So, I’ve become a DVD-Audio addict. The sound quality is just astounding, and some of the 5.1 mixes are really very impressive. Sitting in the living room and simply listening to music is something I’ve rarely done since moving to Colorado. DVD-A has renewed that for me.
Here’s the top five of what I have:
1. Porcupine Tree – In Absentia
Describing this band is tough… they’re like this highly talented merge between the styles of Pink Floyd and Tool. The music is very layered, which really shines through on the 5.1 mix. When you listen to this album, it’s like sitting in the middle of a tangible musical field. This is a great disc for just sitting and experiencing, with eyes closed in concentration.
2. Blues Traveler – Truth Be Told
Let’s face it: remixing only gets you so far. Where new music is involved, you have a chance to take it to a whole new level. The recording process for this Blues Traveler disc is startingly transparent and remarkably detailed, perhaps the clearest I’ve ever heard recorded music in my life. To top it off, this is an excellent collection of music, made all the better by being able to hear every single nuance of the recording process.
3. Yes – Fragile
This has always been a progressive rock must-own item, and the re-mastering job done on it is miraculous. When the disc first spins up and delivers the ultra-detailed sounds of Roundabout, you cry for joy. It includes the bonus track “America”.
4. Queen – A Night at the Opera
This is a Queen classic, containing Bohemian Rhapsody, You’re My Best Friend, and Prophet’s Song. The remix here is the best mix of these songs I’ve heard, including the recent 3-disc greatest hits package. The 5.1 is used to merely decent effect; the attraction here is a disc packed full of amazing Queen songs.
5. R.E.M. – In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003
This is a hit-packed gem. All the material benefits from new attention, but the biggest improvement is not surpisingly the oldest material. Someone who jumped onto the R.E.M. bandwagon in the mid ’90s will be surprised that they recognize only perhaps 50-75% of the disc, and will hopefully be exposed to some of the best times of R.E.M.