Ryan Adams-Live in Jamaica (Music in High Places) (2003)

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Released 26-Jun-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Featurette
Music Highlights-"Just The Music"
Biographies-Cast-Ryan Adams
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 57:58
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Alan Carter
Imagine Entertainmnt
Warner Vision
Starring Ryan Adams
Brad Rice
Billy Mercer
Brad Pemberton
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Ryan Adams

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Music in High Places is the continuing series of specials that takes some of the world's top recording artists to some of the more exotic and ancient locations on the earth. This is the fourth such disc I have taken a look at. The previous titles I have reviewed featured Collective Soul travelling to Morocco, The Deftones wandering around Hawaii, and the best of the lot so far, the Goo Goo Dolls travelling to Alaska. Various other reviewers have checked out quite a few of the other discs, so have a search through the database if you want to track them all down.

    This time round we see solo singer/songwriter Ryan Adams, who hails from North Carolina, travelling with his entourage to the Caribbean island of Jamaica for a bit of a look around. In between a bit of shopping and a look at some of the nice beaches, he meets up with a local reggae legend, and of course gets the chance to play some of his songs. Adams was formerly a member of the now disbanded country influenced band Whiskeytown. He has since enjoyed considerable solo success with the release of his Heartbreaker album and the follow-up album, Gold which included the top 40 hit Firecracker.

    In this visit to Jamaica he tours the markets, meets some locals, and plays a few of his songs on the beach and in the streets much to the enjoyment of the local kids. The acoustic mode really makes his songs shine. Simple, infectious and highly entertaining. Adams also takes time to catch up with reggae legend Toots Hibbert, who instructs the young upstart on the finer points of quality guitar work.

    There isn't quite the same look at the local life or culture in this program as I have seen in the others in the series. This does appear to be more of a musical odyssey with a bit of shopping thrown in for good measure. Fans will still enjoy it. Just don't expect too much of a look at the life of Jamaica.

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Track Listing

1. Firecracker
2. You Will Always Be The Same
3. The Rescue Blues
4. Touch, Feel & Lose
5. New York, New York
6. Hard Time Situation
7. Answering Bell

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is also 16x9 enhanced.
    One of the more annoying aspects of these programs is that they are obviously made for commercial television. Every 10-15 minutes throughout the programme are the series of Music in High Places intro screens that are obviously designed to bookend either side of an ad break. These don't detract from the enjoyment much, but they are just a little annoying after the fourth or fifth time.

    The level of sharpness is excellent. Grain is barely evident on only a handful of scenes, but doesn't distract and there is no low level noise.

    The colour palette is extensive and richly rendered though not quite to the same level of vibrancy I have seen in this series before. There is no bleeding or oversaturation evident.

    There are no MPEG artefacts. There are no other video artefacts at all.

    There are three subtitle streams present. I was unable to test the accuracy of these as they are presented only in French, German, and Spanish, all languages with which I am unfamiliar.

    Although this is a dual layered disc, I was unable to detect a layer change. I am assuming the main feature is on one layer and the extras are on another.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are three audio tracks available, these being Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0 and dts 5.1 soundtracks, all in English.

    I listened to both 5.1 soundtracks and briefly sampled the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Both surround soundtracks are typical of the Music In High Places discs, with high quality recording the order of the day. Both surround tracks offer pretty much the same separation and spread across the front soundstage. There is little surround use, with the soundstage dominated by the centre channel for much of the dialogue, but when Ryan Adams and band perform a song, the audio opens up nicely to both the left and right channels with a decent dynamic range evident.

     Dialogue is clear at all times during the interview scenes, but it is the vocals during the songs that are the audio highlights. There has obviously been some serious post production work done on the acoustic recordings as the vocal efforts are superb with every word and sound crystal clear. There are also no audio sync problems.

    The music of course dominates this special. The songs are all performed acoustically and are certainly performed well. The inclusion of some traditional reggae style beat and instruments adds a whole new dimension to some of the tracks.

    There is virtually no surround use, except on the Music in High Places logo which pops up several times during the documentary.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Featurette - The Real Jamaica

    A brief 7:17 minutes of extra footage that obviously missed inclusion in the final program. Not much new stuff is shown here, it really just seems to focus on his entourage mucking around a bit.

Featurette - Adams and Toots

    Another brief 8:38 minutes showing the meeting between Adams and Toots. Some of the footage is repeated from the main program so this doesn't add a whole lot to the overall package.

Music Highlights

    Selecting the music highlights allows you to watch just the songs (either individually or as a play-all option). It's worth noting here that this doesn't just jump you to the part of the documentary that featured the track - these are standalone tracks. They are not 16x9 enhanced even though they are presented in the same aspect ratio. As a result, the quality is not quite as good.


    Several pages of quite detailed biographical information about Ryan Adams.

R4 vs R1

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

    As with most of the Music In High Places discs, this is identical to the Region 1 version.


    Another quality disc all round from the Music In High Places collection. Fans of Ryan Adams will lap up the opportunity to see their man in entirely different surroundings. Non-fans will be able to use it as an introduction to his music while catching some glimpses of the real Jamaica.

    The video is excellent. The audio with both Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 options is also of superb quality.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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