Unbiased reviews of new vinyl releases, audiophile reissues, and more
Monday, July 26, 2010
Although I've had the SACD of Sea Change for years, and listened to it a few times, it never hit me the way this vinyl pressing from Mofi has. The first thing I discovered listening to it, was that this isn't an album that can be listened to on your car stereo as you blast down the freeway. Sea Change begs to be listened to at night, in your listening chair--either alone or perhaps with one other person.
Sea Change is a dark, even somber album. But, it isn't mere audiophile background music. The strings, guitar, piano, and vocals wash over you. Beck employs a vocal style that many will find a bit too monotone. But, given the wealth of subtlety and texture to the compositions, Beck's voice often acts more like an individual instrument--rather than the center of the song--and that monotone delivery can't help but further convey a sense of melancholy throughout.
Influences such as Elton John, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, and the Beatles can be heard throughout this record. And the sonics are simply breathtaking. This Mofi vinyl mastering from Rob Loverde throws out an expansive soundstage that is both wide and extends far behind the speakers. Every bass string plucked, guitar strummed, or piano key hit, is reproduced with such realism that they seem to occupy their own space in the listening room.
(Beck, with The Flaming Lips)
Mofi continues to cement their repuation for very high quality control. The two discs of 180 gram vinyl arrived flat, clean, and played quietly throughout. The gatefold cover is made of heavy cardstock and contains the album's original artwork, complete with song lyrics. And while I can't guarantee that you'll like Beck, this is a reference audiophile record, the likes of Steely Dan's Aja, that begs to be noticed--and along with titles like Neil Young's Live At Massey Hall, I believe it will continue to be reference vinyl material for years to come.
Posted by My Vinyl Review at Monday, July 26, 2010