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Customer Reviews: 70
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Reviews Written by
Brian C. Taylor "smug feldspar magnate" RSS Feed (Tallahassee, FL USA)

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Fresh Wine for the Horses
Fresh Wine for the Horses
45 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites, October 21, 2009
Love his voice and his ear for hooks. I always figured there was something unique about Catherine Wheel, because I just thought they were great, and other folks who knew of them didn't seem to share my enthusiasm. Obviously, to me, there was something about CW that clicked with me. Even more obviously, it was largely Rob Dickinson. He's got a great voice and he writes great music that fits me like the proverbial worn pair of jeans. This is really honestly one of my favorite CDs of the past 5 years, and I suspect I will always treasure it. Darn close to perfect.

She Wants Revenge
She Wants Revenge
Price: $7.39
103 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous, mostly pathetic zombie dance idiocy., April 9, 2009
This review is from: She Wants Revenge (Audio CD)
Hey, that's a pretty good title! If there's any life to this drivel, it's in the drum machine. Monotous, goofy, apparently serious (thus making it ridiculous) undead haircut robot music. Intense deadpan ruminations on dancing, sex and breaking up with girls over a.m. radio Depeche Mode beats and Joy Division guitar. Stupid, really. Save your intense deadpan ruminations for things like nuclear holocaust, the exploitation of children, and the Rape of Nanking.

Envy of Angels
Envy of Angels
Price: $14.85
33 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, November 16, 2006
This review is from: Envy of Angels (Audio CD)
It's hard to believe that this album that almost no one heard is the best album released in 1996. A masterpiece. The Mutton Birds were clicking on all cylinders when they made "Envy of Angels." It's as good a piece of melodic guitar pop as you'll find. Great melodies, great harmonies, great lyrics, and arrangements that are unusual enough to sound fresh, but still comfortable. GREAT, GREAT RECORD. "While You Sleep" is possibly my favoritest song of all time.

Mrs. Jeffries Sweeps the Chimney (A Victorian Mystery)
Mrs. Jeffries Sweeps the Chimney (A Victorian Mystery)
by Emily Brightwell
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
129 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, October 9, 2006
In this novel, Mrs. Jeffries and her fellow staff members (servants) track down the murderer of a vicar, found on the street with a hole in his head. On the way they stumble across another corpse, shoved into a chimney. The mystery is adequate, but I had some problems with the book. Mrs. Jeffries and her gang of crime busters remind me a little too much of the Hardy Boys or the Scooby Doo gang. They get excited by the murder, like little kids getting excited about a trip to the zoo (and Wiggins well be upset because he missed the murder, we're told over and over again). There's not a lot of character development here, nor are there very many interesting characters. There is very little in the way of action (unless your idea of action is people sitting in parlors drinking tea). I like historical mysteries, as a rule, when they have a lot of period detail. This book doesn't have much of that. Other than a mention of telegrams, there's not any way to estimate the time that this book is set.

Unfortuantely, the puzzle is not good enough to support a book that otherwise really doesn't go anywhere. However, judging from the other reviews, some people liked it quite a bit, so I am forced to consider the fact that this is primarily a taste thing with me. Not my cuppa.

Chi-Lites - Greatest Hits
Chi-Lites - Greatest Hits
14 used & new from $4.60

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific collection, March 8, 2006
If you're like I was, you probably know "Oh Girl" and "Have You Seen Her" and have acknowledged that they're great songs, but you secretly suspect the Chi-Lites of being something of a one-hit wonder (okay, a two-hit wonder). Then you will be pleasantly surprised to discover that nothing could be further from the truth. This compilation is full of great songs, and not just in the "Oh Girl-Have You Seen Her" variety. There's also a good bit of early funk to go with the soul. Most importantly, it's all worthwhile. The Chi-Lites concentrated on the three most important things (as far as I'm concerned) in pop music: Melody, harmony and lyrics. They nail them all. "We Are Neighbors", "Let Me Be the Man My Daddy Was", "Stoned out of My Mind", "Homely Girl", "Give More Power to the People" are splendid examples, but I could include every song on this compilation. And, as other reviewers have noted, the sound quality is superb, crystal-clear. I frequently spin around to see if Eugene Record is standing behind me. No, it's just the CD. If you have any affection for the sweet sound of 60s and 70s soul, buy this record, and you'll be well rewarded.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 24, 2012 11:04 PM PST

Apologies to the Queen Mary
Apologies to the Queen Mary
Price: $11.99
72 used & new from $0.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Just a really good CD, February 13, 2006
Actually 4.5 stars. I'm not sure about "buzz" since I don't read about music very much, nor do I try to follow what's the next big thing in music, but this is a really good CD, plain and simple. Top to bottom, not a clanker (which is my indirect way of saying that none of the songs suck). "Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" is currently my favorite, but I fully anticipate changing my opinion as time goes by. The singers' voices are a little irritating, because they sound affected (like, y'know, they could probably sound a little less irritating if they just tried to sing and not sound irritating, if that makes sense) but other than that, it's an excellent album, full of catchy rok'n'rol. Reminds me a bit of the Wrens, actually. Or is that bad? I hope not.

Auriel Rising
Auriel Rising
by Elizabeth Redfern
Edition: Hardcover
12 used & new from $3.47

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good plot, less than good execution, January 10, 2006
This review is from: Auriel Rising (Hardcover)
Not a bad book, and certainly not wasted time spent reading, BUT there are some significant problems with it. Set in late 1609 in London, it tells the tale of a mysterious letter, which folks seem to believe has a sure-fire recipe for making gold. There are all sorts of shenanigans and intrigues going on: people being brutally questioned by mysterious strangers, secret importation of armaments, a gang of thieves beset by inexplicable misfortune, and mulberry trees being transplanted all over England. The plot's interesting and advances rapidly. Additionally Redfern has an excellent grip on her subject matter; she knows (apparently) whereof she writes. The book is bursting with details that makes the novel more entertaining. However, the real weaknesses of the story are its characters. The characters are extremely flat, even the lead character, our hero, Ned Warriner. There doesn't seem a whole lot of motivation for him to do the things he does; he just kinda does them. I'm not even entirely sure why he returned to England in the first place. Supposedly he returned to find his love, but why'd he wait two years? Most of the other characters exist merely to spout information. The female characters seem to be the worst, unleashing their facts and then hopping into bed with Ned. Perhaps this is sexist of me, but I would expect a woman to write a little more sensitively about her female characters. Maybe not. Not a terrible book, not a great one.

Pisces Aquarius Capricorn & Jones Ltd
Pisces Aquarius Capricorn & Jones Ltd
41 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monkees at their best, December 30, 2005
My favorite Monkees album. If all of their albums had been on par with this, they would be remembered as one of the great 60s bands, instead of their (undeserved) legacy as a gimicky TV product.

I've had this record (and now CD) for about 22 years, and I still listen to it as much as anything in my collection. "Pleasant Valley Sunday", "The Door into Summer", "Star Collector" and "What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?" are the stronger songs on this disc, but there's not a lousy song on here. Even the much-maligned "Hard to Believe" is probably my favorite sappy Davy Jones ballad. The bonus tracks are nice, and the liner notes are superb and very informative. Overall, I'd say an essential piece of 60s pop music.

Roadshow (Yellowthread Street Mystery)
Roadshow (Yellowthread Street Mystery)
by William Leonard Marshall
Edition: Hardcover
44 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably suspenseful, December 15, 2005
William Marshall writes some very odd mysteries, and this is one of the best of his that I've read. It's set in Hong Bay (as are all the Yellowthread Street mysteries), a fictional area of Hong Kong, and features, among other things, a mysterious bomber who is blowing up roads, a bullet-riddled monastery, and a lost dog. Marshall likes to jump from character to character, quickly, only revealing a tiny bit of the story between each jump, and he features odd incidents and quirky characters to make his books more unusual. Certainly not for everyone, but highly, highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a mystery that doesn't follow the usual rules. And, as the title to this review would suggest, it's ridiculously suspenseful.

Germfree Adolescents
Germfree Adolescents
18 used & new from $9.91

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun, amusing album, not the definitive punk masterpiece, December 14, 2005
This review is from: Germfree Adolescents (Audio CD)
Yes, this album is chock-a-block full of catchy, thrashy British Punk, circa 1977, but to me, it's faults underscore the very weakness of British Punk, circa 1977. It's the "C'mon kids, be a punk-rocker! Everyone's doin' it!" feel to the lyrics, the sense that punk was merely a fashion, and not a total disdain of fashion. "It's 1977, and we're gonna show them all, apathy's a drag." Gimme a break. And I'm not sure whether to be amused or annoyed by the "Beach Blanket Bingo" sax on most of the songs. Admittedly Poly-Styrene can sing like nobody's business (she sounds kind of like a tiny little female drill sergeant), and the songs are speedy little hook-laden anthems. I still enjoy listening to it, but unlike the Sex Pistols' "Never Mind the Bollocks...", the Clash's first, and the Buzzcocks "Singles Going Steady", "Germ-Free Adolescents" sounds dated and campy.

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