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The Suburbs
The Suburbs
Price: $9.99
148 used & new from $2.35

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mainstream sound???... same Arcade fire!, August 15, 2010
This review is from: The Suburbs (Audio CD)
Two days ago I got this CD and I must say that I felt in love with it right away. Aracde fire's new album was one of the few this year that I've been waiting for. Of course, this is no way near "Neon bible" (2007) and its gothic-indie dark sound which was the reason why I felt in love with this band. I mean, "The Suburbs" doesn't posses those magnificent moments nor the big arrangements found in its predecessor but the intention from the band that I got as soon as I listened to the whole album was not to do that again. Instead, Arcade fire put all its money in this "weird" mainstream sound a la "Echo and the bunnymen" and by moments maybe flirting with "Joy division" style.

"The suburbs" (the first single and track of the record) is a weird, catchy tune played by a band setting up a pop record on their own terms. "Ready to start" is the first move the band made here to sound "easier and more loose" for the listeners' benefit if they had any problems with their previous records. "Modern man" is a great song... very catchy and fun to listen to (for some reason R.E.M. comes to my mind with this song). "Rococo" on the other hand isn't exactly one of my favorites but still has this weird vibe that Arcade fire got me used to after "NB". "Empty room" seemed to be co-written with a Radiohead member back in 1995 (in the whole "The Bends" era). Weird, catchy arrangements pointing to total hysteria when actually is just turns out to be another pop number (loved the string sample at the very beginning). "City with no children" is the first song that might feel the hardcore fan of the band pretty uncomfortable considering that this track sounds like anything U2 could do in their big shows. "Half light I" is pretty cool (darky and somehow freindly to listen to... very 70's vibe on this one with the organ and the strings) and then "Half light II (no celebration)" comes back to picks up where "city with..." left... another pop song a la U2. I must say that "Suburban war" is one of the strongest songs in the record if you ask me. More indie rock is going on here and less synths around the track. From this point on and for the next following four songs the record seems to be stuck in a hole. The songs "Month of may", "Wasted hours", "Deep blue" and "We used to wait" don't really offer anything interesting to listen to... a little punk going on here and there, some piano samples and some acoustic guitars now and then make this part of the record a little boring. I'm not saying that the songs are bad 'cause actually they're not. It's just that these tracks don't seem to be in the same level as the first ones were. To me they're just a bridge you have to cross before arriving to another great part of these "Suburbs". Once you're on the other side "Sprawl I" will be waiting for you with another dark vibe like "Half light I" did. And then, "Sprawl II (mountains beyond mountains)" comes. The poppiest song on the record. A very 80's sound with bunch of synth samplers going on and a beat that you might want to dance with as well. I liked this song a lot but is not exactly what I could expect from a band like Arcade fire. Finally, "The suburbs (continued)" is just a pointless reprise track from the first one if you ask me to finish the record.

To sum up, this record is great but as a huge fan that I was with "Neon bible" I was expecting the band to dare more and to try something "more challenging" for them in order to put their music skills to work. To be more explicit, when Radiohead released "Ok computer" (1997) I expected the same from them after that record and what I received three years later was one of the weirdest record I have ever listened to "KID A" (2000) and from that moment on they went up hill ever since. Arcade fire can do something WAY more consistant and precious that the.. well, let's just call "the suburbs" a comfortable record.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 17, 2010 5:50 AM PDT


Fables Of The Reconstruction [2 CD Deluxe Edition]
Fables Of The Reconstruction [2 CD Deluxe Edition]
Price: $32.94
32 used & new from $10.42

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indie R.E.M., July 22, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Every R.E.M. album that the band has released is so different from the other to the point that sometimes you might think the band you listened on "Murmur" is not the same on "Up". "Fables of the reconstruction" hasn't exactly been my favorite R.E.M. album but what I've always admire of it is its independence and purity as a constrast of what it was popular on the radio back then when it was released.

This reissue is perfect on the terms of this album. I appreciatte the fact that the audio on it has been improved and the best songs of the record (the amazing Driver 8, the radioheadish Feeling gravity's pull, the sweet Wendell Gee and Green grow the rushes or the spectacular Life and how to live it) sound better than ever. As far as the Demos record is concerned I can just thanks R.E.M. for letting us the fans own these jewels of music. It is so hard as an R.E.M. fan to find this kind of material on such a good sound quality. I personally always enjoy listening to the band playing live because that's something they do with passion and love for their music (check out the live album at the Olympia theater released late last year and you'll see what I'm talking about). I can assure you that the extra material in this reissue is great too. I already hung up on my bedroom's wall the poster given here and probably I'll stuck Michael postcard on my locker's door at work.


Sea of Cowards
Sea of Cowards
Price: $5.99
125 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 70's were never dead with Dead Weather's new effort., July 17, 2010
This review is from: Sea of Cowards (Audio CD)
I have never been a 70's music fan per se. I love cult bands like Pink Floyd or even the poppy Blondie but that is it. However, I have always known bands like Led Zeppelin or Janis Joplin and Patti Smith (which I love by the way thanks to R.E.M.) and the sound these people worked with it was always familiar to me. Well, this is exacvtly what I heard on this record... a true 70's sound of pure rock that was faithful to the love of making music beyond the money business.

Their first record was very good and I really enjoyed listening to it all. But this one sounds more focused, harder and improved all the possible flaws (if there were any) from their first record. Some of the songs that caught my attention right away were "Blue blood blues" and "Hustle and Cuss" not only for their similarity but because of the way the band matched them together to make a solid tune. "The difference between us" is by far the best track of the record if you ask me... the sound on this one is weird at first but then you get what it's about as soon as it goes in the chorus. Pretty solid too. "I can't hear you" and "Gasoline" have these awesome riffs that make you go back to that era I was talking about. On the other hand, "Old Mary" kind of dissapointed me. At first it sounds like it's going to be a classic tune from the band with the piano coming and going and a guitar appearing out of nowhere but as soon as the band starts singing it seems that loses all its charm. Maybe is the way it is sung... I don't know for sure.

To sum up, this is a great record to listen to if you love the 70's rock and roll. Next time I listen to it I'm going to smoke some cigarrettes and drink a couple of beers at a garage with some friends. That would make the perfect scene for this record.


The Night Before
The Night Before
30 used & new from $2.95

4.0 out of 5 stars James under U2's wing, June 4, 2010
This review is from: The Night Before (Audio CD)
Although this is just a 7-song EP James seems to take things more seriously on this record and now they try to sound a bit more mature and consistant than before. It seems also that James took some time working out the sound of this record to come up with something a bit more glorious... kind of like a U2 record. Enviromental moments, solid instrument arrangements and lyrics that we could think Booth took from Bono's private notebook. I find "Porcupine", "Crazy" and "It's hot" the best well made tracks on the record while the rest do their job by sounding like the James we all know. Looking forward to "The morning after". It is a shame that a band like James, which has been around for QUIET a long time already, hasn't been recognized as they should be. They deserve a place in the rock and roll hall of fame.... wheter some people like it or not.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 25, 2010 1:31 PM PDT


Congratulations
Congratulations
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $8.19
138 used & new from $0.01

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beatles lost album!!!, April 29, 2010
This review is from: Congratulations (Audio CD)
This record sounds so much to he Beatles and what they could've done in any of their records. I found "Congratulations" so interesting in music and lyrics as well. These guys from MGMT are trying to come up with "grown up albums" and that's a good thing in a time where the music itself is losing credibility and surprise. I think songs like "It's working", "Flash delirium" and "I found a whistle" are the nicest tunes written on the huge influence of albums like "White album" or the "Let it be" one by The Beatles. And of course I can't pass on by "Siberian breaks" a great sucess in trying to pull of an opera number with some "Pink Floyd's psychodelia" but in a more poppy manner. On the other hand "Brian Eno" sounds like a song trying to find its way to sound like the Sex Pistols... it can't do it at the end but at least the band tried to come up with a punk number.

Overall, the album is great and it makes me laught so hard ALL those complaints about the "fans" of MGMT saying that this album is lack of "hit singles".... you know what? long live to that!!!!! I really hope that bands like MGMT start doing this kind of records over and over again in many years to come so we can come back to what a "RECORD" used to be back in the mid/late 70's... a work of art next to albums like "Dark side of the moon" (Pink Floyd) or "Horses" (Patti Smith). Who the hell need singles when you can come up with a song like "Siberian breaks" or "I found a whistle"?


Leave Your Sleep (2CD)
Leave Your Sleep (2CD)
Price: $18.65
106 used & new from $3.82

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Natalie Merchant's playing a game the way she wants to play it., April 29, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Leave Your Sleep (2CD) (Audio CD)
I won't even emphazise one song over the other on this review cause that would be just unfair to the whole concept that Natalie Merchant is playing with on this record.... this BEAUTIFUL record. It's obvious that she's beyond any expectations from the music business. She worked with this album so carefully that you notice right away that the songs here are made to reach the one and only goal: Merchant's pleasure. The arrangements on the songs are so beautiful and well done that you understand why it took her so much time to complete this album. Let's make something clear thoug, this is not a 10,000 maniacs album with all the alternative vibe or electric guitars and nice chords going on nor a "tigerlily" kind of thing.... this is a symphonic, folky, acoustic album with many roads to follow and many landscapes to enjoy. The music is the finest one you'll listen in years in any record of any kind and Merchant's voice is still breathtaking... yes, she sounds older now but still breathtaking.

If there's something I admire about Natalie Merchant and all her mates from her age (e.g. Michael Stipe) is that she's one of those singers who has forgotten about being in a cover of a magazine or being around all the media that eventually ends up destroying the magic in music itself. She's one of those singers who has come back to share with her fans and any smart person willing to listen to her what she has come up to with "Leave your sleep".


Plastic Beach
Plastic Beach
Offered by megahitrecords
Price: $13.71
51 used & new from $0.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damon Albarn's masterpiece in this genre, March 29, 2010
This review is from: Plastic Beach (Audio CD)
When Damon and company started Gorillaz back in 2001 with their debut album I thought that the whole project was just a little escape from Albarn's of all his wishes to come up with an electronic/rap/hiphop record kind of thing. And it was unconceiveable to think that he would have come up with a song like "Clint Eastwood" on a Blur's record. I must say that the first two albums have great tracks and the most of the singles they went it were the right ones to promote on the radio but that was it. I had never taken a Gorillaz album "that seriously" 'cause to me it was just a side project to what Albarn is used to do. Now, "Plastic beach" makes the exception here.

This is an album that was produced with such care and attention that you can hear it in every track and it must be said that ALL of the tracks are diffrent between each other in one way or another. Personally, "Stylo" must be the plainest track of all, there's no much enthusiasm in this one and yet, you get caught by it in a second. On the other hand songs like "Rhinestone eyes", "Empire ants" and "Some kind of monster" (featuring Mr. Lou Reed) could be the best tracks in the album following the idea of a pop side of this record. The hio hip/rap ones are good too and here I must confess that I¨M NOT a fan of this genre at all but Gorillaz has approach this kind of music to me so smoothly that I have to give them the credit of it. "Superfast jellyfish" is very fun to liten to and "Welcome to the world of the plastic beach" is an elegant tune. "Sweepstakes" on the other hand is too oevrloaded with sounds and vocals that it just didn't make it to me. And here it is, the song that I LOVE I would've come up with with my project NUEVE but apparently Albarn took away this tune from my perception. "On melancholly hill" is just a great, great track. So simple, so beautiful and so 80's too. Again, I really envy the fact that Damon Albarn came up with this track and not me (not that I'm comparing myself with Albarn at all). Hats off to this guy and to all the things he has done with Blur, The good, the bad and the queen and now Gorillaz.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2010 7:28 AM PDT


Bayonetta - Xbox 360
Bayonetta - Xbox 360
Offered by Worth Every Penny RLH
Price: $53.97
113 used & new from $10.30

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining game but way over produced!!!, February 21, 2010
This review is from: Bayonetta - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
This is the kind of videogames that seems to be timeless as soon as you get into them but once you are done with it you just don't want to see it again. Unfortunely this is the case with "Bayonneta". It's an entertaining game that looks pretty familiar to "Devil may cry" and, as that game too, this tends to be too dramatic, too noisy by moments and too annoying as well. First of all, the story goes nowhere. When you are trying to begin to understand what everything is about, lots of things are going on on the screen in order for you to pay attention to the real story. Tha game is pretty entertaining but it gets annoying that the real action game is being interrupted every five minutes to listen to the meaningless and way cheesy dialogues between the characters. It's not a hard game to play but for not very patient gamers it could get boring if you don't catch on quickly on the combat moves and techniques that Bayonneta must learn in order to move forward in the game. The graphics are awesome I must say but, once again, the producers tried way too much to put "a lot of everything anywhere". You don't really enjoy the good work that was done in the graphics because you're either figuring out where Bayonneta should go or what Bayonneta should do when a big boss is getting closer.

I like dark games with dark stories but "Bayonneta" can't make it to me. Buy moments is too bizarre that you just find yourself wondering what the deal is with all these angels you're killing (am I a bad girl? are they the good ones? what am I supposed to do? who am I supposed to be?) This is a nice game to rent and to check out but I would think twice before buying it. If you loved "Devil may cry" this is the game for you but if not.... stay away of it.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2010 7:41 AM PDT


Contra
Contra
Price: $9.99
196 used & new from $0.32

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Vampire Weekend!!! Awesome eclectic album!!!!, February 2, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Contra (Audio CD)
This is just what I love the most in music: a new band making great records. And this is exactly the case with VW's follow up "Contra". The album is full of joy and surprises that you're not sure what exactly is the point of the songs or where they're going. By moments it sounds as an electronic record, a pop record, an indie record, a samplers record, an experimental record and yet all make sense when you get into it.

I just loved every single song in it. From the charming "Horchata" (which I kept on singing and singing all day long today), the sparkliy "White sky", the amazing "Holiday", "Taxi cab", "Run" and even the orchestral one (if I can label it that way) "I think ur contra". On the other hand, songs like "California english", "Diplomat's son" and "Giving up the gun" are the standig out on the record. The first seems to be a weird experiment to see how vocals would sound in a non-conventional way (Thom Yorke-Radiohead- should know that). The second one seems to be the band's approach to explore new territories to let these ones be an influence on the music they make (very latin atmosphere on this song) and the last one seems to be the one you could easily be listening in clubs or in remixes from any DJ in the following months (an almost dance track you might say). Finally, the song "Cousins" might be the only one that reminded me to their debut album (pretty catchy and the only one with real guitar features).

This record is a MUST HAVE for two reasons: if you're looking for something really different, catchy and not very pretentious "Contra" is the one to go with. Second: if you want to listen to a young band making things properly to the point that might catch your attention again... "Contra" is the one to go with. Personally I consider this record my 4th on the very short list that I have really enjoyed coming from an experimental attempt to break the frame of the convetional stuff in order to explore new things: 1.- KID A (Radiohead-2000)... the mental album, 2.- UP (R.E.M.-1998)... the surprising album, 3.- ADORE (Smashing Pumpkins-1998)... the beautiful album and now 4.- CONTRA (Vampire Weekend-2010)... the fun and joyful album. By the way, I just LOVE the album cover for two main reasons as well: the girl in it is beautiful and the picture itself is so The Smiths that they could've used it too for any of their records. Enjoy.


Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist
Offered by CAC Media
Price: $11.63
167 used & new from $0.01

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is Corgan's fault, January 1, 2010
This review is from: Zeitgeist (Audio CD)
The Smashing Pumpkins were meant to be an incredible band since they started things up in 1995 with Mellon Collie, but unfortunely this is not the case with this awful album (mediocre songs, forgetable tunes and lame lyrics) Honestly there's nothing much I can say about the album but there's A LOT I can say on why this is a bad album. For the Pumpkins things started falling apart when Jimmy Chamberlain was fired, D'Arcy left the band as well as James Iha. And everything... and I mean, EVERYTHING had to do with Corgan's huge ego and his closed minded attitude toward the rest of the band members. Musically he's a genius (Siamese dream (1993), Mellon Collie and the infinite sadness (1995), Adore (1998) and even the masterpiece of "Machina/the machines of God" (2000)) unfortunely, as what is expected to happen to every genius that gets lost on his own world without listening nor taking anything from anyone in the "outside" world, he was left alone and without ANY doubt, the other band members were his best options when it came to translate ideas into music (Chamberlin's drums on songs like "ode to anyone" (Mellon collie-1995), Iha's guitars on songs like "Zero", "Bullet with..." (Mellon collie-1995) and even "disarm" (siamese dream-1993) and Arcy's bass in her wonderful performance on the song "Raindrops and sunshowers" (Machina-2000). I hardly doubt that Corgan will ever captured the aura on his music the way he did with the original band members and I also hardly doubt that he will ever see the guilt he has always had on the Pumpkins's end.

Funnily enough (and as a HUGE R.E.M. fan that I am) once Corgan said in an interview back in the 90's that he didn't like R.E.M. and he had issues with Michael Stipe (lead singer). Well, what happened here is that his ego had this problem of seeing a succesful band for so many years together but what he never understood is that this is no magic at all. If you're decided to keep a band together you have to go beyond the music, being open to new ideas, respect your band members ideologies and listen to them. So, what is the conclusion here: R.E.M.= 14 albums recorded and keep on counting, 30 years together already and yet, one of the most humble bands I've ever seen. The Smashing pumpkins= 5 albums recorded (with original band members), 10 years together split and then came back with an uncertain future now and yet, Corgan wants to keep his dream alive as well as his ego.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2011 3:08 PM PDT


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