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harrymichaels

harrymichaels

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Reviews written

since 07/09/2003

5

Nimrod - Green Day 13/09/2003

A fine album from a fine band.

Nimrod - Green Day Green Day are perhaps the most respected punk band on the rock scene today. Since 1990, they have released consistently good albums, and may have disappointed a few fans with the direction they took in 2000's "Warning:" but they remain a punk band. A punk band with a freshness that the "MTV2 punk bands", what with their boy-girl powerchord wonders, lack. Released in 1997, Nimrod was quite a change from Green Day's previous release, "Insomniac". Insomniac hadn't gone down well with fans (after all, who could possibly follow up "Dookie" and keep everybody happy?). Many critics accused the album of being an uninspired, watered-down version of Dookie. Nimrod, however, went down a blast. Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day's singer/songwriter/guitarist, took a slightly more melodic approach to "Insomniac", and with "Nimrod" it is clearly evident that he had drawn inspiration from all directions, including the likes of the Beatles. Songs like "Worry Rock" and "Scattered" sound like 60s pop songs disguised in a cloud of overdrive and fast drums, and "Redundant" is far more than "3 chord crap" as some people had described Green Day in the past. With this album, Green Day explore various different styles of music. While some jumpy tracks such as "Hitchin' a Ride" succeed with honours, others such as the instrumental "Last Ride In", complete with seashore noises, doesn't quite hit it. A huge amount of work went into this album, clearly, and although two or three of the eighteen ...

Weezer (Green Album) - Weezer 13/09/2003

A great summer album!

Weezer (Green Album) - Weezer "The Green Album" was released by Weezer in 2001 after a five year absence from the world of commercial releases, and created more Weezer fans than either of their previous albums. The album is very different to their first two. Comparitively, it lacks the feeling and determination you can hear in the first two. Singer/songwriter/lead guitarist Rivers Cuomo's voice does actually sound like he's merely reading his lyrics from a piece of paper, not singing them from the heart. However, this album definitely has it's place on my CD shelf and is an excellent album overall. To begin with, what I couldn't get used to was the polished pop sound of the whole album. Weezer had always had a pop-like feeling to them, but the first two albums seem so much more rock, and although the guitars are as crunchy and overdriven as ever (especially on the single "Hash Pipe"), the songs sounded a little (dare I say it?) bland and lifeless... at first, that is. And like with Weezer's first and second albums, after a few listens it began to grow on me a lot. Perhaps I was expecting too much, hoping for a repeat of my favourite album of all time, their 1996 release "Pinkerton". It certainly didn't match that in any field, but it is a genuinely good album. The melodies are so infectuous you'll be singing them for weeks. The lyrics are memorable, and the harmonies are very 60s! I would definitely recommend this album to anybody that wants a great, although lyrically meaningless album to ...

Maladroit - Weezer 07/09/2003

Good, but not Weezer's best.

Maladroit - Weezer "Maladroit" is Weezer's fourth album, released shortly after their 'comeback' album, "Weezer" (better known as "The Green Album"). Written throughout 2001 and 2002, Weezer offered the songs to fans in the form of mp3s on their official website, taking into consideration comments and criticism from the fans and altering the songs based on them. The result is quite a diverse collection of songs. Rivers Cuomo, Weezer's frontman and lead guitarist/songwriter, gives us a hell of a lot of catchy tunes once again, but this time around the variety of style is bigger than ever before. Some of the songs such as "Dope Nose" and "Keep Fishin'" are very catchy pop-rock songs (is it a coincidence that these were the album's singles?), but then we have a heavier breed of tracks, such as "Take Control" remeniscent of 70s and 80s metal bands Cuomo grew up loving. Some of it is more melodic and breezy than we've ever heard Weezer before, such as the inappropriately titled "Death and Destruction," and my personal favourite, the jazzy-gone-metal track, "Burndt Jamb". All in all, it is a pleasurable album, longer than any of Weezer's previous albums. Unfortunately, many of the tracks "borrow" parts from other songs. Whether it is intentional or not, I don't know, but "Take Control" sounds awfully like "Children of the Revolution" by T-Rex, and "Burndt Jamb" sounds disturbingly similar to George Benson's "Breezin'". And am I the only one singing the Flinstones theme to "Dope Nose"? ...

Family Guy - Series 1 - Complete (DVD) 07/09/2003

A must-have for any fan of comedy!

Family Guy - Series 1 - Complete (DVD) When I first saw "Family Guy" on Sky One a few years ago, I was instantly hooked. Quite frankly, this is the funniest show on television! The latest of the *big* cartoon shows such as "The Simpsons," "South Park" and "Futurama," Family Guy is absolutely hilarious, with jokes literally every few seconds, most of which are laugh-out-loud worthy. The show is based in the fictional town of Quahog, focusing on the Griffin family and their associates. While the Simpsons is about family life, Family Guy is anything but. The humour is quite unusual, definitely not traditional. The jokes are very unexpected, which is perhaps the area Family Guy's humour succeeds where The Simpsons (often predictable) and South Park (shock factor) often falls short. It is perhaps closest to Futurama, jokes-wise, but in my opinion a lot funnier. Jokes are usually accentuated with amusingly unrealistic flashbacks, for example, Peter remenisces on when he attempted to sneak into an R-rated movie, and we see him walking through the cinema disguised as a bush. This DVD was an excellent purchase, especially at the low price of £9.99 as it is in many places currently. My only problem with it is that there are no special features (unless you count "Interactive Menus" and "Scene Access" as special features). I would have loved to hear some audio commentary and perhaps see some of the promotional ads again. However, this is only as a big fan of the show, and if you just want a night in full of ...

Justified - Justin Timberlake 07/09/2003

Better than the rest of today's pop.

Justified - Justin Timberlake Justin Timberlake is an excellent singer/songwriter, and this is the first pop album I have bought based on the strength of singles in years. I must admit, when I first saw the video for "Like I Love You" I was fairly disgusted with the whole Michael Jackson thing (the fedora hat, the dance moves etc.). After all, Michael Jackson is one of the most original performers of the past 100 years, and his signature image and dancing is very him and him alone. But the bottom line is, these are damn good songs. "Like I Love You," "Cry Me a River" and especially "Rock Your Body" are three of the best pop singles I can think of in the past five years. Admittedly, there are a few tracks that will never be single-worthy, such as "Last Night," and "(And She Said) Take Me Now", but the first six tracks are pop how it should be. Very slick production makes this CD a pleasure to listen to, with some great beats and harmonies. The album conforms to a certain sound, but the variety of style is quite satisfying. "Senorita" is a very quirky opener, then we have the dramatic but excellent tracks such as "(Oh No) What You Got" and "Cry Me a River", the beautiful (but somewhat sexist) "Take It From Here", and my personal favourite, "Rock Your Body". There's no escaping the Michael Jackson comparisons. Maybe if Justin would tone down the Jacko-esque noises in some of his songs people would give him a break, but even if he wants to be Michael Jackson, at least he's doing a good ...
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