By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Photo by Jeanne RiceMy top five newest (and somewhat obscure) albums:
> Delerium, Karma. "This is the U.S. answer to Enigma. My highest recommendation! Combines trance-type beats and rhythms with extremely melodic and intricately dreamy chord progressions and vocals. Some songs feature a couple of talented female singers, including Sarah McLachlan. Everyone I've ever had listen to this CD has thanked me immensely later! This was their second album. Their first, Semantic Spaces, is also really good."
> Blue Man Group, Audio. "I saw these guys perform on Jay Leno a few weeks ago, and they blew me away! Not only a freaky, amazing stage show (everyone is painted blue!), but they also make their own wacky instruments, which sound amazing. The CD jacket describes how they come up with some of their sounds—an intensely percussive and melodic sound, with some cool guitar licks. These guys are going to be performing in February at the Luxor in Vegas. Definitely new and exciting!"
> Propellerheads, Decksandrumsandrockandroll. "Everyone remembers the scene in The Matrix in which Neo and Trinity are blowing the hell out of everyone in the foyer of that building. Remember the great music that made that scene? That's the Propellerheads! That track ('Spybreak') is included on this album, which is officially their first (they've done lots of singles and 12-inches). They've also worked on other movies, including the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. Amazing non-vocal tracks using the intensest drums and catchiest bass lines ever!"
> Tommy Tallarico, Tomorrow Never Diesvideo game soundtrack. "Time for a blatant plug! The just-released soundtrack to accompany the No. 1 selling PlayStation game this Christmas. Techno, trance, rave, industrial, electronica-type beats mixed with everyone's favorite spy tune! Great music to drive really fast to on the freeways (especially when you're getting chased by cops!). Check it out at www.bondmusic.com."
> Ludwig van Beethoven, Immortal Beloved soundtrack. "I know it's not really new and probably not too obscure, but I could never make a best-of list without mentioning the master. I've heard hundreds of recordings of these songs, and I always keep coming back to these. Yeah, sure, 'Moonlight Sonata' is played too fast, and they cut sections of the Ninth Symphony, but this is the ultimate Beethoven's Greatest Hits. All of his most amazing pieces, recorded in 20-bit, including performances by Yo-Yo Ma and conducted by Sir George Solti. A must-have for anyone even remotely interested in the classics. And if you're not, do yourself a huge favor and discover Beethoven for the first time! You may find yourself weeping uncontrollably over some notes one man put together a couple of hundred years ago! When's the last time Ricky Martin did that to ya?"