Originally Posted by bermuda
I haven't heard their recent material, but I would ask if the total length of the songs was deliberately shorter in order to maximize the capabilities of an LP. I agree that with an optimum amount of material, say, no more than 22 minutes per side, an LP sounds great. But when the length exceeds that, the grooves must be cut even narrower and shallower, and the audio quality and volume is reduced. That's just how a needle tracking a groove works.
That's also why 45s and 12" singles always sounded great - big, deep grooves. The more the needle moves, the more accurate the sound, and the louder the signal, which also masked surface noise. But on a microgroove LP over a certain length, the needle can't move as much, the volume (and I assume dynamic range) is reduced, and surface noise is more audible. There aren't those kinds of issues with a CD, unless it's just poorly mastered.
A lot of new releases are cut to make a double album of 45s rather than 33s. This was certainly the case with 'In Rainbows'. Otherwise, I'm in total agreement.
Personally, I prefer albums that are time-limited by the vinyl. Around 45 minutes seems to be just about right. Most of my favourite albums are about that length, regardless of when they reduced - any longer and my interest tends to wander.
And yes, dynamic range is reduced with narrower grooves.