Album Reviews

Hi Guys,

When was the last time when you walked into MPH, found a lot of unheard CDs and wondering what to buy ? When was the last time you deeply regret of buying a trash CD that you probably throw it into the cupboard and never want to listen to it again ?

Not to worry, your friend here has spent a lot a lot of non-chargeable hours and has sampled the most popular CDs in town. If you do find the review useful, please feel free to donate some cash and of course, it will be for charity purposes. To help those poor chaps who are addicted in CD buying.

The first album I wish to talk about is not at all a chart album. Well, got to admit that not all the good albums are chart albums. It is from Belinda Carisle, the tile of the album is “A Man & A Woman”. Remember “Heaven is a Place on Earth”, “Circle in the Sand”, “Little Black Box” and “Summer Rain”? Well you can say she belongs to the 80s. Even her last few albums were not at all fantastic. But you got to check this new album out. Take a listen to “In Too Deep” and  “Always Breaking My Heart”. You will see what I mean. She’s back and back with the old style. Even the cover photo looks a lot better.

How about Sheryl Crow? I know you all heard of “If It Makes You Happy” (or something like that). But doesn’t it sound too much like Alanis Morrissette? Take a look at the MTV and you know what I mean. Personally I have no affection towards Sheryl Crow. She should have gone back to her last album style (“Tuesday Night Club”, I think). I forced myself listening the whole album and found that all the songs sound pretty much like “If It Makes You Happy”. That is, pretty trashed.

And we have our Iceland Babe, Bjork. The new album called, “Telegram”. Solid bass and is potentially dangerous to eardrums. Checkout the powerful overdrive. Surprisingly not a lot of singing. Sometime like a remix album. Sad to say my eardrums refuse to scan through the whole album. Therefore no further comment.

Okay, if you want some New Age music, we have the ENIGMA 3 and the album is called “Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!”. If you like their first album and if you like their second album, certainly you will love this latest one. I would say the first album carries more characteristics (good for medication). The second one is more aggressive and more religious (“I love you I’ll kill you”). As for this new album, seems to me the ENIGMA bass is still there but we have lost the ENIGMA flute. Wonder why. There are more singing and choirs. Oh, by the way, check out the sleeve design. Instead of the ordinary paper, they use super high quality plastic-paper (transparent). Collector’s item.

Another lady singer. This time is Neneh Cherry. Album is simply called, “Man”. For those of you immediate ask: Who is she ? You must have heard of “7 Seconds” when she sang with a Non-English speaking Guy. It was a big hit and is in this album as well. Another song sounds similar to “7 Seconds” is “Woman”. I believe that this is actually the chart breaker. Strong lyrics with immense feeling, “But I’m the kinda woman, that was built to last … In this Godless land, that delivered me. I’ve cried so many tears even the blind can see.” Besides all these slow killers, we do have some faster one like “Hornbeam”. An album with a wide variety.

Spice Girls – “Spice”. Do I really need to say more ? Two singles  taking the 2nd and 3rd position in French Chart in the same week. The last time I saw this miracle was during the Take That era.

3T – “Brotherhood”. Confusing enough, they are TAJ Jackson, Taryll Jackson and TJ Jackson (hence 3T, I suppose.). And the only thing I know about them is they are very closely related to Michael Jackson. (Even appear in their MTV). Hit songs include “Why” and “I need you”. Be warned. Although these singles are very good, the album seems to be otherwise. Personally I don’t really like the whole album, do check out yourself.

Now it’s one of my favorite song “Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai. The MTV was wonderfully filmed. (With the lead singer dancing in a small white room. The floor was moving in all kind of direction with a sofa placed in the middle of the room.) The album I think is called, “Travel Without Moving”. But sad to say if you expect to hear anything like “Virtual Insanity”, you will not be able to find any. Not even close to it. I think it’s quite funky though.

A new two lady group, Alisha’s Attic, with their hit song “I Am I feel”. One blond and one red headed. I would say this chart breaker is indeed something but sad to say, the album is just trash. Still remember the beautiful ballad “Independent love song” by Scarlet (2 ladies as well)? Same destiny.

If you fancy some kind of adventure. Try the “A Tribute to Queen – Dragon Attack”. I was quite impressed with the outcome. Sang by all the hard rockers like, The Door and Motorhead and so on. Got to say that Queen’s music is classic and a change in style is always welcome. But as I listened through the whole album (we have “I Want It All”, “We’ll Rock you” and “We Are the Champion”) I really missed the real stuff, i.e. the real Freddy voice. All in all, it is a great tribute.

You must have heard of the Garbage. Take my word, they are great. Of course  you must be able to take medium rock music in order to be able to appreciate this great work. I just need to name a few like “Queer”, “Only Happy When It Rains” and “Stupid Girl”. Are you sure you have never heard of them ? From “Queer”, “… the queerest of the queer … the coldest of the cool … the strangest of the strange … the deadest of the dead … the blindest of the blind … ”.

It’s Christmas right ? Okay, get yourself the Michael Bolton new CD. I am just aware that it is in the market but I am confident with his standard (the strong male vocal). If you are shopping for a Christmas CD, go and buy it.

Has anyone heard of Fiona Apple ? If you listen to the advertisement, you may feel compile to buy her CD. “… My name is Fiona Apple … My songs are … Love … Feeling … Violence “ In fact it may be right that the lyrics are deep with meanings but personally I can only find 2 to 3 good melody songs in the album, “Tidal”. Her voice is not my type.

Van Halen greatest hit. I do love their new songs, especially their latest album “Balance”. I believe that they only get really popular with the “Balance” album. If you already have the “Balance” album, forget about the greatest hit.

Remember the Bangles (“Eternal Flame”)? Well one of their lead singer Susanna has come out a solo album. I listened to it and can’t even find one single nice song.

o)+> or Prince, “Emancipation”. The chart breaker “Betcha By Golly Wow!” is undoubtedly one of his best creation. And you will find plenty of this type throughout his 3 CDs, like “Soul Sanctuary”, “The Holy River”, “Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife” and “The Love We Make”. A lot of funky music inside as well (just like his old style – Purple Rain). Strange enough, Joan Osborne’s hit “One of Us” is in the album as well. I believe it is written by him. As he is famous of writing songs to other artists not under his name. Like “The Manic Monday”, “Nothing compares to you” and a lot more.

There are also two old albums that I have acquired lately. It is really a gem to hard rockers. They are the Hole. Lead singer (guitarist as well) Courtney Love, was married to Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. The two albums are called “Pretty on the inside” and “Live through this”. Highly acclaimed albums. With powerful and sensitive lyrics as well. Checkout the lyric of the song “Pretty on the inside”

“slut kiss girl won’t you promise her smack
  is she pretty on the inside
  is she pretty from the back
  slut kiss girl won’t you water her rack
  is she pretty on the inside
  is she pretty from the back
  dead moon girl, molasses rot black strap
  is she rotten on the inside
  ugly from the back ?
  my pretty power

No wonder Kurt Cobain has to shot himself (Just kidding, the real reason is because he felt trapped and he saw no way out of his career).

Just wonder how many of you has actually got this far. Perhaps just me.

Anyway, take care and let’s rock!

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