Chicago (Soundtrack - 2002 Film)
Sony Music // SACD // $24.98 // September 18, 2003
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted October 25, 2003
M U S I C
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version

The Music:



1. Overture/And All That Jazz - Catherine Zeta-Jones / Renee Zellweger / Taye Diggs
2. Funny Honey - Renee Zellweger / Reilly, John C. / Colm Feore
3. When You're Good to Mama - Queen Latifah / Taye Diggs
4. Cell Block Tango - Catherine Zeta-Jones / Susan Misner / Deidre Goodwin 5. All I Care About - Richard Gere / Renee Zellweger
6. We Both Reached for the Gun - Christine Baranski / Cleve Asbury / Shaun Amyot
7. Roxie - Renee Zellweger
8. I Can't Do It Alone - Catherine Zeta-Jones / Taye Diggs
9. Mister Cellophane - John C. Reilly
10. Razzle Dazzle - Richard Gere
11. Class - Catherine Zeta-Jones / Queen Latifah -
12. Nowadays (Roxie) - Renee Zellweger / Taye Diggs
13. Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag Medley Title - Renee Zellweger / Catherine Zeta-Jones / Taye Diggs
14. I Move On - Catherine Zeta-Jones / Renee Zellweger
15. After Midnight - Danny Elfmann
16. Roxie's Suite - Danny Elfman
17. Cell Block Tango / He Had It Comin' - Queen Latifah / Lil' Kim / Macy Gray
18. Love Is a Crime - Anastacia

* A CD layer is not included. This disc can only be played in SACD compatible hardware.


The DVD

SOUND: Sony Music presents the "Chicago" soundtrack in DSD 5.1 and stereo on this SACD edition. The soundtrack's 5.1 presentation was done by Dan Hetzel (the soundtrack's original mixer), except for "Cell Block Tango", which was mixed by Thomas R. Yezzi. For those familiar with the film and not the soundtrack, this soundtrack includes the songs featured in the movie, a couple of tracks "inspired" by the film and even "Class", which is a song that was originally featured in a sequence in the movie that was later deleted (see the DVD for the scene).

"All That Jazz" certainly kicks off things in the right direction, as the mix does a stellar job highlighting all aspects of the track. The vocals from Catherine Zeta-Jones are nicely rooted in the front speakers, while the instrumentals are discretely heard from the rear speakers and reinforced by the surrounds. The song's occasional backing vocals kick in nicely from the surrounds, as well.

Although some of the quieter tracks don't put the rear speakers to quite as much use, many others put the surrounds to the same sort of aggressive use as "All That Jazz". The horns chime in strongly from the rears in "When You're Good To Mama", allowing the audience to feel a strong sense of envelopment by the skilled musicians. The mix takes some pleasing risks on occasion, such as positioning an instrumental portion specifically in one surround or the other. In the case of "We Both Reached For The Gun", the viewer hears the voices of the reporters come from one surround, then the other, while Gere's vocals are held in the front speakers. Other 5.1 highlights include Gere's take on "Razzle Dazzle" and both versions of "Cell Block Tango".

The SACD presentation offers excellent sonics throughout this presentation. Drums hit with force, horns announce their presence with authority and vocals generally have solid presence amidst the instrumental backing, although there were times ("Cell Block Tango") when I thought they could have been brought even further forward. The presentation has superb dynamic range, capturing the album's pin-drop moments of quiet as clearly and smoothly as the thunderous chorus of many of the more uptempo songs.

The SACD stereo edition provided excellent sound quality, but this is a case where I enjoyed the 5.1 mix and would recommend it over the stereo version.

Final Thoughts: "Chicago" translates beautifully to SACD, as the 5.1 mix puts the viewers into the middle of a "club", with instruments wonderfully placed around the listening space in this stellar mix. Audio quality is terrific, as well. Fans will very likely appreciate this new way to experience this album.



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