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  Interscope -
  Keane: Hopes and Fears
  "Hopes and Fears"

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Reviews: 9 show all

Review by zomax December 12, 2004 (12 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I was dubious as to whether this sacd would be worth the extra money, as the Universal website showed a low bit rate for the DVDa, which I assumed would mean a low bit rate PCM master. My initial impression on the stereo sacd confirmed my doubt. However, one listen to the multichannel layer and I had no regrets.

First, the music is rock/pop. Comparisons to Coldplay are inevitable and not unjustified, though Keane's music is nearly all piano-based. Not a lot of guitars, if any. Nice melodies, singer is good, though his voice uses the same tenor/falsetto pretty much the same throughout. Some songs use (computer-generated?) effects (see below). Hard to find a stand-out song on the album, but no bad ones either.

On the stereo sacd, I was disappointed with the lack of soundstage and the wishy-washy cymbals and drums. The MC mix allows the music to spread out and become more ambient. Drums and cymbals are still not as crisp as I like them to be, but the wishy-washy aspect is much decreased. In stereo, the effects seemed to detract from the presence of the other instruments. In 5.1, the effects add more and detract less than in stereo -- it gives the songs a very nice ethereal flavor that fits the music. 5.1 is definitely the way to go here.

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Review by Kevin January 12, 2005 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
"Hopes and Fears" is one of my favourite Albums from the last year, and I was happy to see it getting released on SACD. The Album itself with it's wonderfully sung songs, the atmospheric arrangements and widespread sound still impresses, which does not really refer to the SACD Version.
The SACD Stereo layer sounds nearly exactly the same as the CD Audio layer. Most tracks have been heavily compressed in the production of the album, so it's not a big surprise that the dynamic is limited. So neither the drums nor the voice did improve in any special way.

This is different on the Multichannel layer though:
The album was remixed and it seems that quite a few of the original reverb and delay settings were modified. The album doesn't seem as widespread as before in my opinion, it sounds more like a room enviroment. Anyway, there's still considerably more instrument seperation on most tracks, than on the stereo layer. The thing is though, that the mix doesn't differ that much from track to track. Some change would've done good to the songs, but it's still a pleasing mix.

Stick to the CD if you want to save money, but any fan of the band or the SACD Medium should get the SACD for the additional MC Mix.

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Review by VergeMusicWorks February 17, 2008 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is a great CD as far as the songs, the band, the sound, etc. But, extremely disappointingly, it's not a true, multi-channel, surround remix at all. At least it certainly doesn't seem that way to me. There don't seem to be any discrete items coming out of either of the surround speakers. I've been unable to find any mention or credits for a surround remix engineer. I'm fairly sure that all the record company did was use some software to redirect some of the audio spectrum to the surround channels. I consider that a ripoff. We pay a 200% premium for the "multi-channel" disk and it's not really multi-channel at all. I'm extremely bummed because this is one of my favorite albums. I saw them in concert a couple years ago also. They are a great band with excellent songs and performances. Too bad the record company cheaped out and wouldn't spring for the cost of a proper remix from the original multi-track master. Even worse is what they are doing to the unsuspecting fans (like me) who purchase the disc. For shame.

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