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Spyro Gyra: Love and Other Obsessions (1995) CD Review

by Stanton Zeff August 28, 2015
Spyra Gyra Love & Obsessions CD Review

Spyra Gyra Love & Obsessions CD Review

Label: GRP (GRD 9808)

Track List

1)      Lost and Found

2)      Ariana

3)      Serengeti

4)      Fine Time To Explain

5)      Third Street

6)      Group Therapy

7)      Horizon's Edge

8)      Let's Say Goodbye

9)      On Liberty Road

10)   Rockin' A Heart Place

11)   Baby Dreams

Introduction

This is my favorite Spyro Gyra release (followed closely by Heart of the Night) of the 1990's. It didn't hurt that Love and Other Obsessions rose above a string of very pedestrian releases leading up to it. While the song selections are hit or miss (there are several tracks I either love or hate), the highs far outweigh the lows.

Audio Quality

For some reason, the recording quality on this release was not “up to par” with other Spyro Gyra releases. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just doesn't seem to have the dynamic range I'm used to. However, the performances and (some of) the writing are excellent bar none. My favorite tracks are Ariana, Third Street and Group Therapy. Not only does Third Street have a great horn arrangement, but it has one of the best recorded vibraphone solos I've heard in years; those of you who really dig Dave Samuels' (vibes) playing should checkout his own super group, the Caribbean Jazz Project. Group Therapy has a really sweet groove with an interesting rhythm guitar riff. As mentioned, there are an inordinate number of tracks I really don't like on this release (Serengeti, Fine Time To Explain, Let's Say Goodbye, Baby Dreams), but in these days of CD-R's and iTunes, it's easy enough to eliminate them from the playlist and come up with a solid set of music.

Summary

The main reason this release gets an overall rating of “4” is due to high number of tracks I just don't like (and therefore skip); my favorite tracks on this release are truly exceptional. In addition, the follow-up release (Heart of the Night), sees a return to the normally high standard of audio quality found on almost every Spyro Gyra release.

Scorecard

  • Audio Quality: 3/5
  • Features (liner notes): 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

Reference Equipment

  • Yamaha DSP-A1 Natural Sound A/V Amplifier (Stereo Mode)
  • Pioneer Elite CLD-99 Reference LD Player
  • Polk Monitor 10B Speakers (x2)

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By Stanton Zeff

Recent Forum Posts:

Am386SXL posts on September 02, 2015 17:19
Stanton, post: 1094984, member: 14012
They have a couple of “greatest hits” CDs that are worth getting if you have nothing.One bonus is they do a good job of remastering the old stuff when they create the compilation.

Will have a look, many thanks.
Stanton posts on September 02, 2015 16:06
afterlife2, post: 1094991, member: 57455
I have this one:

That's the “better” one of them…it has a couple of *great* tunes on it that were otherwise unreleased.
afterlife2 posts on September 02, 2015 09:43
gene, post: 1094557, member: 4348
Breakout from the 80s is one of their best IMO.
I bought that on Vinyl it is great after I read the review here. Will have to break it out again.
afterlife2 posts on September 02, 2015 09:41
I have this one:
Stanton posts on September 02, 2015 08:47
Am386SXL, post: 1094925, member: 75897
My father has been a Spyro Gyra fan for a long time but frankly we don't own any CDs or LPs produced by them. But I certainly love them to bits.

They have a couple of “greatest hits” CDs that are worth getting if you have nothing.One bonus is they do a good job of remastering the old stuff when they create the compilation.
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