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Product: Audio CD
Title: Chill Out
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: John Lee Hooker
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Chill Out


This is a very good album from one of the greatest men in all of music history, John Lee Hooker. This album has a mellow mood to it that makes it perfect to listen too when you want to Chill Out. The title track, is a collaboration with Carlos Santana, a long-time fan of JLH. That song is a classic and was the reason I bought the album in the first place. Other stand out songs here are KIDDIO, ANNIE MAE, TOO YOUNG, ONE BOURBON ONE SCOTCH ONE BEER, and MEDLEY: SERVES ME RIGHT TO SUFFER/SYNDICATOR. Many songs here are updated classics that will sound fresh to new fans. I think that some of the songs on this album where it is JLH and his guitar are without a doubt, the songs that we are able to see how great his talent really voice. He had that perfect voice for his storytelling type of blues music that kept the listener hooked.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Encore [Decca]
Label: Decca
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
He's the best


For about two years now, the voice of Russell Watson has been my favorite. You Are So Beautiful, Ave Maria, and Is Nothing Sacred bring tears to my eyes. I had the pleasure of seeing Russell live last summer and haven't stopped listening to him since. This is an excellent collection from a very excellent singer. He's the best.



Product: Audio CD
Title: The Best of Delerium
Label: Nettwerk Records
Artist: Delerium
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Some Would Say Delerium Sold Out...


...but they would be wrong. Yes, back in the early nineties Delerium was an ambient project of instrumentals with dark synth rhythms and industrial-influenced drums layered in ethereal pads and chant samples(the stuff is awesome- if interested check out Delerium's 2 Archives double-disk collections)
Some of this can be heard on the Semantic Spaces album(where Flowers Become Screens and Incantation are from) but that album was a turning point for Delerium. Kristy Thirsk provided the element missing from the Delerium package: Angelic Vocals for some of these songs.
Bill leeb and Rhys(pronounced 'Reece') Fulber have been involved with MANY projects over the years(for info, check out mindphaser.com) and in fact, the duo continued to make the same music from early Delerium, but changed the name to SYNAESTHESIA.
With the release Karma came an interesting concept- What if some songs written would feature a guest vocalist? Not just any vocalist, but the RIGHT vocalist for the right song? Enter Sarah Mclachlin, Camille Handerson(Sarah's live back-up singer), the returning vocalist Kristy Thirsk, etc. Things were definitely going a bit more commercial, but guess what? No one else was taking the standard idea of New Age music and transforming it into a new breed of music. Using key vocalists, grooving bass lines, incorporating live guitar and drums with samples and chants to create an absolute mood.
Which leads us directly to Poem, where there were almost no instrumental tracks, and the album hosted vocals by Leigh Nash(sixpence none the richer), Joanna Stevens(Solar Twins), Jenifer McLaren, Matthew Sweet, among others. The songwriting and production was amazing and Delerium was getting closer to what I think it's goal was: Get that right voice for the song.
With their latest album Chimera, Bill and Rhys find themselves in the company of yet another incredible line-up of vocalists with Leigh Nash retuning for two tracks, Kristy Thirsk, Jael(Lunik), Zoe Johnston(Faithless, Bent), Margaret far, Nerina Pallet, and Julee Cruise, among others- again, only two instrumentals. The song 'After All' is the perfect mix of dance, new age, and pop and it features some chant samples in the middle! Who else does that?? The track was made for radio.
Okay enough history lesson.
This Best Of collection will give you a great idea of where Delerium came from to what it is still morphing into. The new tracks, 'Paris' and 'You and I' are very strong tracks. the only drawback to this collection is that some of the tracks are edited, so they are shorter. I am one for the six munite song- as long as there is a reason it is six minutes long. Delerium has songs in excess of 9 minutes- but I never wish they were shorter. If you are interested in any of the guest vocalists here, take a listen because you probably have never heard them singing in the style they do with Delerium. The Best Of album is fantastic, but don't limit your Delerium collection to just that because you'll be missing out on all the mind-blowing material on all their releases.
I was lucky enough to see Delerium live here in Chicago on the only tour they've done(Rhys's solo project Conjure One opened the show...also amazing)and I've never been more impressed at a show- EVER. Kristy Thirsk and Shelly Harland traded back and forth on lead and back-up vocals for the show. It was a wonderful blend of live guitar, bass, drums, and vocals and electronic components and samples. These guys really are
talented.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Live In New York City
Label: Sony
Artist: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
The Best Rock And Roll Band Of All Time


I watched the HBO special and thought it was the best televised concert i had ever seen....Hard to believe they can still crank out that kind of power and energy after all those years, but then again, they could probably do it in their sleep....The song, Land Of Hope and DReams has to be one of the top songs Springsteens' ever done....That song is Bruce Springsteen!!