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Super fine Album - but questionable mastering
on 11 January 2013
I have nothing to add to the music - this is a very fine Genesis album, which deserves nothing less than 5 stars.
As I hear it - the actual remix is absolutely very well done, but the mastering doesn't sound optimal on my fine stereo... It is too hard compressed, which takes away some of the relaxation in the all-over sound and also the bass is a bit undefined/muddy in the sound at times. Lately I've heard that they have stopped following the sad trend of too loud mastering, exactly for the reasons described here.
I've never seen the point though - if you want the music louder, just turn up your stereo?!? - with an overpowering level in the mastering, you looses the depth and headroom and when you do turn it up, it gets annoying/tiring to the ears in the long run, which probably wasn't anyone's intention in the first place. In other words, the softer parts in the music will appear too upfront - and the powerful places will sound harsh and muddy - because there's no headroom - not enough place for the individual instruments to stand out - simply put, you'll sadly just end up with less dynamics.
All this said it is definitely not a totally disaster and it do appear with a more lively and defined sound that the "Definitive Edition Masters" series - and on most standard stereos (like two speakers and a subwoofer) you probably won't even notice it. But if they do reprint again some time in the future, I definitely hope that they will consider a new and more musical mastering - the music definitely deserve that.