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All Things Must Pass [DIGI-PAK EDITION]
All Things Must Pass [DIGI-PAK EDITION]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best post-beatles cd? It's sure up there., May 8, 2003
As a collection of songs, this album is great. One thing is for certain: George has backing musicians that actually care about bringing out the best in his songs. You often get a sense that on the earlier (and even some later) Beatles albums, George's songs don't get taken seriously much by the others. This 2-CD set shows both the quality and quantity of what George had up his sleeve while being overshadowed by the Lennon/ McCartney powerhouse.

Many of the songs have a soulful feeling twisted with that George Harrison strangeness: "My Sweet Lord" and "What is Life", for example. "Run of the Mill" is sweet and emotional like his Abbey Road material. "Let it Down" is another great song. It's starts out very rocking and moves into slow jazzy chords. There is a dreary, dreamy quality to George which makes him unique, but he also rocks out almost as much as John can in the very same song. "Isn't It A Pity" is a nice ballad where George cries out about this world and what we can change. "I'd Have You Anytime" is another floaty, relaxing song, and it features George's signature quality of guitar, weaving it in naturally into complicated rhythms. "I Dig Love" shows off George's bluesy side. "Apple Scrubs" is a fun song because of a harmonica part and the really jazzy vocal harmonies in the chorus. The title track is a beautiful song through which George offers insight which is no less relevant to his legacy than anything.

There are several instrumental "jams" on this album, which are eclipsed by the aforementioned songs.

George overcomes much of the public's doubt on his ability to be a solo artist. He is autonomous, prolific, and soulful, and after listening to this, it is impossible not to take him seriously as a solo artist. It is also impossible not to understand his angst while being held back artistically while part of the Beatles.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (Two-Disc Widescreen Limited Collector's Edition)
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (Two-Disc Widescreen Limited Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ Steven Speilberg
Offered by too many secrets
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spielberg creates another blockbuster to remember, May 7, 2003
What Spielberg can do so well is take a completely unrealistic premise and make a beautiful, realistic movie based on it. This skill is no more present than in E.T. Spielberg takes a somewhat dysfunctional family which is saved by the emotional bond between Elliot and his extra-terrestrial soul mate. The rousing score of John Williams helps to highlight those moments of pure fantasy.

This movie is a look into Spielberg's talent and his ability to collaborate - not just with Williams. The actors master subtelty and emotional depth, which keeps this fantasy down to earth and makes it that much more of a fantasy.

A Hard Day's Night
A Hard Day's Night
Offered by CAC Media
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Impressive of the Fab Four's First Four., May 1, 2003
This review is from: A Hard Day's Night (Audio CD)
This album, along with its film marks a great era for the Beatles. Unlike their later albums, they were still a very cohesive artistic unit, still the new, larger-than-life fab four. They were still touring. All of their original songs were written by either Lennon or McCartney, with Lennon still the dominant influence on the band he started. His great songs on the album are the hit opener "A Hard Day's Night" and the harmonious ballad "If I Fell." Paul hadn't yet taken over the creative authority of the Beatles as he would by Sgt. Pepper, but his somber composition "And I Love Her" is a great melody that features acoustic guitar.

This album is filled with several other songs which capture the early Beatles sound, like "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You". The Beatles hadn't expanded out to other genres that much yet, but this album proves that they were reeling out some classic rock, pop, and even folk songs.

Magical Mystery Tour
Magical Mystery Tour
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eclipse of Beatles Psychedelia, May 1, 2003
This review is from: Magical Mystery Tour (Audio CD)
The year 1967 was a year of all-out psychedelia for the Beatles with the releases of Sgt. Peppers and Magical Mystery Tour. With Mystery Tour, the Beatles were obviously continuing with approach of the previous album's success. Mystery Tour has the Beatles decked out in colorful costumes, and it is also a concept album. The songs have an experimental and psychedelic feel.

The album also features some very big Beatles classics. "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "All You Need is Love" are two of Lennon's most celebrated songs. He also scores big with "I am the Walrus". Paul writes another great album opener, "Magical Mystery Tour," which wraps up the theme of the concept album. He also writes "Penny Lane" and "Fool on the Hill", two big hits.

While the movie wasn't critically received with open arms as much as some of the songs on the album, Mystery Tour definitely has some of the best-written and critically-acclaimed songs of the band's career.

Rubber Soul (1990)
Rubber Soul (1990)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Beatles Album, April 25, 2003
This review is from: Rubber Soul (1990) (Audio CD)
The Beatles are a band celebrated for taking the genre of rock 'n' roll and doing so much to help it develop into something so much more than when they started working with it. Since the genre developed under their auspices, the band had to have developed too. Many of their albums are seen as "landmarks" where development or change took place. Rubber Soul is one of these albums. It is almost the quitessential Beatles album, the hallmark to which previous albums led up, and the standard upon which future albums would be built.

"Drive My Car" opens the album. The vocals are great, the arrangement is great, and Ringo sounds very good. The intricacies seem fine-tuned with ease.

The folksy "Norwegian Wood" is again an example of fantastic songwriting. George adds the sitar on this, and it fits amazingly well with the song. Great middle-eight.

"You Won't See Me" is another good song. It's a good melody. Very strong opening. The Beatles helped popularize the use of non-sense syllables such as "Oo la la" in pop/rock music. The background vocals are very solid and well done. What is great about this album is that all the songs are so well arranged. Everything fits together very nicely.

"Nowhere Man" was written by John after trying all night to write a song without success. Despite the third-person perspective, this song contains the much-visited John theme of self-denial.

"Think For Yourself" is a much overlooked George song. It is one of his best early songs. Coherent and Lennon/McCartney-esque, it fits right into the album and uses signature Beatles harmonies.

"The Word" is bluesy and wonderful. Co-written by John and Paul, it expressed much of the 60's idealism. There is a cool organ solo in the middle of the song.

"Michelle" is Paul's beauty. Recorded almost completely by himself, this is the second most played Beatles song on the radio, "Yesterday" being first. With clever chord changes and nicely sung and played, it's a classic.

"What Goes On" is a country-influenced song made for Ringo to sing. It had been written by John several years before and never played. Perhaps a low point in the album, they quickly polished this one off.

"Girl" is a strange but enjoyable Lennon classic. It explores another oft-visited lennon theme of frustration in relationships.

"I'm Looking Through You" is a nice song. I particularly like the melody, the acoustic guitar intro, and the accented line at the end of the verse. A nice blend of folk and rock.

Then comes the masterpiece, "In My Life". This is one of the few songs for which Lennon and McCartney give significantly conflicting accounts of who wrote it. Lennon undeniably wrote the words. McCartney says he wrote much of the melody, but Lennon said he was basically responsible for the whole song.

"Wait" is a well-written song. The transition from verse to chorus is pretty noticeable in songwriting style. Ringo plays a tamburine, giving the percussion track a different flavor from other songs on the album.

"If I Needed Someone" is another good George song. The most "George" sounding part of the song is the "middle eight," sounding slightly dissonant and diminished. The A-section sounds particularly "Beatles." We see George emerging as a very competent songwriter.

"Run For Your Life" is a fun song given to us by John. Again, John addresses the issue of a problematic relationship. The chorus is very enjoyable. Even what John calls a "throwaway" is enjoyable, catchy, and entertaining.

Still in their folk-rock stage, not yet having progressed onto psychedelia, the Beatles had their act down and by this time had tons of practice and confidence. All but one song is in the 2-3 minute range, with "You Won't See Me" slightly longer. They were going for a very crafty album here, demonstrating their songwriting and recording craft to the world.

The Beatles (The White Album)
The Beatles (The White Album)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like nothing before it. Or after. Incredible., April 23, 2003
At this point, the Beatles no longer seem human. They just don't stop, and "The Beatles," colloquially known as "The White Album," is another superb studio album released by the band in 1968 after the huge success of their 1967 album, "Sgt. Pepper," and its follow-up, "Magical Mystery Tour," based on the movie of the same name.

The Beatles knew what direction to take on "The White Album" after their two psychadelic concept albums of 1967, "Sgt. Pepper" and "Magical Myster Tour." They decided to strip down production on many of their numbers and release an eclectic double album with many deeply personal, sentimental, emotional, and longing tracks, such as "Julia," "I Will," My Guitar Gently Weeps," and "Don't Pass Me By." Yet mixed with these love songs are essential tunes that are the hallmark of Beatles creativity: "Bungalow Bill," "Rocky Racoon," "Savoy Truffle," and "Honey Pie." There is a uniquely Western twist to many of the tracks on this album, in addition to genre-spinning on other tracks, such as "Back in the USSR," and "Birthday," and "Happiness is a Warm Gun."

The sleek white album cover contrasts the colorful and busy cover of Sgt. Pepper. Instead of a concept album, the White Album packs in a vast variety of totally unrelated songs, giving the impression that twenty-something different bands made an album that only one band could create.

A.I. - Artificial Intelligence (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)
A.I. - Artificial Intelligence (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)
DVD ~ Haley Joel Osment
Price: $6.66
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spielberg brings Kubrick's concept to life, April 21, 2003
Just like most Stanley Kubrick films, there is an unconventionality and brilliance to "Artificial Intelligence."

Steven Spielberg should be applauded for bringing to life the late Kubrick's concept while being faithful to both producers' and directors' styles at the same time.

Like many Spielberg movies, a coherent and inspiring film is created out of an unbelievably out-of-this-world premise.

Hayley Joel Osment adroitly plays David, the robot-boy protagonist. He demonstrates non-human characteristics but also the ability to grasp the emotions of others. This modern-day Pinocchio asks the question, can something that is non-human be deserving of dignity and respect?

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the Century, April 21, 2003
One of the most musically impressive collection of Beatles songs, this album is revered for what it meant to popular music at the time. In order to understand this fully, place yourself in 1967 during the touted "Summer of Love." In an extraordinary time in the progression of American ideals and culture, there is a feeling of excitement to begin with.

The Beatles had spent the last two years creating two landmark albums, Rubber Soul and Revolver, which wowed the world with the Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison's songwriting craft.

You notice a progression from Rubber Soul to Revolver of heightened creativity and experimentation, especially with the instrumental arrangements from producer George Martin. Sgt. Pepper marks a sudden explosion in this direction. And the album cover matched what was heard on the album.

When the album starts, you hear the tuning of violins and the rustle of audience chatter, and you already know something is different about this album. Then McCartney vocals and the other Beatles rock you on the title track. Then a vocal introduction of "Billy Shears", the fictional leader of the band, that flows right into the feel-good number featuring Ringo's vocals, "With A Little Help From My Friends." Paul's bass on this song is particularly melodic.

Then a psychedelic adventure, "Lucy in the Sky", from John. You can hear them inventing new styles of music. A song flowing with imagery and melody, LSD is a clear example of a psychedelic style the Beatles were trying to accomplish.

"Getting better" is another good song. The production standard on this track is of high quality, as Paul worked hard to achieve a good arrangement on this track.

"Fixing a Whole" is another cool song by Paul. There is an brightness to the music and lyrics, like "Good Day, Sunshine" on the previous album.

"She's Leaving Home" is often considered to be Paul's follow-up to "Eleanor Rigby." He wanted to capture the theme of despair in a well-orchestrated work.

"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite", another psychedelic John piece in an exotic minor key, is quite am enjoyable adventure. The lyrics were based on an old circus poster that John had.

"Within You Without You" is George's song-writing contribution to the album. The Indian influence is apparent on this song. It's a great song that you can get lost in.

"When I'm Sixty-Four" is another creative song by Paul that harkens back to 1920's musical style. "Lovely Rita" is another great Paul song with a great melody, harmonies, and instrumentation by the Beatles.

"Good Morning, Good Morning" is a fun and interesting rock song by John.

The Reprise of the title track helps to round out the disc, making it into the famous concept album that it is.

Then comes arguably the greatest Beatle track ever: "A Day in the Life". John opens with a beautiful, haunting melody, with haunting lyrics. This song underscores the song-writing dynamic between Lennon and McCartney.

It also shows George Martin's ability to work within the band, forming a creative relationship with the band and proficiently producing everything down to the subtle yet important details. "A Day in the Life" is truly magnificent, and especially shows off John Lennon's rare way of emotionally gripping the listener.

Let this album speak for itself.

Elton John - Greatest Hits 1970-2002
Elton John - Greatest Hits 1970-2002
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elton -- top of the music world for contributions and persona, April 20, 2003
Elton John has certainly had a very impressive career. Currently he's still one of the biggest acts in music and one of the longest-performing as well. With occasionally dry periods over the course of his career, Elton has proved with no doubt that he was made to be a performer, and a brilliant, talented one at that. He is one of the most famous of "piano men", of course Billy Joel being another substantial one.

My personal favorite tracks on this album are:
"Your Song", which is a beautiful love song tunes and one of Elton's earliest hits.
"Rocket Man", an interesting song that explores a unique subject and has great music and lyrics.
"Someone Saved My Life Tonight", a song that moves the soul, and elicits a certain feeling of gratitude.

There are some other great song. "Bennie" is bluesy with a great piano solo. "Can You Feel The Love Tonight," shows that Elton is like a fine wine, maturing with age.

The first CD is clearly the cream of the Elton. The second CD might have music that is less pulpy, but it has its fair share of hits.

This CD gives a full, fair representation of Elton's career, which is one of the most lengthy and consistent careers of anyone in the business of pop music.

Legend: The Best Of Bob Marley And The Wailers (New Packaging)
Legend: The Best Of Bob Marley And The Wailers (New Packaging)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bob Marley lives on in his music; perfect CD to prove it, April 20, 2003
Bob Marley is a figure that attracts attention from many music lovers.

Leading and popularizing the Reggae genre, Bob Marley's music and persona are larger than life. He tackles themes of Rastafarian themes such as political inequality and the love of life simultaneously, and both his lyrics and music are energetic and heartfelt.

The compilation album opens with "Is this Love", as the bouncy, funky guitar intro make way for Bob Marley's lovely and heartfelt vocals.

"No Woman No Cry" is a live cut, and a change of mood, to soft, mellow, but still poignant. It's a very simple chord progression, and he combines the themes of love and life.

"Could You be Loved" has an amazing energy. The transition between relative major and minor in the chord progression is an example of Marley's ability to elicit emotion through his music. When he gets to the part "Could You be Loved, and be loved", you are forced to feel it.

"Three Little Birds" is a great song with great harmonies from the ladies. A nice arrangement by Bob, and another great message.

"Buffalo Soldier" is one of my favorites. This is really a unique song. It is well-written in terms of lyrics, melody, chord progression, and song-structure. Bob Marley was really a unique talent.

"Get Up Stand Up" is a song that describes Bob's answer to much of the injustice in Jamaica and the world. Funky and unyielding, Marley means business.

"One Love" is another melody that elicits a certain mood, and it is quintessential Bob Marley song due to its simplicity yet complexity at the same time.

"Shot the Sherrif", covered by Eric Clapton, is a strange song. It has a high-energy arrangement, and it definitely carries a political message.

"Waiting in Vain" is very relaxed. It is a song of love and longing, and there is a nice fadeout at the end.

"Redemption Song" is an emotional song with good lyrics. This is a political one. The chorus gives insight into some of Bob's longing.

"Satisfy my Soul" is a bit jazzy, but follows a basic Marley songwriting formula. Again, another song from his collection that shows he's an ingenious songwriter.

"Exodus" reiterates Marley's theme of longing for the progress and equality of his people.

"Jammin" is one of the best songs on the CD. Pure and beautiful, it's impossible not to feel Bob Marley's love for music, which is what this song is about.

There are two bonus tracks on this album, which are interesting and welcome.

Bob's all about simple messages put to very relaxing music. That's what Bob's music is all about, very basic and raw emotion, which makes the music timeless and shouts out "Life".

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