Top critical review
36 people found this helpful
5 Stars for her. 1 Star for mix and mastering.
on February 20, 2012
I like this CD a lot more than I thought I would. I bought it for my wife, and very quickly grew to like much of it.
But... Seriously? You take a fine talent, good heart wrenching tunes, and mix it and master it like amateurs.
Brick-wall mastering is never tollerable, but one can almost forgive it on Green Day, Rancid, Spinnerett CD's, but Adele? Come on!! This is sad and pathetic. The opening track is clipped and harsh almost to the point of un-listenabiltiy. These songs and this woman deserves better. Putting out a CD with shoddy production values doesn't help anyone.
But, fortunately this album has succeded in spite of it's ridiculous lack of dynamics and hyper compressed and 'Loudness Wars' mastering.
Adele does not have a voice like Ella. That's a given, it's raspy and raw, but it's emotional and emotive. It works. I like it. I like the manner in which she performs her songs. The arrangements are mostly good, though a couple verge on the derivitive side of pop... or R&B.
I hope the Vynil LP is better... I'm planning to get it. At least they can't 'brick wall' it... though it too can be mastered poorly.
EDIT: I received the Vinyl LP, and ripped it at 24bit/96khz. The sonics and dynamics are far superior to the CD. Some songs are better than others. Set Fire to the Rain is similar because of the pre-mastering, which killed all the dynamics and flattened it to one volume. Running in the Deep is a revelation as it was not mastered to 'brick' form and has very good dynamic bandwidth. The difference is truly night and day on some songs like that one.
That said, what the LP has allowed me to do is see how poorly several of these songs are recorded and mixed and pre-mastered. Some are produced very well, and others are amateurish and pathetic. But only the LP will allow you to truly hear Adele, and only on about half the songs. This is quite a disservice to her, the songs, and the musicians who played on this album. Hey Adele, find the better producer and use that person for the entire album. That way you won't have such a hodge-podge of variations from song to song, and your talent won't be overshadowed by pathetic production values.