If only this were to be as simple as reviewing a product based on its own merits. Unfortunately, there’s a storm surrounding this one.
Forget Lady GaGa’s antics. Forget how dorky Justin Beiber is. Forget whether or not American Idol - and now Glee - are ruining popular music for all time. One of the biggest controversies in music right now is over reissued albums.
It’s actually been a widespread problem for some time. Only recently has it become too prevalent to ignore. In fact, one of the major reasons the reissue controversy has exploded was over the last set of Duran Duran reissues.
Re-releases of the band’s self-titled debut and Seven and the Ragged Tiger, as well as Arcadia’s So Red The Rose, were met with outrage from fans and even from one of the founding members. From complaints that the clicks in “Girls On Film” sound like the master tape was eaten to an Amazon reviewer pointing out that Seven and the Ragged Tiger “sounds like a third generation cassette copy” to even Andy Taylor himself decrying that “the remastering’s crap” that “sounds like it was done down the pub”. And that’s to say nothing of the “brickwalling.”
That’s right - the problem has gotten so bad that it has its own name. “Brickwalling” is basically defines as a recording in which ”there are no dynamics left in the music. Everything is so limited and compressed that all passages of the music are the same volume. Songs mastered this way are perceived to be LOUD LOUD LOUD! Also, when viewing a waveform in an audio editor, the waveform of something that is brickwalled doesn't have peaks and valleys, and instead look like a two by four.”