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81. Solarized [US Bonus Track]
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82. A Storm in Heaven
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83. This Is Hardcore
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84. Very Best of the Stone Roses
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85. Carry On Up The Charts: The Best
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86. Placebo
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87. My Iron Lung EP
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88. Under the Influence
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89. Greatest Hits
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90. White on Blonde
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91. Whatever
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92. 13
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93. Northern Star [Bonus Track]
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94. God Put a Smile Upon Your Face
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95. Guerilla [Bonus CD]
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96. Music for Pleasure
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97. Resident Alien
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98. Gold Diggas Head Nodders &
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99. Alone with Everybody
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100. Silence Is Easy

81. Solarized [US Bonus Track]
list price: $17.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00075146M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 22888
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars great album - forget Stone Roses
I never liked the Stone Roses that much... But Solarized is great.its a mixture of rock, 60s psych and interesting dance beats.Nobody else is succesfully fusing these genres these days - except occasionally the Chemical Brothers on "The Test" or something.Lots of great songs, good lyrics, cool psychedelic sounds.Some kind of 60s spirit lives on in Ian Brown despite his violent bludgeoning of a bouncer in SF a few months back - check the web for the footage, its out there!

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good stuff
Very interesting music with a voice that flows well. The arrangements are clever and are never out of bound.

Tres bon choix!

3-0 out of 5 stars if you're not a rabid fan of Stone Roses, best take a pass
This is easily Ian Brown's best solo CD, but that, sadly, isn't saying much.It seems like the sleek-sounding tracks were created by studio musicians and engineers, and then Ian Brown came into the studio and sang "over" the tracks.Not all of the tracks are this disappointing.Kiss Ya Lips has a nice low-key groove and a couple of the other tracks will hold your attention for a few listens. But you'll quickly forget this music. Its odd how much of this CD sounds like Massive Attack....

4-0 out of 5 stars Never heard of this guy until I saw him on VH1
I now know he was the lead singer of the Stone Roses. I happened to see his video on VH1 from his new cd Solarized. It was a freaking great song. I went out that day to buy Solarized and love it. Its one of my favorite cds. I usally listen to classic rock to hard rock and this dude's cd blew me away. I love it. Its too bad I didnt know about him before. His music is like psychedelic 60's with a modern beat. Its awesome! cheers Ty

5-0 out of 5 stars Three Cheers For Ian!
Having been a big Stone Roses fan for quite some time, I have to say I drifted away from Ian's solo stuff after his first outing (which I personally couldn't get into). I decided to check 'Solarized' out on a whim, and I am so glad I did. This is the best thing I've heard come out of the post-Roses camp. If I had to summarize it, it feels like a trimmed-down, less sprawling version of 'Second Coming'. Ian still dabbles in the synthesized beats and layered vocals, but he keps the songs short and catchy as hell this time around. What a great disc. ... Read more


82. A Storm in Heaven
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Asin: B000000WJK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11517
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Five years before the group's Urban Hymns broke the band into the mainstream, The Verve's first full-length effort, A Storm in Heaven, gave incredible insight into the band's ability to mesmerize it's audience. Hypnotic vocals courtesy of vocalist Richard Ashcroft and layered musical textures from the band make for an incredible, memorable album. This is not the stuff of background music but instead best suited to provide the soundtrack for a candlelit, incense-filled Saturday night. Perhaps the band's best effort to date. --Denise Sheppard ... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm wondering how long this CD will be my favorite...
...cause its been going on now for 5 years now. I discovered The Verve while listening to our college radio station, they played "Sail Away". That DAY I went out and bought it. Since then I listen to it just about everyday, its a permanent fixture in my car's CD changer, and I've considered buying another one for my home. Each song has so many layers that all come together to form music that is wickedly absorbing. This is by far the best Verve album.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my all time Faves
I listen to everything from Slayer to Toto to James Brown to Louis Armstrong, and this is one of my all time faves. This is a life changing album. It showed me that there is so much more out there. It is a roller coaster for the senses which takes you up, down and all around to release you feeling inspired. Northern Soul and Urban Hymns seem as though they are simply albums which this band produced while on their creative demise. Almost as though "Storm" was the Climax. I feel fortunate to have seen this band live many times in Detroit and Grand Rapids in their early to mid-90's hey day. Simply Amazing. Many believe this is the first release from this band. Indeed it is their first full length release, but I suggest getting a copy of their "All in the mind" EP, Or the Verve EP if you dig this album. If it weren't for this band, my appreciation for music would have been so limited. But, it is not for everyone. If you have an open appreciation for true musical art, I would suggest getting a copy of this. LISTEN WITHOUT DISTRACTION!!PLEASE.

5-0 out of 5 stars What Heaven Sounds Like
This is definitely one of my all-time favorite albums. I, like many others, first discovered the most awesome of modern bands--The Verve--when they released their breakthrough single Bittersweet Symphony and its companion album Urban Hymns.
I do believe that The Verve were one of the greatest rock groups to come along in quite some time, and I find it hard to pigeonhole them into any category or movement, although they had the shoegazer influences of their time, as well as a wondrous penchant for psychedelia that even blows away many of the bands of the late '60s. I have all three of their major albums, and cherish the songs of Ashcroft and Co. but this will forever remain my favorite. I agree with many reviewers who have said that the few who deeply appreciate this album are affected by it, it leaves an imprint on the inner soul.

The entire album is an enrapturing voyage: challenging, nocturnal, twilight-filled, and a perfect chaser for drugs or other substances (if you are the type). In all actuality, this album IS a drug on its own level.

Take the chance and buy this or burn it. In my opinion, this is the closest thing to musical paradise.

2-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing.
This album could have been a good one if it weren't for two things. Number one, the sound quality of A Storm In Heaven is just plain horrible. Ashcroft's vocals are just about nonexistant, as McCabe's guitars steal all of the glory throughout nearly the entire recording. Even some of the guitar work in this album is atrocious. As one reviewer said, parts of this album sound like a 'bad bootleg'. Another reason why ASIH gets two stars is because of the poor songwriting by Ashcroft. Before I bought this album I was expecting to hear thought-provoking, heartfelt lyrics and some decent guitar work. Well, the guitars deliver somewhat, but there were no lyrics that brought out any emotions whatsoever. "I must be feeling alone...I talked to God in a phonebox on my way home. I told you my answer...I left you my dreams on your answering machine." These are the kind of lyrics that you'll find on Urban Hymns(check out A Northern Soul too). Giving this album two stars is very generous.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mind Expanding
I usually read reviews, but I had to share my opinion on this album. Like many other of the reviewers here, this album is an obsession for me. A friend recommended many years ago and gave me a copy but I couldn't get past the atmospherics and jam quality of the music. So it sat on my shelf off and on. A few years later I put this disc on my new upgraded speakers and was floored by the sheer level of power and grace of the music. Up and down the songs push and pull against Richard's vocals and lyrics which fill in the instruments and not the other way around. I've had this album on loop for probably the last 2 years and it never gets tired. It's an album that is not for everybody, but for those who get it are permanently changed.

Side note: I do think that this album lends itself well to drugs especially for those of you who partake. Lights off, volume up, some herbal enhancement and you're Already There. ... Read more


83. This Is Hardcore
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Asin: B000006DI9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 47254
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 1998

Pulp frontman-lyricist Jarvis Cocker is still obsessed with making his concerns those of his audience and the even wider world. Drawing again on classic British pop like the '70s Roxy Music, Pulp attempt to make sense of--and draw together--everything from the aging process ("One time they were just like you / Drinking, smoking cigs and sniffing glue") to doing the dishes. This is Hardcore is slightly less charged than its predecessor Different Class, but only slightly; Cocker is one rock star who knows how to raise his fans' expectations and then surpass them. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (85)

4-0 out of 5 stars another brilliant album- almost
How do you follow up an album that sold 4 million albums in Britain without disappointing the people who want another album just like the last one, without failing to change? Never mind that Different Class didn't sell in America, Pulp knows this album probably won't either. There was a lot of pressure on Pulp for this album, but Jarvis & Co. came through again, managing to make an album that doesn't sound like Different Class, nor does it make you wish it did sound like it. The title track may be one of the best singles of the year, and Dishes and A Little Soul are songs that well leave any Pulp fan loving this new album. But there are just a few too many songs that never really develop and depend too much on empty guitar riffs. As much as I try to like songs like Glory Days or Seductive Berry for Cocker's wonderful singing and lyrics, the music just completely fails to match his emotion on these songs, a problem that never really appeared on their previous two albums.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reality Bites Back!
How do you follow the multi-platinum selling, perfect pop of Different Class? Well, you can wave bye bye to that gold disc and release your darkest collection of songs to date. That's exactly what Pulp did with This is Hardcore. It may have been considered a commercial "flop" by some insiders, but their loss was very much our gain. This is Hardcore is undoubtedly Pulp's finest collection of songs. It's depressing, funny, sad, despondent and uncomfortable to listen to if you are approaching that difficult age of 33. This is a moody, almost sleazy album in places and it's all the better for it. Different Class had an instant appeal to it, but I quickly lost interest.Two years on, Hardcore is still essential listening. That's the biggest compliment you can give to any album, if you still play and treasure it months after the hype has faded. It took a few listens for me to fully appreciate this album, but it soons hit you. Practically every listener will identify with the opening track The Fear. A tale of missed opportunities and panic attacks when everything goes horribly wrong. It all rings so true, and Jarvis knows it. Helped of course by the fine melody, the album touches on many fears but you sort of laff because Jarvis delivers his lyrics like some stand-up comedian. Other highlights include Helped The Aged and the title track which is aided along the way by strings Diva Anne Dudley. Hypnotic and seductive and quite simply brilliant. The track Dishes will make you chuckle whilst TV Movie and A Little Soul will scare you slightly. I never thought that Pulp would release a finer album than His N Hers, but Hardcore is in a class of it's own.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Irony is over"
It's a pity that Pulp's lead singer is mostly known in the US as the guy who knocked over Michael Jackson and then waved his backside during an awards ceremony in the mid-90s. Jarvis Cocker manages to write bizarrely appealing lyrics, and fronts a band that really deserves to have more Stateside exposure.

THIS IS HARDCORE is, despite its name, a fairly mellow album in places, with many of the songs having a wistful, nostalgic feel to them. The band has moved on (again) from their previous sound, but all the tracks still retain that essential quality that makes them recognizably Pulp. The music somehow manages to sound cheap and throwaway, while able to retain a tough core.

The omnipresent keyboards and synthesizers of previous Pulp albums are back again, though I think they are somewhat more restrained than usual. There's a section in the middle of the CD of mostly guitar-based and straight piano music that seemed much more mainstream, although there are still some eerie sounding effects running through the tracks. "TV Movie" is a sad comparison of a broken relationship to a badly produced made-for-TV film. (It sounds sillier than it is. Cocker's lyrics alternate between hilarity and sentimentality masterfully.) "A Little Soul" is a frankly bizarre song where Jarvis sings to his fictional son about how he really wasn't a terribly good father and makes a brief, frightening mention of what things he used to practice every night with the kid's mother. I can't think of too many people who could get away with this, but Cocker does it with a wink and a smirk.

Pulp prove that they still know how to make some fast danceable music when they want to. "Party Hard" has a strong rhythm, while "The Fear" and "This Is Hardcore" feature some great bass guitar work. The music is fairly catchy overall; there are many tracks that I hum to myself for days after listening.

The US version of THIS IS HARDCORE features a bonus track not included on the UK release: "Like a Friend". This interrupts the fine conclusion that was brought by "The Day After The Revolution". But it is a fun song, so its inclusion is welcome. The album as a whole will probably appeal to those people out there who like quirky, offbeat music. It's not different enough from the mainstream to freak out anyone weaned on US radio, but it is just that little bit off to be quite appealing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feeling Older
Pulp's This Is Hardcore is a hard album, but not in musical sounds. The band's front man, Jarvis Cocker, gets at his hardcore inner feelings. The album has a dark and somber tone with most of the songs dealing with his getting older and the carefree days of his youth slowly slipping away. Songs like "The Fear", "Help The Aged", "A Little Soul" and "I'm A Man" all deal with aging while songs like "Glory Days', "The Day After The Revolution", "Party Hard" and "Like A Friend" longingly look back at fond memories. The album has a subtle power and the band employs a lot a synth and strings that cast a dark shadow over the songs. This Is Hardcore is an album that challenges you, makes you think and makes you feel.

2-0 out of 5 stars Very Softcore
I purchased this after reading the reviews here. On first listen, I found it fairly inoffensive. There are some cute lines - "I'm not Jesus, but I have the same initials" and then a line about old people sniffing glue. Both of these are worth a small chuckle.

However, that's as good as this cd gets. The music certainly isn't exceptional or interesting. The songs aren't particularly catchy. So, the cd has to stand on the strength of the singer and the lyrics. Both are wanting.

The lyrics are banal. Jarvis is apparently a sensitive guy, full of middle-aged doubts about aging, lost opportunities, masculinity etc. He simply doesn't have anything to say about any of these topics that hasn't been said a dozen times by much better songwriters. His sensitivity seems to be a bit strained at times - he seems to be trying to make deep comments. He comes off as a bit of a wimp, and has absolutely no edge to him.

The vocal performance is mediocre. He tries to inflect sincerity and pain into his relatively ordinary observations. That would be hard for a great singer to do (which he isn't), and after a while, it becomes plain irritating.

I realize that I'm in the minority on this. However, my copy's going back to the cd store's used bin. ... Read more


84. Very Best of the Stone Roses
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Asin: B00008MHAE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12149
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic remastering job
What the previous reviewers have said about the excellent remastering job on this compilation is an understatement. The remastering is easily 10 times better sonically than the original and 100 times better than "The Complete Stone Roses" on Silvertone which sounds terrible next to the standard first CD or this compilation. I'd also wager that John Leckie (producer/engineer of the best Roses material) actually remixed "She Bangs the Drums" with more background vocals and better reverbs/outboard gear...it sounds like an actual remix-check it out...it's that good!

This band is easily one of the best English bands of all time. There's a reason why fellow musicians and the critics continually rate the first Roses CD as one of the top 10 English rock CDs ever released.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delectable
Me oh my, what an outrageously good record this is. I had never heard of The Stone Roses until my brother played me "I Wanna Be Adored" a few years ago. I loved the song, but I thought they would be a band very much like The Smiths or The Cure (which isn't a bad thing at all, I just wasn't interested at the time), so I never followed up and bought any of their albums. Thankfully, my father received this cd from my brother for his birthday a few months ago, and I've had the pleasure of listening to it everyday since then. All of these songs exude an indomitable vitality that lends an extra cachet to the already stellar music. There is a distinctive 80s sounds to The Roses, but after listening to all the material present on The Very Best Of, it's apparent that these songs transcend their era and will always remain as timelessly great pop confections. Highlights of this recording include the ebullient "What the World is Waiting For", the dreadfully pleasing "I Wanna Be Adored", and the anthemic numbers "Made of Stone" and "I am the Resurrection". I highly recommend this to all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Without a doubt the one to get for Americans
I agree with a lot of the comments made below, especially waiman. I had the first CD years ago as I've always loved the British scene, but never had their early singles or the 2nd CD. When I looked into it, there was quite the discussion in both review sections between this and the Complete Stone Roses as to which one was the better compilation. First off, this one sounds far better and if you like to listen to your CDs on a decent home theater or car stereo there is no choice. Ever make a CD mix with other CDs and throw in something from the first CD or Complete? You will notice the drop in quality. Secondly, this one has Love Spreads which, at least in Chicago, was their big hit on MTV and radio. People tend to remember the "she's my sister" video when thinking about the Roses, at least people I've met and tried to convert. That's good in a way... this compilation has the song and will introduce the casual music fan looking for it to their superior sound from earlier work. It basically has all the essentials... I bought it on Amazon, and now own every Stone Roses CD including Garage Flowers so it truly converted me. Yes, it would have been nice to have some of the B-sides, especially Mersey Paradise, Going Down and Where Angels Play, but I'm hard pressed to think of a track that would be dropped to make room. Some may say anything from Second Coming, but I like the fact that this CD is TRULY Complete. Also, in my opinion only, the Very Best of has the superior version of Elephant Stone. You will play this CD over and over and not get sick of it if you like upbeat, positive anthems. It was actually incredible that most of these songs were from their first CD... they sounded like a band that had totally perfected their sound. Any fan of the Flaming Lips "Soft Bulletin" should check this out.. it's an essential addition to your CD collection. You will not be dissapointed- nobody I've played this for, from my friends stuck in their hard rock closemindedness to people who only listen to what's on the radio, has not praised it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A pretty good collection
If you only buy one Stone Roses cd. Buy the first album. If you buy two Stone Roses CDs buy this too. What you get are 15 classic Stone Roses tracks (all the best from the first album, all the singles, and the best tracks from Second Coming). Remastered. My only real complaint is the absence of some substantial B-sides (Mersey Paradise, Standing Here) and the inclusion of the shorter version of "One Love." Other than those minor compaints this is an essential collection for any Roses fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Remaster
The comments below mine notwithstanding, I think this is a great CD and a fantastic remaster. Sure, there was a prior compilation but it was not as complete as this and was not remastered as perfectly as this disc was. The difference in audio quality is quite dramatic, in my opinion, between this disc and the first compilation. ... Read more


85. Carry On Up The Charts: The Best Of The Beautiful South
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Asin: B000001FIT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9392
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This is a definitive best-of from the scathingly satiric, invariably tuneful band that arose from the ashes of The Housemartins. Sadly, Paul Heaton and friends have always been too twee and clever for the colonies, though classics like "My Book" and "Old Red Eyes Is Back" deserved better. A lovely, sing-along new track, "One Last Love Song," sounds like a farewell to arms, while the limited-edition disc of B sides proves that only XTC can match them in terms of high-caliber throwaways. --Jeff Bateman ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for everyone
Arising from the ashes of The Housemartins certainly wasn't going to be an easy move (as The Housemartins were also a great band), but as this compilation proves, they pulled it off with some aplomb. Their individual albums covered here are worth getting anyway (especially 0898, Choke and Miaow), but this compilation probably takes the very best songs from these albums, so one can't complain. Every song is simply excellent, even the ones you may not have heard before. The lyrics are cynical and witty, almost Morrissey - like in parts, and the music is simply (probably) the catchiest you've ever heard! It's just a shame that some people will find themselves thinking they're 'too cool' to listen to The Beautiful South, as they think all they sing is 'love songs.' But this is far from the truth; They adress all kinds of issues such as relationships, domestic violence, lust, politics etc. better than all of the moronic Nu-metal cliched bands out there, the fans of which wouldn't know good music if it smacked them in the face with a trumpet, then created music bliss with the gorgeous strings in 'Old Red Eyes Is Back.' Anyway, before I get carried away, go and buy this if you have sense. Broaden your musical horizons. It's just a shame their second 'Greatest Hits' CD was rather a cynical marketting ploy (retracting from the fact it's still a damn good, near perfect collection of songs), as 7 of the songs here feature on 'Solid Bronze.' They could've released a 'Best of 1995 - present date,' but hey, never mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for all lovers of proper pop music!
Arising from the ashes of The Housemartins certainly wasn't going to be an easy move (as The Housemartins were also a great band), but as this compilation proves, they pulled it off with some aplomb. Their individual albums covered here are worth getting anyway (especially 0898, Choke and Miaow), but this compilation probably takes the very best songs from these albums, so one can't complain. Every song is simply excellent, even the ones you may not have heard before. The lyrics are cynical and witty, almost Morrissey - like in parts, and the music is simply (probably) the catchiest you've ever heard! It's just a shame that some people will find themselves thinking they're 'too cool' to listen to The Beautiful South, as they think all they sing is 'love songs.' But this is far from the truth; They adress all kinds of issues such as relationships, domestic violence, lust, politics etc. better than all of the moronic Nu-metal cliched bands out there, the fans of which wouldn't know good music if it smacked them in the face with a trumpet, then created music bliss with the gorgeous strings in 'Old Red Eyes Is Back.' Anyway, before I get carried away, go and buy this if you have sense. Broaden your musical horizons. It's just a shame their second 'Greatest Hits' CD was rather a cynical marketting ploy (retracting from the fact it's still a damn good, near perfect collection of songs), as 7 of the songs here feature on 'Solid Bronze.' They could've released a 'Best of 1995 - present date,' but hey, never mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Music to make you grin
What can you say about sarcastic, clever lyrics that discuss the joys of drinking, one-night stands, romance and the lack thereof? No matter what the topic, they always make me smile. Paul Heaton and his pals are the best imports England's sent in decades. The covers of Dream a Little Dream and Everybody's Talkin' are almost better than the originals.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Contradiction
I was first introduced to Paul Heaton's brilliance when an old college girlfriend introduced me to the Housemartians. A few years later another girlfriend introduced me to the Beautiful South and I am forever greatful. At first listen, this seems like an album of catchy love songs...but when you finally pay attention to the lyrics, you are treated to some of the most incredibly original, thoughtful, hilarious lyrics ever penned. These are lyrics you would not expect to hear with the phenomonal music backing them, but Heaton and Co. really make it work.

However, if you can get your hands on the more recent "Solid Bronze" best of cd, I would do that since they have released some pretty great songs since this was originally released, including the excellent "Don't Marry Her"

5-0 out of 5 stars I went to Oxford
What do I think of the Beautiful South? I think they are an absolutely fantastic band. They are one of the best bands that I have ever seen, they are absolutely SPOT ON. I remember first seeing them back in 1989 and I thought "well, there's a band" and now having just listened to their Greatest hits I was damn right all along. To confirm my opinion, they are a flipping good band. ... Read more


86. Placebo
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our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000000I3C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13376
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (62)

4-0 out of 5 stars Since I was born, I've started to decay....
...Thankfully, the above lyrics aren't true enough to stop this solid debut album from the great modern rock group, Placebo, a success.
Personally, I adore Placebo, however, they do have certain factors which make their appeal similar to marmite - you either adore them or turn away with revulsion. This mainly due to the androgyne vocalist Brian Molko, who's unique voice (sometimes called a whine)is most prominant on tracks "Come Home" and "Bionic" - probably my least favourite of the album. However, their alluring power-punk-rock feel is strong throughout, and stunning tracks "Teenage Angst", "Hang on to Your IQ", "Nancy Boy" and "Lady of the Flowers" make this a absolute must-have.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Since I was born, I've started to decay..."
...Thankfully, the above lyrics aren't true enough to stop this solid debut album from the great modern rock group, Placebo, a success.
Personally, I adore Placebo, however, they do have certain factors which make their appeal similar to marmite - you either adore them or turn away with revulsion. This mainly due to the androgyne vocalist Brian Molko, who's unique voice (sometimes called a whine)is most prominant on tracks "Come Home" and "Bionic" - probably my least favourite of the album. However, their alluring power-punk-rock feel is strong throughout, and stunning tracks "Teenage Angst", "Hang on to Your IQ", "Nancy Boy" and "Lady of the Flowers" make this a must-have.

5-0 out of 5 stars UMMMMMMMMMMM...... Placebo
OK I personally love this album. I mean like other people have said it is a mix of post punk and glam. But i still can't get enough of it. It is in my opinion their best album. Their other stuff like Without you i'm nothing and sleeping with ghosts are perfect examples of the Alternative genre. But this album......... it is hard to describe.The lyrics are as Placebo would say, "wrapped in lust and lunacy". The guitars and drums accompany the lyrics with eerie distorters and and powerful back up. What else can i really say except buy it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hang On To This Debut
Although not as good as "Without You I`m Nothing" or "Black Market Music", Placebo`s debut is a fine, consistent rock album nonetheless, one that already showcases the band`s poignancy. Their meld of glam, punk, pop, rock and some experimentation in between makes for a solid record that still sounds fresh and appealling even if the trio has done better work after its release. Brian Molko`s voice is a central element here and one of the band`s strenghts, though it disturbs some people who consider it too whiny and androginous. "Placebo" focuses teenage innocence (or the loss of it) and the process of growing up, dealing with new matches, fears and obstacles. The lyrics are interesting, deep and appropriately ambivalent, presenting lost dreams and dark futures. Even the more noisy songs here show a fragile, hurt side, expressing teenage rebellion and loss. The overall tone and sound of the album can be compared to some Smashing Pumpkins` or Suede`s material, or even Nirvana, since these are bands that deal with related themes and ideas. "Placebo" is a strong record, a good debut from one of the best rock bands around.

5-0 out of 5 stars Entirely Accessible
I often am cautious about an artists first cd, because they seem to not have polished their craft quite enough. that is not the case here. this is probably my second favorite placebo cd of them all. the songs are just as well put together and melodic as placebo ever was. the only real draw back here is that placebo has always opened and album with a really strong song, the opener here is one of the weaker songs of the album, but this should hardly keep anyone away. unlike some of their other releases, this one should appeal to pretty much all placebo fans. those who complained 'sleeping with ghost's was too slow or that 'black market music' was too mainstream should get this cd. those in both camps, or those who like every work by this band will love this cd. a must. a great album from a masterful band. ... Read more


87. My Iron Lung EP
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Asin: B000007361
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9847
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

When exactly Radiohead transformed themselves from an average alterna-rock band into an avant-garde juggernaut is difficult to pinpoint, but in terms of recording, they took the great leap forward somewhere around the time of their second album, The Bends. While their debut, Pablo Honey, had a few sharp hooks, there was nothing to predict the avalanche of ideas that made The Bends one of the important albums of the 1990s. This EP (which is actually longer than some bands' full albums) doesn't clarify things a bit. The acoustic version of "Creep" that ends My Iron Lung is a sensitive read, but it doesn't explain the structural leap of the title track, which sounds as if the band had relearned how to play their instruments. Most of the remaining tunes are short, quirky numbers that point up Thom Yorke's penchant for melancholy melodies. Those who treasure the art rock of OK Computer or Kid A may find these plaintive pleas for love and understanding almost too simple. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

Reviews (54)

4-0 out of 5 stars Another great mini-disc from Radiohead
A mini fallow up to the Pablo Honey album(better know as the creep album) which really takes a different jump from the soft rock Pablo Honey too a more rock'n roll sound of The Bends. The first song, my iron lung, is a song of spacey verses and a chorus of yelled vemon and ramped guitar distoration. Then fallowed by a favorite b-side of most radiohead fans "the trickster", which is a eerie song that remains me of being alone in a house by yourself with your paranoia. Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong is a very cold love song with a weired Chris Issak harm to it. Permanent daylight reflects the sound of Sonic Youth, and my favorite is a fast ballard called "lozenge of love" which sounds alot like Led Zep. "going to calf.". You never wash up is just Thom and his guitar, while lewis(mistreated) sounds alot like a stereotype of a Pablo Honey song. The acoustic creep is nothing thrilling to the ears(mostly because I've heard it over 1,000 times to date). Its a great EP and I would tell anyone to buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short, weird, and'll leave you with your mouth open for more
I got "My Iron Lung" over a year ago, and when I listened to it at first I didn't thought that it was THAT special. But since I got curious when I read over the Internet how most Radiohead fans praising this EP, I've decided to give it a second chance. After that, I can honestly say that it's a must. It's a very weird, dreamlike experience; It's sounds a bit like "The Bends", but it's way more loosenup and calm; And it's just quite undescribeable really. "The Trickster" is a very catchy and upbeat song, and I can understand why it is considered as the best Radiohead B-side ever. It's a cute little, yet powerful tune that will not disappoint. Beautiful acoustic or semiacoustic tracks like "Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong", "Lozenge Of Love" and "You Never Wash Up After Yourself" also makes this a mustpurchase; And along with the raplike "Lewis (Mistreated)" and the almost radiofriendly (Hey, it's short and almost instrumental!) "Permanent Daylight" this makes an unforgettable collection. I really don't have much to say about "My Iron Lung" (The song) since we all know how good it was from "The Bends", and the acoustic version of "Creep" doesn't make the song better or worse; But if Radiohead have decided to put them here also, we should just shut up and accept it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Radiohead's revolution began here......not with The Bends
Released between 'Pablo Honey' and 'The Bends' and never released in the US, 'My Iron Lung' marks the transition from mediocre to outstanding.

I know that 22 bucks is kind of a rip-off for only eight songs, but every song presented on this unique import makes it worthwhile for any Radiohead fan....especially those partial to 'The Bends'.

'Trickster', in my opinion, is the best track here. I would have loved to have seen this song make it over to 'The Bends' along with 'My Iron Lung'. Here it is only enjoyed by Radiohead completist which isn't neccessarily a bad thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars for ALL the audiences
For some people, Radiohead tends to be either too poppy with songs like "Creep" or "Anyone Can Play Guitar," or they are too electronica and *weird* with the classic album, OK Computer. But, the My Iron Lung album successfully mixes the voices of The Bends with the instrumentals of OK Computer. Any college student can relate to "You Never Wash Up After Yourself" or "Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong," and any musician, whether you like this band or not, should be able to detect the creativity and boldness in the music of this album. The power of this band, like the powers of other classic artists, is that they vary their music from album to album, and succeed in not only appealing to a different audience each time, but also retaining their old followings. The My Iron Lung album is a recording for all of these audiences, and won't stop with the OK Computer fans or The Bends fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Radiohead 'album'
I was well shocked when i first listended to this cd, as i was formally a total avid punk fan, i found radiohead boring, slow and depressing, but slowly i listend to it, and it really does grow on you! If you listen really carefully, you can hear the 3rd guitar slowly building up etc. If you hate radiohead, i seriously recomed cheching this out first as it totally changed my opinion on the band, and my music taste on the whole. All the songs are 10 out of 10, and i could not give any bad points about this album if i had to! Brilliant! ... Read more


88. Under the Influence
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Asin: B0006SSRLA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 39730
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Under the Influence draws on the inspirations and all time loves of the world’s greatest recording artists.This newest release is compiled by the Super Furry Animals, who have released six artist albums to date that have reached gold status in the UK and been commercially and critically recognized in the US.

Super Furry Animals fanatics out there will not be disappointed to discover the sounds that have influenced the band and the resulting fifteen-track odyssey that reflects their own output of techno-folk lunacy.

Their track list selection includes Underworld, Humanoid, Sly and the Family Stone, Beach Boys, MC5 and The Undertones.Under the Influence is an indispensable album for Furries fans and anyone with a broad musical heritage. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars For people who actually like music...
Man, it's so embarassing to read these reviews.No, compilation albums such as these are not contractual obligations.And, my god, no, this isn't a disc of cover versions BY SFA.If you're the kind of person who loves music and are always on the lookout for exposure to new artists and sounds, compilation series like "Under the Influence," "DJ Kicks," and "Late Night Tales" are a godsend.The SFA's entry is no exception.Great stuff is all over this disc, songs you'd never hope to find elsewhere, all collected conveniently on one fantastically enjoyable disc.If you're an adventurous listener (and you'd think most SFA fans would be, although the previous reviews don't indicate it), you'll love this stuff.

1-0 out of 5 stars this album is a scam
What is this about? It's like qa mix tape by SFA? It's a very cheap and easy way to throw together an album, without actually doing any work. I've been a fan of SFA since the beginning but let's just hope that this is an album they had to throw together for contractual reasons or something.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the SFA catalog
You know, back in the day bands were covering each other's songs left and right... why not rearrange and cover a song that already speaks to what you're feeling? It's a nod to the original and keeps amazing music in the public ear. These days, everything has been done already and people still insist on trying to write more and more music that say things and make sounds that have been said and done a million times over. Regardless of that, some groups obviously accomplish breaking new ground or at least making an old formula seem fresh. The Super Furry Animals are one of those groups and with an output of songs as high as theirs, I was excited to see this kind of an album. As a musician I was also interested to see the sort of music that had influenced and driven SFA to make the music they make.

After giving it a listen I'd say this is an excellent album. Some arrangements stick very close to the original while others venture into completely new territory... that's something I like to hear.

If you aren't a fan of the Super Furry Animals already, there's probably no reason you would buy this. However, paired with the recently released greatest hits this is probably a good move for the Animals.

Ch-ch-check it out.

2-0 out of 5 stars Okay... It isn't the Animals!
I was very excited that SFA would be releasing their new album in May 2005. I had it marked on my calendar and pre-ordered on Amazon.

It was my own fault that I never examined the album more carefully before my immediate purchase, but I realized the whole CD was just songs from other bands that *inspired* the SFAs.

While I am still interested in knowing who and what are the influences of my favorite band, I still had my heart set on hearing their *own* songs, their *own* sound. Personally, I think none of these songs or bands can even compare to the Furries, who I've loved and fan-worshipped for the past few years. I don't crave the Super Furry *style*, but the Super Furries them*selves*.

Do not buy this CD if you are looking for music from the band, it is a mere soundtrack compiled of other artists! However, listen to samples of the songs and if you like them, go for it. Just don't expect to hear the wonted croonings of Gruff Rhys! ... Read more


89. Greatest Hits
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Asin: B00061I0VO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3897
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Album Details

The First Collection of the Former Take that Singer's Solo Output Collects the Key Singles that were Released in Conjunction with his Solo Albums "Life Thru a Lens", "i've Been Expecting You", "Sing When You're Winning" and "Escapology". The Album also Includes the Number One Single "Eternity", Along with Two New Tracks "Radio" and "Misunderstood" which is Featured on the Motion Picture Soundtrack of "Bridget Jones Diary 2" as Well as Three Tracks Not on the UK Version: "Better Man" and Exclusive Spanish Language Versions of "Angels ("Angeles") and "Better Man" ("Ser Mejor"). ... Read more


90. White on Blonde
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Asin: B000001EQI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 49866
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Great pop music is driven as much by raw emotion as it is classic textures. While this Scottish band excels in the latter trait, Texas has grappled with finding its own voice ever since making its 1988 debut. White on Blonde is the perfect example of an album that sounds right, but feels wrong. The band may borrow key traits from pop history in constructing its gentle blues style, but it woefully fails to give its songs any resonance. From the Motown influenced "Black-Eyed Boy" to the delicately gritty "Halo," the grooves fall into place just fine, but the sentiments ring hollow. Singer Sharleen Spiteri's voice--radiating warmth and soft-focus edginess--is still sweet on the ears; and the band's impenetrable sound will make radio programmers get down on their knees and praise the album-oriented rock gods. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars Breathless, simply
I own all 5 Texas CDs, and this is the most unique. The last track, "Breathless," is amazing. For those of you who own this, please take the time to listen to "Breathless" for its yearning sexiness and infectious energy. All though I have listened to every song several times, this is not an album I can play in its entirety. If you are a non-Texas fan, I would recommend either Southside or Mothers Heaven for your first album as those are more raw and passionate (and unique). Sharleen's voice is so good that I had to give WOB (White on Blonde) 4 stars. Without her talent, I would be disappointed for it seems Texas gets off their creative track in WOB. Perhaps its just because I'm spoiled by the genius of Southside. But Breathless and track 5 (Put your arms around me) make WOB worth the money. And Ms. Spiteri's talent takes the rest of these songs and makes them something worth noticing!

5-0 out of 5 stars If you're gonna buy Texas, buy this.
Where to start? If you've heard and loved the singles from White On Blonde, you won't be disappointed with the content of the rest of the album which maintains a high standard throughout. Spiteri's singing is near-faultless and the band seems to have an instinctive feel for their music - from the lethargic 'Put Your Arms Around Me' to the pacier 'Black-Eyed Boy' instrumentation and vocals help to give the album a distinctive sound. Yes, it is dangerously middle of the road, the but somehow the band pulls it off, neither challenging the audience too little or too much. To my mind contemporary music doesn't get much better than the closing track 'Breathless', it was worth getting the album for that alone.

5-0 out of 5 stars this album had to grow on me.
texas is one of my favorite bands but this album had to grow on me as i prefer the earlier work-southside, ricks road and mothers heaven. if you dont own these albums and love texas as i do then BUY them! i saw them at the roxy in los angeles in the early 90s-incredible concert, sharleen has such a powerful presence and voice. a beautiful album and still one that i could listen to everyday and not tire of.

5-0 out of 5 stars A pop masterpiece and one of the best British albums ever!
Texas are one of the most important and significant bands to come out of Scotland ever. Frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri is a rock Queen, they have sold millions of albums and had some of the biggest radio hits of the past decade, but it wasn't always as easy as that. The band's first single was titled "I Don't Want A Lover," and crept into the UK top 10 back in February 1989. After that the band released many albums and singles - all of which flopped and failed to make Texas anything more than a commercially poor band. That all changed in 1997.

As a new year opened in the form of 1997, Texas released their album "White On Blonde." The album was a critical and commercial masterpiece which topped the British charts for weeks, sold millions of copies, spawned five Top 10 singles, and still ranks high in many charts as one of the best British albums ever. This is the definitive Texas album, and nothing they have done before or since it has quite matched up to its popularity and appeal.

White On Blonde opens with an untitled intro that lasts for a mere 34 seconds. It's a swirly concoction of beats, breathing and cultural influences and prepares the listener for what is to come. "Say What You Want" follows, and is arguably the band's most popular song to date. In the United States, barely anyone will have heard this song, but over in the United Kingdom, I think everyone over the age of 10 has heard this song at least a thousand times! The song peaked at No.3 in the UK in January 1997, and has some very catchy hooks and sunlight vocals from Sharleen. "Drawing Crazy Patterns" is an album highlight, where country beats and a catchy guitar blend with perfectly with the raw and unaltered vocals of Sharleen. The guitar breakdown after two minutes is a particular memorable part. "Halo" is one of Texas' biggest hits to date and peaked at No.10 in the UK back in April 1997. The song comes out of no where and slowly builds up its guitar riffs and melodies to peak towards the end in a glorious display of Scottish vocal power and lyrical supremacy. It's quite amazing, and rightly so one of the most played radio hits in the past decade.

The beautiful ballad "Put Your Arms Around Me" slows down the tempo with some very emotional and heartfelt lyrics from Sharleen. The instruments are perfectly matched and time seems to stand still after the third minute, right up until the end. The song was released in November 1997 and peaked at No.10 in the UK. "Insane" is an absolutely phenomenal song! This was released in March 1998 and peaked at No.4 in the UK. The song starts off in a rather average fashion, but as the first verse trundles on, you get a wonderful sense of the atmosphere that fills Sharleen's voice, along with the haunting trumpet and soaring strings. You can sing along to this so much, and the chorus is just anthemic. The whole song just lets rip after the third minute and loses control. "Black Eyed Boy" is the feel-good, live life to the full kind of anthem that was played at football stadiums all over Europe through the late-90's. It was released in August 1997 and peaked at No.5 in the UK. The brash instruments and loud screeching vocals are haunting and the lyrics - while not making very much sense - perfectly capture your mood and lift your spirits.

"Polo Mint City" is a short interlude that pretty much continues on from the one that started the album, while "White On Blonde," the album's title track, is a definite album highlight. Sharleen's voice is very sweet and girly. It's being forced that way to begin with, but the chorus changes all that. She sings with such honestly and soul. "Postcard" is what you could call - for Texas - a hard rock anthem. The beat is raw and explicit from the beginning. Sharleen's voice isn't quite the best it could be, but you won't really care when you're bopping your head to this! Another short interlude follows, before "Ticket To Lie." This is yet another brilliant song, with some great and very visually effective lyrics from Sharleen. Her voice has a unique quality that makes it so loveable yet so diverse and different. "Good Advice" slows down the tempo to an almost haunting pace where Sharleen's voice is sort of muffled and subdued, like she's trying to tell you something, but quietly so no one else will hear. The album closes with the superb "Breathless." The strings on this song are what you instantly notice first, and they infiltrate the whole song with that British 90's post Brit-pop phenomenon that captured the nation. An excellent ending.

OVERALL GRADE: 10/10

White On Blonde is definitely Texas' finest album to date in my opinion. I have none of their albums prior to the release of this album, but I have "The Hush," "Greatest Hits" and "Be Careful What You Wish For" which are the three albums that followed White On Blonde. None of then match the masterpiece qualities than this album so proudly displays, and I don't think any album by them in the future will! When I was a preteen back in the late 90's, all the songs that were released from this album were played non-stop on British radio stations for years. I loved the songs, but I was too obsessed with the Spice Girls to care about buying one of their albums! Anyway, I'm glad I bought White On Blonde earlier on this year. It's a masterpiece, and your collection isn't complete without it! Americans, do something bold and discover the criminally underrated Texas!

4-0 out of 5 stars This Album Sparkles
Upon listening to this, it's like being hit with rays of sun. Although unrecognized in North America, this album is constantly ranked high on 'Best Of' polls in The UK, and deservedly so. 'White On Blonde' is sparkling feel-good pop for those who have lived life...an ode to the human experience with an undercurrent of maturity. Front and center is the wonderful range of Sharleen Spiteri's voice, who straddles between Deborah Harry, Diana Ross and Black Box Recorder's Sarah Nixey. The fact that many on this side of The Atlantic haven't had this album grace their ears does a great disservice to this undiscovered, yet celebratory gem. ... Read more


91. Whatever
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Asin: B00004WX1Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 35787
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Probaly the best Oasis single ever released
It's a shame Oasis singles aren't released more in the U.S. It's also a shame "Whatever" hasn't been heard by the average american. It's truly one of the best songs they've ever written and this single is one of the only ways to get it.

"Whatever" is a great song. It's such a powerful emotional acoutic ballad. Noel really shows his song writing abilities and he is truly one of the top songwriters penning songs today. He is very underrated and I just about garuntee you'll love him too if you hear "Whatever."

"(It's Good)To be Free" is a great song. You can find it on The Masterplan album. I think it is truly an underrated Oasis song. It's penned by Noel and has a very catchy chorus. I like this song a lot.

"Half the World Away" is another song off The Masterplan. It's a beautiful written song by Noel. It's another great acoustic song. I saw him play this one live and people where crying as he sang. It's a great song.

"Slide Away" is another great Oasis song. It's off there debut album Definetly Maybe and it's one of there classics. It's a great love song and the version of it on this is song by Liam and is the same one on Definetly Maybe. The acoustic version song by Noel on MTV Unplugged is the best version you will ever hear, but this one is a close second.

This is a great Single. All the songs are quality singles and I would reccomend this song to anybody. It's not just something for an Oasis fan. These are all deep emotional songs that anyone can enjoy. It's Definetly a must own for Oasis fans and you should check it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm in love with Oasis, what can I say!
Noel Gallagher became God to me the day I heard Whatever for the first time... I could not believe why a song as brilliant as Whatever was not included on an Album, but that is what makes the song so special. I honestly think Whatever is their finest work... It makes me feel so good and powerfull that I could listen to it over and over again non stop.
Half the world Away, It's Good to be Free, Slide Away!!!!!! Can't get any better than this Mate !!!!! I'm sure Slide Away will get your head tuned up, a perfect mix of Rock and romantic lyrics sung by the best in the world: Liam of course!!!!!
Half the world Away and It's Good to be Free feature main vocals by Noel, the Genius behind Oasis. The first one is brilliant, I love it when Noel goes Acustic!
It's Good to be Free starts with powerfull feedback and then it explodes in to your stereo!!!
Come on! if you are in to good music BUY IT!!!
Thank You Luis (my older bro)!!! Best present ever!!!!!
I'M MAD FOR IT!!!!!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Though not an album Best oasis single
This is by far the best oasis single very released. Its very cleaver with its lyrics and the music to go with it is alittle to bit of a want to be beatles (eleanor rigby) but its still a great song. ... Read more


92. 13
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Asin: B00000I8T8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14231
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 1999

One man's loss is our gain. On 13, lead singer Damon Albarn feeds his lyrics with the pain from his breakup with his longtime girlfriend, Elastica's Justine Frischmann. From the down-home hymnal "Tender" to the eerily psychedelic stagger of "Swamp Song," Blur, graced with the cohesive strength of William Orbit's production, take the high road, avoiding the woe-is-me drudgery of self-pity and presenting Albarn's varying shades of grief with a collection of melancholic, disturbed achievements. --Beth Massa ... Read more

Reviews (203)

4-0 out of 5 stars Damon ends decade low but the band of the 90's end so high
In 1998 Damon Albarn split from his girlfriend of 7 years Elastica's Justine Frischmann. As with any great songwriter, he let his songs express how he was feeling and this is the painstaking theme running through Blur's sixth album '13'. This was very much a studio album as Blur locked themselves in studio 13 for six months to produce this, their best album for 5 years. Britain at this time was coming down from the musical high of Brit-pop and artificial boybands were again polluting the charts. This album was needed to show that musical forms can still be moved on and that no-one can master it as well as Blur. Early criticism was inevitable from the cynical British press but for many of its listeners, this album grows and grows on you until you to can feel Damon's pain.

The gospel-filled opener 'Tender' bares Damon's emotions all too clearly, seducing you into their ever-growing wide musical spectrum. Graham Coxon's love of guitar distortion and experimentalism is apparent throughout the album giving it an edge like no other album that decade. 'Coffee and TV' (sung by Coxon), reaffirms your belief that Blur write the best melodic pop/rock songs today. '1992' includes typical Blur chord changes but as ever alters almost unrecognisably to an intriguing psychedilic/grunge format unlike anything else heard before.

'B.L.U.R.E.M.I' is the only song not worthy of being included as it unnecessarily re-introduces the 'Song 2', 'Chinese Burns' elements from their previous album 'Blur', but every song following it is near perfect emotional experimentalism.

'Battle', (with vocal styles reminiscent of underrated Welsh band Super Furry Animals that Damon is known to be a fan of) draws you in encompassing trip-hop, post-punk and grunge over such a sensitive backing that you can not understand how it works so well.

'Mellow Song' begins with Damon moving back to his acoustic roots while allowing his love for the dreamy organ sound not heard since thier debut album 'Leisure'.

'Trailerpark' allows Graham Coxon to show his underappreciated brilliance of lead guitar journeys and the drumming of Dave Rowntree throughout the album should not be underestimated. 'Caramel' is possibly the song of the album balancing mysery, pain, beauty and hurt in equal measures leaving you feel as close to music as is possible.

'Trimm Trabb' changes the mood once again with lyrics expressing how Damon ended up resigned to the fact the his relationship with Justine was over. Coxon excels on guitar once again and perhaps this song best represents the album and the adventurous production of William Orbit.

'No distance left to run' is pure beauty (Justine admitted that she cried through it the first time she heard it). It sees Damon lay all his feelings out on the table one last time.

'Optigan 1' cleverly ends the album and seems to sum up all the emotion that came before it using another of Damon's pet instruments.

In an era when commercialism and conformity is encouraged in music, it is good to know that a band can still surprise and delight. Remember to listen to all of Blur's albums starting with 'leisure' and then you realise how diverse they are.

5-0 out of 5 stars after more consideration...
This is the best album I have heard in a damn long time, and a worthy successor to 1997's great "Blur" and an innovator in its own right. It is a complete change of gears for the band, and sometimes it doesn't work (see "Optigan 1", for example). But mostly it does, with the effect being ambient, experimental, and not at all accessible. It does have a theme, though: the album is themed around lead singer Damon Albarn's devastating breakup with his longtime girlfriend, who is Justine Frischmann of Elastica. So, without further ado, here are the individual track reviews:

1 - Tender. This was the lead single of this record. It is a marvelous song, with a choir telling Albarn to "get through it". It is very down-homey.
2 - Bugman. This song has a loud, completely fuzzed-out riff and other noises. It is extremely lo-fi.
3 - Coffee and TV. This song confirms my suspicions of having someone else sing lead vocals. Sure enough, Graham Coxon sings lead on this and Damon plays the acoustic rhythm guitar for this one. It was the second single off the album. Graham's solo is great.
4 - Swamp Song. The riff here is brilliant, a fantastic throwback to none other than Syd Barrett, with Damon screaming "Give me good times". The problem is that it doesn't really go anywhere. But it is cool.
5 - 1992. This is one of the best songs on the record and should have been released as a single. Graham's solo is incredible, and Damon's vocals are magnificent. Dave's drumming on this one is great, and Alex James's graceful bass rounds off this one.
6 - B.L.U.R.E.M.I. This, too, would have made a great single. Oh, um...I take back everything I said about Alex's bass being graceful. Big, loud, distorted, and pure fun. Donald Duck makes an unlisted vocal appearance (lol).
7 - Battle. This is a long techno song. It's good, but I don't listen to it that much.
8 - Mellow Song. This doesn't go anywhere, but it is relaxing and certainly better than the next one.
9 - Trailerpark. Hoo-boy. This is one hell of a weird track. I think it's supposed to be trip-hop, but it is just too odd for me.
10 - Caramel. This, too, is a hell of a weird one, but it is great. You should listen to it more than once, though, because first impressions aren't always good ones.
11 - Trimm Trabb. This rocks. It starts off peaceful, and gradually builds up. Really sweet.
12 - No Distance Left To Run. Unquestionably the best song on the album. You must listen to it.
13 - Optigan 1. The worst song on the CD. It is god-awful, and I wonder why Blur decided to end it with this one.

13 is a great record. I give it 5 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Long and Winding Road
Length of Play - 67:07
After being coddled and caressed by the equisite opener, Tender (has a beat similar to John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance"), one would think that "13" would be chock-full of relaxing, mellow, joyous music. That description; however, couldn't be more inaccurate. The bulk of this album is comprised of long, dreary, abrasive, dirge-like numbers. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but at times the downtrodden dissonance is just too much. "Battle" and "Caramel", for instance, are two seemingly endless tracks that carry off into oblivion. On the other hand, downers like "1992", a thrashing ballad that breaks into a Radioheadlike electronic explosion, "Trailerpark", a spooky, noir-sounding tune (think "I'm Just a Killer for your Love"), and "Bugman", a vicious, rocking stomp of a song, are beautifully bleak and stand out as excellent tracks. The highest points of the album though, in my opinion, are found outside of the aforementioned tracks of madness. "Coffee and TV", with its cool, swaggering pace, the morosely delightful "Mellow Song", and the helpless, breathtaking "No Distance Left to Run" are absolutely indispensable tracks. Also, for anyone who enjoys the strange-sounding coda, Optigan 1, check out the album "Spotlight on..." by Optiginally Yours. At times listening to this record can be quite harrowing, but all in all, it is definitely worthwhile music and a must have for Blur fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars A bleak yet beautiful album written during Damon's...
...heart-wrenching break-up with his girlfriend of 8 years, Elastica's Justine Frishmann. 13 is a dark record, produced by William Orbit. Nearly every song is injected with despair, sorrow, bitterness, and an achy, heart-breaking sadness. These moods are encompassed on such tracks as Tender, 1992, Battle, and the tear-jerking No Distance Left to Run. Also included are the trip-hop masterpiece Trimm Trabb, the humourous Trailerpark and B.L.U.R.E.M.I., and Coxon and Albarn's co-written pop-masterpiece, Coffee and TV.

5-0 out of 5 stars On my top 10
This is one of my favorite records. By FAR the best Blur record if you're trying to decide which one to get. ... Read more


93. Northern Star [Bonus Track]
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Asin: B00004Y7WU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 34091
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The longtime Sporty Spice has apparently put in many hours listening to Garbage over the past few years; that band's techno-guitar meld and sassy female vocals cast a long shadow over Northern Star, Melanie C's first solo album. Replete with cropped hair, a nose ring, and tattoos (real? temporary?), the C-girl leaps fearlessly into alt-rock, admirably ignoring the potential for incongruity. Her vocals may be surprisingly strong, but her songs (written in collaboration with TLC's Lisa Lopes, Ray of Light coproducer William Orbit, and a raft of other pros) are less so. Indeed, "Why" does the rain fall from the sky? C takes time out from slavish Shirley Manson worship to indulge in widescreen balladry ("Closer") and Small Faces-esque Britpop ("Suddenly Monday"). What all this adds up to isn't an embarrassment, but it's hardly a convincing style change either.--Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mel C proves she is the most talanted Spice Girl again!
This is an excellent record and still selling well in the world after it's been out for almost 1 and a half years! It has also produced the two smash hits "Never Be The Same Again" and "I Turn To You". In my opinion, 'Norhtern Star' is superior to 'Hot' by Mel B and Geri's 'Schizophonic', because Melanie C hasn't stuck to only one style on her debut album. There is a brilliant mixture of everything on there: rock, pop, R'n'B, dance, ballads, acoustic stuff. It is really diverse and entertaining. Overall, 5 stars and congratulations to Mel C for presenting us with a great debut album. Not many people can do that and I'm really looking forward to the next one!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Solo Start
When I first heard last summer that Mel C of the Spice Girls was going to do a solo album, I was slightly worried. I do consider her to be the most talented of the Spice Girls but with Geri's bland and almost stale release, I feared Mel C's release would go the same way. I am so thankful it didn't. Northern Star is a well-mastered mix of pop and a little rock. It was incredibly smart thinking of Melanie C to not go with any of the Spice Girl sound because though it made her a success, it would have killed her solo career. Anyone picking up this CD and expecting to hear any of the bubble-gum pop music that is so signature of the Spice Girls, prepare to be wrong. "Goin' Down" shows just how far from pop music Mel C can get and so does "Ga Ga". The title track "Northern Star" and "Feel The Sun" are the soothing tracks on the album and are wonderfully written and produced. Though Northern Star hasn't seen much success in the States as it's had elsewhere, the success of the "I Turn To You" remix could change that. This CD is a must buy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Spinning In My CD Player
This is Melanie's best album to date. The album features excellent songs from every genre you can think of. Since the first day I got this cd in 1999 (the first release) I have yet to go a week without listening to it. Gotta love Melanie C!

5-0 out of 5 stars "absolutely beautiful"
melanie c, former spice girl, has improved vocally and lyrically in her songs - they are all u/indescribable. there is not one song that I would rate less then four stars because they are all haunting, catchy, fun and beautifully written, although I don't like her blond-hair-look, it doesn't suit her. At least she's turned back to brunette now! if I had to choose five highlights they would be "never be the same again" (UK no. 1/US no. 2) for its catchy and amazing lyrics and music; "suddenly monday" becuase its such a classic song, "go" becuase its upbeat and rocky, "be the one" because its just... good! And "northern star" because its a slow ballad that was a smash hit (UK no. 1/US no. 6). if u dont already have it, BUY IT!

5-0 out of 5 stars I turned to Northern Star
I didn't know Melanie C had a solo album until the end of 2002 when i heard I Turn To You. It became my fave song for a while. So i decided to search for her album. I was thinking all of her album would be like I Turn To You. But it wasn't. She took more of a rock,R&Bish vibe onto making this album. I think this is much better than her spice girls days. Her voice is awesome. All the videos were great. Especially the one with Lisa Left-Eye Lopes. This album i have to say is better than her sophomore solo album Reason. I'm just stuck on this one.

Fave Songs:
Go!
Goin' Down (the video for this could have been better)
Northern Star (the video for this was ok)
Never Be The Same Again ftr.Lisa Left-Eye Lopes (Love the video)
I Turn To You (This is her best video to date)
If That Were Me (The video for this was very emotional.Loved it)
Why
Closer

I really recommend this cd to everyone because it has alot of different flavors. Something for everyone. Pop,Rock,R&B,Techno and more. This cd is not in stores in the U.S. so you should order it. Its worth it. ... Read more


94. God Put a Smile Upon Your Face [Australia CD]
list price: $12.99
our price: $12.99
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Asin: B0000AG8PY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 29969
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Full title - God Put A Smile Upon Your Face. ExclusiveAustralian single from their 2002 album, 'Rush of Blood tothe Head', is b/w three exclusive non-LP tracks, 'Murder','Politik' (Live), & a cover of the Echo & the Bunnymen's'Lips Like Sugar' (Live). Copy Controlled. Capitol. 2003. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Probably the best compliation
Okay, I haven't really felt the need to review any of Coldplay's stuff, despite a certain affinity for the band. I had to remedy that for this single, as it quite literally brought a dream to life.

But I'll get to that in a moment. "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" isn't their best song. Of course, I can't think of a "bad" Coldplay song, you can really only compare their songs to one another. This song is very melancholy and wonderful, it's just no "Yellow" or "Green Eyes".

"Murder" is a good song. I didn't really catch anything that stood out, but I'll definitely give it another listen. "Politik" live is lovely, with a minute and a half intro before they get to the infamous opening guitar.

And the gem of the album, the final track. I saw the cover of the single and went "Hm, new import. Bonus." Then I saw the sticker claiming "Contains all new Live versions of "Politik" and "Lips Like Sugar". I dropped what I was holding, stunned.

For those of you who don't know, "Lips Like Sugar" is a song by Echo and the Bunnymen, one of Chris's favorite bands. Before I'd heard of Coldplay, I was an Echo and the Bunnymen buff. "Lips Like Sugar", bar none, is my favorite song. And apparantly, Coldplay agrees, since Chris introduces it by saying, "Here we go, this is one of the greatest songs in the world." And he's quite correct. Chris does an excellent job covering the vocals, never trying to imitate Ian'swork on the original. the rest of the band plays the song spectacularly, a slightly faster version that the Bunnymen themselves do live.

As I stated previously, this was a dream come true. Ever since I heard "Parachutes", I knew Coldplay and the Bunnymen had to do an album together. And while this isn't quite the same, it's still wonderful to hear. And a note to Ian, Will, and the gang: I think hearing you guys cover "Spies" would be awesome. ... Read more


95. Guerilla [Bonus CD]
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B0007NMKC6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 42748
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96. Music for Pleasure
list price: $16.98
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Asin: B000002GNR
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 72000
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars manchester gold
Always in the shadow of Bernard Sumner's high-flying Electronic venture, Peter Hook's Monaco was bound to play second fiddle in the post-New Order order. However most of the criticisms of this album are incoherent. Derided as a gratuitous tribute to Hook's ankle-level bass playing and glam-rock proclivities, "Music for Pleasure" is indeed just that: solid Manchester gold to put into your CD player and turn way up. That's the reason I buy CDs. And will somebody please tell me why a song is bad if it's over five minutes long? To criticize a track on that basis alone betrays an absence of aesthetic sensibility. Maybe that's why music critics are music critics and not the successful musicians that they wish they were. Anyway, cheers to Hooky for this one--anyone who listens to "Music for Pleasure" will know where New Order got its groove from.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not New Order, Not Even Electronic, Not Worth It...
Well, I'll start with what's good...
The first single (and album track.) "What do you want from me?" Superb. Exellent. Able to raise expectations for the album to above average. The album is released. Despite a mediocre critical review I read in the paper the day of its release, I buy it, speculating that the review was written by a jaded critic who never properly appreciated good 80'ish synth-pop which "What do you want from me?" clearly evokes. In fact this song is better than any song of of New Order's 1993 album "Republic," including the fan favorite track "Regret." This song actually sounds like a really good, upper-echelon New Order single. The first time I heard it, I thought it was New Order. The vocals and guitar work are like Bernard Sumners, with keyboards are percussion that sound like the work of Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris respectively. One of the best singles released in the 90's in my opinion. Too bad it was the best the album had to offer.
In stark contrast to the first song, the album immediately takes a wrong turn. Peter Hook's signature bass sound (his best attribute) sinks into the background of several sub-par tracks. Whether or not track three is tounge in cheek, it actually made me wince and laugh. This is not a good thing. I simply cannot believe that it was put out by the same guy. The rest of the album is uneven with a little brit synth pop, and some ... techno sounds. Good tracks resume halfway through including a nice ode to Portishead's innovative sound, but sevral are just that... about half what they could be. Cut out half of these and Monaco would have a 4 star EP release. Stretching it into an album was not good for the listener or for them. It is the dancy numbers like "Junk" that are not needed and overly long. Peter Hook's second strong point, his vocals, are nice on "Tender," a favorite of mine and a jem in the coal mine of material here. Unless you are a die hard New Order fan who has to have every offshoot release, spend your money elsewhere. The first song is amzazing but not enough to jusify having to hear the third. Efforts by New Order (the whole of them) and Electronic are far superior. I would like to give this two and a half stars, but cannot in good conscience award it three.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heat Wave...
This thing cooks....It's not too hard to figure out where the drive and energy found in any New Order work comes from...Hook is the beat and a perfect foil for Sumner's school-boy, soccer idolizing, slightly sugar coated musings...This always makes it to the morning spin, handles the delays in a long commute home well, and survives the evening to energize...One of the best, if not the best, to come out of any New Order or spin off offering.

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid work
A severely, severely underrated album. Peter Hook is quite simply one of the greatest bassists of our time, and it is evident from the infectious grooves that lace this album and enhance its total musicianship. More straight-ahead rock than New Order, it still retains the classic New Order melodies and ear-catching "Hooks" (pun intended). It's high time that this release got its full due.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless. A True Masterpiece.
This is such a great CD. "What Do You Want From Me" is such a fabulous song. I've been listening to this CD almost 7 years and it still blows me away. This is a keeper! It's like New Order with a twist. Very groovy, upbeat, and just feels refreshing. I'm glad this New Order side project stayed humble because it means it won't be spoiled in the masses. A cult-classic for sure!

Enjoy! ... Read more


97. Resident Alien
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002HJV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9949
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (32)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting...unique...pretty good
Now I'll admit it, I didn't buy this CD to long ago. Even though this was made back in 1995 I decided why not, I loved the song "In The Meantime" back then and had planned on buying the album, but I always forgot about it when I was in the record store. But anyways lets get down to the CD, Spacehog definetly intended to make their album unique and different from anyone else's and let me tell you they sucessfully did it. The only other sound I can really compare this to is David Bowie and even saying that is a stretch, and though this album could of been better I still applaud them for their bold efforts. "In The Meantime" is a great song though, and if they only followed that formula for the rest of "Resident Alien" it would be a classic. Yes it is true, these guys deserve alot more recognition than they get, hopefully someday they will finally get that fame that seems to be owed to them.

5-0 out of 5 stars SPACEHOG deserves a lot more attention!They rock!
Spacehog is one of those bands where only a few people have heard of them, and those of us who have are so pissed that everyone else doesn't love them as much as we do! They must be the most underated rock band of the century! I'm a little to young for David Bowie, but this album still rocks...if you like "In the Meantime" then you'll have to love the enire thing! Richard Steel, Johnny Cragg, Royston and Antony Langdon form the perfect mix! Their sound is so unique! BUY THIS CD AND CALL YOUR LOCAL RADIO STATION TO REQUEST THEIR SONGS! You'll love it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Off the beaten path
I first learned about Spacehog through the news. The singer, Royston Langdon (aka "The Luckiest Man Alive") married Liv "Arwen Evenstar" Tyler in 2001. This made headlines at the time, as it was incontrovertible proof that even the homeliest of guys can hit the jackpot every now and then.

Three things strike me about this album:

First, is it quirky? Yep. Off the beaten path? Definitely. But underneath this somewhat bizarre album is a collection of strong and well crafted songs written by people who are quite talented songsmiths.

Secondly, they're very well produced. They have a great sound, and whoever the producer is deserves an award. The band's strengths are played up. The mix is just right. The sound they get out of their instruments is simply phenomenal. It's perfect for their style of music.

Thirdly, the singer, Royston Langdon, has a strangly intriguing voice. I'm not sure it would carry well in a more traditional band, but it's perfect for what Spacehog does.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pigs in spaaaaaaace.
Though I'm sure they're mostly thought of as a one-hit-wonder, man what a hit. "In The Meantime" has got to be one of the coolest songs of the mid-90's. After that the songs aren't as good, but still similar, and mostly interesting. Actually I think "Cruel To Be Kind" was a minor hit as well. Their sound is definitely retro-glam, like a "David Bowie" or "Elton John" influenced 90's alt-rock band. By now this disc is probably in every used store across the country, and well worth the price you could get it for. After a few listens, you'll realize "Space Is The Place".

2-0 out of 5 stars Hog Wash,
No, I am not French but the majority of this recording SUCKS in ANY language. I have owned this cd for 9 years and I never get past the 1st song "In the Meantime" the rest of em' come on; immediately I lose interest. Faster than a blind date with your mom.

"In the Meantime" is this CDs only saving grace. Save your pennies, this one is hog wash! ... Read more


98. Gold Diggas Head Nodders & Pholk Songs
list price: $26.49
our price: $26.49
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Asin: B0002XK4EW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5963
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99. Alone with Everybody
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00004TTXY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 16054
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The bad news: Alone with Everybody, the first solo venture by the Verve's ex-lead singer Richard Ashcroft, is not as good as the Verve's pinnacle departure album, Urban Hymns. The good news: it's really, really close. Urban Hymns's elongated, psychedelic space jams and reflective, occasionally plaintive themes seeped osmotically into the listener's every cell, becoming gloriously inescapable. The melodies on Alone with Everybody remain within the parameters of the Verve's last album, carrying over the massive swells of orchestral strings; mellowed, trippy, blues-influenced guitar licks; and Chris Potter's dense production. Initially, the impact is slightly diminished because Verve fans will find it very familiar. But Alone is less cathartic and more resolute because Ashcroft has found real love. As you'd expect from such an adept and introspective songsmith, Ashcroft's love songs are not schmaltzy.This isn't the kind of love that can be expressed through the ear-splitting wail of a pop diva or the jangly chorus of a college-rock quartet. Songs like "You on My Mind in My Sleep," "Crazy World," and the heart-wrenching "On a Beach," reveal a love that is consuming, complex, fragile, and obtained at the conclusion of an exhausting, painful war with the self. The album sprawls in expansive contentment--a contradiction in terms understood perfectly by anyone who's ever loved so deeply, humbly, and unexpectedly that they've needed nothing else. --Beth Massa ... Read more

Reviews (128)

4-0 out of 5 stars Long Overdue Return
It seems like an awful long time since I last heard Richard Ashcroft on the Verve album 'Urban Hymn's',but the wait has definitley proved worth it.I was a bit worried before I got the c.d. because many of the reviews were unfavourable.Many critics seemed to cite Ashcroft's use of session bass player Pino Pallodino as a sign that he'd made a bland middle of the road album.They based this on the fact that Pallodino had done much of his work with Paul Young in the mid eighties.Well I have to say that I didn't hear any similarities on this album to anything done by Young.In fact I don't think it is a bland c.d. at all.The up tempo tracks still sound like The Verve.The slower numbers are also excellent.He uses strings quite often on this c.d. to great effect,like on the track he did for UNKLE.The c.d. starts off on a strong note with 'A song for the lovers'.The next four songs are slow low key ballads,with 'I Get My Beat' sounding like any verve song.The session players used on the album are excellent and each of these songs have strings used in the background.The production is really polished-maybe too polished for some peoples liking.Track 5 'You On My Mind,...'sounds like a definite potential single.Track 6 'Crazy World' is a quicker rock song that really reminds me of his previous work. The second single 'Money To Burn' has a catchy,cheerful feel to it ,which goes against the general mood of the album.An even better up tempo song is 'C'mon People' which belts along with along with a piano as the main driving force.This is by far the most commercial song on the c.d. and sounds quite different to anything he's done before.I think it works as it's a nice break from bleaker songs Richard Ashcroft is normally associated with.Even more unusual are the lyrics at the end of the song where he sings 'I feel fine now'.The c.d. closes with the excellent slower song 'Everybody' complete with customary steel guitars.This c.d. is a real welcome return of one of rocks more interesting characters.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Album For Lovers
Anyone who accuses Ashcroft of becoming the next Paul McCartney (happy, content and rich), ought to re-listen to some of the tracks from his sublime solo CD. If songs like "Crazy World", "On My Mind In My Sleep" and "On the Beach" don't sound like some of the most complex, emotional tales Ashcroft has ever woven about hanging onto love as a means of survival, then I give up. I'm glad to hear Ashcroft hasn't lost his edge despite the high profile and extremely disappointing breakup of The Verve. While the CD doesn't capture the defiant zeal of "Urban Hymns" (a CD hadn't left my CD changer in the two years since I bought it), it cerainly contributes a deeply personal and romantic element to an otherwise bland British pop scene, which has seen the breakup of the Verve and the slow and painful death of Oasis. Ashcroft's love songs are something which has been missing from music for a long time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ashcroft's solo debut
Richard Ashcroft's first solo album follows much of the same formula as Verve albums. Most of the songs are leftovers from the Verve days but they are still a very tasty treat. Highlights include "C'Mon People (We're Making It Now)" and "Money to Burn", the latter is six plus minutes of abandonless music, and one of the hidden gems among all the Verve and Ashcroft songs. Ashcroft's solo debut has songs about love and life, and a general embracing of life where the early Verve albums were quite dark and dreary. Either way, good music is good music, and this is much better than average stuff. Recommended for fans of Verve, and fans of Rock/Indie.

4-0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL-MINOR FLAWS
Excellent solo debut by Ashcroft. I am a huge Verve fan and think Ashcroft is by far one of the most honest, committed, and talented songwriters around- like most UK bands (As compared to money hungry US bands) he lays his emotions on the table for all of us to share.

There were big expectations on this CD following Urban Hymns and he deivered for the most part. The only problems I have with it are that is highly over-produced which sort of takes away from some of the more raw emotion and passion in his lyrics and too many of the songs try to hard with extended jams at end. I'm all for 5 minute songs with extended endings but he tries a bit too hard with some, and since so many of the songs sort of follow that formula it takes away from the real stand-outs. Some should be shorter and left to extend live. Also, he sounds a lot like Neil Diamond on some songs which is a little creepy but not a critism.

But, those are nitpicks and I have high music standards so if you are into artists who care about their craft rather than how to best market and sell CD"s then pick this up.

I think almost all US artists should be required to go to "training" in UK before they release a CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is real music.
The Verve were a great band. This is not Yhe Verve, but it is still great. Do not expect the music on this album to be exactly like The Verve. It isn't. The songs you will find on this album are similar to Ashcroft penned songs written later on in The Verve's career, like History, The Drugs Don't Work, and Lucky Man, but mostly gone are the long dreamy psychedelic jams.

But that's ok. This isn't The Verve. It's just Richard Ashcroft, and that's good enough. In my opinion he is one of the best song writers alive today, and there are many fine examples found on "Alone with Everybody". My favorites are Everybody, I Get My Beat, You on My Mind in My Sleep, and On a Beach. The rest are also very good. There is not a single bad song on this album, I love them all.

I loved The Verve, and though they are gone and will never exist again, I have moved on and am thankful that Richard Ashcroft is still around to amaze me with each new release. Long live Ashcroftism! ... Read more


100. Silence Is Easy
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00015YVJK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 20398
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Awash in the same Britpop romanticism of their debut Love Is Here, Starsailor's Silence Is Easy strains with the weight of the band's next-big-thing status. In response to the clamor anointing them as the next Verve or Coldplay, Starsailor try to meet the expectations with sheer weight of conviction. They even lured legendary producer Phil Spector out of retirement to boost their sound into new realms of lovelorn sincerity. Occasionally, it works; "Music Was Saved" opens with a burst of sunny, Echo and the Bunnymen-like pop, as singer James Walsh sweetly layers his delicate voice through a brisk, catchy chorus. Also impressive is the title track, thick with tender emoting and soaring melodies. Too often though, the band gets stuck in syrupy sentiment, like a cover band playing to the cheap seats. Ballads like "White Dove" try for melancholy allure, but come closer to maudlin excess while emphasizing Walsh's lack of dynamic range. This may not be the big "statement" record they tried for, but getting the attempt out of their system will hopefully allow them to relax and tap their considerable pop savvy in the future. --Matthew Cooke ... Read more

Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars Promising
Like The Verve, Starsailor is from Wigan, which is very northern. It's a cold and bleak place. Starsailor hasn't really made an impact in America yet. They are lesser known that Coldplay, Travis, and Doves. Now there are a bunch of American bands jumping on the earnest rock bandwagon. The field is crowded. Starsailor stands out still because of great songs like "Fidelity" and "Silence Is Easy." But the rest of the album doesn't make a strong impression. James Walsh is a talented singer and songwriter. This time out they even got Phil Spector to help out. His bad mullet and all. While The Beatles are busy releasing records without the handiwork of the Wall of Sound man, Starsailor are brining himself back to pop music. Spector must have been affected by the experience. He killed some bartender at House of Blues soon after. Maybe he could have stayed on for the whole record. Easy listening was popular during the 1970s too. Jackson Browne and Fleetwood Mac were very popular for some reason. Songs like "White Dove" are not bad, but I am sure that Starsailor hasn't made their great record yet. It may be a collector item in the future because it will possibly be the last record Phil Spector did.

2-0 out of 5 stars The band sold out
Ok, I loved the first album by Starsailor. They seemed like old souls singing to the rest of us, tapping into our sub-conscious. This album finds Starsailor devolving into pop stars. The songs are shorter, the music assaults your senses, the lyrics are almost screaming at you.

If you like pop music, you'll love this album. If you liked the dark undertones, deep lyrics and undulating melodies of their first album you'll only be disappointed by Silence Is Easy.

If you're a newcomer to Starsailor, buy Love is Here instead. The melodies in Love is Here sneak up and wind themselves around you, Silence is Easy leaves you feeling like you just ate a McDonalds super sized value meal, you're full, but an hour later you're left unsatisfied.

2-0 out of 5 stars Overrated
This album could have been good. The tunes are ok, the lyrics are nice, no gripes on that. But the sound is very flat, it lacks depth and warmth (which is terrible for a pop album). And there is a bit too much orchestra in the background.
I was much more thrilled by Turin Brakes' "Ether Songs", or even Moloko's "Statues", which both display amazing arrangments, and an outstanding sound.

4-0 out of 5 stars -
i'd probably really give 3.5 stars but that's beside the point. when love is here came out i was one of the first to buy it and then no one really had any idea who starsailor was. they promised to make their follow up cd different from the first and it deffinately was. silence is easy wasn't a bad cd really; it just wasn't spectacular. i don't think follow up cd's are ever as good as debuts because by the second time around artists now have a crowd to please. popularity generally wins over creativity and starsailor proved this to be true. there were a few excellent tracks near the end but i predict that with the release of their third album starsailor will become mainstream and cultivated by society into a pop culture disaster.

4-0 out of 5 stars Coldplay and Doves: watch out!
After a rather succesful debut, which propelled the single "Fever" into collective awareness, the brit quartet came back in 2003 holding hands with legendary produced Phil Spector (who came out of retirement for this one) to shift producers after two tracks were completed: the contagious title track and "White Dove". With their recording engineer, Danton Supple, a disciple of Steve Lillywhite and Brian Eno, taking charge of production, the band completed an album that can be powerful (largely due to the combination of lyrics with the dramatic timbre of singer James Walsh) while it's peaceful in a sense. If there is a band that Coldplay should be "concerned" about, it is Starsailor, precisely because of the delicate balance that they're able to accomplish: almost easy to listen, while being able to easily strike a chord with the listener.

My favorite tracks: the opening song, "Four To The Floor" and "Born Again". So, you may be wondering, after so many positive comments, why don't I give 'Silence is Easy' five stars? Because there's only so much of the same that you can take. The one problem with this album is that it becomes repetitive after a while, so once you've heard 3-4 songs you've almost heard them all. Otherwise, another very nice act to keep eyes wide open for, in the future. Coldplay and Doves: watch out, Starsailor is on your backs! ... Read more


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