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Product: Audio CD
Title: Human After All
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: Daft Punk
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Darker, Different, But Definitely Not Inferior


As anyone as remotely fanatical about Daft Punk as I am can attest, Human After All is definitely a departure from Homework and Discovery. Unlike Discovery, which featured songs with catchy and effervescent beats worthy of rotation on Top 40 radio stations, Human After All features no songs which I would consider potentially popular and trendy (save for the slim chance this album's current single, "Robot Rock," may have). And, unlike Homework, which was dark but at the same time playful, Human After All is as dark as night with no intentions of slipping away from its seriousness.

With that said, I am still grateful for this album. Although different, it shows Daft Punk's versatility and ability to capture all the human emotions music in general tries to do. Heavy on guitar riffs (Take the title song) and haunting melodies (Take Make Love), this is the album I put in the CD player when pheening for a Daft Punk fix while trying to resolve the complications of life.

So, give this album a try. I guarantee simultaneous feelings of astonishment over Daft Punk's musical change and feelings of subtle thrill over Daft Punk's musical genius.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Live 1975-85
Label: Sony
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
I have enjoyed this recording for about 15 years


I remember the moment I got the boxed set of vinyl records and put the side one of the first record on the turntable. I was a teenager and it was a magical moment on christmas day.
I admired everything from the cover of the box to gig pictures on the booklet of the boxed set. But the music - that was unearthly - I guess there wasn't a day when I didn't listen to at least one song from these records.
Time of the turntables has passed, but I am happy this CD set has turned up. Again I can enjoy those magical moments with deeply touching music and great performances.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Music
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Madonna
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Nice album


Now the audience is puzzled again cause everyone wanted to have another 70 minutes of "Ray Of Light", but we only get 44 minutes (or 49 minutes, cause the European version contains "American pie") of something else... and it's not bad.
When I've listened to it the first time I thought at track #2 "Now what the is this?". Then I got it. And I'm wondering that only few reviewers got it besides me. This is a joke. Don't you remember "Act Of Contrition" from "Like A Prayer"? Impressive Instant is the same stuff. It's not meant to be serious and now I'm laughing at it, in fact it's my favorite track on the album. Let's use lots of idiotic techno beats, silly lyrics ("Universe is full of stars"... who would have thought it :>>?) and don't forget the vocoder. It's unique indeed.
Another favorite is "Gone" and "Paradise (not for me)". It's simply beautiful. And it's true. Possible hits are "Amazing", "What it feels like for a girl", "Don't tell" and "I deserve it". "Amazing" is a bit reminiscent of "Beautiful stranger" but only for the first 2-3 times. It's faster and it's over when you start thinking it over. The song I like the least: "Runaway Lover". It's typical. You've got a highly succesful producer - this time William Orbit - but he can only deliver the usual stuff here. Remember, it was Madonna who reinvented W. Orbit, and not W. Orbit who reinvented Madonna. She is far away from that sound now. It's not bad, but she loses one star beacuse of copying "Ray of light" here.
Lots of people hate "Nobody's perfect". In fact it's a joke, too. Cher came back in 1998 after "Ray of light" was released and it became succesful. She made a hit single with a "new voice". She was only copying Madonna. Now Madonna takes her revenge. She copies Cher's vocoder using and makes an annoying song reminiscent of Cher. Anyway it's funny.
So this album won't be a megaseller like ROL was, but it's worth listening to it. I'm happy with it, and when I skip track #3 and sometimes track #5, it is fully enjoyable. Good work, Madonna! And I hope you won't turn to stone and lose your faith cause I don't want you to be gone!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Everything and Nothing
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: David Sylvian
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
Something


This is not a Greatest Hits package - no Forbidden Colours, numerous missing singles. Bereft of some of Sylvian's most sublime compositions, it is not a Greatest Songs collection either. Nor is it a Rarities collection - roughly half is comprised of readily available album material. While it is convenient to have hard to find material (such the caustic one-off single Pop Song) in one place, they do not necessarily reflect his best or most interesting work. And his tinkling with old recording masters - remixing and often resinging older tracks - yields mixed results. The charming (and oh-so 80s) Bamboo Music benefits from a warmer mix, but the one bonafide classic in the bunch, Ghosts, gets an incongruously languid, torchy performance on top of the unchanged and ornamentally rigid framework of the music. It's easy to see why the rambling Cover Me With Flowers did not make it onto last year's Dead Bees on a Cake, but less obvious why it was favored here over, say, Darkest Dreaming from the same album or The Ink in the Well from the all-but ignored debut album, Brilliant Trees. And why sacrifice his near-transcendental ballads with Robert Fripp (Damage, and The First Day) for the profoundly melody-challenged Jean the Birdman and God's Monkey?
However, there are three very good reasons to get your hands on this set, and they are all unavailable elsewhere. The first is the opening cut The Scent of Magnolia that shows Sylvian at the peak of his powers. With one ear to sampling culture - a sharp series of beats, masterly filtering - and another on Messian, it is a lush and heady amalgamation of his musical talents, and one of his most assured deep-amber vocal performances. The second is Ride, a track intended for the 1988 masterpiece, Secrets of the Beehive. It's a testament to that album that it doesn't suffer from Ride's exclusion, but the track is among the strongest Sylvian has written - an open vista beautifully shaded by Mark Isham, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Danny Thompson. Finally, the track that has most completists salivating is one left off Sylvian's 1981 album with his former band Japan, Gentlemen Take Polaroids. In retrospect it's hard to understand why: a sweeping ballad anchored by an unforgettable, almost corny melody, Some Kind of Fool was perhaps too much ballast on an already lugubrious album. Aided by some violin-noir and weepy orchestration, the song captures all the things that made Sylvian - and in many ways still does - a fascinating enigma: a contrary courage to marry pretension, experimentation and musical gifts in order to create something of lasting beauty. It is a pity more of his sublime work is not captured on this collection.