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<br>James Taylor - Sweet Baby James<p>A Rhino / Warners Heavy Vinyl Winner!</p>

James Taylor - Sweet Baby James

A Rhino / Warners Heavy Vinyl Winner!

Sonic Grade: B+

This Rhino 180g LP is the BEST SOUNDING Heavy Vinyl reissue to come our way in a long long time. Those of you who’ve been with us for a while know that that’s really not saying much, but it doesn’t make it any less true either, now does it. Let’s look at what it doesn’t do wrong first.

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Sku # : taylosweet_scorecard
Manufacturer : Rhino

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It doesn’t sound opaque, compressed, dry and just plain dead as a doornail like so many new reissues do. Neither does it have the phony modern mastering sound we hate about the 2007 Blue. (We seem to be pretty much alone in not liking that one, and we’re proud to say we still don’t like it. Hey, play The Blue Game and maybe you’ll start to appreciate why.)

The new Sweet Baby James actually sounds like a -- gulp -- fairly decent original.

The amazing transparency and dynamic energy of the best originals will probably never be equalled by an audiophile pressing like this. (It hasn't happened yet and we remain skeptical of the possibility.) Considering that this pressing is sure to beat most reissues, imports and such like, we have no problem heartily recommending it to our customers, especially at the price.

Hoffman and Gray can take pride in this Sweet Baby James. It's some of the best work I've heard from them to date. If more DCC and Heavy Vinyl sounded like this, we wouldn't be so critical of them. Unfortunately they don't, and there are scores of pages of commentary on the site to back up that statement for those of you interested in the subject.

The real thing can't be beat, but this gets you a lot closer to the sound of the real thing than most of the Heavy Vinyl we've heard. I would say it easily qualifies for a Heavy Vinyl Top Ten ranking. We don't actually have a Heavy Vinyl Top Ten List, but if we ever make one up, expect to see this record on it.

One More Thing

There is one obvious and somewhat bothersome fault with this new pressing, an EQ issue. Anybody care to guess what it is? Send us an email if you think you know. Hint: it's the kind of thing that sticks out like a sore thumb, the kind of obvious EQ error I can't ever recall hearing on an original.

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