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Product: Audio CD
Title: Hilary Duff
Label: Hollywood Records
Artist: Hilary Duff
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5

way better than her first album for sure. With 17 songs and a few songs she wrote this is definitly better than the first.

Product: Audio CD
Title: White Ladder
Label: RCA
Artist: David Gray
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
David Gray, where have you been all my life?

I heard about David from a friend who played one of his songs for me. It was "Please Forgive Me". I was instantly hooked, and went out and found a copy for myself. It took a few listens for the album to really sink in, but now it's a part of me, and I'm finding it hard to go through the day without playing at least a few songs from the album. Gorgeous acoustic stuff mixed with some electronic beats. It really works well here. It's quiet and introspective. Delicate and beautiful. A must have for all fans of great music.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Arular
Label: Xl/Beggars US
Artist: M.I.A.
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
Rock and Roll Rebellion

The music isn't good, sounds kind of like Missy meets DFA with a really obnoxious, poor quality female vocalist... But beside the fact that the music isn't good there is the ridiculous amount of unmerited hype surrounding this album. I think a lot of the hype comes from rock writers who, like many high schoolers, have a worshipful attitude about all things rebellious. There is the oft expressed notion among rock writers that it's cool that she's from a "revolutionary" back ground. hmm...

"A violent militant group calling themselves the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are waging a terrorist campaign in Sri Lanka in order to create a separate state. The LTTE, while masquerading as a liberation organisation, has for almost a quarter century spurned all efforts at securing peace and continued a sustained campaign of terrorism against successive democratically elected governments and civilians of Sri Lanka. People from all ethnic communities - Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims - have been the victims of this terror. The LTTE is now banned in Sri Lanka, India, the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada and Malaysia. Other countries are expected to ban the LTTE soon following the events of September 11 2001, when the world woke up to the reality of international terrorism.
The gruesome brutality and wanton destruction that the LTTE has unleashed in its campaign to create a separate Tamil Only state in Sri Lanka is sustained by funds generated abroad by extortion from Tamil expatriates, and from trade in arms, narcotic trafficking, smuggling of illegal immigrants and money laundering." (from

...of course I don't know that much about Arular's politics (her father's seem to be a different story). But rock critic's politics suck and so does this album.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Label: Atlantic
Artist: John Williams, William Ross
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A darker score for a darker film

One often wonders how John Williams is consistently able to take themes from his previous films and incorporate them into his new scores in fresh, enchanting new ways. Williams has certainly done all this and more with his score for "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", the sequel to last year's blockbuster "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."Unable to complete the score to "Chamber of Secrets" on his own due to previous commitments with George Lucas's "Star Wars: Episode II" and Steven Spielberg's "Minority Report" and "Catch Me If You Can", William Ross was brought in to adapt the new themes Williams had created for the film as well as to supply a large number of underscore based on Williams's material. The collaboration was very much a success, and this album is proof of it."Chamber of Secrets" is a much darker film than "Sorcerer's Stone", and the CD is full of cues that are much darker than cues from the previous album. As conducted by Ross and performed by the unparalleled London Symphony Orchestra, the score for "Chamber of Secrets" is one of the most original and best sounding scores I have heard in a long time.The album begins with "Prologue: Book II and The Escape From the Dursleys". This track features a compilation of many of the themes from "Sorcerer's Stone", beginning with "Hedwig's Theme" on celesta (once again played by Randy Kerber), then transistioning into the music from "The Arrival of Baby Harry" on the last album. The "Flying Theme" and "Harry's Wondrous World" round out the familiar themes in this track, which provides a wonderful re-introduction to the world of Harry Potter and John Williams.The next track, "Fawkes the Phoenix", is a wonderful new theme that has an uplifting feel similar to "Harry's Wondrous World". Track 3, "The Chamber of Secrets", is appropriately dark, ending with chords punctuated by heavy trumpets."Gilderoy Lockhart", the theme for the pompous, arrogant character of the same name, is an appropriately pompous, arrogant track. The use of harpsichord gives this theme a sort of stuck-up Baroque feel that is perfect for Lockhart's character.Other tracks worth noting include "Fawkes Is Reborn", featuring the "Fawkes The Phoenix Theme" from track 2. "Meeting Tom Riddle" features a prominent reindition of "Voldemort's Theme" from "Sorcerer's Stone." "Cakes for Crabbe and Goyle" is an amusing, light cue featuring bassoon and pizzicato strings."Reunion of Friends" brings back many of the themes we know and love, ending with a triumphant version of "Harry's Theme" similar to the end of "Sorcerer's Stone."With "Chamber of Secrets", Williams has once again brought to life the world of Harry Potter in a way no other composer can. Although it probably won't win the Academy Award, "Chamber of Secrets" is a very good score and belongs in the collection of any John Williams fan.