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Product: Audio CD
Title: Blue Lines
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: Massive Attack
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
MOTHER OF ALL TRIP-HOP ALBUMS


BLUE LINES is one of the most influential albums of the past decade. It is to dance music, what Nirvana's NEVERMIND is to grunge. For a band, whose debut album has had such an impact over music, Massive Attack is truly remarkable. This album has created a whole new genre itself: trip-hop, an offshoot of dance music. If not, this is definitely the first trip-hop album to be a big commercial as well as critical success. Though musically simple, BLUE LINES was much ahead of its time, as far as its style is concerned.
As an album, BLUE LINES is sexy, seductive and subfusc. The opening track "Safe From Harm", with its killer bass-hooks, eerie background music and Shara Nelson's mysteriously seductive vocals, is a perfectly gothic dance number. The following track, "One Love", is all orgasms galore. Instead of going overboard with sexuality like a lot of Prince's or Madonna's songs, "One Love" is as subtle and smooth as it gets, without being all loud and glaring - Only Horace Andy's vocals can be as sexy without even meaning to be.
Songs like "Blue Lines", "Five Man Army", and "Daydreaming" keep up the enjoyably livid mood built up by "Safe From Harm" and "One Love": gloomy and crazy, these three tracks wander aimlessly without any proper structure or chorus, with the band members taking turns to emcee, giving the impression of apparitions whispering mindless words in different forms - isn't trip-hop music, of the ghosts and for the dead?
Well, if BLUE LINES can be all spooky and intentionally subterranean, it can also be as positive, heavenly, and invigorated. This dual nature of this album makes listening to it even more enjoyable. "Be Thankful For What You Got", "Unfinished Sympathy", "Lately", and "Hymn Of The Big Wheel", are so unbelievably effusing with life and zest, that it is amazing that they are packed in the same album as the distressingly dark "Safe From Harm", and the others.
If "Safe From Harm" is one of the grimmest tracks ever created then "Be Thankful For What You Got" is one of the most upbeat songs ever made. With its down-to-earth vocals, and innocently simple words, this song overwhelms with its earthiness. Also, "Unfinished Sympathy", which is much more sophisticated, creates a blissful atmosphere with Shara's unassumingly sweet vocals along with the divine string-arrangement accompanying her vocals; and yes, its irresistibly foot-tapping beats are unforgettable. The closing number "Hymn Of The Big Wheel", is so unbelievably na?ve and chaste, that it is only surprising that this song is in collaboration with the same person who has also collaborated in the temptingly sleazy "One Love".
An album, which is sleazy, sexy, subfusc, simple, and spirited, all at the same time, BLUE LINES is an essential album, in any collection. BLUE LINES is indeed an icon, as far as classic albums are concerned, and is undoubtedly the mother of all trip-hop albums.



Product: Audio CD
Title: This Is Your Time
Label: Reunion
Artist: Michael W. Smith
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A Definite Must Have


I have had this CD for almost a year now, and have still not tired of listening to it. Smitty hits pretty well every emotion known to us with the Celtic inspired "Rince De" to open the album, to the sad, yet inspiring "This Is Your Time", to the fun filled "Worth It All", to songs for his daughters. This is yet another example of superb misicianship from one of Christian Music's finest. A definite must-have.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Jump and Jive With Hi-5
Label: Koch Records
Artist: Hi-5
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
An Amazing Children's CD


This is a fantastic CD for the young and the young at heart. The Hi-5 gang sings energetic songs that are sure to get listeners dancing. The songs are educational, yet fun. When this CD arrived my younger brother listened, laughed, and learned--he was having so much fun he didn't even know he was learning. I strongly recommend this CD (btw, the song "Elephant's Trunk" is my personal favorite)!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Accident of Birth
Label: Cmc International
Artist: Bruce Dickinson
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
THIS is the new Iron Maiden


This album is a must have! I've been a metalhead for decades and heavy metal is back with a vengeance in this album. "Darkside of Aquarius" proves Dickinson place in the "Iron Maiden" sound and is perhaps the best heavy metal song of the 2nd half of this decade. Adrian Smith rejoins Dickinson on this album and the rest of the band (from east L.A. surprisingly) kicks some major ass. Don't pass this up. I haven't liked anything Maiden has done after "Live After Death" and this album brought that feeling back.