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Peter Murphy: 5 Albums

By | December 12th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Peter Murphy: 5 Albums

With his baritone voice, haunting melodies, brooding stage presence, and dark lyrics, Peter Murphy was tailor made to perform goth rock, a musical style he helped usher in while a member of Bauhaus. Peter Murphy—5 Albums charts the beginning of the solo career Murphy launched after the collapse of that band; stylishly packaged to resemble a hardback book, the 5-CD set includes all his LPs on the Beggars Banquet label along with alternate takes and mixes at the end of each disc.… Read the full article

The James Gang: The Best of the James Gang Featuring Joe Walsh

By | December 3rd, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

The James Gang: The Best of the James Gang Featuring Joe Walsh

The 1970 release of the James Gang Rides Again helped define 70s rock and served as a calling card for guitarist Joe Walsh, who went on to greater fame as a solo artist and member of the Eagles. This sonically impressive greatest hits reissue, featuring ten songs remastered from the original analog tape and pressed at the Quality Record plant in Salina, Kansas, showcases the band’s chunkiness. Walsh could crunch chords a la Deep Purple, but there was a homegrown Midwestern tone to this Cleveland band’s FM-radio-ready sound.… Read the full article

Buddy Guy: The Blues Is Alive and Well

By | November 20th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Buddy Guy: The Blues Is Alive and Well

Chicago blues guitarist and vocalist Buddy Guy honed his chops during the 1960s as house guitarist for the legendary Chess Records. The electric blue pioneer’s blistering chops have influenced everyone from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to Jonny Lang and John Mayer. His legend has only grown since his 1991 Grammy-winning comeback Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues. Guy’s new album features special guests James Bay, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards (if only the Rolling Stones’ 2016 blues homage Blue & Lonesome were half as strong as this album).… Read the full article

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A Roon Primer

By | November 19th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , , |

A Roon Primer

What Is Roon? Roon is a music playback and management software suite for digital audio components. There are many such products on the market, including iTunes and JRiver’s Media Center, but what makes Roon special is the unmatched comprehensiveness of its user interface and, believe it or not, its sound. This primer will cover some of the more salient features of Roon’s UI, as well as how to implement Roon in your system. I’ll also describe why and in what ways Roon affects a system’s sound.… Read the full article

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Baby Huey: The Living Legend

By | November 2nd, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Baby Huey: The Living Legend

When music labels search for unreleased tapes connected with memorable albums, the results can be less than scintillating: an inferior take here, a poorly-recorded demo there, perhaps some performances that should have stayed on the shelves. However, Run Out Groove’s release of Baby Huey’s The Living Legend plus a disc of extras tells a much different story, confirming why an obscure but classic-sounding soul title from 1971 was a hit, but also affirming that the vault-digging was well worth the effort.… Read the full article

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Jacintha: Fire and Rain

By | October 25th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Jacintha:  Fire and Rain

Jacintha’s first album in ten years, Fire and Rain pays homage to James Taylor. As everyone familiar with the Singapore-based singer knows, she can really put over a song, especially in the torch, blues, and jazz veins. Her approach here is lighter and a bit laidback, which perfectly catches the sunlight that flickers through these lovely songs without slighting their melancholy, yearning, and even pain. “Sweet Baby James” opens with one of Jacintha’s peerless a capella deliveries; the way she eases into the chorus and the accompaniment steals in is one of the most exquisite moments of music making I’ve …… Read the full article

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The Stones Roll on Wax

By | October 24th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

The Stones Roll on Wax

Like the ever-shifting sands of time, the Rolling Stones continue to, well, roll on. In fact, the World’s Greatest Rock ’n’ Roll Band wrapped up their most recent No Filter tour in the U.K. in early July, and there are no signs of them gathering moss anytime soon. Naturally, a career that spans six decades and counting calls for a properly compartmentalized vinyl box set, hence the recent appearance of the Studio Albums Vinyl Collection 1971–2016 from Promotone B.V./Polydor/UMG, which encompasses the 15 studio albums the Stones released during that 45-year time span, each on 180-gram vinyl.… Read the full article

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Bernstein Conducts Bernstein and Beethoven

By | September 20th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

Bernstein Conducts Bernstein and Beethoven

Except for those living in caves, everyone must know that this year marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, on August 25, 1918. According to the Bernstein website, over 2000 concerts, recitals, and opera and musical theater productions of his work have already occurred or will occur during this year alone. Meanwhile, his two record companies, Sony (née Columbia) in the first half of his career, Deutsche Grammophon (DG) in the second, are celebrating with copious reissues of—well, in DG’s case, everything.… Read the full article

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Hegel Music Systems Event: New Products, Live Music

By | September 14th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , , |

Hegel Music Systems Event: New Products, Live Music

Hegel Music Systems hosted an industry event on August 23 for selected dealers and press where the company shared an overview of its most recent products launched, plus a more in-depth look into its latest technologies and approaches to high-end electronics. For the occasion, which took place at the Ritz-Carlton in White Plains, NY, the Norwegian company offered more than just a standard new product intro and demo: The special event also featured an intimate performance by emerging art-pop singer, pianist, and composer Anette Askvik, who also hails from Norway.… Read the full article

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Aretha, True and Free

By | September 10th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Aretha, True and Free

On the morning of August 16, I was awakened to news of Aretha Franklin’s passing as announced on New York City’s classical station, WQXR, followed by the sound of Aretha rolling out her stunning rendition of Puccini’s “Nessun dorma” live at the 40th GRAMMY Awards on February 25, 1998. Listening to this bravura performance, I began to consider the depth of Aretha’s roots; how, in my estimation, only two artists brook comparison to Aretha and, indeed, together define Aretha. The first would be Bessie Smith, the “Empress of the Blues” who sold millions of records over the course of the …… Read the full article

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