Oyster’s 2016 New LPs

Indie LP shops continue grow in our little island this year. In my last count, there are now some 40 brick and mortar shops selling LP. Singapore probably has more LP shops per square kilometer than anywhere else in the world.  Selling vinyl (used or new) is no easy business. The competition is keen, good stuff is in shorter supply (higher prices too) and customers have become more picky and savvy. It is encouraging to read the latest figures of vinyl outselling this and that and/or more and more youngsters embracing LP. Anyhow, knowing this business of passion well ourselves, it is not for those who wants a quick buck.

lp Alan Tam 40th AnniversaryAlan Tam is most probably Hong Kong’s highest grossing canto-pop artiste ever. This 6 individually coloured vinyl box set of his 40th Anniversary concerts is touted to be his first ever LP box set.
Out goes young screaming fans, wild whistles but replaced by restraint, matured loyal supporters that grew old with him.  High marks for packaging and inserts.
 
lp Diana Krall NKCListening to Diana Krall always gives me the lazy Sunday afternoon feeling. This title was my introduction to her music/style back in the 90s.

ORG has not put a foot wrong (for me) thus far and this continues to impress, flying the premium quality reissue flag up high.

 
lp Chris Isaak Greatest HitsMy customer, Joey is a fan and brought this to my attention. Here’s the bargain – a double disc of his greatest hits – 18 tracks, audiophile sound and all for under S$40? Unreal.
One caveat is that although my copy was flat and pristine, several other copies bought after mine wasn’t. So, take note.  
 
lp Amy OSTThe documentary film by the same title led me to this OST and incidentally, also my first purchase of her music.
The interjectory instrumental music by Antonio Pinto between songs is also a major highlight of this OST. It certainly invoked many different emotions of the film.
Very highly recommended.
 
lp Amy Winehouse LionessThis is my second take of Amy Winehouse’s music. This follow up purchase was motivated by the sonically great and highly enjoyable OST. However, this one which contained mostly unreleased tracks, alternate takes of classics have a looser, casual feel. Feels like almost like one that is just put together.  
lp Ryan Adams Live At Carneige HallSampling of 10 songs taken from the original box set (for fans only) which contained his 2 nights performance.
Anybody who wants to know what ‘house sound’ literally means can just compare this to many other Carnegie Hall recordings. Just listen to the applause and laughter of the audience. Another good specimen of Carnegie Hall live concerts.
 
lp Steven Wilson Grace for DrowningSonically superior to the Raven That Refused To Sing, which incidentally is a well recorded title. However, content wise, I prefer the former title. Perhaps this deeper, more varied in style compositions, need several more spins to like.

Given the polished sound, I see no reason why this wouldn’t happened eventually.

 
lp_but-seriously-phil-collinsBut seriously, a 2016 remaster better than the original?
I was curious to find out as my original (Virgin label) has some unremovable stains. My purchase was mostly influenced by the much publicized improved sonic (note: it’s 2016) and remastered by the same engineer.
No downside? Seriously, none.
 
lp-michelle-pan

Besides the ever increasing re-issue titles, we are seeing more and more first-time on vinyl release. This is one of them: 潘越云 – 旧爱新欢 (滚石). The recording was first done in the US 20 years ago.
This Taiwan label tends to boost the lower mids of their LPs and this one is no exception. Nevertheless, it takes nothing away from the quality songs. A worthy old-new-issue.

 
lp-beyond-imagination-too-lowell-loFollow-up releases always raise suspicion of cashing-in and is always harder to please. But if you like part 1, you’ll not be disappointed with this. Overall, Universal Music (HK) continues to redeem themselves and is worth noticing. Other than the weaker Side B, this LP receives plenty of my playtime. Not hard to imagine another instalment in 2017.  
lp-bringing-down-the-horseI am not much a fan of 90s music but this one is an exception –  think Tom Petty, Hootie & The Blowfish, John Mellencamp. My original 1999 CD was purchased from the defunct Tower Records when this was a hot title.
Sound wise, this first-time on vinyl is a good one (no digital signatures) but I can’t say the same of the fairly badly warped vinyl (both LPs).  Do add $5 to flatten it.
 
lp-blue-lonesome-rolling-stonesThese old dogs need no new tricks. In fact, many of us are not expecting them to.
This straight-forward, return to roots, in the moment blues covers are highly enjoyable and has all the good essence of blues music played live (studio).
Rightly so, this is one of the biggest new music of the year although I would only award 3 Stars for sonic.
lp-pink-dahliaThis 2013 release by Hins Cheung titled Pink Dahlia ends my new LP purchases of the year.
Hins (張敬軒) is a singer/songwriter from Guangzhou who also has an acting career in HK.  This title was introduced to us by a customer who persistently uses it to audition his speakers. Hins has a great voice and this is one top notch production. Worthy demonstration material.

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