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The Aliens - Luna - Top Recording of 2008 -

03 February 2009
Rad Bennett

The Aliens: Luna
Direct download from Linn

The music of the Aliens - what's left of the Beta Band, a popular Scottish group - is usually described as upbeat, psychedelic pop. The music on their second album, Luna, is appealing and eclectic, sounding by turns like the Who, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and others, but the main ghosts in this machine are those of the Beatles. There are lots of sound and instrumental effects and tight harmony vocals, and never a dull moment. [This paragraph is paraphrased from my review in late 2008.]

The recording is as clean as can be, except for the occasional deliberate distortion. The sound is at times intimate, at times suggestive of vast spaces, but always with letter-perfect resolution and presence. Due to skillful phase shifting, the recording behaves in a very interesting and satisfactory manner when played back through a DSP surround-sound setting. Neural Surround was my favorite. For these aspects of this album, however, you'll have to download it, or download and burn it to your own DVD; neither the commercially released CD nor Linn's "CD Quality" download uses the same master as the 24/48. Hearing the hi-rez Luna will convert even those most skeptical about digital downloads.

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