What follows is a list of my favorite sounding CDs of late, in no particular order. My preference is for realistic-sounding recordings, recordings that allow the band to sound "live." And sure, I like lots of recordings that are heavily processed, but I wouldn't by any stretch use them to "test" the naturalness of a speaker.
Here's the first half of the top 10 CDs; the second half will appear in the next Audiophiliac.
Elvis Costello, "Secret, Profane & Sugarcane"
I love Costello, especially his first five albums, and this new one, produced by T-Bone Burnett, is a winner. Acoustic and country influences predominate, and Costello's voice is in great shape. The sound is free of digital grit and glare, so instruments and voices sound like themselves. The tunes are all good; there's not a weak one in the bunch.
Mark Olson & Gary Louris, "Ready For The Flood"
Mark Olson & Gary Louris of Jayhawks fame joined forces to make this gorgeous sounding album. The two voices' harmonies are something to hear, and maybe it's just me, but there's echoes of the Everly Brothers and maybe Simon & Garfunkel in there. "Doves And Stones" is the standout track, but the album's pretty good from start to finish.
Dan Auerbach, "Keep It Hid"
Have you heard Auerbach's band, The Black Keys? Anyway, his solo CD presents more varied music than the Keys' hard-core blues-based blasts. Check out the deep bass pounding through "Heartbroken, In Disrepair." Granted, Keep It Hid isn't exactly an audiophile disc, but it sounds great cranked to "11."… Read more