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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Eric Clapton - Reptile
Eric Clapton - Reptile
Warner Music // DVD Audio // November 8, 2002
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted April 15, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Music:

1. Reptile
2. Got You On My Mind
3. Travelin' Light
4. Believe In Life
5. Come Back Baby
6. Broken Down
7. Find Myself
8. I Ain't Gonna Stand For It
9. I Want A Little Girl
10. Second Nature
11. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
12. Modern Girl
13. Superman Inside
14. Son & Sylvia


The DVD

SOUND: "Reptile" is presented by Warner Music in 24bit/96khz DVD-Audio 5.1 & Stereo (for DVD-Audio capable players only) and DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1 (for DVD-Video players only). While some albums are clearly meant for aggressive presentations when it comes to repurposing for the music, there's also many a recording that benefits from simply opening up the music a bit into the listening space, using the surrounds to reinforce the music just enough to give the experience a nice, "club"-like feel.

"Reptile", Eric Clapton's 2001 studio album, is a perfect example of how the latter style of surround mixing can work wonders. The film is a traditional blues album (and an outstanding one, at that.) and the DVD-Audio's restrained sound mix does a very, very nice job at recreating that blues club atmosphere ("Riding With The King", the album from the prior year with Clapton and BB King, is an example of a more complex mix that generally works, too).

For "Reptile", the rear speakers kick in with some backing vocals and instrumentals (piano, guitar) at all times, while Clapton's guitar work is nicely spread across the front speakers, and his vocals confined to the center speaker. Some of the more up-tempo tracks on the album (the hit "Superman Inside") push the surrounds a little more, with nice surround The subtle, consistent mix really highlights some of the great work on the album and makes the slow, smoky blues even more involving.

Audio quality is generally quite good, if not quite up to the level that some DVD-Audio titles have offered. The instrumentals come through with fine clarity, as do Clapton's marvelous vocals (although the vocals seem strangely buried a bit on "Ain't Gonna Stand For This"), but the sound sometimes seemed to slightly lack dynamic range and depth. Those with DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 aren't missing much; while neither were up to the quality of the DVD-Audio track, for once, I felt that the DTS (and to a lesser extent, the Dolby Digital presentation) compared pretty respectably to it.

Extras only include a bio and liner notes.

Final Thoughts: I greatly enjoyed "Reptile", both as an album and how it was reworked to 5.1. The album's new 5.1 mix is appropriate for the mood, keeping the rear speakers subtle during the slow, moody blues and putting them into play more for some of the more up-tempo tracks. Overall, an enveloping mix that never becomes gimmicky or distracting. Recommended.

Order "Eric Clapton - Reptile" now!
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