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The Stone Roses [US]
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (25 October, 1990)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $13.99
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Editorial Review

Some albums really can change the world, and in 1989 this was one of them. The psychedlic dance extravaganza that was The Stone Roses ushered in the era of Madchester, baggy trousers, Kangols, and the Hacienda. From the magnificent protracted opening of "I Wanna Be Adored" (where, for once, the arrogance wasn't overdone) to the dying seconds of "Fools Gold," every note was perfect. Jon Squire's guitarwork was a thing of magic, a new hero for a new age, Ian Brown sang with gusto, and the rhythm section had paid attention during the second summer of love (1988 version). Essential. --Chris Nickson ... Read more

Reviews (199)

5-0 out of 5 stars They could have been bigger than U2!!!
I bought this album 11 years ago and it still finds it's way into steady rotation on my cd player. I hate most of the stuff that comes out of the UK, but these guys were unique. They wrote the most beautiful melodies, heaped on soaring choruses and the interplay between musicians was outstanding. They played the most uplifting happy music but never sounded sappy. It wasn't embarrassing to say you dug these guys. Everyone I know who has heard this album has LOVED it. Somehow, they managed to squeeze 30 years of pop music into one majestic piece of work. From the distant clicking train tracks that introduce "I Wanna Be Adored" to the final tambourine shake at the end of "Fool's Gold", the Stone Roses' debut inspires awe and adoration. I'm running out of superlatives here. It's as if they took every good element of indie-pop, folk-rock, funk, house and psychedelia and somehow made it click. "She Bangs The Drums" is pure grandeur. Not one hook or melody is wasted. "Waterfall" takes it's cue from a propelling shuffle beat and a pulsing bass line that raise the shimmering guitars to heights way beyond your standard UK jangle guitar bands. R.E.M. only wish their guitars could chime like this. "This Is The One" is a the most uplifting cynical song ever and "Shoot You Down"'s soft brush drumming and gentle arpeggios create a magnificent ambience. "I Am The Ressurection" sees the band start off in a Merseybeat pop style only to morph into a monstrous psychedelic jam that includes 12-string and countrified slide guitar, maracas, tambourines, bongos, funk-derived basslines and frenetic drum soloing. It's as if all the 60's had been compressed into one eight-minute power pop jam. In truth, there is not one bum track on the whole album. John Squire's guitar playing is the unholy bastard child of Hendrix, Page, Johnny Marr, Paul Simon and Roger McGuinn. Reni is the best drummer to come out of Britain in a generation. Not since John Bonham and Keith Moon had their been a limey drummer with such a distinctive style. Mani's bass playing is functional, but, because he's surrounded by virtuosos, somebody has to keep it simple. Ian Brown was tone-deaf live, so his vocals must have been run through heavy harmonizers and sequencers because he sounds good here. At their peak the Roses could do no wrong. Their b-sides could have easily been saved up and used as a second album, and it would have still been better than most bands' best outputs. Oasis copped their attitude, the Verve borrowed their jam-heavy stylings, Blur took the art-school feyness and Radiohead even nicked their producer. The Roses have to be the most influential and inspirational cult band in the world. Unfortunately, they frittered away all their potential by delaying their second album, losing Reni's powerful drumming, by abandoning the sound that made people love them and by playing awful live shows. Their aloofness turned into laziness and killed the band. At least they can be proud of this one gem they bestowed upon the music world. I was lucky to come across something this sublime at the moment it was unleashed upon the world. God Bless.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Is The One
This is an album that is for no year and no age but for all time; simply put, The Stone Roses' classic debut is a record so perfect, so brilliant, so beautifully inspired that it rises above nearly every other album in the history of rock.

It is impossible to fully describe with words the staggering level of aesthetic beauty and perfect songcraft present here. This music by itself is melodically and harmonically extraordinary; when put in the hands of Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani, and Reni, it becomes something more, a phenomenal blur of psychedelic transcendental magic.

The opener "I Wanna Be Adored" seems to drift out of heaven with its distant rumblings. As the funky bass line emerges from the noise and the layers of shimmering guitar harmonies cascade over the ominous rhythms, the stage is set for a truly astonishing musical journey. After this opening swirl of drama, "She Bangs The Drums" makes a perfect entry, its endlessly catchy, carefree melody taking the listener to a different world. And these two songs are but the beginning...

There is never a dull or unenlightening moment on any of these 13 masterpieces; even "Don't Stop," which is "Waterfall" played backwards, is profound and peerless, and "Elizabeth My Dear," a one-minute interlude set to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair," is a political protest for the ages. The album's true shining moment is its conclusion--no album in the history of rock has ended so well. The 13-minute firestorm that is "This Is The One/I Am The Resurrection" is a masterstroke not soon to be replicated by anyone. The triumphant guitars of the former song--which recall the harmonious work of The Byrds--and the sweeping, awe-inspiring instrumental solos on the latter are as close to pop Valhalla as any band could ever hope to be.

Although this album never went platinum and was basically ignored outside of Britain, it went eventaully go down as one of the top ten albums of all time. Some critics continue to downplay its quality and impact, saying that it is simplistic and overly naive. Yet "The Stone Roses" is a much finer piece of work than Nirvana's much-overrated "Nevermind," Oasis' shallow "Definitely Maybe," and U2's derivative "Achtung, Baby." It is better than anything by The Clash, The Rolling Stones, and The Sex Pistols, and thus is one of the absolute finest pieces of music ever, with a place next to "Double Nickels on the Dime" and "Revolver."

5-0 out of 5 stars ************************************************************
don't believe the nerds who complain about recording quality or tone-deafness. the stone roses provide pure pop bliss.
top 100 lists, classic?, not classic?, groundbreaking or not, who really cares? ... Read more

Asin: B0000004V2


$13.99

Aenima
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (01 October, 1996)
list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
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Editorial Review

With its heavy-duty distortion, weighty rhythms, and cynical lyrics, Tool is a heavy metal band for the '90s. Rather like Metallica circa ...And Justice for All, the sound is focused heavily on texture, with vocals and guitars layered one atop the other, and heart-pounding drums underlying everything. There's not a whole lot of variety on Tool's second full-length album--most of the songs start off fairly low-key, kicking into high gear for the chorus, and repeat--but Maynard James Keenan's distinctive voice, the prog-rock stylings over a heavy metal base, and a supremely unhealthy dose of vitriol make this the perfect album to bang your head to. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

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Reviews (875)

5-0 out of 5 stars excuse me?
I read a review a bit down criticizing Tool for playing the same chord in every song in different time signatures, and it just struck my intellectual gag reflex.

No, Tool is not a time signature-obsessed Blink 182- in fact, Adam Jones is probably one of the greatest riff architects of the modern day. At least, that's what not only pretty much every guitar magazine seems to think, but also most of Jones' peers in the industry (Morello, for instance). But hey, it's good to criticize someone for drifting too far away from what's happening in the rest of the narrow-focused modern rock world.

I hear again and again people shunning Aenima for sounding "too uniform" and I just don't see it. I guess they were disappointed there weren't any tambourines..?

Aenima's subject matter is dealt with and presented in a masterful manner. The subjects, often oblique, often vague, always with a multitude of interpretations, have generated a multitude of discussion groups on the Internet. The songs, as a whole, deal largely with cultural evolution and spiritual enlightenment.

All in all, I very much recommend Aenima as a hard rock/metal CD to anyone looking to expand their minds. Lateralus has digressed lyrically from this style, but has matured beyond Aenima to a stratospheric level in terms of musicianship.

2-0 out of 5 stars It could have been better.
The cover is a perfect example of the promise this album carries. It's eerie, unpedictable, and mysterious. (I personally believe that the holographic design will date it in a few years, but oh well.) A strange, swirling, smoky black box against a black background with floating eyes. Nifty. But the music inside...well...bleh.

To be honest, "bleh" is too strong a word. "Hurm" would be more appropirate, or maybe "oh...okay." It's just that this album could have been one of the greatest prog-metal albums ever made, but retreats to formula just when it edges into greatness.

The problem is that the band relies to heavily on their image to suscessfully create music without pretention. "Aenima" would have been a masterpiece if it was more inventive, unpredictable, and willfully innovative. It would have been more than enough to just blend elements of the Sonic Youth and King Crimson, with a dash of "Freak Out!"-era Zappa and Zeppelin, keeping the sound industrial as always, but never limited to it. Tool could have created a world that was frightening, darkly humorous, nihlistic, pioneering, and cynical all at once. So what went wrong?

Tool stays within their own limitations, as if they can't exceed them, but feel like they have something to prove anyway. Songs are longer. More stop-start rhythms. More profanity. Thicker production that only clouds the musical variety. Flavorless songwriting. Tighter performances, but little character put into the effort. Too many throwaways, too few songs that maintain consistency. Tinny vocals.

Those are the main flaws with the record. It's an intriguingly under-realized record, but fascinating nonetheless. The promise it carries is bogged down by having little to fufill. "Hooker with a P**is is fairly decent, but after five or six songs about genetics and messianic hypocrisy, what is this "Get in the Ring" rewrite doing sandwiched in? And the title track suffers from some jaw-droppingly bad lyrics that bog down a concept that could have rivaled "The Trial" in Pink Floyd's "The Wall." What's with "Some say Armageddon will come/ I certainly hope it does"? With all of the mystery Tool strives for, that's awfully straightforward.

The Bill Hicks sample in "Third Eye" is distracting, and "Message to Harry Manback" is a waste that belongs on a b-side. By misplacing the concepts and the ambitions, Tool has created one of the classic shoot-and-miss albums of the decade. How unfortunate on have so much talent, and to not know how to use it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Think for yourself...question authority...
I know no one will ever read this. I don't care. This is my favorite cd EVER aside from Pink Floyd's Animals. Those two NEVER leave my changer. Tool, I fear, will never make another cd like this, much like the Deftones will never make another Adrenaline. Unfortunate as this thought is, it is made "all better" by the fact that this great recording is made immortal through the blessing that is the compact disc. Tool is most excellent...they are, I feel, the Pink Floyd of this acursed generation, melding their album art with the music. Cam De Leon is now one of my favorite artists, along with, Giger, Dali, Escher, and none other than Tool's own Adam Jones. In short, Tool's ultimate opus lies in this album. Most excellent. ... Read more

Asin: B00000099Y


$13.99

Screamadelica
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (08 October, 1991)
list price: $9.98 -- our price: $9.98
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Editorial Review

A watershed '90s release, Screamadelica was the most convincing marriage of overground rock and underground dance music yet. With one foot in Beggars Banquet-era Stones (the gospel-rock "Movin' on Up") and the other in the trippy soundscapes of rave culture (the Orb-produced "Higher Than the Sun"), Primal Scream caught the mind-blown euphoria of Ecstacy better than anyone.Frontman Bobby Gillespie had no singing voice to speak of, but his vision of cosmic hedonism made him a drugged-out Pied Piper for the acid tribes. From the incantatory anthems "Loaded" and "Come Together" to the sinister rendering of the 13th Floor Elevators' "Slip Inside This House," Screamadelica was a modern psych classic. --Barney Hoskyns ... Read more

Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars A snapshot of the times
A modern psych classic, capturing the vibrant, mind-blowing experience of Ecstacy in a joyful hybrid. Successfully balancing the jangly "Beggar's Banquet"-era Stones rock with the thick, trippy soundscapes of rave culture, this was the soundtrack of countless raves in the British colony circa the early 90's. If course it's easy to see why it is so acclaimed: switching between uplifting gospel-techno anthems like "Movin' On Up" and "Come Together" to sinister, dark beats like "Slip Inside This House", there's never a dull moment in the Primals' euphoric vision for a united world order. Although it is sometimes hard to see why an album made such a big impact during a particular time, it's easy to see this album's universal appeal: we just wanna get loaded.

4-0 out of 5 stars Snapshot of it's era.
Part of 'Screamadelica's critical acclaim may have more to do with its cultural impact rather than it's musical one. It's fusion of a traditional rock 'outlaw' image with the then contemporary dance scene was bound to attract critical enthusiasm. Dance music by its very nature is mostly non-image based, the stationary DJ playing their lyric-free records. Bands like Primal Scream and the Stone Roses helped to bring dance music to an alternative rock/indie audience. In the late 1980's rock in the U.K. was increasingly becoming marginalised, beaten back by the all-consuming rise of pop creators such as Stock, Aitken and Waterman. In contrast dance music was at the cutting edge of youth culture and if British guitar bands wanted to retain some sort of street-cred, they'd have to jump from the sinking ship on to the bandwagon pretty quickly.

On 'Screamadelica' this fusion of styles can be seen in the band's choice of producers, Jimmy Miller and Andrew Weatherall. Most of the album sounds like 12-inch remixes of the original guitar based songs. A process which has become standard for a lot of British guitar bands' C.D. singles. For anyone who's ever been at a rave most of the tracks on 'Screamadelica' make perfect sense as an aid to an ecstacy high, the slow long drawn-out build up adds to the sense of euphoria that occurs at the track's zenith.

As an all-out fusion of rock and dance I think 2000's XTRMNTR was a more inspired effort, but 'Screamadelica' was the beginning of Primal Scream's music experimentation. 'Screamadelica' is frequently listed on British music mags top 100 lists. However in the cold light of day 100 years from now, without cultural reference to the time it was created, pop music historians maybe slightly bemused as to why an album built around repetitive riffs should be lauded in the same way as the expressive, original song structures of 'Revolver' and 'Pet Sounds'.

5-0 out of 5 stars lets get loaded
now..how do you review this album without being a least a bit biased...watershed release etc. but, listening to it now..10 yrs after its release, the songs still make you want to groove. the scream moved on to expand their horizons, but this may truly be their greatest album. ... Read more

Asin: B000002LR3


$9.98

OK Computer
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (01 July, 1997)
list price: $17.98 -- our price: $13.99
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Editorial Review

Radiohead's third album got compared to Pink Floyd a lot when it came out, and its slow drama and conceptual sweep certainly put it in that category. OK Computer, though, is a complicated and difficult record: an album about the way machines dehumanize people that's almost entirely un-electronic; an album by a British "new wave of new wave" band that rejects speed and hooks in favor of languorous texture and morose details; a sad and humanist record whose central moment is Thom Yorke crooning "We hope that you choke." Sluggish, understated, and hard to get a grip on, OK Computer takes a few listens to appreciate, but its entirety means more than any one song. --Douglas Wolk ... Read more

Reviews (1469)

5-0 out of 5 stars the absolute best
I can't say too much other than this is Radiohead at their absolute creative best. Every single song is polished to perfection with so many musical elements that it is often difficult to listen to the song and hear all that's going on. I am a huge Radiohead fan and I love this album; my copy often doesn't play because I've listened to it so many times.
If you don't own this, go out and buy it right now! It is as essential as the Beatles's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band or Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon or Led Zeppelin IV. Every song is musically amazing (except perhaps for the bizarre and disturbing notes of Fitter Happier, which I'm not sure can be considered as "music" but can still be appreciated by a hard-core Radiohead fan). The tracks are astounding; Karma Police, the ultimate mix of swirling electronic sounds, piano, hard overdriven guitar, and acoustic chords, and No Surprises, perhaps the album's most stunning and perfect track, and of course, Paranoid Android, the album's most chaotic, powerful, and well-known track.
I can't see how anyone would rate this anything under 5 stars. As a musician myself (Radiohead songs from this album and others often pound out of my amp) I can appreciate this musical equivalent of a breath of fresh air that has not grown stale from its 1997 release. Radiohead are amazing. Buy this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece!!!
This is one of the most brilliant albums I own. Its hard to explain just how brilliant these guys are. This album combines their raw, rock talent with a hint of electronica and a barrel load of style.

After the success of 'The Bends', Radiohead invested wisely in production and have comprised an album that will be heralded for many many years to come. With its meaningful lyrics, amazing guitar riffs, bass line, drums, samples and sound manipulation, Radiohead have produced a complete package. No track is lacking; not even the bizarre "Fitter Happier", which, when you actually listen to it, has some amazingly apt descriptions of society and its vices. Radiohead, and Thom, love to sing about their angsts and the general disfunction of modern life; they question it, deride it and the results are effective.

The standouts on this album for me are "Paranoid Android", which is a beautiful classic with many changes and climaxes; what sound!!, "Subterranean Homesick Alien", which is a smooth song with awesome lyrics: "...about all these weird creatures who lock up their spirits, draw it all to themselves and live for their secrets..." powerful stuff. "Exit Music (For A Film)" is another golden nuggety journey that starts with slow tranquility and develops with simple beats into a distortion laid grasp of hope and passion. "Karma Police" is a triumphant and proud sounding anthem that is just awesome, and "Lucky" is another favourite.

The entire album is without flaw. Radiohead here make a lasting statement about their ability and undeniable talent. This is without a doubt a masterpiece and should be owned by everyone; inspirational!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Genius.
This is the exception to the rule that the music on the radio from my generation sucks. This is purely wonderful music, of genius caliber. Radiohead, with each song and album that the release, will simply put you into a state of awe. This are five seriously talented musicians. Thom Yorke(lead singer) is a modern musical genius, and his other four bandmates (Colin Greenwood, Johnny Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway) work together to produce a sound that no other group of musicians has ever done. Radiohead is a band that will be remembered for generations to come, and OK computer is the pinnacle of their work. Radiohead is a name that will be remembered along with the likes of The Beatles and Pink Floyd. ... Read more

Asin: B000002UJQ


$13.99

Mezzanine
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (12 May, 1998)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
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Editorial Review

The third full-length release from Massive Attack is a taste of the future of pop music--a future where precisely engineered events can be seamlessly partnered with the subtle complexities of a human voice. Since their first album, Blue Lines, they've been making similar magic happen with any one of several guest vocalists, but nothing like the way it happens on Mezzanine. This time they take the union further, moving it into a darker space in which the individual elements become less discernable. Guest vocalists are Sara Jay, Horace Andy (who also appeared on their debut), and Elizabeth Fraser (of Cocteau Twins), whose amazingly articulate and distinctive voice works so very well with the music of Massive Attack. --Paul Clark ... Read more

Reviews (310)

4-0 out of 5 stars Want good electronica? This is where you start.
Prior to Mezzanine, I thought all electronica was dull, generic, talentless "music" that consisted of lazily reworked samples and endless Pro Tools overdubs that dullards put on their megabass stereos to get "pumped up." Craptacular albums like Moby's Play and other commercial techno/electronica reinforced this belief. But after listening to albums like Massive Attack's Mezzanine and Portishead's Dummy (thanks to a friend who is into this genre) I was thankfully proven wrong. There IS talent in making electronica, and this is great music.

Massive Attack belongs to a primarily English genre known as "trip-hop," sort of a blend of techno, funk, dub, and hip-hop/rap. On Mezzanine, the team of Horace Andy, Robert Del Naja, Elizabeth Fraser (formerly of the Cocteau Twins) and others throw in some rock influences in the form of loud guitars (especially heard on the opener Angel) and the occasional jazzy interlude. In other words, you don't have to strictly be into electronica to appreciate this work.

Of special note are the vocals. Each of the three major vocalists contribute something different to these slow and brooding tracks--Horace's reggae-like vocalizations, Del Naja's hushed and erotic semi-raps, and Fraser's angelic, lilting beauty are spread throughout, and sometimes appear together. The whole album has a very dark, menacing vibe.

The first half of Mezzanine is very strong. Angel is an ominous, beat-heavy opener with grinding guitars making an appearance midway in. Teardrop features a gorgeous turn by Fraser over some crackling sounds and piano. Inertia Creeps is a dense and erotic feast of bassy beats, tribal drums, and sexy lyrics. Dissolved Girl is another great track with some mysterious, dark lyrics in a female voice. The second half is a little less consistent, with the gothic dub of Man Next Door being the main highlight. There's no need for two versions of Exchange, a merely average track to begin with, while Black Milk feels listless and dull. Still, this is a very good effort.

Nevermind labels--Mezzanine is a great release regardless of genre, and I urge you to go get it along with Portishead's Dummy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly massive
When I first got my hands on this CD I didn't know what to expect. Having listened mostly to hard rock/metal my hopes weren't that high, really. But I thought I'd give it a chance. Looking back, I'm glad I did. This is without doubt THE best album I've ever listened to.

The music is very elaborate, yet filled with emotion. Well crafted and executed. From the cheerful beats of Teardrop and Exchange to the darker, more melancholic parts of Dissolved Girl and Black Milk, this album keeps me awake and alert, touching me like no music has done before. The same can be said about the rest of the tracks. In fact, EVERY single track has its own moments, and they still keep growing musically.

Not many albums achieve this.

If you've become bored of the music you're listening to and want to explore something different, or if you prefer to take my word for it and buy one of the best CDs this decade, the choice is yours to make.

I made mine and it changed my life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking and breathtaking
I guess I just need to put in my two cents in this sea of reviews (most of them good, obviously) for this album. I fell in love with this album in the summer of 1998. I listened to it while reading the 4th book in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. They meshed perfectly. The dark, haunting synths, downbeat droning guitar, and spine tingling vocals on this album are simply amazing. I had never heard anything quite like it before, or since. Massive's earlier works are not as dark and moody, and their later work is a little too innaccessible for most people (though I absolutely loved it!). Buy this album! Dont hesitate! Do it NOW!!! SPEND, YOU AVID CONSUMER YOU!!!!

Whew! 'Nuff said. Bye! ... Read more

Asin: B000006045


$13.99

Siamese Dream
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (27 July, 1993)
list price: $17.98 -- our price: $13.99
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Editorial Review

An introductory drum roll drops out and is replaced by a single suspended electric guitar, which is then paralleled by a snare, filled in with the bass, and--crash!--"Cherub Rock," the opening track, is enveloped in an explosion of metal guitar. So the journey begins. This album is pre-experimentation vintage Pumpkins. Produced by Butch Vig (Garbage, Sonic Youth, Nirvana's Nevermind), Siamese Dream is first about guitars. Lots and lots of guitars. A very close second is Jimmy Chamberlain's unquestionably excellent power drumming. Throughout each song, Billy Corgan delivers angsty lyrics in his signature breathy whine. "Disarm" is a nice intermission halfway though the album. As the title of the song suggests, it throws the listener into a different mood with its full string arrangements and radiant orchestral chimes. But then it is back to the aural masochism--a pain that rarely sounds so sweet. --Beth Bessmer ... Read more

Features

  • Explicit Lyrics
Reviews (352)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic, Pure and Simple
The Pumpkins' follow-up to GISH is right up there with AENIMA and OK COMPUTER as one of the top five albums of the 1990's. From the album's five-star average you can probably surmise that this is an exceptionally good record, so I won't spend any time raving. Even despite Billy's unusual (if at times annoying) vocals, the sheer power and range of this music, which remains very melodic and well-written at all times, shoves NEVERMIND, TEN, and possibly even DIRT out of the way as the best Grunge-era album.

The main singles from this album are "Today" and "Disarm." While both great songs (well, at least the former), they are easily outshined by several other tracks. I'd have to say "Mayonnaise" (Track 9) is by far the best Smashing Pumpkins song ever released; if you're looking for one track to download to sample the album before buying, make sure this is it. "Hummer" is not far behind; that section between about 4:30 and 5:30 ("Ask yourself a question...") somehow sends chills down my spine every time. Other five-star tracks include "Cherub Rock," "Quiet," "Soma" and "Luna."

All in all, this is the high point of the Pumpkins' career, as it manages to expand greatly upon GISH but avoid the tedious experimental sounds found from this point on. The five-star average ought to say something; even classic records like AENIMA cannot pull this off. The bottom line is that this, one of the best rock releases of all time, defined the alt-rock sound of the 1990's and performed it better than any of the copycats, and manages to be both accessible and deep. Don't hesitate to pick up a copy if you're a fan of any type of rock music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Siamese Dream
When SIAMESE DREAM was initially released in the summer of 1993 it was hailed as alternative rock's first great post-NEVERMIND hope. And while it has gone on to become an overwhelming commercial success, it has also helped further re-draw the artistic borders of "alternative" music.

By combining neo-psychedelic AOR guitars (band-members proudly claim Boston as an influence) with Pumpkin auteur Billy Corgan's "outsider" lyrical stance, SIAMESE DREAM creates a rebel image; but one with a wandering eye towards mainstream acceptance as well. Consequently, Smashing Pumpkins are equally successful relating to young lollapaloozers and to classic rock radio.

The album's immediate attraction is plain to see. Corgan and co-producer Butch Vig have sculpted a sonic wall of guitars--in some cases, using up to 32 separate guitar tracks on a single song--that is electrifying in its sheer scope and power. Along with Jimmy Chamberlain's powerhouse drumming, guitarists Corgan and James Iha's thick sound endows SIAMESE DREAM with a fresh feel that holds up even on repeated listens--and how many other "top ten" albums can yousay that about?

5-0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite record of all time.
There aren't enough good things to say about "Siamese Dream". In my opinion, it's flawless; there is no filler and no note is wasted. The Smashing Pumpkins were unique, no other band could have written these songs, with all it's twists and turns. This has Billy Corgan's best lyrics as well.

"Cherub Rock" starts it all. It was the first single released back in 1993. "Cherub Rock" shows that Billy Corgan can sing. It has plenty of guitars of course. 10/10

"Quiet" is a real good rocker. The guitars churn, it's amazing. This is as heavy as it gets on the record (which isn't really heavy by my standards). 8/10

"Today" was the second single, and it is definitely one of the top ten singles of the 90's. Enough said. 10/10

"Hummer" is something only the Smashing Pumpkins could have wrote. It's great. It just twists and turns, goes from quiet to loud to quiet again, and it's almost 7 minutes long. This is probably my favorite song. The lyrics are great too. 10/10

"Rocket" I think was a single, well the Smashing Pumpkins have a video for it at least. I used never care for this song, but after seeing on the internet the Pumpkins playing this live, I became a fan of the song. It's another song that only the Pumpkins could have written, because it meanders and there's no chorus. Once again, I like the lyrics. 10/10

"Disarm" was the third single from this record. It has excellent lyrics to it. I guess the bells and violins in the song might bother people. But it doesn't bother me at all. 10/10

"Soma" starts off slow and dreamy and rocks at the end. I don't like it as much as I used to, but don't get me wrong, this is still an excellent song. 8/10

"Geek U.S.A." rawks. It is my second favorite track. You have to hear a live version of this song, it's just incredible. I don't think that anybody but Billy Corgan could have thought up this rocker. 10/10

"Mayonaise" is many people's favorite SD song. I think it's great. The beginning sort of reminds me of "Tuesday's Gone" by Lynard Skynard. I can't believe this wasn't released as a single for radio play! James Iha co-wrote this one. 10/10

"Spaceboy" is about Billy Corgan's brother. It means a lot to him. But I still think this is probably is the weakest track on "Siamese Dream". 7/10

"Silverf**k" is pretty cool. It has real hard rock moments at the beginning and at the end. In between in is like a dream rock sequence. It's the longest song, clocking in at 8 min. 43 seconds. 8/10

"Sweet Sweet" is a nice little short song. It sounds like something that could have been on "Mellon Collie". 9/10

"Luna" is a quiet lullaby to end a great album. 9/10

I admit, I'm a little biased about "Siamese Dream". It is my favorite album by my favorite band. But I do recommend that you buy "Siamese Dream" because it has little bit for everybody. Plus it's an excellent introduction the Smashing Pumpkins. ... Read more

Asin: B000000WJZ


$13.99

Blind Melon
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (22 September, 1992)
list price: $11.98 -- our price: $10.99
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Reviews (63)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Album
Many other reviewers have covered my feelings about Shannon Hoon, so I'll just get to the point. I am a young and new fan of Blind Melon. Shannon had already passed on by the time I started getting into music, but I can see why so many people were devestated by the news. Blind Melon is awesome. Anyway, getting to the album, this album is a collection of great songs, with no dud songs. (by dud songs I mean bad songs by good bands) "Soak the Sin" Gets you right into the Blind Melon mood. A rock song, but not a hard one, this is one of my favourites on the album. "Tones of Home" will bring older fans back to their days of love concerts and mary jane. For me it's just a great old fashioned song. The intro for this song is one my favourites. "I Wonder" is a great softer song about challenges and internal struggle that can be quite a motivator. "Paper Scratcher" is an awesome rock song that I look forward to when listening to this album. It's a great pick-up after the sad "I Wonder" This song will put you in a good mood. I think this song would be really popular nowadays. "Dear Ol' Dad" is another old fashioned but really good song. It's one of those songs that kind of drags you in while you listen to it, and you get right into the mood. "Change" was obviously written for a reason. A powerful, meaningful, but sad song, this will make you think. On the down side, this song kind of saddens me. Luckily, the next song up is "No Rain" possibly the happiest song ever written, though the well written lyrics make me think that wasn't the intent. Still, you can't help but smile and sing along with this song. "Deserted" is another one of my favourites. Another self-searching song, but not a sad one. This one makes you take problems seriously, but still with optimism. Mainly a rock song with some cool, different parts. "Sleepy House" is a cool-down song. The lyrics are really nice and calming too. "Holyman" is a nice partner to "Sleepy House" because it starts out calm, then kicks up and gets more preppy. All in all a good song. "Seed to a Tree" is another of my favourites. It's a great example of Blind Melon's hardcore rocker side. This song is mostly about accomplishments and how it's possible to achieve goals. "Drive" is a sadder, softer song about a guy who sets many goals, but has no ambition, and ends up wasting his life. "Time" is an awesome song reflecting the roots of Blind Melon, and closes the album in a way that makes you want more. The awesome gutiar and vocals make this song explosive. "Time" might be my favourite on the album, but for me it's hard to choose from "Soak the Sin" "Paper Scratcher" "No Rain" "Seed to a Tree" and "Time"

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid cover to cover
I bought this cd years ago under the strength of the song, Tones of Home, which I heard on a friend's mix-tape. It remains one of my favorite cds in my collection.

This band is so underrated, and I think it's a shame. Perhaps if Shannon Hoon hadn't died in such an untimely manner, more people could have had the opportunity to discover Blind Melon. With a great mix of blues, funk, and folk, Blind Melon has one of the most unique, fresh sounds in music. Hoon's voice is a marvel - from somber and soulful crooning to high pitched Robert Plant-like wails, his range leaves most singers in the dust. Add insightful, heartfelt lyrics, and some fantastic guitar work to the the mix, and you have one fine album.

4-0 out of 5 stars I love the bee girl
This is that band whose lead singer died in a heroin overdose just months after giving an interview where he spoke about heroin's deadly effects and how he was addicted in the past. He died not long after Kurt Cobain's suicide. This band was a pretty righteous-looking group of neo-hippies. I really enjoyed their songs. This self-titled CD is a wonderful and overlooked gem.

David Rehak
author of "A Young Girl's Crimes" ... Read more

Asin: B000002UY5
Sales Rank: 8986


$10.99

Under the Table & Dreaming
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (27 September, 1994)
list price: $18.98 -- our price: $9.99
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Editorial Review

With popcorn acoustic guitars, trampoline fiddles, bumper-car bass lines, and caramel-coated sax, the Dave Matthews Band's major-label debut is like an evening at the fair. "The Best of What's Around" and "What Would You Say" swirl like the amusement-park ride on the album's cover, sweeping the exhilarated and lightheaded listener higher as the ride spins faster. "Satellite" glides breezily like the prettiest horse on the carousel, "Ants Marching" runs around hitting the bell with the sledgehammer and winning the largest stuffed animals at the target-range booths, and "Lover Lay Down" is the quietest moment on the disc--like the sun setting on a baby's sleeping, snow-cone-stained face collapsed on her daddy's shoulder. --Beth Massa ... Read more

Reviews (252)

5-0 out of 5 stars DMB Strikes Gold
The flawless Dave Matthews Band examples come together on "Under the Table and Dreaming." Exsquisite saxophone and violin by Leroi Moore and Boyd Tinsley separates this album from the rest.
The songs are all great.
1. The Best of What's Around- Real fast, loud song that really gets your attention from the beggining.
2. What Would you Say- A classic DMB sound. Not the best studio version, yet still good.
3.Sattelite- Always a good song. Great guitar song.
4.Rhyme and Reason- Dark and gloomy 'Rhyme and Reason' shows DMB's versatility and originality with a different sounding song.
5.Typical Situation- Soft, slow. Definetly listen to the lyrics.
6. Dancing Nancies- A weird song, but cool lyrically.
7.Ants Marching- There is no better Dave song that this catchy tune.
8. Lover Lay Down- My all-time favorite Dave Matthews Band song. I love it.
9. Jimi Thing- My second favorite. Great guitar beat.
10. Warehouse- This song is good, but better when performed live.
11. Pay for what you get- Not great, but still fun.
12. #34- Amazing sounding guitar.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have album
This CD is certainly one of Dave Matthews Band's finest. It is difficult NOT to enjoy listening to this album. Each and every song has a strong point:

1. Best of What's Around- A catchy tune with good lyrics. This is a great opening tune.
2. What Would You Say?- This song is catchy and fun.
3. Satellite- A DMB classic. Amazing lyrics. Also, this song spotlights the talents of every band member.
4. Rhyme and Reason- A "darker" tune, with lyrics that make you think.
5. Typical Situation- Poetic lyrics, good instrumental solos.
6. Dancing Nancies- "What's the use in worry, what's use in hurry?"
7. Ants Marching- I'm sure everyone has heard this catchy song before.
8. Lover Lay Down- The slowest tune on the album. Very sweet.
9. Jimi Thing- Another good, catchy song.
10. Warehouse- "Turn all the lights on, so we can see the black cat changing colors..." Great solos from all the band members.
11. Pay For What You Get- By far, my favorite song of all time. Slow and jazzy.
34. #34- A purely instrumental number, which showcases the wide range of talents from all the members of the band.

Overall, this album proves that Dave Matthews Band really is the Best of What's Around. I highly recommend this CD!

1-0 out of 5 stars like totally cool
This is the worst band in the history of music and just as expected they come with the worst fans in the history of the world! Frat boys and girls in white hats driving around in SUVs while drinking Starbucks while listening to "Under The Table & Dreaming" sounds like a stereotype but its the truth! Sadly this band is even more predictable than their damn fans.

Please for the love of humanity stop hazing the rest of humanity by blaring this crap wherever you go. This band is horrible, has no talent and re-writes the same song 100 times. ... Read more

Asin: B000002WQS


$9.99

Tranceport
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (03 November, 1998)
list price: $15.98 -- our price: $13.99
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Editorial Review

Of all the genres within electronic music, trance probably gets the worst rap. The music is guilty by association with the hippies that worship it with a religious-like fervor. And if executed poorly, its dramatic crescendos sound like pretentious, pompous pap. But a good trance DJ can save a string of the genre's records from falling down the drain of all-too-common gargantuan breakdowns and endless wind-ups. Paul Oakenfold might be the DJ to rescue trance from itself; Tranceport features a veritable who's who of trance records and producers--Sasha's remix of Gus Gus's "Purple," a few tracks from seminal trance producer Paul van Dyk, and the driving, impenetrable "Enervate" by Transa. Oakenfold's mixing is impeccably suited to trance: long, drawn-out bleeds of sound seep from one transcendent track to the next. --Tricia Romano ... Read more

Reviews (281)

5-0 out of 5 stars Oakenfold brings European trance music to a U.S. audience
Fans of dj Paul Oakenfold and of European trance and progressive house dance music in general will recognize nearly all of the tracks on "Tranceport" as a bit on the old side. Energy 52's "Cafe Del Mar," for example, was on practically every dance compilation issued in 1997, while Three Drives' "Greece 2000" has been similarly ubiquitous this year. Consequently, those who might have expected something as cutting edge as Oakie's recent "Global Underground--New York" 2 cd mix will be disappointed in "Tranceport." However, it seems that this release is really aimed not at those already enamored of this lively and melodic musical genre, but at an American audience that heretofore has heard few, if any, of these tracks. Oakenfold is widely known and extremely popular in Great Britain, but he's practically unknown in the U.S. This release by Kinetic Records is aimed at providing a good, well-mixed sampling of this fabulous music, in hopes that the current hegemony within the U.S. of hoary, cliched alternative rock, overblown big beat electronica, repetitious rap, and the current darling, hip-hop, might somehow get nudged just a bit so that American listeners might consider embarking upon the kind of dance music excursion that Paul Oakenfold can offer. Who knows? Popular U.S. releases by John Digweed, Sasha, Nick Warren, Ian Ossia, and Dave Seamon just might be next.

5-0 out of 5 stars the definition of trance
this is the first trance or dj album i ever bought. when i first plugged it in, i hadn't even heard trance before. my mind was soon blown away. this album is perfection, taking the biggest records of 97-98 and churning them all out into a continous line of some of the highest quality, most banging trance money can buy. whenever i'm shocked at some of the horrible trance there is in the world (cough...tiesto...) i can always turn back to this album and learn that it IS possible to make epic trance. Every single track is great and there's absoulutely no filler. when each track reaches their climax, it's always breathtaking. even though Oakey is not known for his incredible mixing skills, the mixing on this album is just fine even though it's usually simple. and one last thing, if you are a newbie reading this and you haven't heard Oakey or trance yet, DON'T TRUST THE SAMPLES! they sound very bad. trust me, the disk is a lot better. Don't think about it, just go buy this CD. you'll love it, I swear.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic of the genre...
In the trance world this is arguabley Paul Oakenfold's first and last great work. Released around 1997/98 this album is still sought today and likely to be the hardest Oakenfold album to find. I usunally only see one copy (if at all) under his name at the record stores. If you are just getting in to the genre today this album is a must. ... Read more

Asin: B00000DGZL


$13.99

Relationship of Command
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (12 September, 2000)
list price: $16.98
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Editorial Review

It's rare that a band can provide a visceral thrill--Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name"--and still work the gray matter as well. Here's a band that's refined the art. Hailing from El Paso, Texas, At the Drive-In come poised somewhere between the rabid showmanship of the Make-Up and the complexity of emo pioneers the Lapse, but through sheer adrenaline, they leave both bands choking on their exhaust fumes. Sure, they've got their unique selling point--lead singer Cedric Bixler and guitarist Omar Rodriguez both sport immense Afros--but this band isn't about gimmickry. Recorded after touring with Rage Against the Machine, Relationship of Command is the punk-rock real deal, the angular hardcore dynamic of "One Armed Scissor" and "Rolodex Propaganda" (the latter featuring Iggy Pop) as focused and affecting as any recent American rock. "And the paramedics fell into the wound like a rehired scab at a fair-headed plant, an anaesthetic penance beneath a hail of contraband! / Dancing on the corpses' ashes!"spits Bixler on the album's high-water mark, "Invalid Letter Dept." What does it all mean? Do you really need to ask? --Louis Pattison ... Read more

Reviews (217)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just Wow
I cant even describe the feeling I get while listening to this cd. you cant even put At The Drive-In into a specific genre. there are not even any filler tracks on this album, you can sit back and enjoy all of it.

1. arcarsenal-wow, talk about a great opening track, i love all of the guitar work in this song. even tho i dont understand the lyrics to much, i sitll love it, one of the best on the album. 9/10

2. pattern against user- another great track, i love the chorus on this on, and the intro. 7.5/10

3. on armed sissor-surpirsingly, even tho it was their first single, its not one of the better songs on here, still good nonethenless. 8/10

4. sleepwalk capsules- dang, one of my favorite on the whole album, just all around great, very catchy. 8/10

5. invalid litter dept.- my 2nd favorite track on the album, the chorus is probably one of the best ive ever heard in any song. 10/10

6. mannequin republic- my least favorite song on here, if there is such a word as fillers, this is one, just not very good at all. 5/10

7. enfilade- atdi redeems themselves with this great song. this is my 3rd fav. on here. i love the chorus and all the instrumentals in this song. 9.5/10

8. rolodex propaganda-this song has a very weird intro, which would turn off most listeners, but once you get past weird intro, the song is truely a work of art. 8.5/10

9. quarantined- this is it, best track on the cd. one of the best songs ever in my opinion. everything about this song is great. the chorus, the lyrics, the guitars. and i love the little bass solo intro with the thunder and lightning. 11/10

10. cosmonaut- another great song, with big shoes to fill right after quarantined, but holds its own. 8/10

11. non-zero possiblity- very weird song, kinda errie, im glad they made a song like this. its a great ending track.8/10

well everyone go out and get At The Drive-In's relationship of command, one of best cd's, and pick up their other two cd's as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars An aural powerhouse.
At The Drive-In has to be among the most unique and hard-to-pigeonhole bands of the 90's. They are too melodic and adventurous for hardcore (even though their level of intensity is close to bands like The Refused), and although they are frequently lumped in as part of the emo genre, there is nothing explicitly "emo" about ATDI--no whiny vocals, no middle school-level poetry about lost girlfriends, and no fake irritating screams that are supposed to evoke "emotion." Relationship Of Command, the band's third and final album, is filled with fast tempos, relentlessly pounding rhythms, dense collages of dissonant sound, killer choruses, and bizarre lyrics with some sort of underlying political meaning--this is 100% ATDI, and nothing else.

This is hands-down one of the most energetic and explosive albums I own. Afro-headed vocalist Cedric Bixler's high vocals are barked/screamed with a force that few can manage, Omar Rodriguez and Jim Ward's guitars lead the assault, and the talented rhythm section hammers it home. Although at first Relationship Of Command may sound like noise, there is a lot of depth beneath the seeming anarchy, and each listen reveals sounds (pianos, melodica, sythesizers, odd effects) that were not heard before. This album is a real grower.

If I haven't made it clear by now every track, from the killer opener Arcanarsenal to the spooky end of Non-Zero Possibility, absolutely rules. Faves include the near-hit One Armed Scissor, the ultra-catchy Enfilade, the brutal Cosmonaut, and Invalid Letter Dept. which contains perhaps the most haunting lyric in the whole thing ("They made sure all the obituaries showed pictures of smoke stacks..").

It's a crying shame that ATDI broke up after releasing this album, but on the other hand I think they would've had a helluva time trying to top this release. Don't fret, however. Cedric and Omar (the truly brilliant members of this band) went on to form the equally unique Mars Volta. Definitely check out Deloused In The Comatorium along with Relationship Of Command. In any case, everyone with a working set of eardrums owes it to themselves to get this record.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest cd's ever!
This album is fantastic from begining to end, start to finish, head to toe. This was one of the rare cd's that i actually liked the first time i listened to it. Each track... sooo good. ... Read more

Asin: B00004X0Q0


If You're Feeling Sinister
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (23 June, 1999)
list price: $11.98 -- our price: $10.99
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Reviews (144)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sad and ironic and somehow uplifting. Brilliant!
The Scottish group Belle & Sebastian has delivered an impressive amount of high quality music in the decade or so that they've been around, and most people will argue that IF YOU'RE FEELING SINISTER is their best work to date. The album has all that you'd expect from a Belle & Sebastian CD. This means that you're in for slow paced rock tunes that basically sounds like Travis on novocain. On the surface Belle & Sebastian comes off as quite innocent, but listen closer and you'll hear that their lyrics are sad and depressing, yet at the same time pervaded by an uplifting (though quite black) sense of humour. My favourite songs on this CD are GET ME AWAY FROM HERE I'M DYING, THE FOX IN THE SNOW, ME AND THE MAJOR, and the title track, IF YOU'RE FEELING SINISTER. Great music! As long as your cup of tea isn't electronical bands or mainstream music like All Saint, but rather bands like Travis, Radiohead and Coldplay, then I'm sure you'll get a kick out of this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stuart and The Dream of Riches
Belle and Sebastian are in many ways a complete original and walking to their own beat. If You're Feeling Sinister is their finest effort and one of the greatest albums of all time. At times silly, absurd, and sad but always gentle and funny. The Stars of Track and Field start it off with Stuart Murdoch's sweet gentle voice singing his stories of youth. Seeing Other People begins in a wonderful beat of something straight off Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang and tells stories of young lust with an always present tongue in cheek mantality. Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying sounds sad but is one of the most upbeat tracks on the album and the highlight. The title track is grand and The Boy Done Wrong Again weeps in agony in the words "All I wanted was to sing the saddest songs" and this could be one of them. The album always has a certain cool quality in a dorky kind of way but it never grows old and showcases the Scottish band's talent. As they say in Get Me Away, "Play me a song to set me free / Nobody writes them like they used to / So it may as well be me." Thanks B&S.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This was the first B&S album that I bought and I love it. Tracks 1-7 are flawless and some of the best music you'll get to hear anywhere. Songs 8 and 9 aren't bad songs they just dont stick in your head like the previous do. The last track picks up where the first seven left off. All in all this album is fantastic and very fun to listen to. If you just like good music and great songwriting then pick this one up. There are a variety of intruments used and every song is worthwhile. If you're new to B&S this is THE place to start. ENJOY! ... Read more

Asin: B00000JHAU
Sales Rank: 1525


$10.99

Turns Into Stone
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (27 October, 1992)
list price: $11.98 -- our price: $11.98
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best compilation of the best band
Just in case you had missed all the singles and b-sides that didn't appear on the Stone Roses' debut album, this album compiles those songs on this neat CD.

You get Fools Gold, One Love, Elephant Stone, Mersey Paradise, What the world is waiting for, Standing here etc etc etc etc.

Buy this album, along with the debut album (The Stone Roses) and appreciate what a truly great and inspirational band the Stone Roses were.

5-0 out of 5 stars PLEASE listen to Pete's Review
Thanks to Pete (below, from Canada) for his dead-on comparison of Turns to Stone and Complete Stone Roses. The very fact that 4 of the best Stone Roses songs are cut in half on the Complete Stone Roses, renders that CD almost worthless. The most awesome parts of the songs (arguably) are the parts they cut on The Complete Stone Roses. Yes, Sally Cinnamon is on there, but it's still not worth the cut in Fool's Gold, One Love, I Am The Resurrection, and Something's Burning.

I apologize to the reviewer who recommends The Complete Stone Roses over this CD, but he's doing a disservice recommending that CD. Of course, us fans shouldn't quibble amongst each other, it's the stupid record companies that have hacked their music into so many incomplete versions and compilations.

Contrary, however, to Pete, I think the mix of Elephant Stone on this CD is pretty darn good! It doesn't quite have the pounding rhythm effect of the "The Stone Roses" version, it is an interesting and enjoyable mix to my ears.

I echo most other's recommendations in saying to buy "The Stone Roses", then Turns to Stone, then, if you love them like the rest of us, get "Second Coming" which is an above average and really enjoyable CD, but can't quite reach the heights of "The Stone Roses".

Long live the Stone Roses.

5-0 out of 5 stars The first compilation, and it remains the most worthy
If one good thing has come out of the several Silvertone cash-in releases over the past 10 years, it is the following: My appreciation and affection for Turns Into Stone has only increased during this time.

The songs are brilliant from top to bottom, just like the debut album. Where Angels Play is the best Roses song of all time, and incredibly the version on Turns Into Stone was a rejected take, the plan was to record it later for a 2nd LP (well, no need to go into the sordid details). Simone is a magnificent backwards take, as beautiful as Where Angels Play. The full length Fools Gold and One Love make the brilliance of the Roses most apparent - icy cool vocalist backed by a genius of a drummer, basslines straight from heaven and a guitarist with more licks than a lesbian porn flick. Mersey Paradise and Standing Here, b-sides that put 99.9% of a-sides to shame.

This is the LP that makes me most wonder what could have been. Combine the songs on Turns Into Stone with the debut and you have a clutch of gems that rival the best ofs of everyone, the Beatles, the Stones, the Smiths, Suede, you name 'em. A must have this one is. ... Read more

Asin: B0000004ZW
Sales Rank: 20312


$11.98

The Joshua Tree
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (15 June, 1990)
list price: $13.98 -- our price: $11.99
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Editorial Review

Having nearly exhausted their capacity for pop-song politics on War and The Unforgettable Fire, U2 turned toward themes of personal identity and complex relationships on The Joshua Tree. Not that the group was willing to come down off the barricades entirely: "Mothers of the Disappeared" and "Bullet the Blue Sky" turned a jaundiced eye toward Central America and the United States' role there. But the predominant mood here is one of self-discovery and the hunger for something more on tracks like the pulsating "Where the Streets Have No Name" and the gospel-ish "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." The album's masterstroke, however, is "With or Without You," a nasty love song dressed up as an ode of devotion and care. It ranks with the Police's "Every Breath You Take" as the most misread smash hit of the '80s. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

Reviews (323)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tremendous, epic rock album.
For me, The Joshua Tree is the best album of the 1980's. It had a notably long recording process, and saw the group travel to the Heartland of America for inspiration and for the memorable B&W cover art. The inspiration they found was in the direction of spirited, uplifting and sometimes heartbreaking sentiments delivered with fervour. Every song on the 11-track album is memorable. I'll start with my all-time favourite U2 song: Where The Streets Have No Name. I love this song dearly - it is about casting off one's shackles to find a true freedom of the spirit. I believe this theme is extended to the second single I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, which is about the search for spiritual meaning and an affirmation of faith despite a questioning soul. Songwriting does not get any better than these two tunes. With Or Without You is a brooding song that starts slowly , then winds into a majestic chorus before fading to a wonderful instrumental coda. Again, it evokes a strong passion clearly stated with no filters. U2 never made music this direct again, spinning off into irony and camp during their glittery 1990's Lemon sojourn, but these 3 all-time classics will never be forgotten. One Tree Hill is a passionate song for a NZ friend of the band's who was lost in an auto accident. Running To Stand Still is sort of exploring similar territory to 1984's Bad , but has a different feel, while the bleak Exit is an undiluted cry from someone at the end of a very dark tunnel of despair. The gentle refrain of Mothers Of The Disappeared is also about the painful emotions of the bereaved, but offers solace in the face of tyranny. In God's Country is a more straightforward tune that may have referred to the USA itself, where many patriots believe themselves divinely blessed. And why not?!!! U2 found the wellsprings of the rock and soul traditions in God's Country on their 1987 concert tour, and their American experiences are documented of course in the Rattle And Hum movie . This title comes from the incendiary track Bullet The Blue Sky, which is about the fear of the military and economic might of the USA in certain Central American regions. This became a dramatic concert favourite thereafter. Red Hill Mining Town is another track with a memorable, soaring vocal performance by Bono. The lightest touch on the album is in the tune Trip Through Your Wires. All in all, a richly emotional album with great music and inspiring lyrics. I have seen it written that the sound quality isn't the best. Not being an audiophile, I wouldn't know, but I really don't believe that matters much. All that matters is the music and the message. This is a 5-star masterpiece. Highly Recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars One for a desert island!
Being a U2 fan for many years, I thought the best U2 album was 'Achtung Baby' and didn't think any album by them could come close to it.

Well that all changed last week when I finally got around to buying 'Joshua Tree'. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't just an album to parade U2's probably three most famous songs. Talking of these three famous songs, if someone can name me an album which has a better trio of opening tracks than 'Where the Streets..', 'Still Haven't Found..' and 'With or Without You', I will truely be amazed. But as I was saying. This album isn't just about those three true great musical anthems. The first other song on the album that really struck me was 'Running to Stand Still'. A beautiful ballad about a heroin addict, it sees Bono at his song writing best. And then there is the truely amazing and unique 'Exit' - a real musical journey, building you to a musical frenzy and back again.

Other highlights of the album include the classic-rock styled 'Bullet the Blue Sky' and the ode to America 'In God's Country'. Most other classic albums have at least one 'album filler' track, but not with 'Joshua Tree'.

To conclude, all I can say is, do you think your music collection is complete? Well its certainly not complete without 'Joshua Tree' and if you don't own this album you are depriving yourself of a truely timeless epic album.

I certainly 'found what what I was looking for'...

5-0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic
"The Joshua Tree was the album U2 HAD to make, the only one they COULD make"

Those are the words of Eamon Dunphy, author of "Unforgettable Fire - The Definitive Biography of U2", on U2's process of making a new record in 1986 and early 1987. That might sound like an over-dramatization for a rock record, but once you've heard the record, that thought goes out the window. This record, U2's exploration of America, is one of the quintessential rock records ever recorded. It is, varying with opinion, U2's masterpiece of masterpieces. Since this album was recorded back when it was still 'ok' to talk about records in the context of 'sides', I will say that every song on the first 'side' of this record is a classic. 'Where The Streets Have No Name' with an intro that ranks with the best of all time, 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' with a theme of longing that anyone can relate to, 'With Or Without You'(my favorite U2 track), one of the most popular breakup songs ever, 'Bullet The Blue Sky' with its hypnotic talk/chant at the end at Edge's furious and passionate solos, and 'Running To Stand Still' with its atmosphere of deep pain being held in. The second 'side' was comprised of lesser-known but no less mesmerizing songs: 'Red Hill Mining Town', 'In God's Country', 'Trip Through Your Wires', 'One Tree Hill', which was written for roadie Greg Carroll, who died in a motercycle wreck running an errand for U2, the dark and moody 'Exit', and the mournful and haunting ballad closer, 'Mothers Of The Disappeared'.

This record catapaulted U2 in a realm of superstardom seldom seen by any band. They were not expecting it and they were taken by surprise a bit. I own this record on vinyl, cassette, and CD, and I even have the 'Classic Albums' DVD for it. This album has that quality about it, that sets it apart from from all other albums that don't pocess it. What quality is that? This was the first U2 record I ever heard, and I remember listening to it for the first time at age 13, and thinking to myself, before the album was even half over, 'hey, whoa, this band is one of the best ever'. That's the quality. Just like when you listen to 'Revolver' or 'Abbey Road' or any record of that quality, before it is even finished, you know the band is one of the best ever. I was completely blown away. It is a draining experience, one that will leave you exhausted when the album reaches its conclusion.

Spiritually, emotionally, lyrically, musically, commercially, U2 reached their peak with this record, and it was a peak they would remain on for a while to come, starting with the "Joshua Tree Tour", their biggest tour to date at the time. And not only did U2 reach their peak, but it is also important to note that on this record, Bono reached his peak as a singer. For U2's whole career up to this point, he had progressively improved as a singer with each outing. On this record he made the leap from being a very good rock singer to being one of the great rock singers of all time. I submit he is still the best, most emotional, most evocative rock singer of his time.

And though that tour would eventually lead to U2 being sick and tired of their current form, and to the brink of a breakdown, that was still a good two and a half years away. At this point U2 were excited to be as popular and relevant as they would ever be, which, incidentally gave them the leverage to pull stunts like the now legendary liquor-shop-roof-quasi-show during which the 'Where The Streets Have No Name' video was shot. U2 had arrived. ... Read more

Asin: B000001FS3


$11.99

The Soft Bulletin
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (22 June, 1999)
list price: $11.98 -- our price: $7.99
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Editorial Review

The crazed genius of the Lips comes to full flower on the sonically massive and majestic The Soft Bulletin. Head Lip Wayne Coyne compounds the band's penchant for psychedelic freak-outs with a symphonic extravaganza. The result is nothing short of magnificent, not only the best rock album of the year, but among the best recordings of the decade. In 30 years, your grandkids are going to think you're pretty damned cool for having The Soft Bulletin in your collection. --Tod Nelson ... Read more

Reviews (316)

5-0 out of 5 stars Symphonic genius
Every once in a while, there comes along an album that is so strange, and yet so familiar, that you can only stop with your opinions and gawk stupidly at its awesome power. The Flaming Lips abandoned their older, more rocking sound for the album the Beach Boys might have made after Smile had Brian Wilson not gone mad. Sgt. Pepper's band viewing the dark side of the moon listening to pet sounds couldn't have made an album so daring and touching.

Race for the Prize: the absolute perfect opener, great lyrics about scientists searching for a cure. to boredom? this is the cure. A+
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton: brilliant music, great lyrics. A
The Spark that Bled: "I stood up and I said YEAH!" so did I. A+
The Spiderbite Song: great lyrics set to wonderful music. A
Buggin': a sticky-sweet pop song, great melody. A-
What is the Light?: quirky song with great lyrics. A
The Observer: a haunting instrumental. B+
Waitin' for a Superman: another great melody, awesome. A
Suddenly Everything has Changed: "death anxiety caused by moments of boredom" thoughtful lyrics. A-
The Gash: mathematician stopped by a gash in the leg (?); still very cool. A-
Feeling Yourself Disintegrate: the highlight, very good. A+
Sleeping on the Roof: another instrumental, great closer. A
Race for the Prize / Waitin' for a Superman: remixes of the originals, not a huge deviation, so: A.

"The Soft Bulletin" is undoubtedly one of the sonic masterpieces of the 90s. Wayne Coyne's songwriting blossoms in a nebula of rich colors and unexpectedly touching wordplay. There's not a lot of adjectives to describe this album properly, not with the seemingly effortless encapsulation of the past 40 years of pop music into a mere hour. The only one this awed listener can think of is bloody genius. Get it. Today. You'll never ever regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Modern Art-Rock Masterpiece
The Flaming Lips built their reputation on eclectic punk-rock and surrealistic lyrics. However, over the past few years, their music has continued to evolve and improve, both sonically and lyrically, resulting in two of the best albums of the past 10 years, "The Soft Bulletin" and, more recently, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."

Sonically, the band has lost none of its wonderful intensity. However, the rough edges have been smoothed, and Wayne Coyne & Co. have continued to experiment with new sounds and textures. The result is simultaneously more innovative and more accessible than their earlier recordings. "The Soft Bulletin" is power-pop meets progressive rock meets trip-hop and space rock.

Lyrically, the Lips have evolved from Dali-like weirdness to songs that movingly reflect the tension between humanity (and concepts like love, hope, courage) and the depression and alienation of post-modern society. Their philosophical searching is reflected in song titles like "Suddenly Everything Has Changed," "Waitin' for a Superman," and "What Is the Light?", and in these lines from "The Gash":

I feel like the real reason that you're quitting is that you're admitting that you've lost all the will to battle on

Will the fight for our sanity be the fight of our lives now that we've lost all the reasons that we thought that we had

Still the battle that we're in rages on 'til the end.

With this record, the Flaming Lips have created a true work of art. This is the band that everyone should be talking about - it is not hyperbole to call "The Soft Bulletin" today's "Sgt. Pepper." Unfortunately, outside of the music press and some dedicated fans, no one else seems to care.

Do yourself a favor - give this one a spin.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Flaming Lips Best.. well maybe...
The Flaming Lips have made an interesting career of changing it up on each album. If you listened to "Clouds Taste Metallic" (their album before this one) than listen to "Yoshimi" (their album after this one) you wouldn't know it was the same band. "The Soft Bulletin" isn't their most ambitious work (that would be Zaireeka) and it's not the most drastic change from their original works (that would be Yoshimi), but it was simply the next step that connects the growth of the band from "Clouds" to "Yoshimi."

So why is it their best? It's not the most ambitious, the most different, the most rocking or anything like that. Instead each track is a treasure in it's own way. The songs aren't very tied together but instead present a different sound with every new endeavor. From the happy go lucky love on "Buggin'" to the almost, dare I say, dance feel you get from the drums on "What is the Light." "Suddenly Everything Has Changed" presents a transformation of fast to slow over and over again. Even the two "remixes" present quite different sounds from the "unremixed" versions of the same songs. Rather than being "remixed" it seems to me the Lips just couldn't decide which version was better and decided to present them both. Each track is incredible in its own way. And while you could argue "Yoshimi" is a better album based on how the fact that each Lips album seems to be better than the next, "The Soft Bulletin" presents the Lips in a way that is familiar to all of their other works but still very different, and comes out, at least to me, as their best work to date. ... Read more

Asin: B00000JC6C


$7.99

The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombation In 12 Bursts
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (27 October, 1998)
list price: $11.98 -- our price: $10.99
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Editorial Review

If not the album of the year, it's at least the punk-rock album of the year, fiercely representing a musical ethos that has suffered the ignominious shame of commercial popularity. "We want the airwaves back!" shrieks singer (if you can use that word) Dennis, and over the course of The Shape of Punk to Come's 12 sonically stunning tracks, they reclaim the right to rage, rant, and innovate. The Refused broke up soon after recording this album, but they've left behind an invigorating manifesto. --Tod Nelson ... Read more

Reviews (93)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Punk Messiahs
Refused. . .my punk messiahs. Fueled by political hatred, Refused has conquered the hardcore punk scene for so long. Without any warning, the aggressive band broke up after the release of this album. The Shape of Punk to Come is one uneven masterpiece. Truly, a work of rare art. What was spawned as an experimental project has become a classic. No album can offer such divine anger and musical harmony. There are vicious complaints about the added techno, but it blends nicely with the metalish guitar riffs. I'm god-awful ashamed that I discovered the band when they parted. Thanks to Punk-O-Rama 4, I found the Sweden band with their emotion-lifting ballad, Summer Holidays Vs. Punk Routine. The song literally hauls your neck, ordering you to make something of your worthless life. After their discovery, I gladly purchased my first Refused album. Never have I heard such celestial Punk come to life and thunder. In all honesty, this is the highest honor I can give any CD. I'd pay a million dollars for this unforgettable classic. There are 12 emotional, cutthroat tracks. Most are hardcore, harmonized with attractive screaming melody. Dennis Lyxzen, the vocalist, has no equal to his singing capabilities. His voice is appealing. Dennis's vocals can be deciphered, his pain, the anger, the fear, and the shredded hope. His ruthless screams and actual singing are done in excellence. The drums are massive with the hard- hitting bass backing it up. Both instruments combined make heart-throbbing music. The Guitar riffs are Metal, but matches every instrument perfectly. Being political Punk, Refused's lyrics are based on anger towards the government. The real fact that bands like Refused never see the light of fame without selling out is heartbreaking. "Liberation Frequency," is such a moving song. It teaches how corrupt the radio can be, as well as fame. Refused's lyrics are complex as they are clever. The Shape of Punk To Come is a total success. Their experiment, mixing instruments like the violin, upright bass, and tambourine, gives a classical music element. Although the word classical music seems threatening, Refused has a style of power to grab the listener like Summer Holidays Vs. Punk Routine did to me. Dennis's political expression is enhanced by the instruments. Together, Refused is one block of uplifting chaos. "The Deadly Rhythm," is an example of great diversity in a song. What seems as a jazzy song transforms into a raging uproar. Amazing. These guys are power. Although I haven't been a fan when the band was pristine, I have to say this is the greatest band. Sadly, they parted 2 years ago. Though hope lies on the vocalist, who joined The International Noise Conspiracy. His endless cause continues. I wish Refused could carry on their robust, heavy punk once more. This is the best what the underground scene can provide, this is the best hardcore Punk band, and this is the paramount album of Punk history. Refused has contributed to the evolution of Punk. And, therefore, they are the true Punk Messiahs.

5-0 out of 5 stars How punk is supposed to be...
Loud, fast, smart, and powerfull. Just what punk isn't anymore with bands like Blink 182, NOFX (though I do like them), and MXPX. Denis writes some incredibly powerful songs and screams his head off when he gets to "singing" them. From the opening lines of "I've get a bone to pick with capitalism, and a few to break" you will get the intensity of the album. It's just too bad they broke up, they could've brought punk back to what it was supposed to be....

Refused not only brings extremly heavy guitars to the fold, but fuses in some jazz elements and some techno. Just when the opening song is about to break into another level of chaos in come some Industrial esq. sound effects that last into Liberation Frequency (imo the best song on the album). The single New Noise is the perfect choice it's just too bad you won't be hearing it on the radio. I think it might make pop punkers brains go pop!

5-0 out of 5 stars Renewed My Belief in Music as a Force For Real Change
Seriously. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't own this CD. OK, so the vocals are a bit on the yelled/screamed side--and pretty much everything your parents and Government believe in, this is against. This is the sound of your soul banging its heads against the walls of oppression, indifference, laziness, apathy, capitalism, globalization (which is really just American Hegemony), and every other lie that has been spread like so much filth across our blue-green orb. Not only is the music here breathtakingly beautiful, this is an album of ideas. You might not agree with all of them, but in a world where free speech and intelligent political discussion are being crushed like a wet paper cup, an album that can take a stand is much more precious whatever other crappy CD you were going to buy. Buy this instead so you can ROCK & THINK! ... Read more

Asin: B00000DC10


$10.99

Grassroots
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (12 July, 1994)
list price: $17.98 -- our price: $13.99
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Features

  • Explicit Lyrics
Reviews (97)

5-0 out of 5 stars Underated and Misunderstood Musical Geniuses
Despite the financial limitations placed on the production sharpness, Grassroots is 311's most ecletic and in my opionion the best album the band has ever done. Here 311 has mastered and perfected their quick yet smooth rapping. Songs like "Silver" and "Salsa" showcase Nick Hexum and SA Martinez's slickest and quickest lyrical rampages. However, the album has plenty upbeat and trippy melodies as well in songs like "Homebrew", and "Omaha Stylee". The songs are lyrically powerfull, touching on the importance of optimism, self-respect, and making the most of life. While this may seem like silly feel-good bubblegum content, 311 is able to deliver their neo-hippy idealism through a sonic storm of hip-hop, rock, reggae, latin beats, and revolutionary rhythm. No other band out there has the fast and dynamic rhythm that 311 has. Tim Mahoney's guitar work on this album is more free and jamming than on any other 311 album. If you like intelligent and positive songs that rock hard and get you groovin, 311's Grassroots is the cd for you. Even though this cd came out 1994, it still holds up with 311's newer stuff and with the rest of today's music. This album and 311 in general are often forgotten as being the best and most creative representation of hybrid music.

5-0 out of 5 stars 311 has grassroots
This is in my opinion the best album to start with if you're new to 311. So if you're reading reviews trying to decide if you should buy this CD then YES, BUY IT! 311 is my favorite music artist. I could listen to only 311 and be perfectly content. Here is an attempt at describing the songs on this fantastic album:
(1) Homebrew - This song has a great intro riff and has a section with Nick rapping at his best, then a chorus, then SA rapping at his best, and then another chorus. I've seen them play this song live several times and it is amazing live.
(2) Lucky - This song rocks really hard and was written by Chad (drummer). Great guitaring by Tim too.
(3) Nutsymptom - This song comes in hard and fierce with rapping by SA and then Nick, and then P-Nut plays a funky slap bass line and Chad does who-knows-what on the drums while Tim plays a beautiful solo. One of the best 311 songs ever.
(4) 8:16 AM - A nice jazzy chill song.
(5) Omaha Stylee - This song rocks really hard, a definite headbanger and a great song to see live. Great instrument playing by all.
(6) Applied Science - Another standard of their live show, they always expand the drum solo live and bring out more drums so that the whole band is doing these crazy beats that make you want to jump and thrash around.
(7) Taiyed - The only song other than several on Transistor in which SA sings the whole song. Nick plays second guitar while Tim plays the guitar solo parts.
(8) Silver - Another song that rocks hard with great creative guitar riffs and rapping by Nick and SA. The opening verse by Nick may be his best rapping in any song and has a great anti-racism message.
(9) Grassroots - A fun song with wise lyrics 'the roots underground are as big as the tree, can't you see, if not it will fall down'.
(10) Salsa - This album is the most difficult of their albums for me to choose a favorite song, but Salsa may be it. More awesome creative guitar riffs and great rapping by Nick and SA. I love how the guitar riff sounds like it is rising and then falls like a monster opening its mouth and chomping down.
(11) Lose - A nice slow jazzy/bluesy song unlike any others 311 has done. I really like this song, especially the guitar soloing by Tim.
(12) Six - The beginning of this song sounds like it is creeping up on you. This song has a great chorus sung by Nick, and great creative instrumentation in the middle of the song. Yet another fantastic song.
(13) Offbeat Bare Ass - Another contender for favorite song on the album, this song has verses by Nick and SA that are totally unrelated in their content. SA's lyrics are funny about gross pranks, and Nick sings more wisdom such as 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law until you violate the right of another, respect the space of your sister and your brother, the war on drugs may be well intentioned but it falls f***ing flat when you stop to mention an overcrowded prison where a rapist get parolled, to make room for a dude who was sold a pound of weed, to me that's a crime, here's to good people doing time'.
(14) 1,2,3 - The closer to this album is a nice chill song with interesting guitar effects. This is the only song on this album I didn't like right away but it has grown on me and now I really like it.
Grassroots is one of my favorite CDs ever but I must admit that my favorite 311 CDs are Transistor and Evolver. I love all of their albums though.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Lord, Yes...
Listening to GRASSROOTS today, I'm still overwhelmed by the variety of styles on this record. When it came out in 1994, it sounded like nothing else on the pop music radar. Here was a hard rock band that was equally comfortable playing reggae, latin-tinged ballads, "jam band" rock, rap and even a little jazz. Unlike many other versatile groups of the time (Phish, Dave Matthews) 311 rocked harder and very often melded these various styles into one seamless track. It's this type of musical alchemy that propelled 311 to their status as one of the top live bands in the U.S., while at the same time confusing lame critics (Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly) who were incapable of accepting a sound so utterly original.

The laugh is squarely on the critics now. 311 have been together for almost 15 years now, and they're as big as they've ever been. Yet GRASSROOTS remains their masterpiece; 45 minutes of essential 311 music.

01. Homebrew 10/10 - The perfect opening salvo with a killer Led Zep guitar riff and lyrics inspired by an acid trip.

02. Lucky 7/10 - Weakest track on the CD. Still salvaged by its percussive groove and funny lyrics.

03. Nutsymtom 9/10 - Heavy intro groove, breaks into a Santana-like jam for the second half with a killer Tim Mahoney guitar solo.

04. 8:16 am 9/10 - Very pretty mellow rocker. Exactly the type of song you wouldn't expect from this sort of band and a great example of their genre-smashing greatness.

05. Omaha Stylee 9/10 - Awesome rap-flavored track is a shoutout to their home town.

06. Applied Science 8/10 - Nice groove, killer Chad Sexton drum solo.

07. Taiyed 8/10 - Another good change-of-pace track. SA handles all the lyrics himself while Nick Hexum sits in on second guitar. Another wicked Tim Mahoney solo (the CD in general is totally loaded with his genius lead guitar work.)

08. Silver 8/10 - One of the heaviest cuts on the disc. Yet another killer groove and more astute lyrics from Hexum.

09. Grassroots 9.5/10 - Title track does a fantastic job of combining 311's many styles into a whole greater than the some of its parts. Total 311 synergy.

10. Salsa 8/10 - Another propulsive headbanger with some great lyrics from SA; "the girl who gave you her sex I heard was homeless..." Priceless!

11. Lose 9/10 - Out of nowhere, a great Caribbean flavored jazz ballad with Hexum coming across like a male Billie Holiday. Guarenteed to impress even the biggest 311 hata.

12. Six 9/10 - Sinewy riff establishes a menacing groove that relents on the ska-infected chorus. The ending on this one is incredible.

13. Offbeat Bare-Ass 9.5/10 - This album is loaded with bad-ass guitar riffs, but this one may take the cake. Lyrics here about being horrassed by the cops for having a Dead sticker on your tour bus are insightful and have a keen sensitivity beyond the grasp of most "alternative rockers".

14. 1-2-3 10/10 - This beautiful slow jam seals the deal for GRASSROOTS as the best 311 album of all time.

Overall, this is an album that-- despite limited commercial success upon its release-- has grown in reputation to be one of the bona-fide classics of the genre. Highly recommended to all fans of great rock music. ... Read more

Asin: B00005ABHN
Sales Rank: 14965


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