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Product: Audio CD
Title: No Gods
Label: Greentrax
Artist: Brian McNeill
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Great music with something to say


Brian McNeill has really developed as a songwriter since his first compositions with the Battlefield Band. The songs on this CD seeth with intensity, portraying him as a fierce Scottish patriot and a fighter of social injustice. The title song gets things off to a rousing start, focusing on the dangers of looking to quaint perceived Scottish history and tradition for modern answers. Fighter looks at a boxer and a pacifist and the fierce convictions uniting the two that Scotland could use in role models today. Any Mick'll Do starts with the too frequent scapegoating of Irish citizens in the quest for someone to blame terrorism on and explores the attitudes at the core of such thinking. The CD book has a wealth of info, detailing Brain's views and the inspirations for the songs.
Brian only shows off his fiddle virtuosity sporadically on this release, but it shows the intensity you would expect from him. There's also a great original tune on concertina, and some nice guitar work. Production varies from fairly simple to pretty grandiose, with horns and pipes assualting you on the opening and closing tracks. A nice rounded effort, musically interesting with some thought provoking songs.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Cuttin' Heads
Label: Sony
Artist: John Mellencamp, John Mellencamp
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
WOW


I have just started listening to John Mellencamp within the last 2 months and found that I had grown up with his music in the 70's and 80's and just never associated the name with the music. This cd is by far his best. My favorite songs are "Peaceful World" and "Crazy Island" along with the rest of the cd. I have noticed that over the years his voice is aging and getting better. It has a sexy quality about it. Thanks John for the music you continue to share with us. You do a fantastic job!



Product: Audio CD
Title: American Life (Clean)
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Madonna
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
POP+dance+electronica: Madonna at her best


When the first single from the album came out (American Life) I was a bit disappointed because it seemed to me that Madonna put far too many genres in one song (melodic chorus, heavy beats, rap...) and the result lacked of honogeneity...
Bute then I bought the album because in 20 years the queen of pop has proved to know what she's doing and she always managed to produced excellent pop records.
Her recent CDs (Ray of Light and Music) were real gems.

So what about American Life - the album?

I think this is one of her best albums of all time.
There are great dance tracks (Die Another Day, Nobody Knows Me, the excellent Mother & Father), there are warm, beautiful acoustic tracks (Intervention, Nothing Fails-with gorgeous gospel choir, Easy Ride-listen to the lyrics, Xstatic Process) pure up-tempo pop songs (Hollywood, Love Profusion) and a rock vibe too(I'm so stupid).
The collaboration with french electronica producer Mirwais is one of her most fortunate and in this album they menage to put together great melodies, a complete acustic arrengement contaminated by techno twists.
Madonna re-invents her music again and the result, at my ears, is another great pop record.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Koyaanisqatsi (1998 Re-recording)
Label: Nonesuch
Artist:
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
a reccomendation.


First of all let me make the disclaimer that I do not own the original score which is referred to in some of the other reviews. That said, I cannot tell the difference between this recording and my memory of the film from 5 days ago, the first time I saw it.
Although some say it lacks a certain edge, and I am at a loss to draw an informed comparison, listening to this without the first one is by no means a dissapointment. The last few minutes of "Resources" has a chafing strength, and that familiar opening chant is just as foreboding as it was the first time I heard it.
Someone who's really crazy about this music will probably need to buy both editions, as the fuller version of "Grid" on this recording alone necessitates that.
I enjoy listening to this cd; it is unique among the Glass compositions that I have, although it is not my favorite (I like the Violin Concerto and Facades, currently).