Jump to content

Brendan O'Brien is the worst producer working today


Estranged Reality

Recommended Posts

I think a large part of why the last VR album didn't feel quite so consistent was because of his sound. He tried to add a gloss to something that should have been gritty, and he tried to ground the trippy sequences (like the SBQM bridge) with traditional sounds. Now, he's responsible for the latest Springsteen album - a very solid album, but as I was listening to it in my car today, I thought to myself that it sounded a bit too glossed-over and not as rough as it should be. I looked up some reviews today, and lo and behold Pitchfork reveals O'Brien as producer, and has this to say:

If Magic revisits the subject matter of previous career crests, it unfortunately recalls The Rising in its sound: Brendan O'Brien returns to the producer's seat, once again shuffling most of the E Street Band to the music's margins and focusing his attention squarely on the Boss. In addition to drenching slower songs like "Your Own Worst Enemy" and "Devil's Arcade" in melodramatic and totally unnecessary strings, the producer too often glosses over the creaks and wear in Springsteen's voice-- like air-brushing a model's face to look younger-- when it's the imperfections that give him his particular authority. Springsteen should sound more like Tom Waits, less like 3 Doors Down.

That's exactly what I thought of Springsteen's new album, and it's EXACTLY what I thought of Libertad. It should have sounded raw and crunchy, not over-done. People are criticizing Axl's new band for their excesses with string arrangements on new songs, but I think Libertad suffered some of the same excesses - everything sounded too clean, poppy. I know VR were heading for a new sound - more melodic - and that's not a problem, but there's a difference between melody and poor producing.

O'Brien rose to fame by producing Pearl Jam, another band I think made songs that sounded too clean and polished. I think he needs to retire.

Edited by Estranged Reality
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whether you like his production style or not, VR simply didn't write an album's worth of good songs. Hell, they had Rick Rubin on board to produce but decided not to use him when he wanted them to come up with some more material.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see what youre saying, I really didnt think I'd like the production on Contraband more than Libertad but I do. A lot of the Libertad songs sound a million times better live. Sure, VR is a great live band, but that still says something

But I wouldnt say thats why Libertad isnt fairing too well on the charts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Contraband is too muddy, yet Libertad is too cleeeeeeeean. We need to strike a balance on three.

That said I don't think Libertad is suffering from production woes, it just doesn't have any crazy breakthrough singles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Core had that awesome arena rock sound that really drove the rock in it home. I wish O'Brien and VR had taken this route, as that heavy sound would best suit them. But honestly the songs were pretty weak this time around, it was only in a few places I could honestly say the mixing would have made a difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, I think O'Brien's production on Libertad is ace. Exactly what I wanted. Love the "cleanness" and think it clearly suits the material on this particular album. It's cool being able to hear Sorum's drumming sound so crisp like you hear on most other Rubin and O'Brien records.

Not that all their future albums need to have this same production, depends on the material, but totally worked for me here.

After seeing VR twice now on the Libertad tour, gotta say that whereas all of CB sounds much better at the live shows...with the exception of SBQM, the Libertad material sounds even better on record, IMO. Still sounds awesome live, don't get me wrong, but a track like Just 16 just sounds so freakin' sweet with O'Brien's polish....

Edited by Turn_It_Up
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i cant BELIEVE so many people dont like Libertad :(

Why not, dude?.... the album just isn't very good. Nothing progressive or edgy on it. It's just a semi-generic rock record. They would have been better off releasing all those songs as a Live recording to at least make them seem somewhat raw.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i cant BELIEVE so many people dont like Libertad :(

Why not, dude?.... the album just isn't very good. Nothing progressive or edgy on it. It's just a semi-generic rock record. They would have been better off releasing all those songs as a Live recording to at least make them seem somewhat raw.

"She Mine" is killer, and I really haven't heard a hard rock song have that kind of feel and sound to it before, I don't think...it was new and familiar all at once to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...