96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Warner Music 9362499752 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Check your levels before launching Morph – the opening kick-drum/bass note is pushed up to knock you down! The surround mix of this 2006 inter-Dan album from the funky-fingered Fagen won a Grammy, and the 24/96 stereo version remains a production showcase, laying fruity layers of backing vocals across crisp and cruisy grooves even when the matter under consideration is considerably grave – even the eponymous giant cat turns out to represent a growing brainwashed malaise hanging over America. This disquiet perhaps infuses a particularly pedestrian plod into several pieces, the groove pinched so anal tight as to squeeze out its swing. Elsewhere this could be Aja Dan: ‘Security Joan’, ‘Brite Nightgown’ and ‘H Gang’ are friction-free, while the hi-hat opening to ‘Mary Shut The Garden Door’ is breathtaking in both performance and portrayal. A semi-classic, in fine form. JF

Sound Quality: 85%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Far less compressed than many a modern rock/pop album, Morph The Cat plays host to some powerful (30-40dB) percussive transients. The bandwidth afforded by 96kHz sampling is occupied but there’s a deal of sub-1kHz synth. PM