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since 07/05/2001


Jackson C. Frank - Jackson C. Frank 10/05/2001

3rd time lucky

Jackson C. Frank - Jackson C. Frank The first two albums from this manufactured pop outfit were both highly succesful selling millions of copies. However, personally i found them both slightly disappointing with way too many album fillers and only the singles really generating any quality pop. However, i'm pleased to report that this is an improved effort from the lads and lasses of steps. It's slightly more mature, the pop seems to have more meaningful lyrics and direction in terms of tune and the ballads actually have a chorus! Steps are never gonna be a ground breaking group, but what they can do is create pop that is both credible and a joy to listen to. The first single to be lifted from this was the chart-topper 'stomp'. Worked around a 70's disco tune, it's a perfect party song and really makes you want to get out of your seat and onto the dance floor. The next 2 tracks are part of double a-sides previously released by the band. Whilst the kylie minogue cover 'better the devil you know' is best not talked about 'summer of love' is a real favourite of mine. It sounds so good blaring out the car stereo in mid-summer and with it's latino theme is a good summer anthem. Next the group turn to the Britney Spears hit factory 'Cherion' for the irresistible 'It's the way you make me feel'. This is different to anything steps have done before and shows a step forward in terms of variety. Steps display attitude in next single 'You'll be sorry' and is a bitter attack on an ex-lover who is the ...

All About Chemistry - Semisonic 10/05/2001

14 special elements

All About Chemistry - Semisonic A third album can sometimes be a stumbling block for many artists (just ask the spice girls), but the minneapolis trio have excelled themselves by giving us this magnificent third long player packed with catchy tunes and punchy lyrics. The picture on the front of two test tubes consumating their love gives us a good idea of the main theme of this album. Love. The near-title track 'Chemistry' sets the album off and the tone is set. Wilson draws analogies between a chemistry experiment and the kind of chemistry you find between two people ("We found that the two things we put together had a bad tendency to explode"). The words on each of the 14 tracks are simply beautiful and each track is metaphorical of a different kind of relationship. For example 'Bed' - one person's physical desire for another, whilst the other just wants to be friends. One true love - A spiritual and complete love. Get a grip - erm...yes, more of that later! This fact means that everyone will share some common experience with at least one song on this album. Act Naturally is perhaps the saddest song on the album, about a relationship in ruins, with Wilson playing the part of a broken man desperate not to let his troubles show. 'She's got my number' is probably one of the most beautifully arranged songs i have ever heard, with the little tinkles of the piano at the beginning enhancing the song's quality. You could call this an upbeat balad if you like. One of the highlights of the album ... 08/05/2001

simply the best I discovered dotmusic in late 1998, whilst performing a search for some comprehensive music websites. What a blessing i did! Dotmusic is probably the best music website around, on the homepage, there are many options. Firstly, there are the main music news stories of the day, which you can look at in detail. Dot are always the first to any major stories in the world of music and their reports are of the highest accuracy. Dot are the first website with the official UK single and album top 75, which are updated just after 7pm each sunday, complete with chart commentary on the movers and shakers in the top 40 from chart expert James Masterton. They also include news on the indie chart, dance chart, R&B chart and virtually every chart you have (or haven't) heard of. You also have the option of having any of these charts e-mailed to you on every sunday evening. Also available from this marvellous website are a range of reviews on the latest albums and singles, written by professional music critics. You also have the option of e-mailing these reviewers if you agree or disagree with their point of view. You can shop for music in the dotmusic shop, which has a range of music from different genres at competitive prices. There is always a selection of downloads from top artists and a selection of the best music around. Dot also boasts a part of the website devoted to dance music, with the latest buzz from around the UK clubscene. But in my opinion, the best thing about ...

Just Enough Education to Perform - Stereophonics 08/05/2001

Change of direction

Just Enough Education to Perform - Stereophonics I've read many reviews of this album and a lot of them have been saying how poor it is. I'm sorry, but i strongly disagree, the album is not poor, it is just very different from anything the stereophonics have done before. The album opens with crashing drums and guitars on the raucous 'Vegas two times'. This isn't a particular favourite of mine, but there are better things to come. The next track 'Lying in the sun' is totally uncharacteristic of the stereophonics, but it's an absolute treat. A lovely relaxing, acoustic track with a chorus that grows on you like an absess. Next we have the top 5 single 'Mr.Writer'. Others may call this a dirge, but i think it's one of the best things they have ever done. The lyrics signal a bitter atack on music critics. ("I'd like to shoot you all"). It may be unconventional, but to release this as a single is a brave step and i applaud. More unconventionalness comes next in the shape of the country tinged 'Step on my old size nines'. This is an irresistible little ditty and really makes you wonder if this is the stereophonics or someone doing a not very good impression. 'Have a nice day' and 'nice to be out' revolve around good solid melodies, which are more in the vein of pop than rock. I have to admit that the rest of the album is a slight dissapointment with the acoustic 'Caravan holiday' and more upbeat 'Watch them fly sundays' providing the remaining highlights. I think it's very possible that the other tracks ...

Virgin Megastore (Shop) 08/05/2001

Virgin on extortion

Virgin Megastore (Shop) The beatles or the stones? Take that or East 17? Spice girls or All Saints? Now for another music debate...Virgin or HMV? To be honest, i think virgin as a store is vastly overrated. Whilst it does have a very good range in Books, Videos, DVDs, Computer games and CDs, it seems that every item is overpriced. Take CD albums for instance, the standard price for a new release is around £12.99 in stores such as HMV, but in Virgin i can guarantee that it is at least one pound more. I know, a pound is petty, but why should you have to pay more and if you save a pound a week, then that's £50 over the space of a year. The range of music singles available is generally very weak, sometimes they don't even stock some new releases and HMV are far superior in their range of imports and best-sellers. Another complaint regarding Virgin Megastores would be the attitude of the staff. I find them unhelpful and not very consumer friendly. They start sighing every time you display your NUS card (which entitles you to a 10% discount) and generally find it a burden to smile. Oh...and if something is already discounted, they won't let you use your NUS card. I find this very unfair, seeing as this discount is available to everyone and the NUS card discount is only available to students, who incase you didn't know Mr.Branson, don't have much money anyway. To add to this point, a discount in virgin is probably just the same as any goods not in the sale elsewhere. There are a few ...

Mad Season (Limited Edition) - Matchbox Twenty 07/05/2001


Mad Season (Limited Edition) - Matchbox Twenty I was inspired to buy this album after hearing the US chart topper 'Bent'. If you like 'bent', then you will almost certainly enjoy this treat of american rock, with a little bit of pop thrown in for good measure. What makes this album so good is rob thomas's wonderful vocals. This man has such distinctive vocals and coupled with the band's ear for a melody and sharp lyrics, it makes the perfect combination. Almost every song is a winner. My personal favourite is the absolutely gorgeous 'rest stop'. It's a tale of a couple driving late at night, when the woman suddenly realises she doesn't want to be in the relationship anymore. She slams on the brakes and asks him to get out. You can literally taste the atmosphere on this song and it certainly wouldn't be out of place on a film soundtrack. Other highlights include the upbeat 'angry' and 'if you're gone', a story of heartache and pain. This theme is quite apparent through the whole album, especially in tracks such as 'last beautiful girl' and 'bed of lies'. This album may have got 5 stars if it wasn't for a slightly dissapointing ending. You won't be mine sounds quite out of place on this tremendous rock album and is a song which never really gets going. Well, you can't really complain with 12 out of 13 great tracks can you? ...

Reload - Tom Jones 07/05/2001

Baby you can turn me on

Reload - Tom Jones What attracted me to this album was the fact that a lot of my favourite artists were performing on it. We have stereophonics, James Dean Bradfield, Heather Small, Natalie Imbruglia, the list is endless. Yet on every track, it's Tom that steals the show. His voice simply overpowers his respective collaborators on each track. What i really like about this is that there are many different styles. There's the epic power ballad 'Never tear us apart', the very funky and sexy 'sex bomb' and then 'mama told me not to come', which verges on rock/pop. I would have never classed myself as a Tom Jones fan before this album. I considered him someone my mum or even grandmother might like, but this has brought him right up to date and he clearly has the respect of his younger colleagues, as they clearly enjoy performing alongside the legend. There are a few weaker tracks, like the duet with portishead 'motherless child' and 'all mine' performed with neil hannon of the divine comedy. Thankfully, these are few and far between and at least 12 of the 17 tracks are all potential singles. Ladies and gentleman don't leave your hat on, you have to take it off for this man's acheivement, he's proved all his critics wrong by making an album with appeal to the younger and older generations and many inbetween. ...

White Ladder - David Gray 07/05/2001

please forgive me for loving this album

White Ladder - David Gray When i first heard the top 5 single 'babylon', i was unsure whether i liked it or not but the more i heard it, the more i came to love it and see the beauty in the lyrics. 'Please forgive me' took my breath away and i knew i had to purchase this album. It's not instantly obvious that this album has the potential to become a classic, but just like 'babylon' i found the more i listened, the more i began to love it. The stand out tracks are undoubtedly the bittersweet 'This years love' (a piano-led ballad), 'We're not right' (possibly the most relaxing song in the world!) and the equally chilling 'sail away'. This is definitely an album to chill out to and the only flaws are the weak title track 'white ladder' and possibly the soft cell cover 'Say hello, wave goodbye' which you feel just drags on a little too long, at over 8 minutes. This is not enough to spoil what is otherwise a breathtaking album, Gray's unique gravelly voice adds to the experience and is so relaxing, especially listening at night driving home from work! (but that's just my own personal opinion!!) What is a FACT is that David Gray has imense talent and will be a big star very soon. This album could be an enduring classic in time. ...

Affirmation - Savage Garden 07/05/2001

The best thing

Affirmation - Savage Garden If you enjoyed the brisbane duo's first offering ('savage garden') then i would certainly reccomend this offering. A wonderful mix of tuneful melodies and lyrics packed with emotion is an unbeatable combination. The album kicks off with the irresistible title track 'affirmation', which is in truth a potential classic. An absolute stomper which sets the pace for the whole album. 'The best thing' and 'chained to you' continue the upbeat theme, whilst hayes and Jones prove they haven't lost the touch for a heart wrenching ballad, 'hold me' and 'I knew i loved you' almost match the highs of 'Truly madly deeply' featured on their debut album. 'The animal song' is another hi-energy song complete with big drums in the first few seconds. The last few tracks find the lads sounding more melancholy than usual. The tragic tale of domestic abuse is porrayed beautifully in '2 beds and a coffee machine' and the less commercial sounding 'you can still be free' and 'gunning down romance' are very haunting to put it mildly. This leaves us with the album-closer 'I don't you anymore'. A piano-led track about a couple who split-up, but when they meet up again, find they've both moved on and changed beyond recognition. All in all, this is a wondeful album that displays highly charged emotions, wonderful lyrics and brilliant melodies. The only differences from the first album would be that the lyrics are more personal and they have slightly moved down a tempo or two. But you'll find no ...
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