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R. Mayer "Lil King" RSS Feed (Florida, USA)
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Unorthodox Jukebox [Explicit]
Unorthodox Jukebox [Explicit]
Price: $10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless, except for one thing - it's too short!, September 5, 2013
I read all the reviews panning the explicit lyrics and I'm just amazed. Have you never heard curses before? I don't think saying the f-word twice in the course of 10 tracks is very offensive at all. As far as the lyrics being sexual, this guy is a grown man and he makes music for everyone. He is not writing his lyrics to cater to those who are of Sesame Street age. Furthermore, the overtly religious reviewers need to calm down. He is not a religious artist and he doesn't need to cater to you either. If you walk down a city street you will hear far worse and I bet you say much worse yourselves in your private moments. Every single track on this record could be a hit. From the gorgeous simplicity of "When I Was Your Man", to the deep grooves of "Gorilla" and "Natalie", there is something for everyone. I love the fact that he went old-school on "If I Knew" to close the album. What a brilliant old-school soul song. This man is a genius as well as a master-class vocalist and songwriter. For me, Bruno Mars is the musical messiah and this album is a blessing of the highest order. Do yourself and get the Target-exclusive deluxe edition which has acoustic demos of "Gorilla" and "Young Girls". It also has a couple killer remixes. It's simply essential.


XXX
XXX
Price: $16.99
43 used & new from $8.99

9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ASIA XXX - A Modern Day Masterpiece, July 3, 2012
This review is from: XXX (Audio CD)
It is a rare accomplishment when guys in their 60s can sound as good as they did in their 30s and in some instances better. Asia's new album is one of those rarities. All the elements are there - great vocals, sweeping melodies, catchy choruses and extraordinary musicianship.

The Wetton/Downes writing team is as prolific as ever and they have composed 10 consistently good songs without one clunker in the bunch.

It must be said that John Wetton is the only singer in the rock genre who has not only managed to maintain his voice but improve it. It has as much strength and range now, as it did in 1982, only it now carries with it more resonance. His gifts as a vocalist are evidenced not only on the leads, but on the trademark Asia harmonies, which are of course, layers upon layers of his own voice.

Standout tracks include "Tomorrow The World," "Faithful," "Face On The Bridge" "I Know How You Feel" and "Ghost Of A Chance".

XXX has the impossible task of following Omega, which in my opinion was flawless and perhaps bit stronger melodically. The only fault I find with this record is that I don't feel Carl Palmer is loud enough in the mix. On the early 80s albums his drums were so prominent in the mix, but I find that at times he is much too far back and it hinders the power of some of the songs. He was more up front on Omega but there was a similar problem on Phoenix. Nevertheless, this is a very small gripe as the production values are very high.

While most 80s bands are busy rehashing the oldies and cranking out regurgitated melodies, Asia are composing and performing new and exciting musical adventures. Perhaps most impressive is that it is the original 4 - the legends that started it all. And they continue to be masters of their craft and sonic geniuses. You can't go wrong with XXX. It's a must-have not only for Asia fans, but for fans of melodic rock in general.

John, Geoff, Steve and Carl - I salute you gentlemen. You've done it again and I thank you for all the blood sweat and tears that have resulted in a phenomenal listening experience.

- Ryan Mayer
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 19, 2012 11:44 PM PDT


Eclipse
Eclipse
Offered by Treasures 2go
Price: $10.49
29 used & new from $1.95

29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eclipse - Journey On Steroids, May 24, 2011
This review is from: Eclipse (Audio CD)
Journey released their hallmark album, Escape, 30 years ago in 1981. Since then, a lot has changed. Members have come and gone. Singers have been hired and fired. And through this evolution, Journey has carried on and continued to make new music.

Eclipse is not your typical Journey album, nor is it typical of a band who was established more than 35 yeas ago. This album rocks - hard. If you are looking for timeless ballads in the style of "Open Arms," "Faithfully," or even "After All These Years" from Revelation, you're not going to find any. The closest thing that Eclipse has to those slow masterworks comes in the form of "Tantra". It starts out with just piano and voice, but less than 2 minutes in, it becomes a grand, progressive epic that lasts 7 minutes. It is a very good song however. Arnel Pineda's voice is stunning not only on this song, but throughout the album. He has a presence that is not unlike that of the legendary Steve Perry, and on this album he sounds more like himself than on the previous album where it sounded like he was trying to mimic Perry's phrasing and delivery.

The rest of the album is a guitar fest. Openning with the catchy "City of Hope," Eclipse wastes no time in informing the listener that this is going to be an exciting affair. The chorus to the song is glorious with a perpetual guitar riff that lays the groundwork for the song. The chorus melody also features some nice keyboard flourishes from Jonathan Cain. "Edge of The Moment" and "Chain of Love" continue in a similar style - muscular rock songs with big hooks. Deen Castronovo's drumming is propulsive throughout.

After the aforementioned "Tantra," it's back to rock with the hook-laden "Anything Is Possible". This song sounds like it could have been at home on Raised On Radio or even on the first Bad English album. What follows is the album's standout track, "Resonate." It begins almost like a shuttle getting ready for lift off, with an eerie thunder-like soundscape that gives way to one of the album's best riffs. The chorus could not be catchier and Pineda's voice soars over the crunching rhythm.

After these 6 winners, the album takes a nose-dive for the out-of-place "She's A Mystery". It's an acoustic guitar, mid-tempo excursion. In some ways it's a bit psychadelic and torwards the end it does explode into another Neal Schon shred-fest, but the whole thing sounds very out-of-place with the rest of the record. The hook also lacks excitement.

Thankfully, the rest of the album picks up where "Resonate" left off and there are plenty of hooks in the latter half of the record. "Human Feel" is notable for its epic drum sound. The drums are the focus of this song. The lyrics touch on the progression of technology and it's coldness when compared to human kind. Pretty heavy stuff. "Ritual" is another song that sounds like it could have come from a Bad English album with a very slick chorus that screams 80s. "To Whom It May Concern" is very deep lyrically, yearning for peace in this chaotic and corrupt world. The verse melody draws the listener in and the chorus features Pineda plaintively calling for man to unite in harmony. "Someone" is an average song, but the chorus is catchy with prevalent background vocals that help reinstill the chorus melody. The album closes with an instrument reprise of "To Whom It May Concern" where Schon and Castronovo really let loose. It's a fitting way to end an album that is so adventurous and agressive.

If you are a Neal Schon fan, or a fan of hard-edged melodic rock in general, this album will appeal to you. If to you, the most important element of Journey is Jonathan Cain's piano ballads, Eclipse will be a bit of a turn-off. What's most important though and should trump all other factors, is that almost all the songs have memorable melodies, albeit loaded with guitar riffs. If you give the album a chance, you will be rewarded. Also, it is hard to imagine a better vocal performance than Arnel Pineda displays on this album. His soaring tenor gives these songs an urgency and soulful authenticity that is rarely found anymore in the rock genre.

Give the disc a spin and keep an open mind. Eclipse is an epic journey within itself.

Highly recommended.


Eclipse
Eclipse
Price: $9.49

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eclipse - Journey On Steroids, May 24, 2011
This review is from: Eclipse (MP3 Music)
Journey released their hallmark album, Escape, 30 years ago in 1981. Since then, a lot has changed. Members have come and gone. Singers have been hired and fired. And through this evolution, Journey has carried on and continued to make new music.

Eclipse is not your typical Journey album, nor is it typical of a band who was established more than 35 yeas ago. This album rocks - hard. If you are looking for timeless ballads in the style of "Open Arms," "Faithfully," or even "After All These Years" from Revelation, you're not going to find any. The closest thing that Eclipse has to those slow masterworks comes in the form of "Tantra". It starts out with just piano and voice, but less than 2 minutes in, it becomes a grand, progressive epic that lasts 7 minutes. It is a very good song however. Arnel Pineda's voice is stunning not only on this song, but throughout the album. He has a presence that is not unlike that of the legendary Steve Perry, and on this album he sounds more like himself than on the previous album where it sounded like he was trying to mimic Perry's phrasing and delivery.

The rest of the album is a guitar fest. Openning with the catchy "City of Hope," Eclipse wastes no time in informing the listener that this is going to be an exciting affair. The chorus to the song is glorious with a perpetual guitar riff that lays the groundwork for the song. The chorus melody also features some nice keyboard flourishes from Jonathan Cain. "Edge of The Moment" and "Chain of Love" continue in a similar style - muscular rock songs with big hooks. Deen Castronovo's drumming is propulsive throughout.

After the aforementioned "Tantra," it's back to rock with the hook-laden "Anything Is Possible". This song sounds like it could have been at home on Raised On Radio or even on the first Bad English album. What follows is the album's standout track, "Resonate." It begins almost like a shuttle getting ready for lift off, with an eerie thunder-like soundscape that gives way to one of the album's best riffs. The chorus could not be catchier and Pineda's voice soars over the crunching rhythm.

After these 6 winners, the album takes a nose-dive for the out-of-place "She's A Mystery". It's an acoustic guitar, mid-tempo excursion. In some ways it's a bit psychadelic and torwards the end it does explode into another Neal Schon shred-fest, but the whole thing sounds very out-of-place with the rest of the record. The hook also lacks excitement.

Thankfully, the rest of the album picks up where "Resonate" left off and there are plenty of hooks in the latter half of the record. "Human Feel" is notable for its epic drum sound. The drums are the focus of this song. The lyrics touch on the progression of technology and it's coldness when compared to human kind. Pretty heavy stuff. "Ritual" is another song that sounds like it could have come from a Bad English album with a very slick chorus that screams 80s. "To Whom It May Concern" is very deep lyrically, yearning for peace in this chaotic and corrupt world. The verse melody draws the listener in and the chorus features Pineda plaintively calling for man to unite in harmony. "Someone" is an average song, but the chorus is catchy with prevalent background vocals that help reinstill the chorus melody. The album closes with an instrument reprise of "To Whom It May Concern" where Schon and Castronovo really let loose. It's a fitting way to end an album that is so adventurous and agressive.

If you are a Neal Schon fan, or a fan of hard-edged melodic rock in general, this album will appeal to you. If to you, the most important element of Journey is Jonathan Cain's piano ballads, Eclipse will be a bit of a turn-off. What's most important though and should trump all other factors, is that almost all the songs have memorable melodies, albeit loaded with guitar riffs. If you give the album a chance, you will be rewarded. Also, it is hard to imagine a better vocal performance than Arnel Pineda displays on this album. His soaring tenor gives these songs an urgency and soulful authenticity that is rarely found anymore in the rock genre.

Give the disc a spin and keep an open mind. Eclipse is an epic journey within itself.

Highly recommended.


Tour Of The Universe: Barcelona 20/21.11.09
Tour Of The Universe: Barcelona 20/21.11.09
7 used & new from $19.99

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible filming. Almost unwatchable!, November 25, 2010
The shots are far away, blurry, obscured by the hands of the crowd and totally distorted. Why couldn't the director just film the actual concert? The close-ups are few and far between and Dave Gahan's typically energized performance isn't given much camera time. The crowd gets more face time than Dave and Martin. It's just attrocious.

The sound is not great and it wasn't Dave's best night vocally, but this would have been a great DVD if they had just filmed the band playing. Simple as that. Show the concert being performed not a bunch of "artistic" nonsense.

Don't waste your money on this.


Mythology (4 CD)
Mythology (4 CD)
15 used & new from $79.99

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Andy and Maurice CDs are worth the price for hardcore fans..., November 19, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mythology (4 CD) (Audio CD)
The long-delayed "Mythology" boxed set by the Brothers Gibb has finally been released. All big Bee Gees fans will have almost all the material, aside from a few tracks on Maurice's CD and one track on Andy's CD. On the latter, "Arrow Through The Heart" is an absolute gem. It was originally written and recorded by Andy, Barry and Maurice in 1987. The song has a great melody, thoughtful lyrics and a beautiful chorus. Andy's vocals are full of power and he exhibits good range as well. It's a shame he's gone. Ditto for Maurice.

On Maurice's CD, fans will want to check out two previously unreleased tracks, "The Bridge" and "Angel of Mercy". They were recorded around the same time as the Bee Gees recorded "This Is Where I Came In". Both are duets with Maurice's daughter, Samantha. She has a lovely voice, similar to that of Enya. The songs aren't classics, but they are memorable and each features lush instrumentation and thoughtful lyrics. They are certainly worth having.

The Robin and Barry CDs are made up of only previously released material. There is nothing new here, although the sound quality is improved on some songs. The same is true for the other two discs. Some latter day classics like "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and "One" are missing.

The packaging is very clever, made to look like a hardcover book. It has many photographs and essays from Barry, Robin, Maurice's widow and children as well as Andy's daughter. Their sentiments are heartwarming. Also included are short essays praising the Brothers Gibb from a plethora of singers and songwriters and others in the industry.

This set is highly recommended for the hardcore Bee Gees fan, but casual fans would be better served with one of the many greatest hits packages available.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 7, 2011 6:31 PM PDT


The Union
The Union
Offered by Great Price Media
Price: $6.65
79 used & new from $0.44

6 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks memorable melodies....(see update), October 20, 2010
This review is from: The Union (Audio CD)
The Union lacks memorable melodies. There are no addictive choruses. The music is drenched in country-tinged gospel and sounds like something you'd hear in an old saloon. As someone who owns every EJ album (plus around 60 bootlegs), this is a weak spot in his catalogue. His vocals are fine, no problems there. It's the fact that the songs do not have the melodic beauty that so many of his others do and that's what sinks this album. But he's only half to blame because Leon Russell does not help here. His voice, while unique, lacks strength and the tone of it makes everything about the song overtly country. I don't think the two blend well together. I think "Gone To Shiloh", "You're Never Too Old To Hold Someone" and "If It Wasn't For Bad" are pretty good tunes, but the rest of the songs are mediocre at best. "Dream Come True" and "Hearts Have Turned To Stone" lack strong choruses and engaging verses. And the constant backing vocals from the gospel singers are way overdone. Rather than highlight the tunes, they dominate them and overtake the songs.

What looks great on paper doesn't always pan out and this is one of those cases. You'd be better off with almost any EJ album, including Leather Jackets from '86. One has to be objective. Even though I'm a huge fan of Elton who has bought everything he's ever put out, I don't feel the need to portray a lump of coal as a diamond.

****UPDATE*** - After another few listens, I must say this IS a good record and most of the songs are strong. I'd rate it 3 and 1/2 stars, rather than 2. It really does grow on you. Recommended purchase.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 1, 2010 12:39 AM PDT


George Michael: Live in London
George Michael: Live in London
DVD ~ George Michael
Price: $14.99
31 used & new from $5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars George Michael's Crowning Achievement, December 9, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
George Michael's "Live In London" embodies everything that's great about this man and his music. The song selection is fantastic, as it covers all phases of George's career, from the Wham stuff to his latest solo works. George's voice sounds just as it did 20 years ago and in my opinion it's even better on this concert. Smooth as silk. He makes it seem so effortless, even when he's doing his dance moves on the faster songs. The man moves so well it's hard to believe he has steel rods in his back.

The visuals are very captivating, from elaborate lasers and bizarre images to more subtle backdrops for the ballads. There are also many different camera angles so there is never a dull moment for the viewer. The crowd is so into it, George has the audience in an absolute frenzy and with good reason.

The audio quality is very good but is slightly bass-heavy. Everything comes through loud and clear but the bass is very prominent. If there was a lack of treble this would present a problem, but there are plenty of highs so this doesn't detract from the listening experience. Just be sure to remove any glass objects from your wall unit!

To think this is GM's first live DVD is hard to believe. I am so thankful that he decided to do one and that the product is of such high quality. His band is incredible and so are the backing vocalists. A really talented bunch that bring out the most in all these classic tracks. If you want to see and hear George Michael at his very best, you must get this. A triumph.

- Ryan Mayer


Kansas: There's Know Place Like Home
Kansas: There's Know Place Like Home
DVD ~ Kansas
Price: $14.99
30 used & new from $10.98

69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible & Flawless Performance!, October 18, 2009
One word - EPIC. This DVD is amazing. Kansas is amazing. Ehart, Williams, Walsh, Greer and Ragsdale joined forces with a 50-piece symphony for an unforgettable performance. Let's get down to business! Steve Walsh has shocked me and delivered an absolutely knock-out performance. He hits every single note and his voice sounds fresh and vibrant. This was the best I've heard him since 1990. He especially shines on "Ghosts, "Nobody's Home," "The Other Side," and "Dust..". Ehart's drumming is so powerful and it's such a pleasure to watch his technique. Greer was fantastic on bass and even more so on the backing vocals. When he harmonizes with Walsh a great blend is created. Rich Williams was really on his game, especially on "The Wall" and "Carry On". But the guy who was the most impressive and fun to watch was Ragsdale. This guy has such flair and showmanship. As good as Robby Steinhardt was, Ragsdale is a flashier and more exciting player. If this wasn't enough we get guest appearances from Kerry Livgren and Steve Morse. The latter plays such a fiery lead on "Musicatto" it's hard to believe he's human. Livgren was exceptional as well and it was cool to see him playing a pipe organ during "The Wall". Of course there are 50 other stars of the show - the symphony. Their performance added such beauty to all the epic songs and meshed so well with the band. It was truly a match made in heaven. "Nobody's Home" was especially moving. The conductor was fun to watch too. Quite simply, this DVD captures Kansas on one of their very best nights. It should also be noted that the camera work and lighting are spectacular. Without question this DVD not only blows Live At The Whiskey and Device-Voice-Drum away, it obliterates them. The setlist is comprised from 10 different albums, so there's something here for Kansas fans of any era. No fan should be without this gem. Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2011 5:31 PM PST


Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies
Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies
by Michelle Malkin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.51
477 used & new from $0.01

7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Hurts!, August 30, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a superbly written and well investigated book about the shady side of Obama and all his cronies. Michelle Malkin really did her research. Her writing style is bold and concise. All those 1 star reviews goes to show that the truth hurts all the left-wing radicals out there. Ignorance is bliss I suppose. This book is deserving of it's #1 spot for 4 weeks and counting. Highly recommended to people of all political affiliations.


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