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05 DEC 2001

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Music Review.

Singles - The Avalanches 'Electricity' (XL)
Continuing from the carelessly brilliant cut-and-paste exploits of Frontier Psychiatrist, The Avalanches seem unceasing in the development of their reputation as credible participants in the alternative dance genre.  From directly behind a bold, choral intro, dirty basslines reel forth into the abyss of big beats.  This combined with funky sampling methods suggests that resistance to such contagious pleasure is considered futile.
Singles - Stereophonics 'Handbags And Gladrags' (V2)
Christmas is coming, and the tradition of bands releasing records that can be enjoyed by the whole family continues with the latest offering by the Stereophonics.  Comprising of three recordings of TV appearances in the last
12 months, two from Later...With Jools Holland, and one from the John Lennon tribute show Shine On, we see the band playing a series of cover versions from the 60's that must be some of their favourite songs, given the amount of effort that they appear to be putting into them.  Its just a shame that they no longer seem to be able to provide this kind of intensity and depth of feeling when performing their own songs.

Albums - Robbie Williams 'Swing When You're Winning' (Chrysalis)
Apparently, the beat that beat in the heart of Robert Peter Williams was the beat of swing music.  So, not one afraid of trying something a bit different, Robbie has a bash at being Ol' Blue Eyes.  Hence this little gem, released shortly after his previous album, Sing When You're Winning which sold about 40 squillion copies.  Containing songs by Nat King Cole, Al Jonson and Cole Porter, this album isn't for li'l sis whose musical wisdom stretches no further than Destiny's Child and Atomic Kitten. He may be trying to be Sinatra but his voice is damn good on this record, almost mistakable for the King of Swing himself.  They've even managed, by the miracles of modern technology, to put the two men together in It Was A Very Good Year.  Robbie hasn't got the strength or smoothness of voice to completely carry it off, but hell he gives it a bloody good shot! Jane Horrocks shows off her vocals in Things and Nicole Kidman is good for a laugh in Somethin' Stupid.  Jonathan Wilkes, Robbie's flatmate, even gets a go in Me And My Shadow.
Mr Williams is charging a whopping £175 for a seat to see his show at the Royal Albert Hall - and people are paying, so the geezer's doing something right.  Your granny would love this album, its good, the songs are good...oh to hell with it, Robbie's good.  There, I said it.

Review by:- Miranda Schunke

Network Geeks
Recent research suggests that the image of the devoted internet user as a geeky loner is a false stereotype.  Professors at the University of Warwick claim that people who spend long periods of time at their computers are more
sociable and community-minded than the average person. The study found that 30 per cent of hardcore internet users belong to a
large friendship group, compared to the 25 per cent achieved by non-users. Professor Andrew Oswald and Dr Jonathan Gardner, who conducted the study, also discovered that regular internet users were also 50 per cent more likely to attend church services on a frequent basis. The Professor added, "They don't leave out their friends and family because they spend time hunched over a computer, they simply watch less television.  This research should be very useful in overturning common stereotypes."

Article  by Miranda Schunke

Offensive Friends Reunited On The Web

A popular school reunion website is littered with offensive and libelous comments, users of the site have claimed.  'Friends Reunited' was set up to reunite old school friends, however the website has been criticized for having insufficient control over the comments that can be posted.
Teachers' unions have expressed their concerns over the safety of the web page.  According to them, the 'memory board' section, where people can leave comments about pupils or teachers, is open to abuse. As one teacher said, 'Teachers have to learn to take a joke but there is a
big difference between insults in the playground and comments on the internet which can be seen by millions.' Friends Reunited found at www.friendsreunited.co.uk is one of the UK's most popular websites.  This week it will register its three millionth user since it was set up in October 2000.  Over 40,000 schools in the country are currently registered on the site.
A spokesman for Friends Reunited said that the site had received only 12 complaints about messages, and had introduced an emergency delete button for offensive remarks. Ginger Productions are currently discussing the possibilities of a television version of Friends Reunited called Re
unions.

Article  by Miranda Schunke

Photographs of the "Mark of Respect" held in Liverpool for George Harrison will be put up next week on the music review page.
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