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Product: Audio CD
Title: Outside
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: David Bowie
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
brilliantly subversive and therefore shunned

David Bowie's decidedly grim "Outside" is, at times, nothing short of amazing. At first blush, the album's audacious conception may be a bit jarring to some, but the music inevitably grows on you. "I'm Deranged", "I Have Not Been To Oxford Town" and "Strangers When We Meet" are among some of the best songs Bowie has ever created. I do, however, prefer the Pet Shop Boys' remix of "Hallo Spaceboy" over the album's loud, clunky version. ET

Product: Audio CD
Title: Worship
Label: Reunion
Artist: Michael W. Smith
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
One of the best worship CD's in years

The first thing I thought when hearing this CD was:
"Where Contemporary Christian artists once did Christmas music because it was the "in" thing to do, we now see contemporary Christian artists now do worship CDs because it's the new 'in' thing to do." It was this thought that caused me to come forth concerning other worship CDs done by well known Christian artists I had listened to that were just awfully produced, awfully sung, etc. I thought about the John Tesh CD I reviewed along with the time I listened to the latest Petra worship CD and listened to the new Rebecca St. James worship CD in the CD player of the Christian bookstore where I sometimes shop and was very disappointed with what I heard on these two CDs. I kinda expected to hear the same thing from this CD because of the latest craze of well known Christian artists to jump on the latest praise and worship bandwagon and also especially Michael W. Smith because he made the last CD that to me was "cashing in on Columbine" over his influence over the Rachel Scott diaries. After hearing this CD, Boy I was wrong!!! (only about the part pertaining to the praise and worship CD and not about Columbine).
With this all star cast, one would think that the focus would have been on Smith and some of the singers, but instead, the focus was on worshipping the Lord God Almighty in Spirit and in truth. In fact, the recording, mixing, editing, and mastering of the CD reflects that attitude as Smith's voice nor the choir's voice does not dominate the mix. In fact, you feel the spontaneous worship experience of both the audience and musicians throughout the CD as the balance between the two is portrayed to encapsulate everyone involved.
From the beginning of the CD where Smith's two daughters read portions of Psalms 57 to the last live song "More Love, More Power", the ambience of the true heartfelt worship experience is recorded and brings one into the presence of God to worship God. Featuring such popular worship songs and true worship songs such as "Draw Me Close", "The Heart of Worship", and "Open The Eyes Of My Heart", the CD leads one into the intense worship especially found throughout the songs "Breathe", "Let It Rain", and "Agnus Dei". One can clearly see the true expression of the heart of worship and a hunger and desire for a greater infilling of the power and presence of God.
After the ending of the live session with "More Love, More Power", there are two "bonus tracks" recorded in the studio at the end of this CD entitled "Purified" and the studio version of "Above All". These were decent songs to use as filler material but it would have been perfectly acceptable to have ended the CD with "More Love, More Power" and the CD still would have been great because the two studio recorded songs neither add nor take away from the worship experience on this CD.
In summary, this CD is a cut above the gluttony of praise and worship CD's that have emerged within CCM released with the past five years and a recommended must buy. This is the high quality one expects from an well renowned artist such as Michael W. Smith. I like the fact that there are none of the "metaphorically metaphysical" songs Vineyard music is well noted for on this CD as this CD does exalt the name of God and exalts His name with clarity and confidence and not using such cryptic terms such as "the wind" and "let me sit on daddy's knee".

Product: Audio CD
Title: Original Pirate Material
Label: Vice/Atlantic
Artist: The Streets
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Love the Streets!

This album is garbage--which shouldn't matter because there's lots of other garbage to complain about. It's only when garbage gets "critical acclaim" that I'm upset. First of all, rap music is largely about rhythm and flow and this so-called emcee has neither. Second, it's not that witty--it sounds like rap music my friends would make as a joke.
The biggest load of ... though is that this somehow represents the "alienated voice of the brittish youth." No, it represents the bratty, untalented voice of one brittish youth, and those who swallow his ... with this justification are being pretentious, trite, and cliched, not to mention they have no knowledge or respect for rap as a genre.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Constantine
Label: Varese Records
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Brian Tyler on the darkside & Klaus Badelt on the lightside

Varese Records brings another Brian Tyler film score to the forefront "Constantine", featuring 24 short cues with aggressive arrangements loaded with action sequences laced with percussion galore...A brilliant mix of musicians with Brian Tyler and Klaus Badelt our composers and Tyler as conductor with vocal contractor Sally Stevens ~ The Hollywood Studio Symphony and The Hollywood Film Chorale let the fur fly with forceful biting fast moving themes, perfect score for this film ~ opening "MEET JOHN CONSTANTINE", with pulse sating percussion mixed with echoing strings and brass, shifting to the next track "ETHER SURFING", very large array of orchestration and Martin Tillman electric cello is simply eerie, sets the mood and the rest fall into place ~ give a listen to "CIRCLE OF HELL", low key strings vibrant and organ hangs softly in the background...

All the "film-score-buffs" are familiar with Tyler and Badelt past scores ~ instantly recognizable and lending to immediate credibility to any film they works on...Brian Tyler along with Klaus Badelt have served up a delightful dark and moody score, just the way we like 'em!

Total Time: 51:00 on 24 Tracks ~ Varese Records 66636 ~ (2/15/2005)