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Top Customer Reviews
Although the lineup includes familiar instruments like the hammer dulcimer and the banjo, this band breaks beyond the confines of "roots music"--here, old sounds create something entirely new, using traditional music in novel and unexpected ways. There's a feeling of alchemy to it. The music grows and changes as you listen, like a shifting image, a kaleidscope. It strongly recalls Talk Talk and Mark Hollis, as well as Thomas Newman's film scores.
I had the opportunity to see Shearwater perform ROOK live in its entirety last month, and there was awe in the audience at all the talent up there--the members of this band are brilliant instrumentalists, and Meiburg is a truly riveting performer. I was thrilled to find that same energy captured so effectively on this CD. It's a treasure.
This is hands-down one of the albums of 2008. There's simply nothing else out there like it. If you have not explored Shearwater yet, get started. You'll be richly rewarded.
For me, Leviathan, Bound is one of the most haunting and eerily beautiful songs ever written or sung, but Snow Leopard, Home Life, and Rooks also stand out. There's not a bad song on this. If you want to rock out, or you prefer lyrics of the sardonic and detached variety, then probably Shearwater isn't for you. If you hate falsetto or find it tiresome, you'll no doubt find too much of it on Rook. Otherwise, you should give Rook a try. You might find yourself captivated, as I have.
First off, you get one additional track on the vinyl, although it's not immediately noticeable - I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that it's there. It's one LP, but has a digital download code for MP3, if you'd like to use it.
As for the actual sonics, the CD is digitally clipped and is very noticeable in a tool like Audacity. When looking at the waveform, you can actually see where the sound is clipped off. However, whether or not the vinyl has the same issues is hard to say - the waveform LOOKS different, but it could just as easily have come from a digitally clipped source to begin with and the analog transfer is just hiding it.
I used "Century Eyes" as a good A/B test as it's fairly loud versus some of the other tracks. I ran the A/B test back and forth on two different players, and I honestly could not tell a difference - maybe the vinyl's "high" were slightly better, but that's about it. If there really is a sonic difference, my ears are not picking it up, at least not yet.
So, if you're looking for different sonics in the vinyl, I don't think you'll see a major difference with it versus the CD - but you do get one extra track and the nice vinyl packaging.
EDIT: Found a great tool for analyzing dynamic range called "Dynamic Range Meter". Ran it against my needle drop, and got an overall DR score of "11" (that's not too bad).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've really grown to love this album! The first song is so perfectly indicative of the rest of the music: it combines softness with crashing crescendos. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Reve Parker
This was definitely their most refined album to date when it came out. And it has some incredible songwriting, gorgeous instrumentation, and solid atmosphere. Read morePublished on January 2, 2013 by Nicholas B. Davies
It took me a while to finally purchase this. For various reasons I was very hesitant. I'm glad I did. Read morePublished on May 22, 2009 by Stephen M. Vakil
Some of this realease is good. Good luck findng it. I am one of those guys that will take the time to listen to the entire CD a few times before I make my judgement. Read morePublished on February 22, 2009 by Paul E. Winningham
I do enjoy Shearwater. The voice, the music, the way it fits with driving through wind-swept winter landscapes. However, this one felt a little indulgent to me.Published on January 6, 2009 by J. Skrzynski
I was traveling through Indochine - doing nothing - nothing much at all when I chanced across a music store and found this CD on their racks. Read morePublished on December 28, 2008 by bohobozo
In 2008 I listened a lot to Todd Rundgren's powerful "Arena," Radiohead's excellent "In Rainbows," and Kings of Leon's great "Only by the Night," but this year's favorite was... Read morePublished on December 12, 2008 by Tom White