HiRez Poll Crowded House - GRAVITY STAIRS [Blu-Ray Audio (Dolby Atmos)]


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Rate the BDA of Crowded House - GRAVITY STAIRS

  • 7

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6

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  • 5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

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  • 3

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  • 2

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  • 1: Terrible Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Hi-Res Moderator
Staff member
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Oct 31, 2008
Middle TN
Please post your thoughts and comments on this brand new album from Crowded House entitled "Gravity Stairs".
The album has been released on Blu-Ray Audio disc as part of the ongoing SDE Surround Sound Series and features the album mixed in Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround sound.
The Blu-Ray Audio Disc can still be purchased from the SDE store: https://www.thesdeshop.com/products...ity-stairs-blu-ray-audio-with-dolby-atmos-mix

(y) :) (n)

I gave this a 10. Here's why.

My opinion is that content should not be a factor in scoring these releases. Whether you agree or disagree, my score doesn't consider content. Either you like Crowded House, you don't, or you haven't really listened enough to decide. If you like them, you'll probably like this release; if you don't, you probably won't.

This sounds fabulous from top to bottom, beginning to end. I turned it up loud and my ears never tired.
This is simply a great release. Packaging issues aside, I can't find any fault with it.

First of all, the mix. Is this really Steven Schram's first time mixing in surround? Because he really hit the ball out of the park here. He just gets it. A nice immersive mix with plenty of discrete elements in the surround field. (Oh, by the way, these comments are all regarding the 5.1 mix as I don't yet have Atmos in my home). The rears don't overpower but they're very present. I like that Schram isn't afraid to occasionally throw some vocals in the back. A lot of the little embellishments are in the rears as well to great effect. The mix suits the dreamy nature of much of the material.

And the music, if you're expecting the really catchy hooks of the Crowded House of the 80's and 90's you might be disappointed. There's nothing here that will grab you right away the way "Don't Dream It's Over" or "Weather With You" would. But this is an album where repeated listens really do pay off. The songwriting is much more subtle. Some of it reminds me of My Morning Jacket. (My Crowded Jacket? :p ). The lyrics are really beautiful and the melodies strong. I think the album is a significant improvement over the previous one, Dreamers Are Waiting.

@sjcorne pointed out in another thread that the mix of "Life's Imitation" (aka "Teenage Summer") that's on Apple Music is different than the one on the blu-ray. The streaming version is a little longer, starting with the "Are We Gonna Have Some Teenage Summer" hook, unlike the version on the blu-ray. Maybe the streaming version is a single mix?

As I mentioned earlier, the packaging is a little annoying. Like the recent Pearl Jam release, it was a little difficult getting the disc out of its holder. But it's a minor quibble.

Fantastic mix, beautiful music, not locked in some mega box set, dedicated 5.1 in addition to the Atmos as well as instrumental mixes and music videos. (I really like the video for "Life's Imitation", very tastefully done.) Best of all, it's gotten Neil excited about Atmos and he's now considering doing the back catalog. How can it not be a 10?

@PaulatSDE still has a few copies left in his shop. Grab one while you still can.
I voted 9.
SDE #23, is not the strongest of the series. privateuniverse above explains all very well.
I did listen to the 5.1 and the Atmos, the latter being significantly stronger than the 5.1.
Make note this is primarily a 4.1 mix whether in the called 5.1 or the Atmos, the center chanell is basically silent, except briefly. but hardly at all. The heights in the Atmos nice and powerful ambience.
Super Deluxe Edition switches tactics and provides an all closed top and bottom cardboard sleeve, poor choice.
My 9 vote probably due to the music as nothing seems to grab me, the record company saying "but where's the hit'?
I have done two full listens in 5.1 and Atmos, the mix and sonic quality, very good to excellent.
We can't like everything, right?
As privateuniverse has stated, this is not the Crowded House sound from yesteryear. Nowadays, if I cannot listen to new music before I purchase it, I just don’t buy it. I did the same thing with only hearing two songs from Dreamers Are Waiting and because those two songs did nothing for me, I never did get the record. The mistake I made with Gravity Stairs is not listening to the couple of songs that were released and holding out promise of another great Crowded House album.

A few thoughts while listening to the album were:

This is not the past sound of Crowded House.
No feeling to the music.
Where are the pop hooks from previous albums?
The harmonizing is horrible and really getting on my nerves.
I really want this to be a good album.
This sounds like one whole continuous song.

Overall, I had hope for this album. The Atmos mix is done really well. I like the artwork. I would have preferred a normal plastic case with this release but since I’ll never play the disc again, I don’t really care. This one is destined for the cut-out bin.

They really should have called this version of Crowded House, the Finn Family, because they sound nothing, even remotely close to, the previous band. Not sure what to vote on this one. :unsure:
Received my copy this evening, and have already played through in full twice. This album absolutely is a grower, and I'm really digging it. I must admit I scratch my head a little bit at the seemingly obvious statements of "this isn't the band they were in the 80's". I mean, literally no legacy band is.

This is, however, one of Neil Finn and Co's stronger albums since the original line up ended. I'll give this one a solid 8. The mix is good - not reference quality by any stretch, but definitely satisfying. I highly recommend this album to anyone who has an ear for melody. One of the better SDE releases in a while!
Plenty of bad reviews around for this new release by Crowded House, similar to the new Mark Knopfler album. I am glad that I took the chance to order them unheard from SDE since I find them both excellent late career albums.

On Gravity Stairs we find the sense for melody intact but the direct hit quality is replaced with more mature (not boring) and inventive arrangement. The playing and singing are both ace and the sound quality is top notch. Add to this a surprisingly excellent and descrete Atmos mix and we have a winner at hand. My favorite songs are Magic Piano, Some Greater Plan and Black Water, White Circle but I really like all of the songs.

I voted 9 (Mark Knopfler got an 8 due to the very conservative Atmos mix).
Yes, the packaging is odd, but kudos to SDE for trying to keep it consistent with the others. If this one had been released without a cardboard sleeve the same size as the others, everyone here would be having a fit! :ROFLMAO:
Giving this a “9”. Great sonics. EXCELLENT surround mix, even if it’s basically 4.1. Who needs more than quad anyway, right? ;) I’m in 5.1, but the use of surrounds is great

The album is nice. A very nice late-career album for Neil Finn. But it’s not the first two albums, of course.

I’m not thrilled about the packaging, but I’m gonna guess the band wanted the cardboard gatefold and Paul gave us the cardboard sleeve so it will match the rest of the series. So I’m cool with it.

Very nice job overall. Will listen again!
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Late 80s I first saw Crowded House live on an MTV special which I vaguely recall involved a beach. Every single song blew me away and bought their album which had the hit "Don't Dream it's Over." Loved the entire album and have remained a fan ever since. And now lucky to have the band (in its current incarnation) in Atmos. I like the songs a lot and the atmos delivers. I hope to make it to Te Awamutu to see what all the fuss was about one day. 10.
Sorry, but even as a Crowded House fan from way back, this album does nothing for me, except the cover. Disappointing, as Neil's most recent solo album was for me quite excellent. I'm glad others are enjoying it and I hope that one day maybe Together Alone and Temple of Low Men are released in surround.
Okay! Last night, I gave this a second listen. Guess what? It’s not as bad as my first listen. The reason may be because I was in a different space. I’ve been fighting a nasty virus. The worse I’ve experienced in my life. It’s been three weeks and I’m at the end of it. Listening to it again with my ears clear, I was hearing it differently this time.

So far, my absolute favorite song on this disc is Black Water, White Circle. Love the 60’s vibe. I think what’s missing is the feel good hooks I’m used to with the earlier albums. To me, these songs have more of a feel good neutrality instead. This really is a great mix overall and, out of the 11 tracks, the only song that I don’t care much for, in comparison to the rest of the album is the last track, Night Song. I’m giving it an 8.

I like the packaging but would prefer a plastic case. I can see the industry moving towards this type of packaging due to trying to eliminate plastic waste and I’m all for it.
Not much for me to add that hasn't already been said - the Atmos mix is surprisingly adventurous (it's probably the best one in the SDE series not done by Steven Wilson) and the songs get better with each listen. I like the balance of slower, kinda space-y stuff ("Magic Piano," "Some Greater Plan", "Black Water White Circle") against the more upbeat tracks like "Teenage Summer" and "I Can't Keep Up With You." It's a good listen at night or during the day.

My only (really minor) critiques are that the sound seems a bit 'pinched' in some of the louder passages, and I noticed that a lot of the height information is really stereo (the same content duplicated across front and rear top speakers). There are some moments with unique parts that appear just in the front or rear heights, but I suspect the Atmos mix was done primarily using the 'bed' channels which are limited to 7.1.2 configuration. Going with a 9.

Review over at IAA: https://immersiveaudioalbum.com/crowded-house-gravity-stairs-5-1-surround-sound-dolby-atmos/