IAA Listener's Choice Awards 2024

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humprof

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Fourth Annual! It's gonna be extra hard to decide on nominees this year, given the torrent of titles that have appeared. (Although the task is made a little easier by virtue of the fact that the cutoff date for eligible releases is September 15, 2023--which eliminates most of the high-profile titles of the past couple of months.) Like last year, there are two broad categories: streaming and physical/download. Hurry up, though: nominations are only open through November 15th!

https://immersiveaudioalbum.com/2024-immersive-audio-album-listeners-choice-awards/
 
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It's gonna be extra hard to decide on nominees this year, given the torrent of titles that have appeared.
Yeah, I figured the “pick 5” option was warranted considered the onslaught of releases.

Participation has really gone up in comparison to last year, close to 300 people have voted already :)
 
I only have 2 of the listed titles - any chance of allowing up to 5 selections instead of exactly 5?


Kirk Bayne
 
Okay, I'll start. Here's my own "longlist" of titles I want to revisit before choosing my final five. (Eligibility of all my potential nominees definitely not guaranteed. If you don't take good notes--and I don't--it's sometimes hard to determine whether a particular streaming mix appeared before or after October 1, 2022.)

A little throat-clearing:

There are some albums that appeared this past year with undeniably great mixes—including quite a few on IAA's "For Your Consideration" list—but with music that I just don't love, so I left them out of the equation.

And there was at least one artist whose music I do love and whose catalog got an Atmos refresh this year (that would be Talking Heads)—that also didn't make my longlist. As much as I appreciate having them, I thought Jerry Harrison and E.T. Thorngren’s new mixes weren’t necessarily great Atmos mixes—or at least not different enough from the existing 5.1 mixes to be considered.

Finally, there's a handful of outstanding titles that are question marks for me on technical grounds. For instance:
  • Monkey House, Remember the Audio (John “Beetle” Bailey): the streaming mix appeared in the last quarter of 2022, but the hi-res download, which came out just a few weeks ago, will be eligible for next year’s voting. Similarly:
  • Van Morrison, Moondance (Steven Wilson): this will have a Blu-Ray release in 2024. As with Monkey House, do we want to vote on two versions of the same mix, two years in a row? Conversely:
  • Snarky Puppy’s Empire Central (Nic Hard) got a physical release this year, but we already voted on the streaming version of the same mix last year.
  • Black Sabbath, Paranoid (Mike Butcher): unlike other reissues, this didn't come with with a new mix. (Even Ten Years After’s A Space In Time, which included the old quad mix, also had fresh immersive mixes.) It’s just that it’s such a revelation to finally hear the old mix in a hi-res format that it sounds new! Maybe we need a special category for remastered reissues of “legacy” mixes? That would bring Dutton-Vocalion into the picture, too.
All that said, here's what I'll be listening to again over the next several days. There's certainly some overlap with IAA's "official" roster of semi-finalists, but there are also quite a few outstanding titles that are absent from that list. So, @sjcorne: we can't nominate titles that haven't already made the IAA staff cut? Since voting is already well underway, I guess the answer is no. But is it too late to add a space for "write-ins" to the Google Form? And maybe do a follow-up post, after the official results are announced, that selectively surveys nominations from readers that the staff omitted or overlooked?

Streaming – New Releases
John Luther Adams, Darkness and Scattered Light (Nathaniel Reichman)
Anna B Savage, In|FLUX (Jonathan Kawchuk & Justin Gray)
The Church, The Hypnogogue (Darrell Thorp)
Feist, Multitudes (Robbie Lackritz)
Robert Glasper, Black Radio III (last quarter 2022) (Bryan DiMaio?)
Donny McCaslin, I Want More (Dave & Jonathon Fridmann)
Monika Roscher Bigband, Witchy Activities and the Maple Death
Jessie Ware, That! Feels! Good! (Stan Kybert)
Weyes Blood, And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow… (last quarter 2022)

Streaming – Reissues
Erykah Badu, Baduizm and New Amerykah Part 1 (Dennis "Roc A.M." Jones)
Chic, Chic (Steven Wilson) (the best of the Chic reissues, IMO)
The De La Soul catalog (Rich Keller) (but maybe especially Buhloone Mindstate?)
Brian Eno, Drums Between the Bells (Brian Eno) (I'm grateful to get at least some of Eno's 70s albums in Atmos, so sure--props for Another Green World. But out of all of his back catalog that he's revisited so far, I actually think Drums is the standout.)
Grateful Dead, Europe 72 (last quarter 2022) (Steven Wilson)
Joni Mitchell, The Asylum Albums (last quarter 2022) (Ken Caillat)
Tom Petty, Greatest Hits (last quarter 2022) (Ryan Ulyate)
Sister Sledge, We Are Family (Steven Wilson)
Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (David Leonard)
Neil Young, After the Gold Rush (Niko Bolas & Neil Young) (I'm in agreement with IAA: of all the Neil Young reissues, this one, for me personally, is the most successful all around.)

Disc/Download – New Releases
Cantus, Yggdrasil (Morten Lindberg)
Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Bjarnason, Amospheriques, vol. 1 (Daniel Shores)
Orbital, Optical Delusion (Mark Ayres)
Tears for Fears, The Hurting (Steven Wilson)
Lasse Thoresen (Arctic Philharmonic/Christian Kluxen), Lyden av Arktis (The Sound of the Arctic) (last quarter 2022) (Morten Lindberg)
Anna Thorvaldsdottir (Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Eva Ollikainen), ARCHORA/AIŌN (Daniel Shores)

Disc/Download – Reissues
Serge Gainsbourg, L’homme à tête de chou (Poussin) (This is a new mix, distinct from the streaming Atmos mix that Poussin did earlier in the year)
Gentle Giant, Interview (Steven Wilson)
Ten Years After, A Space In Time (Chris Kimsey & Kurt Martinez)
The Who, Who’s Next/Life House (Steven Wilson)
Frank Zappa, Waka/Wazoo (last quarter 2022) (Karma Auger & Erich Gobel)
 
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Just in case anyone missed it, the nominees are...

Physical Disc/Digital Download:
  • Mr. Big - Mr. Big
  • Tears For Fears - The Hurting
  • The Pineapple Thief - How Did We Find Our Way? 1999-2006
  • Ryan Ulyate - Act 3 (Immersive Edition)
  • The Who - Who's Next / Life House
Streaming:
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits
  • Joni Mitchell - The Asylum Albums (1972-1975)
  • R.E.M - Murmur
  • The Band - Music From Big Pink
  • Neil Young - After The Gold Rush
 
Physical Disc/Digital Download:
  • Mr. Big - Mr. Big
  • Tears For Fears - The Hurting
  • The Pineapple Thief - How Did We Find Our Way? 1999-2006
  • Ryan Ulyate - Act 3 (Immersive Edition)
  • The Who - Who's Next / Life House
Streaming:
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits
  • Joni Mitchell - The Asylum Albums (1972-1975)
  • R.E.M - Murmur
  • The Band - Music From Big Pink
  • Neil Young - After The Gold Rush
Final round of voting just opened:
https://immersiveaudioalbum.com/2024-listeners-choice-awards-final-round/
 
I don't know when their cutoff date is , as they missed albums such Frank Zappa/The Mothers -Over-nite Sensation , Tragically Hip Phantom Power, Rush Signals............and others.

And it's really too bad none of those quad Dutton Vocalion albums are not considered. They are Hirez after all.

I notice REM Murmur as a sreaming selection , kinda bodes well for a physical release from Concord Music , and I did get this year's REM UP.

Oh well it is what it is. Just another source for expressing one's favourites.
 
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