Natalie Merchant-Tigerlily (DVD-Audio) (1995) (NTSC)

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Released 1-Jun-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Song Lyrics
Music Video-Carnival
Biographies-Cast-Natalie Merchant
Discography-Natalie Merchant
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 50:58
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By John Holbrook

Warner Vision
Starring Natalie Merchant
Case DVD-Audio Jewel
RPI $32.95 Music Natalie Merchant

Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English MLP 96/24 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Natalie Anne Merchant started her recording career in 1981 by being the lead singer and lyricist of the folk rock band 10,000 Maniacs. She then left the band to pursue a solo career in 1993. Tigerlily is her first solo album, and was released in 1995. It reached No. 13 on the US Billboard charts and has gone five times Platinum.

    On this album, the key musicians are:

    Additional musicians are:

    I found this album quite laid-back and easy to listen to. The lyrics are quite interesting (River is a tribute the late River Phoenix) and some of the songs can be quite psychedelic (like the guitar on I May Know The Word). Even if you are not a Natalie Merchant fan or have heard the album before, I would recommend buying this DVD-Audio - it will be a worthwhile addition to your collection.

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Track Listing

1. San Andreas Fault
2. Wonder
3. Beloved Wife
4. River
5. Carnival
6. I May Know The Word
7. The Letter
8. Cowboy Romance
9. Jealousy
10. Where I Go
11. Seven Years

Transfer Quality


    Like most of the Warner DVD-Audio discs released to date, the video content on this disc is in full frame NTSC. On the DVD Audio portion of the disc, we get a black and white still (usually a photo of Natalie alone or with other musicians/instruments) plus lyrics for each track. On the DVD Video portion, all we get is one still per song.


    There are two audio tracks on this disc: MLP 96/24 5.1 on the DVD-Audio portion of the disc and Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s) on the DVD-Video portion of the disc. The back cover of the disc mentions that it can be played as "Advanced Resolution Stereo" but neglects to mention that this is done by the player down-mixing the multi-channel track. I was somewhat disappointed that Warner has chosen not to include a high resolution stereo track on this disc, so those of you who prefer listening to music in stereo be warned.

    I listened to both tracks in their entirety. I was not able to source a CD (stereo) version for comparison purposes.

    Both tracks have a sound that is clean and clear, with instruments and voice well articulated, but perhaps a tendency towards being clinical, with little or no ambience present to soften the sound. I also noticed low level hiss present throughout most tracks.

    The recording engineer responsible for the surround mix (Jim Scott) sounded like he was experimenting with different surround techniques since there isn't a consistent mixing style or technique throughout the album.

    For example, Track 1 (San Andreas Fault) is a very discrete mix with instruments carefully placed into each speaker and little or no overlaps/bleeds across channels, creating a very clean soundstage and precise imaging, although it can also sound a bit clinical and sterile. Natalie's voice is mixed to all three front channels but imaged slightly left from centre.

    In Tracks 2 (Wonder) and 4 (River), on the other hand, Natalie's voice is mixed to all channels, creating a very immersive sound. I had the feeling that I was in her head with the other musicians around me.

    Track 3 (Beloved Wife) seems to be a mix of the two styles with Natalie's voice on front channels only but the steering of the instruments seemed a little more diffuse than, for example, the first track.

    Track 5 (Carnival) has a suitably atmospheric mix with low level sounds mixed across all channels.

    From Track 6 onwards we get a compromise mix consisting of Natalie's voice mixed to all channels and the instruments placed fairly precisely along the left-right dimension, but somewhat diffusely across the front-back dimension.

    The subwoofer is used consistently to supplement the low frequencies of each track. In addition, there is substantial low frequency information in the front left and right speakers, but less so in other channels.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 track on the DVD Video portion of the disc sounds very similar to the MLP track, with correspondingly less low level detail and increased harshness/midrange stridency. It is recorded at a higher level than the MLP track (dialog normalization +4dB).

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    All the extras are contained on the DVD Audio portion of the disc. The DVD Video portion has no extras.


    The menus are full frame and static. When you play each song you can also page through the lyrics as well as an accompanying black and white photo still.


    This has 14 pages of black and white photos, song lyrics, cast and crew credits.

Music Video - Carnival (4:30)

    This video is in full frame black and white, with an accompanying Linear PCM 48/16 audio track. It features Natalie Merchant walking around the streets taking photographs.


    This is a set of nine stills providing a black and white mug shot and biographical text for Natalie Merchant.


    This is a set of four stills listing musicians and production team.


    This provides album titles, covers and year of release for Natalie Merchant albums (two stills).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc appears to be identically featured across all regions.


    Tigerlily is the first solo album from Natalie Merchant since 10,000 Maniacs.. It is based on her folk song roots, but the style is relaxed with quasi-pop influences.

    The DVD Audio MLP 5.1 track is excellent, although the surround mix varies across tracks.

    The DVD Video Dolby Digital 5.1 track is also excellent, and sounds quite similar to the MLP track.

    Extras include biography, lyrics, music video and booklet.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Saturday, January 04, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using RGB output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

Other Reviews NONE
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