Monday, October 13, 2014

A to Z - N is for Neverwinter

What's Neverwinter ? Another game ! But more of that later.

This is post 996 and I threatened that 1000 might involve singing ... Tell you what, it sounds really strange when you listen to your own voice being played back from the outside. Mine isn't a great booming voice. It's quite resonant and tremulous. Our voices sound very different to other people. We hear our voices directly through our skull, it's bound to sound different.

Mine sounds like it's coming from someone lacking in confidence. That's fair actually and it's something I should try and do something about. And when I sing, to get a decent note out I have to sing loud, that being a function of getting enough air going over the vocal chords to vibrate them properly. Urk. Science bit.

The 1000 post may involve singing but it'll have to be of way higher standard than what I tried out tonight. Voice wasn't really playing nicely. Yep - I have my mic working again :-). And I have the Audacity software too, which turned the Edge Of Darkness tracks into how they should have been off the album.

On to the N's !

First up is Naked by Talking Heads. Not my favourite of their's (that's Stop Making Sense). It has their character but that's submerged beneath ... bland. Not one I'd pick out for special listenings.

Unlike ... Never For Ever by Kate Bush. Ms Bush has a talent for creating true albums. They're not just a collection of tracks, they come together to make something greater than the sum of parts. Many favourites here, including The Infant Kiss.

Carly Simon sang the theme for The Spy Who Loved Me, one of my favourite Bond movies. And she's in here with her greatest hits collection, Never Been Gone. Favourite has to be the acidic You're So Vain.

Nirvana have to be in here and it's Nevermind. I have to confess, I never saw what the big thing was with Nirvana (I know - burn the heretic). They made great songs but submerged the beauty of them in dirge and noise. Smells Like Teen Spirit was the best but Tori Amos' version was better. Come As You Are is the best by Nirvana.

On to the soundtracks ... the original Neverwinter Nights (NWN) published in 2002 was Bioware's latest Dungeons and Dragons game. Their original (Baldur's Gate) was, appropriately for the time, pseudo 3d isometric (the background was set). NWN was fully 3d. Which helped ... and hindered. There was less party interaction, which was the main criticism. It was also 3rd edition DnD, which was ok ... but many people think that the DND rules have been on a slide since the 2nd ed set used for Baldur's Gate.

That said, good game. Lots of replayability as it's feasible to play through it with all the varied character classes, which are extended by the PRC pack which brings in all the silly prestige special classes. I'll be building a dual wielding specialist in my current playthrough. That'd be 2 weapons all with heavy sneak attack damage for really silly damage potential. And it'll be to a classic soundtrack too. Look out for this one on

I've been a fan of All About Eve from my early teens. Their lead singer, Julianne Regan, has a distinctive voice that's in my range. (Or at least the range I think I have !) She had a collaboration with a group called Mice, which brought forth the New And Improved album. Lots of good tracks here but I like the story told by Miss World.

Another soundtrack ? Nexus The Jupiter Project was effectively Imperium Galactica 3, a sequel to 2 games that had promise but didn't deliver. Nexus was supposed to be a bit more focused and had some good reviews. I think I got it as part of a bundle. Soundtrack ain't bad.

Queen are next with their very best album - Night At The Opera. Yes, this is the one with Bohemian Rhapsody ...

Tori Amos has been ultra prolific over the years. I've lost count of how many albums she's come out with (which means I ran out of fingers). Her N album is Night of Hunters. Not bad but I didn't pick out any highlights.

Suzanne Vega is another who's been a favourite since my teens and Nine Objects Of Desire is another of her consistently high standard. She's another very pure and perfect with the timing female voice which shows in tracks like Caramel.

I listen to metal too ... Iron Maiden's No Prayer For The Dying was one of their last albums. Still a good one with tracks like the Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter which brought massive disapproval from the Establishment when it went to the top of the charts. Need more like it.

Little Boots sprang to attention after doing a series of Youtube cover videos, recorded in her bedroom. Nocturnes was her second album and it's interesting to see this diminutive dance diva evolve into a true superstar. She's got an amazing voice in there and is applying that to catchy tracks like Shake. (And here's one of the YT covers too ...)

It's approaching Christmas ! Whether we like it or not ! And this is the N post, which means there's a Noel hiding in here. This one is from Joan Baez, another of those amazingly pure female voices.

Not so pure but oh so sexy huskiness is the character of the Norah Jones voice. I'm a firm fan of Norah Jones and will pick up her albums as they come out. (Hint Hint - I haven't got Featuring ... Norah Jones yet!). Her N is Not Too Late which has superlative tracks like Wake Me Up and the highly political My Dear Country.

Garbage returned to commercial music with Not Your Kind Of People. Not bad but it irritated me by being overpriced for a long time. It's a decent album, perhaps not as inspired as their earlier work. The title track is one of the highlights.

And the last one is a Now ... album. That has all sorts of favourites in, like Heart's Alone (not A Loan although I did grin at that ad), Cameo's Word Up but I'll go back to Kate Bush with Running Up That Hill.

And that's it for N ! I don't have many O's so that one might be out soon. Cya later !

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