Valid XHTML 1.0!

Valid CSS!

Product: Audio CD
Title: The String Quartet Tribute to Janet Jackson
Label: Vitamin Records
Artist:
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
An insult to Janet-loving audiophiles.


Given the lofty title of this recording and the other reviews of it on Amazon.com, I had rather high hopes for this purchase. Now I'm just hoping there's a used CD store in town that will take this sophomoric rubbish.
As the credits on this CD indicate (warn?), this so-called "string quartet" is actually just TWO people: one playing a real violin and the other playing a SAMPLER with some string sounds, drums, and a few miscellaneous synthesizers in a half-assed attempt to make these songs sound vaguely like the real McCoys. Anyone who knows so little about chamber music as to mistake the strings and drums (other than the lead violin) for real instruments and not the sequenced electronic imitations that they are is probably not an appropriate audience for a seemingly high-brow musical concept that one would expect a "string quartet" to be in the first place. In other words, whether you have trouble comprehending the intellectual complexity of a Britney Spears song or you have an advanced degree in musicology, I can't imagine that you'd want to waste your time and money on such a CD.
And if you're thinking about buying it for a good laugh, unfortunately, while this trash is cheesy, it's not bad enough to stretch into campy. Think of it as William Hung after a year of voice lessons. Still awful, but no longer laughable.
Think of it as a tribute to Janet Jackson when you decide to pass on buying such a poorly conceived knock-off. Or let me know if you'd want to buy it from me for a big discount! Just remember that I won't accept a return...no matter how badly you want to give this "earlobe malfunction" back. You can't say I didn't warn you. CJF



Product: Audio CD
Title: Charlotte Church
Label: Sony
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
If you didn't think Charlotte had a beautiful voice before..


Listen to this! I know a lot of people said that her voice wasn't that great and she only sounded as good as a choir boy, but now that she's a year older her voice has matured and truly sounds that of a great soprano.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Royal Scam
Label: Mca
Artist: Steely Dan
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Steely Dan's best


The Royal Scam, more than any other Steely Dan album, balances their meticulously-smooth arrangements with an edgy spontanaeity. The opening track, Kid Charlemange, is perhaps the most addictive song the band has ever produced, with a hook equal to "Do it Again" or "Rikki" but with far more substance (no coincidence they played this one twice when I saw them in '94). The musical theme of the album is a brilliant balance between Fagen & Becker's song construction and the incredible guitar solos of Carlton & Co. Lyrically, it appears to be a loose concept album set in society's underworld. Despite the connections, however, each song remains its own musical entity; from the guitar-driven "Don't Take Me Alive," the piano-bang "Sign in Stranger," and the slow-developing title track, there is not a weak one on the album. This album is the most tightly connected combination of rock and jazz, of complexity and aggression, ever produced.



Product: Audio CD
Title: X-Men: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Label: Decca
Artist: Michael Kamen
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
X-Men & Michael K-Men


Excellent! I've always enjoyed Michael Kamen's work, especially his Opus for Mr. Holland. My favorite tracks are "Death Camp" and "Logan and Rogue". The first 2:30 of Logan/Rogue is a beautiful piece which I wish was longer. I also wanted to hear the End Title (which I find is being left off a lot of soundtracks along with the Main Titles). I wish Mr. Kamen would release an extended version of Logan/Rogue (if one exists). It was a great film and an excellent score. If you like good music (that tells the story of the film while you're listening) then go buy this soundtrack.