Acoustic Sounds

Lori Lieberman




Label: Drive On Records

Produced By: Lori Lieberman and Matt Rollings

Engineered By: Bob Clearmountain and Brandon Duncan

Mixed By: Bob Clearmountain

Mastered By: Darcy Proper

Lacquers Cut By: Chris Muth

By: Michael Fremer

December 7th, 2022



Standards And Originals Take Flight on Lori Lieberman's Newest Album

truly her finest vocal performances on record

Lori Lieberman performs this set of standards without a "net"—no reverb bath, or any kind of cover. Singing directly and closely "on mic" where there's no room for error she delivers her finest vocal performances on record backed by Matt Rollings on keyboards (piano and B3), Lyle Workman on guitars, David Piltch on upright bass and Victor Indrizzo on drums.

Lieberman produced the record with Rollings, a player in Lyle Lovett's Large Band and Grammy Award winning producer for Summertime Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin. Workman's resumé is filled with impressive composing and studio credits, working with everyone from Frank Black to Norah Jones. Piltch has a long association with Holly Cole, Joe Henry and k.d. lang. Indrizzo's recording credits include Daniel Lanois, Macy Gray, Alanis Morissette and Lizzo, among others.

Recorded live at Apogee Studios in Los Angeles and engineered by Bob Clearmountain using his original Neve board now residing at Apogee (Bob's wife Betty Bennett is a founder of Apogee electronics) and with a wide array of tubed and solid state microphones available, the stage was set for a great sounding production.

12 songs recorded in 6 days tells you everyone was in the groove on a set of Lieberman selected love songs including standards like the opener "You Go to My Head" and "My One and Only Love" covered by Sinatra and John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman among others and three Lieberman originals, two co-written with the late arranger/producer Joe "Fly Me to the Moon" Harnell and the self-penned title tune.

Singing into a vintage Neumann M49 and so well captured in the studio with plenty of air and space around her voice, Lieberman owns "You Go to My Head", delivering it with convincing, intimate ease, following that with a cozy "Moonlight In Vermont". The oft covered "I Like the Likes of You" comes off pleasantly in a muscular arrangement propelled by Indrizzo's drums and sounding as if Lyle Lovett could have dropped in for a chorus.

Th Anthony Newley/Leslie Bricusse classic "What Kind of Fool I Am" the show stopper at the conclusion of the Broadway show Stop the World, I Want to Get Off builds to a climax that Lieberman skillfully builds towards and successfully negotiates. A breakthrough performance.

The self-penned title tune is a dramatic Tango punctuated by Lyle Workman's simmering guitar lines. The title tune isn't always an album's highlight. This one is. Lieberman sings in French the side ending "It Might As Well Be Spring" from the film State Fair —Rodgers and Hammerstein's only film score. Hardly a stretch for the Swiss native and delightfully delivered.

Side two opens with Lieberman's most famously sung tune, "Killing Me Softly", about which there is a controversy. Lieberman first sang the Norman Gimbel/Charles Fox credited tune after which Roberta Flack had a huge hit. The song is about Lieberman's experience hearing Don McLean perform his song "Empty Chairs". It's good hearing Lieberman again ready, willing and quite able to tackle the song after a great deal of controversy and probably much bitterness. You can read about the controversy in this Wall Street Journal profile

When Lori sings "My One and Only Love" it's quite clear she's singing to her husband Joe Cali, who many reading this know from his association with the high performance audio world, though if you didn't know that, you'd be content thinking she's aiming it at you. I'll not continue this play by play other than to write the side ends with Lori's heartfelt take on the charming "Que Será, Será" a song made famous by Doris Day.

The sound on this record should convince even the most anti-digital diehard that its time to give it up—at least when it comes to new original productions. If there's analog tape, use it, sure, for reissues or for new productions if you have the guts, time and money. However, the sound of this file transferred to lacquer is as natural and three-dimensional as recordings get, regardless of technology.

It's more about the studio, the board, the microphones and person at the controls—in this case Bob Clearmountain—than it is about how the production gets stored. It took me decades to come around to writing that but listen to this record and tell me how you can disagree. You can't!

Set the volume correctly and you'll be in the studio with Lori and the band performing live just for you. The QRP pressing is dead quiet, flat and as perfect as is the recording.

Music Specifications

Catalog No: 115115 18

Pressing Plant: Quality Record Pressings


Speed/RPM: 33 1/3

Weight: 180 grams

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Source: High Resolution Files

Presentation: Single LP