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No B.S  Audiophile CD recommendations


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 8) Over hyped but still OK     

 These titles are not bad recordings by any means.   I just believe they are a little over hyped and pumped up by the media.                  




Title: Belafonte at Carnegie Hall                               Rating: 3 / 5


Label: RCA or BMG


It is very unfortunate that this title has to be placed in the "Over-hyped" section, because the original LP version of Belafonte's 1959 concert is nothing short of being extraordinary.


If you want the complete concert, you will have to buy the BMG German release 2 CD version.   The RCA version omitted 4 of the original 19 songs, and the dialogues.


The sound quality is acceptable, but falls short of the original LP by a huge margin, rendering this title as another tragic example of poor remastering of the original.      In comparison, The Weavers: Reunion at Carnegie Hall CD is much better in quality.









Title: Best Audiophile Voices Vol. 1                          Rating: 3.5 / 5

Label: Premium Records

Genre: Female Vocal

This Singapore label has compiled a good 3 volume selection of Female Vocals.   Very good “studio” style recording with ultra clarity.   The drawback ??   Very forward sounding and most artist sings really close to the mic, and some instruments sounded not very natural.   Plenty of glare at the top.

Vol. 1 has a slightly better quality than Vol. 2 & 3.   Given so many audio stores are using these as Demos, I think perhaps they're may be a little overly pumped up.




      Title: All my loving - Jheena Lodwick                     Rating: 3.2 / 5 

Label: JVC XRCD24 10075A

Genre: Jazz Vocal

Hailed by many asian magazines as one of the best CD ever mastered. It is certainly good from a studio recording perspective. Even though it is an XRCD, super analog 24 bit version, it is still no “Proprius”  or "KKV" quality. As seen in the picture, Jheena places herself 2 inches from the mic so all it offers is clarity. There’s no sound staging, ambience or dynamics to speak off..

To sum it up, its GOOD, but not GREAT.





  Title: Famous Blue Rain Coat - Jennifer Warnes                 Rating: 3.8 / 5

Label: BMG International No. 257837

Is it a great recording ? You bet it is ! Is it over hyped ? You bet it is !
Back in the 80s, this is found in almost every audiophile’s home and in every audio store.  Considered by many as a MUST HAVE title, and regarded as one of the best recordings available. But then again, that was the 80s. It is now 2006 and there are a lot more choices out there now.   That is not to say this is a bad recording, it a great recording which is a little over hyped.




    Title: Jazz at the Pawnshop                                                       Rating: 4.7 / 5

Label: Proprius No. 7778 or FIM XRCD 012 / 013

If I had strictly followed my own rules, this CD should be placed under the Cream of the Crop section. The recording is fabulous, I have no doubts about it. But I also regret paying $ 75 bucks for the 2 volume XRCD version of this title.

Unless if you’re a heavy duty hard core Jazz fan, some of you may find this music a bit annoying. I have been asked by friends to “turn off this music”, while it was being played as background dinner music. I have yet to meet an audiophile who would actually listen to this CD for chill out enjoyment. I’m not even sure if I’ll use this CD as a “SHOW OFF YOUR SYSTEM” title. If you want a taste of Jazz at the Pawnshop, I suggest you buy Jacob’s Tracks which has 9 mins of this stuff on it I find this title to be a little over hyped by the “Audiophile must have” mentality.

Having said this , I shall repeat myself by saying the recording quality is of supreme quality. And yes, your living room will turn into a Jazz bar with proper equipment setups.  The ambience, clarity, instrument positioning is top notch.   From a quality perspective, there are no complaints from me whatsoever, its simply unmatched by any other jazz title.


  Way Overhyped Titles....    

Title: James Newton Howard & Friends                       Rating: 3.2 / 5

Label: Lasting Impression Music CLIM 004 or
Sheffield Lab No. 10055


To place a title hailed by so many Audiophiles as the “Ultimate Reference Demo” CD, in this category, I stand the risk of disagreeing with the majority. Toto fans will certainly disagree with me. The CD contains 9 tracks of James Newton Howard’s music, performed by TOTO. A Remarkable recording of outstanding keyboarding skills by 3 artist on 9 synthesizers. But then again, synthesized music can only go so far……… This could very well be Ultimate in the 80s and good in the 90s. But we are in 2006.


Title: A City of Sadness                                                   Rating: 2 / 5
Label: BMW Funhouse 743218765025

Genre: Movie Soundtrack

What a disappointment. This CD contains nothing more than synthesized electronic music. It is also rather short, with only 7 tracks on the CD. Very boring music, & it sounds…….. Well, electronic.

I wonder what all the hype is all about. Spend your money elsewhere.  I totally regret paying $ 34.00 for this CD.  


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