Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Waiting for the new albums...

Some time ago, actually in January 2007, I wrote this blog posting. In it I wondered if 2007 was going to be a great year for albums...

I listed my favourite 5 bands (according to last.fm) and noted that most of them were working on new material. So what's the update? Well, for one thing, the 'top five' order has changed since last year (but not the actual five), and here's the updates:
  1. Fish
    Fish released a rather good solo album last year. I reviewed it on the blog. This year seems to be mostly tied up with promo stuff for that album and another album is not on the cards for 2008.

  2. Queen
    The long awaited new 'Queen+Paul Rodgers' album is due out in September. The first track I've heard from it is adequate, but not great. However it is good enough for me to have high hopes. And I've bought tickets for the SECC show in October.

  3. Marillion
    The 2007 album ('Somewhere else') from Marillion was disappointing. I saw them live in concert and was disappointed. It sounded like an album that was just thrown out there because an album was due. Shame. But they're working on a new double album for release later this year, which will hopefully be good. But I'm not going to see the tour this time.

  4. Spacehog
    Still waiting for something from Arckid...

  5. Heart
    And I've just heard that Heart are recording a new studio album in 2008. This now jumps ahead of Queen+Paul Rodgers as my most anticipated album of the year!

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Doctor Who: 'Planet of the Ood' (S4E3)

Poor Ood. They have a hard time of it.

So we're back to plots written in crayon again. Lots of guns, lots of running about, some senseless death, a few hiccups in the plot and a political message written about as large as it is possible to write it. In crayon. Yes, we get the point.

Still, it had some good moments, and I am now actively liking the character of Donna.

Oh, but the reveal of what it is the Ood naturally hold in their hands instead of the translator ball was just plain silly.

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Free IQ Test Score
Free-IQTest.net - Online IQ Test

Well, what can I say? Facebook thinks I'm only 138, and I was happy with that.


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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Doctor Who: The Fires of Pompeii (S4E2)

Loved it. I thought the seers declaring things they couldn't have known about the Doctor & Donna was great. I thought the little insights into the characters of both the Doctor and Donna were good too. I think I like what they're doing with the character of Donna and the relationship between the two. The FX were nice, the plot and supporting characters interesting and the twist was fab.

More like this please.

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Monday, April 07, 2008


This is the first new song from the, as yet untitled, Queen+Paul Rodgers album due in September. Of course, we've already heard 'Say its not true' but its been around for a few years.

So first impressions? Its clearly a Roger Taylor song with an overlay of Brian May guitar. Not great, but not awful. Hopefully Roger didn't write everything on the album as I think Brian and Paul are generally better songwriters than Roger. But its a glimmer of hope - this is better than anything on Roger's last solo effort and is up there with the best from his other solo back catalogue.

Roll on September...

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Doctor Who: 'Partners in Crime' (S4E1)

Doctor Who returns. Yay!

Donna returns. Hmmm?

Cute alien blobs. Nice.

Technobabble & sonic screwdrivers that can do everything. Erm.

Well, I suppose it was OK. Donna could get annoying or she could be OK. I'll get back to you on that one. Reasonably entertaining. Next.

And Rose? Well, that's where it could get interesting...

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Torchwood: S2E10 - S2E13

Oooh, a lack of blogging of late means that I have four episodes of Torchwood to review in one go... here goes. Probably spoilers in here, so tread carefully.

Episode 10: From out of the rain
Hmmm. A genuinely creepy episode. Or rather, the characters and concepts were really creepy, but the actual plot was a bit dull. I wish the character of 'Pearl' had been fleshed out a bit more, what actually did she do at the circus? What exactly was her affinity with water? And Jack was in there somewhere, but we never really found out why. Argh, so many questions, so few answers. A strange mix of interesting and disappointing.

Episode 11: Adrift
It seems that Ruth Jones is in every BBC Wales/BBC Three production at the moment. She's in Gavin & Stacey, was in Little Britain, Nighty Night, Saxondale and now here she is in Torchwood. Playing a character she isn't yet old enough to play (actually, I just checked, she's 42, so I guess she is actually old enough to play the parent of a 17 year old boy, must be me getting old...). She did a good job too.

Quite a moving episode, lots of what passes for emotion in sci-fi and a bit of a moral grey area dilemma, which is always good. Jean Luc Picard would probably have violated the prime directive here too. Everything was good up to the point when we saw part of Jonah's 20 hours a day torment, which was when it went silly. Nevermind, good effort.

Episode 12: Fragments
Four explosions (how did Capt John know that they'd split up and Gwen wouldn't be there?) result in four members of the team having life-flashing-before-their-eyes moments. Except only those bits of their life when they joined Torchwood. So finally we get the story of how Jack joined Torchwood. Good. And I suppose learning how the others joined was vaguely interesting too. But the Ianto story was just silly and is rewriting history, because he didn't have an interesting character in Series 1, so how come he had an interesting character before Series 1?

Episode 13: Exit wounds
And so it ends. In most end of season sci-fi episodes you need explosions, plot twists, the return of characters from earlier in the series and the unexpected writing out of a recurring character. Usually the entire world is in danger, or possibly just Cardiff if your budget doesn't stretch to the world. So nothing greatly unexpected here. I've been waiting for them to finally kill off Owen since he became undead about 5 episodes ago, so they finally did it. Good. It would have just got too annoying if they hadn't.

And now the yo-yo character of Captain John. He's good, he's bad, he kills Jack, he loves Jack, oh I don't care anymore. Please don't bring him back for Series 3, if there is a Series 3.

Now let me get this straight, Jack was buried about 6 or 10 feet down in the soil for 2000 years. During that time presumably he died quite a lot of times. But how come he couldn't manage to dig himself up even just an inch each time? Surely in 2000 years he'd have managed to get out? Didn't quite ring true... for a given sci-fi value of true, that is.

And finally the bad guy. 'Gray' is such a bad name for a character. How did they come up with that one? And I just didn't buy it. Sorry, but the explosions and mayhem were good, Gwen being a hero was good, the deaths of major characters were good, the Toshiko from beyond the grave bit was good, but the basic underlying plot was pretty rubbish. I suppose on balance that comes out as better than average, but it still disappointed.

Doctor Who next though...

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