Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sara Bareilles, Little Voice (CD review)

Posted by lea at 4:16 PM 0 comments Links to this post
I don't know why this album's called 'Little Voice' - she's got a great big voice - not OTT by any means, just really rich and full and beautiful.

This is a really wonderful album full of great melodies, strong lyrics and songs with a slight jazzy sort of feel to them. You feel like she really understands music and moulds the songs to the shape of her emotions, making them interesting and unique to herself.

The songs don't always go where you expect them to, so they don't sound like they've been cranked out by some 40 year old Swedish guy. There's usually a little twist or flick of the wrist in the melody that differentiates it from the usual pop sound, but with enough hooks and riffs to please the average pop listener.

Favourites: the already popular 'Love Song' with its catchy piano tune, 'Between the Lines' for its heartfeltedness (yes, I believe that's a brand new word) and 'Bottle it Up' for its good-girl fun.

I've been listening to this album for practically a week and a half straight and I've yet to get sick of it (even if my colleagues have, but fortunately they're too polite to complain).

Rating: 9/10
Excellent voice, skillful musicianship, great young talent.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Book Depository

Posted by lea at 11:00 AM 8 comments Links to this post

It's about time I wrote something about these guys because they're seriously great. have all manner of books at incredibly reasonable prices (read: cheap) with FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING. You heard me right – free international shipping.

Generally the books arrive within a week or so, although I've had one experience when the book didn't arrive at all. Around 2-3 weeks after I'd placed the order, I sent them a quick email and they wrote back, 'We're terribly sorry you didn't receive your order...' It turned out that they'd run out of stock and hadn't gotten round to informing me, but their 'terribly sorriness' was so endearing (and perfectly British) that I really couldn't get mad – not to mention the fact that all my other orders have been delivered in good time (and FREE – did I mention that?).

Many of the books I've bought have been around the 5GBP mark (British pounds). Up to a few months ago, that was around AU$15, but now it's a measly $10 b/c the Aussie dollar has been performing so incredibly well. I've decided to buy up all the Alexander McCall Smith books in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series while the dollar's doing so well. They costing me around AU$11 each – the alternative is Borders or Dymocks, priced at around AU$22 – no need to tell me twice. (I never buy from Angus & Robertson since I read about them squeezing out independent publishers by forcing them to PAY for shelfspace if their books didn't perform well at the till.)

Our latest book club book 'Stardust' by Neil Gaiman cost me a whole $7 – that's cheaper than lunch in the city! No wonder I'm addicted to book-buying lately.

So check them out, much cheaper than your other alternatives – the only downside is that you have to wait until the book is delivered. If it's a gift or something you don't mind waiting to read, then order at least a week or two in advance. Otherwise, you'll need to traipse down to your local bookstore for instant gratification.


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