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Product: Audio CD
Title: Harem
Label: Angel Records
Artist: Sarah Brightman, Frank Peterson
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
I'm a new Sarah Brightman fan


Sarah Brightman's Harem CD was a gift I recently received and I was told that it contained jazz. Much to my surprise, I listened to a fusion of pop and mideastern music. I absolutely love this CD! Sarah Brightman has explored this genre with courage, given the times we've been living in. I was especially happy to hear Kazim el-Saher's guest performance in "The War Is Over Now"-I'm a fan of his. He has such a rich, strong voice. Plus I can't stop myself from bellydancing in some of the other songs, like Harem, A Beautiful Day and Mysterious Days. I recommend this CD to anyone who likes to explore new and exotic frontiers, for those of you who are curious about eastern music. Harem is a good place to start.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Face/Off (Face Off): Original Soundtrack Music By John Powell
Label: Hollywood Records
Artist: John Powell
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
UNINTERESTING


Just noises and sound effects with an utterly slight hint of a theme that's stomped on with the messy sound of the music(?).



Product: Audio CD
Title: Everything Must Go (CD & DVD)
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Steely Dan
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Sleek and Soulful


I admit I had marginally low expectations for this album. I wasn't in love with the Two Against Nature sound, I enjoyed it, but it didn't seem to quite have the magic and warmth of 70's Steely Dan. Another confession: I love Donald Fagen's solo albums. I think most Danfans will agree Nightfly is a classic (it took a few listens for me to fall in love), but I also really enjoy his 90's release, the less-lauded Kamakiriad (again, takes a few listens; check out "Florida Room"!). To me, this album reminds me of that particular album. Humorously enough, there are also parallels to Becker's 90's release (11 Tracks of Whack) with the horrendously sung/spoken Slang of Ages. Sheesh; it would be like Jimmy Page letting Robert Plant take a guitar solo just because he's in the band. But overall, this album is brilliant and catchy...what true pop should be. Intelligent writing and structure, creative harmonies and melodies. The chordal harmony is a bit simpler, leaning heavily on the blues form, so that might disappoint some fans of their more grandiose and jazz-tinged epics ala Aja, but I think the simplicity serves them. It excels as a pop album. The single release Blues Beach entirely dashed my hopes for this album...while it grew on me eventually, at first it was intensely annoying as a song, and caused me to assume the new album would be a dud. Wrong I was! The Last Mall is a groovy blues jam, with moments making me think of Ray Charles (I can see Donald swaying in his piano bench as he belts out "Roll your cart back up the aisle"). Things I Miss the Most, is a decent song. I'd say a good song, actually, but not a favorite. Blues Beach, I had heard a thousand times before. No new vibe for me. Ahhh! The intro to Godwhacker perked up my interest. Great funky song, lots of smoldering drive ala "Jack of Speed", especially with that tight guitar groove. Unfortunately it is followed up with an underwhelming Becker song with painful PAINFUL vocals and dull, uninteresting music backing. Things pick up again with the fresh and funky Green Book. The vocals on this song are fantastic, very clever melody and rich jazz harmonies. One of my favorites follows with Pixeleen; the chorus is arranged wonderfully, nice sax solo, and especially fantastic featured background vocals from 2vN veteran Carolyn Leonhart. The bridge is essentially a Donald/Carolyn duet! That's something new. I joked to my wife that it was actually Becker in falsetto, but alas, nobody would believe THAT. Followed by a second favorite, Lunch With Gina. Great funky New York-ish tune. Stuck in my head as we speak. The final track, Everything Must Go, has clever lyrics and a smooth flow. Not my favorite, but good. In all, a great album. I would also say, that I find it interesting that Becker does all the bass work, and Fagen does a seeming majority of the keyboards. Hearkens back to the early Dan days! The Aja/Gaucho era seemed to have them barely involved with the actual performance of their songs...Fagen would do vocals and Becker might contribute a couple solos, but that seemed to be it. Good to see them back at their instruments.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Reality
Label: Sony
Artist: David Bowie
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Best Bowie since Let's Dance


This is definitely the best album David Bowie has put out since Let's Dance in the 1970's. It sounds a little bit more like his 70's-80's era stuff than 2002's pretty badly done Heathen. I like David's voice on all of the songs especially 'New Killer Star' and 'Pablo Picasso'. This is a great pop/rock album, probably the best in the next five years.