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GM Audio Engineer Posts Songs for a Test Drive On iTunes

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General Motors audio engineer Matt Kirsch, who led the sound work on the Chevrolet Cruze, has chosen his top 10 songs for testing car audio quality. (GM has also posted the tracks as a complete set in the Apple iTunes store for $12. Hey, they need the money bad, okay?)

Below are Kirsch's "10 Songs for an Audio Test Drive" and what he says to listen for in each track:

1. "Don't Know Why" by Norah Jones. (Listen for Norah's voice to sound natural, and centered in front of you.)

2. "Diamonds and Rust" by Joan Baez. (Listen for strong vocals, and for the instruments to be set across a wide sound stage.)

3. "No One" by Alicia Keys. (Listen for clarity in Alicia's vocals and spacious background sound.)

4. "Hotel California" by the Eagles. (Listen for the clarity and dynamic range during the opening guitar solo, and of course the powerful drum beat.)

5. "Boom Boom Pow"by the Black Eyed Peas. (Listen for powerful, accurate bass beats, even at full volume.)

6. "Rock that Body"by the Black Eyed Peas. (Listen for clear, intelligible lyrics over the powerful, persistent bass beat.)

7. "Hide and Seek"by Imogen Heap. (Listen for the enveloping ambience of the song, building on the openness and dynamic vocals.)

8. "He Mele No Lilo" by Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu from Lilo and Stitch. (Listen for the ambience and staging as the children's chorus is offset by powerful bass.)

9. "Bird on a Wire" by Johnny Cash. (Listen for the clarity in Johnny's distinctive voice, and his guitar to sound natural and free of any coloration.)

10. "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box" by Radiohead. (Listen for the punch from the percussive bass, and the ring of the steel drums.)

Obviously, we wouldn't pass up this opportunity to take some nice, cheap shots at GM. So, without further adieu, here are our Top 10 songs to listen to when test driving a GM car:

1) "It's a Mistake" by Men at Work (Listen to the chorus over and over again in a continuous loop to get a sense as to the overwhelming sense of buyer's remorse you will feel the second you drive your new GM car off the lot.)

2) "Failure" by Lupe Fiasco (A doubly appropriate track, as the title describes perfectly the future of GM, GM stock, and GM cars, while the artist's surname describes perfectly GM's past, present, and future business model.)

3) "Demolition Man" by the Police. (Listen for the lyrics: "I'm a walking nightmare, an arsenal of doom; I kill conversation as I walk into the room; I'm a three line whip, I'm the sort of thing they ban; I'm a walking disaster, I'm a demolition man," then close your eyes (not while the vehicle is moving) and imagine GM the company as GM the man. Just so you have a jumping-off point, he'd probably look something like this:

4) "No Future" by the Sex Pistols (Listen for the lyrics: "No future for you; no future for me," as they efficiently sum up the fate of the car a guy in a cheap, ill-fitting suit is trying to sucker you into buying, as well as the bleak driving experience you will come to accept, in a vortex of self-hatred, if you do purchase the vehicle said man in the cheap, ill-fitting suit unloaded on you after wearing down your defenses, which are obviously already in a weakened state if you actually entered a GM showroom of your own volition.)

5) "Loser" by Beck (Pay specific attention to the lyrics: "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?" which was exactly what the powers that be at GM should have said to the US government instead of taking bailout money.)

6) "Ugly" by Bubba Sparxxx (When you hear the chorus, "It's ugly in here, in here, in here," look around at the poorly thought-out, plasticky GM interior and remind yourself why GM went bankrupt in the first place.)

7) "Last Resort" by Papa Roach (The lyrics: "Nothing's alright; Nothing is fine; I'm crying; I can't go on living this way" sums up the emotions GM's sloppy, slippy transmissions bring to the surface.)

8) "You Can't Count on Me" by the Counting Crows (No explanation necessary.)

9) "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time" by R. Kelly (If you could, you would've checked out a Toyota instead.)

10) "Breakdown" by Seether
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