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Product: Audio CD
Title: Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Music from the film "Young Adam"
Label: Thrill Jockey
Artist: David Byrne, Various Artists
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
A different side of David...

One periodical stated that "Lead Us Not into Temptation" is David Byrne's best solo work to date. Though I don't think that's true to any stretch of the imagination, there is a lot of really good music on this disc. It is film music, but it is also film music that stands fine on it's own (in the same way that Peter Gabriel's "Passion" stands alone, though Gabriel re-worked a lot of that after the film's release). It's moody and dark in many places, and bizarrely upbeat in others. It is truly unlike anything Byrne has ever done, and it's not instantly recognizable as Byrne (until of course he sings at the end of the disc). This is also Byrne's first complete move away from the Latin-tinged music he has been making since "Rei Momo" in the late 80's. This CD proves that Byrne still has many musical directions he can travel and explore in. It also marks the re-emergence of his darker side which hasn't been seen since the Talking Heads days. His solo career has been mostly upbeat, sometimes goofy, and focused on very danceable beats. This CD stands in stark contrast to almost everything he's done since breaking off from the Talking Heads, with the possible exception of "The Forest" and his previous CD "Look into The Eyeball" which had some dark tinges to it.
Apparently the movie is about a murder in Scotland (I could be way off on this one) - if this is so, this music would provide an incredible backdrop for such a scene. I'm curious to see the movie based on the soundtrack alone.
Lastly, the final two songs on the disc are worth the price alone for any David Byrne fan. "Speechless" has a great incoherent vocal line that is catchy regardless of the fact that the words are almost completely opaque. "The Great Western Road" is one of the best songs Byrne has ever written, though again it's not typical Byrne. Even if you don't like the film music, these two numbers will have you putting this disc into the player again and again. This is not your typical Byrne album, and if you're looking for a collection of new Byrne songs with vocals, band, and all, you may want to avoid this one. If you're a Byrne fan however, buy this CD at least for the last two songs.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Measure of a Man
Label: Rca
Artist: Clay Aiken
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Best Pop Album of 2003

I agree with the Billboard Magazine reviewer who called this album "the best pop album of 2003" and "timeless." Clay can sing, and in this first album he has been given some great songs. Buy it - if you love pop music with melodies, glory notes and rhythm this is the one. There is not a single song on this CD I don't like.

Product: Audio CD
Title: The Deram Anthology 1966-1968
Label: Universal Int'l
Artist: David Bowie
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Nightmare in the Music Hall

Recorded in 1966, this strange album displays Bowie's seeds of genius. The dark subject matter is presented in a type of music hall feel that is unconventional even now, three decades later. The wide variety of themes are often set to noteworthy tunes, whilst the inclusion of an early version of Space Oddity and the charming song The Laughing Gnome make the album a must for Bowie completists.

Tracks like Maid Of Bond Street, London Boys and Join The Gang deal with Bowie's youth in swinging London, whilst She's Got My Medals examines gender roles. The ominous We Are Hungry Men depicts a totalitarian nightmare where population control is carried out by cannibalism, amongst other things. Then there's Please Mr Gravedigger, about infanticide, and Little Bombardier, about child abuse. Bowie also explores the innocence of childhood in songs like This Is A Happy Land, Uncle Arthur and Come And Buy My Toys. Let Me Sleep Beside You and When Live My Dream are songs of yearning, quiet moving and memorable.

In a way, Bowie returned to this style of song on 1973's futuristic cabaret Aladdin Sane, albeit with more contemporary instruments and arrangements. That was also the year in which the re-released Laughing Gnome made the top ten in the UK. The music is remarkable and unusual but could find no audience in the psychedelic late sixties when rock legends were made. Those Bowie fans that have assimilated all his transformations down the years might find this an interesting collection, but it often still sounds weird. How great that Bowie persevered to make some of the most compelling music of the 1970s and 1980s. The roots of his genius are certainly evident here.

Product: Audio CD
Title: São Paulo Confessions
Label: Six Degrees
Artist: Suba
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Groundbreaking and Phenomenal

I hadn't written a review on this one but I felt the need to correct a few misconceptions on the previous review. Suba was a fantastic producer and artist out of Sao Paulo (but I believe from Yugoslavia originally) that focused on the new sounds of Brazilian music and he loved the Brazilian underground sounds. He worked with Joao Parahyba (of Trio Mocoto fame) and many many other talented and respected producers and musicians out of Brazil. In fact, before Suba tragically passed away, he had finished this album and was producing Bebel Gilberto's "Tanto Tempo" (Suba, Bebel Gilberto, Zuco 103, Celso Fonseca, Cibelle are all on the same label at the time - Ziriguiboom). Unfortunately, he passed away in a fire in Sao Paulo. I believe he made it out of the fire, but died when he returned to his apartment to recover his works.
This album is awesome. It's very dark and mysterious - it embodies what he wanted from this album - to show a dark side of Sao Paulo through music. It's consistent through in through with breathtaking beats & samples and sexy vocals. Suba features Taciana, Katia B (her album is okay too), Cibelle (her album is great!) and even Arnaldo Artunes in the cuts. Each artist integrates a certain touch to this cd, and helped to establish the sound and feel of this cd. I literally enjoy every single track... especially Tantos Desejos, Segredo, Pecados da Madrugada and Na Neblina.
I have to recommend this - you haven't really checked out electric Brazil if you haven't heard this cd. So many artists have gone in a direction similar to Suba's. And if you have this, you MUST check out his "Tributo" album where fantastic artists remake his songs + some uncut Suba tracks are there. The song: "Are You Sleeping", featuring Katia B is soooo Suba. Also, again, Bebel Gilberto's cd has his touches on it as he produced it. And the compilation Caipirissima has a cool cut on it + some dark Bossa. Other comps I recommend with Suba: Brasil 2Mil, Rough Guide to Brazilian Electronica, Brazilectro series.
I will personally miss Suba's music - he left too soon! One can only imagine how much more great music there would be if he was with us today.