When listening to my favourite tracks I notice that they all sound very different from each other. Some are sharp sounding, some sound compressed, some sound very aggressive, some sound very smooth. They are obviously not mixed and mastered by the same people, using the same equipment and the same set of ears. Possibly some of the people working on these tracks have better ears than others, but does it matter? Hell no!
And it doesn’t matter what year they are from. The list I made for 2018 is all over the place, sound wise. Love that!
If all tracks would sound the same, have the same amount of low end, the same compression etc, that would sound very boring to me. Perfect music is often simply boring music imo. Playing it (too) safe.
I agree with what Rick Beato recently had to say on this:
For those creating, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If your ideas are wild and unique enough there are no rules. No one can tell you how it should sound. In life there are enough rules, so trow the book of rules for music out of the window. Open your mind, make stuff and break stuff.
I was thinking about one of my Dutch heroes Vincent van Gogh. Here’s a bit he wrote to his brother Theo:
Tired as they are of the photographic and silly perfection of some. They don’t ask for the right tone of the mountains, but they will say, “Damn it, those mountains were blue, throw blue on them and don’t tell me the blue was a bit like that, it was blue, wasn’t it? Well – make them blue and with that basta! Gauguin is sometimes a genius when he explains that, but Gauguin is very reluctant to show his genius and it’s striking how much he likes to tell young people something really useful. What a remarkable guy he is.To Theo van Gogh
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, c. friday september 20, 1889