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Reviews: The Pretenders: Pretenders II

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Reviews: 6

Review by progboy January 26, 2011 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
So after reading all the hype and pre-release hype and post release let -downs I still decided to buy this SACD. There were way to many mixed sound reviews and opinions and quite frankly I could not make heads or tails out of the i bought it as i love this album.....

Ok now my opinion.......

This SACD release has an overall warmth to it....what it lacks is clear definition especially in the guitar work and seems to instead focus on the drum bass and vocals of Chrissie Hynde. The sound does not leap out at you as do some of the other SACD's (like DSOTM) but it also does not have the tinny sound that other poorly remastered SACD's sport.

The album is wonderful and the mix of the SACD is not however going to blow you is subtle than other SACD'S

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Review by Gordymcelroy February 4, 2011 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I concur exactly with what Progboy says. It's an ok SACD but it will not blow you away. it's a shame because I think it could have been so much better.

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Review by lenw March 22, 2011 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I have no way of knowing who is to blame for this disappointing recording - is the original recording is so bad it can't be saved? The recording level is too high and despite many recordings over emphasizing the vocalist, Chrissie Hynde is lost in this mix. If you listen at volume levels that minimize the dynamic range, you will be able to appreciate the unique voice of Ms. Hynde. But unfortunately this SACD does not rise to the goose bump level. Of the four MoFi SACD's I've purchased recently, only the Foreigner album was truly exceptional for its genre.

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Review by Quint June 10, 2011 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
It’s just a feeling, but I think the master tapes must be in poor condition, because I didn’t think the Rhino redbook remaster was that fabulous either. “II” is one of my very favorite Pretenders albums—the chemistry that the original band had must really be heard to be appreciated—but unfortunately I think there’s only so much you can do to polish a turd. Newer MFSL releases have been terrific, so I have my doubts that it was their fault. Who knows? In the end, though, this Mo-Fi is superior to the Rhino redbook—it has a wider soundstage, better mids, and Chrissie’s unbelievable voice is bathed in a nice degree of warmth—so those looking for the ultimate digital edition should probably get this, but don’t expect miracles. It’s very good but not great.

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Review by downunderman October 28, 2011 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This recording is very much of its time and while the MOFI SACD transfer certainly sounds as if it captured everything on the tape it is pretty clear that MOFI were working with something of a sows ear here.
But, it is a punk recording of a band in full punk flight and the recording quality is very much reflective of the punk aesthetic. I don't know anything about the engineer/producer who oversaw the recording, but you would swear that for some of the tracks they just pressed play and left the band to it whilst they went down the pub for a beer. There is some really shaky bass reproduction in some parts, which is a bit of an indication on the quality of the studio engineering and one can only wonder at the quality of the tape they were using.
That said, the MOFI transfer does capture the atmosphere of the band in the recording studio beautifully and whilst it is not the bands best effort by any means, it does have a certain rough charm.
If you play the record as intended (loud)then it remains an enjoyable punkish romp and sonically probably about as good as we are going to get it - unless of course the master tapes themselves get tweaked at some point in the future.

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Review by vonwegen June 18, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:
Folks, the reason this SACD disappoints is because the original vinyl does too. Fact is, this album's sessions were blighted by the drug issues of two of the band, and it shows in some of the mixes, especially "Talk Of The Town", which is one of the two standout tunes. This album is without a doubt, the weakest-sounding recording to come from the ace studio team of Chris Thomas & Bill Price at Wessex, and the only way to correct that is to do a full-on remix. But even that won't transform this album to the exalted level of Pretenders I, simply because there are not the finely-crafted layers that turned that album into something really special, pun intended.

Rob LoVerde did a nice job with this, a bunch of great songs not really given the care they deserved.

If you want to beef up the clarity, try adding some analogue compression into your playback system--it does help, though that goes against the Mobile Fidelity credo.

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