2008 Vocal Pop Effort Teems With Capacious Low-Level Detail, Acoustic Information, Timbral Presence
As the label that founded Norah Jones, Blue Note strikes singer-songwriter gold again with Priscilla Ahn. The charming folk artist honed her skills at various L.A. clubs before translating her magnetic, intimate style on one of the new decade's most impressive debuts, A Good Day. Rife with organic production, subtly complex arrangements, and wise lyrics, the album signals the arrival of a talent on par with female contemporaries Jones and Sara Bareilles.
Mastered from the original master tapes by Mobile Fidelity, A Good Day sounds positively exquisite on 180g LP, the very first time this sure-to-be audiophile vocal favorite has been made available on vinyl. While Mobile Fidelity typically issues albums that are at least a decade old, the label's engineers and decision makers felt too strongly about Ahn's 2008 album to squander any opportunity to release it. Such is the capacious amount of low-level detail, acoustic information, timbral presence, natural dynamics, and wide-spectrum frequency response present on a vocal-dominant effort that sparkles sonically as well as musically. A Good Day is the kind of airy album meant for high-end turntables, analog-friendly amplifiers, a cozy seat, and glass of fine Bordeaux.
Helmed by noted producer and Beck colleague Joey Waronker, A Good Day teems with understated string sections, fingerpicked arpeggios, rustic atmospherics, and confident harmonies. Ahn's relaxed, rural-based childhood memories work their way into delicate ballads and cozy midtempo strummers, as does her more recent stint in California's sun-baked environs. Simultaneously innocent and experienced, she's equally at home with tender love-struck admissions as she is with tough-skinned declarations. Always in control, her lyrics and music belie her then-24-year-old age.
Fans of Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Laura Nyro should immediately be drawn to Ahn's personal, intimate vibes. The upstart multi-instrumentalist not only plays guitar but also masters autoharp, piano, ukulele, Wurlitzer organ, bells, and glockenspiel on tracks rife with texture and color. Yet the main attraction remains Ahn's wispy, clear, dream-like voice. Soft and sensual, spirited and soothing, her coos, whispers, and wordless flights take off like a breeze on a clear summer day, gently blowing against fields of golden flowers and pillowy clouds.
Indeed, Ahn's is a comforting voice you'll want to experience in the highest-possible fidelity. Experience the blissful aural sensations and myriad sonic hues delivered by Mobile Fidelity's numbered edition 180g LP, and luxuriate in acoustic folk-pop that brightens moods, massages the senses, and clings to the soul as well as any you've heard in recent memory.