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John McGrath's Profile

Customer Reviews: 7
Top Reviewer Ranking: 18,147,166
Helpful Votes: 46

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John McGrath "eldraque" RSS Feed (MA USA)

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Miles Away
Miles Away
22 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (I don't get it, either), November 15, 2007
This review is from: Miles Away (Audio CD)
I think Rock 'n Roll Pony is even better, but I really like this CD, too. Why hasn't she gotten more exposure? She really writes terrific songs - - gritty lyrics, interesting chord progressions, catchy refrains, lots of energy. Several of these songs ("Miles Away", "Save Me", "Don't Let Go". "Let's Fall Apart") I just can't get out of my head. This woman is really talented.

Excellence Without a Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education
Excellence Without a Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education
by Harry R. Lewis
Edition: Hardcover
101 used & new from $0.04

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Common Sense Comes to the Ivory Tower, June 5, 2006
The author makes a refreshingly candid appraisal of how higher education, specifically Harvard College, has been dealing with critical issues affecting the lives and educations of undergraduates. In doing so, he exposes the hypocrisy of political correctness, the vapidity of "consumer oriented" higher education, and, above all, the smugly arrogant attitudes that are held by too many who direct today's institutions of higher learning.

Throughout, the writing is clear and often blunt. This book is especially fascinating in its explanations of the historical background that created many of today's policies and procedures at Harvard and elsewhere, and the cases examined are presented in a lively and interesting way. Lewis makes his points efficiently and effectively, provoking the reader's interest throughout.

This is a book that raises important questions about the overall purpose of higher education in a societal context. Perhaps there could have been a bit more argument as to why the production of thinking, conscientious citizens is so critical in today's world, but I suppose that goes beyond the scope of the book. Yet, if Harvard is indeed the trendsetter for academic policies in the 21st century - - as few of us would deny - - then all Americans should take time to reflect on Lewis's wisdom. There's a lot of important stuff here.

Capercaillie Live in Concert
Capercaillie Live in Concert
Offered by SourceMedia
Price: $12.64
30 used & new from $3.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have Been Quite a Concert . . ., March 18, 2003
This is the first Capercaillie CD I listened to, and it's still the best though I've gotten three others that are (mostly) good. But this is truly excellent - even though it's live, you can really appreciate the skill and cohesion of this outfit. I never realized before how nice an accordion can sound, and what can be done with a tin whistle. It's a fine example of traditional music played in an innovative style. If you're already a Capercaillie fan, you won't to be without this. If you're not, it's a nice introduction.

Bering Strait
Bering Strait
Offered by DVD-PC-GAMES
Price: $9.55
104 used & new from $0.01

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talent and energy go a long way, March 5, 2003
This review is from: Bering Strait (Audio CD)
This was great the first time I listened to it, and it seems to get better and better. Maybe it's the classical training they have. There's an intricacy and subtlety about the way they play these songs that makes them a cut above the standard country-rock fare. Each song seems to have a different strength - Natasha is a great singer, but the strings and keyboards make some beautiful melodies and everything works together. No weak songs, but the best are at the end. I'd love to see what this band can do in concert. This has suddenly given me a lot more respect for Nashville and "country music."

Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty
Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty
by Roy F. Baumeister
Edition: Paperback
52 used & new from $0.25

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, January 18, 2002
If you read this carefully, allowing the author to make his points, this will change the way you see your world in some very constructive ways. Baumeister shows great skill in drawing together and presenting material from a number of disciplines.The word "thought-provoking" is an understatement..

Price: $10.18
166 used & new from $0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An album that really gets to you, June 30, 2001
This review is from: Essence (Audio CD)
It is true that Lucinda Williams may not be, technically speaking, the greatest female vocalist alive, but her voice is just perfect for the gorgeous songs she writes. She is certainly a rare talent and this album shows that you don't have to be complicated to make beautiful music. "Blue," "Out of Touch," "Are You Down?" and "Essence" are all haunting and direct - nice guitar melodies and heartfelt lyrics. One question, though: how can someone who wrote "Essence" also be able to write "Get Right with God"? Am I missing some irony here?

Offered by GENEL
Price: $9.99
69 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Real Letdown, May 20, 2001
This review is from: Open (Audio CD)
This seems like an expansion of all the weak material on "Miles From Our Home" - the vocals are inaudible, the guitars are too loud and out of tune, and there's no discernible direction to most of the songs. The first six, and the last couple, sound like the Grateful Dead on a night when they can't find a groove. "Small Swift Birds" is nice, and "I'm so Open" is OK, but otherwise there isn't a single song on this that I'd ever want to hear done live. This really makes me wonder whether Michael Timmins is jealous of his sister's success and wanted to smother her contributions with junky space music. Very disappointing.

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