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Music - Alternative Rock - Best of 2003

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    De-Loused in the Comatorium
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (24 June, 2003)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France
    Reviews (471)

    5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
    My friends told me about the Mars Volta, but I did not really listen to them after their recommendations. It was not until recently, when my friend lent me her copy of De-Loused in the Comatorium, that I listened to the album. It is extremely hard for me to classify their music. Words that comes to mind are: stupefying, astounding, extraordinary, staggering, and genius.

    I do not play any instruments, but The Mars Volta's album can make anybody appreciate the instruments played. I preferred this album to Frances the Mute, but they are both remarkable albums.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This album is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This album is absolutely brillaiant. I have had it for about a week but i have listened to it about 20 times through! Brilliant guitar, percussion and vocals throughout in an array of original, addictivetracks. You would be a fool not to buy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
    Prog metal, space punk, electronica, psych jazz; The Mars Volta are often labled all of these and more. This is because when people hear the Mars Volta, they are confused, and they feel that they must be placed in a genre to make listening more confortable. The Mars Volta, however, are none of these really; they're just amazing.

    De-loused in the Comatorium is definitely one of the top 5 best CDs I own. The Mars Volta are excellent musicians. I listen to primarily jazz and fusion, and very few 'rock' bands, if you will, intrigue me. This group however aren't just a bunch of mindless rockers who are filthy rich. They are musicians. De-Loused is composed of very melodic key changes and intricate rhythm structers that are much more appealing to those who have a musical background. The intrumentation is very clever and the arranging is so emotional. The lyrics are very thought-provoking. I suggest you read the bio at themarsvolta.com to fully understand what De-Loused is all about. If you like albums like Tool's Lateralus or Radiohead's Hail to the Thief, give the Mars Volta a try. Don't let your idea of At the Drive-In persuade you, all though Relationship of Command is probably the closest of atdi albums to the sound produced by the Mars Volta.

    Very unique. Try it out. I have been listening to Francis the Mute a lot recently, but in my opinion De-Loused in the Comatorium is much better.
    ... Read more

    Asin: B00009V7T2
    Sales Rank: 610
    Subjects:  1. Neo-Psychedelia    2. Pop    3. Post-Hardcore    4. Post-Rock/Experimental    5. Rock   


    $9.99

    Hail To The Thief
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (10 June, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Filling the gulf between OK Computer's epicprogressive rock and KidA's skittering electronic theatrics, Hail to the Thief borrows equally from each.Its title implies that this will be a collection filled with songs of anger and dissent, but Radiohead no longer howl at the moon like they did on 1995's The Bends. Instead, theyuse eloquent metaphors and complicated arrangements to express the uncertainty, fear and anger arising from the 2000 U.S. presidential election and a post-9/11 world. There’s no doubt about where Thom Yorke and company stand; the prog-rock break on "2 + 2 = 5" and Yorke's terror at the thought of being "put in a dock" make that immediately clear. But there's a prevailing sense of powerlessness here. The tinkling piano behind the cold sonic surface of "Backdrifts" and the brief, swooping melody in the middle of "Sail to the Moon" are islands in a sea of confusion. Like the band's best work, Thief requires more than a few listens to fully appreciate, but those who stick around will be richly rewarded. --Matthew Cooke ... Read more

    Reviews (949)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Artistic Oddity
    I find this to be an interesting album. It is like Thom Yorke took 'Ok Computer', 'Kid A' and 'Amnesiac' and blended them together to form 'Hail To The Thief'. I can agree with the other reviewers that this album does lack some flow. But, Radiohead has never been able to fit into some sort of formula.

    This album takes longer to "get into", so to speak. I had to listen to it a few times to truly appreciate it. I remember feeling the same way with 'Kid A', and I like that album a lot now.I really like the title of this album and how it corelates with the 2000 election. I find Radiohead's tongue and cheek response funny.

    I think this album does fit into any Radiohead fan's collection. Its a good album, but maybe not as brilliant as Kid A, The Bends, or Ok Computer. It is still good stuff. If you are new to Radiohead, this may not be the best album to start off with. Try 'The Bends' or 'Ok Computer.'

    1-0 out of 5 stars Pure rubbish!
    Keep on whining little one...waah! yhyy! This music is just whining...listen to great rock like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath!

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's too bad Radiohead had to be the band to release this..
    Why the title? Because had any other band released this album, it would have been lauded as complete genious, a breakthrough in popular music. But instead, Radiohead released it, and as such it draws comparison to the titans OK Computer, Kid A, and even to an extent, The Bends and Amnesiac. Is Hail to the Thief as good as these albums? In some ways, yes. In other ways, no. I will go in to as much detail as I can comfortably muster...

    First, a major complaint is the album's cohesiveness. Or more like its lack thereof. It is true that the album stalls and restarts in spots. For instance, while "2+2=5" is like a punch to the face from one fist and "Sit Down. Stand Up" a follow up from the other hand, leaving you dazed and half-conscious during the beautiful, astral scenery of "Sail to the Moon", "Backdrifts" sort of stutters. "Backdrifts" itself is a pretty good song, and fits just fine after "Sail to the Moon." However, it doesn't seem to provide an adequete enough bridge between the first portion of the record and "Go to Sleep." In fact, the problem here may not be "Backdrifts," but "Go to Sleep." It just doesn't fit on the album that well. I love the song but it divides the record up.

    "Where I End and You Begin" and "We Suck Young Blood" pick up the album again after "Go to Sleep" drops it, indulging in creepy lyricism and emotionally-over-the-top music. "The Gloaming" is conceptually a high point of the album but musically a weak point. Still, it serves the album just fine where it is, and even manages to segway into "There There" effectively. There's a sort of "gloaming" in the album, everything before this track being the dusk and everything after it the night. This fits with the oftentimes political preoccupation of the album fairly nicely.

    "I Will" is a beautiful song, but the start of a scattered, unorganized part of the album. My biggest problems with the consistancy of this album mostly take place in this part. "Punchup at a Wedding" is a groovey, but under-written, song that fits poorly among the other songs. Perhaps if they had given it more time to age, it would have turned out a little better. Not a bad song by any means, but a low point in the album. "Myxomatosis" is a fantastic, adrenaline-driven thrill ride on the wave of surging distorted bass synth and Phil's mind-boggling swung drum beat. As good as this song is, it still doesn't feel as though it contributes to the flow of the album as much as it should.

    "Scatterbrain" brings the album back on track, with a crooning melody and guitars that hint back to the beginning of the record. It then flows seemlessly into "Wolf at the Door" which is one of my personal favorites on the album and a brilliant, unique album closer.

    The other common complaint is the "straightforward," more live-production style. Radiohead fans have grown accustomed to studio-trickery and songs that are almost identical to their live versions (both in instrumentation and just general sound) was an alien idea to many. While I miss the spaced out, rich production of OK Computer, I have come to appreciate Hail to the Thief as a different album and a different bag of tricks altogether.

    While initially I was disappointed in some ways, I have grown to love this album. It contains many of my favorite individual Radiohead songs (2+2=5, Sail to the Moon, Where I End and You Begin, We Suck Young Blood, There There, Wolf at the Door.) It may not work as a full album quite as well as Kid A or OK Computer, but once you stop expecting Radiohead to keep topping themselves, you may realize that Hail to the Thief is a fantastic album. It's a "low point" in Radiohead's discography because it's not genre-redefining, but in the greater scheme of popular music, it is flat out amazing. Its diversity, while breaking up the flow of the album, is also part of what makes the album so charming.

    Overall, as a Radiohead album it gets four stars. But held up against the rest of the music world, it gets a five, easily. ... Read more

    Asin: B000092ZYX
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    $13.99

    Thirteenth Step
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (16 September, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (944)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
    This record saved a rather mediocre summer for music. Overall, it's a bit gentler and a lot better than the group's debut, Mer de Noms. Whereas the first album had only a handful of noteworthy tracks, Step should be listened to front-to-back.

    This is likely due to the different creative process: with Noms, founder Billy Howerdel wrote all of the background music and had Tool singer Maynard James Keenan add vocals. On Step, Keenan helped with more of the music, and band membership changed to include Jeordie White (formerly Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson) and James Iha (formerly of the Smashing Pumpkins).

    The only negative aspect of the record is the very first track: the six-minute-plus "The Package." It is by far the weakest track musically, drags on too long and sounds too much like Tool-from the guitar tone to the song length to the odd time signatures to the vocals (for obvious reasons).

    The rest of the record, though, is filled with great music: ethereal, dynamic backgrounds supporting Keenan's unique, mysterious and haunting voice.

    The biggest surprise is "The Nurse Who Loved Me," a quirky, indescribable-yet-catchy ode to the medical profession: "I'm taking her home with me / All dressed in white / She's got everything I need / Pharmacy keys."

    For any fan of gentle, deep alternative music with occasional heavy sections, it's a must-buy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The album that saved rock music.
    With the rise of nu-metal in the late 1990's, and simpler song structures beginning to take over (at least in the mainsteam), an album like A Perfect Circle's sophmore effort "Thirteenth Step" was desperately needed. The craft that the band practiced on their debut "Mer de Noms" has been perfected on this album. Flowing, rich, textures, haunting and beautiful vocals, and the exact right combination of heavier, rock parts and melodic and beautiful movements. This collection of 12 songs may constitute the most rewarding and meaningfull rock album in the 21st century thus far this side of "Lateralus".

    "Tribal" movements and sounds are utilized to brilliant perfection, especially on the 8 minute epic opener, "The Package", as well as the sombre dirge of "The Noose". Like "Lateralus", the instruments all come together to form a beautiful audio soundscape to reward the listener's ears with an emotional outpour by Maynard James Keenan, without a doubt in my mind, the most accomplished vocalist in mainstream music today. In the vein of a vocalist like Mike Patton, Keenan's voice is an instrument, with the expressive (if a tad self-indulgent) lyrics adding the foam to the warm wave of sound.

    "Thirteenth Step" boasts production of the highest order, and a quality sound system is greatly suggested in order to experience all of the hidden nooks deep within the album. This album is much more of a wave, like I said, but if I had to select individual songs, these would be the best:

    "The Package" - the epic opener takes the listener on a trek (literally), while remaining fresh and original throughout.

    "Weak and Powerless" - the first single has some incredible lyrics, and also a hauting bass line, and is a definite anomaly, as is a bona fide rocker, but with the APC "twist".

    "The Noose" - one word: melody.

    "The Outsider" - Maynard with a brief falsetto, a heavy as hell passage from out of nowhere, and one of the best guitar performances on the album.

    "Pet" - my personal favourite. Experience the final 30 seconds and you'll surely see what I mean.

    Don't let this gem pass you by, Maynard and Co. certainly deliver with this masterpiece. 5 stars.

    1-0 out of 5 stars "The Nurse Who Loved Me..."
    ...sounds cool but I think this album st***s! I hate this band and I hate Tool and System of a Down....I hate these bands...their music is awful...it makes me sick! ... Read more

    Asin: B0000AZJXQ
    Sales Rank: 1662
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Pop    3. Rock   


    $13.99

    The Power to Believe
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (04 March, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (117)

    5-0 out of 5 stars That's what I call some great music!
    The Power to Believe is the last KC album I purchased and again I ask myself why I waited all this time!?

    I had some reserves about it having heard The ConstruKction of Light before. I actually like TCoL but it needs a lot more listening before getting into it. The ConstruKction of Light is 100% full of testosterone, ultra complex and sometimes heavy as hell (see Larks' Tongues in Aspic IV ;)). The Power to Believe has a lot of different dynamics, more than TCoL. The track order is balanced better and the production is a lot more satisfying. Now, it's time for a track by track review folks!

    The Power to Believe I - "She carries me through days of apathy, to washes over me. She saved my life in a matter of speaking, when she gave me back the power to believe." That's all.

    Level Five - HEAVY instrumental based on some typical Frippian reduced scales. Really cool. (That was the only track I'd heard about before buying the album)

    Eyes Wide Open - Catchy Adrian Belew song about lost opportunities. That was in my opinion what they missed on TCoL : a little break with a good song.

    Elektrik - Excellent use of percussive electronics. Classic twin guitar picking attack with a solid groove. Best instrumental and possibly best song of the album.

    Facts of Life - Here again they rock hard but I feel a certain touch of humor (Fripp's solo). Lyrics are crappish. Cool song though.

    The Power to Believe II - Oriental mood. Adds variety to the album. Very appropriate.

    Dangerous Curves - 5:30 instrumental crescendo with electronic percussions, great soundscapes and the SAME riff from Adrian Belew. Solid! (I cover it with my band...)

    Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With - Hilarious song. They make fun of Nu-metal bands with over distorted guitars, vocal distortion box (see lyrics) and sampled turntables scratchings!

    The Power to Believe III - More experimental track with a very electronic sound. Cool

    The Power to Believe IV - See The Power to Believe I and add some beautiful soundscapes to it.

    Finally, I consider that this album is essential to a KC discography and it's pretty accessible by the band's standards. It may probably be their last ever so get yourself a treat. It's pretty addictive.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Now I have a headache
    I'd recieved "Larks Tongues In Aspic" about twenty years ago through a music club, and didn't care for it. Years later (just a couple weeks ago) on a UK Internet radio station that plays progressive and psychedelic rock, I heard an entire side from the "Lizard" release, which I thought was rather interesting. I looked up the CD on Amazon, and then one way or another came into contact with information on "The Power To Believe", and based on the reviews figured it might be a good place to reintroduce KC to myself, and see if my musical pallette had changed over the years -- that perhaps I simply wasn't "ready" for KC music those twenty odd years before.

    Being a Pink Floyd music fan, and in general, liking well made thematic concept albums, I thought TPTB might be a double treat. I pop the CD into the player and here comes the title track -- a corny digitized voice of Adrien Belew (I'd only previously known of him from a song titled "Oh Daddy" back in the 80's) singing "She carries me in days of apathy ... she watches (or washes) over me. She changed my life, in a matter of speaking, when she gave me back the power to believe." So the questions arise: who is "she"? how did "she" change his life? and what was it that he previously didn't believe or lost faith in, before "she" came along? I suspected that in the content of the CD, the identity of "she" would be revealed, and perhaps clues to the other questions might be given.

    LEVEL FIVE, starts off with an explosion of guitar whaling that designed to startle and astound the listener and to prepare them for the rest of the track. However, I expected it. I thought as the first track played "I'll bet the next track will come on like gangbusters" and sure enough, it did. And all the worse, since I expected it, the effect was lost. I only felt a slight contempt for the musicians, for not being smarter than me. The music continued with an electronic sinister brutality that I found rather interesting, though I kept hoping for a small break, perhaps some human voice mixture in order to actually heighten the tension, but none came. The song ran way too long, and was so relentless and repetitive that it just became grating, uninventive. A few lessons from Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" would be in order here. In all honesty I thought it sounded like what some teenage boy with a mix program on his computer might render and present to a rave club.

    EYES WIDE OPEN offered a more radio friendly type tune with some pretty cool jazzy stuff going on.

    ELECTRIK I think is one of the better electronic sounding songs I've heard -- catchy and sometimes creepy.

    FACTS OF LIFE is just another attempt to throw some seemingly disturbing images into my mind and then to wax philosophical. Eh, whatever.

    THE POWER TO BELIEVE II (and including all the other versions of this song) is out of place. This isn't a concept album at all, dammit! It's just a rehashing of this silly grouping of words and music that have no connection to the rest of the tracks. I'm feeling cheated now.

    DANGEROUS CURVES is barely memorable -- an electronic tune, like a train, on a track, trying to make it to a desination but never arriving. Slightly reminiscent of LUCIFER by The Alan Parsons Project, but nowhere nearly as good. A disappointment.

    HAPPY TO BE WITH WHAT YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY WITH comes on and I can dig the sarcasm! I'm gonna repeat the cho-rus!!! Heheheheh. The only problem with the song is the insertion of the title. What the heck does being happy with what you have to be happy with, have to do with lousey soundalike rock bands that permeate public radio waves? Maybe he's now being sarcastic to the folks who buy the lousey soundalike rock band CD's? If so, then I get "it" -- if not, then I don't.

    THE POWER TO BELIEVE parts III and IV. Yawn. Pink Floyd legitimately did this with Another Brick In The Wall, but this is just ridiculous. And yet, with another Floydian influence, the album ends the way it begins ... and that's a problem. The CD ends EXACTLY the way it begings, so instead of hearing something cool, like a heartbeat fading out at the end, looping and fading back in an eternal circle, as in Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall", what you get is indeed, the exact same song played twice in a row. Egad!

    Overall, coming from someone who is not predisposed to liking KC music, I have to say that this is a boring album and it's no wonder to me why I hardly ever (actually I've never) run into anyone saying "Yeah, my favourite band is King Crimson". Though the CD is not a total loss, I'm not too thrilled about having spent my hard-earned dollars on it. Thankfully I bought it used for $6.99. I may or may not keep it. However, in all fairness, based on the music from "Lizard" that I head on the UK radio station, I'll probably buy that CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars They've still got it.
    King Crimson have been one of the most enduring forces in progressive rock since the genre began.Since day one, they've always stood out from the pack.While bands like Yes, Genesis, and ELP were making more garish, cheesy symphonic prog (no offense to them), King Crimson were making a darker, heavier, more eclectic, and just generally different style of prog.In my mind, they were always far better than those bands, and better yet, they've managed to outlast them as well.Genesis and ELP slowly deteriorated and are now defunct, and Yes are still together, although their best days are long behind them.

    But not King Crimson.They have managed to modernize and reinvent their sound over the years, and stay consistently brilliant, and fresh.Their newest album, "The Power to Believe", is no exception.While not a huge difference from its predecessors, "Thrak" and "The Construktion of Light", this album nonetheless is proof that the band are far from being stuck in the 70's.In fact, if you listened to this with no prior knowledge of the band, you'd never know that the band was that old.It's very difficult to believe that Robert Fripp was approaching 60 when he made this.

    So, what does this album sound like?Well, in many ways, it is like a "Lark's Tongues" for the new generation.It is largely instrumental, with a multi-part title track that explores many musical avenues.The familiar dark ominous grooves are there, but the band also incorporates more modern musical styles, like modern metal and electronic music.Drummer Pat Mastelloto incorporates some triggered sampling effects with his mathematical onslaughts, and Trey Gunn provides a wide array of odd sounds with his Warr guitar.

    The title track appears sporadically in multiple parts, bookending the album with short intros and outros.Part 2 includes some wicked percussion, somewhat reminiscent of "Lark's Tongues", but with a very different feel.Part 3 is more soft and laid-back, with some odd effects and beautiful guitar work.Each part includes a repeated spoken word lyrical bit to tie each part together.No one seems to understand the meaning of this (myself included), but it's cool in its cryptic weirdness.

    The album contains three other instrumentals."Level Five" is the most "Crimsonian", with the wicked time signatures andheavy growling guitars that the band is known for.But the song is very modern in feel, sort of like classic Crimson with a 21st century facelift."Elektrik", as you might guess from the name, is very electronic sounding, with powerful machine-like drumming."Dangerous Curves" is centered around a repeating staccato riff, with very gradual and climactic buildup.I really love the feel of this song in particular.It makes me want to drive through LA really fast at night.

    The vocal tracks are excellent as well, and stand out nicely among all the great instrumental stuff."Eyes Wide Open" is very soft and atmospheric, with great vocals from Adrian."Facts of Life" is heavy and menacing, with some weird but thought-provoking lyrics."Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With" is also very heavy, but much more light-hearted in tone.It's sort of a parody of mindless verse-chorus-verse rock, with lyrics that sound like they were just made up as they went along.That's another great thing about KC, they don't take themselves too seriously.This song is just really goofy and fun, but still manages to work in some really cool instrumentation.

    King Crimson are the godfathers of progressive music, and here they prove they can still compete.Even with the rise of great bands like Tool, Meshuggah, The Mars Volta, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, any many others who are pushing the boundaries of music in interesting ways, Fripp and the rest can still show all these kids who the masters really are.I feel sorry for those who are stuck in the past, and can't accept this new incarnation of the band.Luckily the band themselves don't share this mindset.

    They've got a new album that should be coming out sometime in the near future.It can't possibly get here fast enough. ... Read more

    Asin: B00008BXJF
    Sales Rank: 14004
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Prog-Rock/Art Rock    3. Rock   


    $14.99

    Mit Gas
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (06 May, 2003)
    list price: $16.98 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (64)

    1-0 out of 5 stars PATTONS NEW CLOTHES.
    Since the break up of alternative metal pioneers Faith No More Mike Patton has freely indulged his avante guard palate on projects like Mr Bungle and the incomprehensible Fantomas.With the first Tomahawk album Patton promised Faith No More fans that he had made the album they had been waiting for. It was a bold and innacurate claim and I am sorry to report that Mit gas shows no improvement. If you did not like the first Tomahawk album you won't like this one. Pattons vocals are , as always, superb but they are set against a bleak and colourless backdrop. Opener Birdsong is like a bad nightmare.It's awful while it's happening but as soon as it's over you start to forget it. The track ends with a depressing and droning organ sound that is far more reminiscent of the music prevalent on Mr Bungles appalling Disco Volantae than anything Faith No More ever recorded. This early impression is reinforced by tracks such as rotgut and the painfull desastre naturale. Only single Rape this day provides a glimpse of the heights to which Patton once soared but is all too brief. This track like all the others seems incomplete. A Promising intro , a crunching guitar riff and menacing vocals give way to a chorus that trails off disapointingly. If you liked Fantomas and Mr Bungles Disco Volantae and California albums you'll love this. Personally I am growing exceedingly tired of hearing Patton spew this musical dirge into the void left by Faith No More and I intend to avoid his future releases.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Better than the debut, but still underwhelming.
    While I'm in the minority of folks who preferred "Mit Gas" to Tomahawk's debut album, I still found it to be somewhat disappointing.The band, primarily vocalist Mike Patton and guitarist Duane Denison, produced a pair of records with similar moods-- angry, aggressive music.But on "Mit Gas", the music is matched by much more in your face production, but I also think its a much better focused album and stands more independent from its principles previous bands.

    Again, there's a lack of soloing, with the album targeted at more texture oriented playing behind Patton's shouted and growled vocals-- the whole album doesn't hit ("You Can't Win"), but when it does, its fantastic hard rock ("Rape This Day", "Rotgut") or falls a bit into balladry (drum-loop driven ballad "Capt. Midnight", with its bizarre effecting vocal, the emotive "Desastre Natural").The problem is, there's a balance of mediocre material thats good enough, but doesn't really stand out, or stand up ("Mayday", "When Stars Begin to Fall").The end of the album drifts into a more experimental vein, with the totally bizarre "Aktion 13th" being the best and strangest.

    Still, if you come from a more straightahead background (I came to Patton's work from his avant-garde leanings), you may enjoy this more than I do.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first album
    They still rock, a few tracks I really dig.But I have to say I still like the first release better, ... Read more

    Asin: B00008NFO5
    Sales Rank: 14783
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Metal    2. Heavy Metal    3. Pop    4. Rock   


    $14.99

    Room on Fire
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (28 October, 2003)
    list price: $16.98 -- our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    An acclaimed debut prompts one of two kinds of follow-ups: either the band strives to broaden their palate or they attempt to deepen the colors they splashed all over that heralded first effort. The Strokes' second outing falls in the latter camp. In the tradition of the Ramones' Leave Home and Oasis' (What's the Story) Morning Glory, the Strokes largely stay the course with their second full-length release, producing an album that won't cause the stir that its predecessor did, but has a sneaky appeal all its own. Thanks to the quintet's Lower East Side roots, Velvet Underground and Television references abound with these guys, but Boston new wavers the Cars, and in particular their hit-heavy second album, 1979's Candy-O, provide a more suitable point of reference for Room on Fire. As with Ric Ocasek and company, Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas and his cohorts have a Cars-like knack for sly riffs that creep deeper into ones consciousness with each listen. Not much longer than a half hour from start to finish, this 11-song is modest in intent and execution, and succeeds quite nicely on its own terms. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (378)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Addictive...
    I'm into rock like the White Stripes and Jet, and when I first bought Room on Fire, having never listened to Is This It, I feared it would turn out to be a totally computer-created boy band sort of thing. I didn't know how wrong I was (although there are some sound effects from computers on a few of the tracks, which I hate).The Strokes are really a great band. And while "Automatic Stop," "12:51," and "You Talk Way Too Much" are, in my opinion, probably the best ones on here, the disc is packed with catchy melodies and lyrics.Not to mention they're addictive-I can't stop listening to this album. All in all, a very exceptional album from what seems to be a mediocre band.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One small step for mankind...
    As a newcomer to the genre, I was very impressed by the the Strokes' "this is it".When I bought "Room on Fire", I was excited, anxious to hear what I expected to be an extensions of the success of their first album.

    I was shocked and dissappointed!

    What was this new style, less melodic, though more rhythmic, altogether different themes?

    After listening to the entire CD several times, it began to dawn on me... The Strokes weren't bent on another 'success' in the normal usage of the term."Room on Fire", in my opinion, is the logical extension of the lyric and conter-didactic (meaning he answers his own questions) style which was their trademark.This signals a the most important shift in rock and roll in more than a generation.

    Let me indulge myself for a moment; it is important to understand this band and its place in musical development.To do this, I use the Saturday Night Live example:

    It was late 2001 if I remember correctly, not long after the socio-political reaction to 9/11.(This was part of what I consider to be a greater cultural wave of consolidation.)Long after the Grunge, during the period between generation 'X' and generation 'y', popular music, as well as SNL, had been hijacked by trendy hip-hop and sugar-pop stars.It was only after the awakening of 9/11 and the re-advent of cultural tradition-- psychobilly, post-punk, and the latest folk-revival--- that the wave of the future began to manifest in popular mediums such as SNL.I consider one episode in particular:the Jack Black/Strokes episode.Here, after months of staged dancers, scantily clad rappers, etc, etc, was a band of long-haired locals wearing street clothes, coercing steady streams of almost 'beat' harmonic passage; here was a wolf howling "last night/she said/oh baby dont feel so down/...".In my opinion the height of the age-old apollonian/dionysian conflict had again turned, but briefly, in favor of the reflective, the introspective, the study of beauty.

    And what a better step to make in the study of beauty of all forms than "Room on Fire"?What better to bridge the gap between modern bacchian tendancy and traditional scholasticism?

    "One by one tickin time bombs won/ It's not the secrets of the government thats keepin you dumb/oh It's the other way around"

    I think that the strokes are on to something here.Lets hope that they continue to outpace society like they have done exponentially here.this is one of just a few bands that gives me hope for the intellectual future of my generation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Strokes album
    I still think the Strokes first album (is this it) is the better of the strokes albums so far.But I still love this album, its another one of those albums that you can put on and let play all the way through.I think, even though the play it all the time, my favorite song is 12:51.Still a great album, I highly recommend you buy this album. ... Read more

    Asin: B0000C9ZLD
    Subjects:  1. Garage Rock Revival    2. Indie Rock    3. Pop    4. Rock    5. United States of America   


    $13.99

    Primus - Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    DVD (09 September, 2003)
    list price: $19.98 -- our price: $16.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Features

    • Color
    Reviews (42)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Neither 'Boaring' or Boring
    Contrary to another reviewer's comments, this is not a "boaring" piece of work. It's not boring either. It's actually really good.

    THE DVD:
    The DVD throws all of the Primus videos up through 'Antipop' at you with the option of hearing commentary by the band. There's also a bunch of live stuff and old clips of the Primus guys screwing around. The entertainment value is inestimable.

    THE CD:
    This EP has some of the best songs the band has ever concocted on it. "Pilcher's Squad" is pure classic Primus: Bizarro bass up front, squeaking-crunching-flailing guitar, precise drumming holding it all together and Claypool's unmistakable "tweaking carnie barker on the verge of a nervous breakdown" vocal stylings. "The Last Super Power aka Rapscallion" and "My Friend Fats" are the others that stand out to me. But they're all good.

    This is great for old tried-and-true fans of Primus as well as people who have never heard them before.
    But as is written in the liner notes:
    "Careful though, you may end up wearing a 30-pound rubber pig mask, stoned for twelve hours while a circus of human monsters circle around you."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Atmosphere, darkness and humour in a 5 track ball of fury!
    Ok, so this EP gets slagged off a lot byso-called "classic" fans for not being Frizzle or Cheese-like. I read a certain review in which the reviewer said anybody who thinks this is their best is an idiot. Well, this isn't their best, but it has some of their best songs, so am I an idiot, Mr. Stick-With-Frizzle-Fry-And-Listen-To-Grindcore-LOLZ?

    Anyway, now that I have that off my chest, let me say that this is one classy dog that doesn't deserve to be beaten. The shortest track, "Pilcher's Squad" is a hyper speed piece of work which could either please or annoy, depending on what you expect from Primus. The other tracks, stretching between 4 minutes and 8 minutes, are brilliant pieces of dark humoured and atmospheric work. Take "My Friend Fats" for example, one of the best songs Primus have ever done. The song is a wonderfully done piece of work featuring light chugs, heavy riffs and a classy little Les Claypool fingertap bassline. The lyrics tell the story of a fat man who's life involves heavy drug abuse, another example of Primus' dark sense of humour in their music.

    Ratings:

    The Carpenter And The Dainty Bride: 4/5
    Pilcher's Squad: 3.5/5
    Mary The Ice Cube : 4/5
    The Last Superpower aka Rapscallion: 5/5
    My Friend Fats: 5/5

    All of the other tracks use this sort of dark, haunting, stadium style effect to create songs that can leave you with chills down your spine. It's good to have Primus back. If another album comes out from them, I hope it uses the same production methods, and with any luck, it'll annoy the living daylights out of the "Frizzle Fry" and "Sailing The Seas Of Cheese" department. Bands change, and to me, Primus have changed for the better. Long live Claypool and Co.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Dont wast your money
    Yes I love primus, No I did not enjoy this CD. Infact The CD was primu's WORST CD. Infact any diehard primus fan who calls this thier best CD is a idot(what happened to the oldschool primus?like frizzly fry or seas of cheese)But otherwise the dvd was GOOD, yes it was very good. It was just overloaded with videos, live stuff,ect, but after you watch it all once you wont watch it agian, its get boaring the second time around, then ever worst the 3rd and so one. This cd/dvd is more for die hard primus fan...stick to fizzly fry! ... Read more

    Asin: B0000CEB6B
    Sales Rank: 9523
    Subjects:  1. Music Video - Pop/Rock   


    $16.99

    Let It Be... Naked
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (18 November, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Re-recorded, remixed, overdubbed and repackaged--all before its 1970 American release, mind you--Let It Be has long been the most second-guessed album in the Beatles otherwise sterling catalog. This curious, three-decade-late, stripped-down rethink offers up yet another spin on what started as a back-to-the-roots album/documentary project called Get Back in January, 1969, but ended up as the band's de facto swan song 18 months later. Paul McCartney in particular has long been irked by producer Phil Spector's grandiose orchestra and choir overdubs to the title track and "The Long and Winding Road," and indeed the "bare" versions here have a distinct, plaintive charm lacking in Spector's typical pomp. All the various snippets of studio and live chatter that seasoned the original have been removed, leaving the recordings to be judged on their essentially live-in-the-studio merits. If the intent was to "de-Spectorize" the album, the inclusion of John Lennon's 1968 benefit track "Across the Universe" and George Harrison's "I Me Mine" (which marked the last-ever Beatles session in January, 1970) in their original versions seems equally odd, the legendary producer having appended them to the album's original track listing in the first place. The rambling "bonus disc" of conversation and song snippets culled from hundreds of hours of session and film tapes may fascinate diehard fans, but it also underscores the murky, often unfocused state of affairs the Fabs found themselves in during the last year of their remarkable career. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Reviews (736)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my new favorite Beatles albums
    I was never a fan of the original Let It Be. I was also born after the original album came out so I have absolutely no sentimental attachment to it or the Beatles.Honestly, I don't even like the Beatles as much now as I once did.

    However, this album has really grown on me over the past 18 months that I have owned it.I am happy that the chatter between songs has been cut out, and I always HATED the Phil Spector strings in Long and Winding Road, which up to now had been my least favorite Beatles Song.

    With its fresh remastered sound quality, this album is simply one of the best sounding Beatles records there is.I don't care if it wasn't what the Beatles wanted, or if is different from what people remember.The bottom line is that it is an album of great sounding music, and because of this fact, the album frequently enjoys trips in my car's CD player -- a priviledge not enjoyed by any of my other Beatles albums.

    5-0 out of 5 stars At long Last
    This version is far better than the Spectorized version we've had to live with for over 30 years.The songs Let it Be and Long and Winding Road are both timeless classics yet Spector's production makes them unlistenable after hearing these stripped down and superior versions.No wonder McCartney pushed for this release.What Spector (with Lennon's approval) did to these recordings borders on musical sabotage.It's also unfortunate that John's contributions were, for the most part, sub-par.Paul did his best to make this another classic Beatles album but John's abilities had already started to deteriorate

    2-0 out of 5 stars Across the Universe
    Listen to either Fiona Apple's or Rufus Wainwright's. Both are better than this. I can never listen to the entire thing. ... Read more

    Asin: B0000DJZA5
    Subjects:  1. British Invasion    2. Pop    3. Pop/Rock    4. Rock    5. Rock & Roll   


    $14.99

    Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (21 November, 2003)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $13.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Features

    • Explicit Lyrics
    • Live
    Reviews (44)

    4-0 out of 5 stars RATM Fan Essential
    I'm gonna have to qualify this review as best as I can.I am a Rage fan, have been since "No Shelter" was on the Godzilla Soundtrack, sadly, but a fan nonetheless was I since 1998, two years before this was recorded and five before its release.I'm also a huge Portishead, Woodstock, and classic rock fan but as much as I like Live At Roseland, Kick Out The Jams, and all the great moments that occurred during the three days of peace, love, and music in 1969, among the hundreds of other well made live recordings, I have a new favourite.

    My moment of realization occurred as soon as the bass kicked in on 'Born Of A Broken Man' where a noise erupts that could tear a fly in half, in the same vein as Michael Ivins' bass-tardization in the Flaming Lips' "A Spoonful Weighs A Ton" but way nastier.The whole album is superbly produced by Rick Rubin who creates a rich, full sound that mushrooms between your headphones.Also, each track sounds just a little more urgent than their already screaming studio work, more pressing and still quite relevant.There's also an excellent reworking of EPMD's "I'm Housin'" and a cover of MC5 which works to further reinforce this disk's place rightly in the live album cannon.Absorbing this disk one truly realizes what a loss Rage was in a world with a desperate need for a social conscience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars give me chills, a greatest hits live cd
    This collects most of Rage's best songs on one cd, and they are performed live!This is exciting because it is their first widely available live album; they were beyond powerful onstage, but they toured very little as a band.I wish that different songs from Renegades were included instead of "I'm Housin" or "Kick Out the Jams," and I wish "Wake Up" was included, but all of the songs here are really, really well played and show that Rage went out with a bang instead of fading into obscurity.That's what any band wants, after all!
    If you are new to the band you should pick this up, along with everything else they put out (trust me, everything Rage made is beyond good, even their covers cd!).But if you want only one Rage disc with all of the hits, this should do until they come out with a Best Of disc for Rage's music.A lot of songs from Evil Empire are missing, so you will want to get Evil Empire also.I like all the versions of these songs, you will too, get everything they put out.That includes the Live and Rare Import, if you are willing to pay all the cash for it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars dvd sound is better
    if you want better sound - buy the dvd - it is mixed by someone else ... Read more

    Asin: B0000DJEQZ
    Sales Rank: 15907
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Metal    2. Alternative Pop/Rock    3. Heavy Metal    4. Pop    5. Rap-Metal    6. Rock   


    $13.98

    Deftones
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (20 May, 2003)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    While alt/nu/rap-metal typically bounds between two emotional poles--pissed-off and extremely pissed-off--and a musical range to match, the Deftones continue to push the genre's narrow boundaries outward on their fourth big-label release. Mic man Chino Moreno's patent yowl belies a range of emotion rare in the genus, while guitarist Stephen Carpenter seasons his buzz-saw assault with some industrial-strength riff textures and mixer Frank Delgado's spooky, synthetic textures further underscore Moreno's blossoming lyrical impressionism. If they stray uncomfortably close to jagged-rhythms formula in the album's opening quarter, the almost sunny sensuality of "Good Morning Beautiful" heralds some welcome shafts of light amidst the storm clouds. From there on, the mood drifts from languor ("Deathblow") to brooding ("Battle-axe," "Lucky You"), while "Bloody Cape" edges the band ever closer to traditional pop hooks before drifting into the resigned, psych-torpor of "Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event." A compelling and encouraging album--even if it's taken them 15 years to get this far. Enhanced CD features include studio and day-in-the-life-of band video footage, as well as 150 candid photos. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Features

    • Enhanced
    Reviews (452)

    5-0 out of 5 stars a band in progression
    All the nu metal fans out there need to stop whining and grow up. deftones in my opinion have always been "different" to all the other american rock bands out there. they aren't ashamed of their 80's influences and it shows in their music. Some of the music on this record is hauntingly beautiful, and yet sometimes heavy as hell, their heaviest stuff they have done yet. "Lucky you" could have quite easily been written by Depeche Mode at their darkest. (some of you kids out there might not know who they are. Check out deftones on the tribute album covering "To have and to hold." )

    Overall a solid album. Although not "White Pony", still a worthy follow up.

    Good to see team Sleep finally being released, and looking forward to the Deftones 10 yr anniversary mix of b-sides and rareties aswell as the new album due out in the fall.

    All you whiners, stick to Korn or wetbiscuit

    2-0 out of 5 stars eh.....well???
    Where should I start? Adrenaline. Only one good song which was "Get bored". Awesone bass lines. Great singing. Pure metal for it's early time. This album...Only one good song "another uniteresting event". With every album they make there is only 1 song on it that I like. Says enough doesn't it? Not to mention everytime I try and listen to them I am reminded of my 3 year old nephew when he throws a temper tantrum. These guys whine too much. Oh stop throwing tantrums already! Grow up! Make good lyrics and sing the song right. Maybe then the music won't sound so bad because the band has talent. Just not a talented singer.

    2-0 out of 5 stars NO
    compared to adrenaline and around the fur this album and white pony both suck! there first 2 albums were brillant i dont know what has happened to them, d@mn. ... Read more

    Asin: B00008YJQW
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Metal    2. Alternative Pop/Rock    3. Heavy Metal    4. Pop    5. Rap-Metal    6. Rock   


    $14.99

    Be a Man
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (07 October, 2003)
    list price: $9.98
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    Reviews (180)

    1-0 out of 5 stars seriously...
    Why would anyone ever buy this?Why would anyone produce and relase a CD randy savage?There's so many things I dont understand.This is the worst crap ever.Seriously

    5-0 out of 5 stars The end of the rivalry
    There were some problems with rap in the 90s because Biggie and 2pack shot each other and people thought the east coast was better than the west coast. Then Randy Macho Man Savage comes along and ends the fued by recording a rap disc that everyone had to bow down to no matter what coast you were from. When he raps, it's Rakim meets Chandler from Friends. That's why this works. I've always admired Savage's work, he was a very good wrestler that seemed to win most of his duels. He struck me as a role model with above average intelligence. I remember telling my buddies back in the late 80s, "You know buddies, I think this guy needs to channel his message into a rap album for broader appeal." I tend to be ahead of the trends which is why women will stop me at restaurants to ask me what will be in next year. Let me give you a freebie. Dogs will be hot next year, get one. I don't expect a follow up on this for a few years as Savage lets the message sink in. He makes grandmaster flash sound like a clownfish.

    1-0 out of 5 stars you have got to be kidding me
    i come from a house hold biult from true Emcees like krs-one a tribe called quest ganstarr and main source. Not the garbage emcees who have pounded the music we call hip-hop 6 feet underground, well what do you expect if guys luke nelly and puff daddy are allowed to rap well than this fagget should be able to pick up a mike too. if you really want to indulge youself into this vulgar blend of absolutely terrible prodction lyrics and just plain lack of talent than pick up this c.d., you can probably find it at a local K-mart of other convienent stores that have no buisiness selling music
    R.I.P. hip-hop 1980-1998
    ohh yeah and by the way i tried to rate this album with zero stars but i had to give it one jsut to post the review
    ... Read more

    Asin: B0000CF348
    Sales Rank: 29611
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


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