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Product: Audio CD
Title: Essential Mozart: 32 Of His Greatest Masterpieces
Label: Decca
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Mozart: music's greatest


This CD includes samples from many of Mozart's best-known and most popular wrorks--sonatas, operas, etc. It's a good starting point for those new to Mozart or the casual classical listener. Buy it for a friend, get them hooked on Music's genius.
p.s. I know some people may turn their noses up at me for calling Mozart the greatest, but he was better than Beethoven because of his operas, and he was better than Bach because although Bach is more complex, intricate and elaborate in his instrumentation and harmony, Mozart is more perfect. That is the bottom line.
David Rehakauthor of "A Young Girl's Crimes"



Product: Audio CD
Title: Grease - Deluxe Edition
Label: Polydor / Pgd
Artist:
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
"Grease" is a 5++++, but please read on before you buy.


"Grease" was a huge success as a Broadway musical prior and after hitting the big screen in 1978. The movie version was the one that transformed it into a true popular culture phenomenon, as it was a runaway box office success and then became a TV, cable, video DVD favorite. The movie was even re-released a few years ago. The movie owes as much of the success to this infectious soundtrack as it does to the charming performances of a cast led by John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, and Stockard ("There At Worse Things I Could Do") Channing, who put together charismatic and engaging performances, that make you smile and be part of the gang.
Most of the music from original musical ("Summer Nights" and "Beauty School Dropout" among others) made it to the movie and soundtrack. The original songs are fortified by monster hits, such as "You're The One That I Want", "Hopelessly Devoted To You" and the title song, which was a huge hit for Frankie Valli. Yes Frankie Valli had a huge hit in 1978! There are few soundtracks that are as much fun as this one and I of course give it 5+ stars.
The huge problem that I have with this remastered (finally and it does sound great !!!!!!) "Deluxe Edition" is that, along with several other titles are gauging the consumer's eyes out with 2 CD releases that retail for up to $29.99. Out of all the ones that I've heard, this is by far the worst as the 2nd CD (which only clocks in at 40 minutes) only has ONE song worth mentioning ("Grease Megamix") which you already may have via other collections. Seeing that the Megamix had good results (and it does flow very well), the powers that be cut and paste a horrible "Grease Dream Mix" (this is beyond bad) and shameless remixes of "Summer Nights" and "You're The One That I Want" that have no value whatsoever except to fill a second CD. The rest is what they call sing-a-long versions which are essential cheesy instrumentals for karaoke fans. Although the presentation of the discs is very cute, and all the lyrics are there just in the original LP, there NO updates, behind the scenes extras, or anything new. Nothing! It's pretty bad when I found out more about "Grease" in Olivia's awesome recent greatest hits release than I did here. For example did you know that "Hopelessly Devoted To You" was written and recorded after the movie had wrapped. It seems like the producers felt like they needed a strong ballad and her Olivia come back to an empty set to sing this amazing song.
If I am going to pay $29.99 or anything close, I would have expected these types of tidbits. In a nutshell, "Grease" especially now that is remastered, earns 5+ stars, but the shady folks at Universal should be ashamed not to have released this in a single CD and not to be so money hungry as "Grease" fans will pay almost anything to finally be able to hear this piece of Americana as clearly as possible. "Grease" = Stars, Universal (in this particular case) = 0. Universal has recently begun to implement a great lower pricing policy and they should be lauded for that, but if it comes at the risk of ripping off other consumers, then don't be surprised when some people burn CDs for everyone that they can. Good products (which this is) at a good price will bring people back to buying music so that the industry can continue to make a decent return in its investment.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Second Sight
Label: Thirsty Ear
Artist: Kate St. John
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
Demanded my money back from the record store!


Please do yourself a favor and buy Van Morrison's sublime CD "No Guru, No Method, No Teacher." Kate St. John's oboe is the most beautiful contribution to some of Van's deepest and most sensitive music. I wish she could sing, so I could enjoy her efforts on her solo discs and "Channel Light Vessel" projects. But, well, she just can't sing. Listen to the samples and see if you don't agree.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Metamorphosis
Label: Buena Vista
Artist: Hilary Duff
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Wow!


I admit that I did not expect to be impressed with this album. Put it this way, the girl was not exactly "born to sing."
But when I listened to this album, my jaw dropped. It is the most wonderful blend of ballads and feel-good pop, with a little edge of punk thrown in. ("Math") Although Hilary's voice is not spectacular, it's much more bearable than the hideous growl of Britney's voice, and the warbling megaphone called Christina's voice. I could listen to this CD on repeat for hours.
If you want feel-good music that is free of bad words and sexual references, THIS IS THE CD!!! IT COMPLETELY ROCKS!!!! It deserves even better than 5 stars.