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Product: Audio CD
Title: Putumayo Presents: World Lounge
Label: Putumayo World Music
Artist: Various Artists
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Great music


Putumayo's "World Lounge" had only one drawback, as does their other CDs, and that's that it's too short. This CD spans around an hour, with 11 songs, and I think that's way too short for a compililation like this. That aside, this is a great CD, filled with some of the biggest stars and Hits of Europe and Asia. If you're not a fan of HouseBeats or Techno, I don't recommend you purchase this. If, however, you are, then buy away!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Pearls
Label: Elektra
Artist: David Sanborn
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Pearls


This album is truly amazing. I am a huge Sanborn fan but this CD exceeds all my expectations. This is the one you just want to sit back and listen to, over and over again. The arrangements are unbelieveably beautiful as you would expect from a full orchestra and on top of that you have the soul of David Sanborn at it's very best. I would like to say I can pick a favorite from among the selections--"Pearls" maybe-or "Come Rain Or Come Shine"--or "For All We Know"--or perhaps it would be that funky arrangement of "Nobody Does It Better" because indeed nobody does do it better. He is an original and as far as I'm concerned he has no equal.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Encore [Decca]
Label: Decca
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Incredible voice


Russell Watson undoubtedly has one of the most versatile male singing voices going today, and "Encore" is a great. I've listened to it a number of times since it was released, and all of the songs become absolutely memorable. If you are open to both classical and pop music, you'll definitely like this CD - otherwise pure classical fans and pure pop music fans beware, it might be disappointing.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Madonna
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Madonna
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
The album that set the ball rolling!


In 1983, an unknown pop-starlet called Madonna released her debut album. I don't think Madonna thought she would become the international superstar she is today, that's why this album is mostly dance-oriented, more so than her follow-up albums Like A Virgin and True Blue which definitely had a more mainstream pop sound to them. Madonna may not have been an international superstar at this stage in her career, but she was huge in the clubs. Everybody and Holiday support this theory as they raced up the dance charts and No.1 stardom beckoned. Nevertheless, this album has sold 10 million copies to date and inspired a generation. The album was titled "Madonna" in South Africa, Canada and the USA, but was called "The First Album" in Europe, Australia and the UK. Why? Why not?
The music on The First Album, infact all of it is dance-oriented with an obvious touch of pop. The album opens with Lucky Star (10/10). This song, Madonna's second single, proved to the critics that Madonna was no one-hit-wonder as the song peaked in the US Top 10 and No.14 in the UK. The song is bursting with energy and power with its upbeat and funky bassline, along with Madonna's great vocals. Track 2 is Borderline (10/10). This was the third song to be taken from The First Album where it charted at a dismal No.56 in June 1984, but was re-released in January 1986 and peaked at No.2. The song is a much more mellow effort than most of the other songs on this album, but it still has Madonna's soaring vocals with a bouncy bassline that is bound to melt the stoniest of hearts. The video to Borderline is superb, and was included in VH1's 100 Greatest Videos Of All Time. MTV was the biggest helping hand in the early stages of Madonna's career. People could put a name to a face and it was a brilliant way of promotion for her single releases - a factor that still stands prominently today. Track 3 is Burning Up (10/10). This song was released as a single in some countries and has a high-energy, sexually charged video to accompany it - one that garnered heavy rotation on MTV for the best part of a year. The song has some amazing guitar work going on with a traditional dance bassline to get your freak on to! Track 4 is I Know It (9/10). This is another up-tempo dance track with an excellent synthesiser bassline, which was the main instrument used in 1980's pop songs. The lyrics aren't very good, but Madonna sings away to her hearts' content - as she does on all the eight tracks on The First Album. Track 5 is Holiday (10/10). This was Madonna's first ever song to be released as a single. It charted at No.6 in UK in January 1984. If you want a definition of a true Madonna classic, this is it. The ten-note intro that runs at the beginning of the song is almost legendary and was most greatly appreciated on Madonna's Drowned World Tour 2001. The audience goes berserk when this song starts, basically because it's just so fun to listen to - a real party track that still sounds as fresh and new as it did 20 years ago! The song basically rocks gently with its melodic sweetness sending out party invites ("Everybody spread the word...we're gonna have a celebration").
Track 6 is Think Of Me (9/10). This is the album's worst track, yet it's still a brilliant Madonna song to get down to. The thing I noticed the most about this song is the vocal arrangement; it's superb and expertly done. The lyrics aren't very good, but pop songs aren't meant to have phenomenally, thought-provoking lyrics, are they? The bassline is excellent, while the instrumental halfway through is a great listen. Track 7 is Physical Attraction (10/10). This song is one of Madonna's most underrated songs ever. The song had almost been forgotten by 1987, but Madonna made everyone remember just exactly why it was such a good song when she included it on You Can Dance, Madonna's 1987 Remix album. Physical Attraction is the longest track on The First Album, clocking in at 6:35 minutes. The lyrics on this song are excellent and very memorable, especially when the tingly bassline is added after the line, "Maybe we were mean to be together. Even though we've never met before." Madonna makes convincing attempts to live up to the sex-kitten image when she speaks with her deep voice on songs such as this one and Everybody. Track 8 is Everybody (10/10). This is a brilliant song to close such an amazing album. This was never released as a single, but received heavy airplay in nightclubs throughout 1983. Holiday is Madonna's first single, but Everybody is the song that made her a star in the clubs. The lyrics are just pure fun as Madonna begs you to "get up and do your thing." And the listening audience is instantly convinced, as this song is so infectious it will get anybody dancing. Sire records (Madonna's record company at the time) released a 12-inch of Everybody in October 1982. Those who choose to see Madonna, as a self-image mongerer might be surprised to learn that not even the Queen herself was featured on the sleeve for the record. I'm not sure of track 9, Burning Up (12" version) and track 10, Lucky Star (new mix) because my version of this album is the original version, not the remastered version. OVERALL GRADE: 10/10
If you don't own this Madonna album, you really need to get it now, as it truly is a must-have for every die-hard fan. Madonna's debut album represents the dance/club styles of the early 1980's. Other essential Madonna albums that follow the similar style showcased on this album are Like A Virgin, True Blue and You Can Dance. I feel Like A Virgin is superior to the rest of Madonna's 1980's albums, because it was her true breakthrough album. The lyrics are good, but not excellent whereas the overall mood of the album is stunning. If you're ever feeling down and you need to feel happy, this record should be in your CD player straight away! Buy this from Amazon now!