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Nights and Weekends
Nights and Weekends
Price: $6.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Put...Deep, March 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nights and Weekends (MP3 Music)
This album is a standout piece of work and aptly named. This music is not for muscling through a day of work, unless you work poolside at a trendy boutique hotel. No, this music is better suited for the late evenings when the mind is still active but its time to decompress a bit. Or even better yet, its best suited for the open ended chill of the weekend.

Although this a cohesive album music, French Telephone has a lot of tracks up his sleeve that achieve a deep vibe that always induces head nodding. Although most of the tracks have an uptempo jazzy deep house feel, there are a couple of more downtempo joints that fit right in with the vibe. If you are a listener of One Track Mind with Kristi Lomax, Garth Trinidad, Anthony Valadez, Gilles Petersen, or Benji B, you need to have this in your digital crate, stat!


Griffin Slap Band/Case for iPod nano 6G -Black
Griffin Slap Band/Case for iPod nano 6G -Black
Offered by Essex Technology Group
Price: $4.97
15 used & new from $1.01

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad Out of the Gate, but Fades in the Homestretch, May 11, 2011
I bought the 6G Nano last January, and after spotting Dave Chappelle (yes, that Dave Chappelle) sporting his Nano on his wrist at a nearby Starbucks, I decided to get a wristband for my Nano for working out. I run/workout an average of 3 or 4 times a week and I ALWAYS wear a music device.

So with that said, I was intially happy with the Slap Band. People thought it was a cool looking (bright orange) chunky hipster watch and I got a lot of compliments. It was a bit of a hassle to remove for the purpose of charging the unit, but it wasn't that hard to remove and replace so I disregarded that minor annoyance.

However, after having owned the slapband for about 16 weeks (and ~50 workouts) the band is breaking down and does not securly hold the Nano in place. It is very difficult to get it to stay in the band and keep the headphone jack in for the same reason. The device has become an annoyance not worth the vanity of having a "cool looking watch". I actually logged into Amazon today to research a new wristband, but decided to leave this review.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2012 2:49 PM PDT


Even Closer
Even Closer
Offered by DVD-PC-GAMES
Price: $14.99
37 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more critical analysis, October 28, 2002
This review is from: Even Closer (Audio CD)
All of my friends who have heard Even Closer agree that it is at the least pretty good. That is a testament in itself as I live in LA where people are too cool to get excited about much and will sit at a concert by an artist they like with an "impress me" expression on their faces. With that said, my friends who think Sade is too depressing, or that Lauryn Hill is too preachy, Or India.Aire is too earthy (none-of these opinions are mine) all seem to like Goapele's brand of soul. Perhaps it is her unique vocal style that sounds like no one else. Perhaps it is her versatility that allows her to go from the bumping R&B bass of songs like Closer, the hip hop laced Ease Your Mind, the west-coast boogie of Got It, the bluesy Romantic, to the smooth piano jazz of Too Much The Same all within the first five tracks of the album. Or perhaps it is the songs like Catch 22, Salvation, and Things Don't Exist that really defy categorization that make this album such a pleasure for so many varied musical tastes. It is all these things but something much more. Call it "je ne sais quoi", but whatever it is Even Closer is bursting at the seams with something real, artistic, and accessible. The most amazing part of the story is that this album is independent and not the product of LA Reid, Kedar Masenburg or Clive Davis pulling strings in the background to engineer a hit album. No, this is a more sincere effort, all the more impressive because Goapele is only 24 years old with her own label and her own vision, and there is hopefully a whole lot more music left in her.
Lyrically, Goapele is a utility fielder. She seems comfortable ranging from the political cry, to the inspirational new age hymn, to the sensual love song, or the introspective tone poem. Even the most discerning of tastes will recognize that more than anything Goapele has a penchant for capturing the essence of her feelings and thoughts in a manner that is ORIGINAL, in both sweeping dramatic terms and in more subtle phrasing as well. (e.g. "you and me, revolving, angel wings, fluttering, orange gold, sunsets bold, star filled nights, sweet as fantasia" - back to you). One feels not like they are witnessing someone else's, love-making, demons being exorcised or sermons being preached, but that Goapele is very familiar with the forces that play out in all of us. (e.g. "sometimes it feels like I'll never go past here, sometimes it feels like i am stuck forever" - closer) Her lyrics hit home but not in a way that makes the listener uncomfortable, but in a way that simply puts one in a state that feels familiar. (e.g. 'how many times does it take to learn just one thing, because i keep ending up here' - catch 22)
The album is not perfect though. Occasionally the lyrics do get enigmatic but that just means that as a listener I am drawn in and want to understand what she is really trying to convey. It's the same criticism you will hear of artists like D'Angelo who don't always make perfect sense, but compel you to want to make sense of what they are saying because somewhere inside you, the song is resonating anyway. Goapele has a unique voice and a distinctive way of establishing her melody vocally, which is perhaps blessing and bane at the same time. A voice like hers just doesn't need a lot of backing and she sounds a little uncertain when laying down the backing vocals. The sparse vocal arrangements often sound a little unpolished , but never dissonant. Even Closer is a revamped re-release of last year's Closer. The original version was mixed a little more consistently, although dirtier (and a really nice Herbie Hancock sample on Childhood Drama that probably couldn't be cleared for this release). In particular, this time around Romantic sounds really muddy and almost as if it was recorded live compared to the crisp Korg-ish beats found elsewhere on the album. Also that original LP was more cohesive conceptually even if it did only have 9 full length tracks. Even Closer has five new tracks, but they really go in a lot of directions and although all of the new songs are on par quality-wise with the older work, they really change the character of the album. I cannot say it is for the better or worse, but I have altered the track sequencing on my jukebox because I am partial to the sequencing on the first release. Also, like all albums that make statements, you may or may not be turned off by Goapele's politics (I certainly am not). Far from confrontational, there are still influences from her Spearhead days and proximity to UC Berkley. Plus, I hear that her parents were activists from two different worlds who met in Kenya, which means she is going to challenge the listener who is more inclined to not having to think while jamming. I don't want to focus on her ethnic lineage (as I am sure everyone else will) or any of the other things that shape her socio-political views because ultimately Goapele's music is about the soul and that shines though.


Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self
Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self
by Rebecca Walker
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.37
321 used & new from $0.01

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Universal...but Something is Missing, October 8, 2002
One day I was walking the aisles of [a local bookstore] when I stumbled across a large display featuring Rebecca Walker's childhood memoir: Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self. I was instantly struck by reverie as I recalled the first novel I had ever read (without having a teacher assign it) some thirteen years earlier: Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Perhaps it was with the nostalgia that I remember discovering reading for the pleasure of experiencing the world through another human beings eyes that made me linger at that display. I decided that I liked Ms. Walker's "smiling eyes" and since we both shared an ethnically indiscernible appearance (the "what are you mixed with?" syndrome), I sat down with a coffee and began reading the book. After all I thought, writing talent probably runs in the family. Although I was compelled to read along I was thinking that the big grandiose realizations about what race means in America and what it means to the individual who is hard to categorize were just around the corner. The profound social commentary never came. Neither did any revealing introspection, and although I was entertained by the account of a childhood that far excelled my own in terms of scandal and discovery, I was left disappointed.
Simply put, Black, White and Jewish is a recollection without any assessment. Rebecca Walker's story is summed up in the paragraph on the back of the book. During the Civil Rights Movement, Jewish activist lawyer, Mel Leventhal and Black activist writer Alice Walker, married and had a child named Rebecca in the unlikeliest of places for 1969: Jackson Mississippi. As the political climate changed and her parents relationship ended in divorce, Rebecca was forced to grow up shuttling back and forth across the country, searching for her self in the east coast Jewish culture, the boho San Francisco culture, and the Black urban southern culture of Atlanta. Rebecca was tossed to and fro by confusion and identity crises with every move and along the way she come to learn more and more about who Rebecca is instead of what Rebecca was born into.
Besides the title, there is a lot of irony in Black, White and Jewish. One of the early ironies that the reader discovers is that as exotic as her lineage is, Walker's story of finding her identity is painfully familiar to just about any teenager. We can all identify with the trials of being new somewhere and feeling targeted or left out or just plain different. You don't have to be of any peculiar heritage to know this experience. Being 15 years old will suffice. Even more ironic is that Walker still believes that it was the search for her identity in spite of being a racial/cultural anomaly in a country where ethnicity is such a dividing distinction (second only to gender) that makes her story so compelling. Perhaps Walker thinks we can all learn from her unique vantage point. But the truth is that Walker's perspective is hardly refreshing and has little to convey in spite of her unique perspective. Finding one's identity within a family of different values is not new and Walker doesn't really have the insight to draw any profound conclusions. This book reads more like a diary that was being kept all along as it was happening, than adult reflections on a turbulent childhood. The greatest irony is that in spite of being an adult when she wrote this book, she seems rather immature in her assessment of her childhood. She is still nonchalantly firing arrows at the things that made her feel insecure as a child (society, race, sexuality, teen-age cliques, etc.) rather than finally attacking the source of so much insecurity; her parents, and namely her mother. Being the daughter of a famous Pulitzer Prize winning writer perhaps made Walker feel special and so maybe it is asking for too much for Walker to see her mother for who she is. Perhaps Walker thinks she was supposed to share such a creative and wonderful mother with the rest of the world, but I can't help but read this book and feel that Walker was simply a lonely child that has repressed the real suffering that took place in her life as she was neglected. It was her mother's responsibility to make her feel special for who she was and most importantly to make her feel safe and secure and loved in a world that demanded that she choose an identity. In that regard, Walker's memoir reads like any other story of a child that wasn't loved enough and wasn't made to feel special enough by the people that mattered the most. Well Walker is a rather intelligent woman and given that this is her formal introduction into the literary world, she can only grow from here. But something tells me that eventually (and maybe already) she is going to regret having written and published this book. Maybe regret is a strong word here, but she will have to come to grips with how superficial and narcissistic here treatment is. Or at least she is going to want to give it another try and this time without the rose tinted glasses.
As a final note, I would like to say that it is only natural that Rebecca Walker would think that so much of what shaped her as a human being came to down to her unique racial identity rather than whether she felt loved or wanted or all of the other feelings that healthy children should have. I imagine people harped on her ethinicity constantly because that it he kind of thing people focos on: the strange and exotic. Ask anyone who is of bi-racial or bi-cultural lineage and you will be regaled with how tired they get of explaining how they could grow up normal in spite of having a Catholic mother and Muslim father or whatever the provactive mixture may be. The sad commentary that this book leaves the reader with is that Rebecca was never made to feel unique for anything she did as a child (and perhaps since) so she is still harping on the only thing that seems to make her stand out-her race. But she is more than her race, a lesson that she seems to try to communicate she has learned, but this reader is not so certain.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2012 2:21 PM PDT


When Nietzsche Wept: A Novel of Obsession
When Nietzsche Wept: A Novel of Obsession
by Irvin D. Yalom
Edition: Paperback
195 used & new from $0.01

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intellect Meets Emotion - Welcome to Irvin Yalom's World, October 3, 2002
I should start off with why this historical novel only gets three stars even though it had a deep impact on me personally at the time I read it. Yalom is at best a semi-compelling novelist. He is a gifted psychologist (both academically and as a therapist), but his style of writing can be a bit dry (or maybe its the subject matter) so I had to deduct one star for his limited skills as a writer of fiction.
As with many meaningful books, this book has a small but loyal audience rather than having mass appeal. Given that Yalom is far from a giant in the literary world, I imagine the majority of the people who consider reading this book will have either a powerful interest in psychology (especially psychoanalysis) or a powerful interest in modern philosophy (especially the existential variety). Ideally, they will have at least, a healthy curiosity about both topics. I deducted the other star because I don't think this book will appeal to the "philosophy lovers" (redundant, n'est ce, pas?), particularly those oriented toward the work of Nietzsche, if they don't have that healthy curiosity about psychology. Although Yalom gives a very interesting interpretation of what Nietzsche's emotional make-up and what the nuances of his writing indicate about him personally, this is not a biography, nor a new take on Nietzsche. Anyone familiar with Nietzsche's biography will not be surprise by this novel, and at best will be amused at the dramatic license that Yalom takes in putting Nietzsche in a situation that never occurred. But if you consider yourself more inclined towards the psychological than the philosophical or biographical, then I would rate this book a four star read for you.
As stated before, When Nietzsche Wept is an historical novel. The main characters are of course Frederich Nietzsche and Dr. Josef Breuer, who stumbled across the psychoanalytic talking cure most closely associated with Sigmund Freud, who was Breuer's informal understudy, contemporary, and friend. Sigmund Freud plays a supporting role in the novel as well as Lou Salome (the lover who spurned Nietzsche's love and probably acted as the catalyst for his most prolific writing period) and Anna O. (appearing in the novel as Bertha, Breuer's patient whom he treated for hysteria). Of course all of these people are key players in the intellectual movement taking place in the late nineteenth century in Europe. But the meeting of Breuer and Nietzsche, while plausible, is a fabrication of Yalom, a springboard that allows him to explore one of his favorite subjects: existential philosophy.
It is obvious from Yalom's body of more academic work that he is a champion of the traditional psychoanalytic process. The key word is process, because Yalom uses this novel as a kind of `textbook example' of the psychoanalytic process. Note that Yalom is not interested in diagnosing mental illnesses from the DSM-IV and the like. He is of the thinking that just about all of us are suffering from some burning question: philosophical questions, morbid questions, existential questions. Yalom paints Breuer as the classic type A successful middle-aged man who finds himself having a midlife crisis. Its obvious that where Yalom portrays a large chunk of himself with Breuer: especially the bumbling and neurotic nature of that Breuer exemplifies in the novel. Yalom paints Nietzsche as a long-suffering intellectual attempting to completely detach himself from himself emotionally. In the course of the book, both men haphazardly stumble across emotional awakenings and enlightenments through the psychoanalytic process that they don't even realize they are involved in. Breuer's character muses throughout his and Nietzsche's treatment about the future implications of what he is discovering. The novel doesn't have a surprise ending or a gut-wrenching plotline. Just like Greek tragedies, you know how this one will turn out early on in the novel, but the enjoyment comes from watching the way things unfold.
It has been said about psychoanalysis that in order for the process one must have time to waste, even though each moment is an important step in the journey that has no definite ending or conclusion. Some will argue that this book unrealistically turns into a Fantasy Island episode in that it quickly ties up neatly at the end with everyone changed from their lessons and optimistic about the future given their new experiences. In truth, the psychoanalytic process is much slower and sporadic (kind of like a drunk staggering to his home...the steps are unsteady and sometimes in the wrong direction but he gets there eventually). To keep things interesting and palatable, Yalom has to speed things up to a dizzying pace that does take on an almost hackneyed resolution. These two men develop the kind of trust that usually takes years to develop in a matter of weeks. And they make the kinds of changes that are usually hard fought struggles for life in almost an instant. But at its core, this novel paints the picture of two people healing themselves and healing each other in a loving relationship, which is what the subtle art of psychoanalysis is all about. It is not a science so the poetic license is okay. In closing, I say that if you find yourself open to experiencing the creative journey that psychologists from Freud to Yalom himself have mapped out, especially with such historically significant and engaging characters, this be the novel for you.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2011 12:09 PM PDT


When Nietzsche Wept: A Novel of Obsession
When Nietzsche Wept: A Novel of Obsession
by Irvin D. Yalom
Edition: Paperback
195 used & new from $0.01

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intellect Meets Emotion - Welcome to Irvin Yalom's World, October 3, 2002
I should start off with why this historical novel only gets three stars even though it had a deep impact on me personally at the time I read it. Yalom is at best a semi-compelling novelist. He is a gifted psychologist (both academically and as a therapist), but his style of writing can be a bit dry (or maybe its the subject matter) so I had to deduct one star for his limited skills as a writer of fiction.
As with many meaningful books, this book has a small but loyal audience rather than having mass appeal. Given that Yalom is far from a giant in the literary world, I imagine the majority of the people who consider reading this book will have either a powerful interest in psychology (especially psychoanalysis) or a powerful interest in modern philosophy (especially the existential variety). Ideally, they will have at least, a healthy curiosity about both topics. I deducted the other star because I don't think this book will appeal to the "philosophy lovers" (redundant, n'est ce, pas?), particularly those oriented toward the work of Nietzsche, if they don't have that healthy curiosity about psychology. Although Yalom gives a very interesting interpretation of what Nietzsche's emotional make-up and what the nuances of his writing indicate about him personally, this is not a biography, nor a new take on Nietzsche. Anyone familiar with Nietzsche's biography will not be surprise by this novel, and at best will be amused at the dramatic license that Yalom takes in putting Nietzsche in a situation that never occurred. But if you consider yourself more inclined towards the psychological than the philosophical or biographical, then I would rate this book a four star read for you.
As stated before, When Nietzsche Wept is an historical novel. The main characters are of course Frederich Nietzsche and Dr. Josef Breuer, who stumbled across the psychoanalytic talking cure most closely associated with Sigmund Freud, who was Breuer's informal understudy, contemporary, and friend. Sigmund Freud plays a supporting role in the novel as well as Lou Salome (the lover who spurned Nietzsche's love and probably acted as the catalyst for his most prolific writing period) and Anna O. (appearing in the novel as Bertha, Breuer's patient whom he treated for hysteria). Of course all of these people are key players in the intellectual movement taking place in the late nineteenth century in Europe. But the meeting of Breuer and Nietzsche, while plausible, is a fabrication of Yalom, a springboard that allows him to explore one of his favorite subjects: existential philosophy.
It is obvious from Yalom's body of more academic work that he is a champion of the traditional psychoanalytic process. The key word is process, because Yalom uses this novel as a kind of `textbook example' of the psychoanalytic process. Note that Yalom is not interested in diagnosing mental illnesses from the DSM-IV and the like. He is of the thinking that just about all of us are suffering from some burning question: philosophical questions, morbid questions, existential questions. Yalom paints Breuer as the classic type A successful middle-aged man who finds himself having a midlife crisis. Its obvious that where Yalom portrays a large chunk of himself with Breuer: especially the bumbling and neurotic nature of that Breuer exemplifies in the novel. Yalom paints Nietzsche as a long-suffering intellectual attempting to completely detach himself from himself emotionally. In the course of the book, both men haphazardly stumble across emotional awakenings and enlightenments through the psychoanalytic process that they don't even realize they are involved in. Breuer's character muses throughout his and Nietzsche's treatment about the future implications of what he is discovering. The novel doesn't have a surprise ending or a gut-wrenching plotline. Just like Greek tragedies, you know how this one will turn out early on in the novel, but the enjoyment comes from watching the way things unfold.
It has been said about psychoanalysis that in order for the process one must have time to waste, even though each moment is an important step in the journey that has no definite ending or conclusion. Some will argue that this book unrealistically turns into a Fantasy Island episode in that it quickly ties up neatly at the end with everyone changed from their lessons and optimistic about the future given their new experiences. In truth, the psychoanalytic process is much slower and sporadic (kind of like a drunk staggering to his home...the steps are unsteady and sometimes in the wrong direction but he gets there eventually). To keep things interesting and palatable, Yalom has to speed things up to a dizzying pace that does take on an almost hackneyed resolution. These two men develop the kind of trust that usually takes years to develop in a matter of weeks. And they make the kinds of changes that are usually hard fought struggles for life in almost an instant. But at its core, this novel paints the picture of two people healing themselves and healing each other in a loving relationship, which is what the subtle art of psychoanalysis is all about. It is not a science so the poetic license is okay. In closing, I say that if you find yourself open to experiencing the creative journey that psychologists from Freud to Yalom himself have mapped out, especially with such historically significant and engaging characters, this be the novel for you.


Voyage to India
Voyage to India
Price: $7.39
139 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Shining Light, September 25, 2002
This review is from: Voyage to India (Audio CD)
Voyage to India is the name of India.Aire's sophmore album and there is definitely no sophmore jinx this time around. The title comes from a song of the same name written by Stevie Wonder (India's most oft noted muse) that appeared on Stevie's much acclaimed, but less well known double LP entitled Journey Through The Secret Lives of Plants. The song, a simple Stevie instrumental, taken from a soundtrack for a film that never materialized brought India to tears the first time she heard it at the age of 18. And it is with the profoundness of that moment and the sheer respect for the art of music that India releases this album.
India gets away with a lot of things that other artists don't and I can only assume it is because of her sincerity. For instance, this album stays in the vein of Acoustic Soul musically and never relies on heavy studio produced sound. One gets the impression that this whole album could be played live and remain extremely faithful to the original. But where other soul musicians would be marginalized as to folksy for attempting such pared down production, it is okay for India because even without a thumping hard driving bassline, the listener wants to dance and celebrate right along with the music. There is something about her music that is still lush and full and satisfying.
India.Aire also gets away with espousing her philosophy on almost every track. Where others may get attacked for being preachy, India comes off as an old soul that has experienced quite a bit and deserves our respect and attention. As for India's philosophy its a dash of new age spirituality, a touch of good old fashioned southern fried wisdom, and a heaping helping of personal experience. Perhaps it is her eternally optimistic outlook and repeated gratitude for all things small and large throughout this album that really captures the listener. This album WILL get a lot of folks through some hard times with love and with life. Its not modern philosophy...but it is practical wisdom that we all need a little to hear again from time to time.
I cannot give the album five stars because it is just too new. Perhaps I will decide that is indeed classic material at a later date, but there is one flaw. I hate to compare this album to Acoustic Soul, but there seems to be less of the musical diverstiy this time out. I mean India has a monopoly on beautiful tracks laced with acoustic strumming and deft, yet modest keyboards, but it gets slightly monotonous from time to time. Luckily, India has drawn more heavily from the funky bassline and creative drum patterns that showed up on just a few tracks on the last album. So I will say that this album grooves more than one might expect of and India.Aire album with less of the folksiness of the past.
India ties the album together with three short interludes titled 'Growth', 'Healing', and 'Gratitude'. And in three words, this really represents the direction the album goes in lyrically. India is growing in her comfort with expressing herself, growing in her spirit, and growing as an artist. The album itself is like a healing ritual in that each song offers a little salve for life's ups and downs and the struggles that sometimes feel too overwhelming, but turn out to be our greatest blessings. Speaking of blessings, its obvious that India is thankful for her obvious blessings, but even the difficult lessons that made her the person she is.
I hate to try to pick favorite tracks on this one. I think each song is going to touch certain people differently. It's the kind of album that strikes a chord with many, but some songs are just going to have more personal meaning. 'Little Things' starts off the album with a funky little beat interpolated from the classic track 'Hollywood' by Rufus and Chaka Khan. Later on in the album India really finds her stride writing beautifully crafted lyrics about love. 'The Truth' is a celebration og a man and the unconditional love she has developed for him. The following track 'Beautiful Surprise' seems to be prequel to 'The Truth' giving us a story of how that unconditional love came to be. They probably should have been sequenced differently on the album but both tracks are worth abusing the rewind button. The album shifts back to the upbeat fare musically with a little Latin flavor on the ode to spiritual growth, 'Headed in the Right Direction'. But India saves her biggest feat for the end of the album pulling a hat trick with the final three tracks. 'Good Man' finds a jubilant reason to celebrate life even in death. 'God is Real' is an answer to any agnostic or atheists ranting about the absence of God. And the final track 'Interested' is a foot stomping, hand clapping affair-so simple but yet such a fitting way to close the album that has covered so much ground with so much depth.
Hopefully, the guys who vote on the Grammies will get it right this year because India.Aire has done it again. Voyage to India is wa onderful strange trip that this reviewer ceases to grow tired of.


Acoustic Soul
Acoustic Soul
Price: $4.99
331 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In light of her new album..., September 25, 2002
This review is from: Acoustic Soul (Audio CD)
India.Aire just dropped her new CD entitled, Voyage to India yesterday and in anticipation of the new arrival, I was listening to Acoustic Soul all week. I decided to come on ... and offer a review of Acoustic Soul just in case there is anyone out there still undecided about this album.
If I had to sell this album in one sentence I would say: many artists come out with emotional albums that express a small range of emotion, but Acoustic Soul is one of the few times we get to experience a beautiful soul on a record, celebrating every aspect of life and the human experience.
The key word is celebrating...because for India.Aire everything is a cause for celebration. She celebrates her ancestors, she celebrates herself, she celebrates love, and she even celebrates the struggles that made India.Aire who she is. She is no pollyanna though, she embraces the real world with the wonder of a child and the wisdom of an old soul.
India.Aire is a phenomenal talent. She has that rare gift that taps her into every age group and demographic music that sometimes grooves and sometimes soothes, but always delivers something fresh yet familiar at the same time. The final track on the album is a bonus track entitled Wonderful that is an ode to Stevie Wonder. How fitting because it is Stevie whom she bares the most resemblance to. She is not the prodigious musician (although she wields her guitar with ease and amble dexterity), but she has that charm in her music that inspires and captures the heart of the listener. She actually manages to deliver the same tingle in the listener that I am sure she feels whenever she puts on Innervisions or Songs in the Key of Life.
One gets the sense that if nothing else, India.Aire has balance in her life. This album is consistently listenable, but varied throughout. Don't let the title acoustic soul fool you. With the exception of the moving Intro which continues later as and Interlude and Outro, each song has lush musical accompaniment. Of course the live drums and instrumentation may sound less dense than anyone more familiar with the booming drum patterns of drum machines like the 808 and searing keys courtesy of the industry standard Triton and ASR-10 keyboards. But the key to India.Aire music is subtlety. The whispering strings on Ready For Love that accompany a smooth, self assured vocal performance and one of the most beautiful lyrical compositions ever written. The bouncy drum patter and guitar strums of Video (ironically interpolated from the super sexist ode to felatio, Put it in Your Mouth by Akynele) provide an upbeat setting for India's tale self-acceptance in a culture of narrowly define beauty and worth. The pulsing beat of "Nature" sounds is hypnotic, fitting for a song in which India is finds herself playing the role seductress and imploring her lover to let his instinct and intuition take over. And perhaps the most musically intoxicating song of the album is called "Simple" but its anything but.
Not that awards should mean anything to a real artist, but I found it hard to watch India.Aire lose to Alicia Keyes in five different categories at the Grammy's. I dare any member of ASCAP that voted for Alicia Keys to listen to those two ALBUMS from beginning to end and arrive at the conclusion that Alicia Keys deserved all of the accolades she received. Perhaps its best that India stays just below the radar of mainstream tastes anyway. Those of us who are fans of real music will get to have her to ourselves.


The Ten Things You Can't Say in America
The Ten Things You Can't Say in America
by Larry Elder
Edition: Hardcover
210 used & new from $0.01

24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A review from a fellow south central los angelino, September 25, 2002
The Ten Things You Can't Say in America ought to be subtitled the ten most controversial but necessary discussions that Americans need to have. The truth is America needs to be talking about reverse racism, the inefficient and ineffective welfare state, gun control, the economics of government subsidized health care, propaganda and the media, the two party political system, and the violation of civil rights. This book isn't going to change the world, but it might change a few hearts.
First of all, I want to say that although this is a fairly good book, it is not for everyone. This book is not for a staunch Republican, Democrat, Green Party affiliate, or Socialist. For them reading this book would be like a fundamentalist Christian reading the Bhagavad Gita. One needs to be open-minded enough about their political views or this book will just seem like rubbish. As convinced as he is, Elder is no Rush Limbaugh playing to the crowd. He sticks by his beliefs, even the unpopular ones and he tries to appeal to both our altruistic side and our more selfish desires as well.
This is also not a book for anyone who is versed in political thought for it is watered down academically speaking, and although more truthful than most party-aligned political commentary, it can be shamelessly biased at points. Elder recklessly quotes statistics and factoids in a very lopsided way that could fool an impressionable lad or maybe reinforce the bias of another libertarian.
But given who this book is not for it still has an audience - a savvy, yet apolitical type may really enjoy this book. Or perhaps anyone fed up with the moral alignment of the Republicans (read fascism) and the corrupt brand of socialism of the Democrats will find someone who has finally voiced what they were scared to say out loud. The war on drugs is useless, the health care crisis is not only a crisis to those who will not invest in their own health, etc. They get the chance to think about some very important issues today from a libertarian perspective that is overlooked far too often.
Larry Elder, is a dyed in the wool, care carrying libertarian. People either love him or hate him generally. But it seems that any one who is an independent thinker is neither going to hate Elder nor revere him and what he puts forth in this book. Elder could never be a thinking man's esteemed leader because, Elder is too much of a reactionary viewing every single law passed in terms of what restrictions it puts on his existence. I get the impression that if we reviewed the tape of Elder's life we would see that he had personal issues with authority and limitations from the start. For instance, Elder is accurate in portraying the war on drugs as a corporate war being waged by pharmaceutical giants, big alcohol and tobacco and the prison industrial complex. His thoughts on drugs are refreshing, but perhaps unrealistic. But nothing reeks of pollyannaish optimism about the responsibility of Americans than Elder's stance on gun control. Elder's arguments get pretty thin when it comes to gun control and his belief that a society full of randomly armed people would drive crime down is not backed up by any statistics...and just far too dangerous of experiment to play with.
Elder is not powerful enough or incendiary enough to elicit hate, except from people who have very staunch liberal beliefs. He doesn't scapegoat innocent people and he appears to have the greater good of humanity and not just his own interests at heart. (By the way, having the greater good of humanity is still a selfish pursuit, as Elder wants to live in the Libertarian Utopia he has envisioned.). Elder gets a special kind of anger from a large part of the black community (side note: although it should be of no consequence I am a black man from the inner city just like Elder) who consider him a sell-out Uncle Tom. I will be the first to admit that dealing with issues of race, socio-economic strata and how they relate to politics, is where Elder is the most astute. Most of his observations are accurate. Elder attacks the welfare state, illegitimacy, affirmative action, health-care and countless other political hot buttons with honesty that deal with the reality of capitalism and democracy. As a black man Elder has enough awareness to see that racism cannot be eradicated through government programs. Perhaps Elder could win more fans if he proposed new of a way to turn trends around for the African American community, but he doesn't have many ideas other than to have some self-respect and integrity. Many African Americans take offense to this, but turn around and beg for special treatment from the government. The government cannot undo what our communities should be doing and that is creating self-reliant capable citizens who seek out opportunity.
If you have read this far and are still interested, go ahead and buy the book. Its an interesting read and will provoke some thought which is always a good thing in this reviewers opinion. Its my belief that there are still something's that Elder is afraid to say, but at least he has started the ball rolling toward honest discussion amongst the masses in the country.
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Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Edition: Paperback
1433 used & new from $0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good But Not Great, September 18, 2002
Robert T. Kiyosaki is a multi-millionaire. After starting with relatively little and becoming a millionaire in his twenties only to lose it all and start all over becoming a millionaire for the second time in the eve of his forties, there are few that could surpass him in knowledge about generating wealth and holding onto it.
In the right young hands, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a brilliant book. It maps out a blueprint for becoming rich, maybe not Bill Gates rich, but creating enough wealth to live comfortably in this country and provide for one's family while doing a minimal amount of work, especially as the wealth builds. The young and non-cynical can benefit more from Kiyosaki's message more than anyone else, because Kiyosaki's message is so simple and accessible that only the truly optimistic will accept his words at face value and get to work. The cynical reader will call the book a crock and a get rich scheme for the author (even though Kiyosaki was already rich when he wrote his first book.) The older reader will recognize him/herself in the profiles of the middle class mentalities, but may have already developed too much inertia to overcome being content with working for the rest of their lives and if they are lucky being able to retire on a modest 401k after thirty or more years of working for someone else. Kiyosaki breaks down the misconceptions many people have about achieving wealth, all the while relaying his personal biography and his own personal realizations about money along the way. The fact that Kiyosaki talks about his mistakes and successes makes this book more honest than most, and the reader gets the impression that they have learned from standing over Kiyosaki's shoulder while he suffered the viccisitudes of his own financial education.
One of the more subtle psychological lesson of Rich Dad, Poor Dad is Kiyosaki's treatment of the negative associations people have with the rich, namely avarice and materialism. Kiyosaki is probably right in asserting that greed and superficial materialism (especially mixed with fear) are more likely to DETER somone from ever building a sizeable net worth. I five Kiyosaki credit for valliantly trying to defeat the moral arguments that its wrong to spend one's time trying to amass wealth. He avoids venturing out into any religious arena and I think he may at least convince a few fence sitters to come to the dark side of accepting that they desire comfort and the liberation of wealth and the know-how to keep it.
What really makes Rich Dad, Poor Dad worth reading is how comprehensive it is in covering multiple models for suceeding in wealth building and dealing with all the traps (corporate jobs, diversification in mutual funds, buying a primary residence as a tax break, etc.) that keep people from being financially free in such a short book. I doubt a person could read this book and seriously say after reading it, that they lack the creativity and intelligence to go out and become financial free. Of course this takes a little sacrifice and courage and unfortunaltely that is where this book falls flat to me. Perhaps Kiyosaki did not want to address consumerisim and American psychology.... A person not investing their time or their money in themselves can probaby never hope to be financially free and Kiyosaki does not have a solution for snapping the average American out of his/her middle/working class wage (make-it-spend-it-retire-at-60) mentality.
Well Kiyosaki has one idea, we should get to our children while they are young and be careful that we at least don't infect them with our self defeating attitudes when it comes to money. There is no reason that a sixteen year old cannot have internalized all of the lessons in this book before he goes out and earns his first nickel (or tries to mint it as Kiyosaki did in his youth)
Kiyosaki gets a little too altruistic at times especially when he believes that we should look to the education system in American to start teaching financial freedom. As long as you understand that corporations have the majority of the power in this country you will understand that they aren't going to support a government that doesn't turn out good little consumers.
Regardless, this is a good book for any young person to get his/her eyes opened about being more self-aware when it comes to personal finances. Its probably a good book for anyone over 35 too,... Notice that I only gave it three stars. My reason is that as logical and convincing as this book is, I cannot say it is all that effective. I have known six people who have bought and read this book including myself. ...


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