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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Larisa Stow: Moment By Moment
Larisa Stow: Moment By Moment
DTS // DVD Audio
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 21, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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M U S I C
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
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The Music:

1. Blue Mountain
2. Living in Your Eyes
3. Heaven
4. Invitation
5. Corner (4th & Cherry)
6. I Lied
7. Moment by Moment
8. Flame
9. The Serial Dream
10. Innocence


The DVD

SOUND: "Moment By Moment" is presented by DTS on this DVD-Audio release in 48khz/24bit 5.1 DVD-Audio and DTS 5.1 versions. For about a week prior to receiving the DVD-Audio release, I had been listening to the previous DTS CD release of the album and finding it an enjoyable effort. It's almost a given that any of the lesser known female singers are going to be compared to some of the more established names in the industry. If so, I'd have to say that Stow presents an engaging mix of Alanis Morisette and Sarah McLachlan - for the majority, she sounds somewhat similar to McLachlan, but there are times such as at the begining of "I Lied" that she sounds more like Morisette, with somewhat similar vocal mannerisms and singing style, which isn't bad in my opinion. Stow's vocals seem to be more controlled than Morisette's and she seems to have a warmer voice, as well. The music itself ranges from uptempo rock numbers to some more subtle ballads, while Stow boasts exceptional vocals and a talented backing band.

The album's 5.1 presentation was done by David Tickle, a name that many will be familiar with from his terrific surround-sound work on a long list of other albums ranging from Steve Stevens's "Flamenco A Go-Go" to Sheryl Crow to Sting and the list goes on. Tickle is rightly one of the premier artists working in this specialized field because he has a terrific sense of the genre and how it should play out in surround, even down to the specific song as he occasionally changes things up across an album. A few gimmicky elements occasionally have turned up, but they're smartly done and playful, such as on one specific song on the Steve Stevens album where a voice (which says, "ideal recording for stereo") bounces from front to back.

Stow's album, on the other hand, remains a pretty straightforward affair when it comes to surround use - and it works quite well for the material. Stow's vocals are focused from the front, but also are re-inforced lightly from the surrounds; not enough to be distracting like some recent DVD-Audio titles that had the vocals coming suprisingly loudly from the surrounds, such as Natalie Merchant's awkwardly mixed "Tigerlily". Surrounds also share some instruments as well, but the main focus again remains in the front as the job of the surrounds here is simply to provide envelopment and an immersive feel to the music without becoming distracting or inappropriate.

As I mentioned earlier, I'd been listening to the DTS CD version for about a week prior to the DVD-Audio version. The DTS CD sounded superb, with a lush, full sound that offered exceptional clarity and detail, which all of the best DTS CDs usually do offer. Stow's vocals also were represented wonderfully in the mix, sounding natural and capturing all of the high notes with a clear and rich sound - the presentation as a whole made for a very comfortable and very enjoyable experience. Yet, again, I felt that the DVD-Audio version improved upon the already quite fine DTS edition, which is included again on the DVD-Audio disc (which offers DTS 5.1, DVD-A 5.1 and Dolby 2.0).

The DVD-Audio version of the album offered a noticably more open sounding presentation of the music; a more seamlessly enveloping and transparent feel, along with a greater level of clarity and detail that was not hugely noticable, but noticable nonetheless. The way that Stow's vocals were represented on the DVD-Audio version was also more pleasing as they seemed dynamic, natural and rich sounding. The music itself also had a bit more punch in the DVD-Audio version during the rock numbers. The music already sounded quite good in the DTS CD version, but it sounded a bit more intense in the DVD-Audio version; it grabbed me and pulled me in a little better than the DTS presentation.

Extras: "Heaven" video in DTS 5.1; credits.

Final Thoughts: A wonderful rock album with some ballads and the occasional touch of country, Larisa Stow provides remarkable vocals and some interesting lyrics. The DVD-Audio and DTS 5.1 presentations aren't the most flashy or agressive that I've heard from surround-sound music, but they fit the material more than perfectly. The DTS audio version sounds quite strong, but the DVD-Audio again provides a noticably prefered listening experience. Recommended.
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