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Reviews Written by
Brian Ashe "Fantast" (Ottawa, Canada)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Beautiful Tango (Coll. Pack)
Beautiful Tango (Coll. Pack)
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 22.98
5 used & new from CDN$ 22.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but could be better, Dec 24 2010
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This is a large compilation of Tango music, with a predictable tilt towards Argentine tango. Very serviceable, occasionally good for a living room dance with your best other, but not a very wide selection. Mostly very similar music, and not memorable. Bought it to dance with my wife, but we don't use it very often.

One problem is the very fragile plastic disc holders in a quite solid metal container. Another is the slightly random titles. Finally, the music is OK, and I guess a bargain for 3 CD's at the price. I'm still lukewarm in my recommendation.

Pride of Carthage
Pride of Carthage
by David Anthony Durham
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.40
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good historical fantasy, Dec 24 2010
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This review is from: Pride of Carthage (Paperback)
I really like historical fantasy, as those who read my reviews will know. This is a very good version of the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage. It focuses, of course, on Hannibal and his family. Fair enough. Some (many) of the characters allied with Carthage are very well developed during the novel, even though some are a bit stereotyped (eg Monomachus). The Romans are barely sketched out, which may have been on purpose, since most of the story is told from the Carthaginian points of view. The battle scenes are excellent, the chartacter development a little less so, but overall, this book shows that a historian can actually write a novel and have it come out right. I like this book, and I recommend it to fans of historical fiction and of fantasy.

Why Elephants Have Big Ears: Understanding Patterns of Life on Earth
Why Elephants Have Big Ears: Understanding Patterns of Life on Earth
by Chris Lavers
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 1.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good popular science, Dec 24 2010
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This is a very good intro to evolution, ecology, and paleontology. The writing is sprightly and interesting. This guy is a real scientist, with all the necessary credentials. He does not expect the same from you, just an ability to think. He does a really good job of making biological science accessible to people who are bored or intimidated by it. Everything in this book is mainstream science (or should be) but easily understood by anyone who is not. Recommended.

Sehnsucht
Sehnsucht
Price: CDN$ 14.43
41 used & new from CDN$ 3.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic metal. Teutonic style, Dec 21 2010
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This review is from: Sehnsucht (Audio CD)
If you don't know this group, and you like classic metal, this album is for you. Every bit as good as any Metallica, with a coarse and guttural lead singer, great power chords, a female chorus, and really cool lyrics. For anyone with a smattering of German, the lyrics make sense. Even without, the music is great for head banging. Just their best ever.

For gatechnerd, German is a bit more complex than you think. There are puns! So, "Du hast" is a pun between "You have [asked me]" and "You hate me". You may have studied German for a few years, but I am German. Also, the band put out out a version with English lyrics, and it's "You hate me, you hate me to say, and I did not obey."

Sons of Thunder (Raven: Book 2)
Sons of Thunder (Raven: Book 2)
by Giles Kristian
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 26.95
14 used & new from CDN$ 2.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Continued excellence, Nov. 29 2010
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This is volume 2 in a projected series, following the career of an English (?) youth in a company of Vikings. He has been adopted by them after being abducted from what he thoughtn was his home village. But he clearly has Viking ancestry, and takes to the Reavers' road like a natural. Including his blood eye.
The second volume takes the band to meet Charlemagne in Aachen, in an improbable journey through medieval France on Viking longships. Very exciting, especially the escape. I am looking forward to the next episode, as the creww is looking forward to going to Miklegard (Constantinople). Keep reading. It's fun.

33 Stars
33 Stars
Price: CDN$ 17.28
9 used & new from CDN$ 7.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New discovery, Nov. 29 2010
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This review is from: 33 Stars (Audio CD)
I first heard this major talent two months ago at a home concert. I thought "Oh, OK, she's real good in a small living room playing to a select audience." Since then, I've heard 3 of her CD's. This is the best. This lady has an incredible range, from Melanie through Joni Mitchell to Joan Baez. Honest songs go through life from romantic failure to absolute success. And did I mention the vocal range? This is a must have album, in the top ten desert island CD's. Suzie Vinnick is for real.

Angel in the Sidelines
Angel in the Sidelines
Offered by beachesmusic
Price: CDN$ 16.64
7 used & new from CDN$ 8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New blues artist, Oct. 19 2010
This review is from: Angel in the Sidelines (Audio CD)
Just heard this lady at a house concert. She's won many awards as a blues singer and guitarist, and I heartily recommend this album to first timers. She has at least 2 more CD's out, and I expect they will show more musical maturity, but this is the first CD I have heard.

Suzie has a range like Joni Mitchell, raw power like Janis Joplin, and sensitivity like Rickie Lee Jones. This is her debut album, including as backup musicians like Tony D. A lady to watch, and when I've heard later CD's, I will review them.

Clapton
Clapton
Price: CDN$ 13.71
52 used & new from CDN$ 4.98

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clapton grows up, Oct. 19 2010
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This review is from: Clapton (Audio CD)
Hard to believe the harsh reviews. Eric Clapton has always been a blues artist. He left the Yardbirds because they wouldn't commit to blues. He dominated Cream because he was by that time a major guitarist, and he imposed on them his idea of blues rock. He has continued to play the blues. Some people see him as a sellout to commercialism, but this most recent album should dispel that, it is pure blues. Many of the songs are more gritty than the commercial stream would accept, and I expect that this is why there are dissenters, but this album is a return to his roots. The music is blues, the voice is mellow and right, and this is one of the definitive Clapton recordings. Buy and enjoy.

Band Of Joy
Band Of Joy
Price: CDN$ 14.77
26 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not premium Robert Plant, Oct. 19 2010
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This review is from: Band Of Joy (Audio CD)
This is not what you'd expect from Robert Plant, even after his last album with Alison Krauss. I liked that one very much, and gave it 5 stars for its emotions and musicality. I also love Led Zep and all of their first 4 albums. Minor caveats on a few songs. I also like much of the subsequent Page/Plant music. This stuff, however, is merely OK. No musical innovation. No heart throb. No emotion. Sort of bland? Music, to me, needs emotion, innovation, or violence to succeed. This album has none of these, and I intend to sell it in thne next garage sale.

Raising Sand
Raising Sand
Offered by dodax-online
Price: CDN$ 9.27
20 used & new from CDN$ 9.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Folk-Rock, Oct. 19 2010
This review is from: Raising Sand (Audio CD)
Love Led Zeppelin. Love Page and Plant. This album redefines Robert Plant as a folk-rock-country singer. Together with Alison Krauss, he blends country with his old persona. The blend is smooth and makes you believe. Plant himself is a bit too dominant in this album, but the style is clearly a blend of his and his partner's styles. Fans of Led Zep, or of Robert Plant, or of Alison Krauss, none of you will regret buying this album. It is brilliant.

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