Sourced from the original master tapes and pressed on dead-quiet vinyl at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's numbered-edition 180g LP of King's second solo masterpiece is rife with intimacy, transparency, soulfulness, and you-are-there sound. Never before remastered, Music seems like a brand-new album as King's familiar voice, intelligent arrangements, and ace support band presented on a deep, three-dimensional soundstage. Your appreciation for and understanding of the depth of King's inspirational lyrics and performances will doubtlessly increase — this reissue brings you that much closer.
Accompanied by percussionist Bobbye Hall, drummer Russ Kinkel, guitarist/vocalist James Taylor, and a multitude of other professional wind musicians, King delves further into R&B and jazz-derived pop. Warm and cohesive, songs echo with simplicity and honesty. And as is typical of much of King's work, several of tunes here were later covered by other artists, including "It's Going To Take Some Time" (the Carpenters). Yet the originals trump the later renditions, and King's rendition of the standard "Some Kind of Wonderful" stands among the best ever recorded.
With Taylor lending more of a hand on Music than he does on Tapestry, King expands her reach on the piano and peppers the songs with graceful touches of saxophone, flute, pedal-steel guitar, and woodwinds. Ballads sway ("Surely"), gospel raises spirits ("Brighter"), and backup vocals float amid pop arrangements like clouds ("Song of Long Ago"). The most irresistible aspect? King's voice, infused with fondness, concern, joy, and a quiet power that parallels the delicacy and deliberate nature that define Music.
Mobile Fidelity's 180g LP is free of the limiting artifacts that have helped keep this record in the dark for the better part of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Acoustic guitars, subtle brass elements, and soft percussion contribute to the enjoyment of the songs, and King's voice —pleasant, assuring, emotional — comes through with incredible clarity and inflection. The brilliance of Lou Adler's original production is restored to its full glory.
Aptly named, this companion to Tapestry is an aural and sonic delight.