lang, k.d.-Invincible Summer (DVD-Audio) (2000) (NTSC)

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Released 4-Jun-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Lyrics
Notes-Track Credits
Gallery-Photo
Music Video-Summerfling
Biographies-Cast
Notes-Album credits
Booklet
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 41:36
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring None Given
Case DVD-Audio Jewel
RPI $34.95 Music K. D. Lang


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English MLP 96/24 5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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 No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I have always liked K.D. Lang’s work, but just never quite enough to want to buy an album of hers. This has probably been my loss, judging by her latest work ”Invincible Summer”.

     It was out of my passing interest for this artist that I put my hand up to review this disc, and I couldn’t be happier that I did so. This is an album that is very easy to become acquainted with, and there is much to like about the very deliberate “canned sun” feeling which K.D. felt necessary in order to give herself some time-out from the usual “gourmet meal” music she felt she had to produce in the past.

     Very much easy listening, there are a number of catchy tracks, especially “Summerfling” which I sang for days to myself after first hearing it, and the energetic “It’s Happening With You” which is as good radio fodder as you might hear from her normal stable of work, though this is not meant to its detriment. Perhaps my favourite is the sweet, short yet compellingly charming “simple”. You quickly begin to feel this album is inspired by a generation-ago era, complete with flowery shirts and lava lamps. If you loved Air’s Moon Safari then you will find yourself at home with the acoustic guitars, electronic drum kits (and the occasional real one) and soft synthetic “space” sounds backing K.D. Lang’s easy-going lyrics. Nice one.

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Track Listing

1. the consequences of falling
2. summerfling
3. suddenly
4. it's happening with you
5. extraordinary thing
6. love's great ocean
7. simple
8. what better said
9. when we collide
10. curiosity
11. only love

Transfer Quality

Video

    All video is presented in NTSC, in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

     The video clip for “Invincible Summer”, the only extra available to both DVD-A and DVD-V players is perhaps as good as the format is capable of, being uncanny in its sharpness, clarity and strong colour rendition. There are no MPEG compression artefacts, or any other for that matter.

     Stills are rendered very finely, and lyrics and notes are easy to read thanks to a nice, rounded font (as used on the packaging).

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

Audio

    There is certainly an interesting design choice to the sound of this album. Whilst it will never be used to demonstrate the format, it does have qualities about it which are endearing, just not in a flashy manner.

     Present are an MLP 6 channel 96 kHz / 24 bit mix, configured in the familiar 5.1 manner, and a Dolby digital 5.1 track for DVD-V players.

     The shining quality of the album is the way in which K.D.'s vocals are presented, and that is with a warmth, clarity and subtlety which is very easy on the ears. She often employs doubling and tripling of her voice, and it is fascinating to be able to pick out each vocal track clearly from the others, even when they are on top of each other. An interesting choice is the mixing of vocals across the two main channels, with limited reverb coming from the centre (indeed, that is all that ever comes from the centre channel) – still, as with all good stereo recordings, her voice is anchored when it needs to be, and other times expands over the entire front stage.

     There is definitely a softness or diffuseness to the sound of this album at times, and the mix is quite interesting in that you never quite know how the next song's drums will sound, or whether the bass will be forward and clean, or “dirty” and recessed. This is very much a processed pop album and will never be mistaken for anything else, but I get the feeling that that is the intention. It might take a few listens, but once used to it, it is like a breath of fresh air, and with further time spent it becomes apparent that some care was behind the design.

     The surrounds are used for ambience mostly, with the occasional subtle sound making its way over. The imaging is mainly frontal, though there is a pervading sense of reverb in the back quarters which adds to the softness of the album.

     The subwoofer is used sparingly, with only a few songs making any real use of it with some deep bass at times.

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

Extras

    All extras save for the video clip “Summerfling” are available only to DVD-Audio players, the latter being available to all DVD players.

Lyrics

    Available whilst the song is playing are lyrics and credits for each track.

Notes - Track Credits

Gallery-Photo

    9 various images of K.D., probably taken during the video shoot.

Music Video

    A 4:01 minute frolic on the beach with friends, now in colour, then in black & white, this is as light as the music itself and complements the song very well. I was pleased to note the audio is in 2-channel PCM.

Notes - Album Credits

    A comprehensive account of K.D. Lang’s inspiration and motive behind the album spanning 13 pages, with an extra 7 devoted to a nice discography.

Booklet

    8 pages with lyrics and credits.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both versions are identical, down to NTSC video formatting.

Summary

    A wonderfully light, airy album which demands little of the listener and will almost certainly get your foot tapping. The audio mixing is deliberate and interesting in many ways, and though it does not take advantage of the multi-channel capabilities of the format it is nevertheless of very good quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Cordingley (bio)
Thursday, June 27, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-900E, using RGB output
DisplayPioneer SD-T43W1 16:9 RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony STR DB-930
SpeakersFront & Rears: B&W DM603 S2, Centre: B&W LCR6, Sub: B&W ASW500

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