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Customer Reviews: 113
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,352
Helpful Votes: 2733




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Reviews Written by
Andrew H. Lee "Constant Listener" RSS Feed (Snohomish, WA)
(REAL NAME)   

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars USB cords with missing plugs become useful again!, December 5, 2013
This is my first multi port USB charger and so far I love it. Until now the wife and I were always jockeying around devices and chargers, and being able to plug all our stuff into one is a great benefit to this product. I like the little blue light that shows me my thingamabob is charging, even if it's bright, who cares. The standard Apple issue chargers that cost more don't come with a fun little light now do they?

We have two iPhones, two iPads, three iPods, two Kindles - a lot of crap with a lot of chargers and cords and different stuff, and this little gadget just makes life a little easier and a little less cluttered. With 2 or 3 of our chargers we've lost the plug and just have the USB cord, which meant we weren't using them much since we prefer to charge on an outlet rather than a computer. Now that we have this little Bolse Port charger, one plug makes up for our lost plugs on our other charging cords - this may sound silly, but this is the thing that makes me the happiest about this product - my Apple USB charging cords with missing plugs are now useful again, so me and the little lady don't have to fight over the last remaining chargers anymore.


MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6P Memory Wire In-Ear Headphones with Microphone, Remote, and Universal Volume Control (Black)
MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6P Memory Wire In-Ear Headphones with Microphone, Remote, and Universal Volume Control (Black)
Price: $26.32
51 used & new from $12.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They like my ears and my ears like them., December 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Dear Music Appreciators,

I'm one of those guys with 25,000 songs on his iPod and subscriptions to eMusic and MOG and stuff like that. Never owned anything but the standard issue Apple earbuds (from 5th generation iPod classic through iPhone 5) and a couple pairs of Sennheiser PX 100's. Thought I'd give these a try because I've had enough of headphones sliding off and earbuds falling out.

These Sport-Fi M6P's have some good qualities and they have a few great qualities and so overall I like them.

THE GOOD:

The sound. I think it's good not great. But good is better than bad isn't it? And perhaps sound equality isn't the most important quality for a pair of headphones that only cost twenty bucks and are designed to be worn during activities that might be noisy or outdoorsy...the thing about the sound is that I keep wondering if it sounds thin and "tinny," especially when I first press play, but funny thing is I seem to get used to it and then it doesn't bother me really.

The little zipper carrying pouch. It's kind of fun and cool and I don't really know if I'll get much use out of it but I like it.

The cord. Tangle free is good. And it's light, which is good. But mine seems to have permanent bends and kinks and I like the look of a smooth cord better.

The memory wire on the ears. It's nice in that it does keep the headphone on my ears much better than I've been used to, but the "memory" of the memory wire seems to be a bit vague and I keep thinking I might prefer a tighter memory to the wire. However I suppose that with a tighter fit on the memory wire, perhaps jt would be more difficult to get the things on and off (having to unwind, etc.)

THE GREAT:

The price. For the price, this is a good deal.

The comfort. These are light and comfortable and I'm able to wear them for long period of time without being bothered. Much better than the Apple and Sennheiser products I am used to. While listening I get used to them and almost forget they are there, which seems to give the music a kind of floating feeling, which is cool, almost like the music is appearing in my ears out of thin air.

The buttons on the cord. For me the volume slide is preferable to the kinds where you have to click to adjust - it's just a little easier and seems like a more precise adjustment. The play/pause button is great so I don't have to fumble for the device or unwind the headphones from my ears every time my wife asks me a question. She loves to talk the most when I have headphones on for some reason.

The color options. I went with black for my first pair, but I love anything that comes in different colors. Makes me want another pair just so I can switch out the colors - and for the price, why not?

The tips. Different tips for different ear holes. Fit and comfort are important for something you wear on your ears. It's great to have options. Apple earbuds seems to be like sticking hard, sometimes cold, unfriendly little orbs in my ears - not so much with these Sport-Fi's - they like my ears and my ears like them.

Happy listening!

Constant Listener


Jim Henson: The Biography
Jim Henson: The Biography
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR BOOK APPRECIATOR, November 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Dear Book Appreciator,

This was a good read. I'm not a hardcore Muppet guy or anything but at various times in my life I've watched and really enjoyed Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, The first few Muppet Movies, and The Dark Crystal. It was a lot of fun getting to know the history of their creator and to get a behind the scenes look at the shows themselves. I've always felt a kind of special magic and humor and sense of fun and optimism in Jim Henson's work and it was interesting to find out how and why those special attributes seem to be infused in everything he does.

I was also especially interested to learn about Jim Henson's personality and style of communication, his values, and his way of life - other than the inevitable trouble in his relationship with his wife, Henson seems to have maintained a kind of goodness about him that is refreshing and inspiring and rare in the world of arts and entertainment.

I never realized how many similarities Jim Henson shares with other legendary entertainment pioneers like Walt Disney or George Lucas, and I'm glad to have a new appreciation and understanding of him in that light.

This is the kind of biography that makes me want more of its subject, which is the right quality for a book about a creative artist who produced so much great work - I now have so much to visit and/or revisit with a renewed appreciation and perspective.

This is a well-written study and tribute to one of the most influential artistic creators of the 20th century.

Sincerely,

Constant Reader


The Dark Crystal [HD]
The Dark Crystal [HD]
DVD
Price: $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Crystal Still Calls, Thirty Years Later!, November 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Dear Movie Appreciators,

I've seen THE DARK CRYSTAL several times over the last thirty years or so (wow, am I really that old?) but it has been several years since my last viewing I pulled out my trusty old VHS copy that had been recorded from HBO in about 1984, hoping to interest my son in something from my childhood, and was amazed at the terrible sound and picture quality - we could only watch about 30 min. or so before giving up - I should have known though. I guess this is one I had just never taken the time to upgrade - funny to think that people might still be popping in old tapes from the 80's…but it was fun skipping all the technological advances over the years and jumping from 80's home recording right to Amazon HD quality with the flexibility to play the movie across so many devices, including our TV.

The movie look great and sounds great in HD. It's nice to now be able to match the idealized memories in my head with the reality of seeing the movie again 30 years after it came out.

After reading Jim Henson's biography I felt like I had a better appreciation for the significance of this film both in the context of its release date, and many years later. There's a quote from someone in the book saying something about how the movie will likely always have historical importance as it is and always will be the only big budget feature length motion picture where everything we see on the screen is hand made.

Henson's biographer (Brian Jay Jones) also explored the theme of Jim Henson often being more concerned with how a movie looked visually than the story and characters, and would build movies beginning with a visual concept rather than with a story. This proves true in The Dark Crystal, where the story and characters may have some weak spots but the whole movie is still exciting and interesting to look at, even after all this time.

I've also been interested to learn that Henson originally had the Skeksis and The Mystics speaking their own language without subtitles, but decided to add English dialogue later after negative reactions in test screenings. It would be fascinating to see the film as he originally intended, and had Jim Henson lived into the age of the DVD and Blue Ray I'm sure he would have had lots of bonus features to give us. Nothing extra with this particular version - perhaps other DVD or Blue Ray versions?

Sincerely,

Constant Viewer


Keekee The Rocking Monkey Board Game
Keekee The Rocking Monkey Board Game
Price: $21.46
37 used & new from $9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KIDS ASK FOR KEEKEE BY NAME!, September 20, 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
"Daddy, can we play Keekee?"

"Daddy I want Keekee!"

When the kids remember and think of its name so easily on their own, it's safe to say that "Keekee The Rocking Monkey" is a game well-named. My kids are two and six and they both love it and ask for it by name, spotting it easily in the tall, teetering stacks of board games in our hall closet. With its painted wood construction and test of balancing skills, Keekee reminds me of a game I loved when I was a kid called "blockhead!" My parents still have it at their house, the same version we played as a family, over 30 years old in its original beat up box, and my kids enjoy playing it just like I did when I was their age. And if that game, with it's 20 colored blocks and corny slang can become a timeless classic, then I would say Keekee The Rocking Monkey should have a fair shot at becoming a timeless classic as well. Keekee is solidly made, with a fun look and a catchy name, and the object of the game is universally appealing and promotes valuable basic skills in children.

You can't go too far wrong with a game that involves a juggling monkey, balancing, and bananas - the laughs and funny faces I get from my kids with this game are priceless!


Pedestrian Verse
Pedestrian Verse
Price: $12.98
64 used & new from $3.97

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, February 15, 2013
This review is from: Pedestrian Verse (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

It always feels so good to find another great album to listen to. Suddenly life is less lame again and there is something new to look forward to. Especially when it's the kind of album that I can put on repeat and listen to over and over again and each time it starts over, rather than thinking "hmm, what should I listen to next?" I find myself wondering "how soon I can get to the record store to pick up the CD?" As a music junkie with too many songs on his iTunes, this has become the ultimate tribute that my music-pickled mind pays to an album - when the digital copy just doesn't do it and I feel like I've got to take the relationship to the next level. If digital is just friends at school, then a trip to the record store means we're gonna stay up all night and freakin' braid each other's hair.

With PEDESTRIAN VERSES, Scotland's Frightened Rabbit has made the kind of album I want to invite to my slumber party.

It's pop, it's rock, it's indie, it's top 40, it's lyrical Scotch on musical rocks, and because it's that rare combination of an entire collection of songs that holds my attention from start to finish, I'll skip the part where I might prattle on about influences or comparisons, quote and analyze lyrics, or use terms like "reverb-drenched" or "radio-friendly" - I'll skip that part and simply say: buy this album, and see if it can hold your attention too.

Sincerely

Constant Listener
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2014 5:34 PM PST


We The Common
We The Common
Price: $13.77
40 used & new from $4.54

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, February 9, 2013
This review is from: We The Common (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

Right when the music started I knew it was going to be a good album, but when I heard that opening track bust open a minute later...I knew it was going to be a great album. Notice the stinging synth-string flourishes and listen for that big falsetto chorus with banjo pickin' on one side and fuzzy guitar rock on the other. Thao and company don't play regular ol' folk rock songs, they have a distinctive sound, and on WE THE COMMON every song finds a way to be interesting. Guitars get in your face on "City" but there's still room for stuff like vibraphones and a cappella singing. "We Don't Call" features honking saxophones. A hillbilly unison singer brings the twang on "Kindness Be Conceived," followed by "The Day Long," with it's noir tone and bouncing bass and snare combo, followed by needling, high register guitar work and Thao singing about not getting "naked enough" on "Every Body." You get the picture. WE THE COMMON is a patchwork quilt of interesting folk rock and-singer songwriter choices bound together by a unifying theme of simply making creative, personal, and passionate music. With so much variety and so many points of interest in this collection of songs, the album and even the band itself (with its unique and memorable band name) exude a sort of collaborative, joy-of-music persona that's contagious and that makes WE THE COMMON less like a formal "album" and more like a very cool party with some very musical friends.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener


A Messenger
A Messenger
Offered by Wits End.
Price: $10.25
65 used & new from $4.30

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, February 2, 2013
This review is from: A Messenger (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

I liked Colton singing "Piano Man," and Islands in the Stream" on American Idol.

This worship stuff is great and everything but I can't help but wonder if he might reach a wider audience with his message of faith and devotion if he were to temper his approach a bit and not be so in your face about the whole thing. Maybe tone down some of the big arena-sized Christian themed choruses a bit. There are some zealots who will argue that that is exactly what he shouldn't do lest the devil lead him down a dark path and he miss out on a chance to praise the Lord in a big public way that was not available to him prior to his ascent as a prime-time television singing contestant, but I believe that most of the time God works in mysterious and subtle ways, and that by small and simple means he brings to pass great things. Colton Dixon has a wonderful opportunity to share his testimony with the world, but if he puts on too much Christian cologne for his big date with fame he might end up turning off many of the very people who most need to be turned on by his message, pardon the pun.

I think an album of inspirational secular songs seasoned with a few well chosen worship songs might make a more powerful and lasting impact on a wider number of people than an album that seems to be almost entirely made up of overtly Christian rock.

But that's just my opinion, maybe I'm wrong, and regardless of what I think, Colton Dixon is to be admired and respected for knowing who he is and what he believes and for not being ashamed to share it with the world in as big a way as he can.

"You Are" has a fantastic melody. "Let Them See You" has a gentle reverence and beauty that may be more effective at inspiring faith and devotion than some of its harder rocking counterparts. "Where My Heart Goes" has a really memorable line - "Who do I follow when my character's at stake?" - a great question to reflect on, and a question that isn't easily found in secular music, but it could be and it should be. Really there is a lot of great stuff on A MESSENGER, I guess I'm just a little regretful at the thought of some of the album's great qualities being lost on many who would benefit from its message because they are put off by the whole Christian rock thing.

Maybe what I really want is for Colton Dixon to be more of a Brooke Fraser type. She seems to seamlessly meld her beliefs with beautiful and inspiring music in a way that I think might attract even those who are wary of the "Christian" genre. It's very unfair and wrong of me to want that. Colton is who he is and as he says, he "won't apologize" - but maybe he could at least duet with Brooke on her song "Hymn?"

Now I just sound like a weirdo. Time to go to bed.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener


Sentimental Journey
Sentimental Journey
Price: $11.59
50 used & new from $4.16

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, February 1, 2013
This review is from: Sentimental Journey (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

The first time I heard Emmy Rossum sing was in a little movie called SONGCATCHER back in the year 2000. She was cute as a button and every time she sang I got goosebumps. I still think of that movie every time I cross paths with her work.

This is an album of good old fashioned classic songs. The drama kids and the choir kids will eat this up. Many artists have recorded similar albums, but only a select few get it right. With SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY Emmy Rossum gets it right and her album deserves to reach a wide audience

But what it is about these recordings that works so well?

Here's my guess:

High-quality classical training + God-given talent + love and respect for the material + energy and enthusiasm.

There is also a refreshing absence of what Holden Caulfield might call phoneyness. Even though Emmy is playing dress-up in a bygone era, something about the music feels refreshingly authentic.

Throw in what I imagine was a top-notch production team and twelve straight cases of picking the right song for the right singer and you get a thoroughly enjoyable album that made me sit up and listen.

Eighty-six years after it was written, when the right singer gets a hold of a song like "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover," it can still make a person perk up and feel a little better about life, and I'll be darned if I didn't absently-mindedly press down on that gas pedal just a little too much as I was driving down the street listening to Emmy sing that song. I'm sorry officer, I was listening to Emmy Rossum singing "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover" and I guess I got a little carried away...

But I'm afraid if I did get pulled over like that, the cop might not know who Emmy Rossum is, which might mean I'm not getting out of a ticket, which might mean Emmy Rossum isn't getting the kind of universal adoration she deserves for her remarkable singing ability.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener


Passione
Passione
Offered by cdgiveaways
Price: $3.68
103 used & new from $0.01

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DEAR MUSIC APPRECIATORS, February 1, 2013
This review is from: Passione (Audio CD)
Dear Music Appreciators,

I have to keep reminding myself that Amazon customer review star ratings are meant to express how much the customer reviewer LIKED something, not how good it may or may not be from an objective, critical point of view. Regardless, it is often easy to get objective and subjective opinions about the arts confused - and is there really any such thing as a truly subjective opinion about art anyway? Whatever...

That being said although the system considers a three star review from me a "negative" review, I consider it a mildly positive review. Three stars is supposed to mean "it's okay" and if it's "okay" then it's not bad...it's just not as good as it could be, which might be both a subjectively and objectively accurate statement about this album. This album is not as good as it could be.

Despite all the ways in which I could discuss this music, the fact is when I heard "Perfidia," "Era già tutto previsto," and especially "La Vie en Rose," I felt something in my bones, and when I heard the rest of the songs on PASSIONE I did not. That's not to say the other songs are bad, they just didn't move me.

The problem for me is this all feels very posed and generic. Most of the music, the album cover, and even the album title remind me of a CD one might find on one of those listening stations in a Target or in a mom and pop gift shop that cells ceramic figurines. You know, those listening stations without headphones where you press a button to hear Spanish guitar music, rainforest sounds, or something by Jim Brickman.

Nothing wrong with Jennifer Lopez, but she's not the greatest singer to be singing with a great singer. Nothing wrong with Neil Diamond, but his song "September Morn" just doesn't belong here. Nothing wrong with PASSIONE, but it's not the greatest album - unless maybe you're eating at The Olive Garden - but otherwise it's just ok.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 5, 2013 7:28 AM PST


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