Beck's Morning Phase and The Vinyl Experience
Beck's Morning Phase is available now. I don't own it yet, but I have added it to my ever-growing list of Records to Buy. (Other Music is already sold out. Otherwise, I'd indulge my preferred method of consuming music: I'd go there immediately and buy it from a kind person.)
According to a very trusted source, Morning Phase is excellent. Another source explains that, as with many of today's releases, the vinyl edition comes with a download code that grants the owner immediate access to the album as MP3 files. In this case, however, that MP3 edition is referred to as "The Vinyl Experience," and is meant to sound and play like an LPwith subtle surface noise, an extra-long pause between sides A and B (after which the listener hears the sound of needle dropping into groove), and, at the album's very end, the sound of needle coursing run-out groove.
And, for what it's worth, the CD and standard digital (MP3) editions have a Dynamic Range Value of 6, while the LP and its accompanying download have DR values of 10 and 9, respectively.
It seems to me, then, that while Beck would like as many people as possible to enjoy his work, there's something about this particular album that wants to be an LP.
Still, I don't generally believe that there's a "best" format for any particular album. Instead, I think that different formats suit different purposes and situations. For that, I'm grateful. The best way to hear a piece of music is any way you can. Right now, as I sit in this cubicle, typing at a computer, I'm streaming "Blue Moon" from YouTube, and it sounds just perfect.