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Product: Audio CD
Title: Blue Ridge Rangers
Label: Fantasy
Artist: John Fogerty
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
CCR's leader's solo debut


This must have seemed like a real oddity - to both Fogerty's fans and his record label - upon its release in 1973. Only a year's distance from Creedence Clearwater Revival's break-up, Fogerty immersed himself in an album of cover version, mostly country, with a smattering of gospel and blues. And "immersed" is meant in its fullest sense -- Fogerty produced the album, sang all the vocals (including the layered backings) and played all the instruments: guitar, drums, bass, pedal steel, banjo, organ and fiddle. Though not a virtuoso across the board, Fogerty was certainly talented enough to create a convincing and compelling illusion of a band.
More importantly, freed from the shackles of his Creedence fame, Fogerty was able to express his heartfelt love for the roots music that fueled his own songwriting. Considering that country wasn't exactly popular with the rock crowd in '73 (though it was making stoner inroads through Commander Cody, and the Outlaw movement was about to take off), this was a rather daring move commercially. Most likely, Fogerty wasn't concerned about duplicating his Creedence success, and he obviously relishes the opportunity to record something close to his heart, without concern for sales or radio play.
What truly fuels this album's greatness is Fogerty's repertoire selection. Country classics from Hank Williams ("Jambalaya (on the Bayou)"), George Jones ("She Thinks I Still Care"), Jimmie Rodgers ("California Blues (Blue Yodel #4)"), Webb Pierce ("I Ain't Never") and Merle Haggard ("Today I Started Loving You Again") are rendered in Fogerty's bayou-voice with an enthusiasm that rings of affection and thankfulness. Traditional tunes like "Somewhere Listening (For My Name)" and "Workin' on a Building" feature Fogerty singing both lead vocals and the fervent shout-outs, with multi-layered backing that forms an all-Fogerty gospel chorus.
The dichotomy of this album is fascinating: Fogerty travelled great lengths to distance himself from Creedence (including posing on the album cover as all five silhouetted members of the fictional Blue Ridge Rangers), while at the same time his voice, front and center, provides an unmistakable link to previous fame. In retrospect, this mid-career tip-of-the-hat to Fogerty's influences turns out to have been a place to rest, regather, and contemplate his next steps. The choice of an entirely solo production, and the obvious safety and relaxation it provided, resulted in a highly personal and superbly listenable album.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Blue Wonder Power Milk
Label: Sony
Artist: Hooverphonic
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Differs from first


Hooverphonic is a great trippy band. Their first album was awesome, but it seems that this one falls a bit short of the Stereophonic Sound Spectacular. Don't get me wrong, I dig this disc, but its not as good as the first. There's a lot more classical sound to this as opposed to the more digital first album. If you really like them buy it, but if you're just getting into them, I would check out their first disc first.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Frida
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Artist:
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Excellent Vocals


A previous review was made claiming the singers were not "professional" singers however the vocals were done by several very seasoned and accomplished Mexican artists. Of these artists I must pinpoint Chavela Vargas and Lila Downs, these two artists are absolutely inspiring and bring so many feelings and emotions through their songs. Beautiful, pride-enducing. Love it! :)



Product: Audio CD
Title: Live: The Farewell Tour
Label: Rhino Records
Artist: Cher
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Cher, Cher, and Cher!


An EXCELLENT CD. Every fan of Cher should own one. I have a ton of Cher CD's, but you can never have too many. This CD, much like many live CD's, has edited applause. Which makes sense because you can't have applause over the performer's voice, whether they are talking or singing. It REALLY just won't work out. But this CD is excellent, and I'm not just saying this because I am a HUGE Cher fan. The CD has an assortment of songs from the long and prosperous career of music's best, making the CD even better. Too many artists sing songs only from their newest album and don't pay homage to their first hits that got them where they are today. Cher does that, and, making this CD even better, it really is Cher singing.