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Reviews Written by
John L. Hughes, Jr. "hughes_jr" (Nashville, TN)
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Afrodisiac
Afrodisiac
Offered by Rainy Day Games
Price: CDN$ 8.99
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Brandy's "Control", July 8 2004
This review is from: Afrodisiac (Audio CD)
AFRODISIAC is Brandy's version of Janet Jackson's "Control" album. Like that classic album, AFRODISIAC includes revealing and interesting lyrics, state-of-the art production, and vocals by a girl who of course is now a woman. Brandy's sultry vocals fully command your attention, while production from such hotshots as Timbaland and Kanye West enhances instead of overpowering the artist. The excellent single "Talk About Our Love", and future club anthems "Turn It Up" and "Sadiddy" are the type of songs that should have been on Janet Jackson's last album, while "Who I Am," "Who Is She 2 U", "I Tried" and "Should I Go" effectively showcase Brandy's personal side. AFRODISIAC is uplifting without being preachy(...).

Circuit [Import]
Circuit [Import]
DVD ~ Jonathan Wade-Drahos
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 7.17
15 used & new from CDN$ 7.17

1.0 out of 5 stars Kids, Don't Let This Happen To You, June 28 2004
This review is from: Circuit [Import] (DVD)
CIRCUIT is essentially an ABC Afterschool Special for gay men which seems to say that if you party with all the dopey pretty boys, you'll end up wasted, too. Former Playgirl hunk Derik Shafer directs this piece of disco drivel featuring shoddy lighting, not-too-good sound and wooden performances by the actors. Recommended only if you like seeing loads of hunky flesh.

Playmakers: The Complete Series [Import]
Playmakers: The Complete Series [Import]
DVD ~ Omar Gooding
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 178.70
8 used & new from CDN$ 113.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, June 26 2004
PLAYMAKERS is everything a good dramatic series should be. Multi-dimensional characters, solid writing, excellent acting and a heavy dose of realistic situations. These characters are worth caring about, and somehow the scripts successfully manage to avoid falling into the typical soap-opera cliches. Even if you're not a fan of football, you'll appreaciate the game more after watching this excellent series.

Why Do Fools Fall in Love
Why Do Fools Fall in Love
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 47.95
7 used & new from CDN$ 26.94

3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but..., June 18 2004
On her RCA Records debut, Ms. Ross takes over production chores for an entire album with mixed results. The bouncy remakes of classic 1950s hits ("Why Do Fools Fall In Love" and "Sweet Nothin's"), the sensuous "Sweet Surrender" and the powerful "Mirror Mirror" are the highlights here. However weak material like the syrupy ballads "Think I'm In Love", and "Two Can Make It", and the campy "Work That Body" doesn't successfully highlight Ms. Ross vocal or production talents. It's fine that Diana Ross wanted to produce. But she should have shared production duties with an established producer instead.

The Boss
The Boss
Price: CDN$ 11.18
22 used & new from CDN$ 3.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her Best Album, June 18 2004
This review is from: The Boss (Audio CD)
The late 1970s weren't exactly the best years for Diana career wise. The film version of "The Wiz" tanked at the box office, two prevoius albums (1977's "Baby It's Me" and 1978's "Ross") sold below expectations, and Disco Queen Donna Summer seemed to be stealing most of her fans. But Ms. Ross wasn't going down without a fight. For the soul/disco-oriented THE BOSS, Ms. Ross hired superhot producers Ashford & Simpson, who provided her with some of the best songs of her career. Diana breathes ample amounts of fire and sexiness into these eight Ashford & Simpson creations. The results were a top-20 gold album that produced a top-20 pop hit (her first in three years) in the title track, and #1 disco hits in the title track, "No One Gets The Prize", "It's My House" and "I Ain't Been Licked". The best part about this reissue is the bonus 12-inch versions of "The Boss" and "It's My House", which in a rare instance proves that sometimes remixes are better than the original album cuts.

Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits
Price: CDN$ 11.03
26 used & new from CDN$ 1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated, June 17 2004
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
In the mid-1980s, actor/singer John Schneider recorded five critically-acclaimed albums for MCA Records with producer Jimmy Bowen (Hank Williams, Jr., Reba McEntire, George Strait). These albums produced nine top-ten country hits, four of which went all the way to #1. All of those hits are here along with the popular album cut "If There Was Anyone But You." Schneider wraps his sexy baritone on these excellent ballads relating to love and heartbreak. Only on the cutesy uptempo "Love You Ain't Seen The Last Of Me" does Schneider stumble a bit. This too-brief collection needs at least ten more songs since Schneider's albums from this period seem to be out of print.

Queer As Folk
Queer As Folk
2 used & new from CDN$ 23.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated Series, June 17 2004
This review is from: Queer As Folk (DVD)
While the American version of QAF focuses on sensationalism and sleaze, the original British version takes a more artistic approach to presenting gay life. Sure there are sex scenes, and soap operish situations, but they are handled in a more realistic manner. Watching this rich version of QAF is like watching a really good independent film. The acting is solid, the characters are multi-dimensional, and the writing is top-notch. Unlike the American version, drugs and backrooms are downplayed in UK's version of QAF. The only time drugs come into play is when one of the characters dies from an overdose.

Lady Sings the Blues
Lady Sings the Blues
VHS
6 used & new from CDN$ 14.87

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate, but the performances are powerful, June 16 2004
This review is from: Lady Sings the Blues (VHS Tape)
The complex life of jazz singer Billie Holiday cannot be summed up in a two-and-a-half hour film unless it's a documentary. Therefore, LADY SINGS THE BLUES misses the boat in portraying Billie's life, but hits the target in casting Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor. The chemistry between these three thespians are a joy to behold. And Ms. Ross sings Billie's songs very well without resorting to imitating the jazz legend.

Mahogany
Mahogany

2.0 out of 5 stars Diana screeches, Billy Dee mumbles, June 16 2004
This review is from: Mahogany (VHS Tape)
MAHOGANY is a camp classic featuring screechy acting by Ms. Ross, mumbling by Billy Dee Williams, and drama queen antics by Anthony Perkins. Talent is wasted all around in the film depicting the rise of a poor-little-rich African-American model and fashion designer who has her mouth poked out because she misses her man. After this film, Berry Gordy never stepped up to the director's chair again (thank God). Good for its camp factor and that's about it.

The Isleys Live
The Isleys Live
Price: CDN$ 17.40
6 used & new from CDN$ 17.40

3.0 out of 5 stars Before the Explosion, June 3 2004
This review is from: The Isleys Live (Audio CD)
Recorded at New York's infamous Bottom Line in 1972, THE ISLEYS LIVE serves as the last album released before the official announcement of the 3+3 lineup. The material is derived from the albums "Givin' It Back" (1971) and "Brother Brother Brother" (1972), and of course a hornless "It's Your Thing" is included (a version with horns appears as one the bonus cuts recorded live at Yankee Stadium in 1969). On this album, Ernie, Marvin and Chris display their ample talents although Ernie comes off as too loud and show-offy on the draggy "It's Too Late" and funeral-like "Ohio/Machine Gun". The recording quality is thin but adequate, and the lounge lizard techniques (i.e. Ronald impersonating Ray Charles and The Supremes At The Copa-like spoken intoduction to "Love The One You're With")wear a little thin. Overall, an imperfect but good document of the Isleys in concert before the gold and platinum album avalance that occured during the rest of the 1970s.

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