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Product: Audio CD
Title: Pure Moods IV
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: Various Artists
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
Unfortunately my least favorite Pure Moods CD so far :(

I was excited about the fourth addition and was eager to add it to my collection. Unfortunately, this fourth installment in the series is the weakest in of the four Pure Moods CDs. I'm not sure what Virgin was thinking when they were assembling this collection. The tracklisting is so predictable and some of these tracks don't even belong on here especially Angel by Sarah McLachlin which sadly was played to death on the radio. Some of the material on here is comparable to what I'd hear on an elevator. There are so many superior New Age tracks that languish in undeserved obscurity such as Patrick O'Hearns "Cape Perpetual" from the amazing "Between Two Worlds" album and Mars Lasars Eleventh Hour and Karma albums which at one song from each could've been put on here and replacing Angel for a much better song listing. This CD isn't bad at all but I expected better and less predictable tracks than what made it on here. For a New Age compilation of eclectic beauty, I suggest getting Earthtone Collection Two, all of the Elevation compilation CDs, and Spiritual High(Earthtone). I'm not necessarily saying leave Pure Moods IV alone, far from it but I would not spend a large fortune on this CD. Hopefully they'll take risks on the fifth volume.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Sa'Iyr a Tribal Metamorphosis (Dig)
Label: Mondo Melodia
Artist: Pentaphobe
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
NOT traditional tribal music - great for fusion!

This is not music for ATS, pure tribal (FCBD style) belly dance. Yes that is Rachel Brice on the cover, which should tell you what kind of fusion this is good for (Go watch Rachel dance at if you haven't seen her yet. Her style is very different than Fat Chance). Pentaphobe composed this music for her. It's good music, interesting and danceable but it is NOT traditional tribal music. It's very modern, club-style music. You can dance to this, but if you're looking for traditional tribal, there are better recordings out there.

Liner note is helpful for describing their intentions with this recording: "Pentaphobe was asked to create music that would complement Rachel Brice's fusion style, and at the same time be appropriate for a performance in an industrial nightclub. A Tribal Metamorphosis is a collection of tunes inspired by traditional Middle Eastern rhythms, and the karass that is the American Tribal Belly Dance community."

Product: Audio CD
Title: The Very Best Of Cher
Label: Rhino Records
Artist: Cher
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
Bought Out of Pressure

I bought this album out of pressure as a gay man because EVERY gay man is supposed to like Cher. I have even tried to like her but think her voice is terrible and her songs lame. Believe has to be the most overrated song in recent memory. I like the version they play on South Park much better. I give the one star to Dark Lady because it is the best song on the album.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Give Up
Label: Sub Pop
Artist: The Postal Service
Rating: 2/5
Customer rating - 2 out of 5
One great song

I purchased this album on the strength of hearing "Such Great Heights". This is an absolutely terrific song, mixing a upbeat electronic tune with great singing and a wonderful topic (lovers separated by distance and a song to "guide you home").
I really expected great things from the rest of the album, alas.. this is the only song like it on the album. The rest of the songs are a mixture of slow-paced (really slow!) songs and upbeat songs about depressing topics.
The album starts off with "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" which is a good example, it starts off with 2 minutes of extremely slow, quiet music.. if you can stay awake long enough it picks up, but the subject is about a destroyed relationship and the singer hanging around her apartment feeling like a stranger and discovering that "I'm the one worth leaving" whatever that means.
Other thrilling subjects are a person who discovers there isn't any true love and makes a movie with his ex to try and simulate it, the depressing life of hanging out in anonymous bars (or possibly prisons depending on how you interpret it) and about people dying and exploding...not exactly the subject matter I want to listen to.
Other reviews have praised the production qualities but I found the vocals tended to get lost in the music, many times I found I was straining just to hear the vocals. Ben Gibbards vocals are very unique and easy to listen to, but for many of the songs he is half whispering and half talking rather than singing and tends to get lost in the background.
So a mixed review.. After listening to the entire album quite a few times I can honestly say the only song I like is "Such Great Heights"...however if you like slow serious electronic music or the upbeat tempos and don't mind the subject matter, perhaps this one is for you.