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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Steely Dan 2 Against Nature
Steely Dan 2 Against Nature
Warner Bros. // DVD Audio
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 6, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Music:

1. Gaslighting Abbie
2. What a Shame About Me
3. Two Against Nature
4. Janie Runaway
5. Almost Gothic
6. Jack of Speed
7. Cousin Dupree
8. Negative Girl
9. West of Hollywood


The DVD

SOUND: "Two Against Nature" is presented several different ways. If you have a DVD-Audio player, you can listen to either the 96khz/24bit 5.1 or 2.0 presentations. If you don't have a DVD-Audio capable player, you can listen to either the DTS 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation. Like all of the other Warner Music titles that I've come across, there's no skipping over to the other format if you have one or the other. Of course, if you don't have a DVD-Audio capable player you can't play the DVD-Audio tracks, but I've always found it odd that the Warner Music titles won't seem to let the DVD-Audio player over to the Dolby Digital/DTS audio, only allowing DVD-Audio players to play the DVD-Audio tracks.

Anyways, to discuss "Two Against Nature". With a sticker boasting that the album is a "Grammy Winner", I sat down to listen and was rather unimpressed. Obviously talented musicians, they still come up with a rather average sound with only a few exceptions (the lively title track). Much of the rest of it sounded rather like elevator music to me ("Janie Runaway").

It all sounded quite good though with the DVD-Audio 5.1 presentation. The surround mix was done by Elliot Schiener, who has seemingly gained a reputation for putting too much information in the surrounds for the music presentations he's done (Toy Matinee, Sting), but I've never found his mixes to go overboard with the surround use. He stays tasteful again here, sliding some of the instruments to the surround speakers, while keeping some instruments and the vocals in the front, with the exception of some background vocals which are placed in the surrounds. In other words, it sticks to a pretty traditional way of positioning the music throughout the album, with few changes in "Surround Style". It's a fine mix, but it doesn't really take any risks.

Audio quality was generally very good although the album has a rather overproduced, plastic-ish sound at times in comparison to some other DVD-A material that sounded so natural and convincing it sounded as if the musicians were in the same room. The music came through with strong clarity and detail as well as a decent, light amount of low bass. Vocals come through fairly well, although they occasionally sound the slightest bit low in the mix. Overall, this is a fine recording and respectable listening experience for those who are into the music.

Extras: Photo gallery, credits.

Final Thoughts: Although many people seemed to enjoy this offering, I personally didn't find it too risky, exceptional or even that interesting. Yet, it won a Grammy, so what do I know?. The DVD-Audio sounds quite good though, so if you're a fan, it's worth picking up. If you're not a fan though, I wouldn't recommend it.
Order "Steely Dan 2 Against Nature" now!
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