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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Natalie Merchant: Tigerlily
Natalie Merchant: Tigerlily
Warner Bros. // DVD Audio
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted June 22, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Music:

1. San Andreas Fault
2. Wonder
3. Beloved Wife
4. River
5. Carnival
6. I May Know the Word
7. The Letter
8. Cowboy Romance
9. Jealousy
10. Where I Go
11. Seven


The DVD

SOUND: One of the few DVD-Audio discs that I've been slightly dissapointed by, "Tigerlily" simply recieves a rather haphazard remix for the 5.1 platform. Presented in both 96khz/24bit 5.1 audio and stereo, the way that the audio is positioned around the room remains somewhat inconsistent. On some of the songs, like the opener "San Andreas Fault", Merchant's vocals clearly come from the center speaker while the instruments are nicely and lightly provided by the remainder of the speakers. The occasional backing vocal gets placed in the surrounds, but only for a moment. I was thinking, "very nice - this is how it should be done." That feeling pretty much only lasted for that particular song, though.

With the kind of light rock/folk sound that this album provides, this way of mixing the songs is what I would consider the right one. Yet, for other songs throughout the album vocals come rather loudly from all speakers, even the surrounds. These are personal, subtle, delicate songs and the lyrics are quite well-written and lovely. I should not hear vocals from all sides - there's no "focus".

Sound quality is generally fine. Vocals generally came through with the warmth and clarity that I'd expected the format would deliver Merchant's warm, rich voice. Occasionally though, vocals took on a slightly sharp quality. Vocals on some of the songs also seemed rather loud in the mix, given slightly too much presence while the backing musicians' work seems to almost fade into the background. I don't see why those who worked on this version of the album didn't stay with the setup that they started with on the first track; everything there is perfectly positioned and sounds wonderful. The sound quality does surpass that of the CD version of the album, but it doesn't quite reach the level of quality that most DVD-Audio albums have brought forth.

There's also a little error - track 9 ends a tiny bit early and then actually ends proper as track 10 begins. Yikes. Overall, this is one of the first DVD-Audio titles released and like the Warner release of Stone Temple Pilots' "Core" (which came out about the same time), it's not the best example of the format.

Extras: Bio, credits, discography and video for "Carnival".

Final Thoughts: "Tigerlily" is a very fine solo outing from Merchant, with terrific songwriting and beautiful music. Still, I was not particularly thrilled with how it was presented here.
Order "Natalie Merchant: Tigerlily" now!
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