audio review : Roland Gift ( album ) … Roland Gift

audio review : Roland Gift ( album ) ... Roland Gift

If you listen to this album; Roland Gift’s solo debut; expecting the aesthetic equivalent of the long-awaited third Fine Young Cannibals project, you’re in for a disappointment. “The voice” is here; it’s a joy to hear that gay falsetto after all these years; but the songs aren’t up to par.

A Girl Like You and Lady DJ evoke vintage FYC; the only thing missing is Gift fully utilizing his signature ad-libs during their peaks; and Looking For A Friend is a melodic highlight, but the set is merely decent on the whole. The worst thing about it is the lazy 1980s-throwback self title.

my rating : 3 of 5

2002

audio review : Secrets [ Of Success ] ( song ) … Cookie Crew

I don’t know why the title is plural; it’s used singularly in the song; but the Secrets to making a Successful pop record are all here. Impressive rap skills isn’t necessarily one of them, so when Susie Q comes in sounding more like Brother J from X Clan, it’s all good.

The key is the catchiness not only of the music, led by samples from Brenda Russell’s Little Bit Of Love, but the chorus, which doesn’t really kick in until the second go around. That’s when what sounds like Luther Vandross; actually producer Danny D; starts doing his thing.

my rating : 4 of 5

1991

audio review : Secrets [ Of Success ] ( song ) ... Cookie Crew

Two Good Greek Lowfat Yogurt : Strawberry

Two Good Greek Lowfat Yogurt : Strawberry

You might wonder why a yogurt company would limit itself indefinitely to Two G (Grams) of sugar per serving for the sake of wordplay until you realize it’s actually a subsidiary of Dannon. It does taste Good though, at least in the case of this Strawberry version, which is sweetened with “stevia leaf Reb M”.

my rating : 4 of 5

Dannon Light And Fit Yogurt [ Zero Sugar ] : Peach

Dannon Light And Fit Yogurt [ Zero Sugar ] : Peach

Not only does this yogurt have Zero Sugar, there’s also “no artificial sweeteners or flavors”. Such health boasts aren’t often promising in the way of taste, but it’s pretty good. It is indeed sweet, thanks to the addition of Reb M; a natural extract of the stevia leaf. It’s also surprisingly (“irresistibly”) creamy.

my rating : 4 of 5

Marie Callender’s Savory Swedish Meatballs Bowl

Marie Callender's Savory Swedish Meatballs Bowl

Marie Callender’s original and seemingly discontinued Swedish Meatballs meal was a favorite of mine. This Bowl version looks the same, but she must’ve changed the recipe or something. The taste is bland in comparison. The Meatballs are (still) good, but the pasta and sour cream sauce are, despite the name, rather unsavory. Perhaps she ran out of seasoning.

my rating : 3 of 5

Great Value Ice Cream [ Celebration Edition ] : Pride

Great Value Ice Cream [ Celebration Edition ] : Pride

I won’t get started on how much I detest what this Ice Cream represents, but the inclusion of white chocolate is a pleasant surprise. It tastes more like vanilla though with a hint of Superman. Why it isn’t rainbow-colored like the carton is beyond me, but that’s all it would need to be enjoyable.

Instead, like the “LGBT” initialism and all its ridiculous extensions, they went too far. Cherries alone would have been tolerable or even acceptable. Perhaps they’re what help give rise to Superman. It’s the “brownies”; what homo put these nasty chocolatey bits in my ice cream; that totally ruin it.

my rating : 2 of 5

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar : Apple Cinnamon

Nature's Bakery Fig Bar : Apple Cinnamon

This Fig Bar; it comes in “twin packs”, so they’re more like fig bars; is among the best I’ve ever had. That’s not saying much because I don’t like the taste of fig, but I do like Apple Cinnamon. The best part though is the soft and crumbly cookie-like coating, which indeed makes for a “wholesome” eating experience.

my rating : 4 of 5

Beach Cliff Sardines [ In Mustard Sauce ]

Beach Cliff Sardines [ In Mustard Sauce ]

There’s fraud going on at Beach Cliff. Some tins of these Sardines have “sardines” listed as the main ingredient, but others say “sprats”. It’s a distinction that, though misleading, probably won’t make a difference to most people given the similarity in flavor. They’re “smothered” In Mustard Sauce the Cliffsmen promote as “marvelous” as if the taste of mustard or sardines could come anywhere close.

my rating : 3 of 5

audio review : Christmas All Over The World ( EP ) … New Edition

audio review : Christmas All Over The World ( EP ) ... New Edition

The best song here is the main one; Christmas All Over The World; a hymn good enough to be a holiday standard. That’s thanks mostly to the chorus, which is both cute and enchanting. The next best is Happy Holidays To You; the only song without the word Christmas in the title. The others, one of which has New Edition covering The Jackson Five, are nothing to write home about.

my rating : 3 of 5

1985

audio review : Clap Your Hands ( song ) … Lyrical Lively

This starts like a corny rap song from the mid-1980s, but give it a minute. Once the bass, chords and that glorious organ riff drop, you know you’re in for something special. It’s a gospel song and a (God)damn good one not so much because of but despite Lively’s lyrics.

The music carries the song; the production is splendid minus the tacky intro; with the minister’s raps more-or-less serving as filler until she finally starts singing near the end. “Clap Your Hands, leap for joy” the chorus goes, “Uh-huh.” That last bit is her catchphrase.

my rating : 4 of 5

2014

audio review : Clap Your Hands ( song ) ... Lyrical Lively

Arm And Hammer Essentials Baby Body Wash And Shampoo

Arm And Hammer Essentials Baby Body Wash And Shampoo

“Formulated with Arm And Hammer baking soda,” the description reads, “this Body Wash gently nourishes and cleanses your baby.” That may be true; the best thing about it is that it’s also fragrance-free; but it barely lathers, at least on my grown-up ass. That’s a major problem because you have to use about twice the amount you normally would to bathe.

my rating : 3 of 5