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Product: Audio CD
Title: Black Celebration
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Depeche Mode
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Depech Mode Rules!!!!!!!!!!!

The first example of DM's gothic synth music impressed me with its innovation and musical quality. "Black Celebration" is an appropriately dark piece of work, while "Sometimes," and "It Doesn't Matter Two," were musically very interesting. The rest of the album pulses with electronic depression that kicked me in the heart. I love this band, and this is one of their finest albums.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Josh Groban in Concert (with Bonus DVD)
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Walter Afanasieff, Albert / Sharron, Marti Hammond
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Prince Charming in Concert is more like it!

Every Grobanite needs this set! The DVD is a live concert Josh did for a PBS special. The concert is fantastic, proving Josh is just as good (if not better) in person. He proves himself to be a very nice guy during the concert and extras, thanking the audience numerous times and introducing all the members of his band. The songs are done wonderfully, with a lot of guest appearances including Andrea Corr and John Williams. The CD includes a few songs from the concert, and a studio version of his holiday single, O Holy Night, which happens to be my favorite version of my favorite Christmas carol. Josh is on his tour now, and I am so glad I got tickets to see him March 30 at Heinz Hall in my hometown of Pittsburgh, where Josh went to Carnegie Mellon for a time .....The reason I gave this absolutely fantastic set 4 stars instead of 5 is because I think they should have put some more tracks on the CD and added some more special features. What was on there made me ravenous for more!I'm writing this review on February 27, 2004, which is Josh's 23rd birthday, as well as his brother Chris's 19th birthday. Congrats to both of you, and best of luck in the future!

Product: Audio CD
Title: The Soul of John Black
Label: No Mayo
Artist: The Soul of John Black
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
amazon unleashed

I listened to this album and think it is a good effort and partially concur that although it is reminiscent of the shimmer of Al Green,it packs no where near the emotion and punch of the great rev.Green.More importantly,I would love to understand how on earth Amazon groups this album with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club,The Shins and Sun Kil Moon.The only similarities I can discern is that all of them released CDs.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Born
Label: Decca
Rating: 2/5
Customer rating - 2 out of 5

I've been listening to this for the first time and am not done, so take my review with a grain of salt. On the other hand, there are many people who would not listen to it twice for the reasons mentioned below in my review, so if you're such a person, you're not going to get a like-minded review from someone who has listened to it a number of times. So I think it's within my place to say something about it.
The tracks are produced, and many are written by Magnus Fiennes. It seems clear that he and/or someone else decided: "hey if we can find 4 very cute very young women who can play string instruments decently, and put a techno pop beat behind it, there will probably be a market!"
Most probably, they then put ads in the publications associated with various music schools, auditioned many musicians, and took the 4 most physically attractive who were also decent players.
The result is totally predictable. It doesn't bear any resemblance whatsoever to actual classical music, which usually involves interesting harmonic structurers, nuance, feeling, etc. For the most part, it can be summarized as being simply dance music that happens to have the instruments of a string quartet playing the lead parts.
Many people who like dance music will like this, as evidenced by most of the other reviews. It's probably very good dance music -- I'm not an expert in that and therefore can't really judge. I'm basing my low rating on the assumption that somebody reading my review all the way through is probably more interested in it as a potentially interesting classical-pop hybrid than as dance music. In that light, it does not fare well, IMO.
I'm sure that the people responsible for it will make money off it -- it's a sharp marketing ploy. But, to my tastes, it's little more than that.
I should note that this review does not mean to imply anything whatsoever about the four players themselves. They may be excellent classical musicians -- it's just that there's no way to discern that from the manufactured product that this CD is.