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Product: Audio CD
Title: Aida (2000 Original Broadway Cast)
Label: Disney
Artist: Elton John, Tim Rice
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
An "Enchantment Passing Through"

"What is this Rubbish?!", I thought to myself when I first listened to 'Aida'. I thought that Elton John's music was ordinary, and Tim Rice's lyrics were nothing special. I had heard Adam Pascal in 'Rent', and not being a big fan of 'Rent', I was not thrilled with his voice. I thought Sherie Rene Scott's voice was more like a screech, and, well I didn't mind Heather Headley's voice that much. That was my first listen, and after that I just put it away for a couple of months.
After a few more listens I actually came to enjoy 'Aida' more and more, and now I just cannot stop listening to it. Based on the opera, by Verdi, 'Aida' follows the love-story of Nubian Princess, Aida (Heather Headley), and her nation's enemy, the Captain of the Egyptian Army, Radames (Adam Pascal). Yet, Radames is betrothed to Princess Amneris (Sherie Rene Scott), Pharaoh's daughter. Radames must chose love or power, and his choice of love leads to tragic circumstances.
Husky, yet versatile in range, Pascal's voice grew on me, and I believe that he portrays Radames very well. Listeners are first introduced to Radames in the song, "Fortune Favours the Brave". This fast-paced rock song is sheer brilliance on the part of John and Rice. Pascal's voice fits into this type of song perfectly. But as I listened more I discovered that his voice fitted into most of the songs on this album. He develops his character from a follower of his father's commands, to a man who decides his own fate.
Heather Headley's portrayal of the proud, majestic Aida is brilliant. Headley adds so many dimensions to her character; she is a lover, she is passionate and strong-willed, and she is loyal to her nation and her people. Headley has great range in her voice, especially in "Dance of the Robe", the gospel-like "The Gods Love Nubia", and the sombre "The Past is Another Land". She performs all of these songs with great passion and precision, and one can not help but admire her.
"My Strongest Suit", what a song!!!! Sherie Rene Scott's performs this song with great enthusiasm, and I think she is just brilliant. She plays the part of the superficial Princess Amneris. Listeners observe great contrasts between the princesses; Aida being strong-willed, proud, and magestic, and Amneris being shallow and materialistic. Yet, listeners observe an inner-emotional dimension to Amneris when she sings the song "I Know The Truth", as she realises that Radames loves Aida and not her.
Pascal, Headley and Scott all perform absolutely brilliantly, and I am sorry that I doubted them in my first listening of 'Aida'.
However, the best songs in 'Aida' are when the three leads collaborate together. The duet between Pascal and Headley in "Enchantment Passing Through" creates an inspiring beauty, as with the lovely "Written in the Stars". But listeners are in for an even bigger treat when Pascal, Headley and Scott combine to sing the compelling songs of "Not Me", "Elaborate Lives", and "A Step Too Far". These songs are truly brilliant!!!
I urge potential buyers of 'Aida' to listen to the album more than once if you don't like it the first time, because it contains some fantastic music; Elton John should be commended, as he has created a musical with period as well as contemporary music. All too often lyricists are forgotten, but Tim Rice's lyrics are just as good they have ever been, they can compare to some of his earlier musicals, such as 'Evita' or even 'Chess'. 'Aida' is truly an album to purchase if not for the score, for the incredible vocal talents of Pascal, Headley and Scott. Buy this and be enchanted!

Product: Audio CD
Title: Live @ Roxy, Vol. 4
Label: Star Sixty Nine
Artist: Peter Rauhofer
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Another Great Addition

What can I say about Pete that you may not know? Well nothing since the man is excellent, in turning a single into a dance floor anthem. This Cd is as good as the others, a tad drab and musical at times, then blows you away with vocals, so one never knows what to expect. This CD contains the unreleased (except on 12" P.R. Roxy 4 track sampler) of the new Madonna "Mother and Father". The Sampler 12" vinyl of the new Madonna is great very close to 11 min in length, and simply excellent, as all Pete's work tends to be. Jason/Prof DJ

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

I watched Clay compete on American Idol from the very first audition. His voice caught my attention instantly and I was not surprised to see him finish a close second. Though I was happily looking forward to hearing Clay's debut album, I was surprised as just how powerful the cd really is. I have rarely found an artist with whom I could honestly say I loved every single track of their first cd. Absolutely terrific.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Perpetual Motion
Label: Sony
Artist: Ludwig van Beethoven
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
This is NUTZ! A masterpiece!

WOW! Seldom do you come across an album where every piece of music is worth listening to repeatedly,but this one will blow your mind.Traditional classical works played on mostly Bluegrass instruments.Who knew it could work so well?Edgar Meyer performs on bass and piano;Joshua Bell on violin(His 1732 Stradivarius sounds golden);Gary Hoffman on a 1662 Amati cello;Evelyn Glennie on marimba;and Chris Thile on mandolin.Fleck and Meyer almost without exception(the Tchakovksy piece doesn't really work or fit)excellent pieces for transcription.All the works are given a new dimension or at worst lose nothing in the interpretations.A highly enjoyable disc.The musicians play like they are having genuine fun!The tempos are perfect,if a little too safe at times.Crisp,clear sound.No complaints.Disc time:57'44.Here are some highlights.Track 3:Are you ready for down home Debussy?Track 5:Fleck solo.Stunning interpretation of a Bach solo violin masterpiece.Track 7:A sly banjo and violin Chopin Mazurka.Track 10:Fleck and marimba.A kool and breezy take on Brahms PRESTO.Track 11: Outstanding Fleck solo for Bach's Prelude from cello suite no.1.Track 13:Paganini's Perpetual Motion.A perfect show off piece.Track 14:banjo and mandolin take on a Scarlatti sonata.Track 15:banjo and bass.Perfect.Even Bach would shake a leg.Track 16:The much played Moonlight sonata of Beethoven;here with banjo,cello and bass.The cello gives the work a very dark,rich feel.Very tense and brooding.Track 18:The highlight of the cd.Fleck and master classical guitarist John Williams do it duet style on Beethoven's "God save the king" variations,originally written for solo piano.They play off of each other perfectly. Without a doubt one of the best discs of the year.Don't hesitate.