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2012 "Deluxe Edition" Review
on 5 October 2012
Big disappointment, I'm sad to say. I don't blame Steven Wilson so much as I blame his method. This remix has excellent tonality, doesn't sound EQd or compressed or anything, but it is DEAD. The instruments sound dry, sterile and uninvolving. The reverb ideas used on the original stereo master mix are all missing. I just cannot imagine anyone would think this could ever be compared to Eddie Offord's stereo mix. The ambience, the life, the *feel* of the album ... it is just not there.
The surround mix suffers the same clincial, sterile sound, but things are obviously spread around so it isn't quite as obvious.
The new tracks added to replace "The Three Fates" and "Tank" as a result of the missing multitracks are simply inadequate. Side two has become a big mess. Basically you get "Promenade," some of Three Fates (where they had multis), jamming with stuff that later became part of "Tarkus," and a drum solo. The entire feel of side two is like a toally different album. I can accept this but I think in fairness it can be stated that the new "Side 2" is an inferior album unworthy of any real comparison to the innovative, fascinating original. "Lucky Man" concludes, of course. It sounds really clean in terms of the guitar parts being crystal clear, but again, the feel is just all wrong to my ears.
This release is confirmation for me that putting separate tracks into a digital workstation and remixing an album is right up there with using a DX-7 to replicate a moog. It can be done, but there is a missing organic quality that is blatantly obvious. Not my cup of tea.