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I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical about this product. I am a committed shaving foam man. Even shaving gel just does not do it for me (for one, I do not think gel goes as far, as I find it hard to judge how much to squirt out!). So when my wife did the shopping one day and came home with this instead of shaving foam, I was somewhat perturbed.
However, ever the adventurous type (if changing from shaving foam to cream is not adventerous then I do not know what is...) I thought I would at least use the bottle (a standard 125ml, although you can get a pack of this and some other Real Shaving Co products sized at 30 ml) and reserve my judgement until then.
Well, for a start, this was the longest lasting shaving foam or cream or gel I had ever used! Because the product is not squirted out of a pressurised canister, you can judge much better the amount that you want to use. Therefore the shave cream goes so much further and ipso facto is better value for money. You squeeze the cream out of the bottle like tomato sauce. It has a thicker texture than tomato sauce though. More like a houmous! But no bits!
The shave cream is apparently double concentrated which it is claimed by the Real Shving Co gives an extra smooth shave. I would agree totally, as I think the double concentrated bit helps with the cream lasting longer and the smooth shave as I think it does give a better, closer shave than shaving gel. The predominent smell is natural cocoa butter which really helps to moisturise and cushion the skin as well as helping to prevent any razor burns. As cocoa butter is an oft used element of women's beauty products, may as well start using it in mens! It is not an overpowering smell either. In fact it took me a couple of days to get used to the smell, but once I did, I did not mind it. It is not unpleasant, just different.
Price wise, this retails in around the £4.00 mark, but as with other Real Shaving Co products, I have found it on offer in Tesco or Sainsburys.
THis cream is easy to lather up, more so I found than shave gel.
The Real Shaving Company hot towel mask is a really strange product. Strange how? Well it is obviously some kind of paste that sits normally in the bottle, all cold and not piping hot. However, when you squeeze some out on to your hand and then on to your face it heats up! And it does become hot. Not so hot that it burns, but it is definitely hot rather than warm ion my opinion. Which is really quite strange!
So why use it? Well, if you go to an old fashioned barbers, or probably now an upmarket boutique, you can get a hot towel shave. This actually involves towels that are hot, but this prodcut allows you to recreate something similar at home. The Real Shaving Company Hot towel mask prepares your stubble and skin for shaving, whilst cleansing and invigorating, making the shave smoother and easier. It self-heats to soften the beard and lift the bristles a bit off the skin and therefore presenting themselves more easily to the razor blade, equalling a closer shave.
According to the Real Shave website, this product contains real lemongrass. Well there is something in it, as there are lots and lots of little bits, like little flakes. I find this quite annoying. I am not sure whether they help the whole process in any way, as I find it hard to clean them all off before shaving. Hence the minus 1 star. I think it is tea tree leaf, so maybe it does help with any healing that is needed!
I would give this product four stars as I do think it helps with my shaving routine. I do not use this every time I shave, but rather keep it for when I need a really close shave, although the product itself recommends only using once or twice a week for best results.
You can pick this product up for £4.99 for a 125 ml bottle, but it is often on a special two products for £5 of £6.
Directions of use
1. Prepare your skin by wetting it with warm water.
2. Apply a generous amount of Self Heating Face Mask onto beard area.
3. Leave for 5 minutes, then rinse well with warm water.
4. Get shaving!
In the last few years I have done everything that I can to limit the pain of shaving. As you may have read in my other reviews about shavers and after shave lotions, I really will do anything to stop getting razor burn! I read somewhere that exfoliating prior to shaving helps to prevent razor burn as you are cleaning the skin of dirt and any built up grease. It is important to do this as if you do not you will not get as close a shave.
The Real Shaving Co face scrub is very good at cleaning your face and unblocking your skin's pores by removing dead skin cells. As mentioned, this will allow your razor blade to travel more smoothly over your face, thus ensuring a closer, more comfortable shave.
The Real Shaving Co website informs that their face scrub also contains natural cocoa butter to help prepare the skin for the shave. This is the prevailing smell of the scrub, which is not unpleasant.
I would advise using this product, as I have noticed a real difference since I started using it. My shaves are closer and more comfortable and definitely have less razor burn. I use this product and then shave a few minutes later after I feel my skin is ready for the shave! It does not take long to use and I only use it on the bits I shave, rather than on my whole face.
This scrub usually costs £5, but the whole range was recently on offer in tesco, two products for £5 which is great value.
Until the release of her first solo record Lisa Hannigan was best known as an accompanist and backing vocalist for singer-songwriter Damien Rice. You will undoubtedly remember her sining on 'O' with Rice, her beautiful haunting vocals complimenting Rice's acoustic sound. Since her collaboration with Rice Lisa Hannigan has built a devoted following among musicians, critics and fans alike. Sea Sew, her fanstaic debut album has already been nominated for several prizes in her native Ireland as well as achieving significant success in the US and was one of the nominees for the Mercury Music in 2009.
Sea Sew is Hannigan's passion project and increcidbly was created in just a fortnight.
The first track, Ocean and a Rock, places the emphasis on Hannigan's warm vocal performance and really lets the listener know what they are in for.
With its horn section, shuffling rhythm, and slow-building crescendo, I Don't Know, would not be out of place on many an album. It is an impressive sound and works amazingly well with Hannigan's subtle tones.
Hannigan's pure, half-whispered voice that has always been her trump card, is used to create both a sense of disquiet and elation - best heard as she catches the wave of overbearing, skewed jazz-style strings of Courting Blues.
For the most part, the album is very impressive. Sure, there are a couple clunkers--Splishy Splashy can't quite overcome the silliness inherent in its lyrics, and the dramatic build in Teeth comes too late to save the song from it's lugubrious first two-minutes, but on a whole I really enjoy this album.
For example, Lille wraps things up in the sighing manner with which proceedings were opened. It is a good song, but is typical of the tracks on the album.
There is a real homey feel to the album, right down to the album cover. In fact, Hannigan knitted the needle-work featured on the sleeve herself along with her mother, Frances! Overall the album is a good debut and I will be following Hannigan's progress eagerly.
1. "Ocean and a Rock"
2. "Venn Diagram"
3. "Sea Song"
4. "Splishy Splashy"
5. "I Don't Know"
6. "Keep It All"
7. "Courting Blues"
In this freezing winter that we are having, dry chapped lips is surely a common complaint - I know it is in my house anyway! So keeping my lips protected from the cold conditions is very important. I would recommend Carmex to anyone suffering from the same problem, as it is great at keeping your lips well moisturised and not dray and sore.
I recently picked up one of the small tubs of Carmex in Superdrug. It set me back £1.69 which I think is pretty reasonablly priced. You get 7.5 grams in the little tub. This may not seem like much, but I find that a tub will last me the whole season of winter. This is with me applying the Carmex usually at least once a day. I find that you do not need massive amounts of it to protect and moisturise your lips, so that is why it lasts so long.
It is also available in a little tube. I think there is 10 grams in it. I do not think this would last as long as you may accidentally squirt too much out which would add to wastage. Still, some people may prefer this.
Both the tub and tube are distinctively coloured. The tub has a yellow lid on a white bottom bit, with Carmex emblazoned across the top. The tube is yellow with a red lid.
I prefer Carmex to vaseline. The 'taste' of Carmex is quite distinctive and unlike any other lip balms that I have used. It is kind of light yellow or honey coloured. I think the predominent tastes are cocoa butter and a slight menthol taste.
The Carmex website claims that their lip balm makes lips more kissable - well if that isn't a reason to buy this product, I do not know what is! They claim that Carmex lip balm restores the moisture that wind and dry, cold air removes from your lips. One of the moisturizing ingredients in Carmex lip balm is cocoa butter, a natural emollient. Carmex helps to keep moisture in your lips which stops them chapping or cracking. They also claim that Carmex helps to heal any damaged lips due to the menthol and phenol which both have antiseptic qualities.
So there you have it - go buy yourself some Carmex to protect/heal and moisturise your lips this winter!
Question: What is your favourite genre?
I have a wide ranging taste in books (well I like to think so anyway). From Lee Child that I have started into recently, to the ubiquitous and guilty pleasure of John Grisham to Laurence Sterne and John Steinbeck. I also really like historical books - I am reading "A concise history of Italy" at the moment, but also like Tim Pat Coogan's books about Irish history.
So it is hard to say really what my favourite genre is. I like history books, but not all history interests me. I like comedy books, like "A year in the Province" and Stuart Maconie's Cider with Roadies. I generally do not like biographies, but then loved Roy Keane's, Alex Ferguson's and Paul Kimmage's.
I do also like mafia books and have read a lot about the Italian mafia, as well as a recent book about the Irish Westie's in New York. I love Mario Puzo and his books are fantastic.
How is that for an answer?
Question: Do you read the classics, i.e., the great authors of the 18th and 19th century?
Sometimes I go through a phase of reading modern classics, like the Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mocking Bird or the Catcher in the Rye. I have read a few classics, but to be honest not a huge amount.
Question: Are you interested in thrillers?
Yes. Got to be honest here and own up. John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, Lee Child, even Dan Brown gets read in my house. I embarrassingly have to admit to having read most of Jeffrey Archer's most popular books (Kane & Abel, The Prodigal Daughter). Good books, not a good man. I suppose Mario Puzo's books are thrillers. They are brilliant.
Q: What about horror stories?
No, not for me thanks.
Q: Do you read Science Fiction?
No, again, not really my bag. I was not into it when I was younger and now that I am an adult, well...
Q: How many Harry Potter books have you read?
None, despite the best efforts of my other half who insists that they are not children's books. Although they are really.
Q: Have you ever read and enjoyed biographies or autobiographies?
Yes, as mentioned above, although generally the ones I like are about sport. I started to read Nelson Mandela's, but could not get into it. Same happened with Bill Clinton's and a JFK biography. Tony Cascarino's was also a great read. Next biography on my to read list is Lance Armstrong's. I like him. Stuart Maconie's Cider with Roadies is a sort of biography, but focusing more on his journey through music and it is a good read.
Q: Do you remember any of the books you read and loved as a child?
I remember reading the Redwall series of books, which are about mice fighting with rats. Yes, I know, it sounds really odd, but it was good at the time. I of course read Roald Dahl and loved his books. I read almost all the Hardy Boys books as I loved the sense of adventure that you could feel from them. I did read some of the Enid Blyton books and remember getting the Railway Children as a Christmas present.
Q: Have you reread these books as a grown-up?
Nope, can't say that I have. Although my wife recently bought me the Hungry Caterpillar as she read it as a child and wants to read it to our children.
Q: Is there a book of which you can say it has influenced you?
I do not think so. Trying to think, but none jump out at me. There have been several which I thought were excellent books and really enjoyed reading, but none have influenced me I don't think.
Q: Which are your favourite authors?
I do like Ludlum and Puzo and Tim Pat Coogan. I think Coogan's interpretation of Irish history is fascinating and insightful.
Q: Which book would you take with you on a desert island?
I love the Godfather by Mario Puzo. Much better than the film. So that, or possibly the Cider House Rules, which I thought was excellent.
Q: What is your attitude towards translations?
I read Dr Zhivago and thought that possibly some parts had been mis-translated, but then maybe I just did not understand them! I would not not read a book just because it had been translated.
Q: Do you buy your books/get them from the library/borrow them from friends/steal them?
I always buy my books. Try to get them cheap on amazon or in Tesco! I do also borrow a lot from my in-laws. When I got married it was a whole new set of books to read!
Q: When you buy books, do you prefer hardcover editions or pocket books?
It has got to be paperbacks. Hard backs are annoying.
Q: Have you ever tried Audio Books?
Nope. I think I would easily lose concentration!
It really is hard to believe the this album was released way back in May 1989. That is actually scary. It was such a monumentla breakthrough album and one that if released today would still have a massive influence on it's era, as it did back in 1989. What an album, what a debut.
Most people reading this will surely have heard the music of the Stone Roses. If you have not, I beg you, go and buy this album, it will change the way you think of music. Considering you can pick it up on amazon for £7 and undoubtedly some other record stores have it for cheaper it is a very worthwhile addition to your collection.
The Stone Roses are monkey featured front man Ian Brown, guitar legend John Squire, Gary "Mani" Mountfield provides some truly amazing bass and Alex "Reni" Wren. People will talk up Squire's music, but for me, Mani is the hero of this album! I have never heard an album where the bassist is so integral before. (Which is probably just as well, given the much publicised weakness of Brown's voice when playing live!)
The album opens with I wanna be adored. That slow melodic build up of the opening track is a statement of intent. They want to be adored and after this album they should be.
She Bangs the Drums is another fantastic track.
Don't Stop is the previous track, Waterfall, played backwards with vocals laid over the top. That is pretty impressive and I cannot think of another such popular album that has done that.
Bye Bye Badman gives the listener a brief history lesson as it is about the student riots in Paris during the '60s. In this, Brown sings about the "citrus sucking sunshine" which is a reference to the students who carried lemons in the belief that sucking on them would help nullify the effects of tear gas. Unfortunately, it did not.
You will definitely recognise the melody of Elizabeth my dear as it is a very ye olde Britain sounding song, with the tune taken from that old traditional British song, Scarborough Fair.
Song for my Sugar Spun Sister has some fantastic lyrics.
Made of Stone is one of the high points. Everything seems to come together in this. Again I think that the bass leads this track, although the big pounding drums give a great background.
Shoot You Down proves that slower songs need not be saccharine love songs. Soft vocals, softly played drums, all very nice.
This is the One. Oh yes it definitely is. If each track got marks out of five, this would need at least ten. It is brilliant. Grat guitar, great lyrics, great drums, strong bass. Amazing.
And just when you thought the album could not get any better, they finish off with I am the Resurrection. Truly truly immense. Even the long instrumental ending does not cause annoyance. What a track and what a finish.
Later versions of the album also include Fool's Gold, although it was not on the original.
This album made such a huge splash at the end of the 80's and definitely opened the way for the Britpop era. Some of these tracks (take I am the Resurrection) could be cranked up with lots of distortion and some more loud shouty angry singing and you get an Oasis track. But Oasis just did not come close to this album. Such a shame it took so long for the difficult second album
1 I Wanna Be Adored
2 She Bangs the Drums
4 Don't Stop
5 Bye Bye Badman
6 Elizabeth My Dear
7 (Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister
8 Made of Stone
9 Shoot You Down
10 This Is the One
11 I Am the Resurrection
I have been using Head & Shoulders products for some time now and feel that they do do the job that they claim they are good at - stopping dandruff. It really is a case of "Head & Shoulders? I didn't know you had dandruff?" "I don't!" as their ad campaign used to go.
According to the Head & Shoulders website, the Classic Clean version of the shampoo is formulated with a fresh clean scent. I would have to agree. The scent is very good, it definitely does not smell any different to ordinary shampoo.
In terms of the anti dandruff ness I am very pleased. Thankfully I have not suffered too badly with dandruff, just a few flakes when I was a teenager, but the embarrassment caused then has caused me to use anti dandruff shampoo ever since. Thankfully now (and perhaps because of using Head & Shoulders) I do not seem to be affected by dandruff at all. This classic clean keeps my hair and scalp in fine condition and dandruff free.
As mentioned, the smell is pleasant and it is easy to use. Pour out a good dolop and massage into your hair. It lathers up very easily. I leave it in for maybe 30 seconds or so before rinsing. It is hardy enough and not damaging to your hair to be able to be used every day, which I do.
The bottle and logo have not changed much over the years. The bottle used to be more rectangular in shape, but is now more rounded. Not sure if this is for ergonomic reasons or what. The logo is at the top of the bottle with a big blue swoosh symbol underneath. The lid is a flip lid at the top and it is easy to dispense the shampoo. The shampoo itself is a kind of light bluey white colour.
My main gripe with the product is the price. It is normally priced in and around £4.00 for the 400 ml size which I think is quite expensive. I would be happy paying about 2 quid for shampoo. I know that there are more expensive shampoos out there, but I am a bloke and it is not really something I want to be spending my money on! So I usually stock up on Head & Shoulders when there is a two for one offer in Tesco or Sainsbury's, which there often is. I find that a bottle (400 ml) would last me maybe 6-8 weeks using it every day. That really isn't bad. I suppose with short hair you do not need to use a massive amount - in contrast it seems like my wife uses a bottle of shampoo every 2 weeks!! ;-)
Head & Shoulders must be the market leader in anti dandruff shampoos and I can see why. They are made by Proctor & Gamble, a massive company, so are able to spend huge amounts on advertising. I would be very surprised if anyone reading this review had not heard of Head & Shoulders before.
The Classic Clean is just one of a huge range of products made by Head & Shoulders. I find that it does keep your hair nice and clean as well as dandruff free.
My advice? If you have dandruff, give this a try
I am tempted to write a review filled with 150 'yum' words filling my review! Cadbury's mini eggs are one of the nicest easter treats and as lent started yesterday I am looking forward to getting tucked in to these sweets. Sometimes I do think that it would be better if these 'limited edition' sweets were available all year round, but knowing that you can only get them around Christmas and Easter makes them all the more special!
Cadbury's mini eggs were first produced in 1967. The egg itself is a little small egg filled with cadbury's milk chocolate and covered with a crisp shell which I think is made from sugar! If you scoff 12 mini eggs (which believe me can be done in a matter of seconds) you will have downed 190 calories! That is quite a lot in my opinion for so few eggs. If you eat 100g that equates to 455 calories.
On a brighter note, you do get 0.1 g of protein, 2.0g of carbohydrate, 0.6 g of fat (of which 0.4 g is saturated) PER EGG!
These gems are so tasty, but obviously so good for you. Cadbury's mini eggs are available in a number of different package sizes - small bag (39 g), medium bag (120 g), large bag (200 g), larger bag (943 g) and tubes, as well as easter eggs. The packaging itself is yellow with a purple splurge in the middle with mini eggs written on it. There are a few mini eggs shown around that.
I regularly see two medium bags on sale at £1.50.
These are delicious and should be enjoyed....but in moderation!
Listening to Franz Ferdinand by Franz Ferdinand on my ipod on the bus on the way into work this morning put it into my head to write a review on dooyoo and to let those few people that do not know this album just how good it is.
It is amazing to think that the eponymous titled album was released way back on 9 February 2004, more than six years ago. For me, it is still as good now as it was then.
Where to start with the music? Usually at track one, but this time I would imagine that every listener is drawn like a magnet to Take Me OUt, the single off the album that catapulted Franz Ferdinand to fame. Take me Out is brilliant, the chord change amazing and the lyrics fantastic.
Ok, so back to track one - Jacqueline. Bit of a slow burner this one. Starts nice and slow and builds to a fast paced adrenaline filled track. A pretty good start (and that is considering most people will have flicked on to Take me Out).
Tell Her Tonight follows on and in my opinion probably just about nicks track of the album from Take me Out. Tell Her Tonight starts out with a mixture of a cool bass line and some cheeky guitar riffs.
Take Me Out up next and is followed by the Dark of the Matinee, another great tune.
Auf Asche starts off slow, building up to a crescendo of a chorus- does anyone see a pattern emerging?
Cheating on You has a touch of punk about it, very fast paced, quite short - a seemingly typical punk track. This is followed up by This Fire, a cracking tune.
Darts of Pleasure sets up another highlight in Michael, a breakneck track that is incredibly catchy - I cannot get it out of my head.
Come on Home is starting to wind the album down, a much more relaxed tune than the previous. Funny though, that it all gets built up again in 40". Brilliant.
The tracks on the album when listened to on their own are all quite strong and some so strong that you wonder how they would fit together on an album, but it really does work.
Franz Ferdinand at the time seemed to bew bigger and better than their peers (Kaiser Chiefs, Keane, etc) and with hindisght it seems to be the case. The album probably is not as good as American Idiot or Hot Fuss, two contemporaries, but it does sneak into my top 5 albums of 2004. Long may it continue.
2. Tell Her Tonight
3. Take Me Out
4. The Dark of the Matinée
5. Auf Achse
6. Cheating on You
7. This Fire
8. Darts of Pleasure
10. Come on Home
To be honest I did not know an awful lot about the Invisible before I bought their album. I had received some itunes vouchers for Christmas and was browsing amazon and cdwow for ideas of what music to buy when I came across the helpfully titled 'best of 2009'. After reading a little bit about the Invisible and listening to 30 seconds of their tracks on itunes, my mind was made up.
After a few listens I started to wonder why had I not heard more about the Invisible? The album is wonderful and I wish I had bought and listened to it long before I did. This debut album is a rich, dense, complicated work but definitely rewarding. Yes there are serious messages, not least of all the message in Climate ("Temperatures rising but we stand around with our hands over our eyes"), but not everything is so serious, with time taken to postulise about women, falling in love and the like. This album was also chosen as itunes album of the yeat no less.
The Invisible are one of those modern day phenomenom's, such as the Raconteurs, a collaboration between artists from various bands. Pooling a collection of experience and talent that will give great swathes of fashionably trousered young bands this side of the pond a bit of a chill, The Invisible are a free-range group who have long roamed whichever musical hinterland takes their fancy. Guitarist and singer Dave Okumu was the soulful voice behind the similarly-minded but mathsy-rocking Jade Fox, bassist Tom Herbert plays in atmospheric, post-jazz Mercury nominees Polar Bear and Leo Taylor is, among other things, Hot Chip's drummer. Quite the collection!
Ok, Climate and In Retrograde, the scence setting opener, are highlights here, conjuring u memories of Jimi Hendrix, Prine, Sonic Youth and the like. Pretty good company to be keeping. London Girl is maybe the track that you might recognise, as it was the first single released and did get some radio play (Zane Lowe, Colin Murray) and it is classic disco funk. Baby Doll which is a slow builder which leads to the records most memorable chorus. Best track - Monsters Waltz, it is a blend of funk guitars that lead into another emphatic chorus.
I really like this album. The Invisible sound like they do not take themselves too seriously and just let their music take centre stage. Plus what a cracking album cover.
Album was released 2 March 2009 and can be picked up for about £7 (at time of writing).
1. In Retrograde
4. London Girl
5. Baby Doll
6. Monster's Waltz
8. Jacob And The Angel
10. Tally Of Souls
12. Time Waits
I did not think I would like this album. I have no idea what the basis for my prejudice was (perhaps the dreads/ unwashed/ Levellers look that Newtown Faulkner was going for did it for me and I am a snob) but maybe it was the seemingly balnd music and comparisons to James Morrison and Paolo Nutini, both of whom I do not like. However, when uploading some of my sister in laws music I thought I should put my doubts to one side and just listen to the music. Well, some it is was good, some not so good.
You may know from my previous reviews that I have a soft spot for Jack Johnson. Well Faulkner is slightly similar to Johnson, but in a more British way. He does not come across all surfer, but he is definitely laid back, acoustic and chilled out. The music has some small similarities, definitely the laid back vibe, but for me Faulkner comes across as a much more accomplished and talented musician, although he does not produce better music and albums. Strange...
Hand Built by Robots is Faulkner's debut and introduces us to his laid back smooth soft rock. There are a few profound songs and the variety (and value for money due to a lot of tracks) is impressive. Faulkner's spectacular guitar solo intro first track blends perfectly and leads into the first of many feel good numbers "To The Light". An impressive start. Can he keep it going?
Yes. Well, to a degree anyway. "Dream Catch Me" opens with a dark and nasty bassline, more reminiscent of UK garage/ grime than acoustic/ soft rock. Not exactly what you were expecting. It is not so much soft rock, as a more indie inspried track. The brilliant riffs, contagious melodies and rocket-fuelled pace make this an obvious high point of the entire album.
But in my opinion the high point is a cover. Not very original you may think, but Faulkner's take on the wonderful Massive Attack "Teardrop" is inspired, different without taking it apart. Impressive still.
Another good track of the album is "Uncomfortably Slow", but this is probably the problem with the album. There are a small number of good tunes snuggled in beside some blandness. Which is disappointing, as I do really like the tracks mentioned above, they are very listenable. I cannot seem to put my finger on where it goes wrong.
There is no denying Faulkner's talent: there is some exquisitely delicate guitar playing here, particularly in the opening moments of "I Need Something", plus an impressive display of the instrument's percussive capabilities. It just left me confused.
2. "To the Light"
3. "I Need Something"
4. "All I Got"
5. "Dream Catch Me"
6. "Feels Like Home"
8. "Gone in the Morning"
9. "Sitar-y Thing"
10. "Uncomfortably Slow"
11. "Straight Towards the Sun"
12. "People Should Smile More"
13. "She's Got the Time"
15. "Face (Her)"
16. "Ageing Superhero"
18. "Full Fat"
19. "Dream Catch Me"
As I mentioned in my review of Tenacious D by Tenacious D, Tenacious D are a fantastic band. They are Jack Black and Kyle Gass and although many may see them as something of a joke band, I genuinely really like and enjoy their music. yes the lyrics are not exactly serious, but then, do lyrics need to be? I like lyrics such as "you broke the rules, now I pull out all your pubic hair". What is not to like about music that makes you laugh? And it is all about the delivery. Tenacious D claim to be the greatest band in the world. But when they say it they mean it.
Tenacious D follow up with The Pick of Destiny, the soundtrack from the movie with the same title (which is also excellent by the way and if you like the music, you will like the movie). There is no difference in sound on The Pick of Destiny from the first release, but the aesthetic of a soundtrack makes a huge difference. This may not be a concept album, but it's structured as a narrative, mirroring the plot of the movie. Similar in a way to the first album, the Pick of Destiny also has short dialogue tracks, which listen after listen are still funny.
So the album starts off with Kickapoo. Hmm, you may think, an interesting title. Fair enough, it is crude and childish and I suppose if you dislike this, you probably are not going to like the rest of the album. But as a tune, I really think this stands up. It definitely takes off Meatloaf to a tee, although apparently he does contribute to the album along with Dave Grohl (of course) and Ronnie James Dio!
Next up is classico, one of the weaker songs on the album in my opinion.
Baby follows and gets the album back on track. Good harmony of vocals and guitar, come togther very nicely on this track. Bit stupid baby noises at the end, but you can't have everything...
Destiny is up next. Not great again, definitely a filler.
I really like History. Black brings the listener through the history of the band. Great guitar work here by Kyle Gass. It is tracks like this that do make me think that Tenacious D are actually talented and deserve to be treated as more than a joke band.
How apt. The Government Totally Sucks probably strikes a chord with a lot of people. Angry Black tells it like it is. Full of swear words, but by now, you probably are not surprised.
Master Exploder finds Jack Black boasting that he doesn't need a microphone because his voice is so f***ing huge. Which to be fair it is. He has a fine set of lungs on him.
Divide does not add anything to the album. Waste of space.
Papagenu is brilliant, as pan pipes lead the way on this unusual tale of man sasquatch love. Once you have seen the movie you will really like this track even more, as it is a really funny bit in the movie. Black does put on a silly voice half way thorugh and usually this may be annoying, but for some reason having seen the film it is not as bad!
Dude (I totally miss you) is another of the stronger tracks on the album. Again though it does have to be set against the story of the movie to properly understand what is happening, as the two friends have had a bit of a tiff.
Break in City (Storm the Gate) is a definite throw back to early 80's rock. Great tune.
Car Chase City is a good track, but another that means more if you have seen the film.
One of the high points is Beelzeboss where Tenacious D battle Dave Grohl, I mean the devil. Grohl plays a demon in the film (not unlike the demon from the Tribute video). It is a five minute epic that changes mood and tempo continually whilst telling the story of the rock-off between The D and The Devil. Brilliant stuff.
Pod, the title track runs you through the story of the film. So do not listen to it if you do not want the film to be ruined. But then, this is not exactly Sixth Sense...
The album ends with The Metal which is really catchy and is unfortunate that due to its position in the film can not be snuck in earalier in the soundtrack as it is one of the better tracks.
Well overall it is a decent album. It is definitely not as good as the first album. But if you like Tenacious D, you will like enough of this album to buy it.
6 Government Totally Sucks
7 Master Exploder
9 Papagenu (He's My Sassafrass)
10 Dude (I Totally Miss You)
11 Break In-City (Storm the Gate!)
12 Car Chase City
13 Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)
15 Metal, The
I became a bit of a Jack Johnson song while travelling in New Zealand and being subjected to Flake, the best song on his first album Brushfire Fairytales. After investing in that album and subsequently finding it excellent, I purchased On and On, which was released while I was in New Zealand on 6 May 2003.
On and On contiunes where Brushfire Fairytales left off. It is not exactly differnet or neither does it show Johnson's musical diversity. It is pretty much the same laid back, surfer dude tunes with heart felt lyrics. Jack Johnson has found a groove -albeit an extremely mellow one - and is not going to change for anyone - and why should he? He is obviously producing the kind of music he likes, so why should he start experimenting and producing weird sound tosh that no one wants to listen to? This works so if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
So what is the music like? Well think Evan Dando and the Lemonheads but even more laid back. And on On and on there is the odd bit of reggae, hip-hop and calypso thrown into the usual mix of hippie slow beat alternative pop.
This is exactly the sort of album you imagine being the perfect album for a midnight beach party on the last night of summer vacation, watching the sunset. If you were still at college. Oh and in the states, or Australia. Beach parties in Ireland tend to be wet affairs.
The strongest tracks in my opinion are Traffic In The Sky, Taylor, and Holes To Heaven, although I do also quite enjoy The Horizon has been Defeated. Actually Times Like These is definitely worth a listen. At the same time I like a bit of Dreams be Dreams. Gone and Cupid are two tracks that I would never fast forward through. (Do you see where I am going with this?) Yes, all these tracks are high points. Thank you Jack for a great Sunday afternoon summer time album. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
"Times Like These"
"The Horizon Has Been Defeated"
"Traffic in the Sky"
"Wasting Time" (Johnson, Adam Topol, Merlo Podlewski)
"Holes to Heaven"
"Dreams Be Dreams"
"Mediocre Bad Guys"
"Symbol in My Driveway"
Hovis Granary bread is my favourite of the Hovis bread range. I really enjoy the flavour. Wholemeal for me seems too dry, but this granary is a perfect mix of flavours, grain, seeds and does not become dry. This is absolutely delicious toasted, loaded with real butter (none of that low fat nonsense) and topped with home made raspberry jam. Yum!
Hovis Granary is made with malted wheat flakes and toasted grains. Hovis claim that this gives it a distinctive flavour and texture and I have to agree. I cannot think of any other sliced pan that has the same flavour as this. Hovis also claim that the way the flakes of wheat are slowly roasted, which gives the unique flavour, was a cooking method passed on to them by the Benedictine monks of Burton Abbey!
There are no artificial preservatives or flavourings in the loaf. Generally it keeps for about 4-5 days, if it even lasts that long in my house.
In terms of nutritional information, per slice the Hovis website lists these as:
of which sugars 1.2g
Fat 0.9g (of which saturates 0.3g)
Sodium 0.15g (equivalent as salt 0.38g).
I prefer the thick sliced loaf as it is the best for toasting. However it does also come in medium. I recently noticed that some bread come in a smaller sized loaf, as people must often not finish a full sized loaf and have to throw away some bread. This must have been communicated to the bread companies and Hovis now produce a smaller sized loaf with fewer slices of bread in it. A good idea for a small family or someone that does not each a huge amount of bread. Also good to cut down on the amount of food that is wasted in this country.
Hovis Granary is currently on offer at Asda for £1.00. It is also on offer at the Spar at the end of my road for £1.09, both of which are a good price, as this is usually on sale for £1.39 I find. It is also available in Lidl, but would still be at least £1.09.
I would also use this bread for sandwiches. It is nicest for this when it is at it's freshest, just out of the freshly opened bag, when the bread is at it's softest. Delicious.
Obviously this bread is better for you than white bread (and nicer in my opinion than wholemeal), so my advice is to switch to this for that 2010 new you!