39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Life In A Beautiful Light (Audio CD)Cheryl Cole, eat your heart out. This is what songwriting, singing and performing is about. No gimmicks, no silly hair, no silly clothes or silly dance routines. Amy MacDonald is not yet 25 and has released three brilliant albums which are right up there amongst my favourites ever and I'm 50 years old with a massive CD collection. If you can hear this on a top quality hi-fi, you will realise how well produced and mixed this is and what a great voice Amy has. Miss MacDonald chooses her musical collaborators well. I can't wait for the next album. Sooner or later, the UK will wake up to Amy's ability. Wake up BBC and get this woman on Later with Jools Holland.
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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Jun 2012 21:13:44 BDT
Well, i've played this on a decent quality hifi and can tell you it sounds awful. After 6 songs I had to turn it off. The mix is totally saturated with a severe lack of dynamics. Every instrument is competing to be the loudest. The drums sound like someone tapping a wooden spoon on a plastic tub. What a shame. I love Amy's music but this inability to use recording technology to create a balanced and natural sound really irritates me and totally ruins an album that would benefit so much from a clear and dynamic mix. The obsession to make everything as loud as possible has ruined this and many other great albums and turned me against new releases. This is obviously how people want music to sound on their i-pods and rubbish little earbuds but it's basically two fingers to anyone who actually still sits and listens on a proper system.
A total contrast is the new Rumer album which sounds incredible. But that's an exception to the rule. No wonder CD sales are falling. Why bother. I'm asking myself this more and more.
Posted on 15 Jun 2012 14:22:08 BDT
Mrs. J. Platt says:
I totally agree with your review Tony!
Posted on 15 Jun 2012 20:39:21 BDT
Alan B says:
I couldn't agree more with J Milner. This is yet another example of a talented artist with terrific material being ruined by the overuse of "brickwalling" limiters at the mastering stage - i.e. it's the latest victim of the pathetic CD Loudness Wars. I truly despair of the music industry these days.
Sadly, people like me who want to sit back and listen to the artist and the material as they should sound are very much in the minority - it's all mastered for the "iPod generation". Once again, I've been able to personally remaster it to put back some of the dynamic range (""punch") it had prior to being mangled on a mixing desk, but I'm increasingly tired of having to try to repair such audio vandalism before I can actually bear to listen to an album I've purchased.
However, I'm encouraged by the fact that my 33 year old son despairs of the Loudness Wars as much as I do. And it seems that the word is gradually spreading, so maybe there's hope yet!
In summary, a great artist with great songs - shame the record company has denied us the opportunity to hear them as they originally sounded in the studio.
Posted on 17 Jun 2012 20:22:00 BDT
Glad it's not just me then. This is the reason I buy very few new releases these days. There's no impact in music anymore. It's all a constant drone with no breathing space for the music to jump out at you. This is a great album but it's the type of sound that needs space in the mix to appreciate the highs and lows. Instead they choose to flatten the sound and bury the arrangments in a wall of mush. It may not actually be brick walled but it is certainly not a nice sound to listen to for anything more than a few minutes.
In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 07:48:34 BDT
Alan B says:
I've experimented with Cubase with the Dominion and Ozone VST plugins, but these are quite difficult to learn and use. However, for a simpler solution do a search for a product called SeeDeClip. This is very easy to use, and gives surprisingly good results with its default settings. I'm not connected with the product in any way by the way, other than being a very satisfied customer!
In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 07:48:35 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 19 Jun 2012 07:48:51 BDT]
In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 09:10:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2012 09:11:25 BDT
I've listened to it through Grado 325is headphones and I get the instrument separation even better than through my living room hi fi speakers. It's not a wall of sound like Oasis by any means. I'm glad I'm not a techie. I have friends who are electrical engineers and they always have a soulless approach to listening to music, criticising recording levels etc.
Posted on 19 Jun 2012 23:42:35 BDT
I don't believe it's anything to do with being a 'techie'. More like having an appreciation for a well engineered and balanced sound. Something that is just not being delivered these days. Why must anyone who questions the sound quality of an album immediately be labelled as some sort of freak? Not everyone is satisfied with music as a background noise. Some of us actually want to listen to and absorb the music properly. It's virtually impossible to appreciate any new release due to the ignorance and stupidity of the music industry with their misguided view that louder equals better. Music should have peaks and lows and there should always be room in the mix for impact. This album has no impact. Great songs but they're stifled by the flattened sound.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2012 00:36:42 BDT
I can assure you that I don't listen to music as background noise. I have high quality hi-fi and a £350 pair of Grado 325is headphones that are nothing to look at but that produce an astonishing sound and that let me hear all the instruments. I agree that there appears to be a view amongst music producers and mixers that loud is best but I don't agree that this album is a wall of indistinguishable sounds. I invite anybody who says that to get some top notch hi-fi and a pair of Grados. Most people seem to listen to compressed music on their ipods or through their computer speakers these days. I pity them. They don't know what they are missing.