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The Defamation of Strickland Banks is the 2nd album from English singer-songwriter Plan B, and sees him switching his allegiance from hip hop to soul music. The release of this album recently helped Plan B secure Best British Male at the Brit Awards in February 2011. The Defemation of Strickland Banks uses fantastic lyrical skill follows the story of Plan B's so-called alter-ego, Strickland Banks, as he goes from succesful musician to a prisoner over a crime he doesn't commit. The album starts off with two typical soul songs, the first of which is 'Love Goes Down'. These two songs portray the kind of music Strickland Banks became successful for, and really do show off Plan B's vocal skills. The album then comes to 'Stay Too Long', the first of the songs from the album to be released as a single, as it reached number 9 in the UK charts. 'Stay Too Long' as a much higher tempo and upbeat feel to it, and is certainly one of my favourites from the album. This particular track mixes rock/hip-hop/rap and soul, and makes for a very original feel. This song is also the start of the downfall for Strickland Banks, as he commits adultery, after celebrating the success of a recent concert. Next up in the album is 'She Said' (reached numer 3 in the UK charts). As shown in the video put together for this track, this song revolves around the court case of which Strickland Banks is accused and found guilty of rape. Again, this song puts together rap and soul to make for an original feel. Strickland Banks is eventually found guilty, and is subsequently sent to prison, as told in the next track 'Welcome To Hell'. The rest of the album is the story of what goes on inside prison, with songs such as 'The Recluse' showing Strickland Banks becoming more and more isolated in prison. 'Prayin' tells of how Strickland and an inmate kill another inmate in-self defence. The inmate helping Strickland takes the blame, leaving Strickland Banks with a guilty conscience and bllod on his hands, as told in the song 'Darkest Place'. the album ends on a cliffhanging note...'What You Gonna Do' sees Strickland in court again with new evidence. Nothing is said about the outcome, and the listener is left to decide for themselves how it all ends. The Defemation of Strickland Banks is one of the best written albums I have ever come across. The idea to create a character and put him through such a gruelling storyline using a quality type of music is, in my opinion, just genious. Every song on the album has some kind of appeal to me, and i think 855 of the album is 'single' material. Plan B also shows he is a very gifted singer in this album. I would really recommend the purchase of the album. The outstanding singing and song-writing skills of Plan B are very well portrayed in this album, and the way the album tells this story is revolutionary in my opinion.
This review relates to a black Vauxhall Corsa SXi, 57 reg, of which I have owned for nearly 3 years now. I find this car has proved to be a great first car for myself, as it proves a good drive, looking nice without been too flash. Firstly, how the car looks on the outside. The shape of the car is wonderful in my opinion; well engineered, and the car looks very smooth and well put together. However, because of the extreme curvy nature of the exterior, and bumps you may have will be hard and expensive to cover up (as I well found out!) The car looks very nice in the metallic black colour I picked, but be warned, scratches do show up easily and it is a nightmare to keep clean! The alloys look very tidy on the car aswell, again, very good looking, without looking too flash. For a car of its size, I feel the boot space is very good. With two sepearte compartments, which can be made into one bigger one, there is enough space for the weekly shopping or a pushchair. Trying to force two such items in together could prove problamatic though! The interior of the car is also quite impressive. The dashboard and the radio look to be well designed, and, although made out of platic, are quite sturdy and go together well with the car. The car come with an AM/FM radiowith which up to 9 different stations can be on each frequency. It has a single CD player along with the radio, so you can listen to your favourite CDs whilst on the road. However, because it is only a single CD player, it is very difficult and probably stupid to change a CD whilst driving. To make up for this this, tthe car does have an AUX cable, very useful for people who like to listen to their MP3 players. Simply, buy an AUX cable suitable for your MP3 player, and plug it into your MP3 and the AUX plug, find the AUX option on the system, and there you go, listen to your favourite tunes on the road. Very useful feature. Also useful is the buttons on the steering wheel which enable you to control the radio and volume without having to take your eyes off the road. The only bad word I have to say about the interior is the pillars at the side of the window. They can sometimes obstrcut your view, particularly at sharp corners, but this such problem has not been such a huge problem for myself. Also, as a small lad, I find it hard to see the front of the bonnet, making parking sometimes difficult, and it doesn't make a difference with how high I put my seat. Everyone else who has driven the car have also commented on this! Fortunately, this has not caused any accidents as of yet. The car is very comforatble to drive in. More spacious than I imagined, and the seats are particularly comfortable. With the tyres pumped up to optimum pressure, I hardly ever feel the bumps in the road. The car also has many airbags along with the necessary seat belts, making it that little bit safer for any unfortuante crashes that may occur. The performance of the car surprised me. As I got the car on 5 year finance, I decied to go for a 1.4, and I find the car to be fairly nippy, alot quicker than I anticipated! The petrol consumption is moderate at best. With careful economic driving, I am sure petrol would last a little longer, but I consider myself the average driver, and I would expect a car of it's size to consume less petrol than it does. The tank cost around £55 to fill, but with fluctuating petrol costs, it is difficult to say! I would recommend this car to most drivers, as long as it was at the right price.
As a single lad a little conscious about how I look, imagine the joy when I discovered I could straighten my short hair without the difficulty of using my mum's bulky GHDs. Me and these straightners were a match made in heaven. In terms of the latest fashion trends, I still have short hair, the problem been it is quite wavy. So whenever styling was required for nights out or anything, it took quite a while and help from my mum (embarrasingly) to get my hair looking half decent. Then I was bought these as a gift. They are very easy to use...plug in, switch on the plug, switch on the straightners, wait for the straightners to heat up (shown by a flashing red light next to the on/off switch) and get straightning. Now, been the son of a hairdresser, I knew how to straigten my hair, but they come with a DVD to show what is required if you do get a little stuck. I can't comment on the DVD, I didn't watch it. For the price, I think you get good value for money. I have had the same straightners for nearly 4 years now, and they still work as well as they did on day 1, and they are used quite often! The quality, as expected from the GHD company, is second to none aswell. I always get consistent and good results. They are also quite small and compact, and so taking them on your travels is no problem really. The heat proof mat I recieved with mine was also a welcome addition; no burn marks on my table :)! All in all, if you want to short but straight hair, these are the straightners for you!
This 10 part series follows the many lives of soldiers who fought in World War 2. Directed by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, Band of Brothers proves to be a gripping whilst factual mini-series. The realism of the series is mainly down to the records given by the men the TV series follows; these men part of Easy Comapny, of which who are followed throughout the series. Before each episode, the chosen soldiers give a brief insight into what life was like during certain periods of the time they served. The identities of these men are hidden until after episode 10. Band of Brothers casts the eye over Easy Company from the beginning of the war; the training, boot camp, and the general get to know each other, right to the end of the war; capturing Hitlers Eagle's nest and the surrender of Germany. Each episode is narrated by a different member of the Easy Company cast, which gives the audience a chance to get to know the characters a little more. The battle scenes for the Band of Brothers are nothing short of spectacular. So many times have films not been able to get the correct balance between realism and excitement, but the Band of Brothers does this exceptionally well. The battle scenes become intense, made all the more so because of the connection you make with the characters of Easy Company throughout the series. It leaves you feeling sad and upset if a soldier is injured; elated and relieved when Easy Company manage to overcome the enemy. it gives a real insight into what fighting in the war was really like...stressful, horrible, difficult...necessary? The episode in which a German holocaust camp is discovered and set really sums the series up as a picture. At first look, it gives an honest sense of despair, and gives a real feeling of shock, following the feelings shown by the characters on film. The acting and the sets created are wonderful, realistic, and give such a great insight into the traumas of World War 2. Episode 10 also strikes me as I didn't think a TV series would. After going through the war, losing people through injury, mental illness or death, the last episode of where Easy Company say goodbye to each other for the end of the war is equally upsetting, but in a good way. It left me feeling seperated from colleagues and friends I had spent the last 5 years left! All in all, it has to be my favourite TV series of all time, and definately worth buying the DVD box set.
Having had the TV for nearly a month now, I can honestly say I am very impressed at the quality for the price I payed for. A well designed TV that would look good in many a room, the 26" screen is the perfect 'bedrrom' TV as I like to call them. Small enough to fit in the bedroom, but plenty big enough to enjoy the picture. Firstly, the picture. Coming with 720 HD, so not the full spec 1080, but still a very good quality. Used mainly for use with the Playstation 3, the difference between this LG and the previous TV I owned is massive. A lot crisper and smoother, and more defined picture makes for a real good viewing. Obviously, a 1080 HD would have been perfectly nice, but for the uses I have for this TV, the 720 HD is more than good enough. The sound I also find very good. I am used tothese 'smaller' TV's having a poor sound range...Too quiet or too loud. However, with the LG, I feel the mid-range volumes are great, which is good for watching TV at night whilst others are trying to sleep. So many times with previous TV's, I have woke people up with it been too loud, or I have not been able to hear the people speaking. But I have had no such problems with the LG. Obviously, with a surround sound or home cinema system the noise would be a lot better. But I think the sound is more than acceptable for the bedroom. The TV remote is a nice size, and easy to navigate. The biggish buttons mean that the incorrect numbers aren't pressed, and it is easy to find your way around the menus because of the well labelled buttons on the remote. Also, safe to say, you shouldn't lose it either!
Back in 2010, around March, the £30 per month contract offer on this phone seemed a good deal. Fast forward to 2011, and this phone really does struggle and it is clear to now see that it is out of its depth. With the introduction of smartphones, it is very clear to see what this phone lacks; no choice of being able to download any decent apps, the internet connections, despite the advertisements, are fairly slow, and the services it provides are lacking. Don't get me wrong, it was a good little phone at first; a nice size and weight, phone and has got a good battery life. However, one area of concern I've had for a while is the texting. Tilting the phone sideways brings up a keyboard like pad, designed for quicker texting. But, and I don't have necessarily big fingers, I always end up pressing the wrong buttons. It makes texting very frustrating and difficult when in a rush. Also, it is impossible to use in rain. On plenty of occasions, and sudden downpour as hit me when using th phone. The touchscreen is then deemed useless. Everytime this has happened, I have had to turn the phone off, and allow it to dry for around 2 hours! Again, very frustrating. The internet, on the other hand, is pretty nifty. Fast, but fails to live up to the hype by not been able to show certain pages. Once again, the smartphones out there beat it hands down.
The long anticipated LA Noire has finally hit the high streets, and the wait, it seems, has been very much worth it. A game that promised so much as certainly delivered, and is sure to be the start of a gaming evolution. Firstly, the graphics. Summed up when I was told it was just like watching a film. From the big and detailed buildings, to the small matters such as peoples mouth moving to the words, everything seems so nearly perfect, as perfect as expected in this day of age. The promise of using real facial expressions is certainly evident, and need to be wisely assessed for any success in the game. The gameplay itself is also very impressive. Not even 50% into the game yet, and I already feel I have had much value for money. The main missions are very in-depth, having to collect the timiest bits of evidence and notice the smallest of give aways from a persons facial expressions during questioning, making it the most realistic detective game of our time. There are plenty of action scenes for those who like a good car chase/gun fight. The little extra missions, solving little street crimes and finiding hidden cars and landmarks, provide some nice breaks from the storyline. All in all, LA Noire is certainly going to be a front-runner for game of the year, and should start a wave of such in-depth games. It is one that will be copied, but not one that will be easily beaten.