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I for sure prefer the analog era. Some of the stuff from the digital era is OK, but I personally dislike drum machines and overproduced full-of-effects records. And I think you're right, when you say they can sound dated, even though they actually are the newer ones.
Drum machines can be OK if correctly putted together with real drums, for ejample in Jay Grsuka's "Which one of us is me". Anyway, my favourite records are on the early era of westcoast, I'm actually much more into r&b, blue-eyed soul, smooth jazz... than into hard rock or AOR. I should actually get to listen to more stuff from the digital era to form a more accurate point of view. I think I'll begin with David Pack's "Anywhere I go". Any other album you could recomend me?