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Michael Jackson is, for me, the greatest music act of all time, and although this album does not live up to the standards of Dangerous or Thriller, it still beats 99.9% of every other artists under the sun. So you can probably tell I'm a big Jacko fan, what with the review of Dangerous and the picture of a very smooth criminal on my profile. I bought this album as soon as it was released. It was a big secret, nobody knew what to expect, and, as you can imagine, the CD flew off the shelves pretty quick, and I made sure I was there when I did. The first release from the album, "You Rock My World" was a very funky affair in a typical Jackson style, but, of course, took instant criticism. People claimed that he had run out of ideas for the video shoot and tracked back to his successful "Smooth Criminal" video and pretty much copied it. Well, there is a resemblence, but nothing that would ever make me doubt Michael's creativity and imagination. The rest of the album, far from following suit, differs as much as Michael's whole career, incorporating some funky, some housey, some soft, some ballads, and a great track featuring Carlos Santana. Theres something here for anyone who's ever liked a Jackson track, and to be fair I would say that is near enough everybody. If you were to go out and buy the album now, I dare say it wouldn't cost much more than £6/7 with all the clearances and whatnot, and it's definately worth having a look around for. A classic Jackson album. 10/10
Having heard Evanescence's track "Bring me To Life" on the radio and TV channels pretty constantly, and enjoying it every time, I thought a purchase of the album would be a good investment, and how right I was. Evanescence, the latest in the string of "nu-metal" style bands born in the USA combine the Linkin Park sound with a powerful female vocal, (somehow!), creating a totally unique sound that is geniunely a pleasure to listen to. The album follows the same basis as the single "Bring Me To Life", ie. if you liked the track you'll love the album. Whilst the consistancy is there, the album differs from power ballads to all out anthems, a balance which has been reached perfectly, and means the album doesn't get boring, in fact, the more you listen, the more you enjoy! (Well in my case anyway!) The lyrics in this album are all very meaningful, there are songs about love, loss, death, anger, you name it... A bonus when you think of all the stupid song lyrics dominating the airwaves these days ("Yo shorty,it's your birthday"), how nice to have a songwriter with some sort of brain. This also means this CD is generally listenable to whatever mood you're in. Praise must go to Evanescence, as this CD is certainly one of the finest to have been released in the last few years, and is definately worth forking out for. 10/10
When U2 released "The Sweetest Thing" a few years back, it was the first I'd really heard of them. How I managed to miss them for so long I don't know, probably because I was so interested in Jacko, but anyway, the song got me hooked to one of the best bands around. "Beautiful Day" encouraged me to go out and by their album "All that you can't leave behind", and I was very impressed with the quality of the whole LP. Why stop there? I thought, so I went and bought "The Best of 1980-90", a compilation of U2's greatest hits. After listening to this CD, I realised that I had heard many of the songs before, but I had just not really noticed them, or acknowledged how truely great they were. Tracks like "Where the streets have no name" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" were obvious classics. Last year, U2 released "The Best of 1990-2000", Might as well! I thought, so off I went to purchase the new CD. Of course, having now really gotten into U2, I knew most of the tracks from this compilation, but that was a good thing, furthermore I found the album incredibly easy to listen to. Tracks from "All that you can't leave behind" featured on the CD, but I was more interested in songs like "Discotheque", "One", "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" (From Batman Forever soundtrack) and the latest "Hands that built America" (From the recent Gangs of New York film). U2 are reknowned for their distinctive style, lead mostly by The Edge's guitar skills and Bono's unique vocals, and this album captivates all of the latest work excellently. If you sort of like U2, or maybe only like a couple of tracks, I recommend that you buy this album. Very easy listening and enjoyable too. Best accompanied by "The Best of 1980-90" and a sunlounger on the patio! 9/10 - Great Album!
I am a huge fan of Michael Jackson. I own all his albums, and I'm just waiting for the day when he will announce a concert in the UK, however, until then I'm content with listening to some of the masterpieces. Dangerous is, in my view, Michaels best album. What about Thriller? I hear you ask. Well, I like that album as well, but it doesn't really do it for me the way that Dangerous does. Perhaps the most famous track to be released from this album was "Black or White", a great song featuring Slash from Guns and Roses on guitar. However, not many people know that also on the album is one of Michaels greatest songs ever, "Give In To Me", also featuring Slash. The overall sound of the album is rather housey, much different from his earlier work which was more funky, but this suits me fine. To be honest I prefer his newer stuff to the tracks found on Thriller and Off The Wall, although having said that I listen to all the albums just the same. Heres a rundown of the tracklisting: 1 - Jam...A really "jammin" track, built from a catchy drum pattern and simple vocals. 2 - Why you wanna trip on me...Features a distinctive guitar riff throughout the track and another catchy chorus. 3 - In the Closet...A similar track to #2 but different enough to be listenable. A deep bassline with another great hook vocal line. 4 - She Drives me Wild...Again, different from the rest but another superb track. 5 - Remember The Time...Most people have heard this track or seen the Egyptian style video where Michael turns himself into sand. Fantastic. 6 - Can't Let Her Get Away...Very 90's, very funky, and another great track. 7 - Heal The World...Once again, there can't be many people who haven't heard this song. A soft ballad that brings a tear to the eye. 8 - Black Or White...The most famous song from the album featuring Slash on guitar. A brilliant song. 9 - Who Is It...A deep bassline similar to In The Closet. Great vocals once again. 10 - Give In To Me...My personal favourite from the album, everything fits together perfectly. Have a listen! 11 - Will You Be There...A softer style track with a gospel accompanyment. Easy listening. 12 - Keep The Faith...Another track with gospel accompanyment, a bit funky. 13 - Gone Too Soon...A ballad that you can relax to. A soft tune with soft vocals. 14 - Dangerous...The title track from the album, another of my favourites, very dancey. As I said before, in my opinion this is the finest album produced by Jackson, and when you listen you will see why. 10/10!
OK, perhaps not healthy, but noticably less damaging then your average B&H. Marlboro are perhaps the biggest name in tobacco manufacture, and Marlboro reds are probably the most widely smoked cigarettes on the planet, so from the same company come Marlboro Lights. They are genuinely a pleasure to smoke. The cigarette loses a lot of the tar and nicotene offered by standars cigarettes, but doesn't lose the taste, and in fact adds to all round enjoyment. How can you enjoy smoking? I hear you ask. Well, some smokers will tell you they really want to stop, some don't like the taste at all, however, I seriously like the smell and taste, and theres nothing more relieving than taking that first pull after lighting up. ML's, as they are fondly known in my friendship group, are now my regular cigarette, having started on Benson and Hedges a few years ago. Since then, I tried a fair few different cigarettes, including Silk Cut, Lambert and Butler, Berkley, and even Winfields, but I always come back to the best. Available in the standard size packs pretty much everywhere, in fact I am yet to find a shop that doesn't stock ML's, an indicator on how successful the cigarette is. New regulations regarding the sale of cigarettes say that every pack must display those huge black and white labels on the packet, designed to put you off purchasing. I can only smile and applaude the government for displaying such amusing facts. I know, they're not meant to be amusing, in fact, they're supposed to shock you into stubbing it out now! But some are really quite funny. It's worth buying a pack just for the labels. What more can I say? Without encouraging you to start smoking, go out and try them!
The pun from the Knockout Kings series of game describes my view on the latest addition to the evergreen Championship Manager series. CM4 was long awaited, by myself, by my friends, by everybody. And when it finally did come out, I joined the masses in cancelling my life in order to play it. The first thing to be noted about this game is the different interface. Many gamers have complained about previous releases, claiming that they really were nothing more than an update patch. They had a fair point; why shell out £30 for the same game with just updated data and a few new features to keep the people happy? So CM4 felt like a breath of fresh air. Of course, there was the usual resistance to change from many; "wheres this gone?" "whys that not here?" "I dont like this". I remember the reception was exactly the same during the transition from CM2 to CM3 but look how successful that became. I feel that this game was somewhat rushed out, shown by the many bugs and errors that crop up in the game, most notably the score changing bug, where the score in a match you are playing suddenly changes impossibly for no apparent reason. Maybe this was down to lack of testing, I don't know, I'm not an expert. All I know is that users are now continuously downloading "Enhancement Packs" from the website to fix the bugs and errors. The guys at Sports Interactive should be creditited for this. It would have been much easier to sit back in their chair and throw piles of money in the air, cackling at the dissatisfied gamers, but now they are working even harder to ensure customer satisfaction. Sure, it may take a while, but those of us with an ounce of patience are willing to wait. Personally, I feel the game is superb as it is and have already enjoyed several network games, pitting my tactics against my mates. This is still a great buy and one that I would throughly recommend despite all the negative hype.
If you read my op on Ghostbusters 1, you will know that I was inspired to write it after digging out my old VHS copies of the films. Similarly, I thought I'd let the masses know about Ghostbusters 2 after watching it intensively for the last couple of weeks. Now, the sequel to one of the greatest films ever made, stars the same actors that made the original such a big hit. Bill Murray is at his sarcastical best in this film, and Akroyd and Ramis perform just as brilliantly. The plot starts when the Ghostbusters, who have been put out of business after blowing up a sky rise building in the first film, are brought in by Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) to investigate the bizarre movement of her pram into the middle of 1st Avenue, New York, where they discover the river of slime. Of course, this violates their restraining order, and they are taken to court, where a very narrow minded judges anger releases two ghosts from the slime, and the Ghostbusters are back in business! After fighting off more ghosts, the Ghostbusters investigate a painting of a carpathian warlord and reveal there is more to it than meets the eye. A true spine-tingling scene then follows where the Ghostbusters mobilise the Statue of Liberty as a force of good to destroy the evil. The spectacular special effects once again dominate the talking points of the film, way ahead of their time, and still able to stand the test of latest technology. Jokes abound, this film is certainly another of the best films to have ever been made. I say 10/10!
Ever wanted to get involved in the gangster underworld of a major city without having to endure the minor inconveniences of having your own child kidnapped and your sister stalked? Well now you can, thanks to this groundbreaking game. Instead of conjouring up an imginery city with lots of convenient features, several square miles of London have actually been recreated down to the minutest detail. This process took several years, and how much easier it would have been to say "Nah, can't be bothered with this. Lets just make it up". But this effort that hs produced a snapshot of the living breathing world into the imaginery world of gaming sets this game aside from others. You play the part of a retired criminal who is drawn back into the criminal underworld when some fat up-himself gangster decides to kindly babysit your son for you. You then start on a campaign to 'earn' him back, carrying out random tasks at the whim of this crime lord. Youu become a one man crime wave as you carry out anything from restaurant arsene to causing havoc at a Yardie drug plant. But it doesn't stop there, oh no. Just when you think you've finished the game, you are treated to playing the whole game through again but from the view of a police officer. Here, you carry out pretty much the same missions, but obviously from the perspective of the long arm of the law, out to stop the havoc rather than creating it. Several plot twists later and things really hot up! Apart from the scenery and setting, other measures have been taken to ensure this game is realistic as possible. This includes fully licenced car models graphically represented to the finest detail which indeed look superb. In addition, you can no longer get away with slamming your vehicle head on in to another. Oh no, any crash of any significance means a swift vehicle change if you do not want to end up a ball of flames. This shifts the focus on to skillful, evasive driving rather t han the feeling of driving a smash wagon or a steamroller. This is the roads of Britain, not destruction derby! Have fun, oh and obbey the traffic laws! ;) P.S Apologies for the terrible parody of the musical title!
Ever fancied becoming an olympic champion but simply didn't happen to be born with spring in your stride or simply can't be bothered to burn off those excess pounds? Well now, you can! No, this is not some advert for some amazing machine that kicks you into shape just by wearing it round your waist (and paying £199.99 of course!), its International Track and Field! This game is a simulation of a number of olympic sports, with the classics such as sprint races and hurdles accompanying slightly more obscure events such as canoeing and horse vaulting. All come with their different challenges; challenges of speed, skill and detexterity all vary with each event. The controls are relativily easy to operate, usually consisiting of just the circle and square buttons tapped alternately with great pace, and in some events, the carefully timed press of the 'X' button. The reason for the title of this review is born from the great enjoyment that I personally gain from playing the multiplayer mode of the game with my mates. Theres nothing like sitting around with a few beers in the evening and pumping your thumbs to the bone with this game. Usually it comes down to who has applied surgical spirit to their thumbs, a move that should surely be outlawed across the globe! This game, although dated, is an absolute classic and should be a bargain in shops now for about a fiver. With so much expensive rubbish polluting the market today, why not resort to this tricky little number?
This game is the third installment in the now legendary Gran Turismo series, which is still the only one that allows you maximum control over the purchase, modification and racing of hundreds of licenced car models. Not much has changed in terms of the interface layout, with options from the main screen being to under go a licence test, view your "garage" where your beautiful motors are kept, go to the races and purchase and modify new models. The most frequent criticism that I hear of this game is "it hasnt changed". To this, I often come back with the point that this is not a bad thing. Sure, a game needs a few changes to keep it spiced up - there would be no point in releasing exactly the same game multiple times. But why change a winning formula? The similarities between its predecessrs and this game continue as far as the race tracks are concerned. The tracks are pretty much the same from the old games as these are fully licenced and written as far to real life as possible, with legendary tracks suc has Laguna Seca included. This aspect of the game is all about realism - the game could have come complete with several randomly made up tracks to keep the moaners happy. The fact that they have kept the real ones makes for a more realistic racing experience for us avid racing fans. Graphically, this game takes full advantage of what the playstation 2 has to offer. Where as before, the cars had the odd diagonal line in the bodywork, now the sports cars look slick and shiny and in some instances, unbelivable. The purr of a supreme cars engine never sounded so lifelike and the handling of each make, model and type of car is individual and defined. This game is a superb one which offers both realism and great addictive gameplay; something for everyone!
Having just devoured my lunchtime sarnie, i craved for something sweet and rewarding. Although tuna and cucumber on wholemeal filled a hole, it didn't satisfy my total hunger, and so I began my journey to the kitchen in search of tasty delights. First stop, the fridge. Inside I find cheese, milk, ham, a couple of mars bars and a few cans of coke. Although tempted by the mars bars, I decided to venture to the cupboard in the hope there may be some more interesting offerings. The cupboard is quite full today, I have flapjacks, muffins and a long blue packet of biscuits. Intrigued, I investigate further, revealing the mysterious package to be, none other than, Milk Chocolate Hob Nobs. Fancying a change, I snub the Mars bars and flapjacks, and instead opt for the crunchy goodness of the Hob Nobs. Now holding the pack, my sweet craving is getting the better of me, so I rip open the packet to reveal, what can only be described as, a nobbly biscuit. Removing the first biscuit I could then see the chocolate coating on the other side. By now my mouth was truely watering, and so without further ado, I crammed the biscuit into my mouth. Definately one of the tastiest biscuits on the market. I loved Hob Nobs as they were, totally original, different from digestives, which are, to be honest, a tad boring, but the idea of semi coating them with chocolate...WOW! What an addition to an already great biscuit! The biscuit is crunchy, and, I would say, "bitty" due to the oatmeal style of the biscuit. The first taste I get is of the chocolate, before biting through to enjoy the biscuit itself, a real treat! Well worth the 60p or so you pay for a pack!
I have always liked the Fifa series and stayed true to it, resisting titles such as Pro Evolution Soccer and This Is Football. When I first played this game, I was amazed at how graphically enhanced it was. At the most I expected this game to be just another revamp of the previous title, Fifa 2002. While most things are principly the same, a number oif things have also changed. One of the more noticeable changes is the way in which a player shoots towards goal. Instead of now just holding down the button to get maximum power, shots must now be carefully weighted and directed towards goal with regards to the angle and distance if the player is to avoid the ball blazing over the bar or wide. Passing also requires similar care and attention, with the most effective method of passing being diagonally first time. The usual tournaments are included in this edition of Fifa, with the various leagues and seasons playable from a wide range of different countries and continenets. International tournaments also exist. However, one thing that deeply frustrates me is the lack of a multiplayer tournament option. The maximum amount of teams that can be humanly controlled in any tournament is two, meaning that when my mates and I want to hold our own tournaments between ourselves, its a pen and paper job involving many calculations rather than a simple job of picking teams and letting the AI do the rest. This is something I would very much like to see in further football game releases. This is a very good football simulation that I very much enjoy playing. The players faces and actions are now modelled to be more realistic than ever before (although some of the skin colours of players are a bit inaccurate) making for a very enjoyable gaming experience.
I'm a huge fan of the Metal Gear series. In fact, I'd proclaim the first one to be one of the greatest pieces of work ever invented, second only to the likes of Picasso and Monet. After the first one blew my mind, I endured the agonising wait for the sequel for several years, playing all the demos and reading all the magazine reviews. And when it did finally arrive, rather than feeling as if all my christmases had come at once, I felt as if santa had left me a dirty black piece of coal in my stocking. The problem was created by the outstanding first metal gear. It had raised the proverbial bar so high that anything short of truely incredible would simply fall short of the mark. And unfortunatly, what Konami roduced was only superb. I loved the way in which extra attention to detail had been given to the AI, to the scenery, to the way in which the characters move. I also loved the new features that had been included to enhance gameplay, such as the first person view used to shoot with and the way in which enemy guards could be knocked out and hidden from view in lockers rather than left on the floor to 'dissolve' in to the scenery. What this game I felt really lacked was in storyline. The inclusion of another character to play as was a failure, even they themselves admit to that. The gamers, me included, loved playing as Solid Snake, not some obscure teenager called Raiden. The plot was a bit of a let down, which I will not go into for not wishing to spoil the game for those of you who havent yet played it. All in all, this game is still a sound investment. I just felt there was a little bit more that could have been done with it, which we will hopefully see in the next installment, Snake Eater.
i would class myself as a music lover, and although there are some genres i really can't bear (namely drum and bass), i like to dabble with allsorts of artists. being a DJ, most people wouldn't expect me to give linkin park a second glance, but i would like to proclaim myself as a huge fan right now. i bought the first album after hearing the first song, "crawling", and i wasn't disappointed. however, this opinion is about meteora so we will stop there. after purchasing the cd i immediately took it home to have a listen, once again purchasing after only hearing the first release, "somewhere i belong", although this time the band did have a good reputation, and my first listen of the whole cd proved that, indeed, this band are truely superb. the album is very close in style to hybrid theory (the first album), and this suits me, well why change a winning formula? however, while the album maintains the bands character, it doesn't get boring or "samey". running at 36mins, the only defect i would find with linkin park is that their albums are too short! my pick of tracks would include "faint", a high paced song with ripping guitar riffs and a memorable chorus, "easier to run", a totally euphoric and anthemic style track, and "from the inside", another anthemic style offering, sheer quality. if you are in any doubt as to whether to buy this album, i would definately advise the purchase, its certainly worth the £10 you will pay, and i haven't taken it out of my player for at least a fortnight now! 10/10
The Tekken series has always held the place as the best beat-um-up series in my view. The way in which two fighters are presented against each other with the aim to beat each other into a pulp somehow appealed to my slightly sadistic side. This game was favoured over titles such as Mortal Kombat because to me, being some bloke who could freeze you with ice lost its appeal after a while. Maybe it was because this lacked that certain degree of realism that Tekken has, as although some of the character profiles are a bit far-fetched, they are at least beleivable and human! Tekken 4 contains many of the characters from the previous titles, with as usual a few more thrown in to spice things up. This time though, a new and more varied list of moves comes with each character, meaning that in theory anyway, players should be distracted from simply selecting a quick and effective move and using ti continously, something not in the spirit of gameplay. Graphically, this game is much more improved as you now play in a 3D environment, making it feel like a fighting game rather than a platform fighter. In addition to this, you can now interact with certain aspects of the environment, allowing you to corner opponents against trees and the crowd and mercilessly pummel them. I would definetly recommend this game to anybody who is fan of this genre and gaming in general.