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Product: Audio CD
Title: Ellis Island
Label: Music Matters
Artist: Frank McNamara
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
The Best Historical CD Ever!


I think this is best CD since Live in Belfast! it also has 2 songs not included on the video! it's a unique album of how the immigration to Ellis Island and New York turned out. It also has songs of the war such as The Green Fields Of France (The Best One) or, the croppy boy. I would recommend this to anyone!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Live at the Old Absinthe House Bar, Vol. 2: Saturday
Label: Justin Time Records
Artist: Bryan Lee
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
pretty good, but not 5-star good


When I found out (not from Amazon) that Frank Marino was on this album, plus KWS, I almost bought it sight unseen, but I gave the samples a listen and then decided to pick this and the Friday night (part I) up.
I wasn't dissapointed, but my expectations we perhaps a little high, so it's not one of my top blues guitar albums, live or otherwise. It's a decent blues album and I like it, and although I'm no stranger to raw live blues, some of Lee's rawness comes off as, I'm sorry, but it's my opinion, sloppiness. Taken in context of a live recording in a New Orleans bar, this fits, but it's not 5-star material. Nor, IMHO is the companion album.
But don't let that stop you from picking it up, it's/they're good album(s). Lee is a decent guitarist and singer, and it's really cool that he had Marino & Shepherd sit in with him. Makes you want to blast it loud while sipping a Jim Beam.
To be really fair I need to check out other albums by Lee.
If you're a very hard-core Marino fan like I am, you might a little dissapointed , Frank's a great player on his own and even better with Mahogany Rush, but like his "blues period" where he went from his own, post-Jimi/almost progressive self-styled fantastic sound period (IV, Strange Universe) to a more Johnny Winter vein, well, Frank's just not a blues guitarist *first*. He seems to be straining, not to play notes, but to garner feel. I can't believe I of all people am saying this about Frank!
Frank does do some nice slide playing, although I'm not sure it's actually slide, I had heard that on earlier MR albums he used his whammy bar for slide-sounds, but that be yet another Marino urban legend.
Some people are not so keen on KWS, but I have most of his albums and I like him a lot even if he's a SRV clone, at the end of the day he plays well and has good tunes. He sounds good here too.
Don't kill me for this review, someone else yeh or nay it.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Phaedra
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: Tangerine Dream
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A transcendental masterpiece.


I was introduced to Tangerine Dream by my Father back in the early eighties. He had this vinyl album, along with Rubycon and Zeit. This is definitely the best of those three, and stands as one of the best of all of the releases during their years on the Virgin label.
The title track is a brilliant in the way that it uses musical progressions and soundscapes to create an effect of movement, as if we were descending into a storm on a planet in another galaxy. Like the best pieces of classical music, Phaedra makes you think about what you are listening to at the moment you hear it. On one level, you admire the technical brilliance of the performers, and the literate nature of the music, while on another level you find yourself being moved in a way that you cannot describe.
Mysterious Semblance and Movements of a Visionary are also very well done. Since they follow Phaedra, however, its difficult not to think of them as the minor pieces of the composition.
The last track, Sequent C' initially seems out of place here. No synthesizers are used, and the only instrument used is a flute. However, it follows the same template TD used for the other songs, in that moods and feelings are evoked through the use of repetitions and slight variations on those repetitions. With this track, TD seems to be saying, "We don't need to use high-end synthesizers to accomplish everything. We only need to use one organic instrument to evoke the feelings we want to evoke."
Overall, this album sounds just as modern today as when I first heard it some fifteen years ago. (Comparatively, the work from a majority of artists based in synthesizers sounds dated within years after it was released.) Tangerine Dream's music may be uncategorizable, but that's why it always sounds fresh, interesting and moving years after it was released. The same cannot be said for anything in the Jungle, Drum & Bass, Techno, Rave, House Acid categories, which go out of favor as quickly as last year's fashions.
For more info on Tangerine Dream, be sure to check out their official web site.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Pachelbel Canon and Other Baroque Hits
Label: RCA
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
The Best Classical Music Ever!


Pachelbel's Canon is the most beautiful and moving piece ever written. I plan on using it as the processional song at my August 2001 wedding. (As well as playing other selections from the CD during the ceremony.) If you are into classical music, you will absolutely fall in love with this CD.