Audiophile: Digital, January 2022

hfnalbum.pngPatricia Barber
Impex Records IMP8323 (SACD 5.1, downloads to DXD resolution)

No slouch as a songwriter, but Barber is also a sassy interpreter of material from all manner of genres, with an album devoted to Cole Porter, and covered tracks by The Doors and The Temptations, Gershwin and Miles, and Bobbie Gentry. Eclectic? You bet. Twenty years on from Nightclub, dealing mainly with the Great American Songbook, comes a sparse-sounding set, Barber backed by bassist Patrick Mulcahy and drummer Jon Deitemyer, plus guitarist Neal Alger and saxophonist Jim Gailloretto. Recorded during sessions for Higher, it contains gems from Lerner & Loewe, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Monk, Lee Hazlewood and Stevie Wonder, and a sexy 'The In Crowd'. If bourbon could sing, it would sound like this. KK


Tom Petty
Angel Dream
Warner 09362 4883043

For the most part, posthumous releases from the Petty vault have been bereft of a sense of exploitation, unlike, say, the plundering of John Lennon's archives. This is described as a '25th Anniversary reimagining' of the 1996 soundtrack, She's The One, but it's a mixed bag, and I'm trying not to go easy on it because I adored Petty. The original has had a complete makeover, remixed and remastered, with tracks removed and others added, the confusion due to She's The One containing stuff left off 1994's Wildflowers – itself reissued in expanded form. That said, this is Petty at his peak, so it's jangly, guitar-driven, Byrds-y and thus a joy. KK


Trio Mediæval
2L 2L-165-SABD (SACD + Blu-ray)

Another 2L set allowing comparison of formats, this mainly a cappella collection of hymns and lullabies will appeal to those who enjoy Gregorian chants, the sound of castrati or other ethereal vocal styles, with some bass and sax to add to the atmosphere. If these are lullabies, I fear for Norway's young, but, hey, diversity and all that. As far as audiophile needs are concerned, the SACD lets you hear the trio in 5.1 surround DSD or stereo DSD, and MQA CD. The Pure Audio Blu-ray contains 2.0 LPCM 192kHz/24-bit, 5.1 Dolby TrueHD 192kHz/24-bit, 7.1.4 Auro-3D 96kHz, 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos 48kHz, and mShuttle. Hey, you might wish to fire up your home cinema! KK


Various Artists
Now Yearbook 1983
Sony Music/EMI 94398 73352 (four discs)

This is a public service for those who were aged between 12-20 in 1983, as I despise at least 65 of the 80 tracks. Psychologists tell us that's when musical tastes are formed, and we value that music above all else, so I thank God my years were 1964-1972. I'd forgotten how insidious was 1983 artifice, from the music to the recording techniques to the images. But I work for you, though I nearly lost the will to live after hearing, in succession, Wham!, Eurythmics, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Kajagoogoo and the ultimate curse: Spandau Ballet. Stone me, is this swill! Tolerable moments came from Toto, Tina Turner, and Robert Plant. But New Order? The Cure? Kill me! KK