Anne Sofie von Ot­ter Baby Plays Around (2001)

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Test Your Speakers -

To test midrange qual­ity Swedish mezzo-so­prano Anne Sofie von Ot­ter’s 2001 al­bum For the Stars, with pop poly­math Elvis Costello, is a piti­less test of your speak­ers’ pow­ers of midrange com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Not only is this spa­cious and re­lent­lessly hi-fi record­ing loaded with mi­nus­cule de­tails – of von Ot­ter’s phras­ing, of tongue, teeth and palate noises – it’s also suf­fi­ciently close-mic’d to re­veal the se­crets of her breath-man­age­ment. It’s a hi-fi cliché, but in this in­stance it’s true: if your speak­ers are up to it, this sounds like she’s right there, singing with equal quan­ti­ties of emo­tion and con­trol.

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