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Customer Reviews: 1525
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Helpful Votes: 8242

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Tracy Vest RSS Feed (Northern California)

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I Ran (So Far Away)
I Ran (So Far Away)
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful acoustic version of an 80's synth pop classic, August 3, 2015
This review is from: I Ran (So Far Away) (MP3 Music)
This gorgeous acoustic song is a real departure from most "A Silent Film" songs. It is a pared down interpretation of "A Flock of Seagulls" classic 80's synth pop tune. A solo piano and beautiful vocals are all that is needed to make this song a must-have on my playlist. I love the current artists and bands that are taking a chance on reinterpreting classic 80's synth pop.

Re:Imagine Volume 1
Re:Imagine Volume 1
Price: $9.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic interpretations of classic songs, July 31, 2015
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This review is from: Re:Imagine Volume 1 (MP3 Music)
Like many listeners, I first discovered Denmark+Winter from their quirky remixes of classic songs used in television shows, such as "Stalker." I was so excited to find that they had more material out there, all re-interpretations of songs that most listeners will be very familiar with:

You Really Got Me (The Kinks) – the original is a pop rock gem that so easily defines the era it was recorded in, just as Van Halen’s follow up retains pure 80’s metal. The D+W version adds an Indian inspired beat and slows down the tempo. I am not sure that I like this interpretation; one of the few that I don’t really listen to as frequently

Wild World (Cat Stevens) – Nearly unrecognizable from Stevens’ folksy original, D+W give it a more menacing sound to go with the sad lyrics, really capturing the heartache of the singer. I like how it retains the crackling of an album.

Don’t Stand so Close to Me (The Police) – The Police version is syrupy 80’s pop; while D+W starts the song with a synth pop beat, they turn it on its ear, slow down the tempo and make the song sound more menacing.

If it be Your Will (Leonard Cohen) – I had never heard this song before, but pretty much any version other than Leonard Cohen is an improvement – he is a fantastic songwriter, but I just don’t appreciate his vocal stylings. I like that this is a mostly acoustic song, showing that D+W does not have to rely on electronic instruments.

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me (Culture Club) – fantastic ethereal interpretation – pretty much is the antithesis of Culture Club’s version bringing a completely different meaning to the lyrics. Halfway through the quiet piano and strings churn into an industrial beat

Shout (Tears for Fears) – Interesting electronic take on another electronic song with a strikingly different melody. I really like the update; almost seems like a completely different song altogether.

Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley) – Advantage Buckley on this one (and k.d. lang). While Leonard Cohen wrote it, Buckley’s interpretation became the one to emulate and for good reason. While the D+W vocal styling is ethereal and fits the adjusted arrangement (sounds like angels singing from above), I just did not like how high it is. I could sing along with it, but all the dogs in my neighborhood might complain.

Walk the Line (Johnny Cash) – another unrecognizable interpretation –it gives it the old Johnny Cash standard a real contemporary edge.

Crazy (Patsy Cline) – the start of the D+W version with the synth beat reminded me of early 80’s new wave, but soon takes on a contemporary electronica sound.

The Ghost in You (Psychedelic Furs) – The Psychedelic Furs were the soundtrack of my college years; I never thought that anything they created could be improved upon. D+W does a complete 180 on this track as well, slowing it down. Once again unrecognizable and very different, but a great interpretation.

Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland) – Judy Garland may have made this song a classic, but this interpretation is mesmerizing. My favorite version though is still the one by the late blues queen, Eva Cassidy.

My Eyes Adored You (Paul Anka) – I never liked the Paul Anka version of this song – it was already too dated for me by the time I heard it the first time, and once again D+W changes up the melody and the listener barely can tell what the song is until really concentrating on the lyrics. A bit creepy, but I really like it.

Every Breath You Take (The Police) – one of my favorite tracks on the album, D+W talks the classic pop song about stalking and creates a mesmerizing song with ominous undertones.

Overall, I loved most of the new interpretations - cannot wait for volume 2 to be released in Fall 2015!!

Thrill Me (Fool's Gold)
Thrill Me (Fool's Gold)
by Susan Mallery
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.10
39 used & new from $2.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Return to Fool's Gold, July 31, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Maya left Fool's Gold and her boyfriend to attend college; Del left town soon after to heal his wounds and seek his own fortune. When Maya returns to promote the town, she never counts on coming face to face with the love of her life. Both tamp down their attraction, but how long can that last?

Susan Mallery mines familiar territory with her latest in the Fool's Gold series. Long-time readers will meet old friends that pop up I in many of her stories, but not to the point that it will cause a new reader to become confused. I pretty much devour anything she writes and I just love this series!!

Play-Doh Max the Cement Mixer
Play-Doh Max the Cement Mixer
Price: $19.99
4 used & new from $19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and creative Play-Doh set, July 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When my nephew saw this he nearly ripped t out of my hands. This Play-Doh set is well constructed and comes with a "cement" truck that allows you to create shapes from the tail end of the truck. There are also other items that allow for shaping and stamping impressions on flat pieces of doh. As much as he loves Play-doh - my nephew really loves to play with just the truck. About the only thing I did not like is that there tends to be a lot of leftover "doh-debris" in the truck after use, but this can be cleaned up with a wet rag or moist paper towel. Overall - it was a hit!

Avery Kraft Brown Scallop Oval Labels , 1-1/8 x 2-1/4 Inches, Pack of 40 Labels (41565)
Avery Kraft Brown Scallop Oval Labels , 1-1/8 x 2-1/4 Inches, Pack of 40 Labels (41565)
Price: $12.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for personalizing homemade treats, July 20, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These labels are made of recycled material and have the "Kraft" coloring to them (like a brown paper bag), giving them a neat folksy look to them. I like to use labels for homemade gifts and treats. Like another reviewer, I had difficulty getting them to line up properly in my printer, and with such a limited amount of the product (40 in the pack), I hated to waste them on printer tests. Rather I used my trusty calligraphy pen, which makes them even more personalized, adding to that homemade appeal. I especially liked that they are made from recycled material.

The Secret Sister
The Secret Sister
by Brenda Novak
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.81
31 used & new from $8.72

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good beach read, July 17, 2015
This review is from: The Secret Sister (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After a painful divorce, Maisey is ready for a fresh start; a call from her troubled brother brings her to her hometown, where she has many memories she'd rather forget. She chooses to stay in a rental rather than with her controlling mother, which leads to an inevitable reunion with the one man she would rather not deal with, first love Rafe, but her hormones have other ideas. Soon a mystery unfolds when she happens upon a box of old photographs... and memories she has never felt start to emerge. Could she have a long lost sister in her past?

Fans of Novak are familiar with her pulp romances featuring rich characters. She follows that formula in what is destined to be another series of novels. While I found the story entertaining, it did seem a bit predictable and the ending a bit abrupt. But overall, a good beach read.

Bedtime Devotions with Jesus: My Daily Devotional for Kids
Bedtime Devotions with Jesus: My Daily Devotional for Kids
by Johnny Hunt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.49
58 used & new from $10.21

4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect way to end the day, July 16, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
“Bedtime Devotions with Jesus” is a collection of prayers and devotions written in simplistic and easy to follow language. There is a one-page devotional for each day of the year and they are grouped by weeks. Each follows a specific theme such as love, patience, forgiveness, and obedience. Each also features beautiful and colorful artwork. A perfect way to end the day!

The book is very easy to follow along with even the youngest of readers (or in my family’s case, “listeners”). It is designed to be shared with kids between 4-8, but my 2 and 4 year old niece and nephew both love it – and not just because their papa is a pastor!

Kiss Me (Fool's Gold)
Kiss Me (Fool's Gold)
by Susan Mallery
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.19
74 used & new from $1.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a lot of chemistry, July 14, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Phoebe is a people pleaser who is finally putting her foot down. Zane is a brooding cowboy raising his wild brother. Can a life-size Pollyanna find romance with a weary cowboy?

I usually devour books by Susan Mallery - especially her Fools Gold series, but either the formula is not working or the author is running out of steam. After awhile, both lead characters grated on my nerves and I could not wait for the story to end. It finally does, but there is little build up or chemistry between the characters to the point where this reader was shaking her head and wondering if she skipped a couple chapters because the story just abruptly was wrapped up.

Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurus Rex Action Figure
Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurus Rex Action Figure
Price: $26.99
15 used & new from $26.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a whole lot to it, July 14, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This toy is actually fun for kids and adults who don't want to grow up... even my dog gets a kick out of the sounds this t-rex makes. Just tips his tail and he will roar in varying degrees. Oh, and he will snap up the man the man that accompanies the toy into his mouth (I think there are even chewing noises).

I got this for my nephew to play with at my house... after awhile the roaring can get cumbersome. There really is not much to do with this toy, so I suspect that it will get old really quick. It is novel - not sure how it will stand up to a rambunctious 4 year old. Or a 2 year old dachshund.

Disney Planes Waterfall Rescue Track Set
Disney Planes Waterfall Rescue Track Set
Price: $29.97
2 used & new from $29.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced, July 9, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In order to get the true Disney Plane experience, you must purchase several other sets. The Waterfall rescue set comes with just one vehicle (the Dusty plane), despite numerous images depicted on the packaging. At $30 a set, that can add up quickly. Be carful applying the stickers - if you put them on incorrectly there are no do-overs - they will be stuck in place for perpetuity. There are a lot of small pieces that can get lost pretty easily, so I purchased a medium size Rubbermaid storage bin to put them in when they are not in use. But each time you put it away, you will need to break down the track, which kind of sticks, so in all likelihood, younger kids could not put the track together themselves. For the price, the quality is kind of sub-par.

But having said that, my 4 year old nephew likes playing with this - he loves the movie and the toy is an extension of the experience.

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