No Better Than This

John Mellencamp has a new T-Bone Burnett-produced album, No Better Than This. It’s not a CODE release, just a regular CD. But T-Bone Burnett is a good musical iconoclast, so the rear cover proclaims “RECORDED IN MONO”. Be still, my fluttering heart. Apparently, the songs were recorded live into a single microphone onto a vintage Ampex tape recorder. No overdubs, no mixing. CODE or no CODE, the album has a lovely warm, analog sound.

The album is mixed a tad hot, just like Life Death Love And Freedom, with RMS levels in the -12 to -10 dB range. So it looks like there was at least some dynamic range compression.

Interestingly, the album isn’t really mono. There’s not a lot of stereo separation, but the two channels are not identical. The left channel is a little hotter than the right, but not consistently hotter.

The CD was released last week. There is a vinyl release as well, which makes sense, but for some reason it isn’t available until late next month.

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