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Christian Zimmerman
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Titan A.E. (2000 Film)
Titan A.E. (2000 Film)
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 33.95
10 used & new from CDN$ 11.82

3.0 out of 5 stars It's far from perfect, but it's still pretty good., April 21 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Titan A.E. (2000 Film) (Audio CD)
TITAN A.E. is (unfortunately) a rarity in compilation soundtracks. Throughout the album, there is evidence that the producers did their absolute best to make this soundtrack something more than a commercial tie-in to the movie, and for that alone they deserve to be praised. It seems like they attempted to address all the complaints music fans make about compilation soundtracks:
1) They have tons of songs that aren't in the movie.
No problem here. All of the songs on TITAN A.E. are used in the movie, often in particularly memorable sequences ("The End Is Over," "It's My Turn To Fly").
2) A lot of the songs are available on other CDs.
When this soundtrack was released in 2000, none of the songs were available elsewhere, and since then only three songs ("Over My Head," "Cosmic Castaway," "Not Quite Paradise") have found their way to other albums. In fact some songs featured in the movie (most notably "Higher" by Creed) were apparently left off because they were already available.
3) Most of the songs aren't actually "inspired" by the movie.
DEFINITELY not this one. The producers of this soundtrack went to such lengths to make sure that the lyrics on the songs were thematically that it's almost a fault: on some songs ("It's My Turn To Fly," "Renegade Survivor") it's so obvious that it borders on corny.
4) There's nothing that links the songs musically.
This is where TITAN A.E. stars to falter; it's no surprise that this is the most common complaint made about the soundtrack. It starts as an electronic rock album, and ends with electronica tracks that feature rock guitars. This wouldn't be so bad, but there are several songs that stick out like sore thumbs as a result ("Over My Head," "Not Quite Paradise," "Renegade Survivor"). The sudden genre shifts detract signifigantly from the enjoyment of the album as a whole.
In the end, however, a soundtrack is only as good as its songs, and this turns out to be TITAN A.E.'s greatest strength as well as its weakness. There are some absolute gems here--"The End Is Over" is easily one of Powerman 5000's best songs, and "Everybody's Going To The Moon" will make you wonder why you stopped listening to Jamiroquai after 1997--but there's also some real duds here, like Bliss 66's incredibly cheesy "Not Quite Paradise" and Lit's boring opener "Over My Head." Still, the fact that all of these songs are in the movie makes recommending TITAN A.E. easier: if you liked most of the songs in the movie, you'll like the soundtrack.

Alive 1997
Alive 1997
Offered by marvelio-ca
Price: CDN$ 19.96
13 used & new from CDN$ 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best live albums EVER., Feb. 29 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Alive 1997 (Audio CD)
Although I love electronic music, I have never put much stock in live electronica. By live electronica, I don't mean a DJ spinning at a club or party, but an artist playing his or her music in the context of a rock concert. All too often, the results are dissapointing, amounting to little more than an hour or so of extended versions of studio cuts, due to the sample-and-loop nature of the genre. On ALIVE 1997, however, Daft Punk prove themselves to be an exception, much to my delight.
Granted, the 45 minutes of ALIVE 1997 consist of extended versions of 3 songs ("Da Funk," "Rollin' and Scratchin'," and "Alive," all from HOMEWORK), but Daft Punk does much more than simply loop the hooks for longer periods of time. Instead, they twist and distort their songs until they're beyond recognition, as well as including extended periods of free improvisations. However, what makes this album truly amazing is that the artistic showmanship never overshadows the music's danceable quality. The sheer inventiveness this duo exhibits makes this album interesting even to a headphone-loving rock fan like me; in fact, Daft Punk is one of the few artists of ANY genre that can hold the casual listener's attention for longer than 15 minutes.
ALIVE 1997 isn't just the best live electronica album in history, it's one of the best live albums ever released, one of the few that even comes close to rivaling Kiss' ALIVE. It takes a lot of chutzpah to name a live album after that seminal 1975 album, but Daft Punk has more than enough talent to back it up.

To My Surprise
To My Surprise
Offered by dodax-online
Price: CDN$ 8.49
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprise! Surprise!, Jan. 30 2004
Ce commentaire est de: To My Surprise (Audio CD)
The reason To My Surprise has such an unusual name is clear: any description of their self-titled debut will inevitably overuse the word "surprise." Observe:
SURPRISE! The scary clown from Slipknot (M. Shawn Crahan) has a side project, and it isn't metal, nu- or otherwise. In fact, To My Surprise is a power pop band that sounds like a combination of the Beatles, AC/DC, and Soul Coughing. Why, it's a SURPRISE that Roadrunner Records, the most "metal" of all mainstream labels, even released this album at all. Even more of a SURPRISE is the mood of this record. Those looking for the angsty nihilism of Slipknot will be quite dissappointed; even the most aggressive track ("In the Mood") is centered around an insanely catchy pop hook. The biggest SURPRISE, however, is that, despite being incredibly weird, this album is also really good. The group has an excellent pair of vocalists in Crahan and Brandon Darner; Crahan's unusual twang complements Darner's more traditional delivery well, and the production is top-notch, if a bit experimental.
Basically, if you can accept that this side project doesn't sound a thing like Slipknot (and that IS the purpose of side projects, right?), TO MY SURPRISE will probably end up getting regular playing time in your stereo. SURPRISED?

Legion Of Boom
Legion Of Boom
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 39.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Crystal Method gets refined., Jan. 20 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Legion Of Boom (Audio CD)
The third studio album from The Crystal Method, LEGION OF BOOM, combines the spacey, ethereal techno of their 1997 debut, VEGAS, with the hard rock aesthetic of its 2001 follow-up, TWEEKEND, and adds a healthy dose of hip-hop to the mix, with mind-blowing results. Electronic music rarely gets this good. Like TWEEKEND, LEGION features a high-profile hard rock/heavy metal guitarist. This time, they've traded Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave) for former Limp Bizkit axeman Wes Borland. Borland complements TCM well; his swamp-rock riffs are superb on "Born Too Slow" (the obvious choice for the first single), and his other contributions (the metalesque "Broken Glass" and "Weapons of Mass Distortion") are just as entertaining. However, the most jaw-dropping collaborations are with MC/beatbox Rahzel (of the Roots). I always knew that Rahzel was a gifted beatbox, but when his considerable talents are enhanced by The Crystal Method's technological ability, the results ("Starting Over," "Acetone") are simply stunning. This isn't just dance music; this is art, and it's the first must-buy (as opposed to download and burn) album of 2004.

Bloodflowers
Bloodflowers
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 13.72
16 used & new from CDN$ 2.17

4.0 out of 5 stars A not-too-shabby finale (maybe)., Dec 5 2003
Ce commentaire est de: Bloodflowers (Audio CD)
BLOODFLOWERS is intended to be the final album by the seminal post-punk group The Cure. It also purports to be final installment of a "trilogy," the other two parts being PORNOGRAPHY (1982) and DISINTEGRATION (1989). This designation raises quite a few eyebrows, as there is little to connect the three thematically (other than the fact that singer/lyricist Robert Smith isn't exactly bursting with happiness on any of them), but it does make sense. The Cure's career can, for the most part, be split into three periods, and each of these albums represents the pinnacle of creativity acheived in its respective period.
This is not to say that BLOODFLOWERS is among the Cure's top three albums, but that it was the best of its period. Even so, this is still a very good album. While it's easy to see that Robert Smith's lyrical abilities are being strained, they still have enough emotion to resonate with the listener. In addition, the actual music is simply amazing (especially when compared to 1996's WILD MOOD SWINGS), sweeping you off your feet with just as much effectiveness as any of The Cure's other great albums.
In short, this album is well worth your time and (especially) your money. If it is the final Cure album (which I personally doubt), then they've taken their last bow with matchless grace.

Significant Other
Significant Other
Price: CDN$ 10.17
75 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of a music snob..., Nov. 2 2003
Ce commentaire est de: Significant Other (Audio CD)
I'll be the first to admit it: I am something of a music snob. My CD collection looks like your typical college radio playlist, full of indie artists (and major label artists who get zero promotion). By all accounts, I'm supposed to condemn Limp Bizkit as a group of no-talent hacks who only became popular becuase MTV played their videos incessantly, an idea that is more than backed up by the fact that CHOCOLATE STARFISH AND THE HOT DOG FLAVORED WATER sold more than 5 million copies despite being unbelievably awful. And yet...
I have to admit that I like SIGNIFICANT OTHER. Unlike CHOCOLATE STARFISH, this record actually seems focused: Fred Durst knows exactly why he's angry (his girlfriend left him), and the result is that this actually feels like a complete album, as opposed to a collection of singles. I'm not saying Limp Bizkit is perfect, mind you (they'll take away my music snob license if I do), but almost all of the songs are entertaining, including (to my surprise) non-single tracks like "No Sex," wherein Limp Bizkit come dangerously close to making a song with actual substance. Durst's ability as a vocalist is limited, but he knows how to use what he's got effectively, and he has a very good band to support him. Don't get me wrong, SIGNIFICANT OTHER will never rise above the level of "guilty pleasure," but it's probably the best guilty pleasure I own.

Disintegration
Disintegration
Price: CDN$ 15.41
36 used & new from CDN$ 4.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Gloominess at its very best., Oct. 27 2003
Ce commentaire est de: Disintegration (Audio CD)
It's hard to come up with anything to say about DISINTEGRATION that hasn't been said hundreds of times before. On this album the Cure take the dark mood of their "goth" period to a new level by expressing it in the context of pop music, resulting in a lush, emotional album that is as amazing for its accessability as its quality.
The Cure are able to keep the listener's interest through the soundscapes alone, never mind the irresistable melodies and the best lyrics of Robert Smith's career. The individual songs are stunning in their emotional impact, particularly "Fascination Street" and the jittery "Lullaby," but the whole of DISINTEGRATION is much, much greater than the sum of its parts. Listening to the songs out of context doesn't do this album justice; it begs to be heard in one sitting, with the volume turned way up (just like the liner notes tell you to do) to let the gloom wash over you. This is the best rainy day album in history, and I doubt it will ever be challenged.
Recommended for all fans of any kind of music.

Welcome To The Monkey House
Welcome To The Monkey House
Price: CDN$ 12.08
26 used & new from CDN$ 2.96

3.0 out of 5 stars Great, except for the mediocre parts., Oct. 18 2003
The Dandy Warhols' third major label album, WELCOME TO THE MONKEY HOUSE, one of those albums that leaves reviewers at a loss for words (and not necessarily in a good way).
The glammed-up new wave on MONKEY HOUSE marks a departure from their previous albums, no doubt do to the influence of producer Nick Rhodes (of Duran Duran). This is a deliberately trashy album that revels in its utter lack of substance, which is what makes it difficult to review. With the exception of the first single, "We Used To Be Friends," the songs on this album are quite forgettable, but the overall sound is still quite entertaining, especially when one is feeling nostalgia for the 80s. The 80s nostalgia is especially strong on "Scientist," which so resembles Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science" that one worries that Courtney Taylor-Taylor will be headed for a court date in the near future.
The problem, as I previously mentioned, is that while the good stuff is really good, and there's nothing that's exactly bad on this CD, most of the tracks never rise above mediocre. This, combined with the fact that this is not representative of the band's sound, makes it impossible to recommend to newcomers. For long time fans of the Dandy Warhols, however, this is worth at least a few listens.
3.5 stars

Point
Point
13 used & new from CDN$ 3.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb, Oct. 18 2003
Ce commentaire est de: Point (Audio CD)
POINT is what I like to call a "lava-lamp" record. Much like a lava lamp, this album makes you cooler simply because you own it. Like Beck's ODELAY and The Avalanches' SINCE I LEFT YOU, it's a record that relies heavily on inventive sampling, and yet would not sound out of place in a collection of jazz music.
The songs are amazing in their simplicity, and Cornelius' English lyrics never degenerate into the "Engrish" that turns many American listeners away from Japanese music. While this album does have a few mood swings (the thrash-punk "I Hate Hate" being an obvious example), the best tracks on this album ("Smoke," "Brazil") make for some of the best chill-out music from any continent.

St. Anger
St. Anger
Offered by langton_distribution
Price: CDN$ 43.95
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Well, here's my two cents., Sept. 30 2003
Ce commentaire est de: St. Anger (Audio CD)
Enough has been said about the production on ST. ANGER to fill a Tom Clancy novel. It's one of those quirky, eccentric things that come up every once in a while: either you get it, or you don't. As for me, I'm one of the few people who really enjoy the production on ST. ANGER. This is the first Metallica album I've ever bought, or have ever been interested in buying, mostly because I'm a big fan of experimental rock.
And that, basically, is what ST. ANGER is. Metallica is obviously trying to find a new approach to making metal, and this album's drastically stripped-down production is very interesting. It's obviously not perfect (why else would it be attracting more controversy than an Eminem album?), but I think it's a good platform for newer bands (who don't have to worry about alienating their fans) to expand upon.
Now, as for the songwriting, it's not that bad. Hetfield is not the greatest lyricist in rock, but the songs are decent enough to sustain your interest (assuming, of course, that you WANT to sustain your interest).

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