Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hardened Music

What is it that's wrong with this Florence and the Machine song, Dog Days are Over? I liked it when I first heard it but there is something very... "hard"... with the sound.

I can't quite put my finger on it. Is it the limiting in the mastering? Well, there is actually some dynamic range in the vocals. There are some pops in the "p"'s but... I dunno. The "plainsong" style is interesting. Hmm... maybe the vocals are limited out the wazoo. Are they just autotuned within an inch of their lives? Like I said, I can't quite figure it out.
Now here's a song with some very solid low-end, but a complete lack of auto-tune on the voice. Cat Stevens' Peace Train.

Truthfully, I dig some of the live versions of this song even better. I think at some point Cat Stevens sounded more like "Cat Stevens" -- like somewhere around 1976.
And come on -- that very clear tape edit at 3:01 is just amusing. I mean, could you imagine that passing muster in a modern recording? The mastering engineer would just kick that back to the mixer.
And I forget that that coda exists too...

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