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Product: Audio CD
Title: Everything Must Go
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Steely Dan
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Another instant classic from the Dynamic Duo


I don't know how they do it, but Fagen and Becker have churned out another instant classic (and in lightning fashion) with "Everything Must Go". The production value, of course, is top-notch, with airtight studio tracks laid down by the industry's finest. I haven't been able to take this one out of my car stereo since I picked it up last Tuesday.
It's nice to hear some good grooves right from the get-go, starting with "The Last Mall", a cool take on the blues (a foundation they've been bending around since the days of "Chain Lightning" and "Peg").
"Things I Miss The Most" is a great nod to the faded hipsters, whose time has passed. Gone are the '54 Strat and the Audi TT, but at least he's building the Andrea Doria out of balsawood. Where do they come up with this stuff?
"Blues Beach" is a fun, upbeat tune, and sounds as if it came from "The Nightfly", immediately after "Walk Between Raindrops". Only this time, he's chillin' at the Manatee Bar and renting paranymphic gliders. Yeah, right....
"Godwhacker" grooves hard....definitely a catchy hook. The synth solo, once again, pulls you right back to "The Nightfly". This one would fit right in with "Green Flower Street". (Okay, enough of the Nightfly comparisons...this record stands on its own just fine.)
"Slang Of Ages"--fantastic to hear Walter Becker vocalize again, which we haven't heard since "Book Of Liars" on "Alive In America". Amazing that such a smooth voice hid in the shadows all those years....anyway, his pipes are here, and they're here to stay.
"Green Book" gets my vote as my favorite tune on the disc. Fagen's voice over those chords....ultra-cool. It's awesome hearing Herington and McCracken trade off during the guitar solo section. And the way it ends....forget the "sparkle of your china"....ain't nothin' with a shine like that.
The Dan's ode to Lara Croft, "Pixeleen" cuts through once again with a killer groove, and some very CHUNKY on this one, who get the chance to play pretty far outside the changes. There are also some sweet backup vocals by Carolyn Leonhart, who leads us through the backstory of the indie-produced "three-times perfect ultrateen". One wishes they'd included a music video on the bonus DVD for this one....
Then, the one you can't get rid of--"Lunch With Gina". No matter where our hero goes, he can't shake the stalker. Again, another tight, punchy groove matches speed with the unfortunate dude, as he weaves in and out of bistros the girl's been barred from.
And finally, the title track kicks off with the band, crashing into a bombastic interlude that precedes the bittersweet dusk-before-the-dawn of "Everything Must Go". Once again, another addictive hook and chorus punctuate the last hurrah of an organization on its last leg. One hopes our heroes aren't hinting at anything here....
Bottom line: this disc is everything you've been waiting for, and contains everything you've come to expect from the band. "Everything Must Go" has everything. Put it in your cart and turn it up to 11.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Romance on Film/Romance on Broadway
Label: Concord Records
Artist: Michael Feinstein
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
"puts every song over the top - outstanding!"


Concord Jazz presents todays top performer of unforgettable love songs from early 1920's to 1980's, in a style that's so relaxing and natural - "Romance on Film & Romance on Broadway", as Michael Feinstein does so well.
This 2-CD-set delivers double the romance as only Feinstein can...Disc one of new recordings features Michael's heartfelt interpretation of a handpicked collection of romantic tunes from never to be forgotten films - "AS TIME GOES BY" (Herman Hupfeld), "THE MORE I SEE YOU" (Harry Warren/Mack Gordon), "ISN'T IT ROMANTIC" (Rodgers & Hart), "LONG AGO & FAR AWAY" (Jerome Kern/Ira Gershwin)...and two of my all-time favorites "WHEN I FALL IN LOVE" (Victor Young/Edward Heyman) and "MY FOOLISH HEART" (Victor Young/Ned Washington) don't write them like this anymore.
Let's take a look a Disc two with the best on Broadway "ALWAYS" (Irving Berlin), "THEY SAY IT'S WONDERFUL" (Irving Berlin), "I'VE NEVER BEEN IN LOVE BEFORE" (Frank Loesser), "THE SONG IS YOU" (Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II), "TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE" (Vernon Duke/Ted Fetter/John LaTouche), "EV'RY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE" (Cole Porter) there are others, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Twenty-two songs in all from the charismatic exraordinarily talented and unabashedly romantic style - Michael Feinstein. So if you're in a romantic mood, and have the right partner, give this special package of romance a try...what have you got to lose, you may have everything to gain!
Total Time: Disc One: 58:26 on 10 & Disc Two: 55:09 on 12...Concord Jazz CCD2-4901...(2000)



Product: Audio CD
Title: 18 Tracks
Label: Sony
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
hey reviewers, stop griping! this is a great collection!


I feel that there is a great need for some balance in the AMAZON reviews of this compilation. The major complaint seems to be that "the fever" and "the promise" were simply added to the single disc in order to get Bruce fans to shell out for another cd. Allow me to add another perspective, could it be that the decision to add these cuts was based on Bruce having listened to his fans, who were quite vocal in their disappointment that they were ommitted from the box-set? Rather than sell-out, I see this action as that of an artist attempting to meet the needs of his audience. Let me further address his controversial decision to re-record The Promise. The reason Bruce gave for not originally releasing this cut on the box-set was that he could not find a version that he was pleased with. In that light, I find his decision to re-record the cut as further proof of his strong dedication to his art and audience.



Product: Audio CD
Title: ABBA - Gold: Greatest Hits
Label: Polydor / Pgd
Artist: Abba
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
ABBA has been Bjorn Again!


Despite the backlash towards the diso-era in the 80's, it seems as though disco is here to stay. ABBA was one of the most successful groups in the 70's, and their music continues to be popular today. Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny, and Ani-Freid combine their talents to make pop-ish, psychadelic, rock, and jazzy tunes to make their Greatest Hits CD everything that the title suggests.