#1 Tom Waits - Grapefruit Moon - Early Years Vol.2 CD
Tom exhibits distinct emotion in his raspy voice that singles him out as a good male reference voice. This song goes between sung choruses and story telling that almost sounds spoken more than sung in some verses. The band only serves to back up the lyrics for this song, and as such, each speaker tells a slightly different version of his story.
#2 William Warfield - Old Man River - Showboat Soundtrack CD
A baritone/bass, William has an incredible operatic voice. Unfortunately this recording is not ideal, but that truth is only revealed as the speaker quality improves.
#3 Tori Amos - Northern Lad - From the Choirgirl Hotel CD
A great track not just because of her voice, but for the depth of the perceived soundstage. A woman and her grand piano with back up instruments were often able to appear in the room right in front of me!
#4 Nora Jones - Don’t Know Why - Come Away with Me CD
Well known singer and track. Each speaker truly has a unique way of presenting her voice, from deep and dark, to fun and playful.
#5 Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns - Catch ‘em Young - Foolers’ Gold CD
She is a NOLA jazz singer no more than 5 ft in height but can mow you over with her voice. Have seen her live twice, and it was a real treat how some of these speakers could put me right back in the French Quarter.
#6 Rush - Hope - Snakes and Arrows Live DVD
Having learned to play this 12 -string acoustic solo on my 6- string, I felt my familiarity with it made this a great selection. Alex Lifeson uses a unique tuning that further increases the natural chorus effect inherent to 12 - string guitars.
#7 Mr. Holland’s Opus - American Symphony DVD
Another well known track from a fantastic film. Although not an actual live recording, the unique combination of instruments over a typical symphony adds a great twist with modern flair through the use of electric guitar and bass as well as drum kit.
#8 Into The Woods - Prologue - BD
An almost 20 minute introduction in to one of Stephen Sondheim’s most famous works. He completely re-wrote the music, and insisted on the original musicians for this film adaption. This opening scene runs the gamut for sound play back as is includes male/female spoken and sung lyrics, a full symphony, and modern movie sound effects.
#9 Bernadette Peters - Move On - Sondheim: The Birthday Concert DVD
No review would be complete with out Bernadette! This is an operatic duet sung with Mandel Patinkin from Sondheim’s ‘Sunday in the Park with George.’ You can see the effort put forth by the singers in their neck muscles. Some of these speakers worked just as hard trying to keep their voices in unison.
#10 Rush - By-tor and the Snow Dog - Exit Stage Left from Replay X3 Collection
The ultimate power ballad and my personal favorite Rush song. With each musician effectively soloing the entire time, this song is difficult enough to play and even more so to reproduce!