96kHz/24-bit, FLAC*; Alma Records ACD61762 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
There’s more than one way to deliver the inevitable career retrospective or ‘Best of...’ album, and this Canadian rock musician’s own exercise in novelty cat-skinning involves bringing in a symphony orchestra to back songs covering a career spanning more than 40 years, starting with the early ‘Painted Ladies’. Turning on the lush here is the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra – half the price of using a Canadian orchestra, Thomas explains – and the rock instrumentation has been discarded as, he says, ‘The drums would wipe out the whole orchestra. The challenge was to be respectful of the orchestra.’ The result is rather easy-listening – but yes, there are still drums! – and surprisingly throws more of a spotlight on Thomas’s songwriting, which is no bad thing. More ‘one for the fans’ than a ‘new listeners start here’, this is still not an unpleasant way to spend an hour or so. AE
Sound Quality: 75%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
There’s clearly some mixed sample rate material in here, including the vocal feed at what looks like 48kFs [black spectrum]. The ultrasonic content looks unlikely too: possibly distortion from the percussion or – worst case – aliasing products. PM
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