Adele cd...bad mix/recording

Anyone heard this new release from Adele..The track Chasing pavements sounds great through my car radio,bought the cd and played it through a better than good system and it sucks.Took to my main system and tried it,even worse.The mix is all wrong,guitars are recorded with distortion and IMO the backing band is unnatural sounding like computer generated tracks.Drums are totally recorded wrong..Columbia records sure did get this one wrong from a promissing young artist
One possibility to keep in mind is the CD may be mixed exactly the way that promising young artist wished it. Audiophiles and musicians don't always view things from the same perspective. A lot of new artists - particularly in the pop/rock field - want their CDs loud and hot. It is not just the producers or record companies.

Unfortunately, with the primary listening venues being cars and I-Pods these days, it is pretty easy to forget about the people who listen in front of a nice rig.
I agree...the cd is recorded somewhat hot and bright, at high or loud passages her vocals/instruments, start to sound distorted. It's a shame cause she is a great singer. If they mastered the cd recording better, it would showcase her talents more appropriately.
This seems to be the new norm for recording pop and rock music. There are similar responses regarding Bruce Springsteen's "Magic" and some really scathing reviews regarding Metallica's "Death Magnetic" to name just two. Many say that they are unlistenable because of the distortion. I don't know if it's the artists fault, but it is something every artist should be paying attention to, since it is their work. Recording studios are moving toward using compression and loss of dynamic range as a tool to get people to listen, lIke loud will get our attention. Seems like the tactics employed by television when airing their commercials.
We are all pissing in the wind, barking up the wrong tree, singing to the deaf. No one cares or gives a hoot about audiophiles and recording purity, we are just an insignificant blip or a grain of sand in a desert in the great scheme of things.
I checked it out on youtube, sounds like it is catering for how 99.999999% of the population will listen to it.
I am listening to "Adele 19" right now and though some could have been recorded a little better, this is a R&B, Pop recording and not a audiophile jazz recording. Very enjoyable singing and music. On the song Crazy for you, both vocals and guitar are recorded perfect with superb soundstaging
Vinylmeister,I amy be wrong, but, by your member name, I am assuning you are listening on vinyl. Vinyl usually doesn't have these problems, digital does. A recording can be mastered to sound good without being designated audiophile quality.
Hi Cyclonicman,
Yeah you are wrong I switched from vinyl to mainly CD/SACD and I was listening to the digital version of Adele 19 with fantastic chicken-skin vocals and great music
I purchased a version of the Adele 19 cd that came with a bonus cd containing 5 live tracks. The bonus cd is actually recorded quite well and worth the extra couple bucks. I too find the regular cd a little harsh and hardly ever play it, since I find the bonus cd much more enjoyable.
Vinyl or CD it doesn't matter on Adele recordings. Her voice is processed on some songs yielding a very bright, harsh, thin sound. Same thing for some of the instruments. On other tracks little to no processing. It is so sad because her voice is money and they are just F'ing it up.

So Vinylmeister and Cyclonicman you are both wrong.
If your system is exposing the poor recording quality of this otherwise great CD then you have a quality set up. It is just plain wrong in so many areas that i can only enjoy it at low volume and even then it is apparent. It is immediately obvious in the first few seconds, and i think it is inexcusable for a decent artist. I have often felt this way. Brandi Carlile comes to mind...many others. I hope for an acoustic version someday recorded better.
I have Adele 21 on vinyl and it is a very poor recording as well. Such a shame to waste her voice like that.
Not the best but it is nice to see Soul music hitting the charts. We are long overdue for a return to more interesting pop music. Rap had a good run but it is getting rather boring/stale to turn on the radio these days. (I have both Adele's albums)
Sad to say, but the big record companies have their set formula of what kind of sound will sell music. It's extremely rare that any of the non-independents will even consider trying to buck that formula( recordings made "hot" sounding in order to cut through, offending no one but audiophiles apparently). Back in the late 60's or early 70's even the major companies would take a chance on a respected engineer or producer's idea of how a recording ought to sound- no longer. Wonder how many good artists careers have been negatively affected by the recording companies not giving their artists the best chance to flourish by seeing to it that their sound is presented in the best light possible. And yet there are still great sounding recordings being produced, like Bon Iver or Iron and Wine. Have to agree with Shadorne on the paucity of good soul or R&B. Where are today's Temptations, Commodores, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding? Adele seems like she would flourish if given a chance by her label.
The really sad thing is that this "hot" sound may be at Adele's request or approval thinking that it enhances the track. Perhaps she just doesn't know any better.
Stop blaming the software. It's the high end hardware companies that voice everything tilted up. I think they do this to give the impression of extra detail, etc in the showroom on those demo recordings. Or maybe to appeal to wealthy buyers who tend to be on in years and whose hearing ability maybe somewhat rolled off.

And if I am wrong... and my (modern) pricy hardware is accurately voiced... then every rock and roll recording engineer since 1958 is wrong. Every stock car stereo is wrong. Apple is wrong. Most electronics over 30 years old are wrong. Rant Rant Rant
I have lots of recordings, and most sound like crap. Except the many $50+ reissues.

I need a system that makes great music from available recordings. My highest compliments to you if your system does this lady's voice justice.
Isnt a great sounding album on a great sounding rig going to sound great in a car? The reverse isnt true though because sounding good in a car doesnt always work at home.
Tom Pettys MoJo sounds awesome no matter where its played.

No its not. Particularly on Adele recordings. Some of the songs sound fine. Some of the songs sound fine and then all of a sudden get this shrilly compressed sound. Her voice is the instrument. Why screw it up? Makes no sense except they are going for a sound that I just don't get.
It would be called the 'Loudness War'. Yes, it is planned by the 'record' companies. That, combined with not setting up micing as well as possible.

And yes, we are a blip on the screen. I am glad that I am old enough to be done with 'Pop' music. Although it certainly does cross over into too many modern Jazz recordings. I am always amazed that the production of the 50s and 60s jazz recordings are very good, and they make todays main line releases unlistenable.
Dalecrommie, It could be part and parcel of "Loudness War" but this, to me, is almost more for effect and not just for louder play on the radio.
Found myself at 110 mph listening to "Set Fire to the Rain." Great driving song!

Hard to listen to that track in my main system because the microphone and the rest of the band are not balanced. Way too bright and thin.

IMHO the quality of this CD is really off.
Bjesien, maybe that was their main goal - to have the song sound good at 110 mph in a car, on an ipod or a boombox. They probably don't give a toot that it doesn't sound right on your fancy rig.

In short, the CD probably sounds exactly they way they want it to sound.
I was listening to this CD a while back and found the vocals sounding very poor.
Gotta say I agree that it's not the best mix. Much of it, I just don't enjoy listening to. Have to admit, not trained enough to hear too deep into the mastering decisions, but sounds to me like much of the instrumentation was mixed together and then compressed (what I have come to understand as applying "compression glue") and then down mixed, while the vocals track was then layed down pretty hot on top of that. In the end, sounds like the instrumentation is unnaturally compressed, while the vocals are way too hot and at times a little strident in comparison. Would also agree, however, that it is no accident. Very obviously deliberate. Makes it so that the vocal track -- obviously the focus -- "pops" under all manner of sub-optimal listening conditions and formats. Given the market and such, can't blame them for making these choices. But it is disappointing....
To the person saying stop blaming the software..........ever hear of GIGO??
Almost bought this today now I'm glad i didn't. Thanks.
21 sounded like crap on my system...gave away the cd to someone who seem to appreciate her music more than I do.
Most popular does not equal most talented.
I too was highly disappointed in Adele's '21' recording on vinyl. It's too bad, because this is just the type of artist/music I would have expected to sound incredible on my system. I still enjoy her music, but it sounds better on my iPod. Big disappointment.
It appears that the recording industry is producing a lot of garbage these days. Will be getting 21 on CD soon although most have found the quality of recording to be poor. I managed to listen to Adele on compressed MP3 lately through some cheap computer speakers and have to admit she certainly has talent. Was looking forward to enjoying her music on the big system though that may not likely happen after going through the responses here.

I wonder what recording/mixing engineers and producers are doing these days. Instead of going forward it's going backwards.
Somebody at the record company had to sign off on this. I'm guessing that they had no idea this would take off the way it has. I'm certain it was recorded without the budget or attention a Norah Jones record would get, so it sounds that way. Her next record WILL get that kind of budget and attention. Hopefully she'll have material that will stand the scrutiny.
Same conclusion here. Her "live in royal albert hall" blu ray recording is also not up to snuff - harsh sounding vocals.
04-22-12: Ths364
Somebody at the record company had to sign off on this. I'm guessing that they had no idea this would take off the way it has. I'm certain it was recorded without the budget or attention a Norah Jones record would get, so it sounds that way. Her next record WILL get that kind of budget and attention. Hopefully she'll have material that will stand the scrutiny.

I doubt it. She won two grammy's with her first album 19.
I think the live version at the royal albert hall is not perfect but it is much better. I can connect with the artist in a better way.
Better then the album yes, but not up to potential. Listen to the Dave Matthews / Tim Reynolds radio city hall blu ray. No comparison, which is a shame because the content is brilliant.
Thanks for the recommendation. I am always looking for great live events on bluray. Will try the Dave Matthews.
I was not very happy with the audio of her CDs either. Agree w/ the Dave Matthews Bluray... I own it, great.
Another recommended multi channel recording (audio only) is Crosby, Stills & Nash - Another Stoney evening on DVD-A. Phenomenal.
I thought something was wrong with my system (or my hearing). How can it sound ok on radio, and soooo damn bad on my stereo? I can't listen to it, and that's a shame, she is a real talent. Is it due to extreme compression or something, or did someone really think this sounded good in the studio? She deserves better.
Are you sure the problem is not the music itself? :]