10 CDs Reviewed Add your own.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite CDs I've found in the last year or so.

You can view my system if you want it is listed here on Audiogon: SGR's Levinson, Salon,Sub30 System


I really have an eclectic taste in music and really have no favorite type of music as long as its well recorded.

1. Blue Man Group - Audio - HDCD This is a CD for rockers who love percussion. Can your system handle a 30 foot drum, tubulums, cimbalums, and the Drum Wall? These guys have invented their own instruments made from PVC. Nominated for a Grammy. If your system is right you can see, hear, and feel the Air Poles when they come into play.

2. Blue Man Group - The Complex - HDCD - The second CD by the group. This CD is just as dynamic and exciting as the first but now with vocals.

3. Chris Gaines Greatest Hits - Garth Brooks - HDCD. I prefer this disc to his country hits. Addicting. Very well recorded. You can find this disc in the unwanted CD bins at used CD stores. I'm not sure why it hasn't gathered more aclaim.

4. east west - Bill Frisell - Double CD I've never heard guitar played like this. I prefer the west disc. I Heard It Through the Grapevine is uncanny. At first you'll think something is dead wrong with your system. But once you realize its the guitar, look out. Blues for Los Angeles will really give your system a workout. This is a recorded live.

5. Once Upon A Time in Mexico - Music by Robert Rodriguez. This CD has it all. Great vocals, bass, dynamics and imaging. The movie starred Antonio Banderas and Johnny Depp and they even contribute to the score. Great introduction to the music of Mexico.

6. Black Sheep Boy - Okkervil River - This is rock at its finest. Good vocals, even if some are rather strange. Dynamics and bass are surprising. You'll be taping your feet. Hard to get out of your head!

7 & 8. Kill Bill I and II soundtracks. What fun music! Very well recorded and the music was selected by Quentin Tartino. The collection runs from Rap to Nancy Sinatra to Japanese rock. Don't let the title put you off, there is something to like hear for everyone.

9. The Phantom of the Operah Motion Picture Soundtrack. Buy the deluxe 2 disc set. It sounds better for some reason. Excellent vocals, dynamics, imaging, and sense of space. I've used this disc to tune my system with. The Prologue with the organ is surprising. The disc contains some dialogue which is a good test for your system.

10. Stubbs the Zombie Soundtrack from the Video Game. I've never played the game, but I heard these gem at Slackers the other day and just had to know what it was. The CD features classics rerecorded by today's artists. Selections include Lollipop - Ben Kweller, Earth Angel - Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips - If I Only Had a Brain, and Mr. Sandman - Oranger. This CD is fun, well recorded and well worth a listen or two!

Hope you enjoy the tunes. Add your latest favorites and why if you want, and we'll all have some new tunes.

Good listening,
Pat Boone "No More Mister Nice Guy, In A Metal Mood" (Curb records) Boone's playing against type by travesing the touchstone songs of the heavy metal movement yields subtle surprises, revealing both texture and shading previously obscured in the performances of these works. The old favorite "Stairway To Heaven" is given a salsa-tinged arrangement that will have you asking why Led Zep failed to mine the soul of the song. Metallica's "Enter Sandman" is reimagined as well, stripping off diaphanous layers of meaning until the kernel of the song is revealed as an anguished cry to motherhood, God and country. There is so much more here that words fail to convey the depth and understanding that Boone brings to the work. Perhaps the cover photograph of Boone, in studded leather jacket, looking for all the world like a well-scrubbed Fonzi, from "Happy Days" says it all, his expression rife with angst and ennui. Order your copy from Amazon before this goes out of print.
If you can find Suzanne Rhatigan's "To Hell with Love" (Imago 1992), buy it. A huge sound, like Janis Joplin ... but with real musical talent. Mix of jazz, rock, blues, and soul. Phenomenal. You'll wonder why this group never made it in the USA. Also, pick up some of Bobby Rush's CD's, like "Lovin' a Big Fat Woman" and "Hoochie Man." Lots of fun!