7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Minimalist Music Standing the Test of Time,
This review is from: Music for the Masses [Hybrid SACD + DVD] (Audio CD)
When initially released a couple of decades ago, I found MFTM being a rather bleak album. Even the singles were somewhat low-key arrangements of what I still thought were great tunes. The reason I bought this re-mastered version is that I have been enjoying other re-mastered DM releases and thought that maybe it was worth giving MFTM another try.
Hearing this album again proves that giving it a second chance was well worth my time. The sound of many bands from the 80s has aged poorly; one can often almost pin point which year such and such album was released given the production sound that was currently in vogue. MFTM has, however, a timeless production. This could actually be released today and by tagging another artist name to the music this could most certainly appeal to today's masses. The songs are built upon minimalist sound bites and layered with various sound effects. This may have sounded bleak in the mid 80s but today this sounds remarkably fresh.
Listening to the album in 5.1 surround sound gives even more value to the production. The low-key beats driving the songs flow in a perfect tandem with the instruments flowing all around the listener. Actually, I hardly bother listening to this any other way.
Also included is a very interesting documentary about the making of the album, the making of its cover and the subsequent promotional tour. A highlight is the final concert which certainly put them on the map in the US. One senses how much pride DM still feel of MFTM.
I have one final note. Having bought other DM re-releases from the US, I initially simply forgot that the CD version from the UK is a hybrid SACD. I thus listened first to the dts surround sound the first few times, and was impressed. Yet once I put the SACD it felt like the sound improved almost half way to the difference of re-mastered versions of other CDs today from initial pressing 20 years or so ago. The difference is subtle but definitely audible. This should not be happening today. I intend to buy the more expensive DM re-releases from the UK and dump the US versions.