Loveless has a very wide dynamic range– there’s no compression over the overall mixes. Because of that, it’s a very quiet record; most of it is about four or five dB below zero while most modern records are about six or seven above zero. That’s a huge difference in volume because every three dB is perceived as being twice as loud. But that’s not too important because people should just turn it up if they want to hear Loveless loud.
That is from Kevin Shields, much more here, all interesting to a fan or to an audiophile. The reissues are coming out, there is not much better in all of music than Loveless. By the way, don’t call it “popular music,” it isn’t popular!
For the pointer I thank James Murray.