Melinda Schneider-The Story So Far, Live & More... (2005)

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Released 4-Dec-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Animation
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 82:37 (Case: 80)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up ?
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
Rajon Vision Starring Melinda Schneider
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Melinda Schneider


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown 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

    Country Music is one of those polarising things. You either love it, or think it's a contradiction in terms. Even among those that love it, there is a polarisation. There are those that like the 'traditional' country and those that like the 'new' country; a style that, to my ears, blurs the line and tends to sound more pop/rock than country. No twangs and thangs with new country, it's more edgy and raw. Artists such as Keith Urban, Adam Brand and Kasey Chambers tend, to a greater or lesser degree, to have more a 'new' country sound while artists such as Lee Kernaghan tend to have a more 'traditional' country sound.

    Now, country music is not really my scene but I can listen to 'new' country if I am forced to. Consequently, when my wife insisted we go along to see an Adam Brand concert I only half reluctantly agreed. Supporting at this concert was Melinda Schneider. It was the first time I had heard her and she was definitely 'new' country, so when I was begged to review this DVD, I didn't mind as I could sit through 80 minutes or so of 'new' country. Imagine my surprise when I discovered Melinda Schneider has a very 'traditional' country side to her repertoire. Yep, mixed in with some 'new' country, there was some real good ol' country sound to some of her songs. Why heck, at one point she actually yodelled. An almost unforgivable sin. But if anyone could convert me to country music, it would be Melinda Schneider.

    Just as her music isn't strictly 'traditional' country, neither is her presentation. No 10 gallon hats, cowboy boots and denim jeans for this lady, instead we get a short skirt, fishnet stockings and stiletto heels. Country never looked so good. Melinda is not only easy on the eye, she is also easy on the ear. Her voice is smooth and clear, and when she sings ballads such as Dream Him Home she has such emotion and truthfulness to her delivery you find yourself immersed in the words and music and carried on the musical journey with her.

    Melinda Schneider - The Story So Far, Live and More is a two part experience. The first part is a live performance at The Basement in Sydney with brief interviews interspersed amongst the songs. The interviews are filmed in that angled, moving camera style which I believe is meant to be arty and edgy, but just make me wonder why they didn't use a sober cameraman. This part runs for 55:56. Melinda has a good mix of songs in the 15 selected for this disc, running the gamut from a very traditional country sound to some that are much more 'new' country and almost mainstream in their sound. It's a good variety so most people should find something that they can listen to.

    The second part is a collection of eight video clips. Some of them are songs performed in the concert, and some not.

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Track Listing

1. Can You Hear Me Down The Hillside
2. Smack Dab
3. 3 Rings
4. Beautiful Thing
5. He Still Calls Her Angel
6. Sgt. Bean
7. Family Tree
8. Dream Him Home
9. Real People
10. I Wanna Be Married
11. D*** Love
12. Spaghetti Is Ready
13. No More Tears To Cry
14. Wish You Were Here
15. The Story Of My Life
16. Video Clips: Love Away The Night
17. TV Or Me
18. (Hey You) Count To 3
19. The Story Of My Life
20. Can You Hear Me Down The Hillside
21. When The Last Child leaves Home
22. Real People
23. I Wanna Be Married

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a good transfer but not reference quality. Obviously done on a budget, but not cheap and nasty, the video doesn't have anything to really criticise, nor does it have anything to praise. It is a good, clean transfer with a moderate bit-rate that is easy to watch. With only 82:37of content, the DVD format is not stretched so there are no compression artefacts or other transfer problems.

    The live concert and interviews are presented at 1.78:1, but the menus and video clips are at 1.33:1. Like the live concert, the video clips are clearly made on a budget and are transferred to DVD with the same quality as the concert. Some of the video clips do use home movie footage and these segments suffer from the usual film artefacts of old home movies; dust and scratches with variable colour quality.

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

Audio

    The back of the case says 5.1 Surround Sound. My equipment says Dolby Digital 2.0. While the audio is Pro Logic encoded, it is a little naughty promoting this as 5.1 Surround Sound as it does tend to imply something other than Dolby Digital 2.0.

   That aside, the audio is good but a long way from reference. The centre speaker is called on to do the most work with some spread to the left and right. The surround speakers are only lightly used, and then just to provide fullness rather than ambience. The sub-woofer is barely needed, after all this isn't a double drum kit heavy metal thumping band, but a bunch of good ol' boy country musicians. So what you get is a mainly front sound stage that is OK, but uninspiring. I actually found it sounded better when I dropped out of Pro Logic and went to standard two channel - the stereo spread was better and the centre bias reduced.

    Still, a quite listenable audio track with no real nasties to spoil your enjoyment.

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

Extras

    There are no extras.

    Menus are static with an animated transition between each.

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, this release is Region 4 only.

Summary

    While country isn't everyone's choice in music, this bare-bones offering from Melinda Schneider will not offend any but the most ardent country critic. If you love your country music you will like this disc. Even if you aren't into country you will find yourself enjoying her performance and maybe even - dare I say - liking some of the songs. A nice solid concert performance from a lady who is clearly very talented and loves what she does.

    Although the video and audio is nothing special, it is still good enough for you to sit back and enjoy the concert without being visually or audibly affronted.

    Melinda you almost converted me to country, but the yodelling was just too scary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Glen Randall (If you're really bored, you can read my bio)
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1200Y, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TH-42PV500A 42" HD Plasma. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596
SpeakersRichter Wizard fronts, Richter Lynx centre, Richter Hydra rears, Velodyne CT-100 sub-woofer

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