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121. Once More With Feeling: Singles
122. Speed of Sound Pt.2
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123. A Northern Soul
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124. Ciao! Best of Lush
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125. His 'n' Hers
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126. Singles
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127. Good Feeling
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128. Grand Prix
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129. Lock, Stock & Two Smoking
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132. If 60's Were 90's
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135. In My Place 1 / One I Love / I
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139. Leisure
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140. Life Thru a Lens

121. Once More With Feeling: Singles 1996-2004
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Asin: B0002VJT40
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 41046
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122. Speed of Sound Pt.2
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Asin: B000983WKI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3462
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Album Details

The First Single to Be Taken from the Album "x and Y". ... Read more

123. A Northern Soul
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Asin: B000000W8C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14977
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Though The Verve has finally taken its rightful place in the Brit Rock cannon, it languished for years behind such English luminaries as Oasis and Radiohead. During that time, The Verve release several albums that got less attention than they deserved. Mark A Northern Soul as one of them. The 1995 release was perhaps the first album on which the band reeled in its trademark guitar epics and fashioned bona fide pop songs. "On Your Own" is one of the lushest and loveliest tracks never to find a minute of commercial airplay in the U.S. or abroad. No self-respecting fan of modern rock should be without this one. --Nick Heil ... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars Chaotic, intense, beautiful...The heart of The Verve
While "Urban Hymns" is without a doubt The Verve'smasterpiece, I believe "A Northern Soul" is the heart of TheVerve. While recording "A Northern Soul" The band... hopingto achieve a greater, more powerful sound. The result was a chaoticstorm of sonic blasts of guitar and calm beautiful moments.

Thehighlights are: "This Is Music" a fast number with greatlyrics and set the mood for the album, definitely one of The Verve'sbest louder numbers. "On Your Own" and "So ItGoes" are the best songs on the album. "On Your Own" isa soft acoustic song(One of the only light moments on the album) and"So It Goes" has a lovely dreamy guitar effect."History" a classic Verve single is a possible early hint of"Urban Hymns", lush strings and of course great lyrics."Drive You Home" also is another favorite of mine.

If youbuy another Verve album after "Urban Hymns", then get"A Northern Soul." It can be a little hard getting use tobut when you finally get use to it, you'll see its beauty. Life's AnOcean and "A Northern Soul" will fill the emptiness in yoursoul.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of the 90s, yet unknown by many
If you know of the Verve as the "Bittersweet Symphony" song and the Urban Hymns album, then you're definitely missing out on what the Verve is all about. A Northern Soul is in many ways, even better than Urban Hymns. Soul hads a slightly harder sound, with songs like "A New Decade","This is Music", the title track "A Northern Soul", and "No Knock on My Door". But the album also contains ballads like the excellent "On Your Own" and "So It Goes". It also contains a song that sounds a lot a track from Urban Hymns, which is "History". It also contains a few songs that sound a lot like A Storm in Heaven, their debut album, these being "Stormy Clouds", "Life's An Ocean", and "Drive You Home" All in all, the album has the right balance of sound, and at times, it's simply amazing. The album does have a weak song or two, one of which is "Drive You Home" But one of the best things I like about this album is being able to understand most of the lyrics. In their previous albums, the lyrics are echoed out and tough to hear, but A Northern Soul is much better, with Richard Ashcroft's lyrics coming to the front of the music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Indie Heaven
This album contains "History", one of the finest indie anthems of the 90's. For that reason only, it gets a 5 out of five from me!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential
This album attains a level of perfection few bands ever achieve. Everything is perfect, from construction of individual songs to the over-arcing concept of the record as a whole. Intense, beautiful, frightening, mesmerizing: absolutely superlative. Best part of the album: the two psychadelic jams ("Brainstorm Interlude" and "Reprise") that end each half. And has a guitar ever sounded as simultaneously visceral and spacy as Nick McCabe's? Awesome.

5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting transistion
The Verve is one of the greatest bands in the world, having been able to weild atmospheric and spacy tunes with soul-searing vocals. However, their third album is a stark change from the charged atmospherics of their first two albums. Compared to their other work, this album is very mellow and dark but pulls it off with swagger (This Is Music, A New Decade), an epic scope (History) and downright creepy instrumentation (Stormy Clouds). Listening to these songs produces imagery of rain, abandoned buildings and desolation, but in the end, it manages to paint a powerful portrait of a darkness. However, the album's true power comes in the fact that The Verve synthesized its atmospheres from its first album and the lyrical power from A Northern Soul and created the masterpiece Urban Hymns. An interesting transistion for one of the most interesting bands in the world. ... Read more

124. Ciao! Best of Lush
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Asin: B000056UPY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 22986
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

UK compilation for the late, shoegazer brit-pop act featuring Emma Anderson (Sing Sing) and Miki Berenyi. 18 tracks which demonstrate with considerable panache just what was great about Lush. 'Ciao!' takes on the band's legacy in reverse order, showcasing the later pop punches like 'Single Girl', 'Ladykillers' and '500 (Shake Baby Shake) all taken from their amazing swan song 'Lovelife', before going onto explore the weighty themes and dense guitar textures of 'Split', working back to the Robin Guthrie produced 'Spooky' to the early woozy harmo ... Read more

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Lush, layered, and beautiful
One word comes to mind when I hear Lush's music, 'pretty', perhaps a tribute to the delicate feminine touch of both Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson. You cannot mention shoegazing without namedropping Lush, embodying elements that defined the genre, eg, dreamy angelic vocals, guitar-noise/feedback. Yet the band brings a little more to the table, slightly off-center from My Bloody Valentine's fuzzy distortion and Slowdive's swirly atmospheric haze. Lush's layered guitars are like cascading waterfalls, from a spread-out rolling effect to thunderous splashes. The vocals are pixie-like and flirtatious, a little different from the monotone-whispers of typical shoegaze bands. The sound also borders on the indie chimes and rhythmic sensibilies of Madchester, perhaps influenced by the UK musical environment in the early 90's. This is simply beautiful music, like serenading angels in heaven...charming, compelling, and divine. As most shoegaze bands are about symphonic noise, Lush tries cast a spell on you without losing it's guitar edge. An excellent compilation.

4-0 out of 5 stars Music as colorful as the singers bright red hair.
I still can't swap my albums for this collection, but if you are new to "Lush", this is exactly what you want. Almost as good as 18 "hits" could be. Odd but tolerable, this is in reverse cronological order. Four from the "Lovelife" album. I would have gladly given up the song "Ciao" for "Last Night". That song is what I love about "Lush". Then five from "Split", often refered to as their best album, and the b-side "Love at first sight". I would have liked another b-side or two from "Topolino", like "Carmen", or specifically "I have the moon", also on the 1997 "Nowhere" soundtrack. Another lovely song. Four from the "Spooky" album. Those are decent choices for the most part. Finally four from "Gala", which is actually a collection of EP's. "Scarlet" would have been nice to have, but at least it includes "Deluxe", and the classic "Sweetness and Light", (recently in a VW commercial). Though "Lush" split due to the drummers death, we have their beautiful music forever. Maybe sometime we'll hear something new from "Miki Berenyi". If you're a fan of "Curve", "Shonen Knife", or "My Bloody Valentine", you will be a fan of "Ciao". Ciao.

4-0 out of 5 stars A relatively well selected compilation of Lush material
CIAO!, the best of Lush, is a collection of material not only from their 4 LPs but also "Love At First Sight" from one of the singles for their 1994 album SPLIT. Fans of Lush should probably already have all of their albums and some of their EPs and singles, but CIAO! is a superb compilation ideal for introducing people to the work of one of indie rock's finest bands musically.

Organised in reverse chronological order, CIAO! opens with "Ladykillers" from their last album LOVELIFE. While by this album in 1996 the band had moved to a britpop sound that some perceived as a bid for public attention, the crystal-clear production of the LOVELIFE material and the excellence of the performance makes Lush's material to the uninitiated attractive from the start. The incredible drumming of the late Chris Acland on "Ladykillers" and Phil King's powerful bass on "Single Girl" can only thrill a person hearing them for the first time.

From there, the songs on CIAO! in my opinion only get better. Six tracks are present from the era of their 1994 album SPLIT, the first of which is the gorgeous "Light From A Dead Star." Concisely packing its glory into 3 minutes, this is nearly perfect song is one of Lush's best efforts. One of my few nitpicks is that on CIAO! "Light From A Dead Star" is not followed by "Kiss Chase", as those two songs formed a great combination on SPLIT. But instead of that, we get "Love At First Sight" is here from one of the singles released to promote SPLIT and is relatively entertaining. "Hypocrite" is a friendly piece of pop goodness where Acland again shines. "Desire Lines" is one of the several longer pieces found on SPLIT which built from simple rhythms, grow into long jams, and finish with a lovely use of strings.

I find the selection of tracks from Lush's 1992 album SPOOKY to be less satisfying. "Ocean" and "Covert", that album's most hyponotic songs, are missing. We get instead simpler, more radio-friendly tracks. "Nothing Natural", "Untogether", and "For Love" aren't bad, they just aren't Lush's best material from that period in my opinion. Nonetheless, "Monochrome" is here to give a glimpse of what Lush's strongest output sounded like during that time.

CIAO! closes with selections from Lush's three debut EPs that were later released together as GALA. "De-Luxe" and "Sweetness and Light" are typical of Lush's shoegazing style during this first era. To my chagrin, the version of "Thoughtforms" here is the first version Lush did, the quiet and badly produced one that shouldn't have been put here in favour of the second version that would blow any listener away and which is one of Lush's best songs. Finally, this compilation closes with "Etheriel", a track from SCAR, their debut EP. Showing a band still begin to explore their musical abilities, "Etheriel" is a fitting conclusion to CIAO!

Lush was one of the 4AD label's best bands, and listening to CIAO! is a sober reminded of how much was lost with Chris Acland's suicide and the band's subsequent breakup. Lush had incredible musical talent. The duo of Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson on guitar constantly pushed the bounds of what etherial rock should sound like. Phil King, the bassist on Lush's post-1992 work, provided a steady base to the sound but displayed excellent improvisation as well. Finally, Chris Acland was one of rock's finest drummers, capturing the attention of drumming greats such as Neil Peart as soon as Lush began performing publically. While Lush fans know all this already, I would recommend getting CIAO! if you're curious about the band, or a long-time fan who wants to turn other people on to Lush.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection, Bad Remastering.
I'm very much into this sort of music: Curve, Garbage, Lush, Sneaker Pimps, etc. Lush had quite a unique sound, and always developed musically in a new way for each album. This is a collection of their "best" songs by someone's standards, but still leaves out several notable tracks. "I Have The Moon", by someone named Merritt, is one of my favorites and can only be found on the Nowhere Soundtrack. It is not on this compilation, but another written by the same person called "Love at First Sight" is. This track is definitely the most atmospheric and cinematic of all the songs on Ciao!. Can anyone tell me who Merritt is?

On a sour note, though, the "remastering" EQ is unacceptable. The lower treble is unpleasantly exaggerated to give the sound an artificially boosted clarity and precision. This makes many of the tracks unpleasantly bright and fatiguing when the cymbals kick in. It makes me wonder how the mastering engineer even got his job. For this final, archival-like release by the band, someone should have sent it to a higher-end mastering facility like Future Disc or Gateway Mastering.

Update: Thanks to everyone who informed me of Stephen Merrett's Magnetic Fields. Ciao!

5-0 out of 5 stars A great, great band receives the compilation treatment.
The amount of artistic growth Lush exhibited in the '90s was simply stunning. From the lush, cooing soundscapes of its earliest EP recordings (available in the States as the collection entitled Gala), Lush evolved into a songwriting showcase of magnificent proportions, so it was a shame that just as the band was creating some of its best music, internal ruptures (and a fatality among the membership) put a stop to everything.

Lush's legacy remains a dazzling one. While the earlier, slightly naive songs like "Sweetness and Light" and "Nothing Natural" hold up, it's the music from the last two albums that's stunning. Along the way lead singer Miki Berenyi stopped trying to hide her limited voice within an ambient mix and instead relied on a much more powerful weapon, songwriting. While bandmate Emma Anderson's complex, U2-esque compositions continue to seduce, it was Berenyi's later, confessional, often painfully intimate writing that became the band's richest mine. Still, it was the tension between these two songwriters that made Lush's albums great. On this compilation you get less of a sense of that dynamic, but you can still tell which personality is which. Anderson's songs succeed on sonic grandiosity and innovative arrangements: "When I Die" is a truly moving account of the loss of a loved one, even more haunting in the context of drummer Chris Acland's suicide; "Desire Lines" slowly ebbs and pulls you into its sensual dreamscape; and even "Lovelife", a buoyant pop song, achieves a sense of high drama via almost inhumanly sparkly guitars and vocal tapestries. When Anderson shifts to pure-pop mode she tends to be less satisfying: "Single Girl" and "500 (Shake Baby Shake)" are enjoyable but forgettable pop tunes. Though this collection leaves out one of Anderson's best, "Tralala" from the Lovelife album, she remains well represented in the compilation, having written most of the early material.

Berenyi's songs are Lush's deepest cutting work. Though the song that lent this collection its title, "Ciao!" (a duet with the odious Jarvis Cocker), is about the worst piece of garbage this band has ever produced, a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, I'm-so-cute shuffle with no charm whatsoever, the majority of Berenyi's songs are amazing, especially on the lyric front. Even with "Ladykillers", which Berenyi herself describes as an attempt to write a very basic, accessible pop song, she puts in verbal hooks to spare and some rumbling guitar riffs that show her rocker side. Same for the breathless "Hypocrite", a concise 2-minute dash of complex anger. "Light from a Dead Star" is possibly Berenyi's penultimate song, a unique, eccentrically arranged midtempo ballad with a stunning string section, simple structure, beautiful but forboding harmonies, and an aching lyric that examines love and loss with impressive economy -- three verses and out, leaving more to be suggested.

Unfortunately, Ciao! leaves out many of Berenyi's equally beautiful work in the same vein -- the amazing "Papasan", the majestic, melodic ballad "Olympia", the slowly building, dramatic "Last Night", chillingly upbeat and catchy morality tale "The Childcatcher", as well as "Kiss Chase" from Split, which was a perfect marriage between energetic power-pop anthem and an incredibly dark, disturbing lyric telling a tale of pedophilia and helplessness. Still, what the compilation loses in the coherence of a Lush album, it gains in offering a sample of the band's work over the years. I have the whole catalogue and still I play this one, taking a reverse-chronological journey through this band's history and watching it explore, grow, and then flourish, if only for a brief time.

I'd say if you're new to Lush, Ciao! would be a good place to start. Then again, even better places would simply be the Lovelife album, the zenith of Lush's songwriting career (again, "Ciao!" and "500" not counting), and Split, the band's artistic coming of age. For me, though, the compilation just serves as a sad reminder of what the world lost. Anderson and Berenyi, as musicians, had certainly only *hinted* at what they were capable of. So Ciao! becomes a eulogy -- complete with well written notes and the band's first photo appearances on their own albums! Just as Anderson and Berenyi were starting to reveal themselves, their journey was cut short, and we're the worse for it. ... Read more

125. His 'n' Hers
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Asin: B000001E7C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 29945
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Call it the great transitional album, spanning the gap between Pulp's self-consciously arty past and the commercial acceptance of 'Different Class.' 'His 'N' Hers' wasn't quite sure what it wanted to be, but spawned some good songs, most notably "Do You Remember the First Time?" Finally, it seemed, the band was coming into its own, even if the 'own' on this record did appear to be appropriated from '80s Brit band Furniture. Still, there was already no doubt that Jarvis was a star, with his unique style, and that bigger things were on the horizon. A Polaroid of a band on the road to success. Chris Nickson ... Read more

Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pulp's masterpiece
I never really appreciated this album a whole lot when I got it, but after a few months I decided to give it another chance, and I am so glad I did. I love this album. I can't say that about "Different Class" and "This Is Hardcore" (both 4 star albums in my view). What sets this album apart is that it has everything - disco-ish songs ("Acrylic Afternoons","She's A Lady","David's Last Summer") - catchy pop ditties ("Joyriders","Lipgloss","Do You Remember The First Time?","Pink Glove", and "Razzmatazz") - but the best part of this album, the meat and potatoes, are the epic choruses attached to the sublime slow songs ("Have You Seen Her Lately?","Babies","Happy Endings", and "Someone Like The Moon"). I have about 250 cd's in my collection, and this is one of my all-time favorites. I'm always in the mood for "His 'n' Hers".

3-0 out of 5 stars Do you remember the first time?
Yep, it's Pulp's first fans unknowing of their history. This certainly is not their debut...they go back to the 70's. Not one of their best albums, Joyriders, Lipgloss, Acrylic Afternoons, Do you remember the first time? and Pink Glove(heh)are clearly the most interesting of the album. Though it is a pretty strong album, it doesn't reach the level of Different Class. It is a must for Pulp fans though. (I know quite a few goths who like Joyriders...)

5-0 out of 5 stars Seminal Pop/rock. A Pulp masterpiece
One brilliant album from the blokes that brought you Different Class. Like their 1995 masterpiece, His 'n Hers draws its influence from culture clashes/social awareness and packed with those gorgeous J.Cocker melodies. The His 'n Hers theme and sound eventually evolved to the not so different 'Different Class'. I've listened to this album front to back and everything is MUSIC. Every song, I've found that there is something clever about it, some lyrical theme or crazy guitar work that catches my ear. My personal favorites are
Acrylic Afternoons,
She's A Lady,and
Pink Glove. And the keyboard melody near the end of track #11 is a bona vide lullaby. Regarding this LP - I think of Pulp as a very sophisticated and cultured music group, and J.Cocker as an enlightening lyrical figure. One of MY favorite albums; worth those petty bill$.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I've been a fan of Pulp for years.Although I enjoy Different Class,I think His 'n' Hers is my favorite."Acrylic Afternoon","Joyriders","Lipgloss""Pink Glove" they are just brilliant.It's definely one of my favorite albums.

2-0 out of 5 stars A quite lackluster release
I heard good things about Pulp so I downloaded this album. Maybe I should have downloaded This Is Hardcore, which I haven't listened to, since this didn't impress me. In fact it bored me. Its not that I don't like dreary music, I like The Cure and Joy Division. Noting almost at all, beside Babies, is worth buying. Babies is really a great track and I stick it on mixes I make relatively often. But I found nothing else on this cd that made me want to listen to it. But I did listen to it, two more times in fact. And I still couldn't find even one more positive thing about it the next two times through. Jarvis Cocker is a cool singer and lifts the album's lackluster songs a half a notch. But singing is not a real big deal to me when I listen to music, hardcore. A good singer doesn't make a band good, although it doesn't hurt any. The songs try to sound epic but they just come off sounding dull. Like I said if you want a 'good' idea of what Pulp sound like on this album just download Babies and scrap the rest of the material because it would just be a waste of a good fifteen bucks. ... Read more

126. Singles
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Asin: B0000CC4XC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 32744
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT BritPop Band!
I love Suede (The London Suede) for there hooky, pop style that is still edgy and REAL.

If you have not heard Suede and like Britpop get ready for your new favorite album.

FYI. I did notice that the vocals for the song 'Trash' have been changed from the original. It's cool cause it's a bit different though.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great, breathtaking band!
Wow!!! My only introduction to Suede came from a few listens of their first album, which in its own respect was outstanding, but I was unaware of how well they matured as a band. Most debut bands follow up with mediocre, disappointing albums and songs. However, Suede's songs seem to get better and better with time.

Suede's music is gritty and hard without abandoning the hooks that make their songs catchy. Brett Anderson's voice is snarly and snide but not devoid of melody or mellifluence. "The Wild Ones" is a great example of this. I bought this album and have listened to it non-stop. Suede meets and even surpasses the fine albums and songs of other great British bands like Oasis, Pulp, and Blur. If you like any one of those, you will most definitely like Suede. Pick this album up if you are unfamiliar with them.

5-0 out of 5 stars A truly great singles band
Suede epitomizes the glam-pop single. Their career began with three devastating hits - "The Drowners," "Animal Nitrate" and "Metal Mickey," each of which has mysterious, dreamy lyrics and Bernard Butler's brilliant guitar lines driving the hooks home. These songs epitomized fey teenage romance for all ages. "Stay Together," their not-on-any-album masterpiece, is another melody true enough to convince half the world's songwriters to give it up and take up needlepoint. Its lyrics are perfect Suede, with that element of the sinister built in - "There's a time bomb in the high rise"... "We will dance in the poison rain"... There's always something perverse and twisted in Brett Anderson's lyrics. Noel Gallagher even admitted to a journalist - "I write okay lyrics, but I'm not Brett Anderson." Suede's post-Butler career has been better than anyone could expect although never as peerless as their early work - the first two albums and the b-sides collection. This is a collection of stunning pop songs from Britpop's greatest singles band.

4-0 out of 5 stars Suede fever
Suede are an attitude-driven, neo-rock outfit. They gained a lot of success in the 90's with their snappy melodies and the lead singer's distinct vocals. Their biggest hits are the tasty 'The Beautiful Ones' and the shrewdly put-together 'Trash.' But they also have other distinct tracks like 'Filmstar' and the awkwardly exciting 'She's In Fashion.'
Their recent material, like the lacking 'Positivity,' are less-listenable than their previous victories. However, this collection chronicles the many dives and turns Britrock was taking to find its identity. Recommended only to people who have an appreciation for anti-grunge rock fans and admirers. ... Read more

127. Good Feeling
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Asin: B000002BZD
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 35277
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (43)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun Lovin' Travis
Travis first became really well known with The Man Who. It was by no means a bad album, it had high points and fairly demonstrated what Travis were about. But most people manage to dismiss them on the strength of that album, ignoring this, their much better debut.
Good Feeling is about just that: cheerful indie rock, with dashes of quiet ballads and some fun lyrics courtesy of singer/guitarist Healy. In comparison to Man Who, this is a fun loving Travis, with anthemic rock numbers like U16 Girls, All I Wanna Do Is Rock and Tied to the 90's. There's decent singalong stuff like Happy and The Line Is Fine. Sadly the album becomes rather samey in tone once More Than Us arrives, with following tracks Falling Down and Funny Thing (which are good songs anyway) following in the same pattern. The album might have been better with a stronger ending, perhaps if they put Happy or Good Feeling (the fabulous title track) as the finale.
There's loads of energy in this, which is admittadly lacking in Travis' two follow up albums The Man Who and The Invisible Band. It's heavier, takes itself less seriously and is more fun to listen to. Whether it's better than The Invisible Band, which is a much more smooth sounding, polished album, I'm not sure. But it's definite that if you like Travis, you cannot be without this first, brilliant effort.

4-0 out of 5 stars why obsessed with the Man Who !
I know Travis since they relesed their first single and I don't see why people give "the Man Who" 5 or even 4 star. Ok. I don't feel sorry to have that album but it's not as good as people think it is. There are several good songs for singles, when combined them as an album, it is too plain though.

Unlike their second album, Good Feeling is the one that deserve 5 star ( I gave them only 4 in here because I think there are some albums that are better.) It's energetic and give you Good Feeling like its title. Start from All I want to do is rock (only one song win the whole "the Man Who" album), Travis takes you to the world of rock&roll without really rocks (???) and the fun and happiness will come to you through entire album ( I really can't remember the name of particular songs since I listen to it long time ago and I don't have the album with me rigth now). The music give you the feeling of youth, naive and 'don't care what's gonna happen to the world if all I can do is rock!'

The Man Who's fans don't get me wrong that the reason that I like this album more because I'm a rock fan. I'm definitely not a rock fan. If you want to find a better Scottish ballad song, check out Geneva's single, "If You Have To Go" and you 'll know the beauty of music

5-0 out of 5 stars A hell of a lot better than you'll think it'll be.
Nevermind "Oasis" nevermind "Radiohead" nevermind "Nevermind".
This album ROCKS!!! Yeah, a bunch of scottish upstarts playing rock trying to sound cool...? believe it; forget any other travis album; this is the album to get, every track rocks.
Personal favourites - The Line is Fine, U-16 Girls, Good Feeling.
Please GET THIS!!!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not a rocker
I put this cd on my wish list after liking every song I had heard by Travis and recieved it for Christmas. The first half of the cd is hard, raw, and practically unlistenable. The 2nd half is mostly ballads but none as good as the new albums. You should listen to some samples of this album to judge for yourself but I really like Travis, but I really don't like this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars This line is fine!!!!!!!!
In one word: Awesome!! The Travis debut is by far the best album that they have released!

Their different style (more raw and harder than later albums like U16 Girls and Good Day To Die combined with sensitive tracks like I Love You Anyways and More Than Us)is really addictive, well at least to me it is.

Tied To The 90's is a song which determined their style on later albums. The happy, poppy tunes found on The Invisible Band (for example Flowers In The Window) are definitely a result of this track.

Midsummer Nights Dreamin' is a song which I will sing on sunday morning :-)("had to much to drink")

My real time favorite on this one is by far the ballad More Than Us. Really that's a breathtaking song which gave me chills down my spine.

Having heard this album, I think it's a bit a shame that they didn't maintained this style. All their releases after this are really not bad, but this one excells! All I want to do is rock! ... Read more

128. Grand Prix
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Asin: B000003TBH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 83489
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Armed with a sharp new drummer and outside producer David Bianco(Pixies, Tom Petty), the three veteran members of Glasgow, Scotland's TeenageFanclub were determined to redeem themselves after 1993's wretched flop,Thirteen. Grand Prix, the group's fourth full album, is fresher,more direct and less cluttered than its predecessor, but it fails to match thegrungy exuberance of the band's debut or the Big Star jangle of 1991'sBandwagonesque, which remains its best effort. --Jim DeRogatis ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well worth $7.98 -- or $17.98 for that matter
Ignore the unfortunate album title and cover art; this is a solid album, the best "under $10" disc I've seen yet.

Teenage Fanclub writes sincere, buoyant, straight-ahead power pop very much in the Big Star tradition, with lots of vocal harmonies and big blocky guitar chords.

I prefer Grand Prix over everyone's usual favorite album, Bandwagonesque. On Grand Prix, Òthe FanniesÓ explore a bit wider musical range, pen lyrics a bit more articulate and imaginative, and lose the "high school gymnasium" sound. This album is infinitely clearer and more vivid without losing the band's punch.

"Sparky's Dream" is this album's trump card -- ecstatic, near-perfect power pop that positively beams, far and away the best song they've ever written.

Raymond McGinleyÕs songwriting falls far short of Gerry Love and Norman BlakeÕs, as usual, but the 9 Love/Blake songs here make this well worth your time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Blissful, sun-kissed summer soundtrack....
Teenage Fanclub are so good I can't believe they've failed to break out of indieworld and into the bigtime - still, that's the (lack of) taste of the record-buying public for you. Grand Prix is their best album so far, just shading Bandwagonesque for sheer loveliness. As ever, the Gerry Love songs are the best. The man is a songwriting genius, and if you thought Noel Gallagher was good, just listen to Gerry's efforts on this one - Sparky's Dream, Don't Look Back, Discolite and the gorgeous Going Places - the mono-browed one would kill to write songs like these. Grand Prix mines that seam of melodious guitar pop, sixties style, better than any other 90s album I can think of. Think Byrds, Beach Boys, Big Star, even REM, for that lovely sunny vibe - all jangly guitars and three part harmonies. The album is a bit patchy because of the democratic split in songwriting duties - in all honesty Raymond McGinlay should stick to just playing guitar, but Norman's efforts are pretty good, Tears undoubtedly the best of them. Buy Grand Prix NOW! - it makes the sun shine, even in winter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!
Just like Stimpy said. An album full of stuff so good Alex Chilton would blush.

Ecstasy inducing.

4-0 out of 5 stars From Byrds to Beatles
"Grand Prix" leans very heavily upon the Beatles in terms of song and sound style. A very poppy record, it is the most sugary of all the Fanclub's releases. Several winning songs are here but a lack in variation in sound and tempo hurts the overall impact of the disc.
It's still a great cd to own, but I'd get others before this in the Fanclub catalog.

5-0 out of 5 stars tfc rules
This is the best tfc album ive heard. Believe me. Its excellent. Theres no bad song in it. The best song in this album is "ill make it clear". One the best song ever. Btw, tfc never made bad album. All of their album is excellent. Every album have their own greatness. But this is just the best. i never tired of it. Buy this album. CHeers. ... Read more

129. Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998 Film)
list price: $32.49
our price: $32.49
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Asin: B00000GAKK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 36351
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

European edition of the soundtrack to the highly acclaimed 1999 British film featuring completely different cover art &nine tracks NOT on the U.S. release, the songs 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' by Skanga, '18 With A Bullet' by Lewis Taylor & Carleen Anderson, 'The Game' by John Murphy & David Hughes, 'Man Machine' by Robbie Williams, 'Liar Liar' by Castaways, 'If The Milk Turns Sour' by John Murphy & David Hughes (with Rory), 'I'll Kill Ya' by John Murphy & David Hughes (with Rory) and 'Fools Gold' by Stone Roses, plus the soundbyte 'It's A Deal, It's A Steal' with the characters Tom, Nick & Ed from the film. 27 tracks in all. 1998 release. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT SOUNDTRACK!!! UK version
I nearly bought the US version until I stumbled upon this one, compared and realised that so much was left off the US one. If you like this one, you will like the Snatch Soundtrack. I did get the US one on that. But the only difference are the dialouge tracks, which I was able to live without, considering I own Snatch VHS and have it memorized. in fact i have L S & 2S B memorized too, but it is ten times funnier.

5-0 out of 5 stars 'nuff said
If you're checking out this soundtrack, chances are you've either seen Lock Stock or Snatch and know about what great soundtracks they have. So do yourself a favor and buy this now!

5-0 out of 5 stars TWO versions of the soundtrack, read below:
Guy Ritchie is not only an amazing director, but he's attached the most unusual and awesome mix of music to this classic-to-be movie. This CD is for anyone who enjoys something away from the normal. BE WARNED!! There are two versions! I myself accidentally bought the American version, HUGE MISTAKE!!!! It lacked many delicious songs that were vital for maximum enjoyment. Please do NOT make the same mistake I did, buy the Imported version, do your research, you'll see. ENJOY!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Rock and roll roller coaster soundtrack
First, go see the movie. Then by magnetic force you will be compelled to buy the CD in order to once again experience the rock and roll rollercoaster ride of the movie. An ecletic mix of rock, James Brown blues, and brit pop - along with a nice dose of classic soundbite snipits from the movie (a la Pulp Fiction). When I first got this soundtrack I was reading the playlist and thought "who are all these artists?" Now I will go out of my way to find their albums. The whole CD is great driving music - don't skip any songs! ... Read more

130. Everything Must Go
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002BMD
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 18756
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (54)

4-0 out of 5 stars Where Was I While You Were Getting High?
I should have been listening to Manic Street Preachers. Their popularity paralleled the trajectory of Brit Pop, yet they were not of that movement. Their music stood in stark contrast to that of their Brit Pop brethren, and offered an inspired alternative to Brit Pop's loping tedium. I'm sorry I've only just discovered them now.

Most pundits proclaim them the heirs apparent to The Clash, but it's lineage I don't hear. (They may be speaking lyrically, and while the booklet features the lyrics, I admit I haven't read them yet.) In Everything Must Go, their fourth and most accessible album, there are strains of Entertainment-era Gang of Four, Joy Division, The Kinks circa the Arthur album, and especially The Jam from the Setting Sons period, when that band was at their most sonically overproduced and lyrically embittered.

Everything Must Go is the Manic Street Preachers at difficult junction. Guitarist, songwriter and, arguably, the band's agitpropist Richey James had been spiraling into a haze of mental illness that culminated with his disappearance following the release of The Holy Bible, their third album. He left behind a suite of incomplete songs that fell to the remaining three members to complete. To those songs the trio contributed their own compositions to make the album. The blend of angular and melodic tunes, coupled with the band's public mystery and tragedy, made Everything Must Go the band's most popular, well received and most accessible album.

Key tracks are "Kevin Carter," "Enola/Alone," "Everything Must Go," "Australia" and "Interiors (Song for Willem de Kooning)."

If you're thinking of investigating Manic Street Preachers, start here.

5-0 out of 5 stars as intense a record as any
it's simply too hard to argue when you have quality music, lyrics, and emotion. not to mention the circumstances that threatened to destroy this album before it was even done. if you don't know the story on richey, read up, it will help you understand this album. what is most impressive is the fact that depression never really sets in - this is the most joyous and hopeful record the manics ever did. there are angry/bitter moments throughout, for sure, as in "kevin carter" and a handful of others, but the music itself is anthemic and upbeat, especially in comparison to "the holy bible", their previous release. there are at least six or seven singles on here, but that's almost irrelevant, because it just stresses how good the album truly is. "elvis impersonator," despite its strange title, gets everything started, jumping right into the fray with a powerful motif of guitar and harps lurking in the background. "a design for life," is a working-class anthem, and what many consider the best track, though i'm not sure about that. "enola/alone," is perhaps a thinly veiled tribute to their departed bandmate and it's almost as beautiful as the following title-track that asks james forgiveness for continuing without him. it's touching, but not sappy because it's not wallowing in misery or too explicit. one of my favorites is "small black flowers" - it's unlike anything they've done before, as those harps come to the front and create a warm, somewhat mysterious atmosphere that resonates well with the lyrics. "australia" is a well-known guitar-driven anthem, but the real gem at the record's end is "no surface all feeling." it might be the best thing here, with a loud heavily distorted chorus/riff that is countered by the quieter, more contemplative verse. it works surprisingly well. the unity of all these songs is really what drives this into classic album territory. if you insist on having just one manics album, get this one - i don't even think the rumored greatest hits (supposedly within the year) can do them justice, so this is the selection of choice, if not for the power of the songs, then for its beauty and message. to see a band succeed after such despair and come through with so much hope and success is at the very least inspiring as its own statement about the power of the human mind and heart. rip richey.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Comeback after the unfortunate 'missing' incident
'Everything Must Go' is the Manic's most accomplished work to date and featured a string a brilliant hit singles, namely: brilliant punk masterpiece "Kevin Carter", the soaring pop/rock of "Australia", the rockecentric title track and the flawless "A Design For Life". The rest of the album is filled with catchy, anthemic pop/rock tunes, guarenteed to have you singing along such as "Further Away" and "Enola/Alone".
However, they always try a bit of experimentilisation on the acoustic tenderness of the wonderful "Small black flowers that grow in the sky".

Defenitely one of the key releases in the Brit-pop era and I certainly give it my highest recommendation. If you like this record, check out Blur's 'Parklife', The Bluetones' 'Expecting to Fly' or Oasis' '(What's the story) morning glory. All truly exceptional releases.

5-0 out of 5 stars Probably Their Best
The Manic Street Preachers are a rather enigmatic band...both famous and notorious in Great Britain, they stretched a string of well-written and constructed top 10 singles over the 1990s in Britain, all the while becoming one the the UK's most loved and respected acts. Nonetheless, the band was never able to garner more than a cult following in the U.S., due partially to the band's left-wing messages in their songwriting and seldom touring of the States. Further compounding issues for the Manics was the disappearance in 1995 of lyricist and lead guitarist Richey James. It was James' firebrand lyrics for which the Manics where most known for, and his disappearance (he was never found and presumed dead) led to the natural questions of whether the band would continue and, if they did, what direction they would take.

Both questions were answered with the release of the first single off the album, "A Design For Life", a song penned (as would most tracks on the new album) by bassist Nicky Wire. A rising anthem about Britain's working class, the song featured an impassioned performace by vocalist James Dean Bradfield accompanied by a string section that added to the power and emotion of the track. The song became a hit in the UK, won a songwriting award, and erased all fans' doubts about the continued existence of the band.

"Design For Life" was only a teaser off an album that would turn out to be the most focused and well-constructed album of the band's career. Wire's lyrics are less abrasive than were James's, though no less political in nature. Songs here touch on socialism and the plight of the working class, personal relationships, political perils, and the life and tragic death of Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Kevin Carter. Bradfield delivers his best overall vocal performance to date, as he shows his better-than-average range and emotional singing style. Additionally, he picks up the slack on the guitar as well and shows himself to be more than competent on the 6-string in the absence of James.

Highlights of the album include the aformentioned "Design For Life", "Enola Alone" (a tribute to James), the title track with its memorable melody and terrific string section, "Interiors", and the soaring, glam-influenced "The Girl Who Wanted To Be God". The album as whole, though, really doesn't have any filler (something the Manic's have been, and continue to be, accused of) and is the most cohesive album the band has ever made.

Many people cite the band's overtly political messages in their songs as a reason for not giving their music a fair chance. However, even though I don't agree with some of what they say and write about, it is refreshing to see a band penning tunes about tangible, real-world subjects and concerns, rather than the typical pop fluff. Additionally, the Manics create some of the most memorable, thoughtful music coming out of Britain today. Often wrongly lumped in with Brit rock stalwarts such as Blur, Pulp, and Oasis, the Manics prove here, as they have many times before, that they have a unique sound and thus are deserving of the respect and accolades given to them. A shame, then, that America has never caught on with this band, as they truely deserve a wider audience.

All american trilogy in used up cars and bottled beer
All american trilogy the futures dead, fundamentally

And yes, it is absurd. ... Read more

131. Raise the Pressure
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: B000002N00
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 100822
Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well....I listened a few more times.
Well, I was looking through some old reviews I'd written recently when I came upon one I'd written about Electronic's "Raise the Pressure". I was shocked and disgusted at this fool who had been me but a year ago yet somehow seemed to be such a poor judge of good music. Well, I guess that's what happens when you only listen to an album a few times.

Well, I've listened to it more times than I can count now so you can trust me when I say that this is just about as good as Electronic's first album. While it is different, the Pet Shop Boys influence being gone and a little bit of Alternative music influence in its place, every song manages to be memorable especially the first half of the album. Sumner, along with excellent backup vocalist Denise Johnson, really helps bring together standout tracks such as Dark Angel, One Day, and the jewel of the album, Second Nature.

After my initial reaction to "Raise the Pressure", I wasn't willing to pay the import price to scope out Electronic's third album, "Twisted Tenderness". After giving the disc a fair chance, however, I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

Relevant to the ridiculous scene of popular music or not, this is a great album, and one of my most played CD's. Much better than "okay"....

5-0 out of 5 stars Still their best, and a great album
Don't listen to anyone who says this CD isn't great. (Especially reviewers who couldn't bother to listen to it more than a few times.) The first few times I listened to it (back on the day it came out in summer 1996), I didn't like it much either. But a few more listens revealed its greatness, and it has been one of my favorite CD's since. "Forbidden city", "For you", and "Second nature" were the singles, and are all awesome. My favorite tracks however, are the faster and more electronic sounding "If you've got love" and "Dark angel". The other tracks are all good too, except I don't really care for "One day". Denise Johnson's backing vocals are simply incredible. Karl Bartos (formerly of Kraftwerk) co-wrote many of the tracks and played keyboards, though it is harder to tell exactly what his contributions were. Anyway, this is a great album, and I like it better than their debut and "Twisted Tenderness".

4-0 out of 5 stars Barney on Prozac
Supposedly Bernard Sumner was on Prozac while writing the songs for this album. Does it reflect in the music? Perhaps. As I recall him quoting in a magazine prior to its release "the songs are less deep because I was less deep" Irregardless, I think the main weakness of this album is that they played it too safe. It is the same formula, just mixed a little differently, take out the Neil Tennant, and what you have is an album where all the songs are good, but none of them are great. I give it 4 stars because it is a solid, well crafted album. It just misses a certain "magic" that their first album had.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lesbian Nation
Really supern -- some iffy songs, but #4,5 rank with the best and this is a great electronica album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Give 'Raise the Pressure' a chance
Electronic's second album 'Raise the Pressure' is a departure from their self titled debut that was mostly dance oriented music with pop and rock traces. Don't get me wrong the songs are still danceable it is just the pop and rock is more prevalent.

At first I thought this album was boring compared to their debut. However, I have listened to their debut so many times that over the last month I have given this cd a chance and it is really strong.

I will categorize the album into pop/rock songs like, 'Forbidden City', 'For You', 'One Day', 'Out of my League', and dance songs like 'Dark Angel', 'Until the End of Time', 'If you 've got love', 'Freefall', 'How Long', and hybrids of the two genres like 'Second Nature', 'Visit Me', 'Time can Tell'.

Bernard Sumner's vocals, lyrics, and music is very strong. I feel he is the strongest artist that I have ever heard at making dance pop/rock music with powerful choruses. The guitars are clean electric and sound very good as well as the keyboards and synths. The drums and percussion are very danceable.

I recommend this album and please give it a chance before dismissing it as an inferior album to their debut. I feel it is equally as strong just different. ... Read more

132. If 60's Were 90's
list price: $15.98
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Asin: B000005X90
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14256
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars "I Will Slip Into The Sea"
"The Sea.....eventually" The words have echoed through my ears marking a moment in life when I discovered the most innovative musician of all time. Unlike most devout followers of Jimi I was not introduced to the legend by the infamous riffs of Purple Haze. Instead, I heard a different Hendrix as seen through the eyes of the Beautiful People. I was 8. I am a dedicated student of the stratocaster and have done all i can to work with Jimis Music, But nothing compares to the ingeneous work of the Beautiful People. This is one of the most amazing discs ever put together and is a must have for anyone into Jimi, Guitar, Techno, Sex, Drugs, or Rock N Roll. A must have at any party or a night alone with some hallucinogens. Unfortunatley it has come to my attention that the cd is out of print which is most unfortunate. So, any of you folks out there with cd burners make copies of this cd and spread it freely with love, it is an essential member in any collection. "Get your mind Together"

5-0 out of 5 stars Uncle Jimmy would've been real proud
I accidentally heard one of the tracks while flipping through the busy San Francisco radio dial. Being a big Hendrix fan, I marveled at how such an awesome piece of art had managed to escape me before. We're talking unmistakable Hendrix signature feel, masterfully interleaved with tasteful, beautifully done modern electronica. Fortunately, the DJ clarified the matter by mentioning it's by Beautiful People. Of course, the CD was already out of print. Bummer, because these guys deserve to make a lot of $$ for their hard work and talent. But due to poor business management, the CD has not been re-printed, depriving millions of potential fans of owning this landmark album. Napster to the rescue (this was early 2001). After several days of searching, I've burned a CD that has since been played hundreds of times. How can you tell a true classic? It still sounds just as fresh, and occupies the prestigious #1 slot in my CD changer. Dare I say that these guys, if they ever got back together, may be worthy of standing on the same pedestal as some of the greatest rockers and DJ's of our time?

2-0 out of 5 stars am i hearing something different?
I was disappointed with this cd and am not sure what the other reviewers are hearing. There are no questions about why this is out of print, in my opinion. The bits of Jimi's guitar and vocals are the only exciting moments for me. The rest is mixed in such a predictable, unoriginal style that I could have gotten the same result while deaf from a 60's contact high. I found absolutely nothing original about the cd and would recommend passing on this one. The two-star rating is generous. I will trade my used copy back in for some original music from the master of guitar.

5-0 out of 5 stars Modern AND Timeless
After almost ten years I have STILL not grown tired of this album. (I don't know where Amazon got their 1998 album date - mine is from 1994). A must have for Hendrix fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally..
I heard if 60's were 90's on KBCO one day and I couldn't get the song out of my head. I started searching the interent trying to find out who sings it. I finally found Beautiful People! However very little was on the internet about them. This CD is a must for Jimmy Hendrix fans and is going to be on my play list for a very long time ... Read more

133. Mali Music
list price: $18.98
our price: $18.98
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Asin: B00006EXE0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 49924
Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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With Mali Music it's possible at last to see how Damon Albarn's foray into Africa has worked out: most members of what Albarn's friend Michael Nyman has dubbed the "world-music police" would probably be happy to give it a qualified thumbs-up. If some of the "Western" tracks are little more than an undifferentiated blur (no pun intended), the Malian ones are a delight. But it's what lies between that's interesting: what Albarn and his colleagues Afel Bocoum , Toumani Diabate, and Ko Kan Ko Sata Doumbia have achieved is best described as "the music of place." In "Kela Village" you can almost see the celebrations going on amid the chirruping of birds and the croaking of frogs; "Bamako City" comes with bags of local atmosphere. This CD was constructed in layers--after Albarn had edited down his 40 hours of raw material, he created collages with new melodies and beats and then sent his tapes back to Mali, where extra vocals and instrumental work were added. We thus get music that actually feels layered: a typical track will start with a simple groove on kora or ngoni, then it will acquire a voice, then some electronic effects, and will finally be enveloped in a seductive miasma of local atmosphere. Apart from some nifty Malian balafon and string work, there's nothing here of instrumental note (Albarn's instrument is a battered melodica), but that doesn't matter, because in this game the final effect is the thing. Disregard Albarn's pretentious guff about this representing the "Africanization of Western music" (where does the boy imagine jazz came from?) but do regard this CD as a healthy omen. --Michael Church ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Album of the Year
For those of you out there in Brit Pop land who long for the days of the overly-hyped battle between the uppers (Blur) and the lowers (Oasis), this album is not for you. But, if you want to experience the coming of age of an underestimated, yet very talented musician, Damon Albarn, this is what you get with Mali Music. Even though "Sunset Coming On" sounds like it could have been a b-side from Blur's last album, 13, the rest of the album is pure magic.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Expect The Damon Albarn Show
I went into this CD expecting a westernized take on Mali music... Don't do that. It's not bad, but it's not all Damon, all the time. With that said, it's probably clear that I'm a white boy Blur fan who was pleased with Gorillaz & hungry for more Damon Albarn-related side projects. So the "bad" news (if you even want to call it "bad") is that it's not as Blur-like or westernized as I thought. But on the other hand, it's very faithful to the Mali culture. True, I'm no expert on that, but let's just say I know western music very well & this certainly isn't western! People have called this album Damon Albarn's Graceland, but I would disagree b/c whereas Paul Simon dominated Graceland, Damon Albarn kind of plays second fiddle to the native musicians & songwriters. It's really their album- which is why I consider it "true" Mali music. It's a very unselfish act of Damon's. I think this album's clear intention is to turn the western world onto some pretty amazing African music.
But yeah, there are some westernized tracks- you can tell which ones just by looking at the track listing ("Spoons," "Tennessee Hotel," etc)- & they are excellent. I enjoy the other songs, but I'd be lying if I said I bought the album b/c of them. With that said, the best song on the album has to be "Sunset Coming On." Yes, it is a song sung by Damon, I'll admit. But it sounds like it'd belong on Blur's 13 or Think Tank.... & it'd stand out on that album, just as it does here. It's a beautiful, tender song. I can't think of a song that captures the essence of its title so well. It really feels like a sunset, as goofy as that sounds. Give it a listen.
I'd recommend this album to anyone. If you're a Blur/Damon Albarn fan then you'll instantly like a lot of it. But it's the rest (& majority) of the album that will make you appreciate Mali music a little more. Enjoy the songs & broaden your horizons.

1-0 out of 5 stars Africans get Ripped-off Again
I heard this CD at the store - it wasn't traditional enough for me but some of the grooves were pretty good. However, a friend who personally knows some of the master African musicians on this CD related that many of the field recordings were done very casually and put on the CD without the Africans consent - and they didn't get paid. So it seems this isjust one more example of Westerners taking advantage of the Africans. Shame.

5-0 out of 5 stars Damon Damon Damon...what a boy
This is a beautiful record. Hands down. The musical textures and rhythmic layers are soothing and gorgeous. Listen to it with an open ear, it grows on you after 1 listen. From there on out, its musical bliss! Damon and Co. rule!

5-0 out of 5 stars this music is my heart beating...
Damon , Damon , Damon...
mmm... this music is the greatest thing in my life.
I think Damon achieved his end in music when he went to Mali.
His voice is more peaceful and natural so I hope to go to Mali.
Above all I knew Damon had considered carefully when he made 'Think Tank'.
'Think Tank' is certainly related with this album.
My favorite is 'Sunset coming on'...
Tears come into my eyes when I listen to this song,,
It seems to be Damon's feeling... I think so...
Mali Music is like my heart beating, and fresh meeting.
Thank you Damon,, lovely Damon... ... Read more

134. Cake
list price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000001FGW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 42947
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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A beautifully full, sweetly melodic pop album that is so lush with sound, it takes a few listens to realize that, remarkably, all the songs are performed with only acoustic instruments. Rhythm guitars provide a thick mattress on which the rest of the elements gently bounce. No single note rises above another. The well-harmonized vocals blend perfectly with the rest of the instruments. The lyrics are fanciful plays on words, but they're sung so earnestly that one still finds relevance and meaning in them. "Obscurity Knocks" and "Only Tongue Can Tell" are the best examples of cleverly skewed lyrics supported by elegant melodies. Overall, Cakeis a wonderful acoustic accomplishment. --Beth Bessmer ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fresh Cake hits the spot
Despite their name, The Trash Can Sinatras sound about as fresh as you can get. Their debut album shows off John Douglas's and Paul Livingstone's lush and intricate guitars. Singer Frank Read, and his lyrics, provide a worthy voice to it all.

Their first single, "Obscurity Knocks", is probably the best example of their bright and breezy sound. While the delicate guitars are further highlighted in "Even The Odd", "The Best Man's Fall" and "Only Tongue Can Tell", the quintet gives percussion a good airing in the stomping "Circling The Circumference".

This album should be listened to at home with all the windows and doors thrown open.

The Trash Can Sinatras got their name after playing for beer at discos where they sang Frank Sinatra covers.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorites
I bought this album after hearing "Only Tongue Can Tell" on 120 Minutes and was surprised at how good the entire album was. There is not a bad song on the album and the mixing of all of the different instruments was perfect. My personal favorites are "Best Man's Fall", "Obscurity Knocks" and "You Made Me Feel". I was fortunate enough to see the band on tour for their second album and they are great live performers. After ten years, I still love this album. It is worth having in your music collection.

3-0 out of 5 stars A cake that's sparkling with colors
'Cake' by The Trash Can Sinatras falls somewhere in between The Sundays' dreamy guitar textures and the playful romps of The Housemartins. Throw in Johnny Marr's fluid jangles and minstrel-like vocals of Roddy Frame, and you have a debut combines melodic/acoustic-derived Britpop with The Smiths. Joyous and sparkling. Not a bad combination. Let The Trash Can Sinatras take you on a leisurely stroll where the sun is shining, the grass is green, and everything is alright.

4-0 out of 5 stars Far from "Trash".
I don't know a single other person who knows this band, but I sure am glad I do. This is one of those special albums that came out at a great time in alt-pop. They sound alot like other bands from that era (1990), but also add a very smooth and melodic touch to their music, almost shoegazeish, but not. The best tracks in my opinion are "Obscurity Knocks", "Even The Odd", "Funny", and "Only Tongue Can Tell". All wonderful. If you like bands such as "The Ocean Blue" or "Mighty Lemon Drops", you should like this album. It might be the best "Cake" you ever had.

5-0 out of 5 stars You can have Cake and like it, too
I'm surprised, first of all, people don't take the time to read what they're ordering, and secondly that they don't take the time to listen to their selections carefully when they make a mistake. This one of the great pop albums of the last decade and has remained a favorite that I come back to time and time again. The layers of sounds and harmonies are wonderful. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Cake fan as well as a Trash Can Sinatras fan. Buy this CD and enjoy it. ... Read more

135. In My Place 1 / One I Love / I Bloom Blaum
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Asin: B00006AAOB
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11911
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Taken from the 2002 album, A Rush of Blood to the Head. The title track is backed with two non-LP tracks, 'One I Love'& 'I Bloom Blaum'. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars just great!
Obviously "In My Place" is an awesome song as is all of "A Rush of Blood to the Head". Loving Coldplay as much as I do, I decided to pick up this single so that I could hear 2 more songs from this amazing band. "One I Love" is a good song, slightly more upbeat/rockin' than the usual Coldplay songs. And "I Bloom Blaum" is just an incredible(but unfortunately pretty short) song that any true Coldplay fan would love. I also own the single for "Scientist" with the songs "1:36" and "I Ran Away" on it and I have to say if you are debating between these two CD's, pick this on up instead. Enjoy! ... Read more

136. Scientist / 1:36 / I Ran Away
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Asin: B00006LVGB
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 67604
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Taken from the 2002 album, 'A Rush of Blood to the Head'.The title track is backed with two non-LP tracks, '1.36' &'I Ran Away'. Digipak. Parlophone. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars If you like Coldplay
1.36 is a strange little song, but not bad. Chris' vocals sound pretty weird on it. But the real gem here is "I Ran Away," which is a really great song. I don't see why it wasn't on "Rush of Blood to the Head." And of course, The Scientist is a very good song.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Ran Away
I bought this CD in August because I wanted to hear the unreleased songs that weren't on "A Rush of Blood to the Head." I was pleasantly surprised. 1.36 is definately a departure from Coldpaly's norm, much more rock-like than their other stuff, but the greatness here lies in "I Ran Away," which in my opinion, would have been great as a 12th song on "A Rush..." A must for any and all Coldplay fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars A music fan from Canada is a complete moron!
I was so angry when I read the review "A Chore to listen through" The Scientist is truly excellent. Coldplay are anything but boring and conventional. I Ran Away is also really good, I thought it was definitely good enough to go on A Rush Of Blood To The Head.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mi tarea de Manufactura
esta disco es uno de los mejor que hay actualmente en el mercado y todo el mundo deberia de tener una copia.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow
Anyone who thinks "The Scientist" is not one of the greatest songs Coldplay has ever produced is a few cans short of a 6 pack. The song is beautifully crafted and the raw emotion in Martin's voice is almost heartbreaking. Furthermore, considering Martin himself stated that he could die happy after creating this song, if you do not like this song, maybe you don't know what Coldplay is all about it and should go listen to some TRL music kids. ... Read more

137. Ego Has Landed (Alternate Track)
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Asin: B00006ALAX
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 47050
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Robbie Williams, a self-proclaimed casualty of the British boy-blitz Take That, scuffed his squeaky-clean image by rabble-rousing with Britpop troublemakers Oasis and reemerged as a part-James Bond, part-Frank Sinatra renaissance pop star. A little fast-living combined with his vocal charm, Williams's U.S. debut, The Ego Has Landed, offers a collection of cheeky, inescapably loveable songs served up with a nudge, a wink, and a pinch on the bum. --Beth Massa ... Read more

Reviews (295)

2-0 out of 5 stars Music and vocals are great, the lyrics drag down the CD
My interest in Robbie Williams began after hearing MILLENNIUM on the radio. It took me some time to finally discover who the artist was. I found out and went to Amazon.Com. I listened to the available clips and ordered the CD.

I was shocked when I listened to the entire CD. Robbie Williams is an extremely talented singer and the music is wonderful to the ear. JESUS IN A CAMPER VAN is heretical. The first line of STRONG is truly distasteful. These two songs, in particular, are 180 degrees from MILLENNIUM and YOU'RE ON OF GOD'S BETTER PEOPLE. Due to lyric content I only can listen to six songs on this CD.

The music and vocal talents earn a five star rating. Sorry the lyrics lower the rating to only two stars. The hidden track is very sophmoric and below a talented artist as this.

Just for the record I have written email to the Robbie's Management without response.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't let the Grammy Snub Fool You...
...there is nothing but quality music on this CD. I know there was a moment where he seemed a shoe in to be nominated, but looking at who's ruling the nominations I would personally be offended to be nominated with these people, because it would mean the music industry thought my music was a shallow and tastless as my peers. It's beyond me how an album that has popped up on practically every Critics' Top 10 list (usually in the top half) can not get even ONE nomination. This album is simply brilliant. It's the first one I've bought in 4 yrs, where I can listen to EVERY single track. The melodies are completely infectious and the most refreshing I've heard in awhile. And the lyrics are nothing short of witty and biting for the rockers and ballads alike. More than anything, I love how Robbie is able to bring together different genres of music (you can feel influence from hip-hop to rock to Frank Sinatra) yet some how make it sound like one cohesive style that's all Robbie, instead of some cheesy compilation album. Kudos to Robbie and his band for making pop tolerable again. If quality is what really mattered in American music (industry), instead of image, he would have been a household name by now.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love this album :)
I have been into Robbie's music since it all began with 'Take That' when I lived in England. I moved to the States in '93, so had to import his solo efforts.

This US release combines the best tracks from his first two albums "Life Thru a Lens" and "I've Been Expecting You". This combination makes a really great album from beginning to end, I love every track. Robbie has such wit in his lyrics, and the songs are just plain fun.

I would recommend, however, trying to get the original issue of "The Ego Has Landed" which included 'Jesus In A Camper Van'. This is a great track, full of humour, and for some reason the later issuing replaced it with the good, but slow "Phoenix From The Flames". I would also recommmend picking up other Robbie albums such as "Escapology" and "Swing When You're Winning" which sees a more mature side to the robster :)

5-0 out of 5 stars If US Pop Were This Good, Justin Timberlake Would Be Screwed
This album, culled from two of Williams' previous British albums, serves an introductory crash-course for Americans who are wondering what the deal is with this international celebrity. The best song on the album is obviously the sweet ballad "Angels," a song which secured Williams' position as a credible boy-band survivor (he was formally part of Take That). However, this album is full of hits: "She's the One" and "One of God's Better People" are two more beautiful ballads; "Man Machine," "Let Me Entertain You," and "Karma Killer" are the ones you blast really loud; "Strong," "Lazy Days," and "Old Before I Die" are the ones you sing along with. The album also includes "Millennium," the video of which includes Williams in various James Bond moments. The whole album is one perfect pop ride. Williams never gets overly personal with his lyrics, but with laugh-out-loud verses that go "I hope I live/to see the day/the Pope gets high," you don't really care. All pop music should sound this good.

Also, this version omits the song "Jesus in a Camper Van," presumably over the legal trouble Williams faced with that song.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not his best and not his latest
Not unlike another reviewer, I discovered Robbie Williams late in the game. Indeed, I only just heard his music a month ago, which is startling, considering his solo hits date from 1997. When I did finally see him on an MTV Europe special, I was staggered by his talent! I was also initally taken aback by his apparent self-absorption [to wit: "The EGO . .."], but realized later that it is part of his facade. He is much more self-deprecating than self-promoting, and he possesses an irrestible charm and wit. In truth, that I first saw him in live performance doing more recent material certainly colored my impression of this CD, "The Ego Has Landed." It is a compilation for the American audience of songs from his first two albums. The selections, many of which were gigantic hits in Europe, are nonetheless representations of his early solo work and initial collaboration with Guy Chambers. By comparison with what's found on his later albums, therefore, they sound rudimentary and incomplete. A few still reflect an apparent reluctant transition from the Take That boy-band days, while others, such as "Win Some Lose some" are at best bubble-gum pop. EMI tried to introduce him to his cousins across the pond by using previous winners instead of fresher numbers, and the strategy backfired. Even though "Angels," his first break through hit, has a timeless, classic innocence, and "Millennium," a haunting James Bond-esque quality, they are obscured by the majority of weaker efforts (with the possible exceptions of "Let Me Entertain You" or "You're The One"). Make no mistake: I think Robbie Williams is arguably the most gifted and dynamic young entertainer around. Yet, this album is not the best sample of his wares. I recommend instead that you grab a copy of a more recent album such as "Sing When You're Winning," or even better, a DVD of his live performance such as "Knebworth," to capture the full effect of this pop phenom. The "EGO . . ." has limited value except perhaps to demonstrate that Williams has come a long way as an artist. ... Read more

138. Doubt
list price: $15.98
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Asin: B00000CKZF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 17635
Average Customer Review: 3.23 out of 5 stars
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Album Details

Digitally Remastered Re-issue of the Band's Second Album that Spawned the Hit Singles 'right Here Right Now', 'real Real Real', 'who Where Why' and 'ibyt-international Bright Young Thing'. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

3-0 out of 5 stars Better used
Probably the most famous album by Jesus Jones... It's probably better buying an used one. Most of the songs are upbeat and colorful, my favorite being "Int'l Bright Young Thing." I don't know why "Perverse" is not listed in Amazon, but combined with "Liquidizer" and "Perverse," you will be able to fill an MD (or CD-R) with some good tunes. However, you have to like their style. It's not for everyone, but if you are curious what Jesus Jones sounds like, this is the one to get. This is probably a bit more polished than other albums and also more "radio-friendly."

1-0 out of 5 stars mine was a simple accident
This was the cd my parents gave me when i was away at college and they were going through a divorce, trying to be so hip and sensitive to youthful trends. I'd almost forgotten about it, until the other day when cleaning out the garage i found it still in the wrapper. Away in a box i hadn't opened for several years was this thing i'd spent a lot of effort avoiding... and here it is again! i don't deserve this, and neither do you.

2-0 out of 5 stars Jesus Jones: One Hit Wonder
"Right Here, Right Now" is one of the very best singles of the 1990's. I looooved that tune from the moment I heard it - what a well-written song with an irresistible beat and uplifting message! Doubt carries that terrific single, which is why for years I considered buying this album.

For some reason, however, I had this feeling that "Right Here, Right Now" would be the only notable track on this album, causing me to perpetually postpone my purchase. Finally a used version of Doubt became so cheap that the album was worth the purchase, if only for the hit single.

Since my purchase, I've learned that my instincts about Doubt proved to be true. "Right Here, Right Now" is the only standout track on this album. I have listened to this album repeatedly in an effort to like it, but I just don't. Other than the huge hit single, there's nothing else to appreciate on this album. No wonder Jesus Jones was propelled instantly to stardom with their one hit, then faded away into obscurity after that.

3-0 out of 5 stars Those were the days.
During a time in which I listened mostly to "Ministry" and the "Red Hot Chili peppers", I still squeezed in a little "Jesus Jones". I have to admit, this is an album that I only play once or twice a year, but once it's in I love it. I really think this is better than most people think it is. The songs "International Bright Young Thing" and "Real, Real, Real" are just a couple songs on a mostly good album. Any fan of "The Soup Dragons" or "Happy Mondays" should like "Doubt". If nothing else, it's fun to crank "Right Here, Right Now", and pretend it's the early 90's again.

3-0 out of 5 stars second coming from the unsung-heroes of trailblazing Rock
do recall that around 1991 if i'm not badly mistaken- head buccaneer Mike Edwards and team took an award from the Grammys by the time when this album came out for best new performance, presented by the ever lovable (and a turn-off too-flirty somewhat) Jennifer Connely, which when Mike sorta took a no-notice approach at all taking the trophy from the said chick (really cool) he went saying something like, "Thanks... Recieving this award for a best new act, I think i kinda like the sound of that." quite with a little touch of sarcasm a bit when JESUS JONES have been around for quite some years already at the time.
So much for my side-comment - here i go with my review=
Before there ever were the current popular electronic music of The Chemical Brothers, Moby, and (ex-HOUSEMARTINS/BEATS INT'Ls member project) FAT BOY SLIM-- the sound of this band is already embarking a crusade amongst college radio stations and both the good underground and bumblegum dance houses by the birth of the 90's. Somewhat the pioneers of modern day techno-rock, the band are obviously slighted upon and are dictated as one among the so-called one-shot wonders in the shallow popular mainstream industry, suffering the band a great deal of underatedness. And as if it weren't enough- mainstream music industry even have labeled them compared along with the preposterous E.M.F.! How redundant. However, this sophomore album of the band carries the radio college hit "ibyt-Int'l Bright Young Thing", the universal-question echoing "Who? Where? Why?", and "Real Real Real", which have also peeped into the popular music charts. And of course, it too have their most popular and yet at the same time accursed single "Right Here Right Now", a song which instantly hails the hopeful events during in the time of the Berlin Wall's fall- which catapulpted them into mainstream recognizion upon the time of its release; and yet have come about to pull the plug away from them after that momment as if suggested by the song's title itself. Garnished with a frenzy of noise barrage, melodic rock, subtle pop sound, and even at times with a little pint of faint goth, the album Doubt is in a way wanting to penetrate subconsciously into an attempt of conquering the listener through a seeming passage of subliminal textures. But then again that may only be my opinion. Preferably go get the 13-trk japanese special edition cd, got my copy of this album on tape, and am about to relieve it now with it.
Other impressive tracks in the album are: the opener "Trust Me" (which contains sample from the hillarious tv cop-commedy siries SLEDGEHAMMER), "I'm Burning" (say is it a vindictive cry towards God?), "Welcome Back Victoria", and "Are You Satisfied" (which appears in every release, except for the bastardised tape copy release that i have- and hell no it ain't pirated.)

Rate: 7 out of 10 ... Read more

139. Leisure
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B000008TWS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 68929
Average Customer Review: 3.97 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (32)

4-0 out of 5 stars Unrecognised beauty
Blur's debut album Leisure is never acknowledged by the press or the band itself but it does include some real gems.

There are two major styles of song running through the album, the first of which is simple post-punk/grunge music (fool, come together) that shows Damon Albarn's more naive attempts at writing.

The second style however shows elements of Blur at their best with beautiful Beatlesque harmonies, (Sing, Bang, She's So High),outstanding backward guitar played by the underrated guitarist Graham Coxon (There's No Other Way, She's So High) and hammond organ (There's No Other Way,) giving it a mid-60's Revolver feel with a fresh 90's twist.

Though perhaps not as consistent as its follow up albums, Leisure contains some of the most intriguing songs Blur have released. With songs such as Bad Day, Birthday not even making it as singles, it is easy to see why Blur soon established themselves as guiding lights of the British music scene in the 1990's. Well worth a listen.

5-0 out of 5 stars I know that [you'll] think I'm a fool...
Here's a Blur fan who can't believe all the bad reviews (see below), and these are from 'fans'? Yes, this album is marked ly different from the 3 that followed, but so is the overrated 'Blur' CD. 'Leisure' has many hidden treasures. Of course, all the singles are great ('She's So High, There's No Other Way, & 'Bang'), but most of the album tracks are gems, too. I especially dig, 'High Cool', 'Fool', & 'Slow Down'. This CD has the best drumming from Dave Rowntree of any Blur album, full stop. How he plays the part in 'Fool' is beyond me...his drumming has become far more staid on subsequent discs. Reading these other reviews, I think I may benefit from the fact that I've never heard any Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, etc...I'm just a pure Blur head. So these songs may sound 'fresher' to some fans than others. Still, I think this is as good as any of their more recent work, so don't believe all the bad press...if you like Blur at all, I think you won't be let down.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Debut from the Best British Band of the last 15 yrs
Leisure is the debut album from Blur, the most important English rock band of the last 15 years. More creative than Oasis (hey, who isn't?) and more innovative than Radiohead (beating them to the punch in 1997 AND 1999), this album would seem to be a landmark, right? Well, no. Certainly the weakest of Blur's albums, this one still has some great cuts, like She's So High, There's No Other Way, Bad Day, Birthday, and Repetition. However, Damon Albarn had yet to discover his lyrical gift to go along with his melodic genius. The album as a whole is quite listenable in its entirety, but suffers simply from having too many producers. Definitely worthwhile checking out, but their weakest, especially compared to their later triumphs. If you live in the USA it's worth getting the UK version simply for Sing, and the American version for I Know...get 'em both!

2-0 out of 5 stars Lazy Songs
Although not bad for a debut, "Leisure" isn`t quite a keeper either, even if has some quality moments to offer. Here, Blur still had a naive, unpersonal an not very focused sound, falling into the (mildly generic) shoegazer movement bandwagon. Many songs sound the same and the lyrics are the typical "boy-meets-girl", which can be cute and appealing but not particularly exciting or engaging. Some moments already show promise, though, like the dynamic and danceable "There`s No Other Way" or the excellent and subtle "Sing". However, for the most part, "Leisure" consists of dated britpop songs, listenable and entertaining enough yet equally vapid and ummemmorable.
Recommended to die-hard fans.

2-0 out of 5 stars yet to find themselves
although this album produced a couple of UK hits in there's no other way and shes so high, on the whole the album is a collection of half baked ditties that give little indication of the subtle genius that would emerge from this essex quartet. only advised for completists. ... Read more

140. Life Thru a Lens
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Asin: B000006X41
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 47354
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

The former Take That leader's 1997 solo debut. 11 tracks, including the international hit singles 'Lazy Days', 'Angels', 'Old Before I Die' and 'Let Me Entertain You'. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars From "Bad Boy" to "Angel"
When former Take That bad boy Robbie Williams announced that he was leaving the group to venture on a solo career, not much expectations were held for his solo debut. In fact, this CD bombed at it's initial release. Things would soon change for Rob.

Not much attention was given to Rob's first singles, but with the release of the International hit "Angels", things were soon different for our boy Rob!! Now known as the #1 act in the UK and with several awards under his belt, the world now has to reckon with Robbie Williams!!

This CD features many fine moments and includes the singles "Lazy Days", "Let Me Entertain You", "Angels", "Old Before I Die" and "South Of The Border". The CD as a whole, though each and every track is well mastered, seens to have a feel of a collection rather than an album. This doesn't by any means make it bad, however.

Robbie struts his stuff on the upbeat "Life Through A Lens" , "Old Before I Die" and "Let Me Entertain You", but also shows he has a knack for a beautifull ballad on "Angels" and "One Of God's Better People". He also throws in a couple of sillier performances on "Ego A Go-Go" and "Clean" (like Mr./Charlie Sheen), but all in all, the CD is well worth the price.

I just got my copy of Life Thru a Lens. After wearing out I've Been Expecting You, I decided I had to hear some of Robbie's earlier stuff.

It took a bit of getting used to because I've grown accustomed to the more mature and sophisticated sound of Expecting You. But Lens is still all Robbie and in no time at all I was totally into it.

Angels, the classic is there in all its glory. The outrageous and totally infectious "Let Me Entertain You" makes you want to grab a hairbrush and pretend you have a crowd of thousands screaming at your feet.

But the real surprises here are the ones that weren't as popular. I love the groovy sound of "South of the Border" and "Killing Me" is so haunting but grabbing that sometimes I just play that track on repeat. And as someone who has lost a parent, I find the ballad "Baby Girl Window" comforting and reassuring.

"Ego a Go Go" is hilarious especially when you know the story behind it and the rivalry between Robbie and his former bandmate, Gary Barlow. It's a preview of the harder and more vindictive "Karma Killer" (on Expecting You) which was an angry memo from Robbie to his former manager the now notorious Nigel Martin Smith.

On a whole, Lens is but a preview of the extrodinary artist Robbie Williams has become and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

5-0 out of 5 stars Immature, but Robbie took off from this very first trial...
I find it not easy to judge this album fairly for I began listening to it after purchasing the four later CDs from him. Undeniably this one is less powerful than other Robbie's megahits, but it's brilliant enough as a debut album. There were still resentment and uneasiness in his voice then. Nevertheless, I think everyone should commend Rob on his creativity and courage to release the album as he mocked on media explicitly and jeered his former partner from Take That but biggest enemy at that time- Gary Barlow. After so many years, songs like "Angels," "Old Before I Die," "Lazy Days," and so on still sound great to the ear, and Rob performs them regularly to keep those works alive.

Above all, if you're a loyal Rob fan, this one is a must-have to comprehend how his talent break out at the beginning. If not, I would recommend "I've Been Expecting You" or his latest "Escapology;" from them you can hear the genuine Rob style shine through.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Powerhouse Debut Album by a Pop Genius
I remember when I first heard of Take That. It was in a video for a song called "It Only Takes A Minute". They were still a brand new boy band in the footsteps of New Kids On The Block but they were british. Out of the five members, Robbie Williams stood out. He was the funniest, cheekiest member and he seemed to have more personality than the others. At the end of the video, there was Robbie pointing his finger up and crooning the line 'Just one minute...'. It was funny. 4 years later, Robbie left Take That and the future didn't seem too bright for the lad. He made several public appearances afterwards, one being as a host of the MTV Europe Awards in the fall of 1996. Prior to that Robbie had done a cover version of George Michael's Freedom. Not too impressing work there and more of a mockery of his boy band image. But Robbie struggled to change that. He hung out with Oasis, grew a goatie for a brief time, and began venturing into Rock music.
Old Before I Die was the first non-pop song Robbie came out with that was an original song that he wrote along with an unknown, Guy Chambers. Highly influenced by Britain's biggest rock band, Oasis, Robbie wanted if not needed to get into the new mainstream since boy band music became a joke. After months of slacking, but not really slacking, Robbie returned with a full length album titled 'Life Thru A Lens' in September of 1997. I think i was the only guy who bought that CD at a Music store in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. And for some crazy reason, i felt like i really wanted to love this album since it felt weird just to hear Robbie on his own and see what he can prove. I was impressed, no...more, I was taken completely by every song on the CD!

The opener struck a chord with me, 'Lazy Days' is a song about depression. A very Oasis-esque tune with the right lyrics. 'Life Thru A Lens' the title track is a fun tune about life in the public eye. 'Ego A Go-Go' is a personal attack from Robbie to his rival and former bandmate Gary Barlow, and manager. 'Angels' is the biggest ballad ever heard or written since Wonderwall. Not only did it spark the light of Robbie in the british conscience, but it had people take Robbie extremely seriously. This is a fine love song. The chorus, each verse, the music all speak for themselves. To this day, Robbie's best song. 'South Of The Border' is another rocker in the influencial direction of Oasis. 'Let Me Entertain You' can easily be viewed as Robbie's signature song. He is here to entertain us. He's good at it. He's been doing it since 1992, the difference is that he used to do it along with four other guys, now he's entertaining on his own but outweighing the entire Take That installment.
'Killing Me' is the most open Robbie song. It's an essential song about Robbie most intimate feelings of insecurity and unhappiness. The depression he began having as a member of Take That and how he escaped it through pretending to be the joker of the group. Reminds you a lot of the way John Lennon was with the Beatles. In fact, Killing Me is in the same league as Isolation from Lennon's debut album 'Plastic Ono Band'. 'Clean' is another fun track where you hear Robbie rhyming 'I'm Clean' with 'Charlie Sheen' and talking about kicking his addictions to the evil substances. 'Baby Girl Window' is a touching song and a beautiful album closer.

Robbie became much bigger, musically and artistically only a year later when he released I've Been Expecting You and finally getting praise in America.

Highly Recommended.


4-0 out of 5 stars All we dared hope for, and much much more.
Robbie may have gone on to make better (or at least more consistently satisfying) albums, but 'Life thru a lens' will always retain pride of place in the hearts of us Robbiephiles, when, what could have been a self-pitying play for sympathy (especially after that misjudged first single, the cover of 'Freedom'), turned out not to need any excuses whatsoever.

At the time, cred-building Robbie was finding succour in then-popular Oasis, and their baleful influence can be seen on songs like 'Lazy Days' and 'South of the Border', although he brings his own alchemical ingredients, like 'imagination' and 'wit', though, sadly, not 'melody'. There are a couple of lovely ballads here ('One of God's better people', 'Baby Girl Window'), and 'Clean' is an amusingly self-mocking take on the pop star misbehaving in public (Robbie's lyrics are so endearingly naive in their confessional literalism they frequently become clever and truthful).

It is, of course, the magnificent singles that sustain 'Lens', all using Robbie's 60s/70s/showbiz fascinations with intelligence: the speedpop ranting title track; the pubrock humility of 'Old Before I die'; the simultaneously arrogant and gracious 'Let me entertain you', a Kiss-tribute rock dazzler that easily out-pummells its source. Oh, and a trifle called 'Angels', a song of staggering (emotional) maturity, a ballad whose poignancy arises from the recognition that happiness, never mind perfection, is an ungraspable dream: it is, quite simply, one of the ten best songs ever written. ... Read more

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