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"Flaws" or Things You Hate About Your Favorite Albums.
Old 13th November 2009
  #1
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"Flaws" or Things You Hate About Your Favorite Albums.

I've always had a hard time explaining to my friends outside of the music profession that there are many things I dislike about even my favorite records. Normally this conversation comes about when I start tearing a part an album I'm listening to with someone in the car. They'll ask "Wow, do you hate this record?", and I'll say "No, I actually love this record, but I hate *insert 25 different issues*".

I was never sure if other people felt this way until the issue came up in another thread when Thomas Barefoot mentioned that he hears flaws in some of the albums that he listens to when playing other people's records on his speakers.

So, what things bug you about albums that you love? Are there any albums that you wouldn't change a single thing, start to finish?


I'll start:

1. I've always hated the snare drum sound in 'Dry the Rain' by The Beta Band. I find it completely cringe-worthy.
2. I've always hated that crappy 'scream' that the bassist does in Muse's 'Supermassive Black Hole'.
3. 'Holland, 1945' by Neutral Milk Hotel would be a better song if everything wasn't effing distorting. Lo-Fi is great, but that song sounds like a nails on a chalk board. I still listen to it frequently.
4. 'A Short Reprise for Mary Todd...' has always annoyed me on Sufjan's Illinoise. 'Jacksonville' and 'Decatur...' are two of my favorite songs on that record, and I want to be able to listen to them without having to listen to that 0:48 instrumental or without hitting the skip track button.
5. The vocals are too damn quiet on all of Broken Social Scene's self titlted. I know it's 'indie' to have indiscernible vocals, but there are too many great singers in that super group to bury the vocals in the mix.

The list goes on and on...

Anyone else?
Old 13th November 2009
  #2
DRC
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I wish Sam Beam would re-track and mix "Creek Drank The Cradle" in its entirety. It's got some of the best songwriting of the decade on it but it is nearly unlistenable because it was done as a demo on a cassette 4-track. Makes for a great little story but I think those songs deserve some sense of fidelity.

I also wish Bruce Hornsby would re-track "The Way It Is" in its entirety. The recordings he has put out in the last decade sound great. Then I listen to the debut and the piano sounds like a sample and the drums are most certainly triggers. At least they sound like it. Maybe the CD pressings were just bad as they probably mastered that album for vinyl. Either way, I'd love to hear the piano opening to 'Every Little Kiss' have the fullness and depth of the tracks on Spirit Trail.
Old 13th November 2009
  #3
DRC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
4. 'A Short Reprise for Mary Todd...' has always annoyed me on Sufjan's Illinoise. 'Jacksonville' and 'Decatur...' are two of my favorite songs on that record, and I want to be able to listen to them without having to listen to that 0:48 instrumental or without hitting the skip track button.
Why don't you dump them into a DAW and edit them yourself and make your own little mix with all your favorite tunes on it? I used to do this for my ex-girlfriend when I wanted to add a live track to a mix with studio cuts.
Old 13th November 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post


5. The vocals are too damn quiet on all of Broken Social Scene's self titlted. I know it's 'indie' to have indiscernible vocals, but there are too many great singers in that super group to bury the vocals in the mix.


Anyone else?
yesterday I listened to one of those songs on BSS and thought 'there are some lovely vocals there but I can't hear them'.
I play the album all the time.

oh well
Old 13th November 2009
  #5
"Flaws" or Things You Hate About Your Favorite Albums.

That you have to buy them on vinyl a few times, then CD's then iTunes

Old 13th November 2009
  #6
Gear Maniac
The snare in "The Real Thing" by "Faith No More"

It just gets on my nerves. It's still more or less my favourite album of all time, but a tighter snare would make it all the more pleasing!!!
Old 13th November 2009
  #7
RTR
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I can never get my wife to understands..I have "hates" for a lot of song lyrics and the one I hate the most is that damn Miley Cyrus - See You Again..my daughter loves it but I try to explain that "I’ve got my sight set on you,And I’m ready to aim" Is the same damn thing..sight set on you and AIM is the same thing..ughhhh..no body gets it man..I'm getting mad just typeing this..heh
Old 13th November 2009
  #8
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the drum sound on as i lay dying's first CD "frail words collapse"
bob dylans voice in general
brightblack morning light's overuse of reverb on both albums gets very tiresome
early explosions in the sky has blatantly out of tune guitars
ozzy ozbourne's vocals on "dairy of a madman" are way too loud
daft punk's helmets !

like you said, i love em all though.
Old 13th November 2009
  #9
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Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come:

Too friggin short of an album. Seriously, I listened to this record for 23 hours straight one time (broken CD player in the car on a road trip gone awry) and never got sick of it. Still listen to it almost weekly and have trouble finding many flaws except that there should be more.

Misery Signals - Mirrors:

One word: SQUASHED

Seriously, this album is so "over mastered" (read: loud and compressed) that it distorts on any system I play it on. I love the record, but anything I have to EQ that much to have it not fatiguing to listen to had something awful happen to it.

Also, I swear I keep hearing random background noise filter in on some tracks (cell phones, televisions, etc.) that don't seem to fit.

The Number Twelve Looks Like You - Worse Than Alone:

This could have been their best album ever. I feel like the mixing on this record left a lot to be desired though.

Brand New - Daisy:

Still not sure what I think about the mixing on this one either.

EDIT: First post! I'll go back to lurking now.
Old 13th November 2009
  #10
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The drums on Magma's Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh are mixed waaay too low.

The guitar tone in Oingo Boingo's Only a Lad is tinny and unsatisfying.

The drum sounds on the early Talking Heads albums have that awful dead '70s thing going on.

The albums Zappa recorded in the early '80s when he first got his brand-new digital tape system sound pretty bad.

Most Cardiacs studio recordings have cheesy sequenced drums. They sound okay on Sing to God and Guns, but pretty bad on On Land And In The Sea and A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window.

But who's to say I wouldn't like these albums less if anything were changed? Well, except in the case of Magma...I definitely would trade for a version of that album with louder drums.
Old 13th November 2009
  #11
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My favorite albums are flawless, in my mind.

That's why they're favorites.

Any "flaws" that may exist become virtues, in this scenario.
Old 13th November 2009
  #12
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There is nothing I hate more then the stink that rises from my copy of Van Morrison's Tupelo Honey. Every time I play that LP, I'm reminded of the years I spent drinking and drugging and puking and passing out in weird places and towns I can't remember and people I've completely forgotten. IS it to much to ask for a body and mind that self heals so that you can abuse it just a little bit more?
Old 13th November 2009
  #13
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On all the early Hall & Oates records, Daryl's vocal tracks are thin & puny. Clearmountain was the first one to get it right.
Old 13th November 2009
  #14
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The lack of bass on Genesis' 'Wind and Wuthering' - probably my favourite album, but it's just a muddle of mid-frequencies for much of the time. Mix or mastering - who knows?

Interestingly (to me, at least!) my other favourite (joint first, close second?) album, Jon Andersons' 'Olias of Sunhillow' has much the same problem.

And I really wish the whole track 'More Fool Me' could be wiped from the master of 'Selling England by the Pound'. It's a nice little ditty in the right place - but that's not the right place.
Old 13th November 2009
  #15
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Drum sounds on rock tunes in general. I can't count the number of times I've heard some (usually slower) rock tune and thought to myself they should really have replaced that snare.

Also, bad 80's reverbs. I don't mind a lot of reverb if that's your style. I mind crappy boxy sounding reverbs. I love 80's electrofunk stuff, so there are far too many dishonorable mentions in this category.
Old 13th November 2009
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Never1 View Post
My favorite albums are flawless, in my mind.

That's why they're favorites.

Any "flaws" that may exist become virtues, in this scenario.

A true Ship of Theseus question, for sure. However, some production flaws seem unforgiveable.
Old 13th November 2009
  #17
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Its funny that this thread should come up today because I was driving home from work yesterday and "Working Man" by Rush came on. IMHO, the mixing levels get really screwed up after that chunky bass solo. Way too much Hi-Hat and guitar. Could barely hear the rest of the kit, and Geddy still has some great licks going on behind there.
Old 13th November 2009
  #18
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The cringey fake laugh bit at the end of Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell.
The cringey 'Oi' bit at the end of Mother's Little Helper by the Stones.
The Hammond organ solo on the Beatles' version of Mr Moonlight.
Digital reverb on some otherwise good 80's stuff e.g. REM, the Waterboys, Smiths, La's. (Someone should remix that stuff with plates etc.)
Lots of weak lyrics in otherwise good songs (that's a thread in itself.)
Old 13th November 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
I was never sure if other people felt this way until the issue came up in another thread when Thomas Barefoot mentioned that he hears flaws in some of the albums that he listens to when playing other people's records on his speakers.
Just to clarify, I put "flaws" in quotes. I love these recordings. I think they are brilliant and any "imperfections" only add to their character and depth. I don't want folks to get the impression that I'm disrespecting anyone's work. Just the opposite.
Old 13th November 2009
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

I hate the drum sound on "How Soon is Now?" by The Smiths. Too much digital reverb on the snare and the kick is way too punchy. Unbelievably good song though.
Old 13th November 2009
  #21
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Fab4ever's Avatar
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" on Abbey Road....
Old 13th November 2009
  #22
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fearkills's Avatar
 

Flaw?

On Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral, the song I Do Not Want This. In the very beginning it sounds like the left side drops out completely for a second or two. Not sure if it was intentional or perhaps an automation mistake, but its always kinda bugged me
Old 13th November 2009
  #23
Gear Nut
 

April Wine "Live, one from the road" the guitars sound terrible.
Old 13th November 2009
  #24
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRC View Post
Why don't you dump them into a DAW and edit them yourself and make your own little mix with all your favorite tunes on it? I used to do this for my ex-girlfriend when I wanted to add a live track to a mix with studio cuts.
I've never thought about doing that. The other day I actually just removed the instrumental all together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucho View Post
yesterday I listened to one of those songs on BSS and thought 'there are some lovely vocals there but I can't hear them'.
I play the album all the time.

oh well
Agreed. Very unfortunate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nebzero View Post
Brand New - Daisy:

Still not sure what I think about the mixing on this one either.
Agreed. I haven't liked Brand New's production on Daisy or Devil and God. Devil and God's production is particularly lazy, in my opinion. I know they want to come across like they don't give a shit, but starting 4 songs with almost identical, quiet, clean electric guitar is just aggravating to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot View Post
Just to clarify, I put "flaws" in quotes. I love these recordings. I think they are brilliant and any "imperfections" only add to their character and depth. I don't want folks to get the impression that I'm disrespecting anyone's work. Just the opposite.
Of course, I didn't mean to translate your post as you disrespecting anyone. To me, loving an album so much that you pick it apart is a show of respect.

I love it when I play a show and someone comes up to me to talk about my music. When someone knows enough about my songs to say "I really like that distorted beat that fades in under the acoustic drums at the end of the last chorus, but it wasn't loud enough" just shows that someone really loves the music enough to appreciate all of the little parts.

I hate a lot of music, and consequently, I don't have a list about any of those songs because I never listen to them.



Another one I want to add: I don't like the reverb on a lot of the Pixies songs. Too bright.
Old 14th November 2009
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
I've always had a hard time explaining to my friends outside of the music profession that there are many things I dislike about even my favorite records. Normally this conversation comes about when I start tearing a part an album I'm listening to with someone in the car. They'll ask "Wow, do you hate this record?", and I'll say "No, I actually love this record, but I hate *insert 25 different issues*".

I was never sure if other people felt this way until the issue came up in another thread when Thomas Barefoot mentioned that he hears flaws in some of the albums that he listens to when playing other people's records on his speakers.

So, what things bug you about albums that you love? Are there any albums that you wouldn't change a single thing, start to finish?


I'll start:

1. I've always hated the snare drum sound in 'Dry the Rain' by The Beta Band. I find it completely cringe-worthy.
2. I've always hated that crappy 'scream' that the bassist does in Muse's 'Supermassive Black Hole'.
3. 'Holland, 1945' by Neutral Milk Hotel would be a better song if everything wasn't effing distorting. Lo-Fi is great, but that song sounds like a nails on a chalk board. I still listen to it frequently.
4. 'A Short Reprise for Mary Todd...' has always annoyed me on Sufjan's Illinoise. 'Jacksonville' and 'Decatur...' are two of my favorite songs on that record, and I want to be able to listen to them without having to listen to that 0:48 instrumental or without hitting the skip track button.
5. The vocals are too damn quiet on all of Broken Social Scene's self titlted. I know it's 'indie' to have indiscernible vocals, but there are too many great singers in that super group to bury the vocals in the mix.

The list goes on and on...

Anyone else?

lot's of early KISS stuff, sabbath's old records, Beatles stuff, old metallica stuff
pretty much any older/classic record have some flaws. flaws are cool. Is there a perfect record?
I've never heard one maybe like 90125 or an MJ record would be the closest. For rock
it's tough. Lot's of r&b records are sorta pristine. I dunno
Old 14th November 2009
  #26
Old 14th November 2009
  #27
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velopop's Avatar
 

I just picked up the Dio Anthology CD set, and I couldn't believe how bad those drum sounds SUCK! The toms are thud, thud thud, no overtones whatsoever, and the kick is non-existent. And the snare for the most part is paper-thin.

Good thing most listeners are paying attention to the great Dio vox
Old 14th November 2009
  #28
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vernier's Avatar
My fave albums are flawless ...

Certain ones by: Buffalo Springfield, Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Peter Paul & Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, Zeppelin, Creedence, Sinatra, Nat Cole, Dean Martin, Sweet, Hank Williams Sr, Patsy Cline, Faron Young, Ray Price, Hank Snow, Dave Brubeck, Marty Robbins, Janiva Magness, Mandy Barnett, Getz/Gilberto, Jeff Hamilton, Carl Smith, Emmylou Harris, and a hundred more.
Old 14th November 2009
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velopop View Post
I just picked up the Dio Anthology CD set, and I couldn't believe how bad those drum sounds SUCK!
yeah holy diver is a bad drum sound. Last in line is worse?

man, Vinne Appice is the best rock drummer still living on the face of the earth
his drum sound's are better than him if that is possible or if that even makes any sense.
Holy diver drum sound will never be topped by anyone for a rock/soft metal record.

I guess the first 2 albums must not be featured on anthology
LOL
Old 14th November 2009
  #30
Shy
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My favorite albums have nothing I hate.
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