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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Paul Gilbert - Alligator Farm
Paul Gilbert - Alligator Farm
DTS // DVD Audio
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 31, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Music:

1. Better Chords
2. Individually Twisted
3. Cut, Cut, Cut
4. Alligator Farm
5. Attitude Boy Will Overcome
6. 2 Become 1
7. Lancelot Link
8. Rosalinda Told Me
9. Let The Computer Decide
10. Koto Girl
11. Dreamed Victoria
12. Six Billion People
13. The Ballad Of The Last Lions
14. Whole Lotta Sonata


The DVD

SOUND: "Alligator Farm" is presented in DVD-Audio 48khz/24bit 5.1 audio, along with DTS 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 editions of the album for those that don't have DVD-Audio capability. It's also nice that, unlike the Warner Music DVD-Audio discs, the DTS releases allow listeners to switch back and forth between the three options whenever they like. "Alligator Farm" is a mixture of the guitarist's 80's hard-driving rock songs with occasionally amusing lyrics as well as some ballads thrown in for good measure. Gilbert is most successful when he's rockin' though; the album takes a rather abrupt shift towards lighter fare about halfway through and it isn't quite as entertaining. If the title "2 Become 1" also sounds familar, it's because Gilbert has made the strange choice of covering a Spice Girls tune.

As for the surround-sound presentation of the music, it fares well, but really doesn't go beyond the basics throughout the entire recording. Gilbert's vocals are spread out across the two front main speakers; the center channel either seemed to be used very subtly or not at all. The album starts off appearing to be agressive with the surrounds as the opening guitar riff to "Better Chords" bounces from speaker-to-speaker, but after that, things become far more traditional till the final song and the wrap-around guitars of "Whole Lotta Sonata". In-between, surrounds were used largely to re-inforce what was coming out of the front two main speakers, providing their own distinct material on some tracks - but seemingly not on others.

Audio quality was at least very good - many of Gilbert's frequent and impressive guitar solos came through so clearly that he seemed to be in the same room. Solid low-end bass support was also provided on some of the tracks and the overall sound was rich and comfortable to listen to. It's just unfortunate that with the backing band and Gilbert's remarkable guitar playing that the mix couldn't provide a more active and spread-out surround environment for the music. The DVD-Audio presentation didn't provide a very noticable difference in comparison to the DTS edition; a slight improvement in clarity and detail were provided.

Extras: photo gallery, credits.

Final Thoughts: The album itself goes along quite well till about halfway through, where it takes an abrupt turn into lighter and less interesting material before attempting a return to rock at the end. The surround-sound presentation was also rather inconsistent, only occasionally providing more than the basics of traditional surround-sound music positioning when the material could have lent itself to a more engaging and agressively mixed presentation. For Gilbert fans only.
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