or a Joan Baez. On the gospel and R&B songs, she gets down with the best of 'em! Could this really be a slender, painfully shy, white girl? And then she goes on to a simple ballad and her guitar, and the sweet-voiced folkie returns. The backing instrumentation (usually bass, guitar, and drums) is simple and fully enhances the vocals. It is such a tragedy that Eva Cassidy's life was cut short at the age of 33, but God bless Chris Biondo for recording her singing whenever he could so that her gift and talent can live on and grace us all.

5-0 out of 5 stars This really deserves six stars
This is the best voice I have ever heard. Eva Cassidy easily ranks with Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Billie Holliday in the ability to express pure emotion through voice. You probably know her story, and it is tradegy. This album is a compliation of previous recordings. Several tracks are live, and the album's producer chose to edit out the applause. You won't be able to tell the the studio from the live tracks unless you look at the CD sleeve. That's impressive. There is no bad track on this disk. Song styles range from folk to gospel to doesn't matter what she's singing or what your musical preference is, if you HAVE a soul, her voice will hook you and reel you in. Sting's "Fields of Gold," is the first track, and it somewhat showcases her ability to make a song hers. She does this by putting her soul in her vocal. After hearing this rendition a couple of times, you'll forget that some other guy wrote this song. "People Get Ready," a popular popular cover tune, really shows the range of her voice. Man, she can belt it out. My favorite song on the album is "I know You By Heart." This is the most beautiful/sad song I have ever heard. Period. My wife has a hard time listening to this disk because it is so sad, between the power of emotion Miss Cassidy sings with in addition to her tragic demise. This collection of different genres is ultimately the blues, sung with passion only rivaled by the greats mentioned earlier. I hope she can here all of us listening to her music and have the ability to understand the depths her music is able to move its listeners.

5-0 out of 5 stars This one's a perfect ten
I believe I'm writing this more for myself than for readers who can look at five hundred previous reviews. I was so moved by Eva Cassidy's songs that I want to share my thoughts with everyone. I recieved a copy of 'Songbird' from my sister in law. I rarely prefer a second version of a familiar song so I was hesitant to even listen to this CD which included some old favorites. Then I had to take a long drive and had nothing new to listen to, so I listened to Eva. I was stunned. The music really got to me and I had not seen her or heard Eva's tragic story. I've since purchased all Eva's CDs and enjoyed each as much as the first. It is difficult to describe the impact of listening to Eva Cassidy for the first time. I doubt anyone will ever forget the experience. She is amazing!

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Just listened to "Over the Rainbow" again. Wow. That's just about as well as a mortal can do it.

5-0 out of 5 stars 6 stars out of 5.....
The beautiful, irreplaceable Eva Cassidy died at the young age of 33, leaving behind a treasury of beautiful and bluesy songs she reinvented with her beautiful voice, guided by an intuitive grace. SONGBIRD is like no album I have ever heard. It has a quiet strength, not unlike Eva herself, that sets it apart from all folk, jazz, blues and pop albums.

The first cut, "Fields of Gold," was made completely unrecognizable from Sting's original. The words took on a different meaning for me, and Eva's melancholy voice made me think of those moments of solitude in the early morning before life begins to emerge, where you can truly be alone with your thoughts in introspection. Eva also has an amazing talent for pumping even more soul into the blues, R&B, gospel and jazz songs she interprets on the album. ("Wade in the Water," "Wayfaring Stranger," "People Get Ready,")
Of course, one of the most well known tracks off of this collection is her arrangement and interpretation of "Over the Rainbow." This truly brought tears to my eyes! When I finished listening to it, the yellow brick road and Dorothy were nowhere to be found.......all I could see was Eva, surrounded by her beautiful light and energy that permeates throughout this recording.

This album will change the way you think about music. Please listen to the samples and make your call. Believe me, this will become a frequently-played part of your CD collection. ... Read more

7. Afterglow
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Asin: B0000C6E4D
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 76
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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Is Sarah McLachlan a secret punk rocker? To be sure, her rebellion is hushed. On Afterglow, her first studio album since 1997’s Surfacing, McLachlan’s music is as tempered as ever; at times, even the piano chords at the heart of the sound are tucked neatly beneath layer upon layer of strings and overdubbed voices. Listen to what’s being sung within this soothing aural bed, though, and hear the just-before-sleep murmurings of the quietest riot grrl: "I’m a train wreck waiting to happen . . . a wildfire born of frustration," "How stupid could I be . . . you’re no good for me, but you’re the only one I see," "I have to push just to see how far you’ll go." The latter song ("Push") resolves itself with the assurance "You complete me." Ultimately, McLachlan fans will be comforted again by what turns out to be her reliably untroubled aesthetic. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (519)

5-0 out of 5 stars ReSurfacing
Sarah McLachlan's gorgeous, luscious voice is once again the centrepiece in her work. Despite most of the material being written well before life-changing events such as her mother's death and the birth of her daughter, the songs on this album are just about that -- life, death, and all the messy things in-between. Sarah's pacing and style, as always, are acquired tastes... she wraps her voice around you like a warm blanket in "Answer"; at other times, she glides coolly and effortlessly, as a glacier would over tundra, setting up an introspective mood.

Overall, the sound record to me seems to be a combination of her last three albums proper; there are the requisite Surfacing era piano-based ballads in "Answer," and "Dirty Little Secret," the Solace era melodies in "Drifting,' and the verses of 'Stupid', the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy textures and lyrical depth in "World on Fire," (mostly written by her producer Pierre Marchand) "Stupid," and the fantastic "Dirty Little Secret."

I like 9 out of the 10 songs, which, in my books, is no small feat for any artist to accomplish. "Drifing," is the only song that I'm indifferent about, but that might change after time.
Some highlights upon first listen:

"Fallen," the lead single, is about the irrevocable mistakes we make in our lives that force us to wallow within, and then move on. In terms of sound, it's reminiscent of "Building A Mystery," from her last album, Surfacing.

"World on Fire," is a beautiful song about ugliness. Being the only song written after her mother's passing and her daughter's birth, its subject matter is the reconciliation of innocence with chaos in our post 9/11 world. Sarah's voice soars, and the instrumentation is lush, harkening back to Fumbling Towards Ecstasy's layered textures.

"Stupid" is as close to a driving, straight-ahead rock song on the album as Sarah gets, and it is a great payoff. A killer chorus is bookended by Solace-style, melodic verses about being smitten by someone that you know is bad for you. Sarah's voice is raw and close to the edge; it would be amazing to see her just cut loose and let her powerful voice go completely, as it did in her cover of XTC's "Dear God." Another thing to note is that he strings and orchestration for "Stupid" are a brilliant touch.

"Train Wreck" is notable because it offers, for a Sarah McLachlan song, unusual instrumentation. There are ambient electronic sounds and beats, and hopefully this is an avenue she and her producer will further explore on her next album, when she tackles the weighty dramas that have consumed her life in the past few years.

"Answer" is, well, the Answer to "Angel." It's a low-key, very chill track that epitomizes what Sarah McLachlan's recent sound has transformed into -- an extremely soothing, maternal sound that comforts us and slows us down in our sometimes too fast-paced world. Centred around the piano, Sarah's voice is at the forefront, taking all troubles to "wash this from my mind."

"Dirty Little Secret" is a very personal song, and could well be this album's "Do What You Have To Do.' It has the storytelling quality of her work on Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Confessional lyrics are glazed with a decadent wine sauce; the result is nothing short of epic, as she journeys through a messy relationship from the past.

It's hard to argue that Sarah is an artist that speaks to her audience, and that she is an artist who is getting more and more precise with her composing and deliberate in her writing. She conjures complex, emotional nuance in unpretentious, natural lyrics that can catch a listener offguard in a moment of vulnerability or reflection. This is an album that will surprise you on one of those nights when you're listening with headphones after one too many drinks.

In a bleak musical landscape littered with gangster rappers one-upping each other about guns, cash, and hos, cookie-cutter hip-hop beats and hooks, and manufactured pop tarts that are known best by their first names, Sarah's voice blasts across the skyline like a radiant shaft of light. Sarah McLachlan is so endearingly unphased by trends; instead, she tip-toes gently through the geography of the heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sarah's back (4.5 stars)
Sarah McLachlan's new album, "Afterglow", is yet another example of fine compositions by Sarah and amazing production by Pierre Marchand. I don't think the new album will top "Solace" as my favourite Sarah album, but it's a well-made album with some of the best lyrics from Sarah I've ever seen (with the exception of the hideous lyrics to "Push").

Favourite songs:

1) Fallen: Not exactly groundbreaking, but it's touching nonetheless.

2) World on Fire: WONDERFUL production! The song has a catchy chorus yet the lyrics are meaningful and beautifully written.

3) Stupid: I love the chorus! Great to hear Sarah with a bit of an edge.

4) Train Wreck: I love the intro to this song. Great lyrics and guitar work.

5) Answer: Musically very similar to "Angel", but the lyrics are far better. Sarah sounds heavenly.

6) Pretty Girl: Has a strange introduction, but solid lyrics.

My only complaint is that this album would have been better if Sarah wrote these songs on guitar. She is a boring piano player but a stunning guitarist. I wish she would have played more guitar on the album (she only plays electric guitar on "Stupid" and "Train Wreck") and less piano. Hopefully next time she'll realize she writes better songs on guitar.

3-0 out of 5 stars Give it a try, maybe¿.
Sarah's new album is somewhat bland. Her voice is beautiful and musicianship near perfect. So what's missing? I've played Afterglow many times for myself at home and also for Mclachlan fans/non-fans. I've compared Afterglow to Sarah's previous releases (over and over) by myself and with guests. So, what's the consensus? Well, Afterglow isn't atmospheric or insightful. The music feels like mainstream "radio friendly" pop and the lyrics are very boring. I think she plagiarized my 14-year-old daughter's diary at times!!! Here's a passage - you decide (everything NOT in brackets below were quoted directly from the CD):

[Dear Diary]:
I've messed up. Love has made me a fool, [diary]. [My boyfriend Justin dumped me]. From [his] mouth it's all that I wish, the mercy of [his] lips. [Justin,] just one [more] kiss. No matter what I say or do, I'm a train wreck waiting to happen. I can't stand to feel myself losing control [because he left.] Nothing else can cure me - [his] love is the antidote. I can only tell you what I know, [Justin]- that I need you in my life. I don't remember [why] we're fighting. [Let's get back together]. Don't tell me it's too late.

Final Thought: Afterglow isn't her best work, but it's a lot better than 98% of the music on MTV/VH1 and radio. I recommend buying this album if you're a fan / semi-fan / just like her voice / curious. Letter grade: C- ( for teenage lyrics - at times - and radio friendly rhythm/chord progression).

4-0 out of 5 stars Still 4 stars, but a bit of a disappointment
I've been into Sarah McLachlan's music since 1998, when "Fumbling Through Ecstacy" provided an anchor during some difficult times in high school. I have all her other albums and have listened to them more times than I can count, so I was excited when she FINALLY came out with a new CD last year. I sat down and listened to it, again and again... and was just disappointed. Not at all with her singing; Sarah's voice remains perfectly, sensuously beautiful. Nor so much with the lyrics, which, while I had a harder time identifying with them than with many of her other songs, were still deep and well-written. I think it was the music itself. One of the things I love about Sarah McLachlan's other albums is that they have this innovative quality about them. She uses unusual rhythms and instruments, but makes them flow, makes them WORK. Here the rhythms are conventional (the opening piano and guitar in "Fallen" comes to mind here). It's as if she's afraid to take a risk, something countless people in the entertainment industry also seem to have a fear of nowadays, especially in music and television.

Yet Sarah has not completely sold out here (ahem, Jewel and No Doubt). Her lyrics and her voice are gems in a sea of cliched songs and phony singers. So compared to other CDs, I give "Afterglow" 4.5 stars, but compared to Sarah's earlier work, I'd give it 3, for an average of about 4 stars. :P

2-0 out of 5 stars Burnt out?
Ho-hum. Not as interesting as Solace and not as lushly orchestrated as Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Afterglow is just... well, boring. Better title: "somnabulent." ... Read more

8. Now What
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Sales Rank: 877
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album!
Just as the first album is good from song to song, this album is consistently great from song to song as well. The melodies are so catchy. Every song rocks, whether in a clear-cut in-your-face kind of way, or in a pretty, soft kind of way, or both. And there's a reason "Idiot" gets mentioned the most; it's the best song on an album full of best songs. It's perfect for anyone who absolutely loathes another person (deservedly so), which most of us know that feeling well. Keep 'em coming Lisa!

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this CD!
I bought this for her version of Dirty Laundry, but there is so much more to it than I expected. Starts off great with I'll Figure It Out and just gets better.There is something for everyone on this cd. Idiot is fantastic, Shine is great. Absolutely love the hidden track.I can't say anything bad about this cd.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
WOW!All I got to say is that the lyrics on this album are cut throat deep.Especially the song "High Enough", that song seriously almost brought me to tears.I highly reccomend this ablum to everyone!

5-0 out of 5 stars true rocker
I have been away from any rock albums for awhile and didn't really find any that I could enjoy.When I saw the music video of Dirty Laundry, I have to buy her album. I love all the songs.They have different feel to it as compared to other current rock albums.

4-0 out of 5 stars Presley Delivers With 'Now What'
She may be coveting a special award for least interesting cover art, but Lisa Marie Presley demonstrates with her sophomore album "Now What" that appearances can be deceiving. Indeed, this follow-up to her gold-certified 2003 debut "To Whom It May Concern" enraptures from start to finish with emotionally charged vocal performances and autobiographical yet accessible lyrics.

Aside from her cover of Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry," the set's lead single, Presley lyricized the tracklist from top to bottom. The opening "I'll Figure It Out" is the best song on the disc, with a revelatory chorus that is catchier than hard-edged adult alternative rock has a right to be.

"It took me all my life/To finally figure out/That I'm not in the mood/To be anything like you/Maybe it's alright/And maybe not/ I'll conduct my choir/I'll figure it out."

Presley finds herself wrapped up in the thoughts of a former flame with the bittersweet "Thanx," a perfect song to put on full blast in the car with the windows down. She also gets retrospective with "When You Go," a partial dedication to punk rocker Johnny Ramone, a close friend of hers who passed away last September, as well as "Raven," a dark tale that features an audio recording of the artist at the age of 3 taking a singing lesson.

The sparse, mid-tempo fare of "Shine" is a breath of fresh air. Featuring additional vocals from Pink, the song sends a strong message that we can overcome negativity if we only try. She later lives up to her own words with "Idiot," a spiteful comeback that kicks subtlety to the curb.

"I'm gonna tell you what I think about you/In that unforgivable way I do/You're an idiot/And I hate your guts/I guess I'm about as happy for you/As I would be a cockroach in my food."

With a second album superior to her debut, Presley proves that she is not only genuinely talented, but that she does not need Melissa Etheridge or Sheryl Crow comparisons. To witness this music is to realize that her aesthetic stems from a sincere desire to connect with listeners. To be sure, that desire has become reality.
... Read more

9. The Very Best of Sheryl Crow
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Asin: B0000DZ3E2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 128
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (128)

4-0 out of 5 stars Different song selection
Hello friends-
Im writing from Panama City, Panama in Central America. I have always been a fan of Sheryl, since All I wanna do came out. I've followed her every move, every change. Right now, i have in my hands her very first best of collection, wao how quick time goes by. I love this new collection of her best work, but my version is different from the one that is in stores in USA. This is the track listing of my version
1. All i wanna do
2. Soak up the sun
3. My favorite mistake
4. The fisrt cut is the deepest
5. Everyday is like a winding road
6. Leaving Las Vegas
7. Strong enough
8. Light in your eyes
9. If it makes you happy
10. Run, baby run
11. Picture (with Kid Rock)
12. C'mon, C'mon (feat.The Coors)
13. A change would do you good
14. Home
15. There goes the neighborhood
16. I shall believe

If i could make any changes i would include Safe and Sound (which for me is her best track ever)and her cover version of the guns and roses song Sweet child of mine-
Or to be a little more greedy i would have included a second disc full of unreleased material, remixes and acoustic versions, and colaborations of her best material. This is not too much it?????
Lots of love


5-0 out of 5 stars My review of The Best of Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow is probably one of the most talented songwriters and musicians out today. This CD really showcases her versatility as both. She sings about cutting loose and having fun on the songs Soak Up The Sun and All I Want to Do. They are very good tunes to dance to. I loved the hit duet Picture with Kid Rock. His voice and Sheryl Crow's voice sound great together. Sheryl Crow is so good singing about the pain and difficulty of trying to get over failed relationships. Her vocal delivery on the songs Strong Enough and The Difficult Kind are very moving. The First Cut is the Deepest sounds better than the original version by Cat Stevens.

I loved Sheryl Crow's songs about adventure and escape. Steve McQueen is a great rock song about rebellion and fast cars. I have always liked her choices of song titles too. I love the song title If It Makes You Happy and Every Day Is A Winding Road, because they always sounded interesting and somewhat philosophical to me. This CD is a wonderful collection and retrospective of Sheryl Crow's musical career. I enjoyed it very much.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly the Very Best
I bought this CD a few days ago and I absoutely love it. I like many of her songs but my absolute favorites are 'My Favorite Mistake' & 'Light In Your Eyes'. I'm a fan of music with meaningful lyrics and Sheryl's CD has very indepth lyrics, so it you are into groovin beats and music to make you move she has a few tracks that will do that for you....but if that's all you're looking for this is not for you. Absoutely the best I'm very pleased with my choice and I highly recommend this CD.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's a "Strong Enough" collection.
It's amazing how popular "Sheryl Crow" and this collection are, but I guess she's just one of those musicians that appeal to everyone. This of course is missing a few favorite tracks, like "Anything But Down", "C'mon C'mon", and her cover of "Sweet Child O' Mine", but otherwise this is loaded with hits. All the biggies are here, like "All I Wanna Do", "Every Day Is A Winding Road", "My Favorite Mistake", and "Soak Up The Sun". Plus, "The First Cut Is The Deepest" and "Light In Your Eyes" both became really popular, and I actually like the song with "Kid Rock" too. Overall it's a great collection, and it sounds just as good as this Missouri girl still looks.

2-0 out of 5 stars BORING
Like Sheryl Crow. I suppose I like the stuff not on the radio more than what is played on the radio. Feel like I wasted my money. ... Read more

10. A Ghost Is Born
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Asin: B00020P7TM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 174
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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The infectious twang and pop hooks of Wilco's former efforts may be fading fast, but A Ghost Is Born is still a rewarding effort that demands repeated listening. The group's fifth album extends upon the experimentalism of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot with angular, blues-soaked guitar riffs ("At Least That's What You Said," "Hell Is Chrome"), a handful of sparse, yet catchy tunes (smack dab in the middle of the disc) that will surely keep college radio stations smiling, and a lengthy track that descends into mere static ("Less Than You Think"). Frontman Jeff Tweedy's songwriting continues to evolve: "Hummingbird" is a dreamy Randy Newman-styled love song; "The Late Greats" is a sly ode to the world of pop tacked onto the end of the album (as if using such a fun song on this understated disc was an afterthought). Meanwhile, producer extraordinaire Jim O'Rourke manages to make the most complicated arrangements here sound minimalist and laid-back. All told, it's another great addition to the Wilco canon. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

Reviews (142)

5-0 out of 5 stars Been Waiting Too Long
I'd give it four stars in the LP era, where I'd have to listen through the 15 minute static noises of "Less Than You Think". This is a John Cage 4'33-esque commentary on what can be considered music. I won't get into that now, but it's good to listen to it at least once in context of the whole album. Especially since it contrasts very starkly with the straightforward track "The Late Greats," which is probably the closest thing you'll get to Alt-Country on this album. Anyway, luckily we have the skip track button for casual listening. The rest of the album is incredible.
If you like climaxes, this is your album. Several songs start off slow and progress into some pretty hard hitting rock and dissolve into distortion. There are less dings and pings on Ghost than YHF. Ghost is more minimalist, relying more on primal baselines and rythmic sequences that make you sort of lose time within the song, often before hitting you hard with a jam. "Spiders" is the eiptome of this, and probably is the musical version of Tweedy's well-publicized migraines.
Bottom line; the alt-country fans hoping for Another A&M, the pop fans hoping for another Summerteeth, those in between hoping for another Being There, and everyone else who came on board with YHF hoping for more of the same didn't get your wishes. But that's what I love about Wilco, each album is distinctively Tweedy, but there's always something new to keep you interested.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Judge Too Soon
It's a classic mistake -- a big name band comes out with a new album, and critics and fans alike step in immediately to give their first impressions. If there's one band for which that approach is a consistent a mistake, it's Wilco. Like many, I'm frightened of albums that I instantly like; they invariably begin to fade away sooner than later.

"A Ghost is Born" will leave many bumfuzzled out of the starting gate. Similar in overall style and structure to its controversial predecessor "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", this record depends heavily on brooding atmospherics which envelope the rather conventional melodies. This is Jeff Tweedy's niche; the basic pop song format shadowed and subverted by dissonant, disquieting counter-themes. For those willing to submit to Wilco's own (admittedly wry) internal logic, the rewards will come; doubt will fade like Smarty Jones in the final leg of the Belmont, and the patient listener will be overtaken and surprised by a work of unexpected depth.

Among the better tracks are "Hell is Chrome", which sounds like Paul Simon backed by Dark Side-era Pink Floyd; the breezy yet bittersweet "Wishful Thinking"; and "Theologians," a blue-collar manifesto that supplies the album's thesis with cleverly employed Biblical analogies. But the song that stands out most is "Muzzle of Bees," and astonishingly schizoidal piece whose delicate acoustic elements are trampled by wailing electric histrionics. "Muzzle" best demonstrates Wilco's disparate musical interests while showing off their latently strong musicianship.

Give this one a chance. Odds are it will make regular rounds in your CD changer well into the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars what are you people thinking?!
This is not going to be so much a cd review as it is a rebuttal to all those who write reviews for this site...including you,

Okay, forget that Wilco is one of (if not the) most innovative rock (yes, rock) bands that exists today..."Ghost" is simply a very brave and very, very amazing album that any band would sell its soul to even have conceived of, let alone create. What Wilco accomplishes on this album, even more so than YHF, is emotion - hard, raw emotion without allowing the incredible success of said YHF to interfere. Wilco (Tweedy specifically, though not exclusively) is fast proving itself a creative force which relies not on jingles and soon-to-be-radio-slough to sell its fact, Wilco couldn't care less if it sells albums or not (research your YHF history to see what I mean). Wilco proves to all us earlier non-believers that there still are those artists out there who believe in their music as an extension of themselves, as a reflection of who they truly are, not who their so-called fans wish them to be. They are artists in every sense of the word, meaning they toss critisism to the wayside as the simple opinions of those who can't...or, in the very least, won't. Art does not demand critism to exist, only the critic. So, so-called fans, save all your critisms for the next J-Lo album or whatever piece of trash you're currently reviewing. Wilco is above you all.

Now, on to the achievements of "Ghost" - amazing, spectacular, artistic, and true. That is all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Okay, this is the Wilco cd I've waited for
I came to Wilco as a fan of the 90's band, Son Volt (and if you haven't heard of them, you are in for treat). After falling in love with those records, I followed Farrar and Tweedy in their musical travels, but Tweedy's records just never quite made it for me. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was okay, but nothing special.

This cd is great. It takes a song or two really get going, but man, it's worth it. The songs are beautiful and dream-like. The lyrics are lovely. The long musical interludes are hypnotic. For me, this is the best Wilco cd by far. Get this one.

2-0 out of 5 stars Great Music to Fall Asleep to
We have all heard the story before and you will hear it again, about a band that hit it big by being spurned by their record company over what was one of the better albums of the last decade. Problem is that if they had turned this album instead of YHF, I am not sure that anyone would really be complaining all that mcuh.

A Ghost is Born reminds me of the inferior B-Side Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album. While I am not one of those Alt-Country Snobs that wishes Wilco would do alt-country again or pine for the days of Uncle Tupelo, I do pine for the Jeff Tweedy/Jay Bennett songwriting and stage presence that is missing on this album. The best three albums by Wilco are Being There, Summerteeth and, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and its no coincidence on each of those albums, Jay plays a crucial role in the music writing process. The problem with this album is that it becomes Jeff Tweedy and the Wilcos. More Guitar strung out guitar solos and ridiculous droning that someone will argue as being some artistic masterpiece. Well Jeff Tweedy is trying to prove something, but you know I just want an album that I can listen to over and over again and not get tired of it.

There are some great songs on this album. Hummingbird is a great song and shows once again that they do still have it in them to write a great pop song. Handshake Drugs sounds like later Velvet Underground material. While I always loved the song it had already been released before (Albeit a different mix). Theologians has also grown on me.

There are a lot of forgettable songs on this album as well. Muzzle of Bees and Wishful thinking just don't really do much for me. Spiders was turned into a huge mistake by making it 10 minutes and do we really need endless nonstop sounds on Less than You think. Maybe you like to listen to bells and whistles nonstop but I surely do not. Im a Wheel is probably one of the worst songs that Wilco has ever written. I rolled my eyes the first time I heard this song live and I was just hoping that they would realize their mistake and make this some odd B-Side.

If you never have bought a wilco album this is not the one to start off with. This band has pretty much done no wrong coming into this album. Each one of their albums they have grown as a band but what we notice more on this album is maybe the dismantling of Wilco. The bands makeup is changing more than Menudo and that has to be worrysome. You cannot have any type of growth when you only have two original members and the others have either been kicked out, fired or just sick and tired of it. ... Read more

11. Life for Rent
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000089RVR
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 177
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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Despite its somewhat polite, trip-hoppy surface, Dido Armstrong’s music frequently rests on a melancholy that can only be called courageous in the current pop world. Few singer-songwriters with 12 million record sales behind them would offer a single such as Life for Rent’s "White Flag," which is in part an apology for the "mess and destruction" the narrator has left with her lover. Emotions are even stickier on other tracks, with Dido’s Dusty-ish voice coolly sweeping through "Don’t Leave Home," one of the creepiest codependent-love songs since "Every Breath You Take," and in "Who Makes You Feel," ticking off a list of reasons why an affair is dying, while also admitting that she still loves the guy. It’s a hard-won romanticism, too, that pokes its head up in the tough-minded "This Land is Mine" and "Do You Have a Little Time" ("I’d like to hold you still/Remind you of all you’ve missed"). A knotty and rewarding album. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (381)

5-0 out of 5 stars im not expecting this at all!
i grew up with artists like britney,madonna,kylie,
dido never once entered my thoughts as a pick. instead i was sick oF her "but that was before" way back with "no angel" im just twelve back then so i find her really boring but when i heard "white flag" i was blown away and i found out that it was dido's song and it shocked me i knew i was gonna buy "life for rent" the songs are infused with mild electronica reflected in the song "stoned" soulfulness of the words are present in all of the 12 tracks which includes a hidden track 2 minuites after the last track "see the sun" stand outs are "white flag", "see the sun", of course "life for rent" pretty touchy track it makes me teary everytime i hear it "mary's in india" a funny ballad, "sands in my shoes" about an unforgotten lover, "this land is mine" is a sweet song,"dont leave home" is a great one and the rest are really soft mild and relaxing songs


4-0 out of 5 stars Life for Rent, Room to Grow
After the brilliance of No Angel, Dido fans were naturally left with great expectations for a follow-up. Unfortunately, Life for Rent, the end product of a 4-year wait for the sequel to No Angel, fails to build upon the watermark set by Dido's debut.

This collection consists of eleven songs (plus a hidden twelfth track) that, while graced with heavenly vocals, buckle under the weight of clunky computer wizardry for music -- much different from the viscous electronica that gave No Angel such a unique sound.

That's not to say that Life for Rent is lacking in its moments of utter beauty; the title track seamlessly blends acoustic with digital, creating a charming air of "folktronica." Elsewhere, "White Flag," "See You When You're 40," "Don't Leave Home," and "Stoned" captivate with undeniable hooks and melodies, and the swelling soundscapes of "See the Sun" serve as a breathtaking climax to the album. These songs easily match -- if not surpass -- Dido's sonic accomplishments on No Angel.

The remainder of the album, however, lurches along to an uninspired backdrop of beeps and thumps, making for songs that aren't that distinguishable from any of the trip-hop/hip-hop/pop/techno fodder in the Top 40 charts.

All in all, Life for Rent is an album mostly of songs that sound like above-average B-sides; but when the album clocks around to something good, there's a little slice of perfection that shows Dido is still capable of outdoing herself. Here's hoping for a shorter wait for Dido phase three than there was for her sophomore outing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bland?! No way!
Let me just start by saying that there is some really crappy music out there. Shopping for music these days feels like you're walking in a mine field...I'm constantly faced with the question "Do I really wanna shell out 18 bucks for this?" usually I don't. That's how I felt when I picked up this album. In the end I'm glad I bought it. It's the best thing I've heard in a long time, sure Dido's not all that edgy, but not everybody has to be. Personally, I'm sick of listening to political music. Some musicians should stop campaigning and make music. In short, I urge people to buy this album. It does what pop music should do: take you do a better place. While she's not going tyo be nominated for the Nobel prize Dido brings peace into my life` and that's why I'm so glad she's around and so pleased th at I bought this CD, and no, I'm not some accountant in their mid 30's contrary to the Dido fan stereotype. I'm just a teenager who loves music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best CD of the 21st century!
Really great CD it's perfect! Didos best by far.

4-0 out of 5 stars nice
as good as no angel, nice voice and different of the best pop albums of da year ... Read more

12. Crash
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002WYT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 787
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

It's tempting to label the Dave Matthews Band as torchbearers of the Grateful Dead's moderate rock fusion and send them off on the next summer tour featuring either Blues Traveler or the Spin Doctors. But there is more at work here, particularly on the band's second major-label release. Crash pairs soothing sounds (flute, acoustic guitar, six-string bass) with a dark emotional undercurrent. The South African (by way of Virginia) frontman reveals a rare intensity on the title track and the free-form "41," while the group shows that it's not afraid to let loose on songs such as the stirring "Too Much." Producer Steve Lillywhite adds an impressive sheen to the recordings. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

Reviews (352)

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring
I'm not a DMB fan and I'm writing this review as someone who has purchased Crash following a recommendation by a friend. This review is my impression of this album (I've never heard any other DMB album before).
Reading the reviews on this site makes clear one thing - the members of the DMB know how to play their instruments. But listening to the CD reveals what all the reviewers forget to mention: they can't for the life of them write good songs.
The most alarming part is the infantile lyrics which make even the somewhat catchy songs a gruesome listening experience. For instance, in So Much to Say, Dave sings, "my heaven is a nice house in the sky, got central heating and I'm alright" - if that doesn't sound stupid then what does? His lyrics for the others songs, of course: "I have no lid upon my head ... but if I did, you could look inside and see what's on my mind" he sings in Let You Down. Whatever serious intentions he had when writing this, I can only burst in a fit of laughter upon hearing it. I suppose Dave meant these lyrics to be charming, but he's off the mark.
Add to this the album's own silent disease - the lack of melody. After listening to this CD for 3 times in a row I still can barely remember any particular part of it. Contrast this with any classic album - say, any Beatles good album - in which at least several songs immediately become imprinted on your mind after only listening to them once.
Why on earth anyone would be happy with this music I do not know, but do yourselves a favor and don't forget to listen before you buy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as Under the TAble
Dmb's Crash is a great cd, i cant decide if i like under the table and dreaming or this more. Crash spawned 4 hits, three of them huge To Ten hits. Tim Reynolds adds some of his excellent electric guitars on this album (UTTAD didnt have a single electric guitar on the whole album.)Much of Crash was recorded live in the studio. Also, I must praise Steve Lillywhite for his always excellent production.
So Much to Say (10/10)great catchy song, big hit, very good baritone sax from Roi.Carter is a great backing vocalist.
Two Step (10/10) Great tune, one of the best on here. Great plucking from Boyd, some of Dave's best lyrics ("Celebrate we will, cause if short but sweet for certain.")
Crash into Me (8/10)One of their biggest hits, soft song that is NOT a love song-look carefully at the lyrics. Nice guitar from Dave.
Too Much (7/10)OK song, kind of annoying, huge hit, more baritone from Roi. This song is about greed.Love that beggining riff(sounds kinda TRipping Billies though!)
41-(11/10)great emotional tune, some of Dave's all time best vocals, great solos from Roi and Boyd.
Say Goodbye (8/10)good song, the best part is the end when it gets all dramatic.
Drive In Drive Out(9/10)-this song will grow on you, the chourus is insanely catchy.
Let You Down (9/10) nice quiet ballad, Roi can whistle, man!
Lie in Our Graves(10/10)-great upbeat song about living live to the fullest, ping-pong anyone?(listen close)
Cry Freedom (3/10)ahh i hate this tune good messsage though.
Tripping Billies (12/10) probaly my all time favorite dmb tune, love that "Eat drink and be Merry for tommorow we die" line.
Proudest Monkey (8/10) nice jam, nine minutes, kinda meanders, especially at the end. Solid song.
BUY CRASH AND UTTAD AND BTCS AND BS! their great check out live stuff to and everyday.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome CD
This CD is so good only one word can desbribe it,(...)Go buy it right now.

5-0 out of 5 stars Top Notch
In my opinion, this is the best Dave Matthew Band Album. It has some of their best songs and most inspired playing. Many of the songs have become concert staples. Catchy hits such as So Much To Say, Too Much, Tripping Billies and the moster hit Crash are interspersed with musical gems like Two Step, #41, Lie In Our Graves, and a personal favorite, Say Goodbye. This is one of my desert island discs. The double shot of #41 and Say Goodbye is my favorite moment on any DMB album. It never ceases to affect me. Not a bad song on the whole disc.

3-0 out of 5 stars ok, ok
i understand where all the one-star reviews are coming from; opinions that hate dave matthews band for putting out mindless drivel on lame subject matter. but i have to disagree. to me, crash is about feeling good, about relaxing to moving sound. not really about complexity in lyricism or songs that are necessarily 'about' something. i have no idea what #41 is about, but its one of the prettiest songs i've ever heard. and that song alone is worth the bucks, or at least a couple more stars ... Read more

13. Under the Table & Dreaming
list price: $18.98
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002WQS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 899
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

With popcorn acoustic guitars, trampoline fiddles, bumper-car bass lines, and caramel-coated sax, the Dave Matthews Band's major-label debut is like an evening at the fair. "The Best of What's Around" and "What Would You Say" swirl like the amusement-park ride on the album's cover, sweeping the exhilarated and lightheaded listener higher as the ride spins faster. "Satellite" glides breezily like the prettiest horse on the carousel, "Ants Marching" runs around hitting the bell with the sledgehammer and winning the largest stuffed animals at the target-range booths, and "Lover Lay Down" is the quietest moment on the disc--like the sun setting on a baby's sleeping, snow-cone-stained face collapsed on her daddy's shoulder. --Beth Massa ... Read more

Reviews (252)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Tremendous Beginning
One word can sum up DMB's major label debut album: TREMENDOUS. This is an album fusing the saxaphone, the violin, flute, harmonica's, and everything else that has created the atmosphere for dreamscape picture-perfect songs. With the exploration into the superior skills on the acoustic guitar Dave Matthews himself possesses, and the skill from Carter Beauford, Leroi Moore, Stefan Lessard, and of course Boyd Tinsley you cannot go wrong, bottom line. Lucky for all us Dave fans, this was just the beginning of an ever-unfolding journey of an ever-masterful band. (Why did I wait this long to write this???)

Just buy this CD! Stop wasting your time reading this, and expierence something out of this world...

Best Of What's Around - (10/10) This song could possibly be the all-time greatest opener in the history of music. An amazingly upbeat feel good song. With incredible meaning behind it. The end with Dave's famous scat-singing is the best part...listen and you will see.

What Would You Say - (10/10) AMAZING! A very popular radio hit, (even today) and a great live DMB song. John Popper flies away on the harmonica(Blues Traveller) which just adds ot the incredible breakdown. It's just so good...

Satellite - (10/10) One of the best songs DMB has ever written. The opening riff says it all. Extremly meldoic, with great lyrics. I love this song. The chorus is amazing...enough said.

Rhyme & Reason - (8/10) A very powerful song, and fun to see live. Just a classic DMB song, with alot of rythm. I like this song a lot, but not one of their best.

Typical Situation - (11/10) WOW! One fo their best...ever! This songs just blows me away every time I listen to it. It seems to get better and better everytime I hear it. "Live At Luther College" first dragged me into its mind blowing lyrics and melodies. I LOVE THIS SONG!!!

Dancing Nancies - (10/10) It's Dancing Nancies, come on now, one of the best songs they've ever written. "Could I have been anyone other than me?" Still to this day I will argue Dave Matthews is the greatest living poet. The title speaks for itself, if you've never heard this song, listen to it, and then listen to it again.

Ants Marching - (10/10) Their biggest hit ever, and deservedly so. This is the epitome of DMB. This is the song they want to be remembered by. It is absolutely crazy to see this song live. The energy of the band, and the crowd feeding off one another is priceless. I love everything this songs says, I love this song period.

Lover Lay Down - (9/10)A very soft song, with great meaning. Often over-rated, but I really think this is a great song, excellent musicianship.

Jimi Thing - (10/10) AMAZING! Incredibly exciting, incredibly invigorating. Not enough can be said about how brilliant this song really is. Listen and you will undersatnd, trust me.

Warehouse - (11/10) we have a good song. I mean all DMB songs are amazing (really, I love all sorts of music, and DMB always just seem to blow me away) but this song really does it for me. One of their best hands down. Right when you're getting into the dazzling guitar build Dave Matthews creates for us, it switches, and puzzles even the greatest of critics. It's an incredble song, please just listen to it, you won't be sorry.

Pay For What You Get - (8/10) A great song, however I never really go into this song as much as I would have liked to. It's just one of those songs, I like alot, but not enough, maybe it'll grow on me. It seems like the greatest bands, have strange tendencies to do that.

#34 - (9/10) A beautiful, beautiful instrumental. A very different way to conclude an album, (with an instrumental) and it takes alot of guts, especially on a major label debut. I love this song, and I realy don't think it gets the kind of credit it deserves.

In case you haven't realized I really, really love DMB. I've been known to be an extremly tough critic, and I still love these guys, which speaks volumes (if you know me). They simply amaze me time and time again, I just can't express that enough. Just check this album out, if you don't like it, you don't like it. But don't worry, because you will. Just give it a few listens. It will undoubtedtly catch you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Debut!
I have always been a casual fan of Dave Matthews' music, but I didn't purchase this CD(which was my first DMB CD) until about a month ago. I was very impressed! I had only heard a couple songs off this album previously, but after listening to the whole CD, I liked most all of them. Out of the 12 songs, 10 of them are REALLY good. The only 2 I don't care for are Lover Lay Down and Pay For What You Get. These 2 sound like filler to me, but the CD still gets a 5 star rating because of how good the other songs are. Some of the best of the best on here are Best Of What's Around, What Would You Say, Satellite, Jimi Thing(my favorite), Ants Marching, #34, and Warehouse. #34 is such a beautiful song, and it is the perfect song to listen to before you go to bed or when you wake up. Although I think "Before These Crowded Streets" is DMB's best CD, this is a VERY close 2nd. Actually, if you are just getting into DMB, buy this CD first and listen to it before you get BTCS(I would skip "Crash", it is a disappointment). This CD is a more "fun" album than BTCS, but it is not quite as good. Still I highly recommend this CD for any music fan, you will enjoy it.

1-0 out of 5 stars like totally cool
This is the worst band in the history of music and just as expected they come with the worst fans in the history of the world! Frat boys and girls in white hats driving around in SUVs while drinking Starbucks while listening to "Under The Table & Dreaming" sounds like a stereotype but its the truth! Sadly this band is even more predictable than their damn fans.

Please for the love of humanity stop hazing the rest of humanity by blaring this crap wherever you go. This band is horrible, has no talent and re-writes the same song 100 times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow! Sooo good
Well I'd like to first start by saying this is my first DMB album. I had difficulty choosing between this album and crash, but there both excellent choices, you can't go wrong. Anyway, this is an amazing. Every song is hypnotic and and just puts you in a trance you don't want to get of. My personal favorites are jimi thing, dancing nancies, and rhyme and reason. Trust me and everyone else who reviewed this album correctly, it's worth it.

2-0 out of 5 stars I don't understand what all the hype is about
Below average. I give this album two stars just for Ants Marching and Satellite, and I'm being kind. Other than that all of the tunes on this CD are completely forgettable, almost tuneless, and, truthfully, I will probably trade this CD back in to get something worthwhile. I purchased this after consulting a friend who is a huge DMB fan. I never listened to their music, but I was curious about them because they have such a huge following. So, I dove in: I asked my DMB friend which album to buy. He suggested "any" because "they're all so good." I tried this one, their first, and now, along with a few other reviewers on Amazon, I, too, am puzzled over all the hype surrounding this band. I can only chalk it up to the same sort of mindless adulation surrounding the likes of Brittney Spears. It certainly has nothing to do with how DMB writes songs, because those are mostly irritating or forgettable, musically and lyrically. I spoke with another friend about DMB about this album, and about them in general, and we just sort of shook heads together. "I don't get it," we both said at the same time. My friend said: "It's female music." I nodded. That's what this is. It is concert music to bring your date to so she can get in the mood and swoon. That's all this is, nothing more. ... Read more

14. Rebel, Sweetheart
list price: $13.98
our price: $11.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00096S3Q8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 59
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

With over 6 million records sold and 2 Grammy’s under their belts, The Wallflowers have released their fifth album and first with producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen). Rebel, Sweetheart is the welcome re-introduction to a grown up rock & roll band with a renewed sense of purpose. The Wallflowers have created an album that yearns forclarity while reflecting the world’s complexity – these are songs written by a man and performed by a band that’s already lived a little. From the powerful expression of hope on the first single "The Beautiful Side Of Somewhere" to the moodily stunning "We’re Already There", Rebel, Sweetheart is poised to be the most focused and accomplished album of their career. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars This album is amazing....
I've been a Wallflowers fan for a couple of years. I heard some music from their last album... and then I realized that it was the same band that had done "One Headlight" and I was hooked. I started listening to some of their older stuff, and I really liked it. Over the past year, I had kinda lost contact with the band, because they had some inner struggles and I figured like many other bands they would disband so I had stopped checking up on the band over the summer, and then I heard that they were coming to perform at Jubilee City Fest in Montgomery, AL, where I live, and I was surprised to hear that they were still together. Last week I was flipping through a magazine and I came across an article on Jakob and about the new album and I was surprised, because since I had stopped checking up on them, I didn't know they had released a new album. Needless to say, I rushed out the next day and bought the album, and I was not disappointed.

My boyfriend is a huge Bob Dylan fan, and I got him to listen to some of the Wallflowers earlier stuff, and he would say that they were good, but that he preferred Bob Dylan because his music had more "depth" to it. While I have yet to coerce him into listening to their new album, I'm willing to bet that he'll have more to say about this one. Jakob has fully matured now, and it seems like he is no longer afraid to take a leap into the unknown. Every line of this new CD has meaning behind it, reminiscent of some of his father's earlier stuff, but with some rock behind it to back it up. I am definately happy with where this album is going, and if you don't go out and buy this album and absolutely love it, then theres something wrong with you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Excellent, Excellent
Jakob Dylan, no matter how often they may compare him to his rock-legend father Bob, is a very talented rock star in his own right.He is an exceptional rock vocalist, guitarist, and I think most of all, an excellent songwriter. You can not deny him those things because he is one of the BEST songwriters (not just chord progressions, but actual songwriters) out there.

REBEL, SWEETHEART is an excellent album.While the fuss now is over many of the sub-genres of rock and roll resurging with groups like The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, and The Bravery, I think that is important to always remember a group like The Wallflowers. What makes this particular album stronger and more enjoyable than says FRANZ FERDINAND or HOT FUSS is the songwriting.It is so focused and so unique. True, it probably isn't correct to compare a straight ahead rock album to new wave or indie-rock, but songwriting wise, compared to Flowers or Kapranos, Dylan is on a "higher level" so to speak.

One of the positive things about this kind of music, rock, American rock, is that there is a true emphasis on making every word have wait.If you listen to U2's HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB, you also see there is an emphasis and weight on every lyric song because it is so pure.That is the case with THE WALLFLOWERS.Dylan has crafted a masterpiece of which no one can deny. The musicianship of which he articulates is phenomenal.It takes only one listen to fall in love with this great recording that should DEFINITELY be a Grammy Nominee in 2006.

It is hard to pick top picks because this album is so well written, but "Days of Wonder" and "The Beautiful Side of Somewhere" are my two personal favorites.I Love this album and I highly recommend it. 4 1/2 stars!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Wallflowers hit a grand slam.
Jakob and the Wallflowers have produced a solid, solid album that is equal to or surpasses BRINGING DOWN THE HORSE.It is unfortunate that they don't receive credit where credit is due; they're a great band putting out solid rock records when that genre receives little to no airplay because of Clear Channel, Infinity, and Entercom dominating the airwaves.Luckily, that is starting to change with XM and Sirius.I think it is blowing the corporate executives' minds that people are actually willing to pay to listen to good music.The new "Jack" format on traditional radio is just a cheap imitation of what you'll find on satellite.Once again, REBEL, SWEETHEART is a great album.On the Wallflowers previous albums there were always a couple tracks, with the exception of BDTH, that I found skippable, but not so on this album.There are great melodies throughout, and Rami Jaffee's keyboards return to prominence.Many of the tracks are catchy, but it is an intrinsic catchiness that stems from Jakob's fantasting songwriting, not because the band is seeking airplay hits.The album is eclectic, "From the Bottom of My Heart" is a great, stripped-down, acoustic ballad.And as another reviewer mentioned, "Back to California" isa good rocker.Each time I listen to the album the more I like it.I could care less for Jakob's politics, but hey, he's entitled to his opinion, and that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate his great music.Give this album a try, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Wallflowers offering yet!
I just purchased this album and I have to say I am impressed. This band has matured so much that they are breathtaking to listen to. I became a huge 'Wallflowers' fan when I heard 'One Headlight' and immediately ran out and purchased 'Bringing Down the Horse'. I don't have their other albums, except 'Red Letter Days' which I thoroughly enjoyed. This album blew me away. I was expecting some of the pop/rock tunes I heard on 'Red Letter Days' and got more than I bargained for. This is the rock band that I remember, all of the songs on this album were so 'musical' and the Jakob Dylan's voice is so rich and poignant, and he sings like he means every word. My fav songs on this cd are 'Days of Wonder', 'The Beautiful Side of Somewhere' and 'God Says Nothing Back'. 'God Says Nothing Back' sent chills up and down my spine. Just a great song. I highly recommend 'Rebel, Sweetheart'. It's the best Wallflowers offering to date. Buy this cd if you're a fan or even if you've never heard of this band. It is thoroughly enjoyable!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dylan's masterpiece
Jakob Dylan's best album. I thought Breach and Red Letter Days were pretty good, but this one is just breath-taking. Dylan's lyrics are touching and powerful, and all the songs just seem like they fit perfectly into this album. There is not a filler on it. The Beautiful Side of Somewhere is the 1st single, and just a great song. Other favorites of mine are The Passenger, Here He Comes, God Says Nothing Back, Nearly Beloved (sounds Beatle-esque to me), All Things New Again. Back to California is a good rocker. Best album of 2005, GO BUY IT and get the Wallflowers back in the top of the charts where they belong!!! ... Read more

15. Paint the Sky with Stars:The Best of Enya
list price: $18.98
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002NJH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 375
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

New Age diva Enya first became widely known when her 1988 album Watermark sold 4 million copies and launched the single "Orinoco Flow." Her follow-up, Shepherd Moons, was even more successful, selling over 10 million copies despite its slightly lower grade of ethereal enchantment. In 1997 she released Paint the Sky with Stars, an assortment of her best work from these two early albums plus gems from 1995's The Memory of Trees and the soundtrack to the BBC series The Celts. The most melodic and atmospheric examples of Enya's lovely Celtic-flavored songwriting shine on this disc. Those unfamiliar with the former Clannad member will find charm in such sweet lullabies as "Marble Halls" and "China Roses" while delighting in the more energetic "Book of Days," "Storms in Africa," and "Caribbean Blue." Overall, an outstanding collection from an artist who gives New Age a good name. --Karen Karleski ... Read more

Reviews (264)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Simply Inspirational Collection Of Songs
I'm telling you, this CD is just SO GOOD! Enya is a wonderful new-age musician in my books. The best thing about this album is the fact that it comprises all of her best tracks from her previous albums, plus new singles like "Only If..." and "Paint the Sky wth Stars" which show that she is no less a great instrumentalist and vocalist as she was before. There are many likeable points about this CD, especially because it really gives you the mood of experiencing a musical journey as you go through different atmospheres with each single. It's truly magical: From sailing on the Orinoco and the blue Caribbean, you enter a Book of Days where Anywhere Is anything you want it to be, and where your consideration of "Only If..." speaks of opportunities you'd never come across in common life. Then you take a trip in history to recap the melodious beauties of the Celts, who rest by the lullaby of beautiful China Roses and as they stare at Shepherd Moons. Next, your journey takes a tribal turn and follows the power of Ebudae, where you get to hear the scary yet charming tunes of the Storms in Africa. Your journey then calms down and rests in peaceful Watermark, where the swipes of music's magical brush Paint the Sky with Stars. And as you take your last steps through the polished walls of Marble Halls, you finally get to be On Your Way Home, where you bear in mind The Memory of Trees. At the end of your listening adventure, you recall the reign of Baodicea, the Celtic King, before your journey through this powerful album comes to a solemn end. Listen to this album, it's really WONDERFUL! Even if it's your first time on new-age music, this CD will definitely make you much more versatile to the various genres of this inspirational form of music. Hope you enjoy this marvellous journey! Bon voyage!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Simply Magically Lustful Collection of Inspirational Songs
I'm telling you, this CD is just SO GOOD! Enya is a wonderful new-age musician in my books. The best thing about this album is the fact that it comprises all of her best tracks from her previous albums, plus new singles like "Only If..." and "Paint the Sky wth Stars" which show that she is no less a great instrumentalist and vocalist as she was before. There are many likeable points about this CD, especially because it really gives you the mood of experiencing a musical journey as you go through different atmospheres with each single. It's truly magical: From sailing on the Orinoco and the blue Caribbean, you enter a Book of Days where Anywhere Is anything you want it to be, and where your consideration of "Only If..." speaks of opportunities you'd never come across in common life. Then you take a trip in history to recap the melodious beauties of the Celts, who rest by the lullaby of beautiful China Roses and as they stare at Shepherd Moons. Next, your journey takes a tribal turn and follows the power of Ebudae, where you get to hear the scary yet charming tunes of the Storms in Africa. Your journey then calms down and rests in peaceful Watermark, where the swipes of music's magical brush Paint the Sky with Stars. And as you take your last steps through the polished walls of Marble Halls, you finally get to be On Your Way Home, where you bear in mind The Memory of Trees. At the end of your listening adventure, you recall the reign of Baodicea, the Celtic King, before your journey through this powerful album comes to a solemn end. Listen to this album, it's really WONDERFUL! Even if it's your first time on new-age music, this CD will definitely make you much more versatile to the various genres of this inspirational form of music. Hope you enjoy this marvellous journey! Bon voyage!

5-0 out of 5 stars Enya. I love you...
When I first saw/listened to an Enya video (Orinocco Flow) on television back in the early 90's/late 80's - I thought she was... ...nice... ...but a wee bit...whacked. Or tootie-fruitie. Or whatever. With all the "...hoo! hee! ooh! ahh! oh! hoo! ahh! ee! oh! hoo!, etc." lyrics...

Then, a few years later, over a period of several months, a mildly crazed girl friend force-fed Enya (...and 90's country music) down my gullet. Whether I dang wanted to hear it or not. Well...after an extended amount of time of this force-feed diet...I...began Enya. In fact, I became mesmerized especially by "Watermark" and "Storms over Africa"? of her other songs.

That was about 10 years ago... and it's year 2004 now. And except for a rare occasion here and there - I have not listened to any Enya music at all. However. After wandering about and subsequently stumbling onto Enya on the site here over the past week or two - I found myself nigh brought to my knees in tears over the wondrous beauty of this fair maiden's music. It is SO BEAUTIFUL...! And relaxing! And hypnotic, and just plain...good for you...! It makes you feel good about yourself...and life...and just...Everything! (sigh...).

Anyway, also - the site here confirmed my delighted suspicion that one of Enya's Lovely songs ("Book of Days") is the theme song for the "Out of Ireland" television program, broadcast on Public Television. (That I recently discovered a few months ago).

So, as I find myself having been somehow guided back to Enya, on this here Amazon site, I am just thinking...that I may end up owning... a whole collection... of Enya tapes.

My mildly...enthusiastic former girlfriend (who I am still friends with) done good...

4-0 out of 5 stars Thanks For The Introduction To Mehdi
I've always enjoyed Enya and this album is no exception, but while reading some of the customer recommendations posted on this page I discovered an artist by the name of Mehdi (pronounced meddie). After some investigation I found his site (SoothingMusic.Com) and listened to the samples...I was instantly blown away by the quality of this music and so I gave it a try and now that I have listened to his CDs several times I really must say that although I'm still a Enya fan I find Mehdi to be a tad more interesting. I have them both in my multi-disc CD player and love the way they compliment each other. I highly recommend that you give this artist a try or atleast just go listen to the samples, I have a feeling you'll be glad you did.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enya is NOT a singles artist.
Trying to review a "Best Of" from Enya is a very difficult assignment. A rarity among popular artists, Enya takes years at a time to perfect and polish her recordings until she decides they are ready, then releases the individual albums as stand alone pieces of work. That an occasional song breaks free and becomes popular is coincidental to the overall scheme of her music. While I must admit that "Orinoco Flow" drove me into a shivering bliss that first time I heard it on the radio, as soon as I got a copy of "Watermark," it was easy to tell that this woman was an artist as perfectionist.

From that point on, I have eagerly awaited the next CD to complete its gestation and land in my disc player. So how does one regard the piecemeal way her first four albums are divided into a "Best Of" collection? Fortunately, Enya has a way with melody, so the songs per se are often memorable outside of context. Much like Enigma, Alan Parsons or Pink Floyd, sometimes a little swath of the album is still enough to convey the consistency of mood, and Enya is of the stature of those equally creative minds.

In short, I have no trouble recommending "Paint The Sky With Stars" to the curious, although my first recommendation would still be to purchase the classic "Watermark" first. But if all you really need is the pleasantries of Enya to put some tranquility in your day, this "Best Of" set will do nicely. ... Read more

16. White Ladder
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004Z3M3
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 618
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2000

David Gray's glorious fourth record explodes in a wellspring of spacious, electronica-tinged folk-pop. He uses his bright growl of a voice to memorable effect, chewing on vowel sounds while spinning odes to lost love, the resiliency of young hearts, and the pain of experience. Gray's work finds the universality at the heart of folk music and tweaks it just enough to make it relevant for alternative audiences. --Matthew Cooke ... Read more

Reviews (350)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wish all current singers were as real as this guy
David Gray has always impressed me with his ability to remain completely genuine in his rise to fame. His music, and especially his lyrics, have never suffered in order to make himself more palatable to the pop-listening masses. "White Ladder" is his most "studio" album to date, yet the instrumentation is still spare enough to not be overpowering. You can really feel the lyrics in his voice, starting with the opening track, "Please Forgive Me", a great rolling song with a pace just subtle enough to ease you into the rest of the album. Two different versions of his biggest U.S hit, "Babylon", are listed here - both with a different enough sound for the listener to appreciate each. The mood on the album is introspective and at times melancholy, but upon finishing the album, the listener never feels depressed or drained. You still finish the CD with a smile on your face - a testament to David Gray's incredible talent as a singer, songwriter, and musician. A definite thumbs up.

4-0 out of 5 stars AN OUTSTANDING ALBUM
I know, I know. You're thinking, "This can't can't be the same guy who listens to Mudvayne, Nothingface, and Slipknot, can it?" Well, it is, and yes, I really did like this album.

Through guitars, keyboards, pianos, and more, David Gray is able to construct some artistically creative and poetic songs. Some of my favorites are, "Please, Forgive Me", "Babylon (I and II)", "This Year's Love", and "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye". Sure, this is a album that has some very soft songs, but they're good and are not like some of these tasteless, commercial-friendly pop songs. There are real instruments playing, and real feeling to it.

This is a great album, although there are times where I don't feel like listening to it because of it being so soft, but I do like to listen to it a lot. Don't let the "soft" image fool you. Hey, you're looking at a guy who listens to nothing but Nothingface, Mudvayne, and Slipknot. Just give it a chance and form your own opinions. Listening to a soft CD won't kill you. All in all, I feel that "White Ladder" is a very good album with very poetic songs. This album gets a four our of four stars in my book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Leaves you emotionally stimulated
After hearing the song 'Babylon' on radio, I decided to buy this cd. I was thinking to myself, there will be only one good track on this cd. After I listened to it, I realized David Gray has to be one of the greatest songwriters of our decade. All the tracks are brilliant on this cd, and each song will touch you emotionally in one way or another. The experience of this cd will leave you thinking a long time about life and life experinces. One track, I particularily love, called 'Silver Lining' made me realize that I was not the only one that viewed our world's plight filled war, sickness, and hate is something we have no control over. We can cover the good up with fake smiles, fake rhetoric, and corrupt governments but the real problems still exist, and David really touched me with this emotional tune.

Every track is like a rollercoaster ride, and you never know where David will take you. I can assure you, that this cd will be one of the best you ever experienced. Buy this one, because every track is good, well written, and the haunting melodies will leave you breathless.

5-0 out of 5 stars Who was that?!!
My husband and I, like another reviewer, were driving along the highway fat, dumb and happy when I heard a song very faintly playing over the radio. I thought "hmmmm" and turned it up and we listened to David Gray for the first time ever (as far as we know). The song was "Sail Away" and when it was over we both said "Who was that?!". It sounded like Bob Dylan a bit and we loved everything about it. Thank goodness, FOR ONCE, the DJ actually said who it was (do you find that if you hope and hope they say who the artist is that they never do?!)-he asked if we people out there listening had heard such good music on the usual stations...gotta say "NO" to that question! We don't listen to pop at all...we're "old" after all....grew up during the Led Zep days and love Steve Earle, etc. Anyway, we still had 100 miles to drive and once we got home I went online to Amazon to see what I could find out about David Gray. Sounds like many others have felt just like we did today. I look forward to listening to all of his work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yet Another British Gem
I remember first hearing David Gray on the radio and thinking that he was amazing. His sound was refreshing and different from the bubble gum pop and rap that had begun to take over the radio waves. I quickly went out and bought the CD and found that the entire CD was song after song of wonderful lyrics and great music. I was so glad to have found him and now own quite a few of his albums. They are all wonderful and I recommend that if you are looking for something with a little more heart, definately check him out. ... Read more

17. Songs For Silverman (Special Package)
list price: $24.98
our price: $20.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007WF1XM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 945
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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What's great for Ben Folds fans —true fans, not the kind who signed on after hearing 1997's un-Ben-like radio hit "Brick" —is that Songs for Silverman picks up right where the excellent Ben-comes-into-his-own Rockin' the Suburbs left off in 2001. These are heartfelt songs: sometimes cheeky and occasionally heartbreaking. "Gracie," written in a hopeful key for Folds' young daughter, unravels to playful but brilliant piano plinks; "Late," for the departed singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, sidesteps straight-on sadness to convey a sense of lost camaraderie; and the clear-eyed "Landed," delivered in Folds' unadorned, tree-trunk sturdy voice, will inspire untold revelations for those stuck in stalled relationships. The music, meantime, maintains its sharp edge: "You to Thank" juts out with the help of a two new players in a celebratory jazz direction, while "Give Judy My Notice" dabbles in country and a chorus swells for "Jesusland." Throughout, Folds' piano work remains a pop-music goodie bag that defies duplication. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Best Album of 2005 (So Far)
There have been several highly anticipated (by me) albums put out this year as of May, and I think this one is my favorite so far.It has everything you'd look for in a ben folds album and more.The dvd side of the dual disc version is short but interesting and funny.In short, this album is very solid all the way through.I'd recommend it to new ben folds listeners and I'd highly reccommend it to those who are seasoned fans of Mr. Folds!It has a slower tempo throughout the album with the typical folds' rockin' flashes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant pop music
I had heard from many friends that as a huge Billy Joel/Elton John fan (well at least Elton pre-"Less than Zero") that I had to get into Ben Folds. I had heard "Rocking the Suburbs", and while I liked it I wasn't blown away or anything, except for a few songs. But after receiving this album as a birthday gift, I can now say I am a devout fan of Mr. Folds. Anyone who is a fan of very melodic, chorus-concentraded pop music will love this album. Most of these songs remind me of Elton circa-"Madman Across the Water" and Todd Rundgren circa-"Something/Anything?". For the most part, the melodies are absoultely gorgeous, the lyrics intelligent and subtle, and the musicanship and prodcution top-notch. This confirms to me that Ben Folds is, along with Jeff Tweedy, Miles Kurosky, James Mercer, and Elliot Smith; among the best pop songwriters of the past 10 years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ben is peaking
i've followed Ben Folds for a few years now.i consider him a genuine talent on the keys.he sits comfortably between Elton John and Billy Joel.

SFS positions him as a talented songwriter in addition to his prowess with the piano.SFS is well built and will be a lasting part of my library.good good stuff.

just saw him in New York City.he was at his absolute best.see him if you can.pick up SFS and you will be looping 'Landed' and 'Sentimental Guy' over and over as i have been.or maybe i'm just enamored by the talent of Ben Folds.

check it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
Ben Folds continues to improve with each album.Songs For Silverman is comprised of 11 songs - filled with powerful piano, beautiful harmonies and more examples of thought-provoking Ben Folds lyrics.It's nice to actually hear (though it is subtle) some guitar and other instruments occasionally.They add a nice touch to the standard piano, bass and drums.Ben's vocals and arrangements have never been stronger.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellant Album
I bought this cd and haven't taken it out of my cd player yet.I really enjoyed rockin the suburbs and this album picks up right where Ben Folds left off.I think the melodies and more serious lyrics are a great combination.A must have for all Ben Folds fans. ... Read more

18. Rockin' the Suburbs
list price: $11.98
our price: $8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005NZKK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 866
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

On the evidence of Rockin' the Suburbs, Ben Folds's decision to jettison the two-piece Five that had backed him on four largely excellent albums has not resulted in any significant shift in trajectory. The Ben Folds Five were only getting better, gradually discovering the confidence not to hide their musical uniqueness (there have been too few piano-led power trios) and lyrical intelligence behind undergrad Barenaked Ladies-style gags. Songs like "Mess" and "Brick" signaled an extraordinary new songwriting talent worthy of comparison to Folds's obvious idols, Elvis Costello and Paul Simon. Only this album's title track harkens back to Folds's fondness for comedy, and it is by far the weakest track here. The rest is mournful, reflective, and, at best, quite magnificent. Folds's hymns to his family, "Still Fighting It" and "The Luckiest" are shot through with an honesty that's rare in alternative rock. The acerbic essence of character sketches such as "Carrying Cathy," "Losing Lisa," and "Zak & Sara" are leavened with a generous compassion. Folds's second solo effort is his best album yet. The remainder of his career must be anticipated with equal parts expectation and impatience. --Andrew Mueller ... Read more

Reviews (237)

5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Folds with a subtle new taste
I'm a strange person when it comes to music. I'm the kind of person who tends to hear about a band for months. From my friends. From TV. From an internet article. But I generally don't search out anything from these people unless I get stuck on one of their songs.

I saw the Ben Folds video for "Still Fighting It" on VH1 (probably one of the few times they aired it) this past spring, and downloaded the song. I had known the actual song "Rockin' the Suburbs" from seeing the video, and had downloaded it last fall. But I never ventured to buy the full album until this past August.


I remembered Ben Folds Five vaguely from their hit "Brick" -- I'm 16, making me only 11 or so when it was released, but I remember liking it immensely back then.

The album is exquisite. Most of the songs rank with Folds' finer work with the band that carried his name. "Zak and Sara" is an extremely catchy song reminiscient of '60s pop that tells the tale of a typically quirky Folds protagonist. "Fred Jones Pt. 2" is the heart-wrenching story of a reporter fired of many years of service at a newspaper. Folds is one of the most well-respected songwriters of his time for a reason -- his characters live on far past the life of his songs.

But it's the melodies, of course, that make Folds the pop prodigy that he is. "Carrying Cathy" features a simple riff and amazing strings that give it a haunting feel, due to the content. "The Luckiest" is a melodic, sleepily trodding tune that is one of the most insightful, cleverly-worded love songs I've ever heard.

But Folds' first solo outing adds something else to the Five catalog that you just can't put your finger on. Obviously there's the lack of Folds' two former bandmates, but you can always distinguish a solo Ben Folds work from a Ben Folds Five work. Maybe it's just the way the record is produced, maybe it's simply the atmosphere, but there's a good feeling about this record. Hands down, it is one of the best pop records of the last few years.

It's very rare that an artist holds on to the same creativity and fervor that they had with a band without a band. Ben Folds has done just that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Pop CD of the 90s
Ben Folds is a mature piano pop rocker in the same vein as Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne and other 70s rock legends. However, he taps this vein while injecting his own brand of intelligent independent poetry and storytelling that put both Holden Caufield and Broadway confessionals to shame. He knows how to play his instrument as well. In addition to playing every instrument on this album, his piano keeps getting more and more complex. Now it seems that Ben is finally figuring out how to perfectly incorporate his piano into his sound.

Melody comes natural to Folds and his music's quality reflects this attribute. There is not a truly bad cut on this album. It flows beter than any album I've heard from this year or in some cases, any year. He can inspire, depress, motivate, and maniplate sometimes in the same song. While some may call him derivative, he incorporates his own signiture style onto every song.

Now a track by track analysis and the reason I like this CD so much:

This album is superb. Annie Waits is the perfect opener as it tells a story about pain, longing, and lonliness with a perfect and ironic pop beat and clap (8.5/10). Zak and Sara (without an H) is the perfect follow up. It is another example at how great Ben's sketch's can be when the music is fabulous as well (8.5/10). Still Fighting It is the anthem that would not have sounded out of place in the 70s. It is great to hear live (9/10). Gone is another song with hypnotic verses and a grand climactic chorus (9/10). Fred Jones Part II is the sad and bleak look into life after being reduced to a figure. It describes being picked up and dropped, the paradox of old age, and becoming obsolete. It deals with the despair associated with aging.(10/10). It is basically about lost youth and how people are replaced and dehumanized every day in the American Corporate System. Or its just a story of a man named Fred Jones. Beautiful and expressive but ultimately a downer (With the lead singer of Cake helming backup vocals). Ascent of Stan is a song about a hippie with a cheesy and retro dance thump. Its all in good fun though (8/10). Ironic tales of mushrooms and conformity have never sounded better. Losing Lisa is an example of semi plagarism, not that I hate the song at all. It is a great song about good times past but the chorus sounds like Happy Together by the Turtles in my opinion. Still However, with Ben's telling lyrics and perfect playing, it manages to become an original of its own. One of the best on this album or any Folds has ever recorded (10/10). Carrying Cathy is sort of an ironic tale about a girl who is helpless and eventually comits suicide (irony in the chorus, Everybody was always carrying cathy). However, it is disguised as a ballad, a format it works very well within (8/10). Not the Same has the greatest chorus on the whole album. While the song may be repetitive and a tad offkey sometimes, the chorus is gigantic and will send chills up your spine. The best anthem on the record is not really an anthem but a story of a bad acid trip. This is the best song off this album played live (10/10). Oh well! Now to Hiro's Song. Bouncy and bright pop about an older Japanese man and his concerns about his younger mistress. It is funny and musically diverse. This one is definately a worthy addition to the album (9/10). Rockin the Suburbs is Ben's only LP foray into the depths of modern radio rock music. With a guitar and an angry sneer, he comments on angst, fear, and suburban alienation with a winking and satirical gesture. This song is worth its weight once you hear his impersonation of Zach De La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine towards the end of the song. Not Ben's best but it makes for an interesting and enjoyable diversion (7/10). Fired is the most musically accomplished song on the album and this aspect makes it one of the best songs as well. Good lyrics, great song; this is what Ben should strive to write more often, a perfect mix in between substance and style (9/10). The Luckiest is a ballad about Ben's wife. It is soft and touching as well as a tremendous shift from the rest of the album. It has incredible lyrics that stun through their simplicity. The genuis is how Ben manages to sing it and completely defy expectation. A superb closer and ends the album in a perfect reflective and intelligent tone. (9.5/10).

This record is by far one of the best to come out this year. Plus or minus Hiro's song, it is still engaging and well played. Most of all, Ben Folds's music is fun and rarely ever gets old after repeated listens. He writes amazing character sketches and lyrics that will affect you in the wierdest ways. Intelligent, affecting, and emotional piano based rock and pop played perfectly. This is a must have record and is essential to any listener of Pop (real Pop, no top 40, though they might like it as well) music! tHis record will someday be deemed the classic that it deserves to be. ...Peace... (98/100)

*For everybody except there are a few swears here and there.

Support Ben Folds (solo and with his band The Bens), Snuzz, Ben's Brother Chuck Folds, and ex-Fiver Darren Jesse whenever they come to town). They all give excellent shows!

And that's about all...

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite..EVER!!
I love this CD. There are 3 songs on it that have moved me to tears more than once. Ben's lyrics are so meloncholy and I think everyone has experienced what he has written about at some point in their lives. A couple of the songs really speak to those of us who are middle aged and realize how short this life really is. His lyrics are amazing and great for a long drive in solitude with your stereo and your own personal memories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Addictive
This CD is both fantastic and addictive - one of the only Cds that don't require any track skipping!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD!
1.annie waits-very good song, upbeat, different-good opener
2. zak and sara-sooo good! one of my favorites on the cd, funny lyrics, makes you happy!
3. still fighting it-eh, good, slow, you have to be in the mood for it
4. gone-good song. somewhere in between slow and fast. very good lyrics. fun to blast-you get into it.
5. fred jones part 2--one of the prettiest slow songs ive ever listened to. very sad song, just soo pretty and calm. you'll like it.
6. the ascent of stan--a different kind of song, not one of the best on the cd, but not bad either. good piano as always.
7. losing lisa-good. not the best, good lyrics though!
8. carrying cathy-another really pretty song. interesting lyrics.
9. not the same-lyrics make you think, slower-but very good.
10. rockin' the suburbs--good song! faster, kind of silly lyrics but its good!
11. fired-my second favorite song on the CD after zak and sara---soo much fun to listen to, upbeat, cheerful, sooo good!
12. the luckiest--sooo pretty!!!! very sentimental, calming. very good!

VERY good cd! something different! ... Read more

19. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002VN7
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 716
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

Pre-Lilith Fair, McLachlan had critical acclaim and a cult following but was otherwise just another hard-working female singer/songwriter--one who wasn't blasting down doors with overt sexuality or popping along in front of a male Svengali. Similar in their emotional urgency to her more recent work but delightfully less polished, these folk-rock songs are surprising gems. If not for McLachlan's poignant vocals, lyrics like "Your love is better than ice cream" (on "Ice Cream") would sound childishly absurd (especially alongside deeper material like "Hold On"), but here they're given just as much respect as the weightier issues she explores. A great album to accompany your moments of introspection. --Rebecca Wallwork ... Read more

Reviews (301)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Purchase
Forget Lilith Fair. Forget, while still a very good record, the overplayed music that the subsequent 'Surfacing' brought. 'Fumbling Towards Ecstasy' is a fantastic cd. Lyrically and musically it's a very good disk. Sonically, it's a great album. Pierre Marchand did a fantastic production job w/both instruments and vocals. McLachlan does a pretty incredible job at her layered vocal tracks and singing her own harmonies.

Though not the most 'up' album in thematic terms - but who cares? 'Solace' seemed to have a water theme running through most of the songs. 'Fumbling...' seems to have a theme of fear that dominates the record.

Each song conveys McLachlan's emotions - and to get that across is pretty substantial, regardless of musical style. Stand-out cuts include (in no particular order): "Fear", "Elsewhere", "Possession", "Ice" and "Good Enough". "Ice Cream" seems a bit too lightweight for this disk - considering the other material.

I highly recommend this disk. 'Solace', 'Surfacing' and 'Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff' are good purchases too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Took my breath away
For a long time I was reluctant to buy "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy". The reason for not buying it is that I wasn't too particularly keen on the potent single "Possession". I loved "Solace" too pieces (and still do to this very day) and was disappointed to hear Sarah incorporate a more electric feel to the album as opposed to the minimalist, acoustic sound of her previous album. Well after hearing the remix version of "Fear" off Sarah's remix album, I thought I would give "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" a chance since I loved "Fear" and had to hear the original version. So awhile back, I acquired "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" and I must say that I am glad that I bought it. This album definitely is vastly superior to the overpolished work of "Surfacing" and matches the haunting quality of "Solace". "Possession" is by far not my favorite song but it isn't my least favorite any more. The song itself has grown on my I will admit. My least favorite is "Ice Cream" and only because I heard the live version on the radio one million times back in the days of Lilith Fair. "Wait", "Fear", and "Good Enough" are my personal favorite songs off FTE, "Fear" in particular. What I love about FTE is the overall sound. There is a more organic sound than "Surfacing". Plus Sarah begins to incorporate electronic beats with her style of folk/pop. While "Solace" still remains my favorite Sarah McLachlan album but "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" has managed to prove me wrong with the great collection of raw lyrics and haunting melodies. Sarah's vocals sounds incredible on this album. This is probably her best work vocally. I am looking forward to her new album (probably next year) and hopefully it will have Sarah return to a more raw and organic sound found on "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy".

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums ever recorded in the history of music
I have been a fan of Sarah's since 1992, and have always been blown away by her flawless and unique voice. Since then, I have seen her four times in concert (trust me, she's not just great in the studio--her live stuff sounds just as good), and own every album and b-side she's ever recorded. She is on my list along with Lisa Gerrard, Enya, Caroline Lavelle, Kirsty Hawkshaw, and Loreena McKennitt for best female vocalist of all time. Fumbling is Sarah at her best (although I love all of her stuff). From start to finish, this album is perfection. When I bought it when it was first released years ago, I don't think I took it out of my CD player for 2 years straight. I've listened to these songs so much that they've become ingrained in my psyche. This is an album that people of all stipes and likes will love. If you have not heard it yet, fork over the cash, because you will be amazed by the talent of this artist.

5-0 out of 5 stars She'll Take Your Breath Away. . .
Every few months or so, I come across an artist or band that I previously would not have taken much interest in because their music genre didn't fit what I see as my preference. Usually, the artist blows me away and becomes an obsession of which a race swiftly brews where I must buy nearly every album they've released. Examples from the past few years are Alanis Morissette, Bjork, Sheryl Crow and Lauryn Hill. And then there's Sarah McLachlan, my latest discovery. Being an avid Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I always knew who Sarah was, but couldn't really put a face to the voice. I'd heard her songs, but never thought about exploring her music. For some unknown reason, I went ahead and bought two of her albums on the same day. These were "Solace" and "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy." The former has received few spins on my CD player, but only because the latter has been hogging all the time...

Let me just say that once I heard this album, I was completely sold. Sarah's angelic vocals warmed me from the inside and enveloped me in a trance, and in that moment I knew I had to own her entire back catalogue. Released in 1994, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy was the third studio album from Sarah after her debut "Touch" and the sophomore set Solace. Sarah was still a fairly unknown with the release of this third album, but since its 1994 release it has gone on to become a masterpiece of the decade and touched millions with its beautiful lyrics, gorgeous vocals and soothing harmonies.

The album opens with the beautiful and sly "Possession." This song is trademark McLachlan and still one of her most popular songs. The song is a real life encounter that Sarah experienced of a stalker who constantly sent her letters. The song is unique because she sings the song through his eyes which must take courage and strength, along with a stunning voice that makes you believe everything she is singing. When she states "I'll take your breath away," you better be ready because she means it! "Wait" is a gorgeous mid-tempo song with gentle percussion and some brilliant vocals from Sarah. Her vivid lyrics paint awesome images in your mind and you can't help but love every second. "Plenty" is perhaps my favourite song on the album - it definitely has the best introduction. That sound of a door slamming after the 16th second sets the mood and the percussion coming in is eerie and masterful. When she sings finally after one minute, it's a complete revelation and the chorus is just majestic.

"Good Enough" is the first real ballad of the album. With its sombre opening and gentle beat, the song has a gorgeous composition and Sarah's voice fills the set with passion and emotion. "Mary" is a bar down from the previous four songs, but is great nevertheless. The song opens like a flickering candle and sets the soothing tone for the rest of the song. Sarah's airy vocals rise and fall all over the percussion creating a scenic and calm scene. "Elsewhere" took a while to grow on me, but once it did I was in love as with the rest of these great songs. The song takes a while to get going, but the chorus is amazing where Sarah cries, "I believe!" after around 90 seconds. "Circle" is the most up-tempo song on the album and start off with a cute laugh by Sarah. The song has a great beat and some amazing lyrics. The chorus makes this song a kind of anthem, because you can sing along to "What kind of love is this that keeps me hanging on?!"

"Ice" brings the upbeat mood down a peg or two, as Sarah sings with an icy and frigid tone in her voice. The song's title presents a chilly and Arctic feeling of loneliness and longing. The song is rather depressing, but Sarah handles the song so well by wrapping her voice around the lyrics in the most amazing way. "Hold On" is definitely one of the best songs on the album and is a fantastic song about true love and loss. Sarah has lost her man, and the section where she sings, "Oh God the man I love is leaving! Won't you take him when he comes to your door? Am I in Heaven here or am I in Hell?!" is mind-blowing! That voice. It's just stunningly professional and overpowering! "Ice Cream" is what fans see as probably the worst song on the album, even though it's still good. I have to agree - the lyrics are a tad childish, but once again, Sarah's voice save it from becoming cringe worthy.

"Fear" is another brilliant masterpiece from this album. The cello and keyboards set the atmosphere and the song peaks when Sarah sings, "There's nothing I'd like better than to fall!" She thrusts the song higher with her vocals, as they climax and gently fall down as the percussion sets in. It's superb, really, you won't have ever heard anything like it. The album closes with the brilliant album title-track "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy." The song is heavily emotional and a great album closer with more of the same that we've heard all the way through the album.


I had initially wanted to review Touch first, then Solace and then Fumbling Towards Ecstasy - I had wanted to review all her albums in order. However, since I don't own Touch yet, I got down to business and got this review written for this album. It's my 300th review, so I though Why not?! And also, the music on this album is just too damn good to wait to express myself on! I adore Sarah and this masterpiece, so it's hard to contain the love I feel for it. Anyone interested in exploring Sarah's music should do so instantly, starting with this.

5-0 out of 5 stars McLachlan's Best
This album is the pinacle of Sarah McLachlan's career. I love you Sarah, but you'll NEVER be able to top this one! McLachlan's newer cds are good, and feature several excellent songs apiece, but every song (except "Ice Cream") on this one is fantastic. This cd is powerful and poetic, and it never gets old!. I cannot think of a better album by ANY female artist. ... Read more

20. Jagged Little Pill
list price: $18.98
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002MY3
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 583
Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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Her intensely personal lyrics grabbed the headlines, but the bravest departure here is the way Morissette's unique vocals stand naked in the mix--a technique that drives home the painful honesty of tracks like "Right Through You," "Forgiven," and "All I Really Want."Sheryl Crow or an earthier Tori Amos are fair analogies, but Morissette is a genuine original with a rare ability to make listeners care, think, and question.--Jeff Bateman ... Read more

Reviews (403)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing truth and variety of emotions bring Morissette alive
A few months ago I had never really heard mush of Alanis, except for 'Head Over Feet,''Ironic,' and I danced the Rumba to 'Thank U.' The songs were okay, but when asked to speak of great music artist, she was not even in my top twenty. Then my friend Ali gave me 'Jagged Little Pill' as a gift. I have never been so surprised by an album, nor have listened to it as much in so short a time. The power of her lyrics and the variety of beats seem to speak right to a person, and aren't at all superficial.

'Perfect,' my all-time favorite, is heart-wrenching the the fact that it is true in so many places, but is then followed by 'Hand in My Pocket,' showing that though seh will go through things it doesn't seem she can handle, she can come out on top. 'Forgiven' is a torn and tattered ballad that seems to sear you within with it's pathetic cries, and 'Mary Jane' will be one that thousands of people can understand, either in 1st or 3rd person.

Her sassy and angry music are great at times, and show that she isn't all whiny ballads and 'hurting,' that she can kick someone's butt if need be. But the one that shows the most soul is the hidden track at the end, which she does acapella. If you want to know Morisette, listen to that.

4-0 out of 5 stars With feeling
The '90s was a decade marked by good CDs from many female rockers, such as Sheryl Crow, Natalie Merchant, and Sarah McLachlan, but Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill is clearly one of the stickouts. Moreover, among well-known '90s CDs, only Nirvana's Nevermind and Pearl Jam's Ten compare to "Pill" in intensity. But Alanis's songwriting is more consistent track for track than Kurt Cobain's or Eddie Vedder's. On this album, her introspective lyrics and riveting vocals are complemented by a smoking band featuring members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Any musical shortfall is made up for by the fire and panache of Alanis and her backers.

Each cut on Pill is marked by sharp guitar riffs and clever lyrical hooks. Interestingly, the songs seem to change tempo and intensity more often than the norm, moving between slow/soft and fast/loud, giving Alanis a chance to express her angst in different musical settings. The rhythm guitar blasts in the choruses of "You Oughta Know," "You Learn," and "Ironic" are staples of FM radio, with intense and passionate vocals by Alanis. In the slower moments she also sings well, softly beautiful or showing good range, as in "Mary Jane." In "Head Over Feet," she demonstrates her ability to sing effectively in all the musical grooves. Opinions vary on this album--I have it coming barely short of five stars--but what I don't see at all is any shortfall in Alanis's vocals, which are superb. You'll find many good songs and some great ones, and consistently strong performances by the lead singer.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Unquestionnably The Best Album of The 90s"
I never really liked Alanis until i heard "Ironic"..i then listened to her album, i jus completely changed my view on her. My personal favourite is "You Oughta Know", its just...rage and emotion, some think she's crazy, but..i think thats good music. Same goes to "Right Through U" and "Unforgiven". All the songs on this album are different from each other. They have different meanings and topics,no wonder why she won album of the year at the Grammys. I also love "Hand In My Pocket" and "You Learn". I love the harmonica in "Head Over Feet", u jus cant match it. "Mary Jane" really shows her vocal ability and her hittin the high notes, i guess u can call it the "ballad" on the album.Overall, whoever doesnt have this album..its a must, ur missin out.

1-0 out of 5 stars Fingernails on a blackboard.........
If you like the sound of someone dragging their fingernails across a blackboard you'll love the sound of Alanis Morrisette's voice. Bad does not adequately describe this disaster of an album. I recommend playing this loudly and contiuously to death row inmates and then releasing the inmates...........they've suffered enought.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt, soulful... buy it.
There are so many tracks on this album that are quality music. This was my introduction to Alanis' music and over the years I've watched her grow up, physically and metaphysically, and she's come a long way. Alanis isn't fake-y and she isn't just pulling a gimmick to get you to buy her albums (unlike Madonna, with the exception of Ray of Light by Madonna). Alanis has a pretty good website too, so if you're a fan, you should probably check that out as well. As a lyricist, her writing is somewhat subtle... some people may think the words are meaningless or insane, but really the meaning is deep and thoughtful. I appreciate her not treating her fans like they are brainless robots, there is much more to Alanis than first appearances would lead you to believe. In fact, of all the "stars" out there, if I could meet any of them, I would choose Alanis.

And yeah, I'd be so embarrassed if she read this. hehe ... Read more

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