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While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

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Moment By Moment (DTS) CD Cover
Image © 2000 DTS Entertainment 
 

(20 February 2000) Larisa Stow's debut album Moment By Moment is a tremendous recording, alive with sound, soaring vocals and production quality second to none. It is available either in standard compact disc format (Open Heart Records (USA) OH-12456, 1999) or in Digital Surround 20-bit DTS format (DTS Entertainment (USA) 7 1021-51054-2 2, 1999). Those with DVD players and home theater systems should seek out the DTS version. Larisa most recently won the coveted 1999 "Most Outstanding Female Singer" at the ninth annual Los Angeles Music Awards. She was also selected as one of "Music Connection's Top 1999 Unsigned Artists of the Year"; a submission to the Levi/Lilith Fair Acoustic Talent Search won her a performance with Grammy award winner Sarah McLachlan. An extensive interview from DTS Sound Waves (Volume No. 12, Fall 1999) addresses the artist's background, songwriting thoughts, and unique production process insights. A must read, it has been transcribed by the label and is available here.

All lead vocals for the album's ten tracks were sung by Larisa. The songs were also written by Larisa—three of them were co-written with David DelGrosso who also recorded the acoustic guitar parts on the album. Much of the additional sonic texture on the album is directly attributable to keyboard and violin parts played by Diana Lorden. Timothy Chen (electric guitar), Matthew Basile (bass) and Bryn Mathieu (drums and percussion) also perform on the album. David Tickle, who also did the 5.1 re-mixes of Sting's Ten Summoner's Tales and The Police: Every Breath You Take (greatest hits compilation) is credited as the producer and mixer of Larisa's DTS 5.1 release. The recording has a remarkable "live" sound to it, making excellent use of the DTS 5.1 technology, marrying it perfectly to Larisa Stow's music. Wonderful!

The album's opening track "Blue Mountain" is highly illustrative of the range, depth and power of Larisa Stow's vocal work and her songwriting. Whispery, melodic and soaring vocals are combined in one track, rich with guitar-based instrumentals, power-pop and jazz rolled together to a marvelous effect. Jazzy instrumentals, including a highly notable violin part, join powerful vocals not unlike Lana Lane, Robin Greenspan and Ann Wilson in the rocking ballad entitled "Living In Your Eyes"—a certain favourite for female vocalist enthusiasts. "Heaven" is a texturally thicker track, rough and hard in spots, with a highly memorable backing vocal part. "Invitation" is sung in range of styles from soft to hard to spoken, soaring with power and passion, accompanied by a lovely violin part.

The most sensitive of the album's ballads is "Corner (4th & Cerry)," accompanied by acoustic guitar alone and is a certain testament to the artists' vocal virtuousity. "Flame" picks up on this style beginning as a ballad and migrating into a powerful vocally rich rocker with deeply textured violin-laced textures, and a tremendous chorus. "I Lied" is jazzy and powerful with a country edge and interesting vocal and instrumental excursions. "Moment By Moment" is certainly the most accessible track of the album, with each verse building to a completely hooking chorus, soaring vocals—in all of Larisa's styles—and tremendous instrumental arrangements including some notable guitar and violin solos.

The album's final two tracks are certain to please frequent Musical Discoveries visitors. The variation in style and highly textured instrumental arrangements contribute to the progressive rock Kate Bush / Michelle Young (feature) sound of "The Serial Dream"—it would be awesome to see performed live. The album concludes with the ballad "Innocence," a track rich with lush keyboard-based orchestral style arrangements and Larisa's sensual, evocative and melodic soaring lead vocal—a certain favourite and totally tremendous track—this is Larisa Stow!

You can order Larisa Stow's Moment By Moment at amazon.com. Soundbites and a sampler digital audio music CD are available at Larisa Stow's mp3.com website. Larisa Stow's music is worthy of a long distance journey for further detailed exploration either in DTS 5.1 sound or vanilly CD format. Try it today—the album is a must listen!

 
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