96kHz/24-bit, FLAC*; Brushfire Records 00602557827743 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
There’s something familiar about this latest album from the surfer-turned-environmental activist, who appears on the cover surrounded by artfully-arranged plastics from the sea. Trouble is, it’s not comfortingly familiar in its continuation of the feel-good Hawaiian-tinged sounds of past offerings. Rather, it’s just more of the same, with Johnson showing little sign of moving on or developing, but instead just resting on his laurels. Or his palm-fronds, or whatever. The result is an album that’s as unchallenging as it’s regrettably formulaic, with not much sign of the non-stop hit material Johnson has delivered on past albums. Even the sound doesn’t do much to inspire, as PM notes in his lab report below, being rather lazy, and the whole thing has an air of being as disposable as – well, as things that shouldn’t get chucked in the sea and wash up on our beaches. AE
Sound Quality: 70%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
Ignore the ‘96kHz’ legend on your DAC because this file is clearly an upsample from 48kHz. Also, trks 3 and 7 look to be presented in mono (trk 10 is very nearly mono!) while clipped samples are most evident on trks 6 and 9. PM
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