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Product: Audio CD
Title: Dangerously in Love
Label: Sony
Artist: Beyoncé
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5

Beyonce may be a lil overexposed, but she is not overrated, she is the TRUTH. I love her, her voice, her style. And to all of you that do not believe she can sang with the best of them. CRAZY IN LOVE leads of the cd and get it jammin. Just when I was gettin tired of the song, I saw her perform it at the 2003 MTV VMA's and it became my fave again. The dancin the arrangement, and the Chi-Lites sample makes it irresistible. NAUGHTY GIRL is incredibly sexy. I have to say I liked the song more after it became a single. BABY BOY my favorite uptempo song on the cd, is just great. It's bhangra sound just makes you wanna get up and move. HIP HOP STAR is good, but its just a filler to me. I don't skip over any of the songs on the cd, but if I did this would be the one despite guest appearances from Big Boi and Sleepy Brown). BE WITH YOU is where the cd is getting good. Her voice and passion come out and grab you. ME MYSELF AND I continue that trend, and this is where her vocals really shine. BUT YES, SIGNS, and SPEECHLESS are the highpoints of the cd. I LOVE YES! it is my fave on the entire cd. The beat is intoxicating. Signs is clever and features Missy, what more do you want? Speechless ends this string of slow burners, but does it in grand style. The last minute and a half of that song is classic. She sounds great. THATS HOW U LIKE IT is another bouncy track with Jigga. I love the remake of THE CLOSER I GET TO YOU with the legendary Luther Vandross. It is classic and their voices sound great together. The next highlight is a GIFT FROM VIRGO a very sensual and laid back jam allows her voice to flow freely over the music. The hidden track, DADDY, is nice, but forgettable. I STILL JAM THIS CD! as if it came out last tuesday. I love it and i love her and she is one of the best performers in the world. She is sexy, talented, and gonna do what she wants! She just has IT!

Product: Audio CD
Title: Magic - The Very Best of Olivia Newton-John
Label: Utv Records
Artist: Olivia Newton-John
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
The most complete Olivia compilation available

We can sit and moan about the tracklisting until the cows come home. You wanted Olivia's 1975 sugary love-lost lament 'Something Better To Do'? And the man in the red corner wanted the Eurotrash 1988 dance hit 'The Rumour'? Personally, I'm mourning the untimely loss of the 1985 R'n'B sizzler 'Soul Kiss', Olivia's last US Top 20 hit. But hey, beggars can't be choosers. Universal Music's 'Magic' release covers the majority of Olivia's illustrious recording career touching on her early country/folk roots, her million-selling soundtrack inclusions, and her latter rock/dance efforts.
This retrospective begins with Olivia's first big US hit in 1973, 'Let Me Be There'. She had already been a star in Europe for about two years, however it was with this track that Olivia catapulted herself into the American stratosphere, eventually winning a Grammy for its efforts. The selections from this era collect the most pertinent tracks, including two #1 hits - 'I Honestly Love You', perhaps the most important unrequited love song of the decade, and the sublime 'Have You Never Been Mellow' which is, pardon the pun, as 'mellow' as the title suggest. Two gems included here from the same period are 'Come On Over' and 'Don't Stop Believin'', the title tracks from Olivia's two 1976 releases. 'Come On Over' is a beautiful mid-tempo track written for Olivia by the Bee Gees but completely devoid of any falsetto Gibb brothers-esque warblings, and 'Don't Stop Believin'' is the musical sibling of the prior year's '...Mellow' hit. Although both stalled outside the Top 20, they are worthy inclusions.
'Sam' is the last of her 'early' recordings, before Livvy got glam in the Hollywood circuit. Although a slightly bigger hit in Europe, it still rates as one of Olivia's best and most loved ballads, and acted as a fore-runner for 'Hopelessly Devoted To You' from the 'Grease' soundtrack. Three 'Grease' tracks are included here, all of which reached the US Top Five. As well as '...Devoted...', undoubtedly one of Olivia's 'anthems', are the two classic duets with John Travolta - 'You're The One That I Want', and 'Summer Nights'.
Directly after the 'Grease' hits exhausted themselves, Olivia scored a #3 hit with the deliciously edgy 'A Little More Love'. The guitar had more attitude than the latest Suzi Quatro record, and Olivia's vocals although still pristeenly clear had a little bit more growl and thunder to them. Add to that an insanely catchy hook and the song was a guaranteed success. Also making an appearance on this CD is the second single released from Olivia's 'Totally Hot' album, the grossly underrated 'Deeper Than The Night'. Charting just outside the Top Ten, this was Olivia's first foray into R'n'B-influenced pop and she pulls it off with a melody her contemporaries would have given their right arm for.
1980 heralded the release of 'Xanadu', possibly the biggest flop in movie musical history. Essentially, it aimed to capture the essence of the 40's as well as the 80's, with rollerskates, pseudo-disco music, and dancing Greek goddesses thrown in for good luck. A hodgepodge of a movie, the soundtrack album was far less muddled. Olivia managed to score three US hits from the album, including the title track of this compilation 'Magic' - a dreamy, ethereal pop tune which duly reached #1 on the US charts. Also included is the UK #1 'Xanadu' which is unofficially recognised as Olivia's gay anthem, and the more vintage Olivia track 'Suddenly', a delicious duet with Cliff Richard.
If you were nervous when Olivia strutted her leather-clad stuff in 'Grease' and on the 'Totally Hot' sleeve, then you can imagine the rucus when 'Physical' was released. The sleeve of the record itself sees Olivia as wet as a fish, plunging herself into the ocean at night, head back, atomic smile on her face. And we haven't even reached the music yet. The syths of the eighties were starting to creep into Olivia's music, but as yet they were still fresh and crisp much like Madonna's early records. 'Physical' was one of the biggest selling singles of the eighties and managed an insane ten weeks at #1 - and so it should, it has one of the most obnoxiously hummable tunes in the history of popular music. Those little guitar licks in the background, that shiny drumbeat ... oh please, stop me, I'm drooling...
At this stage, Olivia took the 'Physical' tour on the road and released a new single to accompany it, the delicious 'Physical' follow-up entitled 'Heart Attack'. So often glazed over by compilation editors, 'Magic' sees it back where it belongs. 'Heart Attack' is a faster, bouncier, more aggressive effort which jumped straight to #3 on the US charts in 1982.
The following year marked the end of Olivia's commerical success. Although she has had a handful of good albums since, they haven't set the charts on fire. In 1983, Olivia reunited with John Travolta for the atomic bomb that was the 'Two Of A Kind' film. Luckily, the soundtrack acted as a saving grace. 'Twist Of Fate' was the first single lifted from it, and gave Olivia her last Top Five hit to date. The song is as grand a swansong as anyone could imagine ... pulsating beat, strong vocals, fantastic melody. If Olivia wanted to go out with a bang, she certainly succeeded.
As far as compilations go, this is the most complete one available. The tracklisting has been lovingly assembled with each song's individual merit warranting its inclusion, whilst the sixteen page booklet features a new interview with Olivia about the album, an in-depth biography, chart information, album info, and a sprinkling of beautiful photos from Olivia's lengthy career.
Olivia Newton-John remains one of the world's most underrated performers. Her career ran the gamut of easy-listening, folk, country, pop, disco, R'n'B, dance, and rock. Rediscover the thing which has been missing from your life for so long - a little bit of old school magic.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Gotta Get Thru This
Label: Island
Artist: Daniel Bedingfield
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Devastatingly awesome

Daniel Bedingfield's new CD, following from his pulverising single chart song "Gotta get thru this ", is another amazing feat for someone who does music "in his bedroom". This talented guy sings like no one else can at the moment; the lyrics are original and have depth for a change. This is new talent on the scene. This CD is somewhat complex because each song is so different than any other, and what comes on the next track is kind of unexpected. But it's really nice, and a change from the boring predictability of so many albums produced for artists who often can't sing or play an instrument as electronics do it all for them. Daniel Bedingfield's blend of styles is testimony to his creativity -and his voice sounds almost ...angelic at times, in complete contrast to the other louder raunchy tracks on the CD.So versatile.
Has Daniel Bedingfield been sent to pick up the idle mantle left by the likes of Michael Jackson, George Michael and Prince? Good news, he probably has. Get this CD, listen to it several times, and you'll likely be convinced.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Gettin' in Over My Head
Label: Rhino Records
Artist: Brian Wilson
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
Only "So-So"

Who am I to critique a musical "god"? But "Over My Head" is not in the same class with Wilson's first or second solo studio almums, nor "Orange Crate Art." I have even tried to pretend to really like this album. This has its few moments. It can remind one in instances of a golden past, but as for showing us a current brilliance? Not a chance. Sometimes we're tempted to give a people like Wilson a pass because of what he has accomplished in his life and overcome. Maybe we're awed that he is still composing at all. But denying he has lost some luster still doesn't make the music sound better to those who have "ears to hear." Sorry Bri.