So far, the absolute best advice I have gleaned has been on this site. I thank you all. Charlie.
14 responses Add your response
Ditto: This site. The mini reviews at BMG and Columbia are hard to swallow, even many of the ones taken from pro reviews, IMO. Perhaps we could have more music threads. Audiogon does not seem to mind, though I do not think that it is what they would prefer the most. I run across a lot of good/odd and cheap music at the thrift stores and flea markets, the last being "Steve Windwood/Junction 7" which is one of his more together albums to date and a good R&B listen. Oh, and two bucks:-)
In the UK-two mags review music in this way and should I guess be available in the States or elsewhere. Hi-Fi + a quarterly mag and Hi-Fi News (probably the best hi-fi mag.)review music with regards the sonics...they seem reasonably accurate in terms of sonics. Although I buy little music reviewed in them The regular music monthlies tend not to approach the actual sonics on releases (occassionaly the production is mentioned) except when dealing with remasters.
If you are looking for a good classical music review publication, American Record Guide is one I can heartily endorse. They seem to be less influenced by advertiser's revenues than many others. You will have to endure the editor's endless invective against popular music though. They don't focus specifically on a recording's audiophile attractions, tending instead to focus on the musical virtues or lack thereof.
I second this site. Thanks everyone for Diane Krall, emmylou, Patriot Games and Cowboy Junkies. But Lucinda "I'm moaning at the ceiling" Williams? C'mon. Best performance by trailer trash. Here's one back at'ya. Vivaldi, the Four Seasons,etc., Chesky cd78 Connecticut Early Music. Tracks 12-14 Flute Concerto in D has heavenly flute playing with the added bonus of wonderful ensemble playing: the passacaglia under the flute line in the second movement is just right.
Nope Eldragon I think out of the UK mags on Hi-fi-then Hi-fi News is the best--that's not saying much I'm afraid. The very latest Hi-fi+ (which I kind of like)is pretty disgraceful in terms of basically being an advertising vehicle for one famous UK retailer--it also features a couple of writers I frankly don't trust for similar reasons. I tend to think News is the best written for what it's worth...I'm not a big fan of hi-fi mags in general although I do buy them all. Okay I admit it..I like looking at the pictures!!!
I have always been very pleased with the Stereophile "Records To Die For" February issue each year. I've gone back in there website archives and found some excellant material. I'd say I like 90% of there recomendations. Also get the Music Direct www.amusicdirect.com catalog sent to you. They point out the recomendations for Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, and there own recomendations.
Kitch, I cannot allow one more glorification of Cowboy Junkies on this list to pass unattended, esp. when it comes at the expense of Lucinda Williams. Yeah, Margo Timmons voice sounds nice, but she doesn't actually sing with it much. It's kind of boring. And to mix genres, Lucinda has so much more soul and personality than Diana Krall -- this is analogous to a club vs. conservatory upbringing comment that was made elsewhere in a jazz thread. I love the way Lucinda moans and steps on the beat -- it's 'cause she's her own woman! Rock on! All in good fun -- there sure is enough music out there for everyone!
Thanks for all your thoughts and recommendations. I have too many cd's where the sonics are so poor as to make them unenjoyable. I wonder why some were ever allowed to be pressed? Especially when I am pretty sure that, like most things, it is not much harder to do it "right" in the first place. Charlie
Yes, it is a shame about the less-than-optimal quality of many recordings. I am bothered a bit when I catch myself selecting music to put on based on recording quality, because it limits my choices so much. This surely is part of the curse of audophilia. It reminds me of my impression (a generalization, to be sure) that audiophile labels seem to value tastefulness and sophistication in music more than energy, original viewpoints, etc. That makes me uneasy. But a clean reproduction definitely brings its own pleasure, so sometimes I give in.