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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Paul Simon: You're The One
Paul Simon: You're The One
Warner Bros. // DVD Audio // August 21, 2001
List Price: $24.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 27, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Music:

1. That's Where I Belong
2. Darling Lorraine
3. Old
4. You're the One
5. The Teacher
6. Look at That
7. SeƱorita With a Necklace of Tears
8. Love
9. Pigs, Sheep and Wolves
10. Hurricane Eye
11. Quiet


The DVD

SOUND: "You're The One" is one of two DVD-Audio releases that I know of that not only posess both DVD-Audio 24bit/96khz 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, but also boast DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks (the other being Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature"). Unfortunately, this being a Warner Music title, the DVD-Audio player goes directly to the DVD-Audio section, rather than letting the user do a comparison between the formats. Those with DVD-Video players only can choose from the DTS and Dolby Digital tracks.

I did list the presentations earlier as being in 5.1, but only because that is what they are listed as on the packaging. Taking a listen to the DVD-Audio track itself, the mix is actually 4.1. The center channel is not used, with Simon's vocals instead being spread across the front two main speakers. Yet, at the same time, I was pleased that mixer Andy Smith has kept this from being simply an extended-stereo presentation, reserving the surrounds simply for the instruments and keeping the vocals in the front. I've said it before - this approach pleases me greatly - although I don't mind the occasional backing vocal in the surrounds, I find myself hearing the main vocals coming from the surrounds too often in multi-channel music presentations.

The subtle mix proves highly enjoyable and an perfectly appropriate way for presenting Simon's music. The surrounds do a fine job of simply wrapping the music further around the listener without drawing attention to themselves. Surround use is not gimmicky - the instruments thankfully stay in one place and don't do any bouncing from speaker-to-speaker or anything like that, which would have been completely out of place here. Simon's vocals come through the main two speakers with presence and authority - I've heard some music presentations where the vocals sounded a bit low or far-off, but Simon's great vocals really shined. It sounded simply as if Simon was at the front of the room singing, while the supporting players were spread out around the listener.

Audio quality was mostly splendid. The first thing that I'll mention is the negative, and it's really not a major complaint. Simply, low bass is a bit heavier than I'd expected for the material. Nothing of huge concern, but it was just a personal opinion that I felt while listening to the music. Detail and clarity are exceptional, as the instruments really sounded natural, realistic and clean. There's several light, upbeat songs that where the presentation really highlights the sensational playing - "Hurricane Eye", "Darling Lorraine", "Look At That" and "Old". The 24bit/96khz stereo mix was also very pleasant; although it of course doesn't have the depth and dimension of the 4.1 presentation, the instruments still sounded distinct and clear, as did the vocals.

Although "You're The One" isn't the DVD-Audio presentation that I've been most impressed by, I have to give credit to the sound mixer and crew for creating a surround-sound presentation that suits the material very well.

Extras: Not a whole lot - bio and credits.

Final Thoughts: A simple, but often beautifully performed and soulful album from Simon and crew is complimented by a subtle, yet effective presentation that offers fantastic audio quality. Recommended.
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