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Reviews Written by
Sebastian T. Stoker "SebCan" (Mississauga, Ontario Canada)
(REAL NAME)   

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Gentlemen Take Poloroids
Gentlemen Take Poloroids
Price: CDN$ 16.03
26 used & new from CDN$ 6.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Album That - Arguably - Made Japan, Feb. 1 2010
This is the album that put Japan on the map. Its flirtations with the New Romantic attitude, David Sylvian's iconic face on the album cover, the cleaned up wardrobe of the band (long gone are the disheveled post glam-rock rags), and the bands calm and cool approach to sound, helped to change the pop music landscape - both musically, and in terms of image and packaging.

The album contains some of the bands best singles, including Gentlemen Take Polaroids, Methods of Dance, and Taking Islands in Africa - they are the perfect blend of delicate ambient sound and driving shifting bass (Mick Karn is probably the greatest bass player in pop music, and the greatest thing to happen to a bass line since Purcell). Lyrically, there is a quest for something more, but an apparent lack of pretension, absence of strain.

The album is a must-have for any serious pop music fan, regardless of his preferred genre.

Quiet Life
Quiet Life
Price: CDN$ 14.82
23 used & new from CDN$ 7.83

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Great Recording, Feb. 1 2010
This review is from: Quiet Life (Audio CD)
Eighties music history is full ignored gems like this one. This is partly due to the baby boomers and their obsession with all things 60's, and partly due to the rather provincial mentality of the North American audience. Of course, one cannot forget the anti-disco movement, which cast everything that was not guitar-oriented and did not sound good being played in a pickup truck as suspicious.

If you are a fan of Bowie or Roxy Music, and are looking for something exotic but approachable, charming and slick, then a Japan album will always deliver. This one, and Gentlemen Take Polaroids are the two best.

A Christmas Story (Two-Disc Special Edition)
A Christmas Story (Two-Disc Special Edition)
DVD ~ Peter Billingsley
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 19.48
16 used & new from CDN$ 3.72

4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have, Feb. 17 2009
I have grown quite cynical about DVD reissues - they just seem manipulative attempts to squeeze more money out of the consumer. A movie or set of TV episodes are presented with some new thrown-together extras, and the fans shell out. However, this is not the case with A Christmas Story's 20th Anniversary Edition. Actually the DVD set is an example of these kinds of the reissues being gems.

I bought the set in December of 2008, just when the 25th anniversary edition was being released. I had owned the video tape, which was beginning to degrade, and when I saw this DVD package on sale, I snapped it up. I appreciate having the DVD of the movie - being able to jump chapters, etc. I also really like the extras, which include interviews with the cast and directory, all done about five years ago.

It was interesting to watch these interviews after seeing all the press surrounding the 25th anniversary of the movie's release. And it is funny to think that here I am, one of the most cynical regarding DVD packaging, so happy to have this small piece of DVD history.

Body Language
Body Language
Price: CDN$ 17.27
10 used & new from CDN$ 3.22

4.0 out of 5 stars Kylie goes from Euro to Funk, Aug. 11 2004
This review is from: Body Language (Audio CD)
As a Canadian, and a fan of the Europop of the 80s, I have found the Australians curious; often the pop music they produce is more European sounding than what comes out Britain. Split Enz, INXS, and subsequent bands offered variations on a slick Euro sound lit up by the Australian sun.
After escaping the influence of (production team) SAW in the early 90s, Kylie slowly established herself as the queen of the mutant Australian-Euro sound. Light Years had been her greatest work to date, and Fever her magnum opus. What then can one make of Body Language?
With Fever, Kylie had managed to do something amazing - win over a large North American audience with a slick, mature, sophisticated, synthesizer-based sound. Perhaps that was the reason for the success; she was filling a huge void in the market. Strange then that she should throw it all away with the next release, replacing Euro Disco with Funk, slithering synthesizers with cracks, pops, and twangy guitars, and her very British blonde-saucepot image with something rather generic.
While, as a huge fan, I see Body Language as Kylie's attempt to grow as an artist, I cannot help but also see it as the destruction of her iconic image. During the same year, Madonna seemed to have done the same thing with American Life. Perhaps being an icon is not all it is cracked up to be, and our once great icons would just rather not be bothered.

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