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Emma Bunton - Free Me
[ Review also on Ciao under same name ]
Emma Bunton is better known as "Baby Spice" from her time spent with the incredibly famous Spice Girls and this was her 2nd album which was my favorite of the three she has released. It had four lead singles and has been called the best album of the solo spice girls releases so far in many places. It sold more than 140,000 copies. The sound of the album is 60's, motown and modern pop (at least modern at the time) which creates a good collection of catchy and lovely music. It was released in February 2004 on Polydor Records.
On with the review.........
1 - Free Me (04:28) - [Written by: Emma Bunton, Hélène Muddiman, Mike Peden]
This was the first single from the album and it was released on May 26th 2003 reaching number 5 in the uk charts. The track is a beautiful ballad with a smooth flowing sound throughout. It is a song about being in love and finally working up the courage for a confession of how you feel to the person you love. "Free me, let me loose to love you yeah how I long to seduce you now"
Official Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-RxwN9lJ0A
***** 5 stars out of five
2 - Maybe (03:43) - [Written by: Emma Bunton, Yak, Bondy]
This was the second track to be released from the album, it reached number 6 in the UK charts - It was release on 13th Oct 2003.
This is a really upbeat track with a chorus that makes you want to jump out of your seat and dance with your partner - The track is about not knowing how you feel about someone but then deciding it must be love. "Maybe it's nothing, maybe it's all just in my mind, maybe I'm foolish, maybe it's just a waste of time"
Official Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdW9oM6ZMME
***** 5 stars out of five
3 - I'll be there (03:23) - [Written by: Emma Bunton, Muddiman, Peden]
This was the third single to be released from the album on 26th January 2004 which reached number 7 in the UK charts. This is one of my personal favourite tracks from the album. It's about always being there for your friends and regardless of how far apart you are, you are still there in spirit. "We all need somebody who we can always run to"
Official Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM_nVFQNBWw
***** 5 stars out of 5
4 - Tomorrow (03:55) - [Written by: Emma Bunton, Bondy]
This is a lovely track about comforting someone and helping them through problems and how people are stronger together. There are hints of "we all fall down" by Sweet talk radio. This is another nice track that flows with the motown vibe and fits the albums 60's vibe perfectly. "Come here, rest your head on my pillow - It's alright, we don't need a tomorrow, tonight".
**** 3 stars out of 5
5 - Breathing (04:00) - [Written by: Emma Bunton, Henry Binns, Yoyo Olugbo]
This track always makes me think it could have been a bond theme, the music is lovely and orchestral at the start leading into another beautiful track. "A constant feeling of pleasure, are you healing? The sound of our breathing, why does it feel so cold?" there are also pan pipes near the end which always sounds amazing in a song.
**** 4 stars out of 5
6 - Crickets sing for Anamaria (02:46) - [Written by: Marcos Valle, Ray Gilbert]
This was the fourth and final single from the album, it reached number 15 in the UK charts. This track stands out like a sore thumb because it doesn't feel like the rest of the album at all - It has a samba vibe, is very upbeat and is also a cover song. It is about a young girl in love trying to have some time with her boyfriend but the family not approving and trying to keep them apart.
Official Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ6kKlevpqs
*** 3 stars out of 5
7 - No Sign of Life (03:38) [Written by: Bunton, Simon Ellis, Steve Lee]
This track brings the listener back to the correct feeling of the album with that motown vibe. The song is about being hurt because of expectations of love which fail as the other person doesn't feel the same way. Despite the songs meaning, it's a very catchy song and is again one of my favourite tracks "All I can think about is getting through, now that I know there's no sign of life, Living without you"
**** 4 stars out of 5
8 - Who the Hell Are You (03:18) [ Written by: Bunton, Ray Hedges, Nigel Butler]
I love this track, it's a total old style track written about someone thinking he's too good for someone and is too cool to be with them. Another lively track and probably one of the best tracks - I find myself shaking my head and just want to shake my finger in the face of the person who Emma is singing about (I know, I'm ridiculous). "Who the hell are you? Too cool, you aint mr right, you're out messing every night".
***** 5 stars out of 5
9 - Lay your love on me (03:23) [Written by: Bunton, Cathy Dennis]
This track is my least favourite on the album which is surprising as it's co-written by Cathy Dennis who has an amazing back catalogue of great songs (she has written for Celine Dion to name but one). The track isn't very catchy, a bit dull and doesn't make you want to dance. I would happily remove it from the playlist. "nothing as sexy as the power of the birds and the bees" Terrible.
*1 star out of 5
10 - You are (03:46) [Written by: Bunton, Tim Lever, Mike Percy]
This is a nice track, it's incredibly cheesy (but I love cheesy music as my partner just nicely pointed out while I was typing up this track). This track could be described as elevator music. I can imagine people skipping through fields of flowers, hand in hand, giggling at eachother. "I love the way that you are, always thinking about my baby"
** 2 stars out of 5
11 - Something so Beautiful (03:46) [Written by: Emma Bunton, Steve Lewinson,Pete Lewinson]
Another great track that sounds a bit like a bond theme to begin with. Not much to say about this one, it's another track about love. I feel the album could have gone out on a more dancey note instead of a another song about being happy in love. "In my heart I feel it, something that's so beautiful"
*** 3 stars out of 5
Even now in 2013, this is one of my favourite albums and gets played regularly when the mood grabs me, I feel that tracks 1 - 8 are amazing and the 9 - 11 are a pretty much filler and the album rarely gets to play on past track 8 for this reason. I often feel that Emma's musical choices are the reason for her lack of modern appeal - She chose the have the 60's feel in a lot of her music and for the most part, it worked but I think a lot of people may have not been a huge fan of her decision to go in this direction and so she has alienated herself to a smaller audience. That being said, I think most of this album is definitely worth a listen and will probably bring back memories for a lot of people.
3/5 overall rating from me!
For some reason, this album doesn't feature on Spotify (spotify is a music streaming service that has millions of tracks to listen to online, if you are curious about spotify check out their website at www.spotify.com) but I have added links above to play the videos for the singles on youtube. The album is available to purchase on amazon.co.uk £9.99 new or used from £0.01 meaning this could be a really cheap purchase of an overall good album that I think everyone should hear at least once.
[This review is related to the photo calendars you can create on the site, rather than the site as a whole.
Saying That, I have used the site for photo prints in the past and it is a super easy site to use and very user friendly]
* Dooyoo advised this review could be uploaded into this category
In December last year, my partner (Ryanando) was going to be making his normal yearly calendar of personal photos which he puts up in his work to help him get through long days at his desk. He does this every year and I've always wanted to do the same but thought it would we be really fiddly and take a long time to put together. I decided to get over myself and just do it. I chose to use snapfish.co.uk as I have used them before for photo printing and have always been very impressed with the results.
Step 1 - Upload the pictures
After navigating through snapfish.co.uk to the calendar section of the site (they sell various customisable gifts, the calendar is just one of them!) you have to upload the pictures you want to use. This was the only part of the process that can take a long time but only because I am extremely anal about organisation - I went onto my Facebook account and downloaded all of the pictures that make me smile and have sentimental attachment for me (I know what you're thinking, Facebook? To store all your photos? Well, it's the easiest was to keep them safe for years to come unless of course face-book shares fall further that is!) As you can have more than one picture on a single month, I sorted through them to decide which ones would look good for each month in various sizes. Once you have uploaded your photos, snap fish will keep a hold of them too, so if you have future projects you want to use the same photos for, it'll be quicker next time!
Step 2 - The Wizard
There is a very handy "wizard" which takes you through step by step choosing the layout you wish for each month (how many pictures, the sizes of each, you can even put other small pictures and text into the date boxes for peoples birthdays or other events which is a lovely touch, I didn't do it but can appreciate the sentiment). The part I love most is that you can choose a different background for each month, for example - in February, you can have love hearts behind your pictures! You even get to choose larger pictures for your front page and get a preview of all the months printed on the back, just like a real calendar! One really nice touch with snapfish is that if you upload a picture of low quality, it will flag this to you in case you wish to choose a different one, rather than risk you having a rubbish picture on a page of the calendar. There were a couple of photos it flagged for me, but as I really wanted to use them I just went ahead with it and they still look fine, so it may not always be the case that any flagged photos won't turn out well.
Step 3 - Check Out
The cost of the Calendar product I chose is normally £18.99 which is a bargain for something that can make you smile while at work. In December, they normally run an offer to create one for around £10 which is what I did (there's a tip for x-mas 2013). The wizard then checked all of the settings you have put in to make sure it will all fit. I'd recommend having a quick Google for any promotional codes before you go through checkout as there are usually a few deals floating out there such as free postage etc.
Delivery was just £1.99 - Bargain Basement Prices!! It arrived within a week of the order being placed which was fantastic, especially considering it was January it was posted!
The calendar I went with is 11"x8.5" size (though there are a variety of shapes and sizes to suit you) and is printed on sturdy, glossy card. This means that you don't need to worry too much about it getting bent out of shape if you're transporting it anywhere or giving it as a gift. It's bound on one of those spiral metal things that you often see on notebooks and I've never had any trouble with it. There's even a neat hole cut out on each page for hanging it up. It's light enough to be held up with a drawing pin at my work, so you don't need to go to a tonne of trouble to get it hung either!
I think this will now be a yearly order for me and would recommend doing this for everyone. It really is a great way to make you smile at work or at home. It's also a great way to get your favourite pictures on your desk even if you don't have a lot of space at work. 5 stars out of 5 from me!
"Germs.. No room at the inn"
This is a product which I go through gallons of!
I know you are thinking here is another germ obsessed man with mild ocd and I have to admit to an extent, you are correct but only in certain scenarios - My main area of distress is when I am at work.
I work in a large call centre with thousands of other people. There is dirt in this building. A lot of it.
Bathrooms especially are an issue for me; I wash my hands twice before I leave them and when I get back to my desk, I reach for the Purell every single time. It is also handy if you sneeze and have to get the germs off your hands.
This is a pretty obvious one, it smells like alcohol and clean - If you close your eyes and imagine a hospital ward a good 20 years ago, you will be pretty much there, It's not over-powering though so you will not irritate people around you, my work have supplied a hand foam previously and every time I used it, people would complain and say it was stinking, to which I would reply "It's clean :)"
You don't have to use a lot of this product, when you press the pump at the top of the bottle, it tries to be very generous which is lovely however if you use too much, you have to rub your hands for much longer and drips will fall on your lap - when I first got the bottle, I was covered in it (the floor got a good dose as well, which I feel it needed anyway).
So, back to what I was saying! You only need a small amount - rub it in nicely trying to cover as much of your hands as possible - it dries very quickly and leaves your hands feeling lovely and moisturised. Vitamin E is also an active ingredient which I'm sure helps with the making your hands feel lovely after every use.
This is nothing to write home about, it is a standard clear plastic bottle with a white screw pump on the lid. If you don't mind getting in a mess, the pump can be pressed down and screwed to the left to lock the bottle up at the end of each day - I do not do this as I don't see the point.
Pay attention class, as this is rocket science stuff - The instructions on the back of the bottle:
"Apply approximately 3ml of Purell in the palm of your hands and rub until fully evaporated (circa 30 seconds), without forgetting finger nails, between fingers, thumbs and wrists" so technical! Just what I would have expected without even reading it, so it really is a no brainer to use!
The ingredients are pretty much exactly what you would expect from a hand sanitizer:
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aminomethyl Propanol, Carbomer
Other than Water, I have no idea what any of the above is, but if you have any allergies it's probably best that you do your own research on it before using it.
Where can I get some?
Although the 350ml bottle is apparently only available through wholesale purchase, I have found a link for you lovely people to use:
Google seach for "Medisave" and search for "Purell" (I originally had a link for you but Dooyoo said it wasn't valid to have such a long single word in the review, sorry!)
(It's only £3.20 and will last for months)
I highly recommend this stuff. 5/5 for me, and I will be using for years to come! If you like to make sure your hands are clean, this could be the stuff for you!
I will start this review by saying that I have been obsessed with the fragrance ever since I smelled it on a friend a few years ago, every time he would walk past I would find myself sniffing at the air (hope I didn't give him a complex!)
Eventually I asked his what it was, expecting it to be a designer fragrance that costs a fortune but to my surprise it was "Sunshine" by Paul Smith and is very affordable.
I have had Paul Smith fragrances in the past and have not enjoyed them. Sunshine completely turned my Paul Smith opinion around, I purchased my bottle from Duty Free in Glasgow Airport.
The first word I wish to use to describe this fragrance is Gorgeous. An actual description would be a fresh, attractive fragrance which consists of the following noticeable elements:
- Black Pepper
The first day back at work once we had returned from Greece, I wore it for the first time and loads of people commented how amazing I smelled and a few women asked where they could purchase it for their partners, after joking about them wanting their other halves to smell like me I did tell them.
The bottle is an attractive glass square with green colouring and I just found out today if you purchase it from the Paul Smith website, you get a free bunny with it (toy of course, not a real animal!) wish I had done that now. It has a solid and sturdy design which means it can sit nicely in our bathroom without danger of it being knocked over.
I picked up my bottle at the duty free store in Glasgow airport when my partner and I were catching an outbound flight to Greece, it retailed at £21 and I feel was a bargain. On the Paul Smith website, the price is slightly higher at £26 and I've found various prices in other places so it's worth shopping around for the best deal you can find.
n.b - Someone told me the other day that it's on sale in "Home Bargains" for £15 so I would recommend checking here first - For that price I wouldn't grudge not having the free bunny.
I put this aftershave on at about 07:00 each morning and I can still smell it when I return home at 16:00 so all in all, I think it's a brilliant purchase. Most aftershaves cannot claim to match the staying power on Sunshine. My partner usually mentions that he can still smell it after a long day at work. He also loves the smell of it.
Who is this fragrance for?
> Anyone who wants to smell amazing and be complemented all day long
Who is this fragrance not for?
> Well, anyone who doesn't fit into the above category
I would say to all the men reading this review (and the women) - Buy it, Try it, you won't go back to anything else! It's Gorgeous, Refreshing and an amazing price.