Top critical review
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Is it really worth the upgrade?
on 28 June 2012
If you have - and like - A Secret Wish, but not this then give it a go. Personally for me it is the better of the two by far.
However, the following are worth considering:
1) SOUND QUALITY - not much improvement
I've had the chance to play this on a serious bit of hifi (not mine!) and there is little difference between this version and the 1990s Warner release. There very little extra bass to be heard, but the top end is clearer (not boosted, there is audible improved definition) but it's not necessarily worth the entrance price as it is not major. I wonder if this has come from the LP cutting tapes rather than the actual mix masters as the album sounds quite bass shy.
2) BONUS TRACKS - not very interesting
This seems to be common opinion. While I don't have issue with the bonus tracks following the album (although I would have preferred an additional CD with further outtakes/remixes, etc.) there is little to be excited about.
Strength to Dream - a basic version of what appeared on A Secret Wish. No strings, no thunder and rain, a sudden end instead of the grand finale of the LP version.
p:Machinery (The Beta Wraparound) - as per the reactivated 12" I guess (Beta mix + reprise as also heard on p:Polish mix.) To be honest I have very little motivation to compare to the original 12".
The Murder of Love (Murderous Instrumental) - basic track, not a straight instrumental version of the LP mix, nowhere near as good as Loved on the main album.
Dr Mabuse (Outtake) - very similar to the LP version in structure with different mix levels, some elements mixed out, and different reverb on (some of?) the vocals, it plays out to the end like the instrumental mix and then gives just a little more. Kind of interesting but nothing to blow you away - don't expect another 12" mix.
Frozen Faces (A Secret Sense of Rhythm) - for me this is pretty tedious. Pretty much a loop with no vocals.
p:Machinery (The Voiceless Beta Wraparound Edit) - why?
There is still stuff that was released that is hard to get hold of on CD - so ZTT please stop teasing bits out on compilations and get the good stuff in one place.
3) PACKAGING - Fragile and doesn't match A Secret Wish
Instead of the digipak for some reason this album has been issued in a trifold square sleeve. The CD does not sit in a tray, but has to be pulled or tipped out of a pouch. On about the forth time of taking the CD out the card sleeve tore. This was while it was being squeezed to try and get the CD out without scratching it. So it is inconsistent to the previous release and apparently easily damaged.
What happenned ZTT? This could have been a much better release. Shame.