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Music - Rap & Hip-Hop - Who needs electricity?14 solid acoustic albums!

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    Across A Wire: Live In New York City
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (14 July, 1998)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
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    Editorial Review

    Too much too soon is the m.o. of so many bands who, thanks to the fleeting fame that accompanies music-video breakthroughs, are famous before their time and has-beens five minutes later. You could be excused for thinking that's the case with Counting Crows, darlings of both MTV and VH1, who here release a double concert CD after only two studio albums. But you'd be wrong. The set, an acoustic disc recorded for VH1's Storytellers and an electric one from MTV's Live from the 10 Spot, proves how well the oft-bootlegged Crows have earned their reputation as a smoking live band. It also shows how elastic their rambling and evocative songs can be, some of which appear on both discs but in vastly different arrangements. People may tire of vocalist Adam Duritz's perpetually-wounded-soldier-of-love act, but this is one band whose success was hard-won and is richly deserved. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

    Features

    • Live
    Reviews (134)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good live album from a great band

    I'll admit that I bought this live album and maybe listened to it once or twice in the first year I had it. Not sure why but I just wasn't interested. How thing's change.

    The first disc, from VH1 Storyteller's is an excellent introduction to the band's more acoustic side. There are a few really good performances on this disc but I find it to almost be too mellow...not really in a bad way though.

    The second disc, from MTV's live at the ten spot is more upbeat and rocking. Really not a bad performance on this disc. My favorite would have to be A Murder Of One.The only complaint I can find on this disc is that the sound quality isn't quite perfect although it's far from bad.

    I own alot of live music and this is really quite good. I would definitely reccomend this disc to anyone getting into the crows or fans of band's such as dave matthews band, matchbox twenty, etc.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Acoustic and Electric shows...
    This is a double live CD from 1997. The first disc is an acoustic show from VH1's Storytellers minus the stories. The second disk is an electric show from MTV's Live from the 10 Spot. I prefer the second disk.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
    I really enjoy most of the Countig Crow's album, but this one's a little different.Since it's live, the songs are a little more slow, which makes some of them sound more depressing. Don't et me wrong though, it's still good. My brother likes it perticularly because you can hear a lot more of the work with the instruments, so if you play guitar and are into Counting Crows, this album is a must have! "Never go to New York City" is REALLY depressing though. ... Read more

    Asin: B000008USI
    Subjects:  1. Adult Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Alternative Pop/Rock    3. American Trad Rock    4. Pop    5. Rock   


    $13.99

    Unplugged
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (30 July, 1996)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $13.98
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    Features

    • Live
    Reviews (105)

    5-0 out of 5 stars awesome, but maybe only to the diehard fan
    This is a purely fantastic CD, and makes me wonder why Alice in Chains did not record other acoustic sets. They provide acoustic renditions (full band however, guitars, acoustic bass, drums) of both some fitting and predictable songs (Nutshell, Rooster) and some you wouldn't necessarily expect (Would, Down in a Hole). The end result is a 13 piece thing of beauty, alternating between dreary, delicate and delightful.

    If anything can be said against it, Unplugged might not appeal to the casual fan or radio listener. Its for the fans, but I feel its also an irresistable ablum that will grow on a person.

    Another thing worth mentioning (sadly) is that its pretty obvious singer Layne Staley was tripped out on heroin at the time. One of the side effects of heroin addiction is a temporary alteration in the pitch of voice, and its quite noticeable in the song set. Compared to studio recordings Staley's voice is higher and thinner. But he is still such a proficient singer that he pulls it off very well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Alice In Chains born to play "Unplugged"
    A lot of bands, especially ones whose sound was so shaped and driven by electric guitar, go on "Unplugged" and sound like crap.Alice In Chains surprised a lot of people with their set-though I'm not sure why.
    Both Sap and Jar Of Flies were acoustic- heavy. What surprised me on "Unplugged" is how well Cantrell and Staley pulled off tracks like "Sludge Factory" and "Angry Chair", even "Would?".Alice In Chains blows me away on this album. They don't sound stripped- down and limited like some rock bands do on Unplugged. They almost sound better than on the studio albums.The only foul- up is on Got Me Wrong, and it's a minor mix up of one word.Forgivable, trust me. This album is arguably their "greatest hits." A great set list to say the least.
    One of the best live recordings you're likely to hear any rock band put down, acoustic or not. If you're a fan of Alice In Chains, you won't regret buying this one bit.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing
    This is one of my favorite bands at their best.You never would have known that they hadn't performed together in 3 years, and it's sad that this was their last performance together as well, but what a note to go out on.They were still on top of their game when performing this set.Such a tragedy that a beautiful and talented individual like Layne had such a torturing habit.The last song on this CD is very prophetic of Layne's troubled life..."The Killer is Me."I highly recommend this CD to anyone who not only appreciated the media labeled "grunge" movement, but anyone who appreciates acoustic sets.They maintain their edge, yet pull it off with a grace none of us imagined they could. ... Read more

    Asin: B000002BM5
    Sales Rank: 4812
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Metal    2. Alternative Pop/Rock    3. Grunge    4. Hard Rock    5. Heavy Metal    6. Pop    7. Rock   


    $13.98

    Live at Luther College
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (19 January, 1999)
    list price: $21.98 -- our price: $18.99
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    Editorial Review

    Unplugged and set apart from his bandmates, Dave Matthews is transformed from a fusion rocker to something of a fusion folkie. Indeed, this two-disc, two-man concert recording (cut in Iowa in the winter of 1996 and shelved for nearly three years) posits the South African-born bandleader less as a Blues Traveler fellow traveler than a dexterous, jazz-inflected minstrel in the tradition of Tim and Jeff Buckley, Terry Callier, and Ellen McIlwaine. As with those considerably less-successful performers, multiplatinum Matthews is enticed to soar ever higher by his considerable vocal prowess. Ultimately, Matthews takes his tunes in dizzying directions because he can! All those exhibitions of elasticity have earned Matthews disdain in less-is-more circles. Here, however, more than ably complemented by frequent DMB guest and fellow Charlottesville, Virginia, denizen Tim Reynolds, Matthews virtually bursts through 23 tunes that leave his audience wanting more. They needn't worry: even his worst critics wouldn't accuse Matthews of being stingy when it comes to music. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Features

    • Live
    Reviews (489)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classic
    A must have for any DMB fan.Songs are transformed into a new style that many casual fans are not accustomed to.Dave and Time bring out some "one time" material and improv.A must have for any fan or apperciator of great musicical talent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dave Matthews at his best
    Without a doubt one of the BEST complete live Dave Matthews CD sets that you can buy. If you like Dave, or enjoy some of his other CD's and you haven't bought this one you a missing out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Live Music
    This is one of the 20 best live albums I have ever heard. Dave and Tim are so crisp and tight on this recording, it is amazing that they recorded this live.

    One thing to check out is Dave's ad-libs during a few songs. He doesn't acutally sing the published words to a few songs. Most notable is "Say Goodbye". I challenge you to find a published version that matches what he acutally sings. That is part of the charm of Dave, making music that is special each time you see him live.

    The real highlights on this recording are "Seek Up", "Say Goodbye", and "Typical Situation". You can listen to those 3 songs all day and not get tired of them.

    OC ... Read more

    Asin: B00000DFUB
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    $18.99

    Unplugged in New York
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (01 November, 1994)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $9.99
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    Editorial Review

    The last Nirvana collection recorded before the untimely death of Kurt Cobain, Unplugged caught many by surprise with its stripped down, neo-acoustic offerings with a bridled fury. When Cobain sings, "I swear I don't have a gun, I don't have a gun" with clenched teeth (instead of an open howl) and when the haunting strains of "About a Girl"--from their earliest LP--chills even with quieted guitars, you discover a new appreciation for the nuances of one of the greatest bands of recent times. Highlights include covers of three Meat Puppets tracks (featuring special guests Curt and Kris Kirkwood of that influential "college rock" band), the weepy cello on the Vaselines' "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam," and their cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World." --Lorry Fleming ... Read more

    Features

    • Live
    Reviews (366)

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's amazing what a junkie can do when he gets his fix
    Why'd Kurt have such a mellow vibe during the whole performance? Because he had some MTV execs score him some heroin before the show. No joke. Just listen to the way he says "I've already had three cups of tea already, but thank you". Kurt was blitzed. It's amazing that he gave such a good performance on heroin. Yeah, that does embody a lot of what Nirvana was about.

    5-0 out of 5 stars oh
    I don't own any Nirvana cd's and I've never been to a Nirvana concert. Nirvana never interested me UNTIL I saw Nirvana unplugged on MTV. Wow. Great work Nirvana. RIP Kurt

    5-0 out of 5 stars an essential for any Nirvana fan
    what i really enjoy about this cd is that Kurt Cobain decided to do some covers of a favorite band of his, the Meat Puppets.3 really good songs of theirs are on here, plus a David Bowie song and a Vaselines song they covered. THey draw from songs that are already fairly mellow, and give them an acoustic edge that sounds awesome.I was already a fan of the Unplugged series, and this is one of the better ones.It is very special, and embodies a lot of music that Nirvana stands for.You definitely need this one in your collection. ... Read more

    Asin: B000003TB9
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock    3. Rock/Pop   


    $9.99

    Unplugged
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (25 August, 1992)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
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    Editorial Review

    Clapton caught the "unplugged" trend just at the right time, when the public was hungry to hear how well rock stars and their material can hold up when stripped of elaborate production values. Clapton himself seemed baffled by the phenomenon, especially when picking up the armload of Grammys Unplugged earned him, including Record and Song of the Year for "Tears in Heaven," the heart-rending elegy to his young son, Conor. That song and a reworked version of "Layla" got most of the attention, but the rest of the album has fine versions of acoustic blues numbers such as "Malted Milk," "Rollin' & Tumblin', and "Before You Accuse Me" that make it worth investigating further. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

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    • Live
    Reviews (110)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant in Many ways
    Apart from the two most noticeable tracks, LAYLA and TEARS IN HEAVEN, this album is consistently great, those first two tracks are beyond great, and border on phenomenal.
    I watched some "jam" sessions that Clapton did with some other stars, all acknowledged masters in Blues, and Clapton was in his class.
    Whatever you want to call it, Clapton does it superbly. The criticism of EC alwaysreminds of the anecdote that I think it was Jon Lord made about Ritchie Blackmore... and it was words to the effect that Lord knew that Ritchie had finally lost the plot when he told him that Eric Clapton could not play. Its just sour grapes.
    Clapton does something so beautifully, it works well when copied too. I have performed TEARS IN HEAVEN for audiences, and thanks to Claptons basic but beautiful arrangement, the audiences loved it. But the kicker for me was that a classically trained musician in the group I was in one time could not play the tune even WITH the music... and this was a guy with superb classicalskills. Simple is not always the best, but in the hands of some brilliant musicians like Clapton, simple elevates to the level of genius.
    A Beautifulalbum.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Another lousy album by Clapton
    It's amazing how Eric Clapton's mockery of the blues can sell so many records, but then again nobody ever lost money underestimating the taste of the American public. The saddest thing is that if Eric were a black bluesman, he'd get no airplay and little fame outside of small clubs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars clapton crafted a very special album
    this is easily my favorite EC album; I see that many people share my fascination with it.Clapton was very good at crafting great blues songs on acoustic guitar,and I like these songs much better than his electric guitar music (though Cream of Clapton is a strong hits collection).with great songs like "layla" crafted to absolute acoustic perfection, I knew I absolutely had to have this music on cd(I was introduced to it from an old tape my parents had).One song I love learning to play is "layla," it is so good and so improved from the original on here.Other songs like "tears in heaven" and "alberta" are real gems also, and there is not a single weak track on here, which encourages repeat listenings.My respect for Clapton was immeasurable when I first heard this cd.If you don't have it, you need it.no questions. ... Read more

    Asin: B000002MFE
    Subjects:  1. Adult Contemporary    2. Blues-Rock    3. Pop    4. Pop/Rock    5. Rock   


    $13.99

    Nebraska
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (25 October, 1990)
    list price: $11.98 -- our price: $10.99
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    Editorial Review

    Hot on the heels of The River, his commercial breakthrough, Springsteen's decision to release the stark, demo-quality Nebraska seems downright perverse. But the genius of the album is unmistakable--with just an acoustic guitar and his howling harmonica to back him, Springsteen tells the stories of characters walking on both sides of the law, some of them directly on the line in between. The effect is that of a powerful series of black-and-white photographs--the details are bleak in and of themselves, but they ignite the imagination in ways that are more satisfying than full-color shots would be. "Mansion on the Hill," "Highway Patrolman," "Atlantic City," and the frightening "Nebraska" are among the most sharply rendered and memorable works of Springsteen's career. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

    Reviews (108)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sooo bleak, sooo real
    When I first heard Springsteen as a 9 year old it was all Born In The USA and it was so overexposed that it got old real fast and made me feel a bit "over" the pseudo-celebratory crap it was used to celebrate/promote in the US.Not that the songwriter intended it that way...
    Fast forward a few years and my brother picked up Nebraska.It sounded way different but I still wasn't interested.A few years ago I met a guy who raved about Nebraska in a pub in Melbourne and in a moment of alcoholic inspiration bought a copy.
    A few years on and I can safely say that it is one of the best purchases I've made.The music is raw, delicate, painful and HUMAN!! A look at the sometimes seemingly pointless grind of our existence from the angles of normal people.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply one of Bruce's absolute best
    The thing that I find very interesting about Bruce Springsteen is that he is many things to many people. There are people who enjoy coming to his concerts to hear the flat out rocker anthems such as Born in the USA and Born to Run and there are people who come to hear beautiful ballads like Incident on 57th Street, The River, If I Should Fall Behind, etc.

    After the huge commercial success of The River, Bruce followed up that album with a sparse and dark record entitled Nebraska. Gone were the pounding bass,drums, and electric guitars prominent in past E Street efforts. This album was bare-bones Bruce. To be sure, this was risky stuff. The Boss could have followed up with another commercial album and cemented his reputation right then and there. But he didn't. Instead, he released this jewel of an album filled with great lyrics and great story telling. This album is so powerful that it just grabs you by the throat and won't let go. Stories of desperation and despair abound. Many of the central characters in these songs have lost their way and have found themselves on the fringes of society. As one other reviewer wrote, this is not great party music and it is not intended to be. It is bleak, introspective and chilling.

    There are many great songs on this record to recommend it: Nebraska, Atlantic City, Johnny 99, Highway Patrolman, and Reason to Believe (among others). Unfortunately, it is this writer's opinion that Bruce's later efforts to attempt to duplicate Nebraska such as Tom Joad, and even the newly released Devils and Dust are second rate efforts and don't come close to the power of Nebraska. Why have lesser imitations when you can have the real thing? There will be people reading this review who will be puzzled and wonder what all the fuss is about, but this album is simply a masterpiece and is arguably one of Bruce's all time best. Give it a chance. It grows on you....

    4-0 out of 5 stars NJ bard meets Midwest Gothic
    This is my favorite Springsteen albums - heck, it's one of my favorite albums.You'll never hear these songs on the radio - they're too good, or too depressing or too Midwest Gothic.It starts out with a song about a guy headed for the electric chair and things pretty much go down from there.

    The album sounds like it could have been put together during the dust bowl years when farms failed and gangsters pulled three state crime spree until stopped by John Law.Things have not changed so very much.

    For a guy from the Jersey coast Springsteen evokes the openness of the Midwest pretty well.If you like this album and want to check out some more tales of life in the middle look into James McMurtry (Where'd You Hide the Body is his best)
    ... Read more

    Asin: B0000025T6
    Subjects:  1. Album Rock    2. Alternative Folk    3. Heartland Rock    4. Pop    5. Rock    6. Singer/Songwriter   


    $10.99

    Where the Music Meets Film: Live from the Sundance Film Festival
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (09 November, 1999)
    list price: $16.98
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    • Live
    • Soundtrack
    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Falling In Love
    I fell in love with this CD the first time that I listened to it.Most of the songs are absolutely wonderful, although I was not fond of "Out of Habit".This is a great mixture of music by some of the most abstract artists in the business.Lyle Lovett's "If I Had a Boat" is one of the few songs that I can listen to time and time again and never get sick of.My favorite track on the album is Lisa Loeb's "Falling in Love" because she puts into words the true emotions that we all go through when falling head over heels.This is truly one of the best CDs out right now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great CD!
    I love this album!I am a big fan of Lisa Loeb and of Jill Sobule, so the recordings on this album made my day.I first heard of it while I was at work (in a coffeeshop), and since then, I've put it into the CD player there so many times, I'm suprised nobody has gotten sick of it.Good indie/acoustic music with something for everyone.Highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Acoustic, eclectic, excellent
    I bought this album on a whim because it had Lyle Lovett's "If I Had a Boat."Even if you recoginize only a few of the artists on this CD I highly recommend it.The selections range from the foot-stompin countryrock of BR5-49's "Out of Habit" to the mellow "BulleproofBelief" to the Dylan-esque "Somethin' In The Air" from MikeYounger. The production quality is excellent and the sound engineers onthis album did a great job putting the CD together so it smoothly flowsalmost as if the artists are taking turns on the same stage.This CD is amusical gem and a tribute to excellent song-writing and performance on thepart of the artists. ... Read more

    Asin: B00002EPM3
    Sales Rank: 143422
    Subjects:  1. Adult Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Film Music    3. Pop    4. Singer/Songwriter    5. Soundtracks & Film Scores   


    Brushfire Fairytales
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (29 January, 2002)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $9.99
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    Editorial Review

    Fans of Willy Porter, Ben Harper, and G. Love will all want to check out Jack Johnson's engaging folk- and blues-inflected pop. Born in Oahu, Hawaii, Johnson, a former surfer and film-school graduate, has a knack for acoustic ballads whose calm surfaces hide a subtle but strong lyrical undertow. "It seems to me that 'maybe' pretty much always means 'no,'" sings Johnson on "Flake," which features crony Harper on slide guitar. Production by J.P. Plunier (who also handles Harper's recordings) is simple and uncluttered: acoustic guitar and drum tracks share the foreground with Johnson's easygoing vocals, which evoke everyone from G. Love (who recorded Johnson's "Rodeo Clowns" on his Philadelphonic album) to Nick Drake to Willy Porter. And while Johnson may not have Porter's guitar chops, these songs have a relaxed beauty and understated depth that reward repeated listening.--Bill Forman ... Read more

    Reviews (449)

    1-0 out of 5 stars I Gave My Love A Cherry.
    This weepy balladeer fits nicely between fellow Hades dwellers Ben Harper and John Meyer, and, like his ilk, has nothing to offer to anyone who possesses a brain larger than a pea.

    "Brushfire Fairytales" is exactly the kind of krap you're bound to find playing at the local coffee house during those torrid poetry reading nights or Saturday nights at Borders.

    It's precisely the kind of CD that's bound to get you laid, but are you really willing to sell your soul for the beav?

    2-0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring and flat
    My introduction to Jack Johnson was through his album "In Between Dreams". I thought that one was a three-star production, but I told myself I would dig back into his catalog, to find out what the deal was with him. After I listened through "Brushfire Fairytales", and only having found "Flake" to be remotely interesting (largely thanks to the invited guests on it, Ben Harper on slide guitar, and Tommy Jordan on steel drums), I still can't say I know the answer.

    I give this album two stars (I guess I could go as high as three typically, but I did find his 2005 production slightly more interesting) because I didn't find to be the least enticing or appealing. His sound attempts to fill a gap somewhere Dave Matthews and Jimmy Buffett, and doesn't quite accomplish much in the process, with an end result that is as uninspiring as it is flat. As much as I don't typically bash musical productions, I can't say much in favor of Jack Johnson's "Brushfire Fairytales". If you are looking for good singer/songwriters, I recommend you listen to Josh Rouse, Joseph Arthur and Paul Brill, for starters.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A true classic
    This is a must have album for sunny summer days or sitting on the poarch when its rainning. Great simple acoustic jams. It will put a smile on your face. ... Read more

    Asin: B00005V8PZ
    Subjects:  1. Adult Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Alternative Pop/Rock    3. Bass    4. Drums    5. Drums (Steel)    6. Guitar (Acoustic)    7. Guitar (Electric)    8. Percussion    9. Piano    10. Pop    11. Rock    12. Singer/Songwriter    13. Slide Guitar    14. Vocals   


    $9.99

    Being There
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (29 October, 1996)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $9.99
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    Editorial Review

    Wilco's follow-up to A.M. impresses first with its size: 19 tunes fill the double-CD package, and the packaging unfolds like a larger-than-life 1970s-era gatefold album cover. But the love affair with the artwork is short-lived, fading as the music takes center stage, making plain the band's overwhelming stretch into innumerable styles. Jeff Tweedy's love of pop and the mechanics of making pop albums is clear almost immediately, as he and his cohort utilize the studio to create and manipulate undertows and snaky recorded elements throughout many of their tunes (a keyboard touch, a guitar's flair, a cymbal's unexpected crash). There are the plainspoken acoustic numbers, recalling Tweedy's tenure in Uncle Tupelo, and there are also unwinding swoops of tinted, guitar-heavy rock--one of which collapses into chromatic jabs at a piano only to resolve in silence on "Sunken Treasure." Oodles of influences fill Wilco's collective mind, and they're perfectly content to pile the trace elements atop each other and make scrambled pop perfection. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (78)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good, not earth-shattering
    I really like Wilco.Jeff Tweedy has a far better sense of how to craft songs than most any songwriter out there nowadays.And he does a very good job on Being There.My complaint is, and I can hear the screaming already from other devotees, that the vast majority of songs on this disc are forgettable.Wilco really isn't trying anything radical here, and as a result most of the songs end up feeling like filler.That said, there are a handful of very good songs here.Say You Miss Me and Sunken Treasure are beautiful and mesmerizing, Red-Eyed and Blue is great, and there are some fun songs on here like Got You (At the End of the Century) and Monday.

    I recommend this album for either people who've already bought later Wilco albums and loved them or people who like relatively unproduced, unrambunctious rock.If you're not sure, buy Summerteeth first.If you think you would like it if it were stripped down to guitars, then go buy Being There.

    5-0 out of 5 stars On the cusp...
    This album is best enjoyed on big headphones plugged into a hi-fi. Both of the discs compare favorably to any of the best country-infused rock of the last 30 years, exploring the deep personal issues seldom heard on older recordings yet burdened by none of the naval-gazing of the more confessional singer-songwriter types. The songs and the music are beautiful, whether you're talking about anthemic rock songs like "Monday" and "Outtasite (outta mind)" or piano-driven laments like "Sunken Treasure."
    Wilco has continued to release excellent records, but this is the one that finds them on the cusp between where they were going and where they had been. You can see the more varied musical landscapes Tweedy and company would later explore, but they're still safely off in the distance. This record occupies a space in your parent's basement, your childhood room, the first bar where they knew your drink. At about the length of a single CD (with at least a couple duds on the second disc), it's hard to say why this album occupies two discs, but allow them theindulgence. I never get tired of this record.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Wilco Finding Their Voice
    This double-disc album is loaded with stunning tracks.

    Some highlights:

    "Misunderstood"is reminiscent of The Velvet Underground's "Heroin," with the juxtapostion of noise-rock and the consonance of Jeff Tweedy's simple song.The use of changing textures here is masterful.Tweedy's lyrics come across as clever without be self-conscious or trying too hard.

    "The Lonely 1" is one of my all-time favorite Wilco tracks, beautiful and bittersweet.The arrangement is well-crafted, with understated strings and steel guitar.This song is featured prominently in "Chelsea Walls," a film that Tweedy scored.

    There are a number of songs that remind me of Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan, played and sung in a straight-forward style with brilliant lyrics (songs such as: "Someone Else's Song," "What's the World Got in Store," and "Forget the Flowers").

    The straight-ahead rock stuff works well too, simple, catchy, optimistic songs with tasteful vocal harmonies and driving guitars (songs such as: "Monday," "Outtasite (Outta Mind)," and "I Got You (at the End of the Century)").

    Then there are the songs that are hard to categorize, floating somewhere between the world of folk, pop, country, and alt.-rock.These songs take chances and are worth a listen (songs like:"Sunken Treasure," and "Hotel Arizona").

    Why only 4 stars? The album is too long.It could have been cut down to one fantastic disc.Wilco comes across as indecisive, trying to figure out what their sound should be.For example, they include two versions of the same song ("Outta Mind (Outta Sight)," and "Outtasite (Outta Mind") are the same song, one is done in a sing-songy Beach Boys style, and the other is done in a heavy rock style).Make up your minds guys! Pick the best version for the album and go with it.Save the alternate version for a Beatle-esque Anthology in 20 years.

    This one gripe aside, there are many tracks here that are worth your time and money.If you like this album, order "Summerteeth" and "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot."I would only recommend their latest album, "A Ghost is Born" for super-fans of Wilco.It has some solid tracks, but it is a big departure from the albums mentioned above. ... Read more

    Asin: B000002N7G
    Subjects:  1. Adult Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Alternative Country-Rock    3. Alternative Pop/Rock    4. Pop    5. Rock   


    $9.99

    Pink Moon
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (08 May, 1992)
    list price: $16.98
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    Editorial Review

    Pink Moon is the sound of Nick Drake cracking up. That's not exactly true--some have long thought that his death by an overdose of an anti-depressant was an accident, and not suicide--but this album, recorded over two late nights, certainly sounds like a fever dream. Peter Buck of R.E.M. has called the album "Like an English version of (Robert Johnson's great blues) `Hellhound on My Trail.'" The lyrics to the title song read in their entirety: "Saw it written and I saw it say, pink moon is on its way. None of you will stand so tall, pink moon is gonna get ye all. And it's a pink moon." Aside from a splash of piano, the only instrumentation on this stark and spooky collection is Drake's eloquent acoustic guitar. --John Milward ... Read more

    Reviews (235)

    5-0 out of 5 stars another 5 star review
    I'd really love to give a different rating, for Nick you can't. So few bands or musicians or artists of any description can maintain a consistency throughout a career, and though it's doubtful Nick would have never set a foot wrong were he alive today, what he would have done following this masterpiece is fascinating. For me this is his peak, though it is very hard to compare any album with another since they sound as though they were done by three very different versions of Nick. Recurring themes of seasons, time and nature link them, as do the mellow introspection that brings you back and back, but it sounds sometimes that they should have been reversed. This is the sparse one, the low-fi one, the one that launched a thousand bedroom troubadours to write painfully intense and obtuse songs for themselves. An utter classic that seems never to age.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless.
    Nick Drake's third and most stripped-down album is music at its most elemental state: One guitar (played without a pick). One totally naked voice. The only extra is a few piano notes scattered throughout the title track. This album was recorded in 1972, but that matters not. Emotion and music this pure could've been made 100 years ago or yesterday.

    Drake's hushed voice and lyrics are full of loneliness, despair, regret, and alienation (Parasite and the title track, especially); but there's a current of hope and introspection throughout that redeems it from pale sad-sack whining. Raw and real, very autumnal music. And Drake's underrated playing never disappoints--it never feels studied or dry, just an endless cascade of pastoral strumming and shimmering melody. In particular Horn, Know, and In The Morning are amazing, both in their simple yet eloquent songcraft and enchanting guitar lines.

    This is one short album, only 28 minutes total (with the longest song measuring shy of four minutes) but it remains unsurpassed in its minimalist elegance. Play this for uneducated folks who think that "sensitive male" acoustic fratboy crap like John Mayer is the be-all-end-all, and watch the amazement on their faces. Totally essential, and one of my favorite albums regardless of genre.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's a Pink Moon...
    The most contradictory and intriguing feature of "Pink Moon" is the way it's almost so unbarable you can hardly listen to it, and yet so beautiful that you can't find it in yourself to turn your head.Nick Drake perfectly captured those nights that seem uncapable to go on any longer while it never occures to you to go to sleep.Every lonesome strum of the guitar and hazy moan of his voice is the feeling of being overpowerred by the dark opposing forces he feels unable to rise against.His lyrics constantly refer to the moon and the stars and dark nights. To those who have felt these same feelings, gazing into the large powerfull night know that Nick Drake isn't faking it, it's just too honest a feeling; too melancolly and too real.While the album might not seem dark or drenched in despair on first listen, underlying the surface there's so much of it that when it hits, you feel the effects and it leaves it's mark on your spirit.Since his death in the early 70s, people have often portrayed his career as "cut short" or ending to early, as if Nick Drake had so much more that he intended to show us and by accident was unable to.In fact, Nick Drake said that he simply had nothing more to record.And with 3 perfect albums defining himself as an artist whose soul and bare emotion is beyond imitation, why would he?There's a beginning, a middle, and "Pink Moon" as the ending to the story of Nick Drake, the legendary folk artist who wrote utterly beautifull music that simply could not be played in a standard way, the emotions didn't match it.Nick Drake tuned his guitar in the only ways he found fit to portray the mood of the album, and captured this feeling perfectly in a 30 minute frame.I can't explain why one more song might have ruined it or why another minute would not have matched what he was trying to put forth, only he knew, and when an artist knows when to stop and knows what's enough, I can safely call him wise and pull out the phrase "less is more". And yet the album never feels too short or lacking instrumentation or losing anything by being stripped down bare, it just feels complete, and that's all that matters.Nick Drake never really made it although he supposedly always wanted too, and some have even suggested that it made him depressed as if fame and fortune might have produced a different ending rather than amental institution and a suicide; this album suggests otherwise.Nick Drake didn't seem to want fame enough to compromise his origionality and he never gave in to making anything other than what was obviously from his soul, you can tell.So, as Drake sings of gazing into the stars and seems so completely not in control of his feelings, it's difficult to say that Nick Drake simply felt like a failure, there's just so much more behind it and the feelings are just so much deeper, so beyond it."Pink Moon" is a magical and timeleless epilogue, not a failed musician being cut off in mid-sentence. ... Read more

    Asin: B00000064G
    Subjects:  1. British Folk    2. British Folk-Rock    3. Folk & Traditional    4. Folk-Rock    5. Pop   


    Australia
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (11 June, 2002)
    list price: $9.98 -- our price: $9.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    This reissue of Howie Day's self-assured debut, originally released independently in 2000, reveals a maturity beyond the young Maine singer-songwriter's age. Mixing gravelly vocals and somber strumming à la Joseph Arthur with the soaring power of Remy Zero and Dave Matthews Band and a touch of Radiohead fervor, Day's music is nonthreatening but far from wimpy. "She Says" combines plaintive acoustic guitar and bursts of vocal anguish, and the whispery "Disco" has dreamlike orchestras and a world-weary tone, while the lovely "Kristina" floats with a spare but intricate melody. Yet Day's maudlin tales of heartbreak have backbone--"Sorry So Sorry" ends in guitar-tossed turbulence, while "Everything Else" has biting riffs, and "More You Understand" builds to a crashing crescendo. Indeed, these injections of passion are what make Australia so exciting. While his influences are far from original, Day's execution is wholly his own. Australia brims with a life-or-death emotional urgency that's devoid of cynicism and steeped in the intensity of youth. --Annie Zaleski ... Read more

    Reviews (117)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Must Have Howie
    I've been listening to Howie Day for years now.I first heard him open for Jump Little Children in North Carolina.If you haven't seen him live, you really are missing something spectacular.I will say that this album doesn't do justice to his talent.I bought the first release of Australia the minute I heard it was available, and loved it the first time I listened to it.Many crowd favorites appear on the album.He writes feel good music that draws you in from the first chord to the last echo.Do not pass this opportunity up to expand your musical collection and obtain a CD that you will be listening to for years to come.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Morning After
    The cold stung right through my jeans, leaving a layer of frost across my butt that served to remind me of just how cold I really was. Ice scrapings shot at my seat on the bleachers, as I watched the groups of children skate with their instructors. I was bored and eager to leave the skating rink that had left my fingers numb and toes tingly. That was when I found Australia in my bag. I had never heard of Howie Day before, but his CD Australia was in my walk-man, having been left there by my friend taking the skating lessons. It was holding on track 9, the song Morning After.
    Suddenly I'm in a room, just barely lit by the refracting light that bounces and curves along the wall. I lay in a bed with white sheets pulled to my chest, rising and falling with constant bursts of warm air, that lift from the beach below and blow in through the open balcony where a silent figure stands, painted with a tepid glow of sun light. I hear serene echoes of acoustic guitar in the distance and begin to close my eyes.
    I was shivering again and could feel the pins and needles in my toes. I remembered ice and the poorly lit arena and then I was there, back on the frosty bleachers, waiting for the lessons to finish. Boredom once again swept over me. At least I had had an escape for a little while, my own morning after.

    5-0 out of 5 stars awesome cd!
    I bought this album about a year ago and I still can't get enough of it. I'll go out and buy other cds, listen to them for a few weeks and get over them, but "Australia" always works it's way back into the CD player.

    Being in Australia, I have had to import all of Howie's material from the US because he is basically unknown here. It's a shame because I can see Howie being well received in Australia - especially with the live shows. I have never had the privilage of seeing Howie live, but his looping skills are absolutely amazing!

    My fave track on the album is probably Disco - an emotionally haunting, yet great song.

    All you Aussies - check Howie out. You'll be very surprised ... Read more

    Asin: B000068CZN
    Subjects:  1. Adult Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Pop    3. Rock    4. Singer/Songwriter   


    $9.98

    Black Sheep
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (10 October, 2000)
    list price: $16.98
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    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Martin is my Jesus Christ
    The only thing better than a Martin Sexton album is a Martin Sexton live show.When I first purchased this album, it did not leave my CD player for 2 weeks.I first heard Martin in my friends car, and became hooked from hearing "Diner" once.What is fantastically fortunate for me is that Martin visits Minneapolis frequently, so I never have to go too long to hear him live.In the time lapses in between, this is the album that keeps me from going into withdraw."Where did I go wrong with you" can literally bring me to tears if I am in the right frame of mind.Black Sheep is any person's Martin collection staple.

    5-0 out of 5 stars from new listener -- best pipes in the biz
    Caught Martin at Austin City Limits Festival '03 and have been singing his praises ever since (highlight of the entire weekend for me). Bought Black Sheep because it was an obvious winner; however this purchase will make you wish you'd purchased the box set from the get go.Vocal range beyond belief, but he only let's the horses out the stable when they're hungry (which is a good thing).If you even slightly enjoy this cd, dont't miss a show within 200 miles of the Dirty South because they're extremely hard to come by.Still waiting for the '04 southeast tour to be announced.The ATL fan club is multiplying!!!!FYI - a live version of Freedom of the Road is all you need to be hooked.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Worst Purchase of my life
    Kill yourself before you buy this album.It is even worse live. ... Read more

    Asin: B00004Y9XM
    Sales Rank: 83597
    Subjects:  1. Contemporary Singer/Songwriter    2. Folk & Traditional    3. Pop   


    When Incubus Attacks, Vol. 1
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (22 August, 2000)
    list price: $11.99 -- our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Features

    • Import
    Reviews (69)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
    Strangely enough, this was the first Incubus disc I ever purchased.It was late summer and the EP had just come out and I was working at Hot Topic and our manager played it all the time.It was infectious, catchy and emotional, without being sappy.It was a pleasure to hear a vocalist so heavily influenced by Mike Patton making music and not noise.

    Brandon Boyd is and should be the focus of this album.His strong baritone rings clear over the acoustic guitar and gives each song a new identity in its new format.When I finally heard the album "Make Yourself" I was blown away by how unique each song had become when translated to the acoustic version.

    This album is a must own for any true Incubus fan, no exceptions.The live tracks are killer (_Favorite Things_ live is wicked) and the b-side _Crowded Elevator_ is an excellent song as well with "Make Yourself" elements but really, the mea of the album are this great acoustic tracks recorded in studio.Get it while you can because I believe that it is OOP!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stellar is a huge understatement.
    This EP was extraordinary in it's own right in many ways. With the vocal talents of Boyd as the front man and the melodious acoustic guitar riffs of Einziger, the CD is wonderful from start to finish with nothing to complain about. The acoustic versions of Stellar, Make Yourself, and Pardon Me were simply amazing and a very refreshing change of pace but still on a very happy Incubus medium. The live versions of Favorite Things and Make Yourself showed the true talent of Incubus and how they can perform live just the same way they can in the studio. Finally, the unreleased track Crowded Elevator is most likely one of the best Incubus songs recorded and show them in their element doing what they do best..perfecting music on song at a time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars it's Incubus!
    Seeing as this is an Incubus CD, of course I love it. But I love this for another reason. The acoustic versions of Pardon Me, Stellar, and Make Yourself are atounding. These versions show the range of Brandon Boyd's voice if you didn't already know. Mike shows how amazing he is at the guitar, he mixes up Pardon Me a lot, and Stellar is almost as good as the original. The live tracks prove that Incubus sound just as good as any studio recording. Plus the fact that Pardon Me and Favorite Things are two of my favorite songs by them doesn't hurt either. They sound as if they were recorded during the Sno Core tour with System of a Down. This also contains the hidden track Smoking The Herb Again. It's a very trippy song with a pretty good beat, well worth a listen.

    On to Crowded Elevator. This song is off of the Scream 3 soundtrack and it's also one of the most experimental tracks they have done. The lyrics are so strange that you can't help but think they're brilliant, the guitar work is perfect, the drumming is chaotic, the bass is great, and the turntables couldn't be better. I am completely infatuated with this song, this song alone is worth the price (which isn't bad at all).

    The best songs are Pardon Me (both versions), Stellar, and Crowded Elevator. Like I said though, every song is a personal favorite and as any Incubus fan will tell you, is worth the money. ... Read more

    Asin: B00004WK2V
    Sales Rank: 25785
    Subjects:  1. 5"CD Singles    2. Alternative Metal    3. Funk Metal    4. Heavy Metal    5. Pop    6. Rap-Metal    7. Rap-Rock    8. Rock   


    $11.99

    Workbook
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (29 June, 1992)
    list price: $11.98 -- our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    "All those things I've done before," Bob Mould sings, dismissing Hüsker Dü, the band he toiled with for most of the '80s, "it doesn't matter anymore." That's partially true--Hüsker were always much more brutal than "See a Little Light," the wistful, catchy pop song on Mould's 1989 solo debut. But even Mould's most introspective previous songs didn't have quite the scab-opening quality of "Lonely Afternoon" and "Wishing Well." Though Mould's guitar and Anton Fier's drums made Workbook seem heavy at the time, today it doesn't have quite the punch of Hüsker Dü or his beefed-up trio recordings with Sugar. --Steve Knopper ... Read more

    Reviews (38)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
    When I first heard this album, it was back in 1990-somesuch, and I was a young lad just getting started in the world. A buddy of mine played it for me, and I was hooked.

    I can't say I've ever heard any artist similar to Bob Mould. Since I tend to judge music on how it makes me feel more than anything esle, I'll just tell you that Mould takes me along with him from the first note, and very few artists have that effect on me. Each time I listen to this album, the first notes of Wishing Well take me back to my younger days. And that, my friends, makes me happy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Utterly Amazing
    i have been a fan of Sugar for quite a while, and always enjoyed classic Husker Du, but was rather late in terms of discovering Bob Mould's solo efforts.regardless, since i got this CD about two years ago, not a week goes by without listening to it.it is simply an amazing effort put forth by Mould, and to think that it came out in 1989/1990 blows me away.how many years i missed listening to this gem of a release!!!every track is fantastic...the melodies are superb, the lyrics are thought provoking, and Mould's vocals sound better than ever.there is not one weak track....the guitars are angry, the melodies are catchy, the words will leave impressions in your mind long after you're done listening....
    yo Bob, thanks for a collection of music that i will never tire of and for a collection of music that has gotten me through some tough times.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Holy Cow!
    This is simply one of the best albums to come out of the 1980's.Through it in and listen to it from start to finish.You will never be disappointed. ... Read more

    Asin: B000000WGS
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


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