Sound City the studio may be dead, but its legend lives on.
If Dave Grohls Sound City documentary made the argument that analog recording has more depth and feel than digital, then the films soundtrack, Sound City the studio may be dead, but its legend lives on.
Sound CityReal to Reel , is the proof.
Recorded on the Neve console, the album is a fitting tribute to the now-extinct studio with the musicians who made the place legendary also serves as effective pallbearers. Its refreshing to hear this album as what is- you know, an actual album- rather than a quick cash in that is standard in the music industry today.
While cameos and guest musicians abound, Grohl is the star of the show. If anything, Real to Reel is similar to the drummers other labor of love, 2004s Probot. Each song has a different style tailored to each specific guest on track, leading to a mix-tape feel and cause for playing on repeat. The first half offers strong character songs while the second half just immerses the listener in prowess.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club kicks off the album with a low-fi, glam rocker as Chris Goss (Masters of Reality) takes lead on Time Slow Down. You Cant Fix This proves Stevie Nicks can still simmer in this shimmering Fleetwood Mac throwback while Rick Springfields The Man That Never Was is a gift considering that Springfield now has three (count em, three!) songs that are cant miss.
As mentioned, the last half is all-killer, no filler. Josh Hommes Centipede sounds like a lost Queens of the Stone Age track from the Songs For The Deaf era. If I Were Me is just Grohl and his guitar. Beneath all the screech and feedback is an actual songwriter. The album closes with Mantra, an eight minute jam with Homme, Grohl and Trent Reznor. There are more words to be said about its awesomeness but they seem to fall short. Just listen
Sonically, there is a warmth and depth to the recordings. Outside the hype the film and soundtrack has created, Sound CityReal to Reel is a well-written, well-produced album that is cohesive as it is eclectic. It also might be Dave Grohls best work yet.