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Profile for K. Kenner > Reviews


K. Kenner's Profile

Customer Reviews: 29
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K. Kenner RSS Feed (Brooklyn, NY)

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Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym
Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym
Price: $74.99
10 used & new from $74.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very cute and my daughter loves it, January 21, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I find most baby playyards or gyms to be tacky, but this one is pretty cute and I don't mind having it out in our living room. My 2-month old daughter just started laying in it last week and so far she loves it! The reason why I gave it four stars is because one of the birdies plays a chirping noise, and it's haunted! plays it randomly throughout the day for no rhyme or reason! If it really starts to bother us, we'll just take it down and throw it away. Overall I am happy with this purchase (and wish that more baby toy companies would follow Skip Hop's lead and put just a little thought into the design of their products!).

Amore Del Tropico
Amore Del Tropico
Price: $17.17
46 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They Timed the Release Date Right, October 9, 2002
This review is from: Amore Del Tropico (Audio CD)
Amore del Tropico: a more upbeat, catchy and - yes, and even poppy at times - album from Black Heart Procession. Even though the album is centered around a murder mystery, you should still expect a little more pop and a little less dirge from BHP, the fourth time around. They abandoned their numerical album titles and went crazy, with strings, synthesizers, bells, layered voices and lots of piano. Crazy!
Even so, Amore del Tropico is still a perfect October 8th release, just in time for Halloween's mysterious, ghoulish and morbid themes. Black Heart Procession has somehow managed to infuse their dark flavor with catchy melodies and the result is a stunningly beautiful, insanely addicting and strangely sexy album.
The best parts about this album are the piano and the synthesizer; together they make one's listen a truly amazing experience. I may be biased, because they happen to be my two favorite instruments, but regardless, I think everyone will agree that they add the finishing touch.
Each song follows a reporter on a murder case, but the first track isn't really a song as much as it is a dramatic and cinematic 12-second perfect murder mystery intro. The second track sets the tone of the entire album, repetitive lyrics and all: "comfort is why we lost our hearts - was it here where we left our hearts - in the tropics of love..." Layered voices set against a 70's psychedelic theme are rather Pink Floyd-esque in "Broken World."
Track four, "Why I Stay," departs from the flavor of the album as a whole, adding a country flare; Paul Zappoli lowers his voice nearly an octave and sounds almost like Simon Joyner.
Following the slow and simple country tune, "The Invitation," switches things up again and starts out with a creepy piano melody coupled with wacky synthesizer sounds - very dark, and very captivating. This song might top my list of Amore del Tropico favorites. Soon the choir voices come in, unanimously singing, "you'll find them in the shadows - you'll find us in the shadows - we hide." At this point, the red and black creepy sketched cartoon cover art is starting to make sense - and you never realized Goth could sound so good.
A song that's so catchy it deserves its own paragraph is "Fingerprints" - besides, the crime is being uncovered as he speaks! Against a Latin salsa-ish rhythm created using only strings, bass and maracas, the monotone Cake-like (the artist, not the dessert) voices repeat, "they found fingerprints - fingerprints they found fingerprints."
Amore del Tropico ends nicely - if not a little strangely - with "The One Who Has Disappeared," returning to the slow country tune. The melody is so oddly comforting, you could practically fall asleep to it.
To concisely sum Amore del Tropico up would be as difficult as finding the murderer. Besides, I'm not sure that's how the story (or movie?) is supposed to end. After all, it's a mystery. For now, just know that you won't be disappointed - or bored - with Black Heart Procession's creepy Halloween album.

Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
Offered by insomniacsonline
Price: $8.87
94 used & new from $0.10

5.0 out of 5 stars musical, and possibly personal, develpment, August 23, 2002
A cold day. A car starts and directions are given, but soon the driver learns it's just a guessing game to the destination. This is how Conor Oberst begins his new album, Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground. The guitars start in the background and soon the listener is drawn into his lyrical world of uncertainty and confusion. The layers of voices and driving sounds in the first track, "The Big Picture," are an extension of his puzzled, angst-filled lyrics, and just like the girl who sporadically sings along with the song, one immediately empathizes with Oberst's circular quest for the truth.
The first track, reminiscent of Bright Eyes' earlier release, Letting off the Happiness, flirts between Bright Eyes' old and new sound, but make no mistake - Lifted is an entirely different piece of art. Conor Oberst has matured, sometimes delving into a new realm of music, and overall, a more hopeful set of lyrics. With the smart addition of other musicians such as Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor (Azure Ray) and Todd Baechle (The Faint), Bright Eyes broadens their sound. No longer does the listener feel like they're secretly imposing on a 17-year old boy's troubled journal entries. Those (like myself) who do like the intimacy of Oberst's affecting poetry still absorb the same emotional intensity from Lifted, so no one is left disappointed.
Besides lyrical maturation, other developments found in Lifted are the sweeping style range - from Belle & Sebastian jangled "poppy-ness" to Bob Dylan's honest twang, Bright Eyes' latest release keeps things interesting. Track X, "Lover I Don't Have to Love" is by far the most diversified track. While completely escaping the traditional realm of Bright Eyes (except for the distinctive bells sounds of "The Movement of a Hand," from Fevers and Mirrors), one hears influences of the Cure and even Saddle Creek's own, Cursive. A switch occurs in track VI, and the melodic, layered voices of Elliott Smith seeps through. Track VII: switch again - the opening music suggests to the listener that they're watching a National Geographic exposé of another culture - but the conclusive evidence is that we'll never understand the answers. Thus, the search for resolution continues.
Some might take points off for skipping around so much on a single album, but Lifted is held together by a common theme - it's a story about personal development on many levels. From the first page to the last, the reader embarks on his quest for truth and spiritual answers, and is quickly enveloped in Oberst's accounts of life, love and lessons learned.

Reverse Eclipse
Reverse Eclipse
23 used & new from $0.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Creates Appreciation for Karate..., July 3, 2002
This review is from: Reverse Eclipse (Audio CD)
Geoff Farina continues his solo efforts on Reverse Eclipse, his 2001 release that follows his earlier full-length solo, Usonian Dream Sequence (1998). According to Farina, most known for his more rockin' yet jazz-influenced band Karate and who also puts out albums with Jodi Buonanno in the quiet duo Secret Stars, he composes songs on his own when his band mates are too busy. Many people prefer Farina with some accompanying drums, guitars and/or vocals, and accuse him of self-indulgence when compiling his personal diary-like lyrics and setting them against simple jazzy guitar phrases that happen to be as obscure as his words. I happen to fit into that category, and although Reverse Eclipse is soft, pretty and "nice" music, I'd like to avoid the risk of putting myself to sleep while driving, or having images of my father enjoying scotch on the rocks and talking about the day's stock activities with his golf-loving friends.
My overall conclusion does not imply that I dislike every part of the album, nor does it imply that it's inherently boring and everyone should prefer Karate or Secret Stars. In fact, there are a couple songs - or even lines of lyrics in particular songs - that cause an interruption in my overall opinion, so much of a distraction that I begin to think that I want to recommend the album for a minute. And then I can't decide WHAT I think or WHERE I am - "Is it pure genius?" "Am I shopping at Nordstrom?" "Wait, am I supposed to understand this I not 'deep' enough?" At some points in the album, I was amazed at his clever lyrics which say so much without saying hardly anything at all, and at other times I thought his vagueness simply existed for the sake of elusiveness - there to assert his profound, highly poignant musical style.
At this point, my opinion remains fairy stable. Reverse Eclipse is an album with a few great tracks, including "Special Diamonds," "Fire," "Only Yellows," and "One Percent," but the album as a whole is best described as inconsistent. The album starts off strong and I think I will fully embrace its poetic style, but somewhere in the middle I lose track of where I am and what he's playing and what he's singing and I'm suddenly transported back to the requisite Half-Yearly Sale that I was drug to every summer. Before I know it, I regain consciousness and I'm at track 12, "One Percent," completely captivated by Farina's delicate choice of words:
"So leave me alone with this page for awhile, as muscle-memories emancipate a silent smile. Over-dressed you are not as good as weekend-T-shirt-shoulders should support a sated, wine-finished face, and keep new memories in their proper place as they wait for words that strive for one percent of what our short times together meant."
But as the album comes to a close and I reflect upon the overall experience, I am left wanting more. I long for Karate's jazz-laced, bass-heavy, gentle, sparse, rock songs that repeatedly build-up to an orgasmic and tension-filled end. It's bands like Karate that keep me coming back for more instead of wishing there were more... I think the artist himself describes Reverse Eclipse's songs most accurately in his biography on Southern Record's website:
"To me, they beg to be sparse, slow, and abstract. Some of them sit around for years in various revisions on cassette tapes and in my notebooks with little astrists or other code reminding me that at least once I thought they contained a good idea or two. --Geoff Farina"
Although each song has a "good idea or two," Reverse Eclipse as a whole misses the mark, and leaves you waiting for the next Karate release.

Dizzy Spells
Dizzy Spells
Price: $16.53
22 used & new from $3.17

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Ex, July 5, 2001
This review is from: Dizzy Spells (Audio CD)
First off, I would like to thank KSPC Claremont for being so cool...without the Internet's webcasting capabilities, I doubt I would have even known about Dizzy Spells.
Second, I am enthusiastically recommending this album...not only because I'm dutch and they're dutch, but more importantly, because it's proof that 45 year olds can still rock and rock hard. Musically, everything is perfect and interesting... the Ex does not fail to impress. There are cool bell sounds in the drumming, there are neato guitar sound effects (they have 2 guitarists) and the lead singer has a great, throaty, scream, aggravated by his politically charged lyrics.
Stand-out tracks? The first one, "Town of Stone" is catchy. "Burnsome" is a powerful, make-you-think kind of song, and I believe they opened with it at their recent show in really captivated the crowd. I think my favorite, however, is "River," because the female drummer sings and she proves to be just as tough as Sok (the lead singer).
If you like Fugazi's anti-consumerism, against corporate mergers type stuff, or if you're like me and you hate Disneyland, then you'll probably like Dizzy Spells.

Lungs for the Race
Lungs for the Race
Price: $16.49
25 used & new from $0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Isaac Brock? No, wait, it's Ryan Murphy., April 23, 2001
This review is from: Lungs for the Race (Audio CD)
Somewhere between Her Space Holiday and Modest Mouse, Havergal is Ryan Murphy (from Texas)...but seriously...try not to mistake him for Isaac Brock! If you can get over that, you'll like this better. "Lungs for the Race" is a really good debut full-length which shows mellow, well-crafted creativity... the perfect blend of electronic and indie. The sound? Static-y with a drum machine and other lo-fi electronics. It ranges from melodic to dischordant at times. There are two instrumental tracks but the rest have lyrics. Besides Murphy's voice, this album is really quite unique, and I recommend it if you like creative, slightly electronic, bedroom-pop, mellow, indie tunes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2008 2:54 PM PDT

Sound Shopping
Sound Shopping
Offered by Artisan Owl
Price: $10.65
18 used & new from $10.65

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Sound Shopping" is truly the perfect title, April 22, 2001
This review is from: Sound Shopping (Audio CD)
Another fun release by the Dutch Duo. Very unique sounds, everything from horse neighs, to eating chips, to taxi horns...they've included it all and oddly enough, it works. "Bad Dream" is a catchy lil' tune that I liked immediately (and Liesbeth Esselink of Solex contributes vocals so that's cool). I can't decide if "Cowboy Ska" is really good or really annoying, but if nothing else, it's creative (horse neighing and such), but my favorite of all tracks is "Tokyo Taxi Robot" because it's just plain COOL. It reminds me of "Rubber Car" by Enon, but not near as dark and gothic-like. To sum it all up, this LP will make you want to dance so if you like dancing, go for it.

Foreign Words
Foreign Words
Price: $15.61
15 used & new from $0.98

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really that foreign, but kind of cute, April 17, 2001
This review is from: Foreign Words (Audio CD)
Boycrazy is your typical dreamy pop with cute lyrics. The band consists of Bryce Edwards and Rachel Blumberg of the Minders. The songs have fun beats and dancy bass lines, but after awhile, all tracks (with the exception of "Bad Things") become rather indistinguishable from each other. "Bad Things" is truly the best song on this album. I love the keyboards and strings, when they use them!

Peel Sessions
Peel Sessions
Price: $17.41
26 used & new from $0.01

2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars melodramatic!, April 17, 2001
This review is from: Peel Sessions (Audio CD)
Drama queen David Gedge of The Wedding Present sings songs about love and broken relationships in his British accent. Most songs use some combination of male and female vocals, piano, organ, flute, and sometimes strings. The album did not speak to me, although most songs are catchy. The acoustic version of "Pacific" is nice, but the one of "Dance, Girl, Dance" is just BAD. The lyrics tend to be on the melodramatic side so it gets old real fast.

My Solo Project
My Solo Project
7 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, funky, unique (and sometimes slightly annoying), April 17, 2001
This review is from: My Solo Project (Audio CD)
I am impressed that this band, consisting of only Jason on drums and Kori on organ, can hold my attention so well. They do so with great drumming--adding funky, unexpected sounds--and harmonious singing of quirky lyrics (which I truly cannot make any sense of myself). "Proofs" and "A Control Group" are immediately catchy, fun songs, while "Tan/Black" is probably the strongest track. My only warning is if you don't like high, loud, sort-of screaming-like female vocals, you may be overwhelmed at times...(Sometimes I get tired of her sound). And also, I agree with the reviewer who found the first and last track really weak. Nonetheless, I like My Solo Project and am looking forward to hearing more from this couple.

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