Thursday, June 16, 2011

Music Review #1

Here's a shot of the CDs I bought today at Goodwill - Imperial Beach, and am currently listening to:

New CDs

They are:

<Top left>     BMW Audiophile Demo Disc (New in package)
<Top right>     Imogen Heap - Self Titled (Promo!)
<Bottom Left>     Deutsche Grammophon - Kathleen Battle - New Year's Concert
<Bottom Right>     Alison Krauss - Forget About It

First disc queued up was Alison Krauss, and I really like her voice.  This album's tone is quite somber, and I wasn't really in the mood for that today, but I played it through and it is well recorded, albeit very "modern" and compressed, which isn't to my taste.  Definite keeper and will be listened to again, but not an instant favorite.

Preface to this disc's thoughts:  I'm not especially well versed in classical or orchestral music, but I did have a musical upbringing and played viola, oboe and tenor sax before leaving "school" instruments for the electric guitar, and my shortcomings as a reviewer will surely make themselves known.  The German classical compilation started off with a few tracks of what I consider to be typical Romantic classical stuff, which I find forgettable and better listened to as background music that isn't grabbing your attention.  After track 6, I started recognizing them and getting into it a bit more.  I typically shy away from any mix of orchestra and solo voices, but Fruhlingsstimmen (#9 on this disc) was very nice.  Not the best or most revealing (in details or emotion) recording I've ever heard, but it's clean and quiet and very competent.  Another to listen to again, on a quiet Sunday morning with coffee.

iMogen Heap's 1998 iMegaphone after the classical listed above was a big shock.  It is loud, modern and brash in places.  Huge change, but not necessarily in a bad direction.  I've only heard bits and pieces of her work before, so I'm going into this with only an open mind and a short glass of Harvey's Bristol Cream on ice to accompany the tunes.  I'm finding it a slightly odd mix of poppy 4/4 time signatures with goofy lyrics and electronics over them.  Sort of reminds me of Beck's Odelay in it's eccentricities, although the end result is fairly different.

Lastly, the BMW test disc is really eclectic!  It's a fun listen, and the quality is definitely there.  I found out that it came from the dealer when you pulled a new BMW off the line.  This particular disc is from '01, so it should match up with my Dad's M Roadster, and I don't think he had one with the car.  Three cheers for OEM+ mentality, yes?

On a final note, I'd love to talk music, even generalities, or swap discs or something.  Comment here and let's expand each other's horizons!