Valid XHTML 1.0!

Valid CSS!

Product: Audio CD
Title: Aladdin Sane
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: David Bowie
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
underrated vintage bowie

Ziggy Stardust's non-identical twin, Aladdin Sane often gets overlooked when Bowie's best albums are named. But once you've got over the realization that it's not as original/groundbreaking as Ziggy, it emerges as an intensely musical record which explores genre with superbly trained ears and fabulous compositional skills. On top, it's the closest Bowie got to full-blown sound-drama, more `on-stage' than any other Bowie album, and more stylised. An important part of the equation is Mike Garson, who action paints the entire canvas with imperial authority. Who cares if Bowie got the idea from King Crimson's `Cat Food' - it's a source whose implications are cashed out magisterially. As if that wasn't enough, the record is shot through with beautifully interpreted American romance - raddled like Lou Reed, hopeful like The Eagles. The resulting melange is rock music that's as cosmopolitan, poised and hip as it's possible to get.
Some highlights. `prettiest star': camp music hall/doo-wop synthesis which would have sounded at home on Hunky Dory were it not for the surrounding blue amphetamine crackle of electricity. `aladdin sane': bowie hissing like summer lawns; the hollow, imprecating lyric carried by Garson's delicious, complex, psychological keyboard charts. `drive in Saturday': deep, woozy, sax-driven architectural folly again with doo-wop stylings. `lady grinning soul': gorgeous wide-screen romance with Garson adding poignancy like it was solid ultramarine.
Aladdin Sane was the last of Bowie's `singer-songwriter' records; here, he takes the form to its limit, re-rendering bedsit introspectionism as space-age, nuclear powered theatre. Listen: you can hear Berlin waiting.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Live At The Roxy Theatre
Label: Oglio Records
Artist: Brian Wilson, Brian Wilson
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5

Live At The Roxy Theatre is a triumph. Brian Wilson and his band recreate classic studio creations that leave the listener wanting more. This set, like Wilson's concerts, contains both classic Beach Boys songs such as "Don't Worry Baby," "I Get Around," and "California Girls," that Wilson wrote and produced, as well as lesser-known gems like "This Whole World," and "Add Some Music To Your Day." Wilson also includes newer songs, like his tribute to brother Carl, the touching "Lay Down Burden," as well as two other new songs, "The First Time," and "This Isn't Love." The ballads are beautiful and the rockers are really rock. Brian even pokes fun at himself a bit by covering the Barenaked Ladies song, "Brian Wilson." I would recommend this album to anyone who wants to hear songs spanning Wilson's entire career or just wants to hear great live recreations of Wilson's classic writing and production style.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Shaved Fish
Label: Capitol
Artist: John Lennon
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
Cover story

If you can find a used vinyl copy of SHAVED FISH, buy it just for the cover. The visual interpretations of John Lennon's song titles on SHAVED FISH comprise as entertaining an album cover as I have seen. Several previous reviews are correct in saying that subsequent John Lennon collections prove more comprehensive. And, yes, that's Stevie Wonder singing "Give Peace A Chance" with John live in New York City. My question: Will any Japanese-reading fans tell me what the back cover of SHAVED FISH says? For more than 20 years, I have wanted to know.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Cellar Door
Label: Barsuk
Artist: John Vanderslice
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5

John Vanderslice - Cellar DoorThis album has it all - an engineered-singer/songwriter, depth, melody and rhythm. John's vocals drain through out the album, but the intsense rendering of background music is great, as well as the lyrics "trying to find that quiet place where life is breathing, not knowing is understanding, coming is going, but my heart beats faster" Track 9Compared to: Death Cab For Cutie, Eels, Flaming Lips, Her Space Holiday, Neutral Milk Hotel, Wilco