One of the best Rock albums in years, Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color

Alabama Shakes Sound & ColorWith their 2012 Boys & Girls (debut) album, Alabama Shakes displayed that they were a band comfortable with blues, soul, gospel, and country but raised on modern rock. In their 2015 follow up, Sound & Color, they have pushed past any boundaries that might have confined them to deliver one of the best rock albums in years!

Brittany Howard sounds like she has been playing for the past twenty years (since the last album) screaming a force of natural delivery. The variety of genres, rhythms, arrangements, tempos, and vocal styling keep the listener rapt with attention. Sound quality is superb: tight, articulate guitars & rhythm section; composition is fresh & engaging. I have the high rez download and the three sided clear vinyl LP. Check it out on TIDAL.

Montreal’s Salon Son & Image 2015 pre-show rundown, music in my suitcase!

Baniere_SSI_2015album_box“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”

Off to Montreal we go! My affinity towards both Montreal, the city and their French Canadian residents is well-known. As a token of appreciation to the hospitality I receive, I made it a point to be on the look out for delightful French music during my travels throughout the year to play in Montreal.

In addition to some brilliant needle drops that I will be playing with the Luxman DA-06 DSD DAC, I brought seven albums I collected last summer to spin this weekend with five French ones. If you are in town, please hop over to say hi. If not, have a listen to them. Hopefully you can find them at #Tidal  Continue reading

My TIDAL! experience – High fidelity lossless music streaming with Luxman D-100r

Streaming TIDAL on Luxman D-100r and SQ-N10

Streaming TIDAL on Luxman D-100r and SQ-N10

David Solomon and Pal Bratelund from TIDAL came by during Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and installed WIMP on my notebook computer so I could test drive TIDAL ahead of its launch.  TIDAL offers full CD quality streaming using either FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) or ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) at 16 bit/44kHz and at a bitrate of 1411kbps (versus Spotify premium is 320 kbps).

I actually tested the service in a few ways: Continue reading

Music Review: Damien Rice – “My Favourite Faded Fantasy”

Damien Rice, My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Damien Rice, My Favourite Faded Fantasy

If ever there was a singer / song writer deserving the Rick Rubin production treatment, it’s fellow Irishman, Damien Rice. This is only his third studio album and his most recent in eight years!   After releasing 0 (debut) in 2002 to huge success with the help of tear-jerkers like “Volcano” and “The Blower’s Daughter,” he separated from his collaborator, lover, and friend, Lisa Hannigan, following the release of 2006’s 9:   The last album I bought of his was “Live At Fingerprints“, hitherto his only album on vinyl.

“My Favourite Faded Fantasy” is full of grippingly intimate confessions from a songwriter unafraid to present himself and his flaws; guided by Rick Rubin who has a very deft touch with production but never over-producing. While its only an eight-song set, some of these are eight & nine minutes’ long and the time has been used wisely. Continue reading