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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Corrs: In Blue
Corrs: In Blue
Warner Bros. // DVD Audio
List Price: $20.00 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted June 6, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Music:


I have to say that I'm still not quite sold on the Corrs. A less heavy, more pop version of the Cranberries with less complex lyrics would be the best way to illustrate my first thoughts of the band. But, as I dug deeper into the album, I found more to like from the band; a group of catchy, bouncy, if lightweight pop tunes.

"Breathless", the heavily radio-played song about being swept off your feet by someone new is enjoyable, if overplayed at this point. "Somebody For Someone", another song about meeting someone new (romance or loneliness, themes that play throughout most of these songs) is a much richer tune, with terrific lead vocals and more interesting musical arrangements. "Irrestisible", with its breathy whispers and "Radio" are also two lively, entertaining tracks. It's when the Corrs try ballads that things become rather dull. The background music for "All The Love In The World", in particular, sounds like something the Backstreet Boys would use and the vocals aren't much more interesting.

I haven't heard the band's previous works, which are supposedly more folk than pop. As someone new to the band, I thought there were a few tunes during "In Blue" that pulled me in with some musical hooks, but the album never really held me there; for every song that works on some level, I found there to be another one that was a rather boring listen. It's obvious to me that this is a group with some serious talent as well as remarkable vocals, but their pop is a often a little too bland and radio-ready on this album, especially with some of the ballads.


The DVD

SOUND: This, the first DVD-Audio presentation that I've had the pleasure to listen to, was certainly a suprise. Not in terms of the mix, neccessarily, but the audio quality. Presented in both DVD-A's Advanced Resolution 96 kHz, 24-bit 5.1 channel and stereo, the 5.1 presentation is excellent, using the surrounds well, although sometimes nearly stepping over the line between gimmicky and not.

"Breathless" starts out with the opening vocals swirling about the room. It's a fun way to start, but thankfully the presentation becomes more straightforward as the song goes on. Most of the ballads present a more traditional mix, with the surrounds presenting music re-inforcement, but the more up-tempo numbers begin to be a bit more playful with the surround use, offering background vocals and other effects (such as the whispered backing vocals of "Irrestible").

The element of the mix that I didn't like was that the center channel is sometimes used for vocals, but more often for bass. When the vocals are carried by the center channel, like on "Somebody For Someone", the result is phenomenal as the vocals sound so crisp and life-like that it seemed as if the singer was standing right in my room. Every breath seemed to be captured and the high notes sounded crystal clear. When the vocals were spread across the front two speakers, I felt as if a little of emotional impact that the group was attempting for on some of the songs was taken away by having the vocals lose that presence.

Although there were a few concerns about the choices of how the music was presented, I thought the general audio quality was excitingly good. A favorite track, the brassy reggae-driven "Give It All Up", sounded particularly lively and full, if again - the vocals are unfortunately not given quite the same presence as some of the other tracks. The low bass involvement is sometimes inconsistently used, but I wasn't really expecting a great deal of rumble from the material. Clarity and detail to the background music was consistently excellent, I just wish that the vocals were given more focus in some of the tunes. The singers really do have terrific voices and having their vocals be front and center rather than sharing stage-time with the techo-pop music would have improved the listening experience.

Overall, excellent general audio quality, but some concerns about how the music was presented. There is also a Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation included for those who do not have DVD-Audio capabilities.

Extras: There are a couple of minor extras, as are included on most DVD-A titles. First, there's the video for "Breathless" (Dolby 2.0), which is presented with mediocre video quality. There's also some photo galleries that can be selected while watching the songs, but this stops mid-way through the tracks. Text commentary from the band members is also included, but don't expect much insight into the songwriting process. Liner notes and on-screen text offer lyrics. Last, but not least, there's a discography.

Final Thoughts: There's a few good songs located throughout "In Blue" ("Somebody For Someone", "Give It All Up", "Irresistable"), but the rest of the album remains mixed at best, in my opinion. Fans of the band's effort will be pleased with the DVD-Audio presentation, which doesn't always make the best choices in how the music is presented, but offers wonderful, exceptionally crystal clear audio quality.
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