Top 10 DVDs and CDs of 2007 Page 2


Best Blu-ray Disc

2001: A Space Odyssey (Warner). It's as if you're seeing the film for the very first time. The VC-1-encoded picture is clean, bright, detailed, and richly colored, and the PCM 5.1-channel sound comes washing over you in powerful waves, the timpani pounding your chest. Extras include a commentary, 140 minutes of featurettes, and an 80-minute audio interview with director Stanley Kubrick. - Josef Krebs


300 (Warner). It grips you by the throat, shakes you around, and doesn't let you go until the last Spartan has fallen. The VC-1-encoded images look more like they were painted than filmed, and the excellent Dolby TrueHD soundtrack has every channel active nearly all of the time. Extras include an HD-DVD-exclusive PIP that shows the picture without any effects. - Josef Krebs

Best Sound on CD

Band of Horses: Cease to Begin (Sub Pop). In an era when CDs are overcompressed and hyper-mastered to the brink of ear fatigue, this spectacular-sounding disc employs actual dynamics, managing to use technology without succumbing to it. - Rob O'Connor

Best Surround-Music Discs

Genesis: A Trick of the Tail (Atco/Rhino DVD-Video). Yes, you can buy this CD+DVD (and each of the others) separately from the 1976-1982 boxed set. And it's a super way to begin sampling this huge multichannel project. The DVD mix's fresh sense of space, its newly delineated instruments - well, consider our appetites whetted for Lamb and more in 2008. - Ken RichardsonPorcupine Tree: Fear of a Blank Planet (Transmission DVD-Audio). Call it 360º of separation: PTree mastermind Steven Wilson puts on a master class of immersion, orchestrating a mix that defines what a surround soundscape could be, and should be. In other words: This is the gold standard. - Mike Mettler

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