Audiophile: Vinyl, August 2023

hfnalbum.pngLori Lieberman
Drive On Records 115115 18 180g vinyl

Besides her fine originals, LL has always shown impeccable taste in others' compositions, inadvertently becoming an influencer: it was she who was responsible for leading Roberta Flack to that modern classic, 'Killing Me Softly', revisited here. I have been honoured to know Lori for 30 years, during which time I have begged her to dig deeper into The Great American Songbook. Thus Truly may be my favourite LP of hers to date, if just for her achingly delicate interpretations of 'You Go To My Head', 'Moonlight In Vermont' and, yes, 'Que Será, Será'. And thanks to her hubby Joe Cali, the sound quality is staggering. If you want to know what hi-fi hacks mean by 'intimacy', just hear this. KK


Jan Gunnar Hoff
2L 2L-168-LP (180g clear vinyl)

March's digital Album Choice is now on LP, and the opportunity for curious audiophiles is mixed: it enables vinyl-vs-SACD/Blu-ray comparison, but strictly via the pure two-channel experience instead of the digital formats' alternative multi-channel mixes. The LP masters come from the original 352.8kHz/24-bit recording, exported to 176.4kHz/24-bit for cutting at the pressing plant. As before, Home remains a gorgeous performance, mixing original compositions and standards to breathtaking effect. It is one of the most viscerally realistic piano recordings I have heard, and misses LP of the Month only because Ms Lieberman's landed on my deck at the same time. KK


The Preachers
Stay Out Of My World
Beat Rocket BR167 (mono; white vinyl)

Precisely the kind of band that should have made the original Nuggets compilation, The Preachers are straight out of the That Thing You Do genre of US-wannabee-British bands. In this case, The Stones and Pretty Things must have been on their turntables 24/7. This LA band burned brightly and quickly, lasting only 18 months: the LP's 13 tracks, including three singles and previously unreleased cuts, date from 1965, mainly their own proto-punk songs plus a couple of odd covers from the (US) punk playbook: 'Hey Joe' and 'Who Do You Love'. Superb liner notes mention Love, Buffalo Springfield and The Righteous Brothers, so that should pique your curiosity. KK


Talk Talk
The Party's Over 40th Anniversary Edition
Parlophone 0190296419638 (white vinyl)

Unusually among synth-dominated UK bands from the 1980s, Talk Talk have a strong cult following in the audiophile community, which seems to worship their later releases. I don't get it – and that's my problem, not yours – but to my ears it's the same over-produced gloss which makes me unable to endure Ultravox, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, et al. For all that, Talk Talk's 1982 debut is a perfect sound capsule of the era, and though not revered as highly as, say, Spirit Of Eden, it is genuinely a sonic spectacular. While this studio-dependent genre inherently highlights transient attack and punch, this also delivers a massive soundspace to challenge your system. KK