Malachi Lui

Malachi Lui  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  First Published: Jun 15, 2022  |  6 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is a guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months' new releases for which we don't have time or energy to cover more extensively.)
Malachi Lui  |  Jun 13, 2022  |  First Published: Jun 13, 2022  |  55 comments
Whether it's the 60s material controlled by ABKCO or the 1971-onward catalog owned by the band, the Rolling Stones' discography is among the world's most tirelessly and excessively reissued; every few years, there's yet another remastered, repressed, repackaged reissue of the same decades-old classics. After several mediocre reissues of the Rolling Stones Records albums (particularly the first and best two, Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street), AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer found the half-speed mastered 2018 Studio Albums Vinyl Collection 1971–2016 box set (now available as individual albums) to best capture the original LPs' spirit, even if sometimes lacking in transparent analog sparkle. However, I thought another perspective on the Sticky Fingers and Exile reissues, also taking into account the Japanese flat transfer CDs, would be useful.
Malachi Lui  |  Jun 04, 2022  |  22 comments
By 1981, The Clash was in shambles. Seeking more direction following their 1980 triple album Sandinista!, co-frontman Joe Strummer and bassist Paul Simonon rehired the band's notoriously difficult original manager, Bernie Rhodes, to the dismay of other co-frontman Mick Jones. Jones sought to continue the band's expansive forays into dub, reggae, and hip-hop, while Strummer wanted something more streamlined. Yet despite all of that, plus drummer Topper Headon's spiraling heroin and cocaine addiction, The Clash toured and managed to record new material at The People's Hall in the Republic of Frestonia (a small area in West London populated by squatters hoping to secede from the UK) as well as Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
Malachi Lui  |  Jun 01, 2022  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2022  |  9 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is a guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months' new releases for which we don't have time or energy to cover more extensively.)
Malachi Lui  |  May 31, 2022  |  First Published: May 31, 2022  |  5 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is a guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months' new releases for which we don't have time or energy to cover more extensively.)
Malachi Lui  |  May 31, 2022  |  14 comments
Between the excessive sprawl of 2013's James Murphy-produced Reflektor and the failed experimentation of 2017's punchable Everything Now, it might seem as if Arcade Fire spent the last decade actively trying to lose people's interest. Now, however, they're back; at least, that's what their Nigel Godrich-produced new LP WE wants you to think. Split into more introspective "I" (A) and outward-facing "WE" (B) sides, WE is a concise 40-minute summation of the band's previous work. Every Arcade Fire record finds them striving for epic heights and always falling short, though you can't say they're not trying really hard.
Malachi Lui  |  May 14, 2022  |  9 comments
Last year, British electropop star Charli XCX tweeted, “rip hyperpop.” The tweet shocked many—especially coming from the artist who brought bubblegum bass and hyperpop to broader audiences through projects like 2016’s SOPHIE-produced Vroom Vroom EP or 2020’s quickly recorded quarantine album how i’m feeling now—but Charli has always gone at her own pace, on her own terms. Yet, her new album Crash presents her as merely another generic pop star, supposedly as a performance art piece about selling out that doubles as her last record on Atlantic (and therefore her as-of-now last chance to use those major label resources). Crash is Charli’s Let’s Dance: the album where a pop star fully embraces the mainstream after years of artsier excursions. Unfortunately, the end result lacks personality, trading her strengths for lyrically emptier and sonically blander songs laser-focused on mass appeal.

Malachi Lui  |  May 01, 2022  |  94 comments
There’s plenty already said about the musical content of Marvin Gaye’s 1971 classic What’s Going On so I’ll avoid redundancy and just say that its scope—from the sociopolitically-minded lyrics to the carefully assembled song cycle structure and luscious musical arrangements—pushed the boundaries of what a Motown release could be, and truly stands the test of time. It’s an endlessly relevant record (decide yourself if that says more about the album’s excellence or society’s failures), and also one of the most exhaustively reissued: in the past 20 years, we’ve seen Universal’s 30th anniversary 2CD featuring the original Detroit mix, more alternate mixes, and a Kennedy Center live recording from 1972; Mobile Fidelity’s SACD and 33rpm single LP releases; UMG’s 40th anniversary “super deluxe” edition adding further session material and alternate versions; quite a few run-of-the-mill digitally-sourced vinyl reissues of the core album, done at United for the US and GZ for Europe; an Abbey Road half-speed 4LP mirroring the 2001 2CD; and MoFi’s 45rpm double LP UltraDisc One Step cut from tape. That’s not including the “Vinyl Lovers” Russian reissues of dubious legal origin cut and pressed at GZ, the 192kHz/24bit hi-res download, a Blu-ray Audio release (remember that format?), and the Japanese SACDs, CDs, and MQA-UHQCDs featuring a flat transfer of the original master tapes (yes, really!).
Malachi Lui  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  First Published: Apr 28, 2022  |  42 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is AnalogPlanet’s guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months’ new releases for which we don’t have time or energy to cover more extensively.)

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