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myxoplik "myxoplik" (United States)

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From the Choirgirl Hotel
From the Choirgirl Hotel
Price: CDN$ 7.85
72 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Would someone pls get the marbles out of this girl's mouth?, June 10 2004
"Blake Dooove. Blick Dob. You're not a Halley Comet..." (Listen to song #3 and you'll know what I'm talking about.)
Tori's debut "Little Earthquakes" was lyrically insightful and lucid, so I know that she can be intelligent. But that's not the case with many of her subsequent releases, particularly "Choirgirl". With "Choirgirl" you'll get so much piecemeal, incohesive drivel that you'll begin to wonder if she picked her lyrics out of a hat. It makes the B-52's "Rock Lobster" sound like the Magna Carta.
But what Tori does next is very clever. She garbles her vowels and contrives such unintelligible accents that you can't tell what she's saying. And with a bit of creativity, the listener begins to imagine meaningful phrases and coherent themes.
Just don't make the mistake of reading the real lyrics. Suddenly you'll realize that Tori's pulled one over on you, and she's just riding the momentum of her unfocused, syrupy passion by clouding the performance. Throw in a couple lines about rape & prostitution, and suddenly all the angst-ridden teens can relate. Fair enough.
I found "Choirgirl" terribly disappointing, because the rich music (which is very deliberate and innovative) suffers from the stark contrast of stream-of-consciousness lyrics and drunken enunciation. The die-hard fans, of course, will overlook this. But this is not an album for the casual Tori listener.

Reservoir Dogs (Special Edition) [Import]
Reservoir Dogs (Special Edition) [Import]
DVD ~ Harvey Keitel
Offered by Round3CA
Price: CDN$ 0.03
57 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Riddle: How can 3 bullets kill 4 people? Har har, May 30 2004
Riddle me this...
Q: How can 3 bullets kill 4 people?
A: Because Tarantino says so!
Reservoir Dogs is like a birthday cake that was taken out of the oven way too soon. Tarantino must have been so caught up in his visual quagmire (à la Pulp Fiction) that he totally sacrificed substance and accuracy of plot. The result: LOOPHOLES, LOOPHOLES, LOOPHOLES and a very unbelieveable film whose flaws only deepen as your suspension of disbelief wears thin.
Welcome to Tarantino-Land where
1. It is possible to drive a car with a bullet in your head.
2. Screams, shouts and gunshots cannot be heard through a wooden door, but cars and children playing CAN.
3. The average human body bleeds 20 gallons of blood. And lives.
4. Many more I can't say without ruining the *ahem* plot.
Lastly, I have to mention a point I'd rather not dwell upon, but it may affect your decision to see this movie. No, it's not the gratuitous violence. It's all the unnecessary racial bigotry. If you don't agree, then I challenge you to sit through this movie sitting next to a black man or woman and see how embarrassed you both will be 30 minutes into it.

Long Gone Before Dayli(Uk)
Long Gone Before Dayli(Uk)
Offered by village_music_world-usa
Price: CDN$ 17.51
11 used & new from CDN$ 6.15

3.0 out of 5 stars Spotlight on Nina, not much else, May 29 2004
Nina's voice is clearly the highlight of LGBD. She sings with a mature confidence, intensity and passion as never before. Much of this I credit to the fact that she wrote all of the lyrics and therefore genuinely feels what she's singing this time around. OK, that's worth the 3 stars.
The rest of the band is sadly un-showcased. If you've grown up with the Cardigans, you're probably a fan of innovative instrumentation (brass, flute ...bassoon for Pete's sake), unconventional drum beats (I've never heard five-four sound so natural) and most of all a TREMENDOUS sense of humor (Did they ever solve who killed the bakerman in "Closing Time"?). But you'll get none of that with this album.
All songs are in four-four (with the exception of 1 or 2 dabbles in waltz), all guitars are eighth-note-strumming to the beat, bass is predictably on the root at all times, and guitar solos are in Dorian major. You know what I've just described? Yes... country music!
I hope I don't come across as a country music hater, because I'm not. I'm merely pointing out that, aside from vocals, this album makes our beloved Cardigans sound too much like everyone else. That's something that's never happened before (even if you hated Gran Turismo, you have to admit that it was different).

Tormato (Expanded)
Tormato (Expanded)
Price: CDN$ 10.64
30 used & new from CDN$ 5.19

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All Rhino's horses and all Rhino's men couldn't fix Tormato, May 26 2004
This review is from: Tormato (Expanded) (Audio CD)
Note: This review is about the Rhino packaging, remastering and bonus tracks of this 2004 edition. As for the songwriting & musicianship of Tormato, I'll just quote Rick Wakeman: "Tormato could've been tremendous."
1. PACKAGING - The liner notes begin with four pages of excuses. It explains how Tormato suffered from "too many cooks over the broth [producers]" and "heated debates" and "lack of rehearsal" and "individual rather than collective goals" (these are direct quotes from the CD booklet). It really spoils any hope you might have of enjoying the album objectively. In place of this gloomy commentary, I would have prefered to see more photos of the band or artwork--both of which are noticeably lacking.
2. REMASTERING - Unfortunately, the original source tapes are so awful that no amount of EQ, compression and 21-century wizardry could tidy up the swamp. I had my hopes up after hearing what a good job Rhino did with the Drama album, but after listening to Rhino's Tormato and comparing it with the original CD & vinyl releases, all I can say is: "Well, it was a noble effort." Tormato is, was, and ever shall be very thin: muddy bass, nonexistent midrange and tinny guitars. (Please don't ask about the keyboards and vocals which are trebly to begin with.)
3. BONUS TRACKS - Umm... interesting but awful, all 10 of them. With a good sense of humor, you may enjoy hearing how terrible Yes can sound in the rehearsal room. Just to illustrate: I was listening to the bonus tracks when my mom came in the room and asked, "Is this your band?" 'Nuff said.

Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition)
DVD ~ Orson Welles
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 44.37
23 used & new from CDN$ 9.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film but don't pay any attention to the AFI's Top 100, May 17 2004
Many of you, like me, may have had your Kane interest piqued by its "#1 Film of All Time" rating by the AFI (American Film Institute). Be forewarned that the AFI also honors "Jaws", "Rocky" and "Snow White" in the same breath. So whatever. If you dive into this film head first expecting the greatest thing to hit the screen, you will be disappointed. The audio commentary itself (included on this edition) states that Welles' "Chimes at Midnight" is a superior film.
Personally, I thought Citizen Kane was very impressive. But I am easily impressed by camera lenses, lighting techniques and 1940s nostalgia. It isn't the acting, script or plot of Kane that appeals to me so much as its artistic storytelling.
If you read through these reviews, you'll be puzzled at how some people can proclaim it a work of art while others are bored and irritated by its pageantry. It's the same with a Picasso painting or a Beatles song or a Chicago skyscraper. Art can be found in anything if you have the patience to look for it. I was patient enough to find 4 stars worth of art in Citizen Kane. Good luck.

Wilderness
Wilderness
Price: CDN$ 16.03
24 used & new from CDN$ 2.31

2.0 out of 5 stars Whaler II, May 8 2004
This review is from: Wilderness (Audio CD)
I think the subject line says it all, but Amazon won't let me leave this part blank, so here goes... Wilderness is a sequel to Whaler. If you like the Whaler side of Sophie, then you'll really love this one; its a logical evolution of her pop & jazz elements. But if you're more of a Timbre/TAT fan, you might be disappointed, because this album doesn't showcase her dark, explosive passion, nor does it highlight her musical/rhythmic innovation. Vocals, however, are excellent as always.

Empire
Empire
Price: CDN$ 11.79
34 used & new from CDN$ 3.08

2.0 out of 5 stars "Like deja vu all over again", May 8 2004
This review is from: Empire (Audio CD)
Back in the early 90s all my friends worshipped this album. So, what the heck, yesterday I decided to get this remaster/bonus edition. I realized why all my friends worshipped the album--because they were all 16 years old at the time.
Sadly, I'm no longer 16, nor is my musical taste. I'm no longer impressed with big snare reverbs, cadence chords and thumping 1-note bass lines. This has been called Queensryche's "commercial" album; the liner notes talk about the "accessibility" and MTV-ish-ness of Empire in contrast with the raw complexity of prior albums, as if to say "Sucker! You should've bought Operation: Mindcrime instead!"
Remastering: I find it absurd that record companies are all rushing to remaster/reissue albums that were digitally recorded in the first place (like this one)! Save yourself. The original mastering was fine.
Bonus Tracks: "Last Time in Paris" is good and has a lot of driving energy. The bonus remake of "Scarborough Fair" is a bit melodramatic but interesting. The 3rd bonus track is entirely forgettable.

Mighty Aphrodite (Widescreen)
Mighty Aphrodite (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Mira Sorvino
Price: CDN$ 15.95
19 used & new from CDN$ 6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mighty Awful, April 21 2004
It has all the subtlety of a train wreck. Woody Allen is a clever man, and indeed there are several good zingers, but each one is repeated in such a juvenile manner that I fear Mr. Allen doesn't give his audience enough credit for getting it the first time.
For example, there is a scene where Woody is matchmaking two idiots. He declines their invitation to join them by saying, "No, thank you. I'm superfluous." To which one idiot replies, "Oh, you're not feeling well?" What a great zinger! But then he belabors the joke by going on: "No, SUPERFLUOUS. Uh... superfluous means unneccessary... I'd only get in the way..." This sort of audience-coddling continues throughout the movie, right up to the end, where even the final scene is amended with a clumsy explanation for the dim-witted. The movie ends with the same gag (a Broadway-Greek chorus) that has already been done 3 times in the last 95 minutes. We got it the first time, Woody.
Acting? You'll hardly notice. The characters are such obvious, stereotypical caricatures that they become entirely boring and predictable--if not offensive to Jews, women, boxers, hairdressers, husbands, wives and barkeeps. I was embarrassed for the lot of them.
Unless you, too, are stuck in the sixties, you might do yourself a favor by skipping this one. Woody even managed to waste the incredible talent of F. Murray Abraham!

Lost In Space
Lost In Space
2 used & new from CDN$ 37.72

3.0 out of 5 stars Disk 1 = great. Disk 2 = great frisbee., April 16 2004
This review is from: Lost In Space (Audio CD)
I don't think I can add much to the accolades of other reviewers. This was my first Aimee Mann CD, and it quickly made me a believer. But if you're one of the fans who got stuck with the Non-Special-Edition, don't lose any sleep. Disk 2 isn't worth the price tag.
I will say that the bonus video is fun to watch once or twice, and the unreleased b-side "Nightmare Girl" is impressive with its full string orchestration (consistent with much of the album). But aside from that, the 6 live songs that make up the brunt of Disk 2 are a bit lackluster and VERY NASAL. Honestly, either the EQ settings were all muddled, or perhaps Aimee was wearing a clothespin on her nose. In either case, it sounds like Ethel Merman out there! My advice is for you to buy the cheap edition, and with the money you save, go out and buy Bachelor No. 2.
P.S. It just occurred to me that you may be an Ethel Merman fan. In that case, Disk 2 is for you!

Drama (Expanded)
Drama (Expanded)
Price: CDN$ 8.61
23 used & new from CDN$ 3.93

4.0 out of 5 stars Good remastering. Bad bonus (Jeffrey W. Richman is my hero.), April 14 2004
This review is from: Drama (Expanded) (Audio CD)
Pop this CD in, hold on to something grounded, and get ready to be blown away ...for the first 50 minutes. The remastering is impressive. Rhino's "Drama" finally adds the balls & punch that this album always deserved. Unfortunately, the bonus tracks add a punch to the balls. Ow.
With 10 extra tracks, how could they go wrong? Here's how: the bonus tracks (excluding fluff single edits, demos and incomplete instrumentals) are yanked from an entirely different session that featured Anderson/Wakeman and was colored by Queen's producer. It's an unsettling mix of prog, pop and disco all mushed into one amorphous blob, and we see exactly why the definitive Yes lineup needed to take a break post-Tormato. As curios, these tracks may interest and amuse the Yes enthusiasts. But I'm afraid they throw a damper on the 6-song powerhouse masterpiece known as "Drama". From the opening grind of "Machine Messiah" to its manic swansong "Tempus Fugit", this album is like an unstoppable freight train that barrels across an unreal landscape."Drama" itself is unlike any other Yes album; the closest thing would come 16 years later when that rhythmic vitality and indefatigable power would resurface with "Mind Drive" (Keys to Ascension 2).
When Tempus Fugit (song #6) ends with its magnificently catastrophic crescendo resolving into the syncopated harmonies fading out on "Yes, yes, yes..." I just want to die in my own broth. That's how affecting it is. But hark! Rhino doesn't let it end there. Enter 30 minutes of blah. In this case, LESS WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE. But Jeffrey W. Richman said it much more concisely than I did...

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