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Profile for Ohio Media Man > Reviews

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Content by Ohio Media Man
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Reviews Written by
Ohio Media Man (Columbus, OH, USA)

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Almost Famous: Untitled (The Bootleg Cut) (3-Disc Director's Edition)
Almost Famous: Untitled (The Bootleg Cut) (3-Disc Director's Edition)
Offered by Canadiana
Price: CDN$ 99.95
19 used & new from CDN$ 5.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Some Kind of Wonderful., May 13 2002
May become THE film about 70's rock. Follows the story of a young rock music reporter (based on Crowe's real-life experiences). Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDomand, and the always-entertaining Philipp Seymour-Hoffmann are a first-rate cast that bring the 70's heyday of heavy rock to life in a moving, emotional story that successfully encapsulates the mythology of the rock star life. The 'Director's Cut' includes more footage of the band's "tour" and is the version that should have been released in theatres. This is a wonderful movie that tanked at the box office; hopefully over the years more people will see it and appreciate it for what it is: Cameron Crowe's affectionale and nostalgic tribute to 1970's rock music.

Price: CDN$ 18.21
34 used & new from CDN$ 7.44

3.0 out of 5 stars Far beyond their norm., May 10 2002
This review is from: Passage (Audio CD)
After recording multiple hit singles and albums, Karen and Richard took a break and released this rather experimental (by top 40 standards) album, a mixed bag assortment of reggae, rock-opera, tender ballads, and hippie grandeur. Some tracks work beautifully: "Two Sides" is pure carefree 70's pop; "Sweet Sweet Smile" is indeed a sweet country confection; and "All You Get from Love is a Love Song" is classic Carpenters, impeccably produced and radio-ready. Other tracks are problematic: "B'wana She No Home" features the clearly un-ethnic Karen sauntering awkwardly through a 2nd-rate jazz-reggae number; and "Man Smart, Woman Smarter" should never have seen the light of day, belonging more on a Helen Reddy album than here, with its very dated battle-of-the-sexes theme. The meat of this record, and its truly sublime moments, come at the end of each side (in LP terminology): "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" is an excellent cover of the Lloyd-Webber epic, complete with its operatic prologue; and the closing epic, "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" is a nutty yet grand message to our extraterrestrial friends, delivered with one of Karen's most crystalline and expressive vocal tracks, not to mention the amusing opening sequence. This is the Carpenters' most diverse collection, recorded at the height of their powers and demonstrating their musical versatility, while also breaking a few stereotypes about their "easy listening" reputation.

Price: CDN$ 10.38
28 used & new from CDN$ 4.29

3.0 out of 5 stars At least it's still in print., April 19 2002
This review is from: Astra (Audio CD)
This is a cheap re-issue on the "MCA Special Products" label, and lacks any lyrics or even a real booklet. Plus you only get the front cover art, not the complete Roger Dean painting. AND, the songs are not in the original running order. (Track 9 should be track 5). In addition, the sound quality is tinny and probably comes from either a 2nd-generation master or worse. Having said all that, this is the 2nd-best Asia album (after their first) and contains a few classics like "Rock and Roll Dream", "Go" and "Too Late". It's inexpensive and still available, at least for now.

Van Halen III
Van Halen III
Offered by marvelio-ca
Price: CDN$ 30.88
25 used & new from CDN$ 5.90

2.0 out of 5 stars Third time is not the charm., April 16 2002
This review is from: Van Halen III (Audio CD)
Setting aside for a moment the sheer absurdity of replacing their lead singer for a 3rd time, this album is a poor attempt to keep the VH moniker alive and to continue Warner Brother's cash cow relationship with the band. By hiring Hagar sound-alike Gary Cherone (a talented vocalist but hardly an ideal replacement for either Hagar or Roth), Eddie and Co. manage to sound like a Van-Hagar tribute band rather than a new incarnation of VH Proper. Not to mention the weakness of the songs and the penchant for politically-charged lyrics (I'd even take "Poundcake" over this tripe). I think it's time for Eddie to either move on to solo albums or else retire to some tropical island and depend on his back catalog and his wife's Lifetime-TV royalties to keep the cash rolling in.

Sedaka's Back
Sedaka's Back
Price: CDN$ 15.52
18 used & new from CDN$ 10.71

4.0 out of 5 stars How about that hat!!, April 8 2002
This review is from: Sedaka's Back (Audio CD)
A vintage Sedaka collection, originally released on Elton John's custom label, now re-issued with four bonus tracks. Re-mastering is sub-par (some distortion in the vocals) but otherwise this is a welcome addition to the CD catalog. Contains Sedaka's mid-70's classics "Laughter in the Rain" and "Solitaire" as well as the original version of "Love will keep us together", later covered by the Captain and Tennile.

Holst: The Planets
Holst: The Planets
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 40.00
10 used & new from CDN$ 10.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Celsetial., April 2 2002
This review is from: Holst: The Planets (Audio CD)
The Dutoit/Decca partnership produced some of the best-engineered and stunningly performed recordings of the standard classical repertoire. This recording of 'The Planets' stands out for its precision, its beauty of orchestral sound, and its sheer celestial sparkle. Dutoit captures the ferocity of "Mars", the gentle grandeur of "Venus", and especially the profound wisdom of "Saturn." Now re-issued in the Penguin series, with thoughtful commentary from noted author Ethan Canin, this remains an essential recording and one of Dutoit's finest achievements as a conductor.

Born in the USA
Born in the USA
Offered by @ ALLBRIGHT SALES @
Price: CDN$ 33.69
26 used & new from CDN$ 1.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Cynical patriotism., April 2 2002
This review is from: Born in the USA (Audio CD)
Ronald Reagan got it all wrong. In 1984 the Republicans contacted Springsteen to see if he would authorize use of the title song for their 1984 political campaign. Springsteen's response? "No thanks, mister." The title track is not, in fact, a patriotic celebration of America but rather a cynical story of a disillusioned Vietnam veteran. One of the keys to this album's success is its mixture of a good-time, fun-rockin' sound with very downbeat, often cynical lyrics. It serves as a commentary for mid-1980's America: success with an undercurrent of despair. Although the economy was booming and Reagan-era patriotism was at an all-time high, Springsteen turned a spotlight on the people hidden amidst the red, white and blue. Indeed, blue collar, white America took this album to its heart. They could relate both to the patriotism and the cynicism of the record. This was the pinnacle of Springsteen's career and it turned him into a worldwide superstar and spokesman for America, indeed into its social conscience.

Is This It
Is This It
Price: CDN$ 18.91
38 used & new from CDN$ 2.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Stroke me., March 22 2002
This review is from: Is This It (Audio CD)
An excellent retro-punk record. Almost sounds like it was buried in a time capsule around 1979 and just re-discovered last year by RCA. Underproduced, raw, while still being melodic and basically fun, The Strokes are in it for the music, period. Although they're probably too ugly to ever appear on TRL, they will no doubt be influential for years to come, even if they turn out to be a one-album wonder.

Silver Side Up
Silver Side Up
Price: CDN$ 13.51
77 used & new from CDN$ 1.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Rock with Issues., March 22 2002
This review is from: Silver Side Up (Audio CD)
Nickelback has issues. Domestic violence, relationship trauma, jealousy, regret. But its all presented with a fierce guitar intensity and enough melodic hooks to enable radio acceptance while still maintaing that ever-important street cred. The now-overplayed "How You Remind Me" and the newer single "Too Bad" are standout cuts, as is the opener "Never Again." Vocalist Chad Kroeger has both the vocal chops and the handsome mug necessary to make the huge dent that Nickelback has in both alternative and mainstream radio.

Agent Provocateur
Agent Provocateur
Price: CDN$ 18.06
49 used & new from CDN$ 4.90

3.0 out of 5 stars Foreigner 5., March 22 2002
This review is from: Agent Provocateur (Audio CD)
"Agent Provacateur", Foreigner's follow-up to their massive "4" album, contains two great rockers ('Tooth and Nail', 'Reaction to Action') and their spectacular gospel-flavored ballad 'I Want to Know What Love Is', along with several cheesy mid-tempo ballads featuring a very 80's synth backdrop. The band's descent into safe, middle-of the road lite rock can be traced back to this album. This was the last gasp (musically speaking) of one of the 1970's great arena rock bands.

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