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Product: Audio CD
Title: Bridge Over Troubled Water/This Is The Night
Label: RCA
Artist: Clay Aiken
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Superb! and then some!

From the first time I heard Clay's voice I've been totally blown away by his talent. I adore this cd, but wish the folks at RCA would realize that it is Clay's voice we want to hear and would have mixed this with the choir not so loud on BOTW.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Lodger
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: David Bowie
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
Sounds unfinished...

Lodger is the worst Berlin/Eno album by a country mile, but if any album was half as good as Low or Heroes then it would still be a peach. Alas, Lodger isn't even half as good as those two Bowie masterpieces. I bought Lodger with the knowledge that it wasn't supposed to be a very good album, but I was nevertheless very curious about it, as i instantly am with all of Bowie's seventies output, one of those decade-long periods that borders on truly glorious. Plus, i just had to get Look Back in Anger because it's absolutely stunning.
When i first heard Heroes i was amazed by it. The first time i heard Low i thought it was pretty fine, a few more listens later i realised i was listening to a total masterpiece (better than Heroes). The first time i listened to Lodger i thought it was the second worst Bowie album I'd ever heard (the worst being Earthling). I just thought it was so dull, full of half-hearted experimentation, completely dislocated, uninvolved and completely lacking the coherence, beauty, emotional kick and chemistry that made Low and Heroes such addictive albums. I still loved Look Back in Anger though, one of the best Bowie songs ever in my opinion, full of energy and power, at odds with everything else on Lodger, except for the hilarious Boys keep Swinging, more on that later. It did not feel like an album, it felt more like a collection of B-sides.
Over the three years since first experiencing Lodger, I've warmed to it a bit more. That's not to say i don't think it's flawed, because it is. I still think it feels more like an album of songs that were simply dumped along side each other in the vain hope that it would form a coherent whole. This is none more obvious than on the first side, a collection of songs that have no idea where they are going and despite starting off quite interestingly in a couple of cases, cop out towards the end. The two best songs on Side One, Fantastic Voyage and Red Sails, could have been a lot better were they worked on a bit more. The former, which contains some of Bowie's best vocals, fades out a mere three minutes into it, just as one was starting to really enjoy it, cutting short what could have been one of his most epic songs, instead becoming a merely pleasant number. The latter is one of Lodger's more interesting songs, quite funky and full of exciting guitar effects, but after an exhilarating first couple of minutes doesn't seem to know what to do with itself and simply fades into an inconsequential noise.
Side Two is a lot better; DJ is a fine single with a memorable chorus even if it does go on a bit. Not a classic, but quite okay fun.
Look Back in Anger is three minutes of watertight pop brilliance; Bowie sounds extraordinary throughout, the guitars are thrilling, urgent, the only time Bowie and his band sound on top, classic form.
Boys keep Swinging sounds like a faster version of Fantastic Voyage, with great, funny lyrics and some great hooks. However, it does trail off into a weak fade out.
Repetition lays down a repetitive (oddly enough) beat complimenting a story of domestic abuse which is one of Bowie's more direct and stark lyrics. Again though, this song doesn't seem to go anywhere, just the same unremarkable riff for about three minutes. Great string bit about thirty seconds into it though.
Red Money is a reworking of Sister Midnight from Iggy Pop's great Bowie-produced album The Idiot, which isn't as good as Pop's version but does have a good instrumental about a minute into it. But again, it trails off into nothingness and is easily the least effective closing track of any of Bowie's seventies albums.
And then of course, there's "African Night Flight", "Move on" and "Yassassin" on the first side, which have some mildly diverting touches but reek of lethargy and pointlessness, exeperimental without being remotely exciting or interesting.
Still, Lodger is an okay album that I won't get rid of, because there are the odd good touches here and there, and Bowie's vocals are as superb as ever. It's a frustrating work, only Look Back in Anger is astonishing from start to finish, but six of the other songs all have something about them, a flawed, unfinished quality to them that makes them strangely appealing.
Bowie has said that his heart wasn't 100% into this album, and it sounds like it. A relative dissapointment after a rollercoaster ride that spanned eight years of masterly work. His next album Scary Monsters, while no masterpiece, would be a far more successful, confident and powerful work.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Chakra Suite
Label: Inner Peace Music
Artist: Steven Halpern
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5

This CD is wonderful for massage, for romantic dinners, for intimate encounters, or for just relaxing. It is one of my very favorite CD's. The energy of the music moves through you in ways that expand your awareness of being one with the universe and the power of love.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Breakfast In New Orleans, Dinner In Timbuktu
Label: Rykodisc
Artist: Bruce Cockburn
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
blown away as usual

just when you think he can't get any better, look out! This album is so different, yet so bruce cockburn. I don't think there's another musician on the planet that can come close to him. I was introduced to you about 22 years ago. I was taken by you then, and I'm taken by you again. I love you Bruce. Carry on....Erin