I find it an interesting debate that is forming between fans of Metallica and the spokesperson for the band, Lars Ulrich. Some fans are proclaiming that the band’s latest album, Death Magnetic, is not up to a perceived audio quality. Ulrich would like to challenge that assertion. In fact, he has been defending the audio quality of the album, which is assumed to be less than that of the Guitar Hero version of the songs. Apparently, the audio compression of the physical CD is assumed to be at least 10 decibels louder then the Guitar Hero version, therefore less clarifying. Ulrich is claiming, oddly enough, that the way the CD was produced is the way that music is made these days. Nevertheless, he defends the audio quality of the CD. (I cannot comment as I have not heard the Guitar Hero version even though comparisons results are readily available on YouTube).
But that is not my issue and the reason for this little bit of writing. Increasing high compression and loudness has been a thorn in the side of audiophiles for many years. What I find interesting is that there is an outcry from many of Metallica’s fanbase concerning this. And my wonderment is this. Are audiences finally beginning to want a sound standard again, recognizing loud music as being less than desirable? If so, what might have brought about this change?
LPs are rapidly gaining a foothold, albeit a niche foothold, in our musical sphere we like to call home. This has been building for some time. Now that a younger generation is “discovering” the LP, I wonder if there is a growing trend towards better sounding music or is it the ‘cool’ factor. Regardless, to have fans decry the audio of a popular band, enough to have generated over 10,000 signatures in an attempt to encourage the band to re-release the album with the Guitar Hero tracks, there is likely closer attention being paid.
With the sad pasts of Quad, SACD, and DVD-Audio and the emerging hi-fidelity of Blu-ray Audio, perhaps now we can point out the failed pasts of our hi-res to the younger, hopefully more sonically astute audiences. This may help Blu-ray Audio albums to take solid hold and to thrive in a market that had no chance in the past.
While we all know that expensive, hi-res music will always be a niche product, we can hope that it gains enough traction that it can become, at the very least, a readily available alternative for fans who seek out the better quality music of their favourite bands.
Keep the fingers crossed.
We have three more reviews for you today that include an update of recorded hits by The Ventures called The Ventures Play Their Greatest Hits. The other reviews are the latest album by Tuck & Patti called I Remember You and a Front Page Review of Make It Worse by Slimfit. Scroll down for the goods.
We'll see you back here on Monday with some fun stuff to open the week with.
If you have missed the last As The Disc Spins (updated), check it out here.
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