Excellent from start to finish
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 07/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What strikes me the most, listening to this album, is what an incredible producer Earl Klugh was in addition to his awesome skills as a guitarist. With a strong rhythm section behind him that includes folk like Greg Philinganes on electric piano, clavinet & acoustic piano, Phil Upchurch on electric guitar, Charles Meeks on electric bass and Victor Lewis on drums, Klugh produces a myriad of musical textures and landscapes here that is manages to be both exciting and relaxing. He has the help of Dave Matthews of course, who arranges and conducts the string orchestration and of Ralph MacDonald, who cooks up the usual magical percussion.
The brilliant production I speak of is best observed and experienced on tunes like "Acoustic Lady Part I & II" and "Pretty World" but, though it may sound contradictory, it's just as obvious throughout the album.
My good friend Derek asked me recently if Klugh plays any other kind of guitar or just acoustic. Just acoustic, I replied stupidly, when I really should have known better after listening to this man's music for more than 25 years. Truth is, on this release alone he plays acoustic and steel string acoustic guitar (on "Heart String"), acoustic and electric guitar (on "I'll See You Again"), acoustic, steel string and what he calls "the guitar choir" (on "Spanish Night") and on "Waiting For Cathy", he plays nylon acoustic, steel acoustic and high string nylon acoustic guitars. Hardly a one-trick pony, though it has to be said, acoustic guitar is what he is renowned for and as far as I'm aware, he's never made an album without it.
In my view, Earl Klugh was at his best during the 70s and 80s and this remastered reissue of a 1978 classic is most welcome. I particularly love the way he closes the album with a mellowed out reprise of the opening title track. Brilliant touch! Excellent from start to finish."
The Remastering Claim Is A Sham!
Gloria C. Go | THE PHILIPPINES | 08/31/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THIS IS certifiably the best of the first decade EARL KLUGH canon (Best Of compilations not included). The unforgettable cuts remain ACCOUSTIC LADY and PRETTY WORLD (with that joyous orchestral strings-swept bridge)- by themselves already worth the admission price. When I bought this six years ago, I subsequently taken too the earlier work FINGERTRIPS. I sold it after two listening because when compared with HEARTSTRING, it has proven to be an inferior effort.
While the album is truly a treasure - especially if you're a marshmallow-softie for 1970s-1980s nostalgia, the CD sounds undistinguished and lacks sonic depth. Digital recordings are supposed to be imbued with sonic sparkle than the old, obsolete format of the vinyl (of which HEARTSTRING was originally released on) - but this CD sounds closer to a vinyl than a CD. And thats a cause to argue because vinyl ought to be dumped forever to Betamax obsolescence.
If it was remastered, there is no testimony of it on the copy I received and has to endure for six years. There's even an evident recording distortion on the last two tracks. Played on a JVC AX-A1 with that Japanese sake-soaked wood diaphragm speakers, HEARTSTRINGS is barely passable because the JVC itself is for me an expensive failure. But when listened to on a Sennheiser 555 headphone, the listening quality is artificially improved but only by a small measure. What is revealed through the headphone experience is that the recording is truly poor.
This Earl Klugh deserves a genuine remastering, if possible extended with rare "Extra Tracks" to sweetened the next deal."