Ex-Amazon and more fame: Yelbaev Picks, Nov ’11

Пятница, 18 Ноябрь 2011, 1:14
Размещено в рубрике English Special и имеет 0 комментариев.

Unless shown otherwise, bimonthly reviewed are current-time Russian made CDs, BDs, DVDs (no downloads), either local or licensed presses of original world releases and specific design. Videos dubbed/subtitled in world languages. Label and date credits appear as stated. While DVDs may be zone determined, BDs are zone free. Titles available in original  from The Used Corner (Komisionyi) at Purple Legion Record Store (1, Novokuznetskaya ul, Moscow).  Recommended setting: entourage of luxury courtesy Luxury Spokesperson group of LinkedIn community of professionals. Reviewed by: Vladimir Yelbaev. Proceeding from the reviewer name’s key vowel, grading ranges from lower E points to highest Oh yeah! 



Bellini: La Sonnambula
Opera, 2010 Decca / 2011 Universal Rus., 138 min, HD,  booklet, glass
Contemporary production is saved by one fine-voiced naïve-faced supple and very fresh Nat Dessay for the main heroine, with the assured die-hard pro Met team for foolproof support. Other aspects, HD cameras (with downscale mix) included, disappoint or detract from the otherwise elated Italian tunesmith-ship. I was distracted by a secondary cast member, a modestly dressed cutter’s helper girl – who never was meant to chain any attention.


BBC Discovery 2008 / Soyuz Video 2001, Zone C, 198 min.

Dedicated to world’s major watersheds, the chapter-sectioned documentary has the hard-working BBC vessel crew delve, scout, picture and describe both the deep and the creatures. Naturally, all sorts of idiot fishes and what not get firsthand attention – which are interspersed with horizon landscapes and the vastness of open sea.




The Lovers Guide 3D

Self-explanatory, restricted viewing, 2011 CP Digital (Rus)., 63 min, 2 sided with 3D option and enclosed glasses.


Once again — strictly private and measured viewing. That considered, bored expats in Russia (attn Mickey Rourke!) may celebrate – the scandalous  controversy of yesteryears in US has now reached Russia on local license DVD and in newly tassitly produced and re-enacted movie. Personally I consider it amoral, value barren and counter-productive. Also grossly out of tune with the luxury motiff on this space here.  Many will consider it vulgar and disgusting. It is reviewed more for you being warned and keeping your kids off particularly.      


Wiener Philarmoniker, Valery Gergiev Summer Night Concert 2011

Classics, 2011 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Rus., 89 min


Mariinsky of St Pete, the closest Russia will get to the polished and easy European school, has yielded the borderline conductor personality who in fact colours the regular baroque  night at the Schonbrunn in darkish proletkult goth. As always with breakthrough Russians, laurels are overpaid and belie the play-to-rule Ravelian boredom, what with the lukewarm rep and Strauss for encores.  


DIO “We Rock”

HM rock, 2005 / 2011 Universal Rus., 100 min, booklet


The 2 live headbanger dates, Holland and US, presumably taken of one tour plus an (essential) interview cannot possibly dismiss the fact – the ex-Sabbathian frontman has been denied the enigma, that “certain something”, ever from his Elf days (apart from the instances reviewed below and bitterly missing from these playlists), and his pick of own lineup exactly corresponds. Okay, Bain’s bass is defined, Campbell’s fingering speedy and powerful, but sheer touch evades the outfit – who cares for the hard stage labour? Crying shame how Dio ruined himself so early.




RONNIE JAMES DIOStory  2CD Universal Rus 


So, there’s nothing to justify Dio’s declaration of chivalry in the characteristic Sarmate (Alanian) ornate sword symbolism filling the 2-page booklet’s artwork. With perhaps the exception of “Temple…” and “Catch…” numbers of the 1st Rainbow album. “Kill The King” of live Rainbow 1977 set wins by its sustained hi-note chorus line, no merit of Dio’s. The compilation is ample indeed, yet the 27 songs and the many good efforts lain come like it were one big song torture. The non-achieving knight-less vocal quality of Dio should never have been exploited, in the 1st place. Am I being grossly biased?


VAClassical Beatles” 2CD Decca/Universal Rus


The monumental collection aimed at revisiting the Beatle heritage for new multimedia generation (of sick rhythmic, harmonic and sensual preconceptions!) – and it did! 20-something renditions on each disk explore the tolerance and test the strength of good music in earnest, rigorous. Every wrought (from academic lone flamenco to joker clowning and ersatz choral) interpretation is applied – enough to start hating things Beatlesque in the mid-streaming. Not your staple Liberace! Kaori Muraji, Paul Schaefer, oh yes – Arthur Fiedler!


ASIA 1982 Geffen / Universal Rus

Never really understood the very point behind the supergroup project – perhaps, to offset the  80’s naggie new wave synthesizing some, but even then… Reissued in Russia, the material is nowhere stated as remastered, best being perhaps the pick of collectors. The tunes sound same hard’n’heavy tedium like back then, and nothing suggests the technique of either Wetton or Palmer or Downes.


ALICE COOPER “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” Spinefarm/ Universal Rus


The new one from Cooper, let it be known, is as much “this era” that no parallel with the original 70s’ work or persona applies. For this reason no checking the lineup or the lyrics (for continuity) is needy. Forget the past, it’s another Prodigy or Manson for all you care. Lyrics however squeezed into 2-page booklet in the Russian edition.


DIRE STRAITS & M.KNOPFLER “Best of. Private Investigations” 2005 Mercury / 2011 Universal Rus


Extraordinary pick of filler tracks and low-key moments in the Hungarian-born’s career pummel at exactly his weak-most ambition: that of vocalist, poet  and melodist. “Love over Gold” being his maximum guitar soloing and Emmylou Harris’s latterday dueting the lowdown-most everything. 


QUEEN “The Miracle” Universal Rus 2011 special remaster


This David Richard’s production is conspicuous for the nice album design in yellow and the photo collage – and for “I want It All” anthem, a requisite FM car audio fodder for the commercial band like Queen had grown into. “Was It All Worth It” winder-up, Freddy’s late regret aired. Point. Russian reissue’s got thick booklet.


ANSWER “Revival” V2/ Universal Rus


The band compromised their “new Led Zep” moniker with this offering of ZZTop-ish grind and sludge  of overdriven guitar plus Southerner shrieky vocals. Their tribute to psych is “Destroy Me” which may ignite nil fancy in a girlfriend. One Lynn Jackman guests on track 4, there’s a dedication to friends deceased, acknowledgement (the bulky word okay with the bulky music reviewed) of AC/DC and more of the shut-in feel. Spread-out booklet in swamp green. Not rock proper – the mirage.


DEEP PURPLE ”Nobody’s Perfect” 2CD, 1989 Thames/2011 Universal Rus


The well-doc 1987 tour of the consummate, albeit breathless, lineup has all the gems and instant winners you expect in a live compilation, but… The fire is gone somehow, and it’s across over so many years and mediums inbetween. The performance parts are OK, and Gillan’s voice in much better shape than later-on, but… You can’t shelve this alongside the other DP albums. Odd. Probably, the overly cold, bass deficient remaster is the culprit, but the dry sounding Russian pressing only adds “insult to injury” to boggle a collectors of the world.


QUEEN “The Works” 1984 EMI/Universal Rus 2011 special remaster


Produced in-house, the album rises high over and above the discography of decadent era’s Queen. “Ga-Ga” graces the remaster efforts with the now transparent synth beats that passed for handclaps on earlier mixes. The studio setup, perhaps, thin in the atmosphere, allows easy focus on every corner, every instrument.  “Man on the Prawl” brazes with resonant rhythm you least expected. Gee, it’s real rocker! Great new wave rock heritage.


QUEEN “A Kind Of Magic” 1986 Island / Universal Rus. 2011 special remaster

Oh Yeah!

Apart from yielding more than one requisite radio/lady’s hit (check them elsewhere) – the new-wave-depressed album of yet fullswing Queen amazes with sheer power, pace and eventfulness per minute of tight classic song structures. On this remaster the studio stands out clearly defined with its inner chambered space and slight reverb, like you were in the Alps skiing. Keys are well controlled too, letting forth all the customary guitar riff power of Queen. Happy cross of their old and new styles.


CHILLY “We Are The Popkings… and Other Hits” Polydor/ Universal Rus.

 Oh Yeah!

Disco craze era was not about Travolta or Bee Gees or even CC Catch. It was epitomized and zapped by just handful of girl-vocal bands with, alas!, a husky jerky dirty ape of a man upfront. That small extra was changing all around: drums’n’bass section went wilder, guitars a notch zanier, strings dramatic-er. Well, this German typical exponent to the formula furnished awesome exemplary dance-floor stuff which had you jump and wiggle like you were Travolta indeed. Often so – before you knew better. “For Your Love” and “Sunshine Of Your Love” tributes lost by the remaster, some poppish other numbers took on plastic feel, but it’s peanuts against the avalanche of the 20 track stomp bonanza. Hail the CD worth $ 60 (in terms of available vinyl units) and going (in the cheap Russian edition!) for peanuts exactly.


TORI AMOS “Night Of Hunters” Deutsche Grammofon / Universal Rus.

Oh Yeah!

Singer to be taken serious and quite aside from Lara Fabian and the lot – Amos sided with Sally Oldfield plus own piano style to carved her a niche in sympho / big time pop. In her fourth (if not 5th) effort at revitalizing classic, she leans on pros like Apollon Musagete Quartet and, above all, herself to produce defined naïve conservative and ambitious Oldfieldish folk. The mood sets by virtue of reeds and winds to dismiss all dogma on what remained of Bach, Debussy, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Mussorgsky and all. Her daughter’s debut sounds cute too. The event to mind.


QUEEN “Deep Cuts 3. 1984—1995” Queen / Universal Rus


Naturally re-released in this 2011 remaster,  well-known tracks reveal new traits in nuance and rhythm, as if they were  remixed. “I Was Born To Love You”, Queen’s arrangement for Freddy’s solo vocals, is here, and “Mother Love”, unreleased and unfinished last recording, closes the 15 song compilation. Original booklet design is complete with Brooks’ informative comments, lyrics and pics. Not an excuse if you own individual albums, the disk will gratify as is.


QUEEN “Innuendo” EMI/Universal Rus,  2011 special remaster


“Ride The Wild Wind” perhaps the highest intellectual and artistic point of the program, the album gives its dues to new wave synthesizing and artificial effects which today pass for acute modernism. Another advantage, diversity — from clockwork to rapped rhythms and from “serious” to tragic pop (Show Must Go On).  Remaster puts a shine on filler numbers here, and the booklet is thick original.


 SONIC YOUTH “Hits Are For Squares” 2008 Geffen / 2011 Universal Rus


Okay, the latest compilation of the earliest decadent outfit does contain one unreleased track — «Slow Revolution», thus justifying the act and your buying it. But there’s one good reason not to. The band’s history, output and message are plain vampire, void of morality. It’s the sort of cynicism that prepared current shitty rock so much tied with  Dostoevsky novels and DK Gorbunova vomit. The mechanism of self-importance worked, and the more SY reshuffled and switched labels – the more “analysis” it warranted. The difficult cold merciless and washed out sound of their Nirvanish girl-fronted songs only threw more challenge: you have to dig just a little more to strike gold. Strike the consumer never did. This album calls on sabbaticals like Beck and Radiohead for “third party” involvement (in track selection), so what? You are left with darker void yet.    


BJORK “BiophiliaPolydor / Universal Rus


Rampant-most hype case in world pop, the ex-Islandic girl band member plain can’t sing and hardly knows a thing about music. That precisely has been keeping her in the ranks and forefront (if not public eye) for years – making a living. A crowd of production guys (in the album credits) makes up for what the recorded stuff lacks, the credibility. There’s nothing to crave, not even the “concept” of music’s emotional impact, but her gruesome faulty voice again set to some sparsed lone instruments. If you can, do feel special like you were an enlightened intellectual in the 80s’ indie scene.     


LOU REED & METALLICA “Lulu” 2СD Vertigo / Universal Rus


Neither here nor there in terms of HM-meet-punk/poet attitude and sound pursued by the two collaborating entities. Since reviewers have raved enough on Reed’s incredible vocal bile and menace here, it remains to be said — the ambiguous goth-operatic adaptation of a stage production is virtually unlistenable non-entertainer / overstater due to the showy dueling of Hatfield and Reed. If you’re not a particular hard-come-by enthusiast, or perhaps a necromaniac, that is. The label wisely selected by Russian licensee is collectable.  


THЕ KOOKS “Junk Of The Heart” Virgin/Gala (Rus)


3rd album of the new award-crazy British phenomenon does resemble early Kinks, present Arctics and in fact any such odd blend of big beat and  emo. The plastic production adds to the artificial detached sound and chicken shit impression overall, so finally it lands in your  car audio. For iPod it’s far too artificial. Classic case of underscore pop.

 Note: This English section is permanently improved. For added review positions may visit Russian page of the same.

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