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Reviews » Audio Reviews » K.D. Lang - Invincible Summer
K.D. Lang - Invincible Summer
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:

1. The Consequences Of Falling
2. Summerfling
3. Suddenly
4. It's Happening With You
5. Extraordinary Thing
6. Love's Great Ocean
7. Simple
8. What Better Said
9. When We Collide
10. Curiosity
11. Only Love


The DVD

SOUND: "Invisible Summer" is presented in both Advanced Resolution DVD-Audio 96khz/24bit 5.1 and 2.0 audio as well as a Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation for those who do not have DVD-Audio capable players. However, those who have DVD-Audio players cannot play the Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation. Like the similarly dissapointing presentation of Natalie Merchant's "Tigerlily", this is one of the early DVD-Audio titles that is not a particularly good example of what the format has to offer, although the mix itself isn't quite as haphazardly mixed as the Merchant effort. In fact, where that effort took a light, subtle and delicate group of folk and rock songs and turned them into an inappropriately positioned mix with the vocals coming from the surrounds, the K.D. Lang album tends to pull inward more, not taking advantage of the opportunities to spread outward.

The way that the tunes are mixed varies a bit throughout the album. Usually, the vocals come from all three front speakers and carry K.D. Lang's voice quite well. Surrounds offer up a bit of ambience and re-inforcement of the music coming from the front speakers, but the obvious focus of the music comes from the front speakers. While some of the quieter songs do certainly benefit from this way of going with multi-channel music, it would have been nice if some of the instruments were positioned on their own in the surrounds to create a more enveloping feel to the music and to create a chance for the instruments to shine and be more clearly heard on their own. There's a few rare surround effects, such as the chorus on "When We Collide", but the album remains a rather timid example of surround-sound music.

Audio quality seemed fine, but not quite as full, rich and crisp as some of the other DVD-Audio discs that I've auditions. On the other hand, I've listened to a few so fat that didn't sound as good as this disc, either. Lang's vocals are reproduced with fine clarity and warmth, sounding clear and natural. The music also comes through with very good detail, although I would have liked the various instruments to be more specifically placed around the viewer. There's also some strong, although not quite heavy or powerful, low bass that was absent on a couple of the album's tracks ("Summerfling"), but was quite apparent on some of the other tunes (most noticably on "What Better Said").

Although the sound on this presentation is rather good, although not remarkable, I think that a riskier, more daring surround mix could have really added another dimension to the music and made for a more interesting, enjoyable listening experience.

Extras: "Summerfling" video.

Final Thoughts: The album is an interesting and engaging offering of rock and pop tunes, but the DVD-Audio edition doesn't do a great deal for the album, with opportunities for greater surround use missed. Those who are fans and DVD-Audio owners may want to upgrade from the CD to this edition, but don't go in expecting the format to revitalize the listening experience for the album in the way it does for some other releases.
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