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Tom "Tom" RSS Feed (Oregon, USA)

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Underneath [Limited Edition w/Bonus DVD]
Underneath [Limited Edition w/Bonus DVD]
Price: $18.19
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Back ... in a GOOD Way!, June 16, 2004
After jumping from a sugar-coated power-pop debut CD to a downright gritty, blues-rock second album (so much of a change that it left their fans dizzy, and a lot of critics scratching their heads), the brothers Hanson, savvy young musicians that they are, chose to backpedal their sound for their third original studio album (now on their own label), landing comfortably halfway between "This Time Around" and "Middle of Nowhere". The result is perhaps their best album yet.
The CD opens nicely with the gently rocking "Strong Enough To Break" and picks up steam with a solid, guitar-driven anthem, "Dancin' In The Wind". Then comes the breezy, feel-good first single, "Penny & Me". At around this point, I was getting the impression that the guys had maybe listened to some Eagles and/or Allman Brothers records just before going into the recording studio. But don't get me wrong ... that's a good thing!
Even the ballads on this disc, like "Broken Angel" and the stirring "Underneath", are mostly enjoyable, perhaps because all three Hanson brothers trade off in lead vocal duties on this album, and very capably (although Taylor's crisp, soulful voice is, hands-down, still the best). But my favorite tracks are the absolutely kick-arse "Lost Without Each Other", which hits the ground running with an amazing groove, and "Deeper", an upbeat ballad with an engaging chorus, featuring backup vocals by the always enjoyable Michelle Branch. Other highlights include the bouncy, brass-accented "Crazy Beautiful", and "Get Up And Go", which makes the listener want to do just that.
If you're going to buy this album (which, as if you couldn't guess, I recommend), you might as well pay a measly few dollars more and get the edition with the companion DVD, which includes a short documentary on the making of the album, as well as three excellent live acoustic performances. Anyone who's a fan of the softer side of '70s rock, like the Eagles, or anyone who enjoys good power-pop and pop-rock music in general, should definitely take a chance on this gem!

Offered by megahitrecords
Price: $10.07
95 used & new from $0.01

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic and Shameful, April 6, 2004
This review is from: Inspiration (Audio CD)
Okay, I never "bash" CD's without first hearing them (just look at my review history), but please, folks, this is a "no-brainer" (in more ways than one). William Hung's 30 seconds on "American Idol" was a horrible spectacle to behold, and the only portion of 15 minutes of fame that he deserves. Rest assured, I have nothing personal against William Hung as a person, but this CD is nothing less than an affront to music lovers like me, and to the art of music itself.
It's very disturbing to me that dozens of legitimately talented and hard-working musicians are being tossed out on the streets by their former record labels only because they aren't selling enough -- but a person who walks in off the streets with absolutely no singing or dancing talent whatsoever (and certainly no potential for any) is literally handed a record contract within weeks. Every music lover can name a favorite artist who was dumped by their record label and is now in limbo, with no way to get their music to their adoring fans (for me it's The Connells); this William Hung CD is a slap in the face to those artists.
I now have even less pity for the "struggling" music industry than I had before. I suppose there are a couple of upsides to this, though: Hung's CD was certainly thrown together so quickly that they couldn't possibly have spent any significant amount of money on it. Also, his talent (or lack thereof) will make people sorry they ever bought it in just a few weeks, and he'll be just as quickly forgotten by the public.
William, I sure hope you haven't quit your day job.

Man at Work
Man at Work
Price: $13.99
46 used & new from $6.43

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent way to re-discover Colin Hay!, September 23, 2003
This review is from: Man at Work (Audio CD)
Just in case you might have assumed that Colin Hay's recording career ended back in the 80's with the demise of Men At Work, rest assured that you can check up on what he's been doing all these years, all in one handy little CD. "Man At Work" provides an excellent blend of re-recordings of his Men At Work classics, as well as his newest material, and everything in between.
The re-recordings of the classic Men At Work hits, such as "Be Good Johnny", "Overkill" (which was previously available only on the "Scrubs" TV soundtrack), and "It's A Mistake" are good, but they just don't have the magic of the original vintage recordings. Some of the highlights of his solo albums can also be found here, including "Waiting For My Real Life To Begin" and "Beautiful World" (one of my Colin Hay favorites). There are also three previously unreleased tracks for the Colin Hay completists, as well as an excellent, exotic new take on "Down Under", which must be heard to be appreciated.
Be warned, however: Buying this CD may fill you with the uncontrollable urge to buy all his previous CD's! But then again, if you like this album, then it'll be worth the investment!

Offered by Speedy CD
Price: $9.69
176 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is This the Same O-Town?!?, September 5, 2003
This review is from: O2 (Audio CD)
When the boybands themselves start realizing that the "boyband era" as we know it is dead and change the style of music they sing, it leaves little doubt that the genre's days are severely numbered. "O2" is perhaps the most striking shift in sound that I've ever witnessed between two consecutive albums by the same artist. Ashley, Jacob, Erik, Dan, and Trevor did a very smart thing by trading in the "same-old lame-old" hormonal high-school synth-pop droning that plagued their debut album, in favor of the guitar-and-drums foundation of a more rough-around-the-edges, r&b/rock hybrid sound. The result is a much better album, not just in terms of the music, but in terms of the vocals as well. This music better complements their less-than-perfect (but still good) voices, and the guys sound like they know it. The passion they put into their vocals this time around tells us that this is the kind of music they've wanted to make from the start.
The album starts out strongly with the mid-tempo rocker "From The Damage" and their first single "These Are The Days". The album does seem to "re-lapse" into boyband pop occasionally, with unremarkable tracks like "Favorite Girl" and "Girl Like That", but bounces right back with the top-notch soft ballad "I Showed Her", and the excellent power ballad "Craving". And the O-Town boys also prove that they still have a good dance-pop tune in them with the surprisingly catchy "The Joint".
One of the disappointments on the album is "I Only Dance With You", which incorporates part of George Michael's "Careless Whisper" (the music of the chorus, with approximated lyrics). Sorry, but I just don't like these "half-covers" like Sean ("P. Whatever-He-Calls-Himself-This-Week") Combs does. I'd rather have a straightforward cover, thank you ... and I get one on this album with the fairly decent "Been Around The World". It's not 100% faithful to the original tune, but just different enough to keep my interest.
I suppose that if there's one thing we can thank Lou Pearlman for, it's for giving these young guys who want to be pop stars their big break. As schmaltzy and unimagintative as most of these boybands' first albums are, they have invariably gone on to make better music, and O-Town is no exception. This album may not be fantastic, but I'm hoping that we'll see a third album from them, to see how much closer to fantastic they get.

Hit Tv-Television's Top Themes
Hit Tv-Television's Top Themes
Offered by Big_Box_Bargains
Price: $6.94
18 used & new from $1.06

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really Sloppy Production, July 8, 2003
Varese Sarabande has always been a high-quality label dedicated to film and television music. But they oughta be ashamed of themselves with the production of this release. Don't get me wrong; the TV theme arrangements are, for the most part, well-performed, and the sound quality is good. But the track listing is terribly inaccurate. Were the proofreaders taking the day off or something?
"SOUTH PARK" FANS BE WARNED: what is listed as the "South Park" theme is actually the theme from "Dharma & Greg". How could they possibly confuse those two TV themes?!? (Not to mention that I shudder to think of what an instrumental pop arrangement of the "South Park" theme song might sound like!) I hate to think that a classy label like Varese would arbitrarily say they had the "South Park" theme on a CD just to cash in on its popularity.
From that point, the track listing on the inlay cards differs almost completely from what is on the disc. There's even a 15th track on the disc that isn't even mentioned! In this case, it's the theme from "3rd Rock From The Sun". This disc does get a star just for that ... I love the "3rd Rock" theme (this is the original "surf-rock" arrangement of the theme, by the way), and it almost never gets the TV theme compilation album treatment.
So, if you don't mind a grossly inaccurate listing of the CD's contents (Does anybody know what the themes REALLY are? I'd appreciate if they could post them on this page!), this CD might be entertaining to listen to if you're a TV theme admirer like I am.

Poodle Hat
Poodle Hat
Offered by cdgiveaways
Price: $12.39
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4.0 out of 5 stars Al, My Pal, You're Back!, May 21, 2003
This review is from: Poodle Hat (Audio CD)
Break out the twinkie-wiener sandwiches ... after four years (the longest timespan between albums), "Weird Al" Yankovic is back with his eleventh studio album, "Poodle Hat"! And it was worth the wait ... mind you, this comes from a lifelong "Weird Al" fan, so my view may be just a little biased.
Being a minor Backstreet Boys fan, as well as a moderate-magnitude eBay jockey, "eBay" (a parody of "I Want It That Way") is understandably my favorite track on the album. "A Complicated Song" is also one of my favorites, since I'm also an Avril Lavigne listener, but also because it isn't about just one single joke, like his songs usually are ... extra points for that one! I'm unable to fully appreciate the parodies of Nelly ("Trash Day") and Eminem ("Couch Potato"), since I'm not into that kind of music. Al's requisite polka medley (this time assembled from various rap-metal and "nu-metal" hits) is worth a few chuckles, as always.
Al's half-dozen original songs may actually outshine the parodies on this release. The quirky-sounding "Hardware Store" has the funniest rapid-fire run-on vocal since "Your Horoscope For Today" (from his last album, "Running With Scissors"); "Party At The Leper Colony" is fun to listen to for all its references to body parts falling off (morbid, but still funny); and "Genius In France" is weird even by "Weird Al" standards ... it may be a bit long (at nearly 9 minutes), but it's all over the place, with tempo and key shifts here and there, and even changes in the style of instrumentation. But the standout has to be the truly inspired "Bob", a salute to Bob Dylan, in which Al superbly mimicks not only his musical style but also his voice -- and its lyrics are made up entirely of palindromic phrases! (Look up "palindrome" in the dictionary if you don't know what it means.)
All in all, it's a very enjoyable album, "Weird Al" Yankovic true to form. And by the way, there's supposed to be a great enhanced component to the CD, but I haven't even opened that up yet. Who knows what goodies that holds in store!

American Dreams
American Dreams
Offered by NBNC Enterprises
Price: $29.95
49 used & new from $0.01

24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Disappointed..., May 12, 2003
This review is from: American Dreams (Audio CD)
I've been an "American Dreams" watcher since the series' first episode and, being a music fan as well, it wasn't long before I began eagerly anticipating the soundtrack CD from this show (which we all knew was coming, seeing as how music is itself a character in the show, as much as the Pryor family members are).
I very much enjoy this album, starting with the great title song for the show, "Generation". There's a great mixture of classic '60s tunes by the original artists, as well as new covers of other ones by contemporary pop stars (from the excellently-done re-creations on the "American Bandstand" set, which have become a staple of the show).
Unfortunately, some of my favorite musical guest appearances, the ones I was most eagerly awaiting on CD, are absent from this disc ... specifically Nick Carter (Jay and the Americans), Michelle Branch (Lesley Gore), and Usher (Marvin Gaye). Why were they (perhaps the most publicized of the guest appearances, ironically) left off the disc? Certainly there was room for three more tracks, seeing as how nearly every song is less than three minutes long. Hopefully these songs won't be forever condemned to "musical limbo" and will see the light of day on a future "American Dreams" release.
That's the reason my review is only three stars ... it may be a rather insignificant reason to some people, but a big one for me, since it took away a good deal of the album's worth in my eyes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 12, 2013 11:38 AM PDT

New Arrival
New Arrival
15 used & new from $13.37

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What "Pop Til You Drop" Should Have Been, March 17, 2003
This review is from: New Arrival (Audio CD)
If you haven't bought the A-Teens' U.S. album "Pop Til You Drop" yet, skip that one and buy this import CD. It's a bit more expensive, yes, but worth it.
This disc contains all the best tracks from "Pop Til You Drop" -- the addictive tropical-flavored "Cross My Heart", the dance-floor anthem "Floorfiller", the slice of Euro-pop heaven "Closer To Perfection", and the bouncy "Let Your Heart Do All The Talking". The new tracks include covers of the classic songs "The Letter" and "One Night In Bangkok", with a fresh and unique A-Teens twist put on them. "Have A Little Faith In Me", "Shangri La" and "Shame Shame Shame" are enjoyable numbers as well. And finally, this disc includes the ballad version of "Heartbreak Lullaby", which I like more than the Ray Hedges mix (which is on the "Teen Spirit: New Version" album).
Does the abundance of non-original material on this album mean that the A-Teens are drifting back toward being primarily a cover band? I don't know if that would be a good thing or not, honestly. While this album isn't quite as good as "Teen Spirit", it's definitely got something that "Pop Til You Drop" was missing.

Offered by 1dandy1
Price: $8.99
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cutting-Edge Pop Craftsmanship, March 5, 2003
This review is from: Justified (Audio CD)
I wasn't going to buy Justin Timberlake's solo debut, "Justified", for two reasons: I don't care for hip-hop, which is the direction I knew his music was gradually taking; and I've never been terribly crazy about his voice. But I saw the album on sale recently, and decided to second-guess myself and pick it up. Surprisingly, I'm enjoying this album more than I thought I would.
"Cry Me A River" is probably the best song on this album, one of the reasons being the unusual percussion track. It's one of the few songs for which I bought the single specifically to have the instrumental version, so I can appreciate the layering of sound even more. "(Oh No) What You Got" has a captivating flute motif injected into the song ... something of a mix of Asian and Middle-Eastern sound. "Last Night" is one of the more pop-sounding numbers, but catchy nonetheless. With "Rock Your Body", I'm still not sure if Justin is trying to convey an early-80's Michael Jackson sound or a straightforwardly retro disco feel, but it doesn't really matter; it works either way. In fact, Timberlake's appreciation of 1980's Michael Jackson is apparent in several places, and it's not necessarily a bad thing.
I still love Nick Carter's solo album, "Now Or Never", much more than "Justified", but that's only because of my own musical preferences. But now I understand why (and am much less upset that) "Justified" has sold better: it's fresh ... and yes, a definite departure from the NSYNC sound. Nick Carter's album, as great as I think it is, is the been-there-done-that guitar-rock breed of pop. But "Justified" is full of sounds we've never heard before. Though Justin Timberlake's sound might not be your cup of tea, his skillful and talented musicianship is obvious. (Note: he has chief songwriting credit on each of the tracks on this album.) I can easily foresee him being active in music for a long time to come -- if not in front of the microphone, then somewhere behind it.

The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, Seventh Edition
The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, Seventh Edition
by Earle Marsh
Edition: Paperback
59 used & new from $0.01

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably the best TV reference work ever!, November 20, 2002
The information contained in this book is astounding. I can't tell you how many times I have consulted this book whenever we see an actor on a TV show and wonder, "Where have we seen him/her before?" Rarely has that question not been answered in the pages of this book. I've bought the last four editions, and have a "hand-me-down chain" well established: my sister gets the second-most-recent edition, and she passes the previous one onto her son-in-law.
Inaccuracies? With the volume of television information out there, there are bound to be small mistakes here and there. The authors encourage readers to submit corrections to the book, and I myself have done so. (In fact, my name appears in the acknowledgments page of this edition as having contributed a correction.)
Out-of-date information? This book is only updated once every three to four years (to update it more often would be cost-prohibitive), and the last revision was in 1999. The publication information on the item page clearly says this, and the book's introduction also gives the "official" cut-off date for updated information. The next edition should be just around the corner.
My library would not be complete without this book, and I will, without hesitation, be buying the next edition as soon as it hits the shelves.

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