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Queen - Queen II (1974/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Queen
Title: Queen II
Genre: Rock, Art Rock, Glam Rock, Hard Rock
Label: © Hollywood Records
Release Date: 1974/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 40:50
Recorded: August 1973, Trident Studios, London

In one regard, Queen II does indeed provide more of the same thing as on the band's debut. Certainly, of all the other albums in Queen's catalog it bears the closest resemblance to its immediate predecessor, particularly in its lean, hard attack and in how it has only one song that is well-known to listeners outside of their hardcore cult: in this case, it's "Seven Seas of Rhye," which is itself more elliptical than "Keep Yourself Alive," the big song from the debut. But these similarities are superficial and Queen II is a very different beast than its predecessor, an album that is richer, darker, and weirder, an album that finds Queen growing as a band by leaps and bounds. There is still a surplus of ideas, but their energies are better focused this time around, channeled into a over-inflated, pompous rock that could be called prog if it wasn't so heavy. Even with all the queens and ogres that populate Queen II, this never feels as fantastical as Genesis or Uriah Heep, and that's because Queen hits hard as a rock band here, where even the blasts of vocal harmonies feel like power chords, no matter how florid they are. Besides, these grandiose harmonies, along with the handful of wistful ballads here, are overshadowed by the onslaught of guitars and pummeling rhythms that give Queen II majesty and menace. Queen is coiled, tense, and vicious here, delivering on their inherent sense of drama, and that gives Queen II real power as music, as well as a true cohesion. The one thing that is missing is any semblance of a pop sensibility, even when they flirt with a mock Phil Spector production on "Funny How Love Is." This hits like heavy metal but has an art-rock sensibility through and through, which also means that it has no true hook in for those who don't want to succumb to Queen's world. But that kind of insular drama is quite alluring in its own right, which is why Queen II is one of the favorites of their hardcore fans. At the very least, it illustrates that Queen is starting to pull all their ambitions and influences into a signature sound, and it's quite powerful in that regard. --AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Queen - Queen (1973/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Queen
Title: Queen
Genre: Rock, Art Rock, Glam Rock, Hard Rock
Label: © Hollywood Records
Release Date: 1973/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 38:49
Recorded: December 1971, June–November 1972, De Lane Lea and Trident Studios, London

Like any patchy but promising debut from a classic rock group, it's often easy to underrate Queen's eponymous 1973 debut, since it has no more than one well-known anthem and plays more like a collection of ideas than a cohesive album. But what ideas! Almost every one of Queen's signatures are already present, from Freddie Mercury's operatic harmonies to Brian May's rich, orchestral guitar overdubs and the suite-like structures of "Great King Rat." That rich, florid feel could be characterized as glam, but even in these early days that appellation didn't quite fit Queen, since they were at once too heavy and arty to be glam and -- ironically enough, considering their legendary excess -- they were hardly trashy enough to be glam. But that only speaks to the originality of Queen: they may have traded in mystical sword 'n' sorcerers themes like so many '70s prog bands, and they may have hit as hard as Led Zeppelin (and Jimmy Page's guitar army certainly was a forefather to May's overdubs), but they didn't sound like anybody else, they were too odd in their theatricality to be mistaken for another band. That much was apparent on this debut, but one thing was crucially missing: songs that could coalesce their sound and present it in a memorable fashion. There is an exception to that rule -- the wild, rampaging opener "Keep Yourself Alive," one of their very best songs -- but too often the album plays like a succession of ideas instead of succinct songs, and the group's predilection for suites only highlights this, despite the occasional blast of fury like "Modern Times Rock & Roll." This can be quite appealing as sheer, visceral sound and, in that regard, Queen is kind of irresistible. It showcases the band in all their ornate splendor yet it's strangely lean and hard, revealing just how good the band was in their early days as a hard rock band. That might not quite make it an overlooked gem -- it remains patchy on a song for song basis -- but it sure makes for an interesting debut that provides a rough road map to their later work. --AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Queen - A Night at the Opera (1975/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Queen
Title: A Night at the Opera
Genre: Rock, Art Rock, Glam Rock, Hard Rock
Label: © Hollywood Records
Release Date: 1975/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 43:12
Recorded: August – November 1975, Sarm, Roadhouse, Olympic Studios, Scorpio and Lansdowne, London and Rockfield, Monmouthshire


Queen were straining at the boundaries of hard rock and heavy metal on Sheer Heart Attack, but they broke down all the barricades on A Night at the Opera, a self-consciously ridiculous and overblown hard rock masterpiece. Using the multi-layered guitars of its predecessor as a foundation, A Night at the Opera encompasses metal ("Death on Two Legs," "Sweet Lady"), pop (the lovely, shimmering "You're My Best Friend"), campy British music hall ("Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon," "Seaside Rendezvous"), and mystical prog rock ("'39," "The Prophet's Song"), eventually bringing it all together on the pseudo-operatic "Bohemian Rhapsody." In short, it's a lot like Queen's own version of Led Zeppelin IV, but where Zep find dark menace in bombast, Queen celebrate their own pomposity. No one in the band takes anything too seriously, otherwise the arrangements wouldn't be as ludicrously exaggerated as they are. But the appeal -- and the influence -- of A Night at the Opera is in its detailed, meticulous productions. It's prog rock with a sense of humor as well as dynamics, and Queen never bettered their approach anywhere else. --AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Quartonal - Everytime: A Capella (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: Quartonal
Title: Everytime: A Capella
Genre: Classical Crossover
Label: © Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2017
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:57:32
Recorded: by Tobias Hoff


The a cappella ensemble Quartonal is one of the most promising vocal groups to emerge from Germany in recent years. Following their highly successful debut CD, this second album features outstanding a cappella settings ranging from George Michael’s "Faith" and Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" to beautiful traditional numbers. The choir won First Prize at the German National Choir Competition in the Vocal ensemble category. They were also awarded the “audience and jury awards” at the ‘A Capella’ contest in Leipzig as well as winning the ‘Tolosako Abesbatza Lehiaheta’ choir competition in Tolosa (Spain). Their first album “Another Way – English Vocal Music” was met with critical acclaim in 2013 and received glowing reviews. Quartonal performs music from across the male voice repertoire, alongside folksongs and pop music. The choir is committed to working with contemporary composers such as Philip Lawson and arrangers Patrick Prestel and Christoph Gerl. The seamless combination of classical and contemporary vocal music has become a trademark of their concerts.
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Peter Erskine and the Dr. Um Band - Second Opinion (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Peter Erskine and the Dr. Um Band
Title: Second Opinion
Genre: Jazz
Label: © Fuzzy Music
Release Date: 2017
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: ProStudioMasters
Duration: 57:11
Recorded by Mark Hornsby, Mixed by Talley Sherwood


The follow-up release to Peter Erskine’s Grammy-nominated “Dr. Um” album, reuniting the production team of Erskine with Grammy-nominated keyboardist and arranger John Beasley. “Second Opinion” is just that: a new look at songs and genres that are ripe and begging for expert musical attention.
From funky originals to Henry Mancini covers, the Dr. Um Band delivers. Featuring Peter Erskine, John Beasley, Bob Sheppard and Benjamin Shepherd. Recorded at Sweetwater Studios, engineered by Mark Hornsby and mixed by Talley Sherwood. Peter feels that this is his “best album yet!” The drum sound will blow you away.
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Pere Ubu - The Modern Dance (1978/2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Pere Ubu
Title: The Modern Dance
Genre: Rock, Alternative Rock, Underground, Experimental Rock, Post-Punk, Punk/New Wave
Label: © Fire Records
Release Date: 1978/2017
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:36:31
Recorded: October 1976; January 1977; November 1977; Cleveland Recording and Suma Studios, Cleveland


There isn't a Pere Ubu recording you can imagine living without. The Modern Dance remains the essential Ubu purchase (as does the follow-up, Dub Housing). For sure, Mercury had no idea what they had on their hands when they released this as part of their punk rock offshoot label Blank, but it remains a classic slice of art-punk. It announces itself quite boldly: the first sound you hear is a painfully high-pitched whine of feedback, but then Tom Herman's postmodern Chuck Berry riffing kicks off the brilliant "Non-Alignment Pact," and you soon realize that this is punk rock unlike any you've ever heard. David Thomas' caterwauling is funny and moving, Scott Krauss (drums) and Tony Maimone (bass) are one of the great unheralded rhythm sections in all of rock, and the "difficult" tracks like "Street Waves," "Chinese Radiation," and the terrifying "Humor Me" are revelatory, and way ahead of their time. The Modern Dance is the signature sound of the avant-garage: art rock, punk rock, and garage rock mixing together joyously and fearlessly. --AllMusic Review by John Dougan
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Pee Wee Spitelera - Country Clarinet (1966/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Pee Wee Spitelera
Title: Country Clarinet
Genre: Pop, Country Pop, Jazz Pop, Easy Listening
Label: © RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1966/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 00:28:04
Recorded: RCA Victor's "Nashville Sound" Studio, Nashville, Tennessee
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Paul Desmond With Strings - Desmond Blue (1962/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Paul Desmond With Strings
Title: Desmond Blue
Genre: Jazz, Cool Jazz, Easy Listening, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © High Definition Tape Transfers
Release Date: 1962/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTT
Duration: 00:37:30
Recorded at Webster Hall in New York City on September 13, 1961 (#1), September 28, 1961 (#5-7) and October 2, 1961 (#2-4,8,9)
Transferred from a RCA 4-track tape


As intended, this album presents alto sax specialist Paul Desmond as never featured before, with the backing of a string orchestra. The record, filled with such beautiful jazz standards as "My Funny Valentine," "I've Got You Under My Skin," and "Body and Soul," is very rich in texture, yet subtle and mellow overall in mood. It's unyielding purpose: to soothe the souls of its listeners. Desmond's style and tone shine with an alluring quality, and the record is filled with melodies that don't fail to stimulate the sophisticated jazz listener. Desmond's melodies are eloquently detailed and charmingly spun in the midst of the string orchestra arranged and conducted by Bob Prince. The legendary Jim Hall is featured as guest guitarist, playing yet another scintillating role and using his classic comping style. Hall is perhaps the most highly respected of all jazz guitarists for his good taste and witty inventiveness. Desmond has always been most familiar to the jazz public for his sweeping scale passages and his seemingly effortless spontaneity during periods of improvisation, although here he is often featured in a more lyrical ballad style on such romantic tunes as "My Funny Valentine," "Late Lament," and "Then I'll Be Tired of You." This album is a highly innovative and meticulously crafted work, reflecting the ongoing success of both Desmond and Hall within the 1960s and the cool jazz period. Both of these musicians spent time working with Dave Brubeck and later lent themselves to many of Antonio Carlos Jobim's bossa nova projects. The arrangements are extraordinary throughout this collection, including the charming "Valentine," which begins with a fantastic Elizabethan flavor. The intro sets up the mood to carry Desmond into the first chorus, which then glides into a 20th century style. The tune "I Should Care" is "a shimmering debt to Ibert and one of the most imaginative blendings you will ever hear of strings, reeds, French horn and harp," according to the liner notes. The tone of the album: lush, reflective, thought-provoking, and soul-stirring. This work is quite a plus for any listener and especially those who consider themselves avid fans of Paul Desmond. --AllMusic Review by Shawn M. Haney
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Omer Klein - Sleepwalkers (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Artist: Omer Klein Trio
Title: Sleepwalkers
Genre: Jazz, Modern Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH
Release Date: 2017
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:59:16
Recorded: 9-11 August, 2016 in Studio Franken, Nürnberg, Germany


Sleepwalkers is the Israeli-born pianist’s seventh album, and his label debut for Warner Music. Klein, whose music has been called “borderless” (The New York Times), recorded his newest work with his regular trio featuring Haggai Cohen-Milo on bass and Amir Bresler on drums. A student of Fred Hersch’s and a vital part of the New York scene, appearing everywhere from the Blue Note to Jazz at Lincoln Center, he is now a Steinway artist and lives in Düsseldorf, Germany.
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Norah Jones - The Fall (2009/2012) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Norah Jones
Title: The Fall
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Alternative/Indie Rock, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Blue Note Records/Analogue Productions
Release Date: 2009/2012
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 00:45:59
Recorded: 2008–2009, The Coop, NY, The Magic Shop, NY, Sunset Sound Recorders, CA, and House Of David, Nashville, TN; Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio from the original analog master tapes!


Part of Analogue Productions’ reissue of the Norah Jones’ solo catalog, featuring the individual albums Come Away With Me, Feels Like Home, Not Too Late, The Fall and Little Broken Hearts. Each album is also featured in exclusive LP and SACD box sets that include Norah’s Covers album!
Norah has taken a new direction on The Fall, experimenting with different sounds and a new set of collaborators, including Jacquire King, a noted producer and engineer who has worked with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits and Modest Mouse. Richly detailed and vocally lush on this DSD format reissue by Analogue Productions, The Fall, Jones’ fourth album, may surprise some of Jones’ die-hard fans, Billboard magazine notes. During the 13-song set, Jones ditches the gentle piano playing of her previous work and tears into fresh, beat-savvy arrangements, playing plenty of electric guitar and exploring the piercing quality of Wurlitzer electric piano. Jones’ smoky voice and soulful veneer highlight the opening track and first single, "Chasing Pirates."
Jones displays a slinky kind of ambience on "Light As a Feather (co-written with Ryan Adams). The social commentary "It’s Gonna Be" offers a garage-rock attitude, and "You’ve Ruined Me" has a rich Americana flavor. But Jones is still a little bit country ("Tell Yer Mama") and a little bit rock’n’roll ("Stuck"). Overall, writes reviewer Gary Graff, Jones straddles those lines in an entirely different manner than she ever has before.
For The Fall, Jones enlisted several songwriting collaborators, including Ryan Adams and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, as well as her frequent partners Jesse Harris and Richard Julian. Musicians include drummers Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) and James Gadson (Bill Withers), keyboardist James Poyser (Erykah Badu, Al Green) and guitarists Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) and Smokey Hormel (Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer).
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