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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Missy ''Misdemeanor'' Elliot: ''...So Addictive''
Missy ''Misdemeanor'' Elliot: ''...So Addictive''
Warner Bros. // DVD Audio // September 4, 2001
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted September 4, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Music:

1. ...So Addictive (Intro) (with Charlene "Tweet" Keys)
2. Dog in Heat (with Redman and Method Man)
3. One Minute Man (with Ludacris)
4. Lick Shots
5. Get Ur Freak On
6. Scream A.K.A. Itchin'
7. Old School Joint
8. Take Away (with Ginuwine)
9. 4 My People (with Eve)
10. Bus-A-Bus Interlude (with Busta Rhymes)
11. Whatcha Gon' Do (with Timbaland)
12. Step Off
13. X-Tasy
14. Slap! Slap! Slap! (with Da Brat and Jade)
15. I've Changed Interlude (with Lil' Mo)
16. One Minute Man (Remix) (with Jay-Z).


The DVD

SOUND: "...So Addictive" is presented in three different formats, which is unusual for a Warner Music title. Rather than offer DVD-Audio 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, there is only a 48khz DVD-A 5.1 presentation, while the 2.0 track is LPCM Stereo. As usual, a Dolby Digital 5.1 track is also included. As with all Warner Music titles, the Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation can only be played by DVD-Video players and not DVD-Audio players. What's unusual about this title is that it's presented in the lower 48khz format, rather than the usual 96khz presentations that Warner Music DVD-Audio titles are presented in. The lower resolution did seem to result in a slight, but noticable difference in audio quality.

First though, I'll discuss the mix. I'd been looking forward to this title ever since its announcement, not because I'm a fan of rap (although I certainly don't mind it), I simply thought that the possibilities with turning the multi-layered beats that make up rap into surround might translate very well. For the most part, the surround mixes by Jimmy Douglass are quite entertaining, but not entirely consistent.

Jams like the hit "Get Ur Freak On" and "Whatcha' Gon Do" are really the highlights. The underlying ping-pongy beats that go through "Get Ur Freak On" come heavily from the surrounds, as do a wealth of vocal effects. Throughout the entire album, in fact, the vocals are frequently played with. Backing vocals spring from the surrounds, as do echos (as well as other effects) of the main voicals. This is also especially apparent on "Whatcha Gon' Do", as Timbaland's vocals seem to come from all sides at once.

Other songs choose not to do as much with the possibilities, such as "Step Off" and "I've Changed", whose surround mixes seem rather plain in comparison to the remainder of the album. Overall though, I found this to be one of the more exciting surround-sound music mixes that I've heard. It's obvious that the mixers had fun with the possibilities of mixing rap into surround and only rarely do they venture into "gimmicky" territory in turning the music from 2.0 to 5.1. There's a few instances during the album where vocals bounce around the room, such as the "Bus-A-Bus Interlude" where Busta Rhymes's vocals move around the room.

Audio quality was fine, but I was expecting better from the presentation. There's a decent amount of low-end bass, but I was expecting a slightly stronger and more dynamic sound. Passages of some of the tracks sounded a bit thin and edgy, but not uncomfortably so. Elliot's vocals, as well as the vocals of the legion of rap stars who come in to add their part sounded clear and crisp throughout the songs.

What's really going to dissapoint many is that the edited version of the album is apparently the one that was used for this DVD-Audio presentation. This is noticable even during the first track (introduction), where it sounds as if there's a ton of edits to cover up the naughty bits. Why the studio felt it was necessary to use the edited version on this DVD-Audio edition is beyond me, as I would think that the DVD-Audio version would appeal to an older audience who didn't have to worry about whether or not they're old enough to buy a "Parental Advisory" album. Shuffling through the 2.0 presentation revealed that it seemed to be edited, as well.

Extras: Very little - just credits. A video or two would have been nice.

Final Thoughts: Although I didn't venture in a rap fan, I actually enjoyed much of Missy Elliot's latest album. Her vocals are strong and authoritative and her use of beats is...well, addictive. I'd been interested in the DVD-Audio edition to see how rap would be mixed for surround as well as sound in general in the format. As for the mix, its largely very agressive and enjoyable, rarely becoming too "gimmicky". The sound quality, on the other hand, is fine, but didn't manage to deliver the rich, bassy quality that I'd expected. The other area where this release suffers is the fact that its the edited version, and since there doesn't seem to be any other version available, it seems as if the edited version is the only one that's going to reach the DVD-Audio format, which seems unfortunate. Recommended only to fans interested in hearing the album repurposed for surround.
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