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Product: Audio CD
Title: Dummy
Label: Polygram Records
Artist: Portishead
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
One of the best CD's


Once I got this CD, I couldn't stop listening to it. I like to listen to songs 5 and 6 in repeat mode for well...hours. The sweet and very sad voice of the singer together with the complicated Hammond background sound always touches me when I put this album in the player. Overall It's a must-have addition to any Trip Hop collection, or if you are new to Trip Hop this is the best start.



Product: Audio CD
Title: California Bloodliness / Willard
Label: Bear Family
Artist: John Stewart
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Top ten


Absolutely timeless. I never liked the best selling "Gold" album much, and I think Willard is disappointing, but "California Bloodlines" is up there with the best of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and John Prine. The lyrics of Razor Back Woman ("these were the days my sprung lungs will never forget") and just about every other song here are memorable. I'm always surprised that so few people know about this great album!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Volume 1: Sound Magic
Label: Real World
Artist: Afro Celt Sound System
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
one of my favourite all-time CDs


When I saw this CD in the store, I broke out laughing... But I knew I had to have it, as I loved the idea. Seldom has the spontaneous purchase of a CD been so rewarding for me. This is a brilliant piece of work, one which sends me into spontaneous fits of dancing every time I listen to it - which has elicited some comments, as I play it at work.
My only "criticism" is that the drumming is not as developed as I might have hoped -- but I'm not really complaining; this is a beautiful & brilliant CD. I can hardly wait to see what "Volume 2: Release" has to offer. It's due out in May, & I've already ordered it through Amazon.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Songs from the West Coast
Label: Universal
Artist: Elton John
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
ELTON "TIME TRAVELS!" Result: WOW!!!


I didn't think it was possible for an artist to make an album that seems pulled from a certain point in his/her career without having it sound like a cheap "trade-in" on the past. Elton John, having emerged from his mid-to-late 90's side projects, has reunited with partner Bernie Taupin to do just that. This album doesn't deserve to be rated with stars, but rather with the label, "INSTANT CLASSIC." Unlike the last John/Taupin collaboration, "The Big Picture," "Songs from the West Coast" oozes a sense of purpose in lieu of paint-by-the-chords songs. This album finds Elton on the West Coast -- Los Angeles -- the true destination of the longings of his classic "Tumbleweed Connection" and "Madman Across the Water" albums. And he's brought his PIANO with him. Elton hasn't used a regular piano as consistently and effectively since November 17th, 1970. This record could literally have been recorded following "Madman"; it's like the third part of a trilogy, told 30 years later. The highlights of this joyous, sometimes dark, yet always introspective work are many; the opening cut, "The Emperor's New Clothes," lets the listener know that Elton's musical airlines have just landed in 1972ville; "Look Ma, No Hands" could easily be an outtake from the "Friends" soundtrack; "Birds" is a wonderful reminder of why we fell in love with Elton's music in the first place; "The Wasteland" is a great funky song that'd be right at home on the "Caribou" album. I won't mention every song, but the lyrics and the music are so marvelously wed on this CD that any true Elton fan should welcome it to their collection more warmly than anything he's produced in over two decades. It can't go unsaid that Taupin's songwriting is some of his best; check out "Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes," "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" and "American Triangle." These are Taupin's most thought-provoking lyrics since the "Yellow Brick Road" album. Though this album seems "pulled" from a certain point in time, the music and themes are as applicable today as if this record had been recorded 30 years ago. I didn't think it was possible, but the John/Taupin team has apparently pulled off a modern musical miracle.