I wish one song coulda made me happy here...I like the tune "Fields of Gold", so this disc is a winner for me.
Yeah, exactly...I was really surprised, early on, at the 'new' titles, even if, now, I prefer the stuff sourced from the old quad's a lot more. I'm very thankful for what we did get but, of course, the collector is always greedy for more...When I think back on the whole DTS CD thing, it's kind of amazing that we actually got "new" (non-quad sourced) titles from DTS back at the turn of the century, while right now, we get nothing.
I kinda think its very helpful to rate content if you are unfamiliar with the artist. So when one looks at the ratings for something unknown like Songbird in Morning and sees 9's and 10's its a pretty good bet that the content is above average for that type of music. It also helps a lot when voters add to the thread and spell out what it is they like and dislike. That way the reader can understand why the voter voted as he did.I still don't know why raters are compelled to base their ratings on how much they like the songs. So awfully subjective.
Stairway To Heaven can range from one person’s classic fave to another person’s overplayed shite sandwich. In other words, there’s no accounting for taste, so why rate based on it?
That being said, I love the clarity/fidelity and the surround is fairly high quality enough for a solid 9 - in that the separation is discrete and thoughtful and with sometimes playful use of the rears.
An “8”. One of my favorite Sting albums, and the 5.1 is good. Nice separation if a bit “safe” overall. 9s
For both. But the sonics on these DTS discs are often weak. The compression needed to get 5.1 tracks on a CD, I suppose?
The MFSL CD of this one is still the best.
Another spot on review Rob!After playing Ten Summoner's Tales this morning, I decided to stay in the same mood and pull this one out. I noticed I had rated it a 9 some time ago, but never wrote a review. (Shame on me! )
This is mixed by David Tickle who was also responsible for the mix on the DTS CD of Ten Summoner's Tales. (This title was released a year after Tales.) The first thing I notice here is that Tickle is being a bit more aggressive in his use of the rear speakers that he was on his mix of Tales. "Be Still My Beating Heart" is a highlight. Very discrete mix. "Englishman in New York" has a mix that's as playful as the song is. When the fourth track ("History Will Teach Us Nothing") kicks in, you get a bit of a jolt as the volume is increased significantly. But the mix is very cool. It really fills up the room. "We'll Be Together" is the one song that feels substantially different from the original 2.0 mix, with even some alternate vocal takes used. However the mix is very active and fits the funky nature of the song. For most of the disc, the surround field is filled up nicely. Often discrete elements are panned to the rears, but at other times there's more of an immersive feel. Overall I find the mix to be more satisfying than Ten Summoner's Tales. The only song where I felt a little let down by the mix was on his cover of Hendrix's "Little Wing".
The performances here are exceptional. With a band that includes Manu Katché, Kenny Kirkland and Branford Marsalis, how could they not be? As for content, well this is a hotly debated album among fans. A lot of Police fans were put off by this one, feeling it was the height of Sting's pompousness. Despite being a huge Police fan myself, I never really felt that way. His mother had passed away while he was writing this album and that weighs heavy here, but I feel that he is good at channeling those emotions into effective songwriting. (He did the same on the following album The Soul Cages which was heavily influenced by the passing of his father.) The album has a reputation for being too somber, but 25% of the album ("We'll Be Together", "Rock Steady" and "Englishman in New York") is pretty playful (well, by Sting standards anyway, LOL.) The album reaches it darkest points midway through with "They Dance Alone" (a song about the mothers of Chilean children who had been forcibly disappeared by their government) and "Fragile" (a tribute to an American civil engineer who was killed by the Contras in 1987 while working in Nicaragua.) I've always found them both to be pretty on point. "Fragile" in particular is really beautiful. Despite never having been a hit, it has become a bit of a standard and a favorite among fans. Other highlights are the Tom Waits-ish "Sister Moon" and a really nice cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" as arranged and performed by Gil Evans. Gotta say it's my favorite solo Sting album. Not a weak cut here. You can feel he's really engaged in these songs, which I don't feel as much with most of what came after The Soul Cages. And the band really shines, with Marsalis in particular doing some really beautiful playing.
Full points for the music and the mix is overall very good. However I can't give it the highest marks. The album is such an exceptional piece of work and it really deserves an exceptional surround mixer. And since we know what Sting's music can sound like in the hands of a master (see Elliot Schiener's mix of Brand New Day) I have to shave off a point. I'm sticking with my original rating of 9.