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Product: Audio CD
Title: Thriller [Bonus Tracks]
Label: Sony
Artist: Michael Jackson
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
The best selling album of all time - And with good reason!


For several years, I refused to even give Michael Jackson's music a chance because he has become such a weird person in recent years. That was a huge mistake. Despite his rather odd personality, Jackson knows how to make excellent pop music that can stand the test of time. This was beautifully demonstrated with his 1982 solo album Thriller. The album has become the best-selling album of all time, and with good reason. And in recent years, the album was remastered and given bonus tracks! Read on for my review of Thriller.
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - As another reviewer stated, the lyrics to this track are a bit strange, but that doesn't stop this from being an excellent song. It's surprising that this track didn't become a bigger hit than it did.
Baby Be Mine - Like the first track, this is an excellent song that, oddly enough, never became a huge hit. Don't skip this track - you'll only hurt yourself if you do!
Girl Is Mine - This is a duet with former Beatle Paul McCartney. I was expecting a little more from a song that brought the two of them together, but it's still a good track. The argument toward the end is great.
Thriller - One of Jackson's masterpieces. The theme of this song is zombies rising from their graves, and who better to make a guest appearance on this song than the horror legend Vincent Price? This is one of the greatest songs of all time, by ANY musical artist in ANY genre.
Beat It - Another Jackson classic. Here, the theme is dealing with conflicts. An interesting note - The guitar solo is done by Eddie Van Halen! When you combine his guitar mastery with Jackson's vocals, you know you've got a winner.
Billie Jean - Wow, three Jackson classics in a row! This is one of the greatest love songs of all time, because it's not one of those slow-paced wimpy ones.
Human Nature - A slower-paced, but still excellent track. I'm not a huge fan of ballads, but if anyone knows how to do them right, it's Michael Jackson.
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) - Another slower-paced track. This is one of the album's many examples of a track that never became a hit - but it should have.
Lady in My Life - The album closer is yet another slow song. Normally, having three songs of a similar style in a row on an album is a bad move, but Jackson is able to keep the songs unique enough that they don't seem the least bit redundant.
BONUS TRACKS:
Someone in the Dark - This is Michael Jackson's contribution to the E.T. Storybook album. It's probably the slowest and softest track Jackson has EVER done, but it's by no means bad.
Billie Jean (Demo) - This is Jackson's home demo of the track from 1981. Surprisingly, this isn't too far off from the final version of the track.
Thriller (Voice-Over Session) - In this voice-over session, Vincent Price reads his lines from the now-familiar version of Thriller, as well as the second verse to his rap which never made it into the final version of the song.
Carousel - This is a love song that was left off the final version of the album because the producers felt it "didn't fit in well with the rest of the album." I admit, it's different than the rest of the album, but it's still an excellent track, and I'm glad to see it be released. The other bonus tracks are interview clips.
This is an excellent Special Edition for one of the greatest albums of all time, but I have a few complaints with how it was done. First of all, the slipcase looks nice, but it's a pain having to take it off every time I want to listen to the album. Second, they should have had all the "song" bonus tracks come right after the album ends, and put all the interview clips together as a single track. Having the interview clips scattered between the tracks is kind of annoying. But despite these complaints, this is an excellent reissue.
Overall Thriller is an album that is, no doubt, worthy of its good reputation. If you're a fan of Jackson or just of eighties pop in general, this is an album I strongly recommend purchasing. Just be sure you get the special edition, so you don't miss out on the bonus tracks!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Global Underground: Sydney [US]
Label: Thrive
Artist: John Digweed
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
And I don't even like trance...


I'm always interested by reviews that like or dislike a mix CD because of the records. I spin records myself, and I think a good DJ can make any records work within the context of the larger work of art he/she creates.
John Digweed is so smooth, and so tasteful in his composition, that I don't mind the fact that this CD set is composed entirely of trance music, which I normally can't stand.
I listen to this set frequently, just to pick up on the subtleties of how Digweed mixes. And I plan to buy more of his work, because he's just that good.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Stardust... The Great American Songbook, Vol. III
Label: J-Records
Artist: Rod Stewart
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Raspy Rod Sings Silky Smooth!


Rod demonstrates his versatility in a new genre (for him). He has a great feel for the sentiments behind these popular tunes and delivers a silky (but raspy!) interpretation that is unmistakably Rod Stewart. Enthusiastically recommended!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Northern Exposure II: West Coast
Label: Ultra Records
Artist: Sasha & John Digweed
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Better than NE 1.


Northern Exposure West Coast is the second in the distinguished series by Digweed/Sasha partnership. I was rather disappointed with the first Northern Exposure (the one everybody raves about/to) because at times it is rather like listening to uptempo new age music: high gorgonzola content but very little meat. The West Coast CD is another matter. Deep and danceable, but still with that trademark smoothness and dreamy ambience. I wouldn't call this trance, it's just a seamless of mix of superb instrumental dance music. It rocks. It also sounds as good with your morning coffee as it would down a sweaty club...I suppose this kind of music is getting out of date now, but Northern Exposure West Coast will still sound good for a few years.