Profile for K. A. James > Reviews


K. A. James' Profile

Customer Reviews: 10
Top Reviewer Ranking: 22,881,806
Helpful Votes: 12

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Reviews Written by
K. A. James RSS Feed (North Wales)

Page: 1
Ragged Kingdom
Ragged Kingdom
Price: $15.98
42 used & new from $1.64

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars are inadequate. Don't hesitate - just buy it!, January 7, 2012
This review is from: Ragged Kingdom (Audio CD)
This has to be the highest regarded album/CD I've seen in 50 years of serious listening. Every English language newspaper worldwide has given it 5 stars and I've never experienced such unanimity before. This is certainly the best folk-rock album since 1969's "Leige & Lief" and I think it surpasses that. Songs Like Dylan's ancient "Seven Curses" are performed with a venom even BD couldn't have imagined. The version of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" just leaves people breathless and bewildered: who'd have thought such an overpowering song was hiding behind Joy Division's frenetic thrashing? There are no fillers on this. I'm now up to perhaps my 80th listening in under 80 days and it all still sounds fresh and staggering. If this doesn't win the UK's annual Mercury Prize then the judges are deaf, daft or cowardly.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2012 1:44 PM PST

Lomography Diana F plus 35mm Back Door with Four Plastic Frames
Lomography Diana F plus 35mm Back Door with Four Plastic Frames
Price: $42.51
4 used & new from $34.11

1.0 out of 5 stars "I just don't believe it", January 7, 2012
In the UK this plastic bauble actually retails at £40+. That is such a mindbogglingly inexplicable fact that it should trigger Meldrew type "senior moments" in an average 12 year old. Seriously, there is a chance that the packaging cost more to make than the back itself. I'd be surprised if the production cost, unpacked was above 30 pence/50 cents. Ten pence/ 17 cents is more likely. This type of plastic is very cheap.
I did a quick browse around "another site" and found I could buy SIX different 35mm cameras each with a different focal length lense and still have change out of £41. Only postage raises the cost to that level. In my local "can't metion the name" there are 35mm cameras at (you've guessed it) £1.
Sadly I have to give a star rating. One star is still a massive (some might say infinite) overating.

Price: $15.91
36 used & new from $6.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meta-folk, November 9, 2011
This review is from: Ashore (Audio CD)
June Tabor + Huw Warren + Les Barker. Together they go so far beyond 'folk' that the name is inadequate. This is music of a quality that could not even have been imagined in my youth. There are no boundaries here, no walls seperating jazz and classical, rock and folk. This is pure music, as natural as a childs's warbling, as satisfying as a coal fire, as luminous as a great preacher.

Stand on Zanzibar
Stand on Zanzibar
by John Brunner
Edition: Paperback
39 used & new from $1.91

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Age refines and defines, November 7, 2011
This review is from: Stand on Zanzibar (Paperback)
I picked this up again three weeks ago after a 35 year long gap. In my twenties this was a desperately clever nod to an all time great US writer and also (with Jagged Orbit and the two later in this 'series') a coming of age for Brunner as he almost single handedly invents the genre of "social science fiction".
To read it now is equally entertaining but it is now also scary. While I read it now, world population passes 7 biliion. My internet news feed brings me almost daily news of a mucker style killing somewhere in Europe, the UK or most commonly, the USA. Corporations openly buy unwarranted influence over supposedly democratic governments. The war between East and West is already being fought in cyber-space with occasionally live fire interludes.
Beninia remains undiscovered. Nobody even looks for it.
Brunner manages to remain optimistic against all the evidence. I just see the evidence.

Price: $12.31
62 used & new from $3.68

5.0 out of 5 stars I wonder................, July 27, 2011
This review is from: Unhalfbricking (Audio CD)
I'll not comment just to agree with of whats already written here - all good stuff. It's just that when I listen to "A Sailor's Life" I imagine the scene in the studio when they ended: a few moments of introspective silence and then "Sorry Joe, we got a bit carried away there" emerging from somebody's lips!
In other words, the whole thing sounds so spontaneous that I can imagine the preducer and engineer just wondering what the hell was going on.

Holga 120 Color Flash Camera
Holga 120 Color Flash Camera
Price: $39.99
8 used & new from $25.00

3 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A massive con!, March 24, 2011
I didn't buy - a young and foolish relative did. He thought you could take good or bad pictures with a Holga. He didn't realise that they don't offer a choice - only bad. Nothing on this camera is built to last more than a few films and that is if it wotks in the first place. The finish is so bad that many will probably not function. Idiot photography has to be the only activity where a seller can persuade the stupid to part with $50 for something that costs less than 20 cents to make. Many of the available accessories will have unit production costs under 1 cent. There is no room for quality control when replacement costs are so low.
For $1.50 equivalent I bought my nephew an old Brownie box camera from a Charity shop - what you call a thrift shop. It takes the same 120 film. It has the same crappy single meniscus lense and it works best at it's preset focus which is about 12 feet.
He's sold the chinese crap to a fellow student who is pathetically happy with it. My nephew is also happy becasue he's got £20 for film and processing, gets similar results and he has now bought, on my recommendation, a Beirette 35mm for £1. That probably will return too good a print but we can doctor the camera and lense a bit to Holga-ise the images.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2012 3:15 PM PST

Over the Next Hill
Over the Next Hill
Price: $17.51
41 used & new from $2.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it!, February 22, 2011
This review is from: Over the Next Hill (Audio CD)
£$%^!! this is a great set! Half way through "Wait for the Tide ...." I realised I was listening to what the Beatles could have sounded like had they all survived and reformed. I've given it 5* but I'd have preferred 4½* but only because "Some Special Place" is so obviously based on "The Dark Island" but there is no acknowledgement of that.

A Piece of What You Need
A Piece of What You Need
Offered by MEGA Media
Price: $26.12
45 used & new from $0.40

4.0 out of 5 stars More to come?, January 19, 2011
I'm posting only 4 stars because, Teddy being a Thompson, I just know there is better to come.
The most significant comment I can add to the reviews already here is that the majority don't mention his famous Dad. Teddy has gone beyond that and family connections are no longer relevant. He is no longer 'a chip off the old block' but a new block in his own right.

Given Note
Given Note
Offered by KingsRidgeMedia
Price: $12.80
41 used & new from $1.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genre irrelevant: This is an essential!!, May 29, 2010
This review is from: Given Note (Audio CD)
It doesn't matter what your favourite style of music is. This is an essential addition to any collection unless you are one of those that doesn't actually like music at all! Every track on this is steeped in the joy of performing it and I defy anyone to listen with their legs still. There's a zip and a swagger and a pride in all these performances that is often missing from recordings, especially from classically orientated artistes.
I'm listening as I write this and I have to pause as the music takes over. There are no highlights here - every track is wonderful although the Galician tracks will surprise many who, Like I, had not heard this style before.

Exile on Coldharbour Lane
Exile on Coldharbour Lane
27 used & new from $0.65

5.0 out of 5 stars An impulse buy!, April 30, 2010
Sopranoes? -I'd never heard of the Sopranoes! I bought this for about £1 "promo copy" on Camberwell Market early in 1998. I've loved it ever since. Unfortunately for me, other listeners get driven to theft - a copy of this and your very own Bible and you are SAVED brother! - so I've just had my 4th copy delivered. It is still a landmark in tongue-in-cheek Englishness on CD. If only they'd heard Richard Thompson's "God Loves A Drunk". An A3 version of that would be very special!

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