A lot of ink is being spilled all over a bunch of threads that have migrated way off topic for the Forum that they currently exist in regarding the effects of compression and musicality. Threads evolve and take on new directions as new posts bring new issues into the general topic, but I thought it would be more useful to simply refrain from drifting even further off the topics more in-line with the particulars of the given Forum and start a new thread with regard to dynamics and musicality with respect to the use of Dynamic Range Compression (DRC).
This isn't an attempt to introduce anything new into what is already well documented and commented upon, but rather an attempt to simply condense into one thread a much broader discussion on DRC and its use in audio recordings.
John Atkinson, in an "As We See It" commentary from 1999, took issue with Carlos Santana's, "Supernatural" sound quality. http://forum.stereophile.com/asweseeit/177/index.html
The commentary generated quite a few letters, all worth reading and contained in the link above.
"Musically, Supernatural isn't bad, but the sound is a different story. Most of the cuts are compressed to hell. They sound loud when played at low levels, but when you turn up the volume the relentlessness of the sound, the total lack of dynamic light'n'shade, have you turning it down again.
Recordings like Supernatural are anti-hi-fi. There is nothing more to be gained from playing them back on anything with greater pretensions than a boombox. They're also anti-musical, in my opinion. If everything is at the same level, then how can there be any musical interest? If listeners are thrilled by the occasional loud climax, that doesn't mean that sustained loudness is continually thrilling—sorry, Red Hot Chili Peppers fans!" JA, from the commentary.
This is pretty much my opinion on the Bob Dylan recording, Modern Times. Well, this can be the thread to continue those types of discussions and perhaps add some links for further reading on the subject to keep from pulluting a bunch of more specialized Forums.