Sonic Grade: ?
Can’t give it one, we never played it.
Instead we would like to reprint some of the more interesting observations made by a well known writer concerning the sound of the Heavy Vinyl pressing in question. They are in no particular order and clearly taken out of context — we’re not even providing the reference to the specific songs under discussion. Some you can guess; as for the rest, what difference, at this point, does it really make?
Zep II – With Trees This Ugly, Would You Give the Forest a Good Grade?
Allow us to present: The Trees
the spatial presentation seemed meek
individual cymbal hits in that psychedelic break lacked sparkle
instead of an interruption eruption the changeover was anything but abrupt
overall musical intent wasn’t being fully communicated
spatially mashed together and lacking in detail delineation
You can barely make out the flanging effects on Plant’s voice
should send shivers but just doesn’t
The bass line was homogenized and the attack softened
Textures sounded bland
Microdynamic gestures—very familiar ones—seemed to have been lost
The album’s grit and edge seemed worn down
Page’s guitars… are homogenized
small dynamic differences that communicate intent blend into one level, quelling musical excitement
These are not my words, but I certainly recognize the feeling that must have prompted their writing. It’s the same feeling I have after playing most of the Heavy Vinyl records I’ve auditioned over the past few years, regardless of make or model. (more…)