Legendary heavy rockers Led Zeppelin have recently released a new wave of remasters that sound better than any other version of their precious albums. I recently acquired their first 5 albums remastered in high definition (96KHz/24bit) and today I listened to the first one (Led Zeppelin). I must say, “A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!” I can hear some things that were obscured in previous versions by careless mixing and mastering. This new version is simply wonderful and clear and brings to the forefront all four artists: Robert Plant’s voice is balanced by Jimmy Page’s guitars, while John Bonham’s drums are sharp and John Paul Jones’ bass is finally distinguishable from the combined force of his bandmates. If you don’t own any Led Zeppelin albums, get these! I’m sure the remastered CD versions will be OK too. Either way, these remasters are an appropriate tribute to one of the greatest Rock bands of all time.
Ryan Adams keeps getting better and better. His music is a wonderful listening experience, both for his musicianship on guitar and for the lyrics and ambiance that he manages to synch so beautifully. This is a solid album that continues his brilliant career and definitely shows that he is here to stay.
New Wave turned Alternative and semi-Pop band Blondie is back with a head-scratcher. I could hear echoes of their sound that so many of us came to love in only one song… all the others are polluted by Techno, Latin rhythms, and quite frankly a hodgepodge of what seemed to me like “let’s try this and see if it sticks” kind of music. Not among their best albums at all… and that’s unfortunate. I saw them live about a year ago and they were very sharp. Let’s hope they don’t end their career on this note.
OK, so I have stated here before that I do not usually listen to soundtracks. But this case was different. When I saw Guardians of the Galaxy at the movie theater I kept thinking, “This is an awesome soundtrack!” So today’s Lunch To The Sound was this awesome collection of ’70s songs that remind the listener of each scene in the movie when the song was played. From David Bowie to The Runaways, this has to rank as one of the top soundtracks of all time. It is so good–and it has been so successful–that Disney is about to release it on cassette in a limited edition for folks who still own cassette players and would like to have the listening experience portrayed in the movie. The special edition will also include a free download of the whole album for those who do not own a tape player. The movie is OK… but the soundtrack rules!
New Wave veterans Echo & The Bunnymen have returned with a somewhat darker sound than their previous work (maybe an attempt to relive their best years in terms of music production?). This is a very good album with good tracks that keep the listener engaged: there are slow, semi-somber songs but also some songs that could be easily adapted to the dance floor. When the last song ended, I was still hoping for more… a sign that this is a good album indeed.
Sam Smith’s debut album is an OK effort that mixes Pop and R&B with a very modern sound. I wouldn’t call this work “outstanding” (as some in the media have) but it does have its good moments. My daughters like his music a lot, so I decided to give it a listen. I guess this is for a younger generation.