Customer Review

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Total Waste Of Time!!!!, 16 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: A Letter Home (Audio CD)
The low frequency drone/rumble was so loud on my main system that it made this recording unlistenable, so I gave up after track 3. Be it the sound of the motor within the mechanism or artificially added, it is totally unacceptable in my opinion. I have now played it all the way through on a small all-in-one unit sitting in the dining room, and whilst the low frequency was still audible it was not reproduced at such low levels, or so accurately. However, the screeching treble in places was accentuated!

Had this been recorded on decent equipment, analogue would have been fine, then this would have been a great album of covers. in reality the mad idea of using cheap obsolete poor quality equipment has resulted in another NY CD that will simply gather dust on a shelf (along with his other "joke" albums Everybody's Rockin' & Arc). Don't get me wrong I'm a massive Neil Young fan and have been buying and listening to his work for approaching 50 years, but this was a waste of time and money.

For those reviewers that find this album listenable, all I can ask is what on earth are you playing it on!

Unless you are a completest - KEEP CLEAR.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Jun 2014 11:32:45 BDT
Andy H says:
I can't personally pass comment on this album (having not got it) but as someone who has been buying Neil Young albums for over 40 years, I can sympathise with your hesitance to 'diss' the man's work, and on what I've heard of this album so far I suspect it's justified. However, I think I felt the same way about 'Everybody's Rockin' upon it's original release, and whilst it will never be the first album I grab if the house goes up in flame, it has grown on me over the years, as have many other of Neil's 'dud' albums. I remember Time Fades Away, On the Beach, and Tonight's the Night all getting a critical slating on there original release (because they weren't Harvest) and now they are rightly regarded as gems. Only time will tell whether the same will be the case for 'A letter Home'. Like you, I doubt it.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2014 19:22:26 BDT
Dragonlord says:
The songs are good, but the sound quality is awful. It's a shame Neil Young didn't bring out a deluxe edition, which had the same songs recorded in a normal fashion.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2014 19:36:38 BDT
Hi A D Hall, the difference here isn't that the songs are bad, simply to my ears it is unlistenable. If he wanted to make this album, then why not provide a second copy that one can actually enjoy. A recording made on my mobile phone sounds better than this farcical offering. Like you Neil is an artist that I've loved since the 60s but he's completely derailed with this one.
There are some reviewers that simply award high ratings because they like the artist but I see that as a pointless exercise the same as some simply give negative votes unless 5 stars are awarded.
This album will never get a second play I'm afraid!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2014 07:16:25 BDT
Andy H says:
Thanks for response Deadhead. Having seen so many negative comments regards the sound quality, I have resisted the urge to lay out my cash to buy a copy, not because I can't afford it, but because I suspect it will only lead to the same frustration that you are encountering knowing that there's good songs in there buried under hiss, wow, flutter and rumble. Lets hope a live version surfaces somewhere down the line. At Neil's current work-rate another album will be along fairly soon. Neil and David Crosby are the only constants in my record collection over almost 50 years. Check out 'Croz' for a reason why.

Posted on 25 Jul 2014 13:17:53 BDT
Twig says:
I am a completist, and I have been badly stung.

Posted on 27 Aug 2014 01:13:44 BDT
P R. King says:
I'm certainly no completist, but I'm finding this one of the most engaging, and certainly the most listened to, Neil Young discs of the past thirty years. I don't think my equipment can be sparing me very much - large 1980ish Pioneer amplifier and Leak Sandwixh 'speakers with 13" bass units - which only leaves my ears and brain, and admittedly they've been trained by decades of listening to pre-1925 78s some of which make the acoustic impediments here seem pretty mild. Seems to me that anyone finding this unlistenable will necessarily find, say, Caruso's entire recorded legacy unlistenable too, unless what makes A Letter Home unlistenable isn't anything intrinsic to the recording but sheer frustration that it sounds the way it does. Is that a meaningful distinction? Not sure, I'd better sleep on it.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Aug 2014 09:51:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Aug 2014 09:59:42 BDT
Listening to historical recordings is one thing as if they are original it was the best available at the time. However to simply make a modern recording deliberately sound like it was pre-war just seems inexcusable to me!
I'll stand by my original review - the album has not received another play and I doubt if it ever will.
As a final comment, my idea of recorded music and hifi is to capture the performance as accurately as possible - this recording fall so far short of the mark, it is worthless in my opinion.

Posted on 13 Sep 2014 01:36:00 BDT
P. CLAYTON says:
I am surprised you even like Neil Young

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2014 01:44:40 BDT
P. CLAYTON says:
Neil does what he wants to do! if anyone does not get this album then there not a Neil Young fan

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2014 17:48:49 BDT
As I've been buying and listening to him since the 60s and have dozens of his recordings including many boots, saying that if I don't like this album then I'm not a fan is nonsense!
Being a fan does not mean that you simply accept all an artists output as marvellous in my book. I'm a Deadhead through and through and have hundreds of recordings by them but I could never say in all honesty that every gig was first class!
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