96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Concord Music [no number] (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
The fact that Changes is a 96kHz/24-bit recording is something of a moot point given that this is one of those ‘close-miked vocals over tinkling background’ albums that would sound pretty good on anything north of a £30 Bluetooth speaker. It’s all rather familiar stuff, and a glimpse of the tracklist – ‘Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most’, ‘After You’ve Gone’, ‘No Moon At All’ and the like – might make you think we’re firmly in Holly Cole territory. Well yes, but Ms Neikrug is more ‘straight down the line’ than her Canadian counterpart, and despite crisp, clean work by pianist/arranger/producer Laurene Hobgood, this set is just a bit forgettable, and the singer’s occasional lapse into an almost childlike wail could begin to irritate on repeated listens. Changes may be the title, but there’s nothing really transformative here – indeed, it’s all rather ‘safe’. AE
Sound Quality: 80%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
This FLAC file’s 96kHz sample rate confers a ~45kHz bandwidth and although the piano resides at <10kHz, Neikrug’s voice and the accompanying percussion show harmonics (possibly distortion and noise from in-line limiters) above 20kHz. PM
Want the latest issue of Hi-Fi News? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!