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HiRez Poll Vicar, The - SONGBOOK #1 [DVD-A]

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate the DVD-A of The Vicar - SONGBOOK #1


  • Total voters
    32

timbre4

Super Moderator
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It is unusual to say the list. The more I played it the more I got into it. Once I took it for a drive to the city and back it sounded very natural to me.
 

Neil Palfreyman

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
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Wiltshire, UK
I ask this as a relative newbie and mean no offense to veterans who've been here much longer:

How can a release described here and in the pre-release thread as aggressive surround, beautiful, demo material, Queen meets the Beatles, and MIXED BY NEIL WILKES who is an active participant all over these threads garner such low interest?

Color me confused.
You're absolutely right, and I'm sure no-one will take offense!

What's interesting is if the number of entries to the competition can be taken as an indication of interest there should be far more people with this.

Having said that, I've only just ordered my copy. Given the pedigree I'm 100% sure it will be top notch surround material.
 

kap'n krunch

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
6,386
Location
estados hundidos
From a personal point of view, I do not think someone like Neil Wilkes will take on work that is not exciting musically, period. I mean , come on look at the stuff he's been involved with...

From a musical point of view this DVD is not for everybody, if only because it's a bit quirky-no drums, a different singer for each song, etc.
Now, it is extremely good and has a lot to offer to those of us who are adventurous and appreciate good music, be it rock , pop, prog, etc.

As for influences, all the ones that other members have posted I agree with (maybe a bit of Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine" also).

The mix is Neil-style, i.e., VERY discrete without losing cohesion , more reminiscent of the 70's mixes (OK, no main vox or bass in the rears, so it's updated, up to a point), it will give your system a workout and remind you how a REAL Surround mix should be done.

A 9 cause it's not 96/24(sorry!)...funnily enough the DTS is 48/24 and the MLP is 44.1/24!!!

Cheers!
 

Neil Palfreyman

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
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Wiltshire, UK
I've had this gem for a few weeks now, played it several times, so it's now time to vote. To be honest I knew it was an easy 10 right from the first couple of tracks in on the first play, and the more I listened the more the huge grin spread across my face.

It's an absolutely astonishing example of just how to do surround music. The music itself defies the pigeon-holing of genres which is always a good thing in my book. Predominantly acoustic with very impressive string and wind arrangements, the songs have elements of retro-pop, some prog (maybe) but are short, bite sized songs that are vocal/lyric focused with some amazing harmonies. It's worth making the point that the songs are fun! It doesn't take itself too seriously and as a consequence they have a bright uplifing feel that makes for a very enjoyable listen. Reminded me of the Beatles, Floyd, Blackfield, Lightening Seeds and even Syd Barrett.

But you're interested in what the surround mix is like, yes? Well in short it's jaw dropping. The whole album is incredibly well recorded which means the tracks are high fidelity, crystal clear and not a hint of compression, so is hence a great basis for a good, discrete surround mix. And the surround mix isn't good; it's exceptional. An object lesson in how to do a discrete but well integrated surround. All channels are used to optimum effect in a way that's "aggressive" (don't like that term, but I'll use it so you know what I mean) with loads going on, but it does it without being gimmicky. I strongly suspect that the album was conceived, recorded and produced with surround in mind and it shows; instrumentation, string and vocal layers and effects are all thoughtfully and beautifully positioned. To quote Radiohead; "everything in the right place."

To summarise; it's as close to perfect as you can get! A glowing example of how to do surround, illustrated through a thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting collection of songs. If you're a fan of surround and don't have this album you really, really should be asking yourself "why not?"
 
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peterzach

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Since 2002/2003
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Aug 27, 2003
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burnaby bc canada
This is a 10 10 10, wow what a great release.

To me this is what makes listening to music so much fun,releases like this. I'm listening to something I have not heard before but for comparisons I will say this reminds me of XTC meets Danny Elfman,in other words well crafted pop music but on the quirky,unique part of the musical spectrum.
This is such a amazingly fun trip to listen to, the mix is adventurous in all the right ways, placement of instruments and voices is excellent.

I agree with some others here in that this is the best mix/mastering Neil Wilkes has done so far(I think he has got some more great ones still to come so thats why I say so far) and thanks to David Singleton for the writing and arrangements and great musicians picked for this musical masterpiece.
To me this type of release should sell in mega numbers and I sure hope most people from QQ are picking this up as this should be in everyone's collection.

peter
 

theCharm

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2009
Messages
12
Just gave it an easy 10 after first listen. It's such a subdued beauty -- music, mix, lyrics... I am a old crim-head, maybe it sounds more natural to me than someone coming from a more traditional rock background. Fantastic work, sets the bar to the new high for the music released in surround mix.
 

wavelength

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
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Location
Lacombe, Alberta, Canada
I have listened to it 3 or 4 times spread out over the last month. Overall impression - it is weird music. I have nothing else like this in my collection. But the songs are very well crafted and it comes across as a professional production. The songs surprise me because the majority are unlike anything that I am used to. Unexpected arrangements is what I would say. So weird does not mean crappy; just different. Certainly this music takes me to a different place as long as I am in the mood for that. I am happy to have this album. I'm just not sure of the experience that listening to it gives me. I can't predict how I will feel when I put this one on. That in itself makes this one unique.

The mix is a bit hard to rate. It is entertaining but would a different mix have worked better? It is hard to know because the music is not tightly bound to a specific genre and so there are not other mixes to compare with. The fidelity is average dvd-audio quality. Not totally crisp but not disappointing. For the sheer uniqueness of this disc I would recommend it. I'll give it a 9.
 

colsky

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Aug 30, 2013
Messages
1,259
Location
Chelmsford, England
Am enjoying this a lot. Nice songs, strange instrumentation and arrangements at times which I like, and excellent production and surround mix. Reminded me at various times of Anthony Phillips, Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Klaatu (anyone else remember them?!), but overall nicely original.

Sorry to be brief, but a 10 from me.
 

doppelbock

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Messages
2,193
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Pulled this off the shelf again today, and after repeated plays this one is still solid 10 top shelf 5.1 demo stuff for me, just a great album. For whatever reason I always find myself with a wide grin on my face when I play this disc - all the quirks in the arrangements and mix just resonate with me. Can't wait for #2!
 

Neil Palfreyman

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
1,130
Location
Wiltshire, UK
Pulled this off the shelf again today, and after repeated plays this one is still solid 10 top shelf 5.1 demo stuff for me, just a great album. For whatever reason I always find myself with a wide grin on my face when I play this disc - all the quirks in the arrangements and mix just resonate with me. Can't wait for #2!
Great review - I agree with every word. It gets me in exactly the same way.
 

neil wilkes

Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
4,301
Location
London, England
Pulled this off the shelf again today, and after repeated plays this one is still solid 10 top shelf 5.1 demo stuff for me, just a great album. For whatever reason I always find myself with a wide grin on my face when I play this disc - all the quirks in the arrangements and mix just resonate with me. Can't wait for #2!
I still feel that way about this record myself, which is very rare as by this point I am usually at the stage where I have to put it away for 6 months & "forget" about it, but even though I know exactly what is coming next in every track it still catches my complete attention at every play. The best I have heard this was at the album launch though - Dolby UK gave uius the free use of their Aero screening room in central London, and it sounded outstanding over that system (Big "thank you so much" to JJ at Dolby for arranging this) so much that we are trying to find the time to go to one of their Aero stages & do a full Aero mix.

Question - if you don't mind - what is your (current) favourite track, or do you find (as I do) that this changes according to mood?
 

doppelbock

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
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Location
Albuquerque, NM
Question - if you don't mind - what is your (current) favourite track, or do you find (as I do) that this changes according to mood?
As with almost every album my faves change with mood, but there's always some tracks that are the faves more often (if that makes sense!?!). Childhood Days, Moony Song and In Dying Fire are the ones that really stand out for me. The arrangement on In Dying Fire is great - the way the organ, viola and reeds mesh together and builds up as the song progresses....awesome.
 

colsky

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Aug 30, 2013
Messages
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Location
Chelmsford, England
Question - if you don't mind - what is your (current) favourite track, or do you find (as I do) that this changes according to mood?
Just listening again, and it still makes me smile too. Its albums like this that make the wait for Close to the Edge bearable! Favourite tracks - The Moony Song, Forever, In Dying Fire.

No-one answered me earlier in this thread when I asked if anyone else remembered Klaatu?! That band's album Hope would make for an excellent 5.1 mix :cool:
 

groo

Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
17
Location
Bay Area, CA
First of all, the menu interface is superb. Kudos to the authoring team (Neil Wilkes and co). The mix is also quite good, instruments are well placed and very hierachical. However for the not so good, 44.1 is an odd sampling rate for DVD Audio, maybe it's placebo, I don't feel I get the same fidelity. And very unfortunately I cannot for the life of me, get into the music on this disc. It feels disjointed, oblique and jarring in some of the tracks. The 5.1 mix could not elevate the overall score of the unit. So most points were awarded to the presentation and the effort. I rarely give low points but this is just not my cup of tea.
 

kap'n krunch

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
6,386
Location
estados hundidos
OK, this baby is a 10!!!!

I should have waited to vote (well, it was a 9 because of the sample rate...at this point, this is moot for me ...but it ¡s already done...)

Incredible....

This is the kind of music that should be playing in stations and populate the top ten of Pop lists....

Brilliant, just brilliant...
 

0tto

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
2,033
Location
Canada
don't know how to vote for this one.
mix is very good, bold with no boundaries or self limitation.
sound isn't greatest but acceptable. would be nice if it were done at 96 as there lots of acoustical elements
and 44KHz definitely can't handle real fidelity of it.
artistry... don't even know how to put it. sort of ELO - First Light on steroids?
anyway, since i refuse to vote on content (for every genre out there are fans) 10 for mix, 6 for fidelity
seems like came to 8
 

rtbluray

Hi-Res Moderator
Staff member
QQ Supporter
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Oct 31, 2008
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8,355
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Middle TN
I don't recall listening to this album since I bought it in the Fall of 2013, so I decided to dig it out and give it a spin so I could subsequently review it and vote!

This certainly is one very unique record and one that is perfectly suited for surround with plenty of dynamic range!

This record proves that Neil Wilkes really knows what he is doing when it comes to surround sound, and I highly recommend that everyone go out and get themselves a copy from Burning Shed to support more independent surround releases from the DGM label.

A very well-deserved '9'! :)
 

elroy

600 Club - QQ All-Star
QQ Supporter
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Aug 23, 2005
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689
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Orange County, CA
I can't believe it has been two+ years since this came out! Because of the variety of musical approaches, like a theatrical musical, not all songs are my cup of tea...but man, each song does have a terrific surround mix. Lots going on. I had been dipping in and out of the disc for the last couple of years, playing a few songs then putting it away. The last couple of days I listened to it through a couple of times straight through, in my car and my home system. A 10 for me, and can't wait for the next songbook. Nicely authored as well.
 

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
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For those who are thinking of getting the Gene Clark "No Other" deluxe release and might not know what kind of mix Mr. Neil Wilkes might tend to do, seek out this DVD-A, as it will clearly take your surround to the limits. If the first track doesn't get your attention, then you should go back to stereo.

It's a shame this release does not get the long time accolades it deserves. Check it out if you have never heard of it before. It's been 4 years since the last post in this thread.
 
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