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Product: Audio CD
Title: Measure of a Man
Label: Rca
Artist: Clay Aiken
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
The Voice!!

what is with the uinfatuation with an obviously closeted flamer with a big, grandiose [yet sterile as a hospital lab] voice? i swear his voice isn't as beautiful as, say, Marc Anthony yet Aiken suffers that same fate as Anthony - big voice, bad songs, but at least Anthony emotes when he sings - Clay, on this CD, sounds and seems like he's showing off - like a more effeminate Celine Dion - all over the top caterwauling with absolute ZERO feeling. When a Marc Anthony wails, or a George Michael, or a Luther Vandross [etc...] holds notes [for longer than 11 seconds, i might add] the inherent emotions shine. i believe many of the over-praised reviews of this CD [and the equally BORING 'Solitaire' single] are mainly from folks disgusted with the whole sex-as-entertainment you see on the charts, or over the hip hop/r&b phase. listen to this CD again, people and this time with a less prejudiced ear. let us hope the next time Aiken records, it's with a little less Broadway and a lot more EMOTION.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Love Devoton & Surrender
Label: Sony
Artist: Santana, John Mclaughlin
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Defies Categorization

What happens when you put two of the world's finest guitarists together ? The result is LDS. Recorded in 72/73, Columbia cleverly managed to unite these two giants who were extremly popular at that time. Carlos had Santana & McLaughlin was with Mahavishnu. A unification of their band members Douglas Rauch on bass, Mic Shrieve on Drums from Carlos's band plus Jan, Billy from Mahavishnu along with (late) Larry Young provided the necessary punch that makes this album potent even today. Carlos's style of playing shows Mahavishnu influence & is evident in this album as well as the earlier Caravanserai. The concept of using two guitars works well on this album due to the complex compositions. Unfortunately, this is the only official release from this era. A short live tour in 1973 between John & Carlos has never been released officially & people who have seen that tour swear that they have never ever seen such intense guitar work ! Wake up Columbia....can we have a live release at least in the 21st century ?

Product: Audio CD
Title: David Byrne
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: David Byrne
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
But something's missing...

Understand that I am a huge fan of Byrne's solo work. (Saw him live just last week!) While the Talking Heads were great, Byrne's solo career keeps moving farther and farther into new worlds of creativitiy and social commentary.
But there's something missing from this album. I may be doing Byrne an injustice, but this album seems a bit pretentious, or perhaps 'self-conscious' would be a better descriptor. The lyrics tend to be either more obscure or more blunt than his other albums; the rhythms and song structures tend to plod along instead of picking you up; and many of the songs lack a strong 'hook'. The elements of his stronger albums are there, but they are do not come together as powerfully as his other albums.
At the least, I'd say it will take you longer to learn to appreciate this album. If you're just getting into Byrne's solo stuff, I'd recommend the following first:- "Rei Momo" is a great release from his earlier forays into latin rhythms.- "Feelings" is good.- "Look Into the Eyeball" - When I got this one, I thought it would be impossible to release a better album...- "Grown Backwards" - But then "Grown Backwards" was released, and totally knocked me out.
I'd recommend you acquire any of the above before the album being reviewed.

Product: Audio CD
Title: ABBA - Gold: Greatest Hits
Label: Polydor / Pgd
Artist: Abba
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Great album, but where's Boomerang?

This is, without a doubt, the ultimate compilation of ABBA's wonderful music. All of the hits are here, including Waterloo, The Winner Takes it All, Take a Chance On Me, and Dancing Queen. Which brings me to my one complaint about the album; my all-time favorite ABBA song, Boomerang, is nowhere to be found, even on the updated Forever Gold 2-disc cd! So, if you're an ABBA fan, get this cd and enjoy the great sounds of ABBA's finest. Then grieve at the criminally negligent omission of what is, in my opinion, ABBA's greatest song.