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Product: Audio CD
Title: Tactics
Label: Ecm Records
Artist: John Abercrombie, Dan Wall, Adam Nussbaum
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
Way too tame


This is a live performance by a working band. An organ trio with all members on equal footing. I know these guys can kick but for me there is no spark here. Maybe it's Dan Wall's pensive use of the B3 (I've never heard anyone else use it the way he does). Oh, the guys get in a groove and there is some give and take. If you like the intellectual side of jazz, this is probably for you. If you're looking for some heat, well ... maybe not.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Make It Big
Label: Sony
Artist: Wham!
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
One of the most underrated albums of the 80s


"Make It Big" from Wham! is one of the best albums from the 80s. Just about all the songs were big hits, such as "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Everything She Wants," and "Freedom." Once you listen to this album, you'll see why Wham! really did make it big with this album. All the songs were great and were real catchy.
If you like 80's music, I would recommend getting this album. In my opinion, it's one of the top 10 albums that came from the decade. When you listen to it, it will make you feel young again and take you back to the good old days.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Adore
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: The Smashing Pumpkins
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
smashing pumpkins can definitely keep up with the times


I am a hardcore Smashing Pumpkins fan. To me, they are the undisputed Gods of grunge rock. Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness can be thought of as the bible of modern rock and yet, rather than continuing with their highly popular stylings displayed within that double album, the pumpkins did a 180 and showed that they can go to the extreme with a new techno passive album. I loved they're ultimate grunge rock but I love what Adore has to offer just as much. Why? Because the Pumpkins are being true to themselves. Billy, James, and D'arcy all agree that they don't beleive in grunge rock anymore--they don't feel it inside. They beleived in it when that's what they played but they've moved past it. And what is really inspiring is that the Pumpkins would rather break up than be untrue to themselves and their fans. Adore may not be the crashing grunge rock which the legions of pumpkin fans love, but it does possess the potency of emotion that the pumpkins have always put into their music. This is an album that will grow on you the more you listen to it. Favorite Tracks: Pug, Ava Adore, Appels + Oranjes, Crestfallen.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Camphor [Bonus CD]
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: David Sylvian
Rating: 2/5
Customer rating - 2 out of 5
i'm really sorry about this, david...


...but you let me down! And it isn't that I'm not a fan of ambient music--I am (I have about 500 ambient CDs, out of a collection of 1500 CDs total). But Mr. Sylvian, your ambient output is spotty. Flux and Mutability is great. Alchemy: An Index of Possibilities (hard to find, fans, I know) is very good. The instrumental tracks on Gone to Earth are wonderful. (So much so, I've thought about paying some obscene price on eBay for the Japanese import double CD of Gone to Earth which includes all the tracks as the original LP.)
But Plight and Premonition is so-so. Side B of Brilliant Trees was kinda boring, as was all of Approaching Silence. (I wasn't able to afford Ember Glance. Sorry.)
As for Camphor...the new tracks are good. But they're too lively to fit well on an "ambient" album. They should have been on an album by themselves. With the rest of the material here--mostly those same Gone to Earth tracks (some reworked), and also a few Rain Tree Crow tracks--the new stuff doesn't sound right. It's all jumbled together; it doesn't flow.
At least on disc one, the reworkings are interesting. But the bonus disc--oh, David, why didn't you leave Plight and Premonition alone? They're not too badly mangled (and Mutability, also here, may be untouched) but these funny little whooshes and blips are NOT improvements.
Ambient compilations just don't work. (The Ambient Expanse, a Steve Roach-directed collaboration with several separate artists, is the only counterexample which comes to mind.) But if you had to give us a sort of new stuff/old stuff jumble, why oh WHY couldn't you have given us the Gone to Earth tracks that aren't available on any but the Japanese CDs? (The titles are, for the curious: "Silver Moon Over Sleeping Steeples", "Camp Fire: Coyote Country", "A Bird of Prey Vanishes into a Bright Blue Cloudless Sky", and "Sunlight Seen through Towering Trees".)
Everything and Nothing was a great compilation. It worked. Camphor, sadly, does not.