I dislike music critics. For the most part, I don’t think judging someone else’s art makes much sense, and for a lot of reasons. For example, if I told you this is brilliant, sounds amazing, and is easily one of my favorite records of 2016, what would that mean to you? You can listen to it and decide for yourself – you don’t me to tell you that. Beyond that, reviewers get stupid and arrogant and sometimes just silly. And, like I said, what the hell do they know about what the artist intended?
So instead of reviewing the music, I’m going to review the vinyl package for people who, like I, care about this sort of stuff.
First, the jacket. Wonderful. Heavyweight cardboard gatefold with fantastic print quality. It’s not glossy, either – it feels more like paper, which I really like. The spine is nice and thick for easy identification in a record shelf. All lyrics are printed on the left side of the gatefold in easy-to-read type that makes it a pleasure to sit with while listening to the record. Credits are there as well.
Now, the vinyl. It comes in a quality lined-paper sleeve, which is a welcome thing (I’ll still probably add an anti-static sleeve though – damn OCD). As for the vinyl itself, it’s fantastic. I don’t know where it was pressed, but I’m guessing QRP. If not, they’ve got competition as this pressing is world-class. Dead flat, no noise, no fill problems. Centered on both sides,along with a perfectly centered label. No rough edges, no issues with the hole, all absolutely great.
Print quality on the label is also excellent.
Yes, there’s a download code as well, for 320k MP3s. No, not FLAC, so what? If I want to archive, I’ll needle drop it.
As might be expected when Bob Ludwig masters, this sounds fantastic. Although it’s a relatively short record, the upside is that the cut can be better, and it shows. The recording quality is obviously great, and it’s not let down in final production.
If you like Wilco, and you like your music on vinyl, this bad boy is a must buy. It’s that good.
Oh yeah; this is brilliant, sounds amazing, and is easily one of my favorite records of 2016.