I am reviewing the alternative music album Ta Dah by the Scissor Sisters which is an excellent album. It did top the album charts in Ireland, Britain and Australia. It is a 2006 album that had generally favorable reviews and was on the back of a very successful album released previously. Even though the Scissor Sisters are American they tend to be more popular in places like Britain than their homeland. I Don’t Feel Like Dancing which features Elton John on piano was a number 1 single in Britain. They are the kind of group who are very creative and original but maybe that hinders there being commercial in America. They did top the American Electronic Album Chart though. I think I Don’t Feel Like Dancing is the best track on the album and it is a better than a lot of more successful albums. Jake Shears and Anna Matronic are the 2 vocalists in the group. Their name comes from a term used to describe lesbians having sex. I enjoyed this album obviously and do highly recommend it.

I am reviewing the pop album Emotions by Mariah Carey which is a very good album. It had generally mixed reviews and was the follow up to her debut album which had been extremely popular. In America it only debuted at number 4 on the album chart which was a shock considering how popular the previous album had been. She had split with her partner Tony Mottola who had been a big influence on the previous album. All the tracks on Emotions were co written by Mariah and Carole King a big songwriter from the 70’s who had worked with people like Arethra Franklin among others. She wanted Mariah to do a cover version of You Make Me Feel Like A Natual Woman but Mariah felt she couldn’t do it justice. Despite a slow start this album did eventually sell 8 million worldwide and the title track was a number 1 single in America. Worldwide she is one of the most successful pop stars of all time. At the recent World Music Awards she won awards for most successful soloist and most successful female soloist in the world this year. This is an enjoyable album but perhaps a little too commercial. You can’t fault Mariah’s wonderful voice though. She was born in Long Island in New York.

I am reviewing the pop album Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo which is a very good album. This is his most successful album and is a reissue of the EP Tatoos with some tracks added. Trumpets the 5th single and a number 1 in Britain is probably my favorite track on the album. Jason uses a phonetic spelling of his surname as his stage name. He wrote numerous songs for other artists as a youngster before getting. He has written a lot of songs for people including PDiddy and had hits with some of them. He came to prominence when he supported Lady Gaga on a world tour and later the Black Eyed Peas on the Canadian leg of their tour. He was born in 1989 and this is his 3rd album. One Direction did a 7 hour marathon of videos on YouTube of various stuff including them dancing to one of his songs which saw sales soar by 630 % and lots of copycat videos by fans. I must admit this album is better than I expected despite it getting mixed reviews from critics mainly because of the stereotypical sexy lyrics. The songs do have good tunes and it is enjoyable to listen to and I do recommend it.

The book I read to research this post was Brilliant Selling 2nd edition by Tom Bird et al which is a very good book that I bought from kindle. This was the top selling book on sales in Britain at one point. It describes how to sell in an easy to understand way and does come up with some good strategies. Often people will go to someone who is knowledgeable about their product they want to buy. If you learn as much as you can about what you sell and competing products you will be in a good position. Often selling is simply a matter of you think your product or service is the right one for the customer. If it isn’t tell them and you will gain their trust and may sell them a product later on. If it is the right product you should go all out to make them see that. In selling we can categorize people in various categories for helping you to sell something to them. 2 of these categories in which we can categorize people are detail people and whole picture people. Whole picture people like to see the general picture of how the products fits in with everything else. This is part of NLP or neuro-linguistic programming. Detail people like to look at the little details about the product and you try to give them the general picture will think you are over simplifying it. Whole picture people by contrast get confused if you present the little details. A trait many good salespeople share is they only worry about things they can influence which may seem obvious. If you think of it worrying about the state of the economy is a waste of time. You are better off worrying about how you are going to maximize your sales despite the economy. This is a really enjoyable book and is also a decent length. I’d recommend it.

 

The book I read to research this post was The Economics Of The Construction Industry by Geoffrey Briscoe which is a very good book that I bought from a car boot sale. This book was published in 1992 and pertains to the British construction industry so may be a bit out of date. I think when this book came out there was a lot of unemployment and this book says a lot of it was construction industry related. It wasn’t just the construction industry but related careers like electricians and plumbers. Local government had cut right back on financing building and was still selling off council houses at reduced prices. Borrowing had been cut right back by Margaret Thatcher whilst Prime Minister. Building was mostly carried out by the private sector and housing associations were starting to get a foothold. Banks had it limited how much they could lend and how much they could keep in liquid deposits where the excess had to be deposited in an interest free account with the Bank Of England. Of course they could make sure there weren’t any excess liquid deposits and there were ways around this. The construction industry is dependent on bank loans to finance building and for mortgages for people buying. In more recent times there have been initiatives like groups of buyers under a housing association helping build each others houses and there being subsequent savings in doing this. In the years since 1992 there was a long run in housing prices increasing so houses are quite sought after. I did really enjoy this book although I think it is doubtful someone who reads this blog will see it for sale. I think it is too specialized for it to sell in large quantities.

 

I am reviewing the album Northern Star by Melanie C or Melanie Chisholm as she’s also known which is an excellent music album. Melanie was born in Merseyside and because when she was in the Spicegirls wore a tracksuit and had a ponytail and was called Sporty Spice. Northern Star which only peaked at number 4 in the UK Album Chart but went triple platinum was the most successful of the solo Spicegirl albums. She had 2 number 1 singles from it and it has quite an eclectic mix of musical genres including alternative music, rock and R n B. The Spicegirls released 3 hugely popular albums. Melanie has released other albums but they have been no where near as successful as this album. Certainly in Britain for this album was quite apt which contains a strong influence of alternative music and this genre suddenly became very popular around this time. Melanie did start her own record label and some of her later albums even reached the UK Indie Chart. When she was in the Spicegirls they released a film and accompanying album Spiceworld. The film had mixed reviews. There was also a Spicegirls stage show inspired by the group called Viva Forever. They are one of the most successful groups of all time in the UK. Wannabe their first single was a huge hit all around the world. I did really enjoy this album and wholeheartedly recommend it.

I am reviewing the album Rooty by Basement Jaxx which is a very good dance music album. Basement Jaxx are a 2 piece club music duo who are named after the club in Brixton, London where they performed and later the club changed its named to Rooty which this album their 2nd album was named after. They started out as an underground dance act who moved to the mainstream. They won the Brit Award for Best Dance Act in 2002 and 2004. This album came out in 2001. Among the hits was Romeo & Where’s Your Head At. The latter was used on the soundtrack for the movie Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie. Romeo was in the British top 40 for quite some time. It is a tribute to Bollywood and the bhangra scene and features a well known Bollywood star in the pop video. They are still making music and among other things helped score the film Attack On The Block which was a bit of a cult hit especially in Britain. I do really like this album.