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A foot in the door was released on the 7th November 2011 as part of the second phase of the 'Why Pink Floyd?...' re-release campaign. During a six month period from September 2011 to February 2012, the entire back catalogue was re-released, as well as a series of 'immersion' versions of the three most successful albums 'Wish You Were Here', 'The Wall' and 'Dark Side of the Moon'. It seems ed an odd way to do it at the time releasing all the remastered albums three months before the best of, but there you go. 'A foot in the Door' take probably the most well known of the bands singles spanning their thirty years history. The track listing is as follows: 1. "Hey You" The Wall 2. "See Emily Play" non-album single 3. "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" The Wall 4. "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" The Wall 5. "Have a Cigar" Wish You Were Here 6. "Wish You Were Here" Wish You Were Here 7. "Time" (edit) The Dark Side of the Moon 8. "The Great Gig in the Sky" The Dark Side of the Moon 9. "Money" The Dark Side of the Moon 10. "Comfortably Numb" The Wall 11. "High Hopes" (edit) The Division Bell 12. "Learning to Fly" A Momentary Lapse of Reason 13. "The Fletcher Memorial Home" The Final Cut 14. "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (edit, parts 1-5) Wish You Were Here 15. "Brain Damage" The Dark Side of the Moon 16. "Eclipse" (early fade-out) The Dark Side of the Moon Now Pink Floyd released 14 studio albums and yet only six are represented here. Indeed, 'Dark Side... has only 10 tracks, half of which appear here!! It almost seems that this release is at cross purposes with the rest of the campaign. When you consider that just ten years ago, 'Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd' was released, which contained all the tracks above plus nine others, you really start to scratch your head!! Yes it is remastered which is great news. The tracks sound amazing but that still doesn't justify releasing this, never mind somebody buying it. You could buy the three albums which make up the majority of this release, they have been remastered at the same time. Sure it may cost you a little more, but you will get so much more enjoyment. Now I haven't gone into any great length about the tracks and for that I do apologise, but you will probably be well aware of what they are anyway so it seems a little pointless. If you don't, and perhaps this maybe this releases only saving grace, then this would act as a great introduction to the band. One of the icons of British music and a demonstration of what music can be, with a little effort and a lot of.. well I will leave that to your imagination. It comes in one of those really annoying cardboard boxes, not the plastic cases. I believe they are called digipacks for some reason. Unfortunately, all of the re releases suffer this fate so in about 10 years time, they will have probably disintegrated. Although the Discovery Box Set does have a rather nice purple box to keep them all safe, but they will only set you back about £100. So in conclusion would I buy this? Well I have done, but then again I'm a moron and a massive fan with more money than sense (10p in my piggy bank if you are wondering!!). If you have heard the band before and are thinking of buying should you? No, save your money and buy 'Wish You Were Here?' and then keep buying. And if you are new to the band and are thinking should you? No, go to amazon.co.uk, play the snippets, listen to them on youtube and if you like, but one of the CD's. The only reason I have given this 2 stars is that despite all its flaws, the music is still great, but as a release it is a waste of time, designed only for making money.
You have to laugh! Barely a shot of sunshine this year, yet I am still sneezing and spluttering and weezing my way through the summer months thanks to Hay fever. Also amongst the delights of the aforementioned condition just happens to be my personal favourite, itchy eyes. Now it does vary in intensity from mild to really believing I can go without eyes, and yes I am being overly dramatic, but it is nice to know that for a smallish fee, there can be some relief in the form of Optrex Allergy Eyes eye drops. It operates as treatments in the area do, as an anti histamine. The main ingredient is a substance called sodium cromoglicate (19 point word score in Scrabble!!). It stabilises the mast cells which are an important part of the immune system, and ensures they do not over react to the allergens which are prevalent at this time of year. Applying them can be a little tricky, but once you have done it a few times, you'll get the hang of it. A couple of points to consider though, firstly it will induce a temporary blur, no more than a few seconds, so administering whilst on the move is a no. Secondly, wearers of soft contact lenses should not use this stuff. Apparently, the material in soft contact lenses will absorb the eye drops and cause irritatiion, thereby defeating the object. You should seek medical clearance from your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding. The label says that there are no known instances of transfer or causing harm, but the makers of the medication won't stick their neck out and confirm it 100% safe. As with all medicines, it is advisable to check with a pharmacist to make sure combinations of medication will not have any nasty side affects. The standard bottle will contain about 10ml and set you back around £5 from most pharmacies. You pop 1 or 2 drops, 4 times a day in. Make sure your hands are clean, gently pull your lower eye lid down and tilt your head back and apply. Then do the same for the other eye and after a minute, you are ready to get going. The application is the same for children as adults. There is no drowsiness, but you should discard 28 days after opening and do not store in temperatures above 25C. They can also be used for your standard eye infections also, such as conjunctivitis. Now so far as medicine goes, I will say that this works for me and that is as far as I will go. I'm sure any hay fever sufferers out there will have all experienced the joy of hearing about how a new tablet has worked so well for a friend. You buy it, you try it and wonder if you would have been better spending the money on Smarties!! It really is trial and error, but I do know at least a couple of people who have enjoyed success, so maybe the odds are in it's favour.
Having recently decided to add a bit of variety to my beverage selection, I decided to purchase an espresso machine. Going with experience meant that Delonghi was a good place to start. A bit of browsing through their range and I purchased the Icona ECO310.R model. Being Italian means that styling is always going to be a premium, although occasionally this can come at the expense of reliability. However, my experiences with the brand seem to suggest otherwise and initial feelings with this machine are good too. The Icona ECO310.R is available in a multitude of colours all with a high gloss finish. To fit in with my rather minimalistic kitchen, I opted for the Onyx Black. Boring I know but neither the scarlet Red or Azure Blue would quite blend in!! In terms of its' size, it measures a measly 33x23x26cm, so it is not going to be crowding the kitchen space of even the smallest property. It does weigh nearly 5kg but I tend to think that goes to emphasise the build quality. It doesn't rely on cheap lightweight materials and the weight is the end result. You can see that in the stainless steel used on the milk frothing arm and the removable drip tray. D'Longhi has built this machine in a stylish design that's also very easy to use, with a no fuss, simple three button control system. In addition to the ease of use is its' inherent speed. Evidently, it has been designed f or people with busy lifestyles who want their favourite coffee fast and made to perfection. The instruction book suggests standard preparation time to be around fifteen minutes. In my experience, half that time is all that is required. It has a two in one feature which allows for the use of easy serving espresso pods or ground coffee & also features a manual control milk froth arm. The variable steam emissions, mix steam, milk & air to create a rich and creamy froth for an exceptional cappuccino. This Icona ECO310.R coffee machine is built to accommodate 2 fully sized cappuccino cups or 2 espresso sized cups. The coffee steam boiler produces fast results while offering optimum temperature controls and also features a tamper and incorporated crema device. Other features included is the 1ltr water tank, stainless steel drip try which is removable and a handy cup warmer. It delivers great tasting coffee as a result of the 15 bar pump pressure. There are free Coffee granules included with this machine so you're ready to start using the machine right out of the box and you can continue to use the machine with either granules or the easy serve espresso pods. The box contains... 1 x De'Longhi Icona ECO310.R Pump Espresso Machine 1 x Product instruction booklet 1 x two in one filter holder 1 x UK fitting plug You can pick one of these up from Amazon for around £125, although the keen shopper may find them cheaper. As with most devices of this nature, it comes with the industry standard 1 years warranty. Down points, well there aren't any. You get what you pay for. The machines you see in coffee houses cost in the thousands, so the results here won't be as good. However, they are not a million miles away and I'm very glad I have mine. I can have an espresso waiting for me when I wake up in the morning, rather than having to face the long trek to work first. And that is a very nice feeling, I can assure you.
In a market dominated by the iPhone and Blackberry, you would have to have a very good reason for choosing something different. Looks alone are certainly not enough where technology is concerned. So the question with the Motorola Razr is, does it do enough to warrant not going with the big 2. The first thing to mention is that the Motorola Razr brand maybe new to the smartphone market, but they are no mugs. They have a long and successful history in the standard phones area, indeed I owned two which were everything you ever needed and more. So for tradition and excellence, Motorola know what is required. Now I did say that looks alone shouldn't win you over, but this will go damned close. It is slinky at only 7.1mm thin with a 4.3 inch screen. Black is definitely the colour with the rear coated in what looks like a mock carbon fiber weave. The screen has a resolution of 960 x 540 producing clear, crisp and extremely colorful images which are vital for taking pictures. It has an 8MP camera and can record in full HD, and uses the Android 2.3.5 operating system on a 1.2GHZ dual core processor. It weighs only 127g which is quite amazing when you think of all the tech stuffed in there. Compare that to the iPhone which weighs 140g. Slightly concerning however, is the weight distribution which gives it a top heavy feel, so you won't be loosely holding it in the palm of your hand if you want to maintain its looks. You have only four buttons on the phones front and three on the right hand side giving the phone the uncluttered, clean look that makes it so attractive. The top of the phone has three ports for headphones, micro SD card and an HDMI lead. Interacting with the phone is done easily enough, you can rush through the home screens without issue and open and close apps at will without and lag, no matter how many you have open. The most important factor on a phone though is its ability to call people and the Razr manages this brilliantly. The sound quality is great and will maintain your calling signal without issue. I can vouch from personal experience that it is better than the iPhone 4 in this area having seen the efforts of people using said Apple device. Not a pretty sight!! Messaging is a piece of cake and comes with the added benefit of being able to put all you messages from various sources such as Facebook, twitter, web-mail all in one inbox. No other phone does this at the moment. Internet access is good. In terms of reading the pages, the definition on the screen allows crystal clear quality and the speed with which pages are accessed is as good as you would want. However, on occasion it can be a little difficult and decide not to do anything. But this happens only occasionally. The media apps are perfect for the device allowing for excellent photo and video capture whilst the sound on the mp3 player is good enough for day to day use. One issue of concern is the battery life which does seem to be a little weak. I have to recharge this pretty much every day for constant use, but when you measure that against the fantastic way it performs and very rarely lets me down, I have to say it is certainly a worthy addition to the Razr family. As for the initial question as to whether you should get this ahead of the big 2, I would say yes. And that is before the most important point, the price. You can get this phone on contract at prices starting from £21 per month. In comparison to other smart phones, that represents excellent value.
I'm going to begin this review with a brief description of me. I'm 35 yrs old, 6ft 4 and weigh a little over 200lbs. I work in a busy urban environment and wear a suit to work every day. And I do all that riding on a Vespa GT125. Now you may find the image of someone looking like that on a scooter as quite amusing, but not quite so amusing as the looks on people faces as I zip through traffic before and after work each morning, and am able to find parking with ease. In fact my main source of irritation is that it took me so long to actually but one of these and save myself the horror of the rush hour commute. Technical details first, the engine size is 125cc producing 15bhp at 8500rpm, so you don't need a full license to ride one. A short CBT course should suffice all the legal requirements. It will do 116mpg, has a fuel tank range of 150 miles and it will do a top speed of 64mph. Tell me what car can do those figures in the modern city. Transmission is an automatic or belt drive. The wheels are 12 inches in diameter, 2 inches larger than older models ensuring a smoother and safer ride. It is lightweight so riding becomes effortless, you don't have to have arms the size of tree trunks to enjoy. The seating position is 30 inches from the floor providing a comfortable ride for all, myself included. The styling harks back to the original design of the 60s so there is that very Italian feel about it. Cost wise you can pick one up, brand new for a little under £3000. Factor in insurance and fuel costs and it becomes a viable alternative to using your car. Reliability is excellent, in the time I have owned mine there has been no issues. Build quality is brilliant and with a bit of reading maintenance is a doddle. To the extent that you will become proficient enough to carry out your own regular servicing allowing you to run one for years to come. Then if decide to sell a couple of years down the line, resale values on properly maintain scooters are still high enough for you to recoup at least a third of your initial outlay. So why isn't everyone doing it? Firstly storage, it has next to none with a small storage bay under the seat. It isn't even big enough for a full face helmet. Bad weather will not doubt cause issues. Having only two wheels, even at low speeds, the loss of grip can be quite an issue which will require a calm head and steady hands. It is not unmanageable, but you need your wits about you. And finally, other drivers specifically cars. They don't like bike users, they don't like you just parking anywhere and they don't like sitting there as you zoom by. And they will let you know, intentionally or otherwise. As a final issue, the sidestand does take a bit of getting used to but after a while it's fine. On the whole I'm very happy with mine, the good absolutely outweighing the bad points. As cities become more and more chaotic - and I shudder to think what London will look like this Summer - scooter owning is becoming a lot more beneficial and acceptable. My advice try it out.
Remember a time before pressure washers? No, neither do I, in fact I am completely mystified as to what I would do without mine. I know a car wash is easy enough but driveways, conservatory roof, windows!!! Anyway I have owned mine now for a little over three years and despite being considered an entry level unit, it handles everything I have thrown at it. You can pick them up now for around the £75 mark and in my experience, it will handle everything your typical suburban detached house can throw at it. The distinctive yellow and black colour scheme hides a 1400 watt motor that provides a water flow rate of 360 litres per hour at a maximum pressure of 110 bar. It runs of your standard 240 volts main supply and plugs into any socket via a generous 5 metre cable. Attached to the other end of the unit is a metre high pressure hose, so theoretically you will have a 9 metre radius from electric point to target. The manual advises that this unit can comfortably handle a 12m squared patio. Water temperature and vary up to 40 degrees, it also has water inlet filter ensuring that no dirt particles can damage the pump. The pump itself, N-cor, is quiet, lightweight and corrosion resistant, also possessing a safety valve to prevent pressure overload. It is lightweight, coming in at only 5kgs and as you can see in the picture it has wheels on its base, so anyone, no matter what age can use it in relative comfort. It comes complete with a tool set, all of which clip onto the main unit, enabling the owner to have everything to hand in a space saving manner. The tools are a handgun, lance, hose, chamois leather, wash brush and a dirt blaster. It comes complete with a 6 month warranty that can be extended to 12 months. It also comes supplied with a 500ml universal cleaning pouch which when diluted will provide 5 litres of cleaning solution whcih can be applied through a detergent suction pump. On that note, it is not necessary to stick to any manufacturers recommended brand, any solution that you enjoy success with can be used. It comes complete with an easy to follow manual to ensure that you are up and running in no time. One final note to consider, if you are in any doubt as to the effectiveness of Karcher products, you may like to know they have been used to clean Mt Rushmore, Christ the Redeemer in Rio and our very own Nelson's Column. If it's good enough for them...
Almost as important as the cue itself, a good player knows that his chalk always needs to be close to hand. Especially if he is to have any degree of success. You may think that the selection of such a small, non-descript object would be a simple process. Not so, to ensure an even coating on the cue tip means that the chalk has to have a good, solid texture. Too soft and it will just crumble, too hard and you'll damage your tip. Thankfully Triangle Chalk avoids both of these issues and in all the years I have played snooker and pool, this brand is my preferred. Triangle has a 75 year reputation for producing good quality chalk which is something to give both amateur and professional comfort. You can purchase a box of 12 for a little over £2.00. And the benefit of buying them in bulk is that when you inevitably misplace one, you'll have plenty to go round. I'm sure we've all seen them on TV, but they come out around an inch cubed and are available in red, blue or the more traditional green colours. The top comes with an inverted dimple which means it won't slip on first use. This will wear down with use and get larger so you should try to change the way you use your chalk to increase it's longevity. Over time the paper surrounding the chalk will fade and fall away, but this will in no way affect the performance of the chalk. Time doesn't affect the chalk itself as it will not fade or flake away ensuring that many years down the line you'll still be able to coat your cue tip in a nice, smooth coating.
If you have a digital camera, then in all probability you will start wondering about buying a flash. Most new models do come with a flash of some nature, be it built in or not, but this will probably not be up to any real test. I certainly found this to be the case with my Olympus E-PL3 so after one trip away and understanding the limitations of the flash, I opted to spend £190 and purchased the Olympus FL-36R. This is a much larger unit so two benefits are greater light, be that in your vicinity or further away. Both of these options are impossible with the box standard flash. It fits into the port on the top of the camera in the same way the standard flash does. Also there are no cables as you may usually find on devices of this nature. As a result, it fits into the Pen ethos of compact design for easy use in the field. It folds in the middle allowing for more control over lighting and swivels 270 degrees to avoid top lighting. It has a zoom range to match the standard 14-42mm lens although there is the option to use the pull out diffuser for longer lenses. The 36 in the model name refers to the power rating at maximum lens range. The selling point for this unit is that it has its own set of controls but also allows the camera to control the power through the lens or TTL as it is known. This enables amateurs and professionals to be equally at home with this piece. It comes with a stand to allow you to position the unit elsewhere whilst you hold the camera. The wireless integration means that the camera can use one of the four channels to communicate in much the same way as it would if attached to the top section, albeit with a hardly noticeable delay. Setting the camera up for use in this manner is as simple as scrolling to the relevant menu and selecting 'RC' to on. Downsides are few, but the main one is the power source. It runs off two AA batteries and goes through them at a rate of knots, so be prepared to have a constant supply for long trips. But aside from that, this unit is a solid al rounder that can handle pretty much anything you throw at it. Finished in matt black to complement most units it is compatible with in the Pen range it weighs 260g and measures 67x95x108mm it comes complete with stand and soft carry case and can be bought for around £184 on Amazon.co.uk.
So after ten years, the time finally came when I had to replace my old version. Primarily because it was full of music I did not want to get rid of but also because it was struggling to hold it's charge. On looking into buying a new ipod, I encountered my first issue. My issue is not so much with the device, rather the range. Your options range from the Nano, Shuffle or Touch which have anything between 2gb and 16gb or the Classic which has 160gb. Now it has taken me ten years to use 20gbs and i'm fairly certain that there aren't enough pieces of music in existence to fill 160gbs. Now the experienced amongst will say that the latest Classic, the 7th Generation has a colour screen and therefore the capacity to store movies for you to watch on the go. Fair point, however the screen as with all the other Classics is 2.5 inches. You are not going to be viewing in comfort on that. Sure you can plug it into a TV but then you are losing the portable capability, so what is the use in that. Now it may seem a bit of a peculiar complaint, how can you have too much of a good thing. Well the problem is big memory size means big price size. You will pay in the region of £200 for either a black or silver version. That is the same price I paid 10 years ago, only classic cars hold their value like that. No matter how good a product it is, unless their is some sort of dramatic improvement in its capability, then I don't see how Apple can justify the price. In the box you will recieve the usual headphones, a USB cable and a dock adapter. It measures 103.5 x 61.8 x 10.5mm, weighs 140 grams and has a battery life of 36 hours for music or 6 hours for film. So the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is a non starter. It can be fully charged within 4 hours and operation as always is conducted through the wheel on the devices lower front under the display. A nice touch is the Cover Flow facility which will display the albums artwork which does work well, even on such a small screen. Also included are a couple of games. The sound quality is as it has always been very good and it could not be easy to use for listening or transferring media from your PC with iTunes. Given my experiences with my previous ipod which still works, I have high expectations of this one. Apple are renowned for the premium quality they place on their products and I feel confident in this. It is just that price which does stick in the throat a little. But if you can look beyond that, then you will enjoy many hours with this device tucked away in your pocket.
I recently picked one one of these up for about £13 on amazon.co.uk and quite simply has enabled me to teach an old dog new tricks. Or to clarify, an old laptop that has been gathering dust. The laptop in question, an HP Pavillion series has up until buying this adapter required a hardwired connection i.e. physically running a wire. Given that laptop was located quite a distance from the nearest socket, it ceased to be useful, being only able to operate in close proximity to the modem and therefore becoming a desktop by proxy and I have one of those. Weighing less than 100g and measuring no more than 2 inches in length, once connected to your wireless network it will give you speeds of up to 54Mps. It may only be compatible with Windows 98 and XP but when you consider that if you are running a newer OS, then the likelihood is that you have no need for a wireless adapter as yours is already built in. Installation is easy and lives up to the plug and go philosophy that the USB port is designed for. Speeds will fluctuate a little, but that will be more dependant on your position. Reliability is second to none so far. Encased in a toughened black plastic, it will stand up to minor bumps but as with all USB connections don't go throwing them round or they will be damaged. The end cap does its best to avoid that eventuality. When you consider that you can spend £13 and making an old laptop wireless and connecting to the internet without the need for metres of wiring, you begin to appreciate how clever this little lump of plastic is. It does no more than what it promises and for that you will be grateful.
At a time when dance music is disappearing up it's own posterior, the Canadian producer who hates to be referred to as a DJ released his fifth studio album proving that you don't have hip hop stars doing vocals to produce quality music in the genre. One year on, 4x4=12 is still as powerful and attention grabbing as it was when I first heard it. There are two versions, one mixed the other unmixed, so budding DJ's will automatically be drawn to the unmixed version. Lasting a whopping 69 minutes and 49 seconds, the eleven track CD has so far produced four singles. Some Chords, Animal Rights, Raise Your Weapon and Sofi Needs a Ladder, the last one featuring the vocals of Sofia Toufa who also guests on One Trick Pony. Perhaps that is one of the strengths of this and previos CD's in that guest vocalists are used because of their range and ability rather than their name. Fans of Joel Zimmerman aka Deadmau5 will know what to expect, a high tempo bass heavy electronic mix that would provide the perfect soundtrack to any party in the world. The energy that goes into the production clearly transfers into the listeners ears and you just can't help but dance. It is aggressive and high tempo and critics will argue that it is not music, more noise. Commercially, much of the criticism that has come its way seems to reflect that it lacks the ability to crossover into mainstream pop like Moby or David Guetta. It is that criticism that perfectly encapsulates the CD and it's creator. This type of music doesn't belong on Top of the Pops or on your Grannies radio. It is music for clubs and people who live for the scene. It's not going to be on an advert anytime and it won't be number one. Deadmau5 appears to have become the herald for the new fashion in music which is dubstep, but I don't believe he fits into that genre, placed in it by reviewers more out of convenience than anything else. You can pick up a copy for less than £5 and if you are into the genre I really do urge to buy it, it will continually reward over the years to come.
So if you have received or purchased a new digital camera over the holidays, you will have been greeted by the unpleasant message that informs you that you have no memory. If your camera is an Olympus, then you will be completely unaware of the need for a memory card until getting home and opening the box. Trust me, that is really annoying. Sandisk seem to have become the dominant player in the memory card market. When looking to purchase a new card, the inclination will be to go for one with a larger memory, something like a 16gb or 32gb. The price will no doubt be more economical and just makes more sense if you only have one to worry about. Wrong. Memory cards can and will fail, so if you have 1 big card with all your prized pictures on and it dies, you won't be best pleased. Again, trust me. So a 4GB is big enough to last you for an event, say a holiday and you can pick them up in packs. Little bit more expensive but that is piece of mind for you. So what do you get, not a lot as it happens. A roughly one inch rectangle made of blue plastic and approx 2mm thick. If you are of a mind to do so, you could snap it but other wise it can be thrown into a pocket or compartment without too much concern. On its reverse at the top are the contact strips. These are how the data is transferred from source to storage and eventually to your PC, so avoid damaging these. It weighs very little, if it is in your pocket you will forget about it. In terms of storage, it will hold 1500 good quality photos and about 4 hours of normal video footage. Of course that can be increased or decreased by altering the quality of your shooting. Amazon.co.uk is selling these for just under £4. If I was to have any complaints, then the lack of a protective case would be the one issue. I've just had to spend £2 for ten of them. When you consider the amount of plastic packaging the cards come in, it seems a little silly to not have something to protect your investment. In terms of card failures, I have suffered none and reviewers accross the web indicate this is a very safe product. So I think there are more people than just me that you can trust on that count!!
Released in September of 2011, I had become aware of the release after first hearing one of the singles off the CD in early July. And that for me is where the problems started. The track in question was 'days are Forgotten' and it accompanied the promo for Sky's new football season and later on it would be used for the WWE TLC pay per view event. Whenever I hear music first played on adverts for mainstream companies alarm bells start to ring, essentially the music is fluff to sell stuff. Switchblade Smiles was the next release and that provided a little more hope for what was to follow. A classic track from the group, heavy guitar riffs with synthesised vocals bearing more than a passing resemblance to tracks from the first album. Re-wired was the third release from the album which had a memorable video in it's favour featuring a guest appearance from Noel Fielding as Vlad the Impaler but not a lot else. It would be remiss to ignore that on tracks such as Neon Neon or the opener Let's Just Roll Like We used, the Leicester 5 piece do try to be original, but it seems to be as if they are being forced to do it rather than a sense of natural progression. You get the feeling that they put them on their just to alleviate the overwhelming whiff of commercialism. It's 50 minutes long, so certainly longer than the average fare and to be honest it does feel longer. Fitting nicely into the bands indie-electronic-psychedelic rock niche it just does what is expected. It lacks the creativity and thought that made 'West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum' such a delight. There is also a sense that a lot of post production has gone into this to smooth out the edges. It is as if some of the criticism they received for the aforementioned album has made them run back to the safety of the mainstream. And the critics rewarded them giving them consistently higher reviews that the fans favourite West Ryder. Maybe in time this will be seen as the bands watershed moment. Do they continue to produce commercial driven, critic friendly fluff or would they prefer to excite their fans and use the talent they have. Time will tell. You can pick this 11 track CD up for around £6 in most CD retailers.
I first stumbled upon Miles Kane after hearing 'The Age of the Understatement', the debut album from the Last Shadow Puppets. Kane along with Alex Turner, frontman of the Arctic Monkeys, created a CD which had a sound that managed to be unique to the music around but still retro enough to be compared to 60s stars such as Scott Walker and David Bowie. When the 'Colour of the Trap' was released in May 2011, it instantly had classic status in my mind and yet you may struggle to find a wide audience for this work. Again the sound has a hint of the retro, and it is important to emphasise it is just a hint. Other modern artists like Mark Ronson have been only too willing to jump into the whole 60s sound and just regurgitate it. What Kane does it to use those inspirations and add them to the typical North West England sound such as Cast, Oasis. It's a guitar led music that allys themes that are far from the norm in modern day pop music to create a unique niche. Thematically it focuses on a darker side, concentrating on obsession and bad romance, not too light!! Totalling a little under 39 mins, the 12 track release has so far spawn 3 singles 'Inhaler', 'Come Closer' and 'Rearrange'. They give a flavour of what the album consists of yet leave enough to be discovered once you purchase the CD. One of those hidden gems 'My Fantasy', just happens to feature a certain Noel Gallagher who used to be quite popular apparently. Harry Potter fans may be excited to hear the voice of Clemence Poesy on 'Happenstance', in a very naughtily breathy French manner. The 12 tracks will form a juxtaposition of varying styles all linked, from Motown harmonies to Rock and Roll riffs, and none of it seems at odds with what precedes or follows. You can tell that Meols born Kane has a distinct love for the era he is using, yet he refuses to become an impersonator and that is the albums real strength. That and the fact that there is something distinctly cool in liking this album which has yet to gain the attention it deserves. That will undoubtedly follow. In reviews, most journalists seem to have given the same opinion. That is, it has a unique noise and successfully uses the 60s, yet it fails to have an identity of it's own. Personally, I think it is a little harsh as it does something that very few of the 'Saturday night pop stars' will ever provide on their efforts. You can pick a copy up from most good retailers for less than £5.
At nearly 15 years old, I like to Score probably does not get the attention that Moby's following albums do and yet you have to wonder why. In short it is a collection of songs used in TV or film through the 90s including an absolute classic. It contains 12 tracks and lasts a little over 47 minutes and the tracks are undoubtedly all from the Electronica genre that Moby inhabited at that point in his career. A quick glance over the tracklisting and the casual observer will recognise maybe the one track, that being the remix of the James Bond theme which was done for the Pierce Brosnan 'Tomorrow Never Dies' film. It's nothing mind blowing, simply adding a high tempo beat over electronically styled guitar riffs. Fluff, but enjoyable none the less. This is followed by Go which is not so much from a film, rather inspired by. In this case it uses 'Laura Palmer's Theme' from the TV series Twin Peaks. It takes the haunting, slow moving melody and adds a disco beat to it, ups the tempo and an instant dance classic which will have anybody of a certain age immediately saying '...oh yeah, I know that.' There are other tracks that will probably be recognised such as 'Oil 1' from 'The Saint', 'First Cool Hive' from 'Scream' and 'New Dawn Fades' from 'Heat'. But for me the real standout track and indeed the main reason I purchased the CD all those years ago is for track 8, God Moving Over the Face of Water. Quite a pretentious name for a simple dance track and yet it does more than live up to it. Starting off with just a simple piano melody, it gradually builds with synthesizers adding another distinct layer complements the piano beautifully. The percussion builds into it, gaining momentum until reaching it's crescendo at the end of nearly 6 minutes. Still after all this time, the hairs on the back of neck stand up. It provides a fitting conclusion to the film 'Heat' managing to overcome the presence of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino's final scene. If you've seen the movie, you probably know what I am talking about. I love this album, more for the presence of 'God Moving...' and when you consider it can be picked up for a little under £3, which is the price of most CD singles, it's like you are getting eleven tracks free. I would recomend it to anyone and there is still far more to listen to than the few tracks I have covered.