India. Arie-Live in Brazil (Music in High Places) (2003)

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Released 18-Aug-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Featurette-Behind The Scenes-7
Music Highlights-Just The Music
Biographies-Cast
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 59:02
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Alan Carter
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring India Arie
Kerisha Hicks
Tony Harrington
Ricky Quinones
Forrest Robinson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music India Arie


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
German
Spanish
Smoking No
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 fifth such disc I have taken a look at and I must say I'm developing quite a fondness for these titles. They offer a real stripped down and completely unpretentious look at a top artist immersing themselves in a foreign culture. The previous titles I have had the pleasure to check out have seen rockers Collective Soul travelling to Morocco, The Deftones wandering around Hawaii, solo artist Ryan Adams in Jamaica, and the best of the lot so far for me, the Goo Goo Dolls travelling to sunny and stunningly beautiful Alaska. Quite a few of the others in the review team have checked out many of the other discs, so have a search through the database if you want to track them all down.

    This time around we have India.Arie travelling to Brazil to play some songs from her hit album and interact with a few of the locals. Brought up in Denver Colorado, India.Arie's passion for the guitar was sparked at college in Savannah, Georgia. She contributed just one song to a small local compilation album which led to a stage performance at the Lilith Fair. It was here she was spotted by a Motown scout and before long her first album Acoustic Soul was debuting at number 10 on the billboard charts. India.Arie's music is soulful and warm, and with her unique voice she captures a wide and varied audience.

    Winning a host of industry awards including several in the Best New Artist category, it was her nomination for an amazing seven Grammys in January 2002 that made the world sit up and take notice. Best New Artist, Best New Record, Song and Album of the Year were among these nominations. Unfortunately, she failed to collect any of the awards, but this is surely just the start of things to come. Her second album is the recently released Voyage to India.

    India. (yes - she does have a dot after her name) and her crew visit Bahia, which is on the Atlantic coast, several hundred kilometres north of Rio, and mix with many of the locals. They perform ankle deep in the warm waters of a tidal pool and listen to the extraordinary performance from a renowned percussion group. India. seems right at home here and her music does take on a whole new perspective when surrounded by the extraordinary sights and sounds of small town Brazil.

    Some of the above information was sourced from the official India.Arie website, which is among the better official musical artists' sites I have come across. Check it out at www.indiaarie.com

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Track Listing

1. Always In My Head
2. I See The God In You
3. Promises
4. Beautiful
5. India's Song
6. Video
7. Strength, Courage & Wisdom

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is also 16x9 enhanced. It was obviously made for commercial television, as scattered throughout the programme are a series of Music in High Places logos that pop up obviously designed to bookend either side of an ad break. These don't detract from the enjoyment much - they are just a little annoying after the fourth or fifth time.

    This is a sharp and detailed transfer. 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 superb. It is extensive and richly rendered. The deep and varied greens of the Brazilian rainforests scrub up particularly well, as do the brightly multi-coloured clothing worn by the locals, and the richly painted instruments they use. 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
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Like all the recent Music In High Places discs I have reviewed there are three audio tracks available. These are Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 and dts 5.1 soundtracks.

    I listened to both 5.1 soundtracks and briefly sampled the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Both surround tracks offer pretty much the same separation and spread across the front speakers, though there is only a little surround use. Both tracks are clear and concise, with a nice reach to the lower end of the scale. Naturally enough, the soundstage is dominated by the centre channel for much of the dialogue, but when a song is performed, the audio opens up nicely to both left and right channels - and it is here, as with many of the other discs in this series, that the audio really shines.

    Dialogue is clear at all times during the interview scenes, and as mentioned the vocals during the songs are the highlights. There are also no audio sync problems.

    Like the other titles in the series, there is not a whole lot of surround activity, except on the Music in High Places logo which pops up several times during the documentary.

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

Extras

Featurette-Behind The Scenes

    A series of eight brief featurettes that detail some of the behind the scenes antics the crew got up to. Most of this is footage that was deemed surplus to the main programme. Forrest Robinson, India.'s percussionist seems to feature an awful lot, while the last one features an extended version of the superb Brazilian percussionist group performing their routine. The featurettes are labelled as follows:

    Capoeira - Brazilian Style - (2:13)    
    Speedo's and tender feet - (2:12)
    Jammin' with the Pro's - (4:08)
    Forrest does the gourd - (2:52)
    TV crews gone wild - (6:15)
    Brazilian Clacker Cam - (1:14)
    Sticks, Machetes, and Drums (6:43)

Music Highlights

    Selecting the music highlights allows you to watch just the songs (either individually or as a play-all option) that were recorded.

Biographies-Cast

    Several static pages of text summarising India.Arie's career to date.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 and Region 4 titles are exactly the same. Pick it up whereever you can get it the cheapest.

Summary

    The Music In High Places series of discs are a great way of finding out a little about a culture or an artist you may never have heard of. The series puts these musicians in exotic locations without all the publicity and hype, and this is often quite revealing of the true nature of people. Some of the artists really immerse themselves in their surroundings and seek the true meaning of why they are there, while others tend to treat it like a holiday. Thankfully India.Arie is one of the former, appearing to really get a whole lot out of this experience.

    As is usual for this series the video quality is excellent. The audio with both Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 options is also top-shelf.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Saturday, September 27, 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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