post brought to you by: dyson
Most average music listeners don’t know what an engineer does. This honestly, is how most of them like to be known. If the engineer does a great job on an album, the people who really care will take the time to seek out who put to tape the amazing sounds the band was creating.
The average music listener will pick up an album, listen to it, and say yey or ney pretty quickly within the first track or two. And I KNOW this has a lot to do with what the engineer has done to it.
People love lo-fi (me being one) and people also love polished, pristine sounding albums (Steely Dan’s Aja anyone?).
Both have their charms but one band comes to mind who has suffered from this greatly as of recently. Tigercity is a band I put on repeat when I heard their first EP ‘Pretend Not To Love‘. This album was pristine as pristine can be. I could listen to it cranked to 11 or on 2 and it still would sound amazing. (which is an almost impossible accomplishment for an engineer.)
But they have just recently released a new album titled ‘Ancient Lover‘. I have been witness to many of these songs live, and as much as I love the group, I have to say, this album suffers from good engineering. The track ‘James Iha’ has been one of my favorites live but MAN does it suffer from poor mixing or mastering. (actually I think the whole album suffers from both but this is the prime example). How does a band who is growing at an extremely rapid rate of popularity suffer from poor engineering on their first full length release?? This clearly blows my mind.
But my honest apologies to Tigercity. I love them as a band and will still support all they do. But what happened with the studio work on ‘Ancient Lover’? One day I hope to get a solid answer that will allow me to rest easy at night.