Valid XHTML 1.0!

Valid CSS!

Product: Audio CD
Title: Measure of a Man
Label: Rca
Artist: Clay Aiken
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
Great voice, lousy material

This album is a MAJOR disappointment because Clay Aiken has so much promise as an entertainer. His charisma and talent, so evident on American Idol, are noticeably missing on this album of mediocre songs. The title alone was a bad choice - Kevin Sharp also released a "Measure of a Man" in the 90s (and was much more deserving to use it, since he was battling cancer at the time of its recording) and this collection of forgettable tracks won't give Clay the staying power he will need to stay afloat in the cutthroat entertainment world. Please, American Idol - you got them through the door, but that means nothing if they can't stay there. Bad album from a bright talent.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Here and There
Label: Island
Artist: Elton John
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Elton John's Best Live Album

Although Elton John sings with greater conviction and depth on his 1980's live album recorded in Australia, this is by far his best live album. It's important as a historical document showing Elton John at the height of his fame, as well as the one featuring his original band, with Davey Johnstone as guitarist, the late Dee Murray as bassist, Nigel Olsson as drummer and Ray Cooper as percussionist. His London concert ("Here") is a musical autobiography of sorts, featuring his early folk rock compositions from the albums "Elton John", "Tumbleweed Connection" and "Honky Chateau", along with some tunes from "Don't Shoot Me, I'm the Piano Player" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". Here his singing sounds almost as good as on his studio albums. His New York concert ("There") is a sonic celebration of rock and roll, featuring his most popular tunes from "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Caribou". John Lennon makes a surprise appearance; sadly, his last live performance. Unfortunately, Elton John's voice sounds rather hoarse in his New York concert, though his vocals on "You're So Static" and "Bitch is Back" are fine. Without a doubt, this should be regarded as an essential Elton John recording.

Product: Audio CD
Title: A Love Supreme
Label: Grp Records
Artist: John Coltrane
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Still supreme after all these years.

It's a testament to John Coltrane's artistic vision that a piece of uncomprimising music such as a 'A Love Supreme' can be heard for the universalism it stands for. Recorded in a studio in New Jersey in late 1964, Coltrane had spent a week alone in a room in his house away from his wife and children. During that time of contemplation and isolation, he put pen to paper to bare his soul to God and the essence of 'A Love Supreme' was born. I don't think it was a coincedence that at the time this album was recorded in the mid-60's, a new philosophy of spirituality and peace & love began to prevade popular music in general. The Church of St. John Coltrane still resides in that bastion of hippiedom, San Francisco.

The music on the album itself is powerful not just for Coltrane's playing itself but also for the fanatical interplay of the quartet. 'Acknowledgement' opens with Garrison's passionate bass line, leading into Coltrane's dynamic and ingenious playing, the quartet's spirited performance like a fervant, untamed emotion that has gripped them all. 'Resolution' blazes from the record with Tyler burnishing the track with some brilliant playing of his own. Jones's frantic drumming comes to the fore on the opening of 'Pursuance', a track where the meaning of 'Chasin' The Trane' becomes self-evident as Garrison, Tyler and Jones follow in hot pursuit of their leader's furious joy. Tyler's playing is again compelling as the quartet trade notes with such alarming velocity before Garrison's bass tip-toes and leads us like the pied-piper to the concluding 'Psalm'.

It's refreshing in this day and age to hear an artist whose sincerity and integrity shines through his work.

Product: Audio CD
Title: About Face
Label: Sony
Artist: David Gilmour
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
After the Floyd

This is David Gilmour's first solo album after Roger Waters left Pink Floyd. I like this because it has a softer edge than Roger Waters solo works. I love "Out of the Blue". It is a fantastic song. This one took some getting used to though.