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The Mother Of God Visits Hell (A Play In Iambic Pentameter)
The Mother Of God Visits Hell (A Play In Iambic Pentameter)
by Daniel Guyton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.89
20 used & new from $5.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly Recommendation!, August 27, 2012
I'm happy to say that I was cast for the "lead Diety" role in the first Mother of God Visits Hell stage production. It was a magic experience that has opened many doors (including a tentative radio play negotiation) for all performers involved. However, it all began with the strength and solidarity of this writing by Mr. Guyton.

With an opening sequence that begins in Heaven and encompasses a mother-son argument of philosophical magnitude between two spiritually and Biblically iconic beings, the elevated language that Dan uses is quite justified---and effective.

It's a tale of a journey from home in the vein of Hesse's "Siddhartha," but with a more philanthropic aim for the titular Mary. Combine a noble aim with the classic cunning ways of what we know as Satan/Lucifer/The Devil, and you have a great tale of sour consequences for sweet intentions. Arguments, bias, struggle, redemption---we've all known the first 3 things, and hope for the last.

No characters are wasted in Mr. Guyton's writing, as the natural and supernatural display a poise, presence, or the occasional proverb on living (and dying) in a world encumbered in sin, the family you're born with (and ultimately depart), and the power of change (as well as the belief in making it happen).

Forgive any non-clarity I've made here (as the Character I play would), and trust me that Mr. Guyton's gift for lush language is a gem for any reader, and it demands as many live readings as possible. For the actor or actress reading this, the multi-regional palate (see the Cobbler/Cobbler's Wife) invite a rich dialect study and is at the same time a great gateway to the periodic brilliance of epic/dramatic theatre (i.e. Shakespeare). It's a study in comic timing with it demanding one's sharpening of vebal delivery on the iambic pantameter so as to find the laughs (and sighs) that Dan's poetic dialogue (and yen for monologue) offers. All in all, it "sounds" good to the ear.

As high-falutin' as it may sound, Dan Guyton has crafted a fine fable within Heaven, Hell, and Earth with the proper mix of action, musing, and emotion to win over your attention. I highly recommend it, and am looking forward to helming my role for a 3rd time for an upcoming live reading.

Best Wishes, and may you enjoy this tale as much as I have!

Sean P. (Role of God in 2009 Town & Gown "Mother of God" Production, WUGA 91.7 FM Radio Play, 2012 No Shame Reading Series Production)


G.O.A.T. Featuring James T. Smith: The Greatest of All Time
G.O.A.T. Featuring James T. Smith: The Greatest of All Time
Price: $11.38
166 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Great!, February 19, 2001
After the mellow tidings of the rather lackluster "Phenomenon," L.L. has truly come back into form with "G.O.A.T." The shame with the controversy about the title is that in countless interviews, he stated that it's not act of vanity so much as it is a motivation for him to make a album worthy of one of the G.O.A.T.s And with that, he shows to prove that he is amongst one of the greatest. It starts off with something very rare of L.L. on an album, a freestyle. Brought to you by D.J. Clue, Mr. Smith sets the album in motion with a blazing verse. The music in the background of the style has a battle-ready feel to it. The first single, "Imagine That," is reminiscent of "Doin' It," but makes itself unique with the fantasy scenario premise and the very futuristic beat a la up and coming producer Rockwilder. While I could go in order and elaborate very much on the aspects of the album for days and days, I won't. Ever the battlecat(just check the records) in the rap game, he settles his recent beefs, in the two tracks, "Back Where I Belong"(a slow burner which a features a great hook by Ja Rule where he concludes the epic battle between himself and Canibus) and the West Coast collabo, "U Can't F*** With Me"(which is produced by D.J. Scratch, which features Snoop Dogg, Jayo Felony, and the usual standout verse by Xzibit). Another banger is his namesake track("L.L. Cool J), which has a sweet horn sample in the background, and again, a tight hook, and some dope rhymes. While not so much of instant tunnel banging classic as "4,3,2,1" the posse cut track "Fuhgidabowdit" keeps the tradition alive with the same guests(minus one--guess who?) with some funny rhymes in some parts. That leads into another positive point about this album. L.L. goes back to being the Spider-Man type of rapper that he was dominantly in the 80's, by cracking some humor in his lyrics. This is very evident in the last track, "M.I.S.S. I," which has a catchy hook and shows that L.L. and R & B singer Case have a remarkable chemistry together. The track is similar to "Around the Way Girl," with the verses about black woman, although they're much more randy in nature. But it's still a tight song. Yet another highlight is "This Is Us" which features the ever-reliable crooning of Bad Boy's Carl Thomas, where he politics rather truthfully about relationships. As many have, the hardcore credentials which have been denied him at times are regained with two joints---the introspective "Homicide" and the quintessial borrough track, "Queens Is." The latter track features Mobb Deep's Prodigy, a fellow Q-boro representative. He's used very well in the hook and also spits a good verse after L.L. Despite what people say about her, I think that Amil is very effective in the duet "Hello," which has a very good concept(phone sex) and adds a innovative dose of sensuality to the album. In the tradition of "Hey Lover," L.L. shows his ever-improving mastery of the rap ballad with the Kelly Price-guested track "You and Me," which comes off as a really good love song. The album-titled track is what you would think to be the pinnacle of the album. It's a great track, don't get me wrong. And the sound effect at the beginning of the song is pretty cool. He has a very aggressive presence on the track(which is rivaled only by his Jamie Foxx diss verse on "U Can't F*** With Me,"), which only makes it come off better. Of course, anyone who hasn't been sleeping under a rock who bought this album(or at least considered) knows the best part of the whole album is the smart decision on L.L.'s part to include to the still awesome sleeper hit, the Funk Flex collabo track "Ill Bomb," which literally stole the show on "The Tunnel." As good as the aforementioned songs are, "Ill Bomb" is easily the best song on the album, and it truly brought him back to the hip-hop masses. The joke skit notwithstanding(because there are some pretty good snaps offered by L.L., Red, and Meth), any other tracks which I have not mentioned are in my opinion pretty much filler, and have been paid a visit by my(and possibly your) fast-forward button. While the unreleased "Strictly for the Haters" and "Mirror Mirror" are oddly enough nowhere to be seen on the album(which sucks for those who have not heard the two bangers), these aforementioned are to the ingredients to this L.L. album, an album that's truly worthy of its title. Of course, it gets four stars for the filler. And, also because in my opinion, L.L.'s true "G.O.A.T." album was released 11 years ago, and it's called "Mama Said Knock You Out." I hope that I have helped some prospective listeners. Thank you and good night!


Yeeeah Baby
Yeeeah Baby
Offered by cdgiveaways
Price: $12.69
86 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could've been better., May 12, 2000
This review is from: Yeeeah Baby (Audio CD)
Let me say that I have BP's first album, "Capital Punishment," and I thought that it was the bomb, except for some of the dull interludes. Track after track, Big Punisher crushed other rappers lyrically with his tales of mic domination("The Dream Shatterer," "Super Lyrical"), ghetto love("Punish Me"), sex("I'm Not A Player"), playalisticism("Still Not A Player"), hustling("Fast Money"), and inspired prominence("You Came Up") I'm sorry to say it, but "Yeeeah Baby" didn't leave me as breathless as "Captial Punishment" did. In some ways, the album doesn't really go anywhere. Pun didn't fall off lyrically, but....it doesn't have the coherency that his first one did. Variety is one strength that was very present in the first album but lacking in "Yeeeah Baby." In "CP," Pun had a wide variety of guest stars, from R&B singers to rappers of varying style and substance(Noreaga, Joe, Black Thought of The Roots, Miss Jones, Wyclef, Inspectah Deck, Prodigy, Busta Rhymes) to prove that he could hold his own while teaming up with others on the track. This joint is limited to Donnell Jones and the ranks of the Terror Squad(including noteworthy newcomer Tony Sunshine), and the album becomes somewhat bland. The intro tries to go for humor with the Frankenstein motif, but it fails when compared to the really funny stuff on "Capital Punishment," like the "Uncensored" interview with Funkmaster Flex. It's hard to really absorb into the tracks, with the exception of the "It's So Hard" single. I do like "N.Y. Giants" and "You Was Wrong," but this album seems lackluster for some reason. "Captial Punishment" is the better album in my opinion. R.I.P. Big Pun---one of the greatest rappers in my opinion. But "Yeeeah Baby" could have been better though.


Forever
Forever
Price: $18.47
252 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It Has Its Moments........, May 10, 2000
This review is from: Forever (Audio CD)
This album is what many would refer to as an example of the "sophomore slump." On Puff Daddy's second opus, all is not as well as was in "No Way Out." On this release, he somewhat disposes of the "and the Family" ethic(i.e. the absence of fellow artists The Lox--for obvious reasons---,Black Rob, and partner in crime Mase, whose only moment on the album is backup on "I'll Do This For You.") to go for his own. It appears that the trend he set with his tireless song sampling has worn thin, in the wake of those producers seeking original beat creativity, like Timbaland, Mannie Fresh, and Swizz Beats. The album suffers that way, without all of the bad boys moving in silence and violence. Lyrically, he's unable to hold the album, not always ranking with his many guests. However, strength can be found in the various cameo appearances throughout. Some examples are everyone's delivery in the posse cut "Reverse"(P.D. doesn't falter when it comes to the group efforts--but I'm not really feeling "Journey Through the Life" on the other hand--his verse is so-so), Jay-Z's top notch mic rippin' in "Do You Like It, Do You Want It," Kelly Price's terrific vocals on "I'll Do This For You," and R. Kelly's performance in "Satisfy You." However, I noticed that sometimes, in his solo joints, that Puff showed something of a improvement lyrically that was unseen in the collaboratory atmosphere of the "No Way Out" album. Perhaps the most dominant example is "I'll Do This For You," in which he speeds up his flow and has increased clarity, which adds to the enjoyability of the song. Althogether, that song is all good, and Mase's "yep yep" and other vocals limited to the background has a cool effect. And I already mentioned Kelly Price's singing. Also, there's "Fake Thugs Dedication" with Redman, in which P. Diddy meshes unusually well with the MC Lyte "Paper Thin" sample. To hear Redman do a hook, with his long line of guest appearances(which are awesome), is a really good change, considering that the one here is really good and fits him well. Lastly, I think that there's one track on the album(perhaps the best one) which conveys the all-around mood of the cd. That track is "P.E. 2000" with Hurricane G. I think that it's an excellent remake of the Public Enemy song(a masterpiece), due especially to the speeded-up tempo which works very well with Puff's verbal delivery. In the song, he is defiant, confident, focused in staying on top as can be told with the lyrics. G's intro isn't as good as Flavor Flav's was on "P.E. No. 1," but her simple utterance of the number "1" makes for an unforgettable hook. The title of the album is somewhat contradictory, because for some people(especially the reviewers here), the tracks don't provide the longevity on the level of "Forever." But he won't stop, cause he can't stop......And with the flack and critical reviews and straight out beef that he gets from people(including other artists) and his long line of successes, when he utters "You think i'ma come this far and let you niggas stop me now? Haha picture that....number one, number one, number one," you can truly believe him and look at his braggadocio and confidence with admiration and amusement.


Forever
Forever
Price: $18.47
252 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It Has Its Moments........, May 10, 2000
This review is from: Forever (Audio CD)
This album is what many would refer to as an example of the "sophomore slump." On Puff Daddy's second opus, all is not as well as was in "No Way Out." On this release, he somewhat disposes of the "and the Family" ethic(i.e. the absence of fellow artists The Lox--for obvious reasons---,Black Rob, and partner in crime Mase, whose only moment on the album is backup on "I'll Do This For You.") to go for his own. It appears that the trend he set with his tireless song sampling has worn thin, in the wake of those producers seeking original beat creativity, like Timbaland, Mannie Fresh, and Swizz Beats. The album suffers that way, without all of the bad boys moving in silence and violence. Lyrically, he's unable to hold the album, not always ranking with his many guests. However, strength can be found in the various cameo appearances throughout. Some examples are everyone's delivery in the posse cut "Reverse"(P.D. doesn't falter when it comes to the group efforts--but I'm not really feeling "Journey Through the Life" on the other hand--his verse is so-so), Jay-Z's top notch mic rippin' in "Do You Like It, Do You Want It," Kelly Price's terrific vocals on "I'll Do This For You," and R. Kelly's performance in "Satisfy You." However, I noticed that sometimes, in his solo joints, that Puff showed something of a improvement lyrically that was unseen in the collaboratory atmosphere of the "No Way Out" album. Perhaps the most dominant example is "I'll Do This For You," in which he speeds up his flow and has increased clarity, which adds to the enjoyability of the song. Althogether, that song is all good, and Mase's "yep yep" and other vocals limited to the background has a cool effect. And I already mentioned Kelly Price's singing. Also, there's "Fake Thugs Anthem" with Redman, in which P. Diddy meshes unusually well with the MC Lyte "Paper Thin" sample. To hear Redman do a hook, with his long line of guest appearances(which are awesome), is a really good change, considering that the one here is really good and fits him well. Lastly, I think that there's one track on the album(perhaps the best one) which conveys the all-around mood of the cd. That track is "P.E. 2000" with Hurricane G. I think that it's an excellent remake of the Public Enemy song(a masterpiece), due especially to the speeded-up tempo which works very well with Puff's verbal delivery. In the song, he is defiant, confident, focused in staying on top as can be told with the lyrics. G's intro isn't as good as Flavor Flav's was on "P.E. No. 1," but her simple utterance of the number "1" makes for an unforgettable hook. The title of the album is somewhat contradictory, because for some people(especially the reviewers here), the tracks don't provide the longevity on the level of "Forever." But he won't stop, cause he can't stop....


1984
1984
Offered by Digital Wax
Price: $4.49
175 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all time great rock albums!, May 10, 2000
This review is from: 1984 (Audio CD)
Van Halen is indeed one of rock music's most talented, enduring, and ever-chagning bands. Back in the David Lee Roth days, came "1984." This album is truly the stuff of rock legends, and music legends on a larger scale. To say that this album is a rock masterpiece is an understatement. Definitely on a creative high when they came out with this gem, listeners have always enjoyed this album. It's perfect in the car, on the road trip, when waking up or going to sleep, or whatever. More importantly, however, it is the great music that makes the album such a classic. Despite history's later telling of internal strife within this great rock group, all 4 band members displayed an unrivaled synchronicity through each of the songs. The best example I can use to explain my point is the classic song "Jump," with the coherence of drumplay, the guitar wails, David's simple yet effective vocals, and for me, the apex of the song at which Eddie marinates the track with the beautfully rhythmic synthesizer key playing---perhaps trendsetting the use of the instrument in the 1980's. Another example is "Hot for Teacher," which I think has one of the all-time best drum solos at the beginning. So unique in concept, so perfect in delivery and execution, so revolutionary and traditional for rock music this album is. You will marvel at its instrumental complexitity and awe at its unabashed simplicity, and realize that "1984" was a great year thanks in a great to this album. A must have, this album is, for rock lovers, or just lovers of great music.


Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds Five
Offered by IMS Distribution
Price: $12.04
100 used & new from $0.01

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Work your way up from here!, May 10, 2000
This review is from: Ben Folds Five (Audio CD)
The first BFF album I purchased was "Whatever And Ever Amen," off the strength of previously heard songs and viewed videos like "Battle of Who Could Care Less," "One Angry Dwarf.." and the ever-popular "Brick." So I backtracked and got this one. It's a good album, but for me, it lacks some of the perfectly meshed rock and pop brilliance that made "Whatever and Ever Amen" a masterpiece. This album is one that I really have to listen a while to get that gratification that came so easily when I pressed the play button on "Whatever..." It doesn't really bring me in honestly. But I do love Ben Folds Five. If you're a really big fan and want to try some of the earlier works, I would recommend this one. As you can see, there are a lot of 5-star reviews for this one. And of course, "Whatever.." is a high-ranked album here, too. When Ben Folds Five, I've noticed that they've become like wine, getting better with age. Start from here and move up through the BFF world.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2012 6:14 AM PDT


In My Lifetime 1
In My Lifetime 1
Price: $12.23
80 used & new from $2.35

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps his best., April 26, 2000
This review is from: In My Lifetime 1 (Audio CD)
This review goes out to those Jay-Z fanatics who didn't recently jump the Jigga bandwagon off of his recent hits(and there are many of them), like the mad overplayed "Can I Get A.." and "Hard Knock Life." Personally I think that Volume 1 is his best in content, next to Reasonable Doubts, of course. The songs on this album are much more personal and revealing, and the payoff is great in my opinion. From his eulogy of the Notorious B.I.G. in "The City Is Mine," to the tales of ghetto paranoia in his masterful "Street Is Watching," Jigga is top notch throughout this album. Sauce Money fans will love "Face Off," as it is a great showcase of his skill, and good chemistry with Jay-Z. Jay-Z himself said that a lot was going on when he did this album(such as Biggie's death) which affected the album overall. I highly recommend this album--you can't go wrong with joints like "Imaginary Player," "I Know What Girls Like"(with Puff Daddy and Lil' Kim--catchy hook), and his Sprung soundtrack contribution, "Who You Wit II." The main reason why I'm reviewing this is because it has my all time favorite Jay-Z song on here--"Where I'm From."


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