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Product: Audio CD
Title: Adore
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: The Smashing Pumpkins
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
A good pick for the casual Pumpkins fan.

I'd found most of Smashing Pumpkins' songs halfway decent, but "Adore" was their first album that I actually decided to go out and buy. I'm glad I did. The CD leaves me convinved that Billy Corgan is one of the best songwriters around. It's also nice to see that a group known for a hard sound had the guts (and ability) to create a record filled with such beautifully written songs.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Les Miserables - The Musical That Swept the World (10th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall)
Label: Relativity
Artist: Claude-Michel Schonberg, Colm Wilkinson, Judy Kuhn
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Never before have I heard such a moving soundtrack!

As someone who fell in the love with the story of Les Miserables at the age of 13, and am now singing the score in my high school concert choir, I am absolutely enthralled by this recording of the music from the musical. The actors and actresses that sing the parts in this rendition are absolutely brilliant. They bring the story to life through the music with their awe-inspiring voices, especially Eponine and Valjean. I find myself walking down the hallways at school singing these songs because the arrangement is so breathtaking and yet catchy at the same time. If there were more than five stars to give, I would do so.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Colored Lights: The Broadway Album
Label: Varese Records
Artist: Jule Styne, Charles Strouse
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
You have to be a diehard fan to like this.....

I have been looking forward to this album, and must admit when I first saw the song list was a little disappointed, only because I didn't recognize many of the songs. But now, having listened to the album in it's entirety five times, I love it! I'm actually glad she chose some more obscure songs to showcase, so as to not only bring recognition to her own talent, but recognition to some lesser known shows and songs.
I have read some of the other reviews that say she sounds like she's auditioning the songs and I wholeheartedly disagree. She puts some great spin on to some of the songs. Many of the arrangements are unique, and allow her a lot of creativity in song interpretation.
My favorite songs on the album after the first few listens are, "Anytime (I Am There)", "Maybe This Time" (which she has performed on Broadway in Caberet), "I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love" and "Who Are you Now". (OK, so I lean towards the ballads, but I always have in with her in the 15 years I've been a fan.)
I hope that she takes this album onthe road and does some caberet style shows, she's due for a tour.
Way to go Deborah!

Product: Audio CD
Title: Patience [UK]
Label: Sony Int'l
Artist: George Michael
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Mr. Michael is BACK

After the demise of Wham!, Mr. Michael re-entered the music scene with not just a storm, but an earth-shattering hurricane with the release of his Grammy-winning album, "Faith," which remains one of the most perfect pop albums in the history of music.
His follow-up, "Listen Without Prejudice Volume One," was not better or was absolutely as brilliant....a production of perfection that was just more mature than Faith.
With them, he solidified himself as one of the most talented men of the 20th century with one of the best male voices to ever record music.
Unfortunatly for me, it stopped there, as Older was not just older, but a little too ancient, as the melodies and rhythms of his previous albums were replaced by a more jazzy feel...but nothing nearly as good as "Kissing a Fool." Even the club mixes just couldn't bring back the feel that was the George Michael I was enthralled by.
THAT has changed.
Finally, eight years later, he releases his fourth album of new material (lest we forget Songs from the Last Century, which was a forgettable cover album from 1999), and I now forgive him for the disappointment which was Older (which, by no means, was a bad album...and how to you top his two previous?).
Patience is, again, no where close to bringing us where Faith and LWP did, but it has all the elements that remind us why this man is so brillaint...and why we should be so sad this is apparently his farewell album, as he is retiring at the end of the year.
Those who are fans will be very happy to see he included "Shoot the Dog" and "Freeek!" on here ("Freeek!" having been very-well remixed for this album), which constitute two of the better songs on here, but nothing comes close to the catchiness and club perfection of "Flawless (Go the the City)," which is a guaranteed dance-floor smash, as it almost sticks out like a sore thumb, being a House track in the midst of mid-tempo pop tunes and ballads. But MAN, do I like that sore thumb! "Flawless" is, by far, the best song on the album...and has instantly became one of my favourite George Michael songs ever.
I mean it.
The meeting of George and The One's own "Flawless" is spine-chilling in it's appropriateness and sits so perfectly enraptured by Mr. Michael's vocals.
Second in line is most definitely "Precious Box," another upbeat song that is so wispy and easy on the ears that could easily translate into another huge club hit on it's own and with remixing. Strong lyrics and trance-like audio affects float around the room like a whirlpool of sound. Clocking at over seven minutes, the extended version seems to be on the album already.
I cannot wait for the remixes!
Of course, there is the beautiful first single, "Amazing," which is a perfect podium to show that his voice is still in top form, and his song-writing ability has done nothing but stay consistent. Many seem to be disappointed that the first single is an adult-contemporary mid-tempo tune, but just give the brilliant Full Intention club mixes a listen, and you'll quickly see why Mr. Michael is already back in the top 10 on the dance charts.
There are not too many ballads....Mr. Michael has never been known to overload with up-beat tracks... How many slow songs are on Listen Without Prejudice? The album has a great mix of up-beat songs (he's never included straight-forward club tracks on an album before) with some great mid-tempo tracks ("Round Here" and the very pleasing "Please Send Me Someone (Anselmo's Song)" and beautiful slow songs like "Through" that touch both lyrically and musically.
Patience is not Mr. Michael's best album, but considering we are comparing it to Faith and LWP, this is just a notch beneath them, much better than Older and, by far, one of the best albums I have bought recently.
Whether you're a fan or not, get this album, and cherish the flawless perfection of the return of Mr. George Michael.