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Product: Audio CD
Title: Bad Girl/Erotica (Remixes)
Label: Wea International
Artist: Madonna
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
you want funky?


William has once again worked his magic on Madonna. She should never use any other producer/arranger/musician other than William. The remix cuts of Erotica are just too incredible. I play it in my car every day.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Songs from the West Coast
Label: Universal
Artist: Elton John
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Don't Rush to Judgement


I kept hearing how Elton's latest was a hark back to the 70's style. Even though I love other artists, Elton has probably been the biggest influence on my life musically. I've literally grown up with him from age 5 (1970) to the present day. This CD has nice bits to it. First, the production is better. Elton's voice is non-echoed and up front in the mix, unlike his 80's stuff. The best song, by far, on this CD is "Birds". Other great ones are Look Ma, I Want Love and American Triangle. The others are pretty good too. A CD with 4 great songs from Elton is worth buying, in my book. The overall pace of the music is a little slow. With Davey Johnstone and Nigel on drums, one would have expected the CD to rock a little more. Oh well. I am presently obsessed with Ben Folds latest CD "Rockin the Suburbs". This piano genious' release is about the best I have ever heard and is, at least, on par with any of Elton's best work. Trust me, once you've heard Ben Folds, you will be a fan forever.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Hunky Dory
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: David Bowie
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
one of my favourite albums...


If you already have Bowie's "Best Of" double-album, then you already have the only 3 good songs from this album ("Changes", "Oh, You Pretty Things", and "Life on Mars"). The rest of this album is incredibly vapid and uninspired; I feel kinda like I bought an art book because there was some Dali in it, and the rest of the art turned out to be Thomas Kincaid.
If you don't already have Bowie's "Best Of", then you need to get it RIGHT NOW.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Agnus Dei: Music of Inner Harmony
Label: Elektra
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Music to Feed Your Soul


This is one of those albums that is conceived as a program carefully calculated to give the listener Goosebumps and evoke a tear from the eye. When lesser musicians try to pull such a stunt, the effect is maddening. You feel as though you are being emotionally manipulated, and you resent it. When the efforts of first class musicians such as Higginbottom and the Choir of New College, Oxford, attempt such a feat, it is an emotional, musical, and religious experience. The majority of the repertoire heard on this disc is quite familiar to most listeners in one form or another, but you will rarely hear a choir of such clean, precise and yet passionate sound take on these pieces.
The first selection on the disc is Samuel Barber's own transcription of his "Adagio for Strings" to the Mass text, "Agnus Dei." This composition is difficult for string players to keep in tune, so we can imagine how difficult it is for a choir to sustain the pitch a cappella! The New College performance is a "must hear." Words fail to adequately convey the beauty, balance, and intense music making captured on this disc. The effect is hypnotic. The conductor had the good sense and taste to offer a program with enough variety that you are given an emotional rest on occasion, but the basic meditative atmosphere is sustained throughout the program. The Elgar transcription of "Lux Aeterna" arranged by John Cameron is particularly worth treasuring. It shares much of the ethos of the Barber work and is rarely heard in this form.
The Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Faure which round out the work are very familiar favorites and given graceful, splendid performances. They are so good, in fact, that it would make the album a great gift idea for churches to give amateur choir members as a thank you and inspiration for improvement. The Rachmaninoff and Gorecki are music for the initiated and receive convincing, winning performances here. The Allegri, though rarely heard, is a hauntingly beautiful composition and was a particular favorite of Mozart.
This beautiful album makes a wonderful background for meditation. It is the perfect music to glory in when your soul is thirsty.