Taylor - Dad Loves His Work
by Marc Mickelson
No amount of money spent on your audio system can accomplish what Mobile Fidelity has with James Taylors Dad Loves His Work. Theyve taken an enjoyable but dark-sounding recording and turned it into a disc you can use to demonstrate your audio system -- or just listen to over and over again. The music is great -- Dad Loves His Work is my favorite James Taylor recording -- but the remastering job is amazing. Ive owned both the original LP and Columbia/Sony CD, but MoFis gold CD is full of nuance that I never noticed in the thick mix of the originals. Air has always been a problem with Dad, but not with the MoFi remaster. And perhaps an even greater improvement is the bottom end, which is deep and taut where it used to be overripe and diffuse. Dynamic contrasts are greatly improved, as are overall resolution and tonality -- Taylor has rarely been in better voice than on Dad Loves His Work. But youll never know it unless you break free from the shackles of the far inferior regular issue to hear the MoFi version.
Of course, great sound alone cant carry a recording -- at least not in my listening room -- and Dad Loves His Work showcases Taylor at his most grounded and, as the title suggests, utterly self-assured in his craft. The songs are diverse, from the bittersweet "Her Town Too" with vocals by Taylor and J.D. Souther, to the infectiously happy "Summers Here." I am especially fond of the historical chronicle "Sugar Trade," a subject Taylor treats with insight, never sounding overly sentimental. And on the a cappella opening to "That Lonesome Road," you can pick out the individual performers in the soundstage and even have fun figuring out where the two most famous voices, those of Taylor and Jennifer Warnes, reside.
MoFis remastered version of Dad Loves his Work is a gift to audiophiles and music lovers. If MoFi were to give Taylors Flag, one of my guilty pleasures, the same treatment, Id be the first in line to buy it (hint, hint).
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