R&B: Never Looked so Good

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Released 7-Jul-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction-Sony Music Video
Booklet
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 81:35
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor
Sony Music
Sony Music
Starring Various
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
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

    R&B Never Looked So Good. Except for when it was on Video Hits in the morning. Three years ago.

    This compilation of R&B tracks from circa 1999 – 2000 is a bit of a mix’n’match dictated, I assume, by which tracks and music videos Sony Music had the distribution rights to. There is no other method to selection that I can tell.

    Furthermore, the picture quality really isn’t that good, as I will discuss later, and I can remember it looking better in my hungover state on Sunday morning watching music videos. Again, so much for the tagline.

    I was hoping for a more up-to-date collection of R&B tracks – what happened to the artists that really shook the R&B charts in more recent years, such as Beyonce on her solo album, or the sultry Blu Cantrell, or even the much awarded and obviously talented Alicia Keys? I am not saying this collection is bad. There are a couple of catchy popular R&B tunes here, like Kandi’s “Don’t Think I’m Not” and “Shy Guy” by Diane King and even TQ’s “Westside”. But they’ve got a dated feel to them. This isn’t just last year’s music – it’s the year before the year before the year before’s music. See what I’m getting at?

    If you are feeling Old Skool, maybe this is for you. Otherwise, I’m sorry to say that the Sony DVD music scene has a long way to come before it can rival its impressive CD catalogue.

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Track Listing

1. Jumpin' Jumpin'
2. It's Over
3. No More (Baby I'm a Do Right)
4. Shackles (Praise You)
5. Gone Till November
6. Don't Think I'm Not
7. Tell Me
8. If You Love Me
9. SOS
10. Gravel Pit
11. Pony
12. Don't Say
13. Shy Guy
14. I Know
15. Westside
16. I Don't Ever Want To See You Again
17. Satisfied
18. Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
19. Saturday Night
20. Sexual Healing

Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with some music videos in 2.35:1 or 1.85:1, both non-16x9 enhanced.

    For a transfer based on the tagline “Never Looked so Good”, this looks pretty bad, and is persistently grainy and marred by quite noticeable low-level noise throughout. This also makes for a slightly blurry quality to the image, although some of that is often the result of intentional filtering.

    Colours are certainly well-saturated, but the low-level noise can make shades a little fuzzy.

    MPEG artefacts are kept to a minimum, but there were lots of other transfer artefacts, noticeably aliasing and moire on any surface that might have a propensity for these faults. These faults are indicative of a low rate of transfer.

    This is a single-sided, single-layered disc. There is no dual layer pause.

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

Audio

    There is only one soundtrack – the English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track. What happened to Linear PCM? Or even 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround?

    For a stereo track, this is okay. I mean, the lyrics come through clear enough. But the range is pretty paltry, and having listened to “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” by Destiny’s Child in Linear PCM and then in 2.0 Dolby Digital, I have to say that the latter track is just plain shallow by comparison.

    There was no surround presence, and only the occasional directional cue. The subwoofer was not even touched.

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

Extras

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced. The main menu has a 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as I can tell, there is no R1 release of this disc. If anyone knows different, please let me know.

Summary

    A collection of dated Old Skool, but not really Old Skool, R&B tracks to put on in the background. It’s not that the selection is bad - most of the tracks here are pretty good for their time. It’s just that I was kind of expecting a little more from Sony.

    The video is, in all honesty, pretty average.

    The sound is flat by comparison to Linear PCM tracks, but acceptable by CD standards.

    The extras were non-existent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Friday, August 08, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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