HiRez Poll Williams, Alan - CURRENTS [Blu-Ray Audio]


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Rate the Blu-Ray of Alan Williams - Currents

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  • 1: Poor Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

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Staff member
Jan 1, 2010
Washington, D.C.
I finally relented and bought this, fearful it was going to sound like Alan Williams's previous, countrified solo album, Evidence Unearthed, which I'd checked out on the internet. I'm very happy to report this is far more in keeping with Birdsong at Morning. So if, like me, you've been holding back on that score -- fear not, you can buy with confidence. In fact, this could very well be Birdsong at Morning/Alan Williams's best work to date. And yes, the surround mix (I've been listening to LPCM) is excellent. All the bonus stuff (videos, one gorgeously stripped back song and instrumentals) are also in surround.

The lyrics and commentary features are also a nice touch (the lyrics are still there with the instrumentals, with the lines being highlighted as the music goes -- karaoke!). The written commentary is quite informative and often in sync with the bit of music the comments are referring to, and he comes across as quite a likeable, humble character. Someone does need to point out to him, though, there are only three dots in an ellipsis. (Come on Alan, you're a uni teacher.)

But in truth, the only wee bit of irksomeness (for a solo album with guest artists, in this day and age) is the lack of any significant female contribution to the performances (apart from some members in the string section). However, I'm not about to cut back points for that, the focus of this forum is on the surround mix within the context of the overall musical and package presentation. (And I suppose he at least mentions Darleen a few times in his song comments. She's clearly an important influence.)

This is an excellent album, well put together and beautifully mixed. Graceful, relaxed, charming music, with artistry and a few punches now and then ... oh, and I love the guitar playing portraits in one of the videos.

Great record with an interesting array of musical styles. I'm not a big Birdsong fan and to me these songs are livelier and have more active grooves. Very melodic and engaging.

There is a lot to like in the surround mix even though it's more sound shaping than a lot of discrete elements. A brilliant example of that is the swell and chorus in the song Fall from the Sky.

It went from a lovely acoustic guitar and vocal tune to a heavenly chorus in a well controlled but massive way. I actually wondered if somehow it turned to Atmos as there was such a full array of sound. Super freakin' well done sound shaping.

That's not to say there are not discrete elements like in the title song Currents which uses a lot of motion and dispersion of parts. But I am just impressed by the overall use of all the channels to make a great-sounding whole.

Probably best described as Prog Pop but really well done Prog Pop. I really like this and now will dig back into the Birdsong records to see if I missed something.
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Where ambitious music meets catchy tunes in a great 5.1 mix.

A really pleasant surprise of a 10 from an artist about whom I knew nothing about before picking this one up. The quality of the album fully lives up to his credentials of a professor at a music department without feeling 'over-engineered' as is sometimes the case with professionally trained musicians.

It seems that the physical release is available in the UK, and perhaps Europe overall, only from the Burning Shed, so don't miss out on adding it to your basket when shopping there.
Where ambitious music meets catchy tunes in a great 5.1 mix.

A really pleasant surprise of a 10 from an artist about whom I knew nothing about before picking this one up...
Be sure to go back and get all the previous Alan Williams and Birdsong At Morning albums mixed in surround. I'm guessing if you like this (like I do), you will like the others (like I do).