November 25, 2010

Linn Super Audio Collection Vol.4, Various Artist.

Gilad Tiefenbrun introduced some of Linn Records latest artist and recordings during his visit here not too long ago, when he demo-ed the Linn Studio Masters downloads on the Linn Klimax DS based system. That got me to remember the opening track of this CD/SACD Hybrid sampler disc here by Maeve O'Bolye titled Pray It Never Happens. One of the very reasons I bought this CD.

This is a truly heart felt song, so touching, that every time I play this song, I am emotionally drained by the feeling of sadness. Maeve's voice has that vulnerability, sorrow, hurt and innocence all rolled in a simplistic guitar strum yet melodic tune. Yes! guys, rejoice, girl/guitar music has never felt so... bad yet sounded this good! By the way most folks who know me will know by now I am no fan of this popular audiophile genre of girl/guitar music, but for this I'd happily make an exception. After such a breath taking opener, allow me to share a few of my preferred tracks with you.

The next track called Everything I've Got Belongs To You, by Claire Martin maintains her standard of high art vocal pop/jazz. It was track 3, titled A Good And Simple Man, by Ian Shaw that drew my attention again. Ian's male vocal is unique and stylistically refreshing. The recording captures the lips, throat, teeth, tongue, chest, and most importantly heart of the music.

Carol Kidd does a cover of Stars Fall On Alabama in her own vocally stunning yet easy going style. Track no.5, called For Alun Lewis, performed by Garreth Williams Power Trio is another track that caught my interest.

For tracks 7 & 8, this Linn sampler focuses on Chamber Classical music. For those who want a dose of brilliantly recorded classical instruments performed in sparse, open arrangement, the recordings captures all the instruments sonic harmonics, texture and timbre in it's full glory.

Track 9 is an excerpt of Aria: Sehet, Jesus Hat Die Hand; Chorus Wohin? composed by Bach and performed by Dunedin Consort. This is a Diva and Choir performance backed by a orchestra. The recording captures the Diva and Choir interplay against the orchestra in the back drop perfectly, with an amazing amount of hall ambient cues.

From here on till track 15 are all classical sampler tracks from Linn Record's library, all excellent recordings and great demo tracks for showing of one's system capabilities.

Many audiophile CD samplers make us compromise on boring music material for supposedly superior recording quality. Some audiophile recordings are made to sound too obvious, they try too hard in the sound department, but instead sounds un-natural, and overly re-produced. This particular Linn Super Audio Collection Vol.4, does not force us to make any concessions. The art of making great music with excellent recording presentation is at it's peak here! Kudos to Linn Records for an excellent effort!

It's nearly the end of the year now, so I can confidently say that this is quite possibly the best sounding and most musically satisfying CD I bought this year in 2010! By the way, for a very modest cost, Linn also offers this as a high rez "Studio Master" download too on their www.


redscouser said...

If you like to listen to Linn music try Linn's radio web station ""
radio - jazz and classical music all at 320 kbps downloads.

another good web radio station


Big E said...

redscouser a.k.a. Mark,

Welcome to our blog. Thanks for the suggestion. Will definitely check them out.

junchoon2989 said...

hi BigE, thanks for the recommendation. not too long ago i got the sampler and also All My Sins by Maeve O'Boyle. they are truly excellent stuff!