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Product: Audio CD
Title: Back with a Heart
Label: Mca Special Products
Artist: Olivia Newton-John
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
Big fan disappointed


Considering Olivia's previous recordings, and the fact that this album was described as "uptemto", I am surprised at how downbeat this album is. I would have guessed it was her very first album. Except for a single song out of 11 on the album, which is just so-so, every song is an extremely slow ballad - the album is a total downer. Even the remake of "I honestly love you" isn't as good as the original. I listened to all the songs, then put the CD in the trash. There's no funk, no groove, no sex appeal. Mind you I have all her other albums which I still listen to, in fact I listened to her Soul Kiss album (which I recorded onto a cassette) in the car this morning and it ROCKS! Every track on the Soul Kiss album simply ROCKS! Tina Turner only wishes she could have a hit like Soul Kiss. Granted it may be "uncharacteristic" of Olivia, but so what? It rocks nonetheless. Other songs of hers from previous albums that I like include Landslide, Recovery, Heart Attack, and Car Games. Her voice is simply magical. Olivia has one of the best voices of any singer, and an unbelievable range. Some of the notes she sings are so high there a schreech. (Have you noticed how monotonous many of today's female singers are? I can barely listen to them. Some of them sound physically ill; maybe they're rapper boyfriends just beat them up, who knows. Oh but they do have cute bellybuttons! Well, so what, does that make the music good? It's no wonder I've pulled out all my old vinyl albums again, thank God I saved them.) Xanadu is a great showcase for her voice. Queen of the Publication is very listenable, even if the lyrics are a bit unlikely and the soundtrack includes a typewriter. Any of the previous hits I've mentioned are great beach music. I'm impressed with how great she looks now, at 53. She definitely rocks, but you simply don't need this album, especially if you have her early country style albums, or other albums.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Measure of a Man
Label: Rca
Artist: Clay Aiken
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A breath of fresh air!!!!


It's always been about the voice isn't it? Whilst the stage was once the place where Aiken's star shone like a nova (and still is), he has taken the raw emotion and those brilliant vocal chords of his into the studio and sang his heart out.
Fans will not be disappointed with renditions of the rock ballad "I Survived You", where Aiken tells a tale of getting over a heart wrenching relationship, or "Perfect Day", in which he belts out optimism about facing a new day with the girl of his dreams. A personal favorite of mine is "Measure of a Man", which perhaps most reflects Clay's sentiment about love and life; the beautiful lyrics are substantiated with a melody that is somewhat saccharine and lovingly tugs at the heartstrings.
So there. Clay Aiken is definitely not "Broadway material", quoting a BMG executive who shall not be named. I applaud Clay for his efforts to keep this album family friendly and striving to be a role model for children. You've done an excellent job so far. And *that*, is the measure of a man.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Aja
Label: Mobile Fidelity
Artist: Steely Dan
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Remastered AJA


I must declare that the audio engineering by Roger Nichols, the executive engineer of the remastered 'AJA', is EXceptional! I would buy any remastered Steely Dan if Roger Nichols is the chief engineer for the software. He is a Class A master for Class A hardware. Three cheers for Digital Atomics and Mr. Nichols!!!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Insomnia [Original Score]
Label: Varese Records
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Dreary and bleak... a great soundtrack


I got this soundtrack before I even saw the movie. Well, I had to once I realized it was composed by David Julyan; the genius behind the music of "Memento" and "Following." I can say that this is one of my new favorite movie scores.
Very much like "Memento" and "Following," this score is very haunting and quiet. It really gets you thinking like someone who has insomnia. Each track is nothing but pure brilliance. The soundtrack also reminded me of the "Unbreakable" one, except only better. I really like the violins and the piano used on this score. Now after seeing the movie, I listen to this outstanding score and it's like reliving the movie.
David Julyan has a talent when it comes to movie scores. I hope that he scores other movies in this genera in the near future. He could be the next Danny Elfman. (I actually like Julyan's music a little better.)
If you liked the "Memento" score, then chances are that you will enjoy this one just as much, if not more. There are no "band" songs, so you don't have to skip around to just hear the score. This is a haunting and beautiful soundtrack. If you love the movie, get the music. And get this one while you still can; I have a feeling this might be a rare one to get in the very near future.