Saturday, November 7, 2015

CD Review: Audio Fidelity Brings Out The Best Of Loggins & Messina And Takes Michael Hedges To New Heights

There have been a steady flow of iconic albums being remastered and re-released through the Audio Fidelity label and the new Hybrid Multi-Channel SACDs have been the cream of the crop for fans. The latest release in this format comes from the folk/rock duo Loggins & Messina. It is the duo's second self-titled album that gets the upgrade. As their debut release "Sittin' In" had an instant impact with their country/folk harmonies, their second album found them reaching into more rock territory. Right from the opener "Good Friend," you get hit with the seventies funk/rock guitar, then the southern groove of "Your Mama Don't Dance" has a wider range of instruments with this new remaster. The horns and the bass are more present and the drums are clean and able to breath with all these other instruments surrounding it. The playful "Long Tail Cat" and the beautiful "Golden Ribbons" sound amazing, but the reward on this release is the nearly eight-minute album closer "Angry Eyes." This epic song was perfectly made to be presented in this format as you have wonderful instrumentation and warm harmonies. Steve Hoffman handled the SACD mastering of this album and Al Lawrence supervised the 4.0 Multichannel Quad Sound mix.

Also new from Audio Fidelity is the SACD version of Michael Hedges' "Aerial Boundaries" album. The album was originally released in 1984 on the Windam Hill label and considered by many to be the best acoustic guitar album of all time. The new remaster adds some warmth to the acoustic sound and gives it a fatter, fuller sound that you will instantly notice in the opener "Aerial Boundaries." You can almost hear Michael Hedges picking the strings in "Rickover's Dream" and he turns Neil Young's "After The Gold Rush" into a beautiful instrumental sunset, led by Michael Manring's fretless bass. The up-tempo experimentation of "Hot Type" is clean and sharp, while the seven-minute "Menage A Trois" takes you on an acoustic journey. To find out more about these two latest releases from Audio Fidelity, please visit

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