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Reviews Written by
J Lee Harshbarger (Ypsilanti, MI United States)

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Storm
Storm
Price: CDN$ 15.51
16 used & new from CDN$ 3.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest album of all time!, Aug. 5 2003
This review is from: Storm (Audio CD)
I am a major music fan. I have tons of CDs and have heard tons more. So when I say that "Storm" by Vanessa Mae is the greatest album of all time, it's not from a lack of knowledge of what's available in the music world.
I bought this album in 1998 in Taiwan, about a year before it was released in the USA. I listened to it regularly for nearly two years before listenings became infrequent. Most CDs, even ones I really like, become listened to infrequently within a couple months, which shows how spectacular this CD is that it would last so long.
I don't know how to limit my acclaim for this album within the maximum number of words Amazon.com allows. To do so will require leaving out vast amounts of what I have to say about this album. So mostly all I can do is summarize.
This album is powerful emotionally: it has a range of emotions from peaceful to frenetic, from grandiose to dramatic. The sources of music vary, from classical compositions by Bach and Vivaldi to folk music to Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," to songs that are probably original compositions for the album. Though the styles vary considerably, the album does not at all feel disjointed; it is a dynamic, complete, emotional journey.
I have other albums by Vanessa Mae. My first album of hers was "The Violin Player." I really liked the opening Bach track on that, but the rest was more like background music. Her third crossover album, "Subject To Change," is better than "The Violin Player," still rather background but not as much. But this second album, "Storm," is FOREGROUND music all the way! The recording, the playing are all up front! And speaking of the playing, her violin playing on this album is intense! The other two albums seem so dull in comparison. Speaking of comparisons, "Storm" whips Bond's album "Born" too (I haven't heard Bond's new one). That album is lively but lacks creativity or variety. "Storm" is far, far superior to these other albums.
My favorite tracks: "Storm," which is fast, furious, and powerful! -- Vivaldi like it was meant to be!! "Bach Street Prelude" is bouncy and energetic, also the best performance by far I've ever heard of this song. "I Feel Love" has beautiful vocals and killer violin jamming. There are more songs I like too, but space is so limited.
I could go on and on about this album; I've barely scratched the surface. If you like Vanessa Mae, Bond, or other crossover classical, you ABSOLUTELY MUST get this album!!! And even if you're not into crossover classical (my main musical interests are rap, dance, World Beat, and alternative rock), but love a variety of music, you will certainly find this album astounding.
Hunt for this album--it will be well worth the hunt.

Four Wall Blackmail
Four Wall Blackmail
Offered by M.R.MEDIA
Price: CDN$ 5.17
8 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for wild mood swings, Aug. 2 2003
This review is from: Four Wall Blackmail (Audio CD)
On this alternative rock album (hardcore?), the male vocalist is at one point singing very beautifully, and the next instant he's growling or screaming, then he suddenly goes back to his beautiful singing. Refreshing, unique.

Take Two
Take Two
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 10.95
8 used & new from CDN$ 7.04

3.0 out of 5 stars Laid back in the desert sun, Aug. 2 2003
This review is from: Take Two (Audio CD)
A low-key, laid back rap album with typically up-front Christian messages in the raps. The dominant musical instrument is acoustic guitar, sometimes done with a reverb to give one type of flavor, other times done in Spanish guitar flavor. The song "San Jose" even has a bossa nova feel to it. Overall, the album's flavor reminds me of Southern California or elsewhere in the Southwest. One song whose message I particularly like, "Mr. Chris T. Ian," is a strong statement against hypocrisy among Christians.

Ryukyu Underground
Ryukyu Underground
Price: CDN$ 20.94
14 used & new from CDN$ 8.76

3.0 out of 5 stars Okinawan music goes trance-dance, Aug. 2 2003
This review is from: Ryukyu Underground (Audio CD)
This album creates a unique sound by taking samples of music from the Okinawa area of Japan and mixing them with dance beats...of sorts. It's a style of beat I hear often on cable radio dance stations, but I can't figure out how you dance to it. At any rate, it's cool to hear this mixture of Okinawan island sounds with western beat.

You Make Me Hate Music
You Make Me Hate Music
Offered by Music on the Web
Price: CDN$ 13.72
11 used & new from CDN$ 1.28

4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant melancholy, Aug. 2 2003
This review is from: You Make Me Hate Music (Audio CD)
The sound of this group reminds me of a cross between The Smiths and The Cure. It's a pleasant laid-back modern rock album, with a sound that I enjoy in late summer. Like The Smiths and The Cure, it has a darker sound, but kind of a pleasant melancholy, if you can imagine. I especially like the opening song, "Hug Every Friend."

Cleopatra Cafe
Cleopatra Cafe
Offered by marvelio-ca
Price: CDN$ 10.94
9 used & new from CDN$ 10.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun & lively variety of music, Aug. 2 2003
This review is from: Cleopatra Cafe (Audio CD)
What a fun album! Some of the songs on this album are fully Latin sounding, others are fully Arabic sounding, and yet others are a kind of mixture of the two sounds. There's even a Eurobeat song on here (I'd say Italian disco but it's sung in French). There is a mixture of styles on here, but nearly all the songs are thoroughly danceable; it's a great party album that pulls you to your feet for festive celebrating!

Give Us Barabbas
Give Us Barabbas
Offered by beachesmusic
Price: CDN$ 3.21
13 used & new from CDN$ 1.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Intense, Aug. 2 2003
This review is from: Give Us Barabbas (Audio CD)
Intense heavy guitars, and the vocals are mostly yelled. Not just a single singer like hardcore; the whole bunch of them yell together. At times dark, but at other times almost jubilant sounding, but still yelling. Awesome stuff for when you're in a mood for intense, in-your-face sound.

Born
Born
Price: CDN$ 15.61
49 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Energetic crossover classical, Aug. 2 2003
This review is from: Born (Audio CD)
The first time I ever heard this group was in a truck stop restroom in Ohio. I knew immediately that this was one CD that I just had to have. I have become very interested in classical music spruced up by modern beats. I first got into this through the recordings of violinist Vanessa Mae. I used to play a string instrument, but I was a cello player, not a violin player; what makes Bond special to me is that this is a group of four string players, one of whom plays cello! The others play violin and viola.
The album is energetic, taking various classical pieces and putting a mostly driving beat behind them. Nothing close to the masterpiece album "Storm" (by Vanessa Mae), but more exciting than Vanessa Mae's follow-up "Subject To Change."

Space Love And Bullfighting
Space Love And Bullfighting
4 used & new from CDN$ 1.16

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, Aug. 2 2003
The easiest way to describe this unique sounding album is to think of all those elements in the title mixed together musically. It's like space lounge music mixed with bullfighting and other Latin music elements.
The lyrics are sometimes entertaining. My favorite is the song about Pluto: "Not quite a planet and not quite steam, Pluto's somewhere inbetween." And the final track, the "Space, Love and Bullfighting Suite," I find to be a work of art.

Global Frequencies: Tokyo
Global Frequencies: Tokyo
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 13.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 8.72

3.0 out of 5 stars Good dance music, Aug. 2 2003
This is a sequenced dance music album, in other words, a non-stop mix that you could just put in your CD player and have a dance party. Like much of modern dance music, it's almost entirely instrumental, and some beats are of styles I hear commonly in dance music but find difficult to dance to, but other songs on this album I really enjoy dancing to.
My favorite by far on this CD is track #2, an instrumental full of thundering electronics. This track represents the power possible in dance music--the heavy, churning bass line, the sustained electronic sound that swoops up gradually, taking you to a higher and higher feeling...even though I'm at home, I can picture all the fabulous club lights around me and the crowds going crazy as I listen to this one.
If the whole album was this good, I'd rate it 5 stars, but the rest, while enjoyable, I didn't find particularly exciting. One dance album that's totally exciting all the way through is Andy Hunter's "Exodus." Now THAT'S an album that pulls me to my feet and keeps me dancing with excitement all the way through.

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