Sound on Half-Speed Mastered Double Vinyl Set Will Make You Swoon
Sumptuous 2008 Album Celebrates Timeless Pop Classics
Move over, Ella Fitz and Ol’ Blue Eyes. There’s a new standout interpreter of classic pop songs in town. Yes, Patricia Barber’s The Cole Porter Mix belongs on the same level of amazing as the work of the 20th century’s most famous singers. Barber’s attention to detail, exploration of lyrical meaning, and rejuvenation of familiar tunes that, in her grasp, now sound new again, are that good.
Anyone put-off by Barber’s artsy flights on her other records will want to put such reservations aside. The Cole Porter Mix is more about the song that how one develops and arrives at an arrangement. There’s no high-arch poetry here, just sumptuous melodies and subtle rhythmic devices. Solo saxophone flights by guest Chris Potter and understated guitar work by longtime Barber foil Neal Alger fill the arrangements with an ideal balance of grit and grace. Factor in Barber’s erotic tones, playful humor, and fine piano playing, and this set of pop standards is love at first listen.
And now, that achievement sounds just absolutely brilliant. Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on quiet slabs of 180-gram vinyl, Mobile Fidelity’s two-LP edition of The Cole Porter Mix will rival the best-sounding vocal records in your collection. Realizing how crucial Barber’s distinctive phrasing, soft-spoken expressions, and intimate timbre are to the material, MoFi engineers did everything to ensure that every last microtone and microdetail of this close-up recording comes through cleanly, clearly, and accurately.