BLU-RAY MU­SIC

Di­rec­tor: Raj Kapoor Star­ring: Sha­nia Twain plus three vo­cal­ists, ten in­stru­men­tal­ists, and six dancers

Australian HIFI - - CONTENTS -

Stephen Daw­son re­veals his real feel­ings about Sha­nia Twain and Alice Cooper, based on two fab­u­lously good Blu-ray re­leases….

There are cer­tain cul­tural lan­guages I just don’t speak. I’m the type of guy who should like Ja­panese An­ime but it mostly leaves me cold. I never learnt the ‘lan­guage’—the cul­tural cues which make it ping the right emo­tional re­cep­tors in me to gen­er­ate gen­uine plea­sure. The same goes for coun­try mu­sic. But rather than fail­ing to ‘ping the right re­cep­tors’, much of it grinds against the wrong ones, those that make me ir­ri­tated. And the more ‘coun­try’, the stronger my re­ac­tion.

Which leaves me tee­ter­ing on a dan­ger­ous edge when it comes to a lot of the top artists of the past fifty years. Linda Ron­stadt, The Ea­gles, Whit­ney Hous­ton, all mu­si­cians who’ve pro­duced songs I love came from coun­try roots.

Cana­dian artist Sha­nia Twain started coun­try and stayed close to it even as she spun her­self an enor­mously suc­cess­ful pop ca­reer. She has sold some 85 mil­lion records, more than twenty mil­lion of them the 1997 al­bum ‘Come On Over.’ In 2012 and 2013 she had a stage show at the Colos­seum at Cae­sars Palace, Las Ve­gas. My good­ness, what a show it was. Her along with nine­teen per­form­ers. En­trances on a sus­pended Har­ley-David­son Elec­traGlide and on a horse. Cos­tume changes ev­ery few songs. A golden mi­cro­phone. A mas­sive screen be­hind the stage with well-de­signed and highly dy­namic graph­ics, along with the oc­ca­sional film clip star­ring, of course, Sha­nia her­self. But also with a kind of homely feel. The star leaves the stage and wan­ders through the crowd ac­cept­ing hugs, pos­ing for pho­tos, and even shar­ing her mi­cro­phone with a fan mid-song.

The band is clearly ex­tremely well re­hearsed, with very tight play­ing that works with the chore­og­ra­phy. Sym­me­try is pro­vided by two male backup singers who are at least broth­ers, and even pos­si­bly twins.

The mu­sic is mostly coun­try rock with a lean­ing (thank­fully) to­wards the rock, and I man­aged to en­joy it de­spite the slide gui­tar break­ing through into the mix rather too of­ten. There’s even a nice gui­tar sec­tion in the lead-in to That Don’t Im­press Me Much that verges on hardish rock.

The pic­ture quality was al­most en­tirely first class, marred only by a cou­ple of brief, slightly out-of-fo­cus sec­tions. It’s shot at a movie-like 24-frames per sec­ond so there are no dein­ter­lac­ing prob­lems ir­re­spec­tive of the quality of your equip­ment. The sound cap­tured the live na­ture of the performance, while re­tain­ing most of the clar­ity and pre­ci­sion of a stu­dio record­ing. Nicely done. The sur­round mix was a bit strange, with nearly ev­ery­thing at the front, but some­times a rather clunky shift of crowd noise be­tween songs at the back. You can avoid all that with the stereo LPCM mix if you pre­fer.

FEA­TURES

Run­ning time: 92 min­utes Pic­ture: 1.78:1, 1080i60, MPEG4 AVC @ 30.00Mbps Sound: English: DTS-HD Mater Au­dio 16/48 3/2.1 @ 2845kbps (core: DTS 16/48 3/2.1 @ 1509kbps); English: LPCM 16/48 2/0.0 @ 1536kbps Subti­tles: English, Ger­man, Span­ish, French (Doc­u­men­tary only) Fea­tures: 8 page book­let; Doc­u­men­tary (1080i60 - 61 mins) Re­stric­tions: Ex­empt, Re­gion Free

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