Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jack White Meets Steve Hoffman

I am in love with the new White Stripes album, Icky Thump. The title track had it's hooks in me from the first time that I heard it, and after a few spins I appreciated the entire album more and more. The vinyl pressing of the album has the legendary Steve Hoffman doing the mastering. As opposed to most remastered CD that are released nowadays, where the engineer has a mindset of "louder is better", Hoffman seeks to breath new life into the music and give it the best possible sound. The remastered CD's that he did for Metallica's Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets can go for over $100 on ebay. The only other piece of work of Hoffman's that I own is a remastered CD of Deep Purple's Who Do We Think We Are. But back to The White Stripes...I was eager to hear the new album with Hoffman's touch (he did not master the CD version of the album). I was planning a trip to Jeff's house one weekend, and decided that listening to the vinyl on his system would be the best case scenario, so I picked it up before heading over. This thing sounds so crisp...when Meg clicks her drums sticks together in one of the songs, it sounds like she is right in the room. Great sound. A cool thing about the vinyl is that there are different recordings of some of the songs, most notably Rag and Bone, which is completely missing Meg's vocal part. A great album, pressed on some nice thick vinyl with heavy gatefold packaging. A vinyl collector's wet dream.

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