Label add voice-overs to review CDs

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 12, 2008
Updated • Nov 9, 2017
Music, Music and Video

The album Ever Changing Times by Steve Lukather got a 2.2 out of 10 over at Komodo Rock which is one of the lowest scores ever. The reason why the album got that bad rating? No, it's not the music, the lyrics, the artwork. It's a new form of protection to avoid leaks of the album to the Internet.

Frontier Records, the recording company, added voice overs to all songs on the record but two. Each song seems to have three low quality voice overs to stop piracy and Internet uploading. The reviewers problem now was that he could not review the music properly because of the annoying voice overs.

The album itself, at least the two tracks that the reviewer was able to listen to without interference, was superb according to his article.

So what went wrong? Well that would be the dodgy Italian voice over that the label, Frontiers Records, have added over all bar two tracks on this album, supposedly to stop piracy and internet uploading. Will it stop that? Does anyone honestly believe it will? Regardless, this is not the way to do things, because as a reviewer I have to review what is put in front of me, what my ears hear, no what I want them to hear. What I am listening to here is an album that can best be described as perhaps the Mona Lisa after a 2 year old covered in chocolate has crawled all over it. Yes it might once have been a great painting, and yes you can still see that greatness, but really all you can see now is little chocolate hand prints.

Trying to stop leaks in the distribution chain is one thing but doing it in a way that makes it impossible for some people to do their job is an entirely different one.

May not be as invasive as Sony adding rootkit like functionality to some albums, but still, not the smartest of moves.

Article Name
Label add voice-overs to review audio CDs
This is the story of a record label sending out review copies of audio CDs with voice overs, and the reaction of the reviewer.
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  1. Cammy said on January 12, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    This is nothing new. I’ve been reviewing promos from European labels for about two or three years and a vast majority of those, have voice-overs.

    The other trick by record labels is to split the album into 99 tracks – so one song can be 10 tracks on the promo CD. Makes it hard to work out what song you’re listen to but you don’t get the annoying voice-over.

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