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Great on two levels,
This review is from: Speaking in Melodies (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful album which scores extremely highly on two separate levels - music and production. It's an unmatched combination, in my opinion.
Musically, Michael Ruff is admired by those 'in the know' as one of the best singer-songwriters around, witness the sky-high prices that are commanded by his early, hard-to-get albums (especially 'Once in a Lifetime').
Though a consummate crafter of ballads (typified by 'More than you'll ever know', a version of which appears here), Michael also produces some excellent up-tempo tracks including, here, 'Wishing Well' and 'That's Not Me'. The track 'Lover's Mask' is an absolute stand-out, and one of my candidates for 'best ever track' (yes, it really is that good).
But this album is special in another way - it's an absolute top-notch, reference-standard audiophile production, recorded live to two-track at the renowned Sheffield Lab and engineered by George Massenburg. It was also released as a limited-edition audiophile LP.
'Speaking in Melodies' thus has an assured status that goes beyond what is, in any case, a truly beautiful set. The final track, an instrumental, is one of the many jams that were caught between track recordings and seemed just too good to leave unreleased.
P.S. For anyone finding it difficult to obtain Michael Ruff albums, some are available from his website. The live album 'Feels Good' is particularly good.