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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now
Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now
Warner Bros. // DVD Audio
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 7, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Music:

You're My Thrill
At Last
Comes Love
You've Changed
Answer Me, My Love
A Case Of You
Don't Go To Strangers
Sometimes I'm Happy
Don't Worry 'Bout Me
Stormy Weather
I Wish I Were In Love Again
Both Sides Now


The DVD

SOUND: "Both Sides Now" is presented, like almost all of the Warner Music titles, with Advanced Resolution 96khz/24 bit audio as well as a Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation for those who do not have DVD-Audio capability. Neither can go to the "other side"; DVD-Audio players can not play the Dolby Digital 5.1 track and DVD-Video only players can only play the Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation, not the DVD-Audio tracks.

This album has Joni Mitchell paired up with a 70-member orchestra to record lush, smoky, sultry romantic tunes that are a bit more dramatic and emotional than some of her other previous work. These ballads are probably not something that I would consider demonstration material for the DVD-Audio format, but they are mixed quite tastefully by the album's musical director, Larry Klein. The orchestra members are mixed in the two front main speakers and into the surrounds for an enveloping, immersive feel. Occasionally, other instruments pop up on their own in the surrounds for a solo performance - mainly horns, such as on "Don't Worry About Me". Mitchell's vocals are placed in the center speaker throughout the album. All of the songs are tastefully mixed with Mitchell's vocals taking "center stage" in the proceedings; there are no "gimmicky" uses of the surrounds to move the music around the room or any similar trickery and thankfully so - it wouldn't have worked well with the material.

Mitchell's voice has aged quite well after all these years; her rendition of the classic "At Last" sounded terrific as Mitchell's voice rised nicely above the backing orchestra. Throughout the album, both elements shared the listening space quite well - neither drowned out the other. The vocals really sounded quite exceptionally natural, clean and "forward" - they took on that open, detailed quality where not only is every breath apparent, but the singer sounds as if they're in the same room. The music also sounded terrific, with a comfortable, crisp sound that, at times, offered warm bass and, at others, crisp highs that sounded clean and not thin or sharp.

Although I don't think that "Both Sides Now" is demonstration-quality material, it's quite a beautifully sung and performed album (it won a Grammy, although strangely Steely Dan's album did, as well.) that is presented appropriately here and with superb sound quality.


Extras: Biography.

Final Thoughts: Ballads are not exactly my favorite genre of music, but Joni Mitchell's jazzy, beautiful takes on these tunes made for a very enjoyable listening experience. The DVD-Audio presentation boasts fine sound quality and an appropriate and tasteful mix. Not one of the best DVD-Audio titles I've listened to, but still one of the better ones.
Order "Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now" now!
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