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Customer Reviews: 24
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Helpful Votes: 257

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the Heartbroken, August 27, 2004
This review is from: Modified (Audio CD)
Ever known a band for ages yet not gotten into them till one day something happens, you listen to a song and suddenly you're hooked? That's how I feel about Save Ferris. I have 2 main reasons for loving this band: 1) Monique Powell's amazing vocals and 2) I'm trying to forget someone who really let me down; the music lifts my spirits and the lyrics just echo my thoughts, or at least what I should be thinking.

Contrarily, the best song on this album for me is "Let Me In" (I say contrarily because it's not something the heartbroken should be listening to). If you need to move on, this is perfect for you.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth It For Amy's Voice Alone, May 31, 2003
This review is from: Fallen (Audio CD)
Let's face it. The best thing about Evanescence is Amy Lee. The first time I heard them, I thought oh no, not another Linkin Park. Thankfully I allowed myself to sample their other songs and boy, was I blown away. The music isn't anything groundbreaking. Sure, most tracks on "Fallen" are infectious and it doesn't hurt to keep it in your CD player for yonks. But what draws your attention and keeps you interested are most certainly the vocals.
Don't expect Evanescence to sound like Linkin Park. They are neither Christian rock nor goth nu-metal. And I wouldn't exactly call them goth. Instead of trying to categorize them, I'll just run through the songs. Everyone's taste differs so I'm not going to 'grade' them.
"Going Under" is a pretty suitable opener. You immediately get a taste of Amy Lee's wonderful vocal ability. "Bring Me To Life" has been played to death. The demo version does not have any rapping, which may be what some of you are looking for. "Everybody's Fool" comes along next in the same vein as the opening track.
One of my favourites is "My Immortal," the best ballad on the album (in my humble opinion). It's a beautiful piece, rendered even more poignant with Amy's expressive voice. As nice as the orchestration in the background is, I prefer the stripped down version on "Origin," which sounds much more moving.
"Haunted" is another slow number, perhaps more melodic than the others. As the title leads you to believe, it borders on gothic rock. At the halfway point, "Tourniquet" picks up the pace with more lyrics of longing.
The next track "My Imaginary" is relatively slow with nice flowing keyboards - one of the better songs on the album. "Taking Over Me" has really grown on me and turned into one of my favourites, which incidentally happens to be another song about longing for someone out of reach.
Ballad #2 comes in the form of "Hello." Very nice and simple with a cello thrown in for good measure, while giving Amy room to showcase her talent. "My Last Breath" starts off with some synthesizers, and is the weakest track for me, even after several listens. Finally, "Fallen" closes with another highlight, "Whisper." With choir-like background vox, it draws the album to an end with a dramatic flourish.
The reason why I'm giving "Fallen" 5 stars is pretty obvious. Not to say the rest of the band is horrible. Evanescence churns out some pretty good stuff, or I wouldn't be listening to this repeatedly for hours. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of this CD for your collection.

Fall On Your Knees (Oprah's Book Club)
Fall On Your Knees (Oprah's Book Club)
by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Edition: Paperback
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It, May 4, 2002
After going through the first few reviews here, I thought, "Oh great. What am I about to read here?" But don't let the bad reviews fool you. It's a good book. True, the Piper family endures more tragedies than some small nations, but Miss MacDonald writes in such a manner that it takes awhile for all the suffering to sink in. And I do adore her style!
I loved Frances, for her spirit and devotion to her sisters. Mercedes was a bit of a bore but after all she's gone through, it would be odd if she *weren't* slightly nuts.
Trust me, it was hardly confusing. I especially enjoyed reading about Kathleen. Miss MacDonald has a wonderfully dark sense of humour. I suppose the magic of the book lies in the style of writing. Just don't read it when you're in a bad mood.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Good first solo!, March 26, 2002
This review is from: Spin (Audio CD)
Admittedly, I'm not a huge SG fan. Nevertheless I was disappointed when they split. I don't think this album is as good as Affirmation but it has its fair share of gems. "Insatiable" immediately caught my attention, as did "Good Enough." The latter has the usual smart SG lyrics -- think "Affirmation".
Spin has a well-balanced combination of great slow numbers ("I Miss You", "I Can't Ever Get Enough Of You", "Like It Or Not") and faster tracks ("Heart Attack", "Dirty", "Spin"). Song #5 starts off reminiscent of a tango, but only for a few seconds, before it takes a twist and sounds almost like bubblegum pop in disguise. Catchy though! "Crush (1980 Me)" is as the title suggests, very electronic 80s sounding. Initially I thought it was ridiculous. After a few listens, I've grown to really like this.
Overall, a worthy album!

Josh Groban
Josh Groban
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Auditory Bliss, March 17, 2002
This review is from: Josh Groban (Audio CD)
Josh Groban has an astoundingly beautiful voice -- rich and smooth like chocolate, and filled with enough emotion to melt even the stoniest of hearts. When I heard "To Where You Are" on the radio, I fell completely in love. I agree with the reviewer who said that this must be what angels sound like. The most astonishing thing is he's only 20. His style isn't quite opera although he's classically trained. I'd have to agree with another reviewer who commented that Josh has a sort of Broadway-type voice. I guess that's flexibility for ya. God, wouldn't I love to see him perform in a musical! Anyway, here's a brief description of each track:
1. "Alla Luce del Sole" - A somewhat operatic epic-like piece sung in Italian. What a great way to start an album!
2. "Gira Con Me" - Written by Walter Afanasieff (kinda hard to go wrong), it's another song in Italian... slow and beautiful.
3. "You're Still You" - Written by the musical genius Ennio Morricone and one of the best songs on the CD. The lyrics are adapted from the Italian movie starring Monica Bellucci, about a beautiful woman whose life is made miserable because of hate and jealousy.
4. "Cinema Paradiso" - THE most beautiful and moving love theme ever written for a movie by another Morricone (Andrea, Ennio's son). Initially I was skeptical about hearing this masterpiece being *sung* but the boy just can do no wrong :) Hearing him and the gorgeous orchestra made my heart soar and swell.
5. "To Where You Are" - So incredibly beautiful, this song about a loved one lost moved me to tears. His voice conveys as much feeling as an entire poem.
6. "Aléjate" - A romantic Spanish ballad with guitar accompaniment that makes you wonder, "Are there NO bad tracks?"
7. "Canto Alla Vita" - Meaning "Song to Life," this is one of the few upbeat semi-operatic tracks. In fact, it's extremely catchy. The Corrs perform as well, and although I can't help thinking this would sound better with someone like Sissel (from Titanic), they do a good enough job.
8. "Let Me Fall" - One of the best, this is taken from Cirque du Soleil's Quidam. This is almost perfect, except for a short somewhat awkward bit in the middle. Nonetheless, I'm more than satisfied.
9. "Vincent" - Josh does a respectable job covering the Don McLean classic.
10. "Un Amore Per Sempre" - Yet another Italian song that's slow, soft and romantic.
11. "Home To Stay" - Nice song but it didn't stand out much. Perhaps it'll take some time for it to grow on me.
12. "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" - The instantly recognizable piece by Bach.
13. "The Prayer" - This is my only complaint. Why Charlotte Church?! No offence to Charlotte Church fans, but pairing her with Josh Groban is a mistake. She has much to learn about putting feeling into her singing. At times, she seems almost mechanical.
HIGHLY recommended. Please, if you enjoy bathing in music that will move you to another level, this is a good place to start. Also, if you like this, do yourself a favour and pick up violinist Itzhak Perlman's "Cinema Serenade."

Cinema Serenade
Cinema Serenade
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Movie Music CD, March 17, 2002
This review is from: Cinema Serenade (Audio CD)
As soon as I heard the beautiful strains of the Love Theme from "Cinema Paradiso," I knew I had to have this. I've had it for half a year now and it's the CD I listen to most often. To say Itzhak Perlman is amazing is an understatement. Combining one of the most gifted violinists with some of the most moving music themes ever written equals nearly 54 minutes of auditory bliss.
It would be pretty hard to pinpoint the faults (if there are any), unless you're one of those nitpicky people who like to butcher everything apart. Unlike many albums, none of the tracks are fillers. Even the less distinctive ones are lovely. Standouts include the themes from Yentl, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Out of Africa, Black Orpheus and Schindler's List. The charming theme from Il Postino is another one of my favourites, but I could be biased because of the movie. The icing on the cake has to be Andrea Morricone's classic "Love Theme" from Cinema Paradiso.
If you love music, if you love to be moved, this is the perfect album. How can anyone listen to this and not feel anything?

Starlight Crystal
Starlight Crystal
by Christopher Pike
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, March 16, 2002
It's a pity Pike has been known mostly as a teen hack-and-slash writer (as one reviewer thinks so). Granted his novels do fall into the horror genre, it's his writing style that sets him apart from the mindnumbing blandness that plagues the teen fiction market. He's obviously an intelligent man with a dark yet remarkable sense of humour.
The Starlight Crystal is one of my favourite books. I first read it when I was 14; I'm 20 now. Since then, I've read it many times more and each time, I'm still as moved as the first. If you're expecting lots of blood and gore, look elsewhere. Pike is one of those authors who knows that it's possible to instill greater fear without using sentences like "he stabbed her until her intestines spilled out onto the floor."
This novel starts off with Paige, who gets herself involved in a relationship with a young man, Tem, just before she's set to follow her father on a journey into space for a very long time. Tem is a wonderful character whose faith that their love will prevail against all odds is especially sweet. Pike masterfully weaves an ancient theme with a futuristic one, resulting in a tale full of witty lines and excellent character development. I especially love Paige and Tem's first meeting.
As mentioned earlier, one of Pike's best points is his adeptness at building characters, and making you fall in love with them. Paige's strength and courage, Tem's wit and persistence, the relationship between Paige and her father... all memorable. At times, admittedly, the story might get a bit confusing but in the end, everything falls into place and you'll go, "Geez, that was brilliant."
Read this book. I highly recommend it. And when you're done, pick up "Remember Me" and "The Midnight Club." If only there were more authors like him.
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Songs in A Minor
Songs in A Minor
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated Album of the Year, February 28, 2002
This review is from: Songs in A Minor (Audio CD)
No doubt, she's she can play the piano, she can carry a tune, and she's pretty, but that's it. She's not as great as the media will have you believe. I adored 'Fallin' until it got overplayed. After awhile, I realized it reminds me of another song. Can't seem to put my finger on which one.
I wanted to get the CD so I listened to my friend's first and boy, was I disappointed. It's quite a half-arsed effort although I do like 'Jane Doe.' I can't believe she did better than India Arie but that's the Grammy's for you (remember how Britney was nominated *cringe*)! I fully agree with an earlier review. If you want something brilliant, get Tori Amos' debut 'Little Earthquakes' or just stick with your radio. They're bound to overplay her anyway.

All Rise
All Rise
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Is Best, January 3, 2002
This review is from: All Rise (Audio CD)
When I first listened to this album, I had no idea I was about to be blown away by *so many* infectious tunes. If you're checking this album out, you've probably already heard the single that started it all, "All Rise." Here's a quick run-through of all the tracks:
1) All Rise - A song about getting back at a nasty ex-gf. Although this was their first single, the others are much better.
2) Too Close - Groovy cover of Next's sexy hit a few years back.
3) This Temptation - IMO, this is even better than All Rise. Extremely infectious, this makes me want to dance!
4) If You Come Back - The first ballad of the album - a really excellent mid-tempo song that *isn't* at all weighed down by sappiness.
5) Fly By - Another seriously catchy track.
6) Bounce - One of the better numbers on the album, very danceable.
7) Long Time - A slow song -- and my least favourite.
8) Make It Happen - On the slow side, the boys sound really great (not to mention persuasive ;)) here.
9) Back To You - Rock-influenced, giving it a harder funkier edge.
10) Girl I'll Never Understand - Another lovely mid-tempo number.
11) Back Some Day - This is a soulful ballad that sounds eerily like something 98º would sing. All the same, I love it.
12) Best In Me - What a great way to end an album. Once again, this reminds me of 98º. Brilliant track that displays how well the boys voices blend.
Antony, Duncan, Lee, Simon definitely stand out from the crowd -they aren't another wannabe boyband. Lee, barely out of his teens, has an amazing voice (I bet he could sing on Broadway if he wanted to). Cheers to the boys and the production team for giving us good music!

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad, October 29, 2001
This review is from: Survivor (Audio CD)
I'm not a huge fan of Destiny's Child but this album was somewhat enjoyable. The best tracks in my opinion are: Independent Women Pt 1, Bootylicious (this grew on me), Fancy, Brown Eyes and My Heart Still Beats. I would've given this a higher rating if it weren't for that nerve-grating Survivor (what were they thinking?!).
The vocals are pretty good but I think most of us agree that the group is mostly Beyonce, which is a shame. Give Kelly and Michelle a chance (or break rather).

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