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John Alapick RSS Feed (Harveys Lake, PA United States)
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2112
2112
Price: $5.99
154 used & new from $1.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Where Rush came into their own, June 8, 2014
This review is from: 2112 (Audio CD)
After trying to find their sound on the previous three albums, Rush certainly found it on their fourth release, 2112. This is one of their best albums in a long line of strong ones and has become a classic in the progressive rock genre. The 7-part suite that is the title track is their most enduring epic. While most music fans identify the first two parts (Overture, The Temples of Syrinx), a Rush fan knows that the remaining parts are just as riveting. This track is about as good as it gets in prog-rock. The remaining tunes are all strong even if they're not on the amazing level of the title track and interestingly, none of them reach the 4-minute mark as the haunting "The Twilight Zone" and the emotional "Tears" are just impressive as the moody and raging tracks "Something for Nothing" and "Lessons". Finally, "A Passage to Bangkok" is both melodic and heavy and has one of Alex Lifeson's more definitive guitar lines. Many fans will call 2112 Rush's best album and you can't argue much with that. I certainly put it in their Top 5 along with Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves, Hemispheres, and Grace Under Pressure. Like prog-rock? You'll love this.


Broadway the Hard Way
Broadway the Hard Way
Price: $12.37
47 used & new from $7.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who else could do this but Frank Zappa?, June 8, 2014
This review is from: Broadway the Hard Way (Audio CD)
The best I can describe Broadway the Hard Way is to compare it to comedian George Carlin's albums from the same era. It is not as enduring as his work from the early 1970's. However, just because the words tell of the happenings of the day (in this case the bloated and hypocritical 1980's) doesn't make it any less impressive or enjoyable. I didn't live during the 1960's so someone older would enjoy Freak Out! or We're Only In It For the Money more than I would. But I came of age during the 1980's so I can relate to this. The album's title sums it up. It's just one long Broadway production as only Frank Zappa and his band can do. Naming song highlights would be pointless since this was designed to listen to in one sitting. A fantastic album. If you like Zappa (an admittedly acquired taste) and were a child or young adult from the 1980's that knew what was going on, this is a must own.


Dog Eared Dream
Dog Eared Dream
Offered by SourceMedia
Price: $3.33
88 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A strong album from a little known yet talented musician, June 8, 2014
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This review is from: Dog Eared Dream (Audio CD)
Willy Porter is a talented songwriter and guitarist that not enough people know about. He's as adept at creating a beautiful song that will move you as he is writing a clever and humorous tune that will make you snicker. And....he's very talented on the acoustic six-string. Dog Eared Dream is a very good album with a lot of great songs and performances. Since this was on a major label, the production is such that it sounds like it was designed to reach the burgeoning adult alternative market of the time. Not that this is a detriment but it's noticeable when you hear his later and rawer releases which are just as good if not better. The accompaniment is very strong throughout, a fretless bass here, some strings or Hammond B-3 there but it all works. As for the songs, "Angry Words" is one of his best and would bring Willy closest to the mainstream. Just as impressive are the joyous and melodic "Glow", the breezy "Cool Water", the hearfelt "Cold Wind", and the dreamy ballad "Boab Tree". His best song here and one of his fan favorites is "Jesus on the Grille", as witty a commentary on worship that you'll ever hear. The only track that I can't get into is "Be Here Now" and I feel if it was recorded more as a song rather than spoken word over music, it would have worked better. All told, Dog Eared Dream is a good introduction to this talented yet little known musician. Oh, and his live show is fantastic and definitely worth experiencing.


Camelbak Podium Big Chill 25 oz Bottle
Camelbak Podium Big Chill 25 oz Bottle
Price: $19.89 - $99.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for long trips and festivals, June 8, 2014
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I've owned a few water bottles and to me, nothing beats this bottle made by Camelbak. I take frequent day trips and hit music festivals during the summers and so far the Camelbak has not let me down. Very durable, keeps your water colder longer, and no drips at all. Some may find the price to be a bit expensive for a water bottle but this a top quality product that is well worth the price and I would recommend this to anyone.


Shake Your Money Maker
Shake Your Money Maker
Price: $9.44
65 used & new from $1.81

4.0 out of 5 stars Their most popular album but they'd make better ones (4.5 stars), June 8, 2014
This review is from: Shake Your Money Maker (Audio CD)
Shake Your Money Maker would be the Black Crowes' debut album and an impressive one at that. Although this would contain their biggest hit singles, they would make better and more consistent albums later on. As such, this is a good album to introduce to the new fan. The aforementioned hit singles would be a great and enduring power ballad in "She Talks to Angels" and a killer version of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle", both of which you still hear regularly. "Jealous Again" would be the band's first single and is nearly as enduring and is one of several songs where special guest Chuck Leavell's keyboards adds that extra punch. "Twice as Hard", "Stare It Cold", and "Could I Have Been So Blind" are strong hard rock tracks with good choruses while "Seeing Things" is a fantastic ballad that may be even better than "She Talks to Angels". The remaining tracks (the fast shuffle "Thick N' Thin", the slow and grinding "Sister Luck", and "Struttin' Blues") are all good but not great. If you want the hits, a lot of them are here but the best was yet to come (Southern Harmony and the Musical Companion, Warpaint, and Before The Frost...).


Fragile
Fragile
Price: $11.88
94 used & new from $3.72

5.0 out of 5 stars #2 of the holy trio of Yes albums, June 8, 2014
This review is from: Fragile (Audio CD)
Fragile is #2 of the undisputed trio of classic Yes albums. Although this may be the most popular of the three (The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close To the Edge), I rank it a little lower than the other two although it's still a 5-star album. The popularity came from the fantastic hit single "Roundabout", the first progressive rock hit single, which is still impressive in its complexity as well as its accessibility. "Long Distance Runaround" is another classic Yes track with Chris Squire's bassline way up front and Jon Anderson's memorable vocals. "South Side of the Sky" is the least of the actual songs on the album but is still impressive while "Heart of the Sunrise" is a moody epic with a strong use of time and space. The rest of the tunes are showcases for each of the band members as Rick Wakeman's "Cans and Brahms" and Steve Howe's "Mood for a Day" show their mastery of their respective instruments while Chris Squire's "The Fish" is the most memorable, later becoming in essence the second part of "Long Distance Around" just as "Living Loving Maid" has become the second part of "Heartbreaker" for Led Zeppelin. Fragile would make Yes superstars and is still a strong musical statement all these years later.


Pieces of Eight
Pieces of Eight
Price: $7.32
112 used & new from $0.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Styx at their best, June 8, 2014
This review is from: Pieces of Eight (Audio CD)
Pieces of Eight may not possess the monster hit single that their other albums from their peak have but this is their best album. The rock songs are a little heavier while the slower tracks are a little more grandiose and there is rarely a dull moment. The singles from this album would be the hardest rocking of their career as the anthemic "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)" and "Renegade" would become Top 20 hits and over time would age more gracefully than higher charting singles like "Mr. Roboto", "Don't Let It End", and "The Best of Times". As on the hits, Tommy Shaw would be the lead voice on the whimsical "Sing For The Day", which would also be another single although it wasn't nearly as successful. J.Y. Young's "Great White Hope" is a scorcher, another in a long line of great opening tracks from the band while "Lords of the Ring" is a dramatic epic with a memorable chorus along with some dated keyboard work amidst the bombast. The title track is another gem of a ballad from Dennis DeYoung. As great as all these songs are, "Queen of Spades" is the finest of them all, if not their best song period. Pieces of Eight is Styx at their best.


444
444
Price: $16.66
5 used & new from $4.35

4.0 out of 5 stars The name of the band is very appropriate, June 7, 2014
This review is from: 444 (Audio CD)
444 is the 2nd release from Free Range Folk and is a very strong musical statement. Their songs are about the 3 F's: family, farming, and faith with the emphasis on the first two. The name of the band is a good description of their musical style as while they focus on folk, there are elements of bluegrass, country-rock, and old school country present as well. The harmonies are strong throughout as is the musical interplay. They don't overplay as the focus is always on the song. As for the songs, they are all good, and on their best songs ("Father's Day", "Lenhartsville Waltz", "S*** Show") they recall early John Prine which is a good thing. "Anyway" and "Seraphim Moonbeam" are nearly as strong and have very good choruses and harmonies as are the more bluegrass tunes "Lehigh" and "Roundup Ready". The version of the Waterboys' "Fisherman's Blues" is also very good as is the tearjerker "Laying On The Ground". All told, this a strong album worth checking out and they really bring it when they play live as well.


Grace
Grace
Price: $5.99
179 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Great songs and oh, that voice!, June 7, 2014
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This review is from: Grace (Audio CD)
The overwhelming positive reviews of this album here are justified. Grace is a fantastic and timeless album. Jeff Buckley is another of those lost too soon artists that make you wonder what more he could have done had he still been with us. All of the songs are well written and this album still sounds fresh 20 years after it was recorded. And that voice! As great as all of these songs are, it's Jeff's emotional and passionate vocals that bring them to the classic level. He was the best singer of the 1990s period. The accompaniment both with the music and backing vocals match the mood perfectly whether it's the more familiar alternative rock sounds of "Last Goodbye" and "Eternal Life", the dramatic arrangements of "Mojo Pin" and "So Real", or the sparse proceedings of "Corpus Christi Carol" or his take on Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", the last two songs where Jeff's vocal gifts reach their apex. The songs are so strong that it's hard to pick favorites but for me it would be the title track and the heartfelt "Lover, You Should've Come Over". I've referred to a few albums on Amazon as one long highlight and Grace is another one. If you love music, you must own Grace.


The Best of Pablo Cruise: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection
The Best of Pablo Cruise: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection
Price: $7.62
63 used & new from $1.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Good songs and they can play too, June 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Since the band's popularity peaked before I really got into music, for the longest time the only Pablo Cruise songs I knew were the two big hits, "Love Will Find a Way" and "Whatcha Gonna Do?". Picked this up here on Amazon and I was pleasantly surprised. The aforementioned songs are definitely the best ones but all of the songs are good. I actually found myself enjoying the lower charting singles and album tracks ("I Go To Rio", "Island Woman", "A Place In The Sun") more than the higher charting ones ("Cool Love", "Don't Want to Live Without It", "I Want You Tonight"). What impressed me even more was the band's strong musical chops which are best evidenced on "Ocean Breeze" which features an outstanding and moving piano solo and "Zero To Sixty in Five", a kicking instrumental with some great guitar work. Better late than never. I'm glad I purchased this.


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