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Product: Audio CD
Title: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook
Label: J-Records
Artist: Rod Stewart
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
ISULTING TO JAZZ AND THE SINGERS THAT PIONEERED THIS MUSIC


As I said above an insult to such great singers of this music....Go listen to the real singers such as Tony Bennett, Ella, Sarah, Carmen, Mark Murphy and the likes..

Just another get Rod richer release, its like eating fast food no substance....



Product: Audio CD
Title: Details
Label: Mca
Artist: Frou Frou
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
Frou Frou is like a dream man!


For starters, I wouldn't give this such a bad rating if the album was sincere. I had a suspension when I saw all the advertising. This album makes you go "Hey what's this," but goes no where. Every song sounds exactly the same. But that really is the only response that I can honestly have after listening to it the multiple times. The music feels so right, but has no substance whatsoever, almost in a similiar way to the lyrics. Please if you have any respect for the artists that this album is trying to emulate, don't give in to this manufactured crap. Dig deeper. If not go watch Garden State. If you may allow me to leave you with some lyrics from this album, I will end this review:

Well painted passion...
You rightly expect...
Impersonation...
The dumbing down of love...



Product: Audio CD
Title: Josh Groban
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Spell Binding and Soul Stirring!!


After my first glimpse of Josh Groban on PBS, singing with his heart and soul, I had to run out and buy the Josh Groban CD. I feel what he sings and that is how he portrays his songs. It was easy to fall in love with his beautiful voice and easy manner. I sing along with Josh and have learned to sing in Italian, which is my heritage. I can't hear him enough and I look forward to his every new appearance and expect him to be in the category with all the Italian GREATS! Move over Andrea Bocelli. Make room for Josh Groban. I hope to see him perform with Pavarotti soon. He has me spellbound and stirs my soul! He is a rising comet shooting through the stars!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Black Angels
Label: Nonesuch
Artist:
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Deeply Engrossing & Unsettling but has its flaws


I'll put my cards on the table and admit that my knowledge of Classical music is virtually non-existant. I am however broading my horizons and starting to include more and more avant-garde and experimental music in my vigourous music appreciation. Unlike many of the other reviewers who have known about Kronos since the started, I heard about them from their magnificent performance on the 'Requiem For A Dream Score'. This isn't really a review of the Kronos Quartet's performance, but the music itself.
Although I don't listen to much classical, I am rather fond of the more sinister Shostakovich symphonies. The inclusion of his 8th symphony was a great choice. Kronos deliver a slightly different take on it and increase the tempo. Although many don't like this version, I feel an increased tempo adds to its energy and delivers the message more powerfully. I think its brave of them to toy with such a classic and I would not be happy if they had just repeated the original.
The Charles Ives piece is unlike anything i've got recorded. Some great lyrics and vocal delivery (almost comic yet deeply credible), matched with some chaos Piano, off-kilter strings and background static. It makes for a great track. I only wish the vocals where slightly more powerful and 'shouty-er'. The Thomas Tallis piece is fairly bog-standard in the world of dark and emotive classical but it still delivers and you can't help but be satisfied with it.
Istvan Marta's piece is deeply unsettling. Musically its fragmented and stop/start. This doesn't add anyhting special to the darkness of the atmosphere but at the same time it doesn't detract. The vocals are unsettling however, they are quite high-pitched and sound like they've been drained of life. Soon it becomes empty and most will tend to skip this track, as after a while it gets boring. I think on the 1st and 2nd time of listening it hits you and then you build up resistance.
The track i had least connection with however was the title track. Its deeply experimental and incorporates voice snippets and extensive use of amplifiers. It again is massivly fragmented and I feel this detracts from the overall darkness as there is no real build up of tension. The stop/start violin seems powerful to some, but I feel it sounds too premature and quick to add upto anything really dark. I do have to point out though that to get the most out of it, it requires extensive 'captive' listening and to dismiss it on first listen is ignorant.