Barenaked Ladies-Barelaked Nadies (NTSC)

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Released 17-Feb-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Audio-Visual Commentary-Videos
DVD-ROM Extras-Weblinks; Barenaked Ladies Revoice Studio
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 64:53 (Case: 160)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Steven Page
Ed Robertson
Tyler Stewart
Jim Creeggan
Kevin Hearn
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Barenaked Ladies


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
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 Yes, a repeat video plays under the final credits.

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

Plot Synopsis

    The unfortunately-named Barenaked Ladies are a band of whom most have heard, but far fewer have actually taken the time to explore. Anyone who was within hearing distance of a radio in early 1998 will recognise the band's world-wide success One Week - a song that is still a party favourite - but few will recognise any of their other songs. This is actually a pity, as the Barenaked Ladies are a band with a lot to offer.

    It was with trepidation that I took on the task of reviewing this DVD. I am a casual fan of the band, and own a copy of their very successful Stunt album, but never bothered to check out any of their earlier (and now also more recent) music. After the first Barenaked Ladies DVD, the fan-loved, but ultimately somewhat alienating Barenaked In America, I wasn't too sure about looking at this disc. What an experience I almost missed out on!

    This DVD is a presentation of all the videos made for their singles released since their 1991 debut Lovers In A Dangerous Time. This is an impressive collection of videos, both in terms of content - the band are not afraid to show their less polished earlier efforts - and music. They are a good demonstration of how the band's sound has changed over the last twelve years, as they matured from their initial complex pop stylings into the very polished songwriters and melody makers they are today.

    This DVD is an excellent way to get into the Barenaked Ladies for the very first time. It lays out a compilation of what are presumably their best songs (as they are all the singles, that is a fair assumption), and it displays their sheer enthusiasm for what they do. This is a band that is full of energy, and just loves performing - and it shows. On top of that, they have created some of the most sublimely melodic pop music I have had the pleasure to hear. This is most obvious in their early work of What A Good Boy, Jane, and The Old Apartment, but is still present - in a far more subtle, and rewarding, fashion - on later material. Their lyrics may not be considering major issues (at least most of the time), but they speak to the every-day, the things that every one has to go through, which also helps the music connect.

    For the die-hard fans of the Barenaked Ladies, this DVD is a must have - it will fit perfectly into your collection. For those who may only know of them through One Week, then I heartily recommend grabbing this disc and exploring the band. The videos will draw you in, and the live concert footage (an almost half-hour bonus) will make you a fan - and you might just find yourself wondering why this group of superb musicians and composers has not had more success.

    Finally, please note that this DVD is in the NTSC format, and as such, you will need equipment capable of viewing NTSC material in order to make use of it.

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Track Listing

1. Lovers In A Dangerous Time
2. Enid
3. What A Good Boy
4. Be My Yoko Ono
5. Jane
6. Alternative Girlfriend
7. Shoe Box
8. The Old Apartment
9. Brian Wilson
10. One Week
11. It's All Been Done
12. Call And Answer
13. Get In Line
14. Pinch Me
15. Too Little Too Late
16. Falling For The First Time
17. Thanks That Was Fun

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this NTSC transfer, as is generally to be expected from a collection of videos, is highly variable. A good rule of thumb is that the older the source material, the worse the picture quality.

    The transfer is not 16x9 enhanced, and is presented at a variety of aspect ratios, depending on what ratio the video in question was shot in. The majority of them are in the 1.33:1 ratio.

    Again, sharpness ranges considerably over the videos, from very poor on some of the earlier videos, especially Lovers In A Dangerous Time and What A Good Boy, to quite good on the more recent videos, such as Pinch Me and Too Little Too Late. Grain is often present, in both old and new material, and can become quite disturbing at times. This is especially obvious on Lovers In A Dangerous Time, and the archive footage used in Be My Yoko Ono. Shadow detail goes along with the sharpness, being quite good on the newer videos, and quite bad on the older. There is no low-level noise present.

    Colours are slightly more uniform, although the older videos do suffer from what would most likely be a video-tape source, and as such are looking a little washed out after the years they have been lying around. The filmed videos, for songs from Stunt onwards, all exhibit bright and vibrant colour. The worst problem is a colour bloom at 30:11.

    The videos are largely devoid of compression artefacts, suffering only from some pixelation during periods of high grain. There is what appears to be a tape dropout shortly after the start at 0:19. Aliasing does occur, but due to the general softness of the image, is rarely a problem, only becoming very obvious at times such as 37:48 where the whole frame breaks into jagged lines. The video monitors during Enid, and especially from 4:20 to 4:28, display some fairly obvious moire effects that become a little distracting. Fortunately by the time the later videos appear, the directors had learned to deal with the phenomenon. There are only a few film artefacts, and compared to the other problems exhibited by the videos, they are nothing really to worry about.

    Once again, we have a music DVD that comes devoid of lyric sub-titles. When will the DVD producers realise that not every one is capable of memorising the lyrics to their favourite band, and would appreciate being able to sing along? Ho hum. On the upside, sub-titles of the band commentary have been provided, although one wonders at the appeal of a music-dvd to the hearing impaired. Maybe it is for those who have difficulty understanding Canadian.

    This is a Dual Layer disc with the feature and extras divided among the layers, resulting in no layer-break during the feature itself.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Although not without problems, the audio quality is generally very good, and is much more consistent than the video.

    There are three audio tracks present on the main feature. These are the original English music in both Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448 kbps) and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (at 256 kbps), as well as an English audio commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (at 192 kbps).

    The lyrics are generally clear and easy to understand at all times, while the music is rich and also demonstrates good clarity. The mixing levels are perfect, as there is no problem hearing the vocals over the music or vice-versa. Audio sync is not always perfect, with almost all of Lovers In A Dangerous Time being badly out of sync (although it does seem intentional in this case), and other problems occurring from time to time, such as at 16:32.

    The major problem with this soundtrack (and it is also the case with the concert section of the disc) is that the surround soundtrack is very much over-done. The rear speakers are used largely to reflect vocals, giving a rather bad re-verb effect. It is not to the point of being unlistenable, but it does make the stereo soundtrack more pleasant to listen to. Fortunately, the stereo track is very good, delivering excellent separation, and a very wide soundstage, that makes determining the individual instruments an easy task.

    The subwoofer is very well handled, adding just the right amount of bass to the music to give it some added power, without becoming overbearing. Bass re-direction in the stereo soundtrack is very effective and just as good as the dedicated LFE channel from the 5.1 track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras may be a little short on number, but the major extra more than makes up for it in length and quality.

Menu

    Presented at 1.33:1, animated, themed around the presentation, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio, the menus are lively and easy to navigate.

Live (29:52)

    One of only two extras available on the DVD-Video portion of this disc is half an hour of live footage taken from the Barenaked Ladies on tour to support their latest album Maroon. It is presented at 1.33:1 and offers both Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo audio. As with the main feature, the 5.1 audio mix is not all that good, but the stereo mix is very good, which makes up for the disappointment.

The tracks presented during this section are:

Audio Commentary - Full Band

    This is the other big-ticket extra - in fact the only other extra - and it is an audio commentary featuring all the band members. It is a very interesting listen, and one that can be quite humorous at times. The commentary is available as a "video commentary" where a (very poor quality) video of the band is shown in the top right corner, and the video they are commenting on in the bottom left corner. It probably would have worked better to have an inset of the band over the video, but as it is, it is not too bad. Additionally, the commentary has been subtitled.

Re-Voice Studio

    In a similar style to the Shrek revoice studio, this effort allows you to record your own vocals, karaoke style, for One Week and then watch the video again with yourself as the star. The longevity of the extra as entertainment will most likely depend on the number of different singing voices you are capable of assuming.

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 identical in the US, and given the NTSC formatting, it has probably been taken from the same master (although region coded only for 2 through 6, thus preventing our friends in the US from importing cheaper international product). Grab it where you find it cheapest.

Summary

    The Barenaked Ladies are a pop band at the top of their craft, a band that have turned making exquisite melodies into a fine art. This DVD charts their videos from their early days right through to their most recent releases, and is an excellent overview of the band. Just as good is the half hour of concert footage included on the disc. With two Barenaked Ladies DVDs down, and both with bonus concert footage, one wonders when we'll see a full concert release...

    The video quality is highly variable, as the older videos are very much showing their age, while the newer ones look superb. Note that the video is in NTSC.

    The audio is the major selling point of this DVD. The stereo track is an excellent representation of their music, while the 5.1 track is good, but tends to have too much mixed into the surrounds for my liking.

    The extras, while low in number, more than make up for it in quality. The commentary is excellent, and the concert footage is worth just as much as the videos.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Friday, June 13, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-555K, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersRochester Audio Animato Series (2xSAF-02, SAC-02, 3xSAB-01) + 12" Sub (150WRMS)

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