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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts on the remastered CD, 17 Feb 2006
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This review is from: More Songs About Buildings and Food [CD + DVDA] (Audio CD)
Most of what has been written about this series, starting with the Brick box set has focused on the 5.1 DVD remixes. Since I don't have a surround system, here's a few words on the CD in package.

Firstly, the CD in this CD+DVDA set is a completely separate disc to the DVD. No double-sided, incompatible with lots of things, dualdisc. Secondly, it has 4 bonus tracks unlisted by Amazon. They are: Stay Hungry (1977 version), I'm Not in Love (Alternative version), The Big Country (alternate version), and Thank you for sending me an angel (Country Angel version).

It would be fair to say from the get go that the bonus tracks are not why you want this CD. Stay Hungry and The Big Country sound here as rejects from TH '77. The Alternate version to I'm Not in Love is a novelty version (at least today it sounds it) with massive flanging and phasing effects all over certain instruments. The only thing among the extras worth hearing more than once is the Country Angel version of "Thank you for sending me an angel". It's like the original version, but the with the country elements turned up. It works fine, though I still strongly prefer the original.

The cover says the CD is remastered. In most cases this means that some mastering engineer has slovenly run the tape through a savage peak limiter, screwed up the volume by 5-10dB, and instant remaster! This remaster though is an entirely different animal. While it is louder than previous masters (about 3dB louder than Sand in the Vaseline and 7db louder than the original MSABAF CD), the big differences are in two areas: the bass and the details.

This CD has MUCH more bass than the original. On "Take me to the river" I measured an increase of 10dB at 55Hz and 20dB at 30Hz (set to an equivalent volume at 1kHz). The treble is slightly dropped to, though this is only 1-2dB.

The result is a much weightier, more modern sound. This no longer sounds like lightweight pop, it's getting bolshie and powerful. The music is immensely engaging (it always was of course) in a new way. It drives, it hits, it moves.

The other thing is the details, and here I am starting to wonder if something more than remastering has gone on, cause I'm hearing so much new music. I suspect these things were always there because when I go back I can hear the things I am hearing for the first time on the early pressings, but now there are stereo placements and details, especially I am guessing Eno's input, that stand out much more clearly. And this isn't just the volume making them stand out since I have adjusted for that. There is space here I have never noticed - and the space gives room for instruments to appear more clearly. David's voice is very clear in the mix, and his manic intensity is even more powerful than ever.
And all this is before you even get to the DVD! my money was rarely better spent.
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