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Product: Audio CD
Title: Measure of a Man
Label: Rca
Artist: Clay Aiken
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A True Talent

My Spring TV viewing revolved around Tues. and Wednesday evenings. Not for American Idol but to see Clay. Powerful , professional performances. Couldn't wait for his first full length CD. I was not disappointed. Beautiful original songs that Clay made his own. His voice is the best I have ever heard.Can't choose my favorite song. Many of these songs are worthy of being chart toppers. Buy the CD , hear a true talent. P.S. If you are still debating on whether or not to buy, check out the Nick At Night Christmas Special. Clay's duet with Bing Crosby was awesome. Clay sings just as beautfully on this CD as he did on the special.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Everything Must Go
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Steely Dan
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Everything's Still Going

Steely Dan was the first act I ever saw live. I was 12; it was 1972. They were a band set apart on so many levels from the rest of the musical triviality that pervaded the times (i.e. Fleetwood Mac, Bee Gees). Now that the duo could likely receive senior discounts at Denny's, it is nice to hear their more seasoned 21st century perspectives, as they cut swaths, musical and lyrical, across society. With few exceptions in pop music over the last few decades, Steely Dan stands out in a class utterly by themselves, not only as composers of interesting pop music but storytellers (pop songs that are all encapsulated stories, not just some dredged-up revisitation of second-hand emotion). They *craft* their music, giving us musical vignettes that are stylized, polished and thought-out. Maybe it comes second nature to them but it's remarkable and creative musicianship, a quality all but absent from pop music today with its emphasis on sampled, spoken, garbled, screamed, minimized, and trivialized affectation.
To be able to pull their kind of pop music off for over thirty years, more than half their lives, and do it with aplomb is a major credit. Most of us, not even the famous ones, could ever contribute to that extent! And bravo to Walter for singing on this one. To naysayers, I ask you, does he sound any different from Mark Knopler?
Best song, by far, "Green Book". From the very laid-back drum beat to the interplay between guitars and keyboards, this one's got it in the pocket. Lyrically, it is like looking at a piece of beautiful modern art and drawing your own interpretations. The songs become conversation pieces. Isn't that what good art strives to do, stimulate ideas and discussion?
Can't really cite such characteristics in this year's Grammy nominations: most artists and songs reflect the continuing dumbing down of our culture, where offerings are served up as little more than an anesthetic for a disillusioned and uninspired populace. Maybe John Mayer (a musician/composer of merit and great promsie in this reviewer's eyes) is right, "Numb is the new deep." Steely Dan, help us!

Product: Audio CD
Title: Dreamland
Label: Arista
Artist: Robert Miles
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Amazing Vocal Trance and Ambient Album!

To be perfectly honest, when i bought this, I had never really heard of Robert Miles, but Now...To call me a fan is a bit of an understatement.
The sheer skill and love of his music shines through on every song of this album. Robert Miles is a master craftsman, and this is his shining work.
Every song blends into the next, there is no annoying repeat of beats, and for a nice change in the genre, the songs on this album don't sound like every other song before it.
I cna only describe this album as..."Simply Beautiful"

Product: Audio CD
Title: Adore
Label: Virgin Records
Artist: The Smashing Pumpkins
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A prettier sounding Pumpkins

I was one of the first to get the Smashing Pumpkins fifth album, Adore, and while it is definently a break with their style of old, it is a good album made even better because of their change in style. The only reasons I didn't give it six stars or more was because, number 1, wouldn't let me, and two, it is even better when performed live. I saw them play both in Dallas, TX and at Radio City Music Hall in New York, where in my opinion they played better than they did on their Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness tour. The lighter ballads and accoustic songs are played by the Pumpkins almost completely plugged, and the revised versions of 1979, Tonight Tonight, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, and Thru The Eyes Of Ruby are, in my opinion, better than they were on MCIS. So, if you're a longtime SP fan, or a new one, I recommend that you buy this cd, listen to it, and then go see them perform live.