Vinyl Pressing Review

Laura K Balke

Rumors & Legends

Reviewed by Jon Rogers on 01.05.2012

Third full-length album from this Indiana singer-songwriter, released Dec '11 in a stunning format: a bound-book with hand-drawn art. This is very pretty, dynamic music with a strong female voice as the focal point. Balke's knack for simplicity and emotional climaxes are reminiscent of some of the best Will Oldham records. Recorded in several different locations including "non-traditional" spaces like art galleries and apartments. The whole album is gentle and moody; a must for fans of evocative, female-fronted folk music. Collectors and format geeks take note: this one is worth the price for the packaging alone - limited edition of 100 copies!

Ratings are based on a scale from 0-10.

Overall Sound:


The album was obviously recorded well, and the vinyl sounds nice and balanced. A bit bright on spots that should be warmer, but that may be from the mixing.

Pressing Quality:


I was left wishing a little more time had been spent on the pressing quality of the actual vinyl disc here. Weaves slightly on the turntable, but with no noticeable effect on the sound. Heavier weight vinyl could have added to the pressing quality.

Vinyl Noise:


Pretty high level of noise for a new vinyl pressing. Some cracks and pops that can detract from the beauty of the music. This can get distracting during the album's quietest moments.

Overall Artwork:


Beautifully packaged in a 12.5 x 12.5" 16-page hardbound book with the title inscribed in gold ink. Features original artwork that corresponds to each song with drawings that use the song's lyrics to illustrate the song's narrative. Translucent gold vinyl looks good too.

Overall Extras:


I can't say enough about the excellent packaging of this album. It's a rarity that indie artists go to such great lengths to make their records such a complete experience. The whole "bound book" layout has a very classy look, and it comes with a digital download card in a tiny black envelope.

Reviewed By:
Jon Rogers

I am a vinyl collector and music enthusiast with a collection of over 1000 records, which sometimes causes me to have nightmares about moving to another house. Old records, new...

Jon has reviewed 55 other Records.


Total Score

: 4.20



Label: Self-Released
Release Year: 2011
Purchase Price: 30.00
Pressing Company: Unknown
Format: 12
# of Records: 1
Pressing Weight: Normal
Color: Translucent gold
Gatefold: Yes
Digital: Yes
Inner Sleeves:

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I bought this pressing last night at the Laura K. Balke, She Does Is Magic, and the Bonesetters show at White Rabbit. This is one of the coolest vinyls I own because of the work that went into it. Firm cover that reads like a book. I adore the drawings that represent depictions of each song. Well done LKB!
03.04.2012Brett McGrath
Thanks for the link to the Thought on Tracks review. Cool site you guys got here!
01.08.2012Rob Peoni
I must say..The whole process this music group is this..Sometimes you know somethings right,and sometimes you have to accept things happen for a reason,This is both,,so happy for this group,,keep the smiles going and the rhytham moving.Excellent all :)