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Product: Audio CD
Title: Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits
Label: Island
Artist: John Mellencamp
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Possibly The Most Complete Retrospective For Any Artist


Coming in the wake of the woefully lacking "The Best That I Can Do: 1978 - 1998", "Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits" is a welcome breath of fresh air to the singer's fans. This is one of the few collections where you cna truly say, "if you want to buy only one cd from this artist, then is it".

This collection includes the motherload of his best work. All the hits from the previous single disc collection - "Hurts So Good", "Jack And Diane", "Pink Houses", "R.O.C.K....", etc. are all included (the only absentee from that collection is the then new track, "Without Expression), but also about 23 others that weren't included, including "Pop Singer", the 1994 top ten hit "Wild Night", "Peaceful World" (a surprising rap number from this rock legend), "Jackie Brown", "When Jesus Left Birmingham", "Again Tonight" and the singer most brutal and enduring attack on right wing governemnt and perhaps his masterpiece (and this is coming from a right ring conservative republican), "Rain On The Scarecrow-Blood On The Pow". The song I'm most happy they included would have to be "This Time", a great underrated track that was a minor hit in 1980. Its swaying, gentle arrangement (recalling 1950s' rock and roll) really does it for me.

Of the two new songs, the one that's the best is undoubedly "Walk Tall", a great song about triumphing over the curveballs life throws at you (the video is also very funny, telling the story of a midget falling in love with a girl in a wheelchair).

This is definitely one of the greatest "best of's"/"greatest hits" cds. I will even go as far as to say it's the best ever, since it's so comprehensive. Definitely a keeper, even for those who own all the albums.



Product: Audio CD
Title: What It Feels Like for a Girl [US CD/12"]
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Madonna
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
One absolutely killer remix


"What It Feels Like For A Girl" was the third release off Madonna's "Music" LP. I always thought this track deserved to be a bigger hit on the pop charts, even in its original form. The lyrics are very positive and uplifting and the song was a great pop production.
Like many of Madonna's chart misses, "What It Feels Like For A Girl" compensated by becoming one of Madonna's many #1 Billboard Dance/Club hits.
This single yielded what some fans consider to be the best-ever remix of any of Madonna's work: the Above & Beyond Club Mix.
This was the same mix that was used in the controversial video for the song. The video was directed by Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie and featured Madonna as a woman scorned who goes on a violent rampage against men.
The Above & Beyond mix is trance styling at its absolute finest: European and high energy in flavor with sweeping strings and flawless use of synthesizers. Surprise: the mix contains only a few vocals! Full vocals are usually a requirement in a Madonna remix, but not in this case. The incredible production takes the song onto a whole new level.
The Above & Beyond Club Mix was the definitive mix played in clubs - a rare success for trance music. The other mixes on this CD are also good, particularly Victor Calderone's unusual turn away from the anthem style. But the Above & Beyond mix is the one that sticks with you, and remains a fan favorite.



Product: Audio CD
Title: String Quartet Tribute to Warren Zevon: Dad Get Me
Label: Vitamin Records
Artist:
Rating: 2/5
Customer rating - 2 out of 5
Neat the First Time Through


As far as novelty recordings go, its good fun. But Zevon's lyrics carried most of these songs the first time around, and some just don't hold up well as instrumentals. Roland just seems to trug along for an eternity.
That said, the quartet really does hit on I was in the House When the House Burned Down. Buy it if your a huge fan looking for a novelty record.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Bridge Over Troubled Water/This Is The Night
Label: RCA
Artist: Clay Aiken
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Great Voice - Great Songs - Bad Mix


It doesn't get better than this. The only bad thing about this CD is that there are only two songs on it! Clay's voice is crystal clear, and absolutely gorgeous. I get chills when he sings. You NEED to buy this CD...it is worth every cent!