176.4kHz/24-bit FLAC & DSD64, Fidelio FACD046 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

There’s little musical innovation to savour in this collection of piano compositions from Canadian pianist Pascal Mailloux, whose career has been writing music for films, TV shows and commercials, and collaborating with Montreal-born singer Marjolène Morin (aka Marjo) over the years. Still, he does conjure up some delightful melodies, and the performances by his accompanists are polished throughout. I’ve found myself returning to ‘Morning Mist’ for its intriguing chord progression and Dave Gilmour-esque slide guitar break. And ‘October Sky’ is another infectious track. But given that Rain was recorded in ultra-hi-res ‘DXD’ (a marketing/brand name for 352.8kHz sampling rate PCM at a bit-depth of 24- or 32-bits and commonly used when mixing/editing DSD recordings) – the sound isn’t as spectacular as one might wish for. It’s a little ‘safe’ and lacking in sparkle. JB

Sound Quality: 80%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Fidelio’s X2HD is a 352.8kHz/32-bit DXD recording process conceived to ‘get rid of most computer processes and external hash’. Judging by the spurious ultrasonic tones in this 176.4kHz downsample, it’s not been 100% successful. PM