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The Endless River (CD\ DVD Deluxe Casebook Edition)
The Endless River (CD\ DVD Deluxe Casebook Edition)
Price: $26.69
25 used & new from $21.96

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fitting Swansong., November 15, 2014
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After 20 years of silence, Pink Floyd has returned for what is announced as their final album. "The Endless River" is a series of instrumental vignettes along with one vocal song recorded mostly during the sessions for their previous album, 1994's underrated masterwork "The Division Bell". The pieces themselves are divided into four separate suites which are meant to evoke the feeling of listening to a vinyl double-album (the suites themselves are labelled as Sides 1 thru 4).
Musically, "The Endless River" features most of the key elements that are essential to the band's sound - David Gilmour's distinct guitar leads, Nick Mason's steady simplistic drums and the late Richard Wright's progressive spacey keyboards. It is a journey through the many sounds Pink Floyd has conjured up throughout their nearly 50 year career.
Side One brings back memories of "Wish You Were Here" with its ambient keyboards and sustained guitar lines. There is a hint of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" heard in the opening track "Things Left Unsaid" and a chord progression similar to "Welcome To The Machine" heard in "It's What We Do". The Pink Floyd sound is immediate in this opening suite of tracks.
Side Two shows hints of "Dark Side Of The Moon", "Saucerful Of Secrets" and even "The Division Bell". "Sum" is a jamming track that features elements of "The Division Bell's" "Cluster One" and "Take It Back" mixed in with fast-charged rhythms heard in tracks like "Another Brick In The Wall". "Skins" is a percussion dominated piece that brings out the roto-toms from "Dark Side's" "Time" and the experimentation of "Saucerful's" title track. This breaks down into the short melancholy "Unsung" which leads into the beautiful piano/woodwind dominated "Anisina" which has similarities of "Us And Them" from "Dark Side". "Anisina" is a stand-out track in my opinion.
Side Three consists of seven short pieces strung together. "The Lost Art Of Conversation" is an ambient piece which sounds like it came from a soundtrack scored by Vangelis. This leads into a slow jazz style piece "On Noodle Street". "Night Light" serves as a prelude to "Allons-y 1" which sounds like it came directly from "Run Like Hell" from "The Wall". "Autumn '68" is a pipe organ interlude from Richard Wright which was recorded during a rehearsal at The Royal Albert Hall in, you guessed it, Autumn of '68. The title is also a nod to Wright's "Summer '68" from Pink Floyd's 1970 album "Atom Heart Mother". "Allons-y 2" picks up where part one left off and leads into the midtempo "Talkin' Hawkin'". This is a direct reference to "The Division Bell's" "Keep Talkin'" in that it uses the same voice sample from Stephen Hawking and the title "Keep Talkin'" is spoken at the end providing a direct link between "The Division Bell" and this album.
Side Four opens with the dynamic and cinematic "Calling" which features more Vangelis style elements. "Eyes To Pearls" is also cinematic and has a slight 'western' sound to it. "Surfacing" not only has elements of "The Division Bell", it also has a slight nod to tracks on albums like "Meddle" (think "One Of These Days"). This serves as a prelude to the album's grand finale - the album's only vocal track "Louder Than Words". While it would be easy to compare this piece to "The Division Bell's" "High Hopes", the overall sound of "Louder Than Words" is a lot more positive. Instead of a funeral march, it's more of a proper farewell and a fitting way to say goodbye to the band.
The deluxe edition of "The Endless River" is beautifully packaged with a bonus DVD (or Blu-Ray) which includes additional audio and video from the sessions, three large postcards and a hardcover book. The track details are divided into who plays what on each track. There are also several photos from the 1993-94 sessions seen throughout the book and one current photo of David Gilmour and Nick Mason.
While "The Endless River" has seen its share of mixed reviews since its release, it's not a bad album at all. While it doesn't match up to classics like "Dark Side Of The Moon" or "The Wall", it's still an enjoyable album to listen to. The musicianship is there and the sound is still there too. If you're a Pink Floyd fan, "The Endless River" is definitely a must.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 19, 2014 4:23 PM PST


Hymns Revisited
Hymns Revisited
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars No "Explicit lyrics". Just explicitly great piano playing., July 13, 2014
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This review is from: Hymns Revisited (MP3 Music)
Don't let the "Explicit" tag fool you. There are no lyrics on this album at all. This is a beautiful instrumental solo album from pianist Richard Souther. Souther has had a lengthy 40+ year career as a session musician, producer and instrumental artist covering a wide array of genres from gospel to rock and jazz to ambient. On "Hymns Revisited", Souther creates beautiful arrangements of 10 classic hymns which are soothing and relaxing to listen to. It is very similar to the two albums he released in the '80s under the name Douglas Trowbridge (which is actually Souther's middle names). If you enjoy hymns and solo piano music, this album is a perfect listen. Recommended.


The Schulze-Schickert Session
The Schulze-Schickert Session
5 used & new from $21.97

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Vintage Klaus Schulze!, April 24, 2013
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Another vintage unreleased Klaus Schulze session has made its way out of the vaults. This time, it's in the form of an informal home studio session from September 1975 with the Berlin-based guitarist Gunter Schickert. The recording dates from the same period of Schulze's immortal classic "Timewind" and there are many similarities between that album and the music heard here.
The main work on the disc is a 45-minute Berlin School sequencer improvisation which (as mentioned above) is in the same vein as "Timewind". Schickert's guitar adds another demension to the music with his use of delay and phasing which punctuate Schulze's synths and sequencers. It also should be noted that Schickert's guitar work could easily be mistaken for that of Manuel Gottsching (Schulze's former Ash Ra Tempel bandmate) as the two guitarists share quite a similar approach and style. In keeping with the loose improvisational style, Schickert also can be heard singing some improvised unintellegible lyrics during the last several minutes of the main piece.
The two 'bonus' tracks on the disc are from the same session but are quite different in style. The eight-minute "Spirits of the Dead" is mostly Schulze creating a phased ambient drone piece which is very cinematic and dark. There is very little to no input from Schickert to be heard on this track.
The other bonus track, "Happy Country Life" is dominated by Schickert's echoed guitar arpeggiations with subtle keyboard input from Schulze. The minimalist approach and loop-like guitar phrases make this piece sound like a lost Fripp and Eno track. It's quite a peaceful track and brings the album to a beautiful finish.
"The Schulze-Schickert Session" is definitely a must for fans of Klaus Schulze's 1970s heyday. If your a fan of Schulze's "Timewind" or Manuel Gottsching/Ashra's "New Age of Earth", you'll surely want to pick this one up. I'm very glad and thankful that this buried treasure has finally seen the light of day. I highly recommend this album.


Shadowlands
Shadowlands
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $26.18
20 used & new from $18.19

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Klaus Schulze Chills Out., March 26, 2013
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This review is from: Shadowlands (Audio CD)
German electronic music pioneer Klaus Schulze has returned "Shadowlands", his first solo studio album since 2007's "Kontinuum". During the interim, Klaus released the hugely successful "Farscape" with Dead Can Dance singer Lisa Gerrard and three live albums (two with Gerrard and one solo).
With "Shadowlands", Klaus has released a rather subdued and downtempo affair. While his signature atmospherics are very much in place, there are no heavy sequencers or synth solos at the forefront on this album. Instead, we are treated to an extended series of long-held synth chords, light sequences and subtle percussion with treated echoed vocals, violin and flute.
Each of the album's five extended pieces (on the double-disc version) maintain the same mood throughout and the music blends well into the background. There are also some slight Middle Eastern influences heard throughout the album especially with Thomas Kagermann's violin and in some of the female vocals. Kagermann is especially brilliant on the 55-minute epic "The Rhodes Violin" on disc 2.
Out of all the many albums that Klaus Schulze has released during his 40+ year career, "Shadowlands" is probably the most ambient thing he has ever released. Those expecting a full-on Berlin School sequencer-fest may be a bit disappointed by the restrained approach heard here. This does not mean that the album is bad though. In fact, "Shadowlands" is far from being bad. It's obvious that Klaus's intentions were to create an excellent atmospheric chill-out opus. In the end, I would say that he definitely succeeded in that and the end results are absolutely beautiful. For this reason, I definitely DO recommend this album.


Midi Klassik (2-LP 180 Gram Vinyl)
Midi Klassik (2-LP 180 Gram Vinyl)
Price: $36.75
15 used & new from $25.19

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent vinyl reissue of a forgotten Klaus Schulze gem., July 27, 2012
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The early '90s were an incredibly prolific time for German Electronic Music legend Klaus Schulze. During this period, he released several albums of differing styles within several months of each other. One of those albums was originally released under the title "Klaus Schulze Goes Classic". Unlike his original trademark lengthy compositions, this album found Schulze performing his own interpretations of some of the great classical composers including Smetana, Schubert, Weber, Grieg, Brahms and Beethoven as well as his own "Lute Quintet" which borrowed themes from Bach, Saint-Saens and Rimsky-Korsakov. The album was met with mixed critical reaction. Some found the results to be fascinating while others were asking "why?" Within a short time, "Klaus Schulze Goes Classic" went out of print and remained so until now.
Jump ahead to 2012, the album is given a second chance with a special vinyl re-release on the Russian based Vinyl Lovers label. The album is beautifully repackaged with new cover art and now carrys the title "Midi Klassik" which was Schulze's original intended title before his former record label changed it to "KS Goes Classic". The vinyl pressing sounds excellent and has a warm dynamic sound. If you own the original CD, this vinyl reissue is also highly recommended. To my ears, it was like hearing the album for the first time all over again.
While "Midi Klassik" has had its share of naysayers over the years, applause must be given to the Vinyl Lovers label for considering this album worthy of being reissued especially on vinyl. They have done an excellent job with the packaging and the mastering and the album sounds amazing.
Truly an underrated classic brought back to life.


Kisses on the Bottom
Kisses on the Bottom
Offered by NO1122
Price: $13.55
59 used & new from $1.17

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Deluxe Editions MISSING BONUS TRACKS!!!, February 8, 2012
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This review is from: Kisses on the Bottom (Audio CD)
The five stars for this album have to do with the fact that I think that Paul McCartney's "Kisses On The Bottom" is an excellent album. I think it's great that Paul has tackled these standards with perfection. However, beware that there are copies floating around that state that they are the Deluxe Edition when in fact, they are not. My copy states on the outer sticker that it is indeed the Deluxe Edition but the back cover has the track list for the 14 track standard edition and the CD inside is also the standard edition. The Deluxe Edition is suppose to include two bonus tracks. These tracks are nowhere to be found on my copy which is labelled as Deluxe but actually is not. Just a head's up for all the buyers out there. I am sending my copy back to Amazon in hopes that I will receive what I ordered which is the Deluxe 16 track version of this album. If not, refund.

UPDATE: My replacement CD from Amazon was the same 14 track version as the one I returned. Therefore, I had to ask for a refund. In the meantime, I have been informed that the true Deluxe Edition with the two bonus tracks is only available at Target Stores and thru Paul's website. If you want the true Deluxe Edition of this album, go to either of those two places. You will only get the standard 14 track edition in the deluxe edition cover if you order it through Amazon.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 8, 2012 4:57 PM PST


(I Want To) Come Home
(I Want To) Come Home
Price: $0.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Gem From Paul McCartney, August 17, 2010
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This review is from: (I Want To) Come Home (MP3 Music)
Even in his late years, Paul McCartney still doesn't fail to please. This single (which so far is only available as a download and has yet to appear on any official album) is another pop masterpiece from Paul's pen. It's an uplifting song of encouragement for those who are away from home and have the desire to return there someday. The music, lyrics and arrangements are superb as only Paul can do.
On a personal note, this song has quickly become one of my personal theme songs because of circumstances that lead to me leaving what I call home nearly four years ago. Paul's song definitely comes as a message of comfort and hope.
"It was fun hanging onto the moon, heading into the sun,
but it's been too long. Now I wanna come home." GREAT SONG!!!


(I Want To) Come Home
(I Want To) Come Home
Price: $0.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Gem From Paul McCartney., August 17, 2010
This review is from: (I Want To) Come Home (MP3 Music)
Even in his late years, Paul McCartney still doesn't fail to please. This single (which so far is only available as a download and has yet to appear on any official album) is another pop masterpiece from Paul's pen. It's an uplifting song of encouragement for those who are away from home and have the desire to return there someday. The music, lyrics and arrangements are superb as only Paul can do.
On a personal note, this song has quickly become one of my personal theme songs because of circumstances that lead to me leaving what I call home nearly four years ago. Paul's song definitely comes as a message of comfort and hope.
"It was fun hanging onto the moon, heading into the sun,
but it's been too long. Now I wanna come home." GREAT SONG!!!


Greatest Hits: Vaughan Williams
Greatest Hits: Vaughan Williams
Price: $6.19
19 used & new from $1.73

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to Ralph Vaughan Willaims, January 6, 2010
If you've never heard anything by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, this CD is the place to start. Most of Vaughan Williams' best known works (not counting his monumental symphonies) are included on this disc including the "Fantasia on Greensleeves", the "English Folk Song Suite", the "Tallis Fantasia" and "The Lark Ascending".
All of the music was performed by the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-fields and was conducted with perfection by Sir Neville Marriner.
This music is full of emotion and serenity and captures the very essence of what Vaughan Williams is all about musically-speaking.
70-Minutes of music for $7.99 isn't at all bad either especially when every piece on this disc is a masterwork by a master composer.
On a personal note, the performance of "The Lark Ascending" is probably the best I've ever heard. Iona Brown's emotional violin brings out something that's missing in other recordings I've heard. I would consider the definitive "Lark" to be on this disc.
This is a highly recommended disc and it's budget price tag makes it an absolute steal.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2011 5:12 AM PDT


Glass: In the Upper Room
Glass: In the Upper Room
Price: $16.29
27 used & new from $8.99

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete "Upper Room" Released For The First Time., April 2, 2009
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Philip Glass's 1986 ballet "In The Upper Room" is arguably the composer's greatest dance work and one in long line of successful collaborations with renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp.
Five movements of this dynamic work were initially released on the 1986 Glass album "Dance Pieces" with the original orchestration enhanced by synthesized sounds to give the music a more 'commercial' vibe.
Now, 23 years after its debut, Philip Glass and his label Orange Mountain Music have released the full nine-movement original scoring of "In The Upper Room" for the first time ever. This new recording strips away the synthesized enhancements and presents the music as Glass originally intended.
Musically, the ballet is full of trademark Glass elements with its short repeated phrases, arpegiated rhythms and strong orchestrations. This is especially apparent in the fourth and ninth movements with their triumphant upbeat themes and variations. Indeed, this can also be said of the rest of the work as the full version is a revelation compared to the individual movements released on the "Glass Pieces" album.
Long time Glass fans will find this CD to be a real treat and a worthwhile addition to their collection. For those just discovering Philip Glass, this is one CD that can be recommended as a solid introduction to his theater work. The only minor complaint I have is the fact that this CD runs for under 40-minutes. The high quality of the music does more than make up for this CD's short length and shows Philip Glass at a high point in his creative powers.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2009 4:17 PM PDT


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