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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Vocal > a capella > Classical > Jazz > Pop > The King's Singers (Vocal Concert)

The King’s Singers (a capella concert)


Picture: C+     Sound: B     Extras: C     Concert: B



You never know what kind of unusual Music DVDs will come your way, but one of the most interesting and amusing of late is the from the vocal group The King’s Singers.  These six vocalists do a capella (i.e., without instruments) performances of everything from Classical Music, to religious pieces, to The Beatles, Duke Ellington, Billy Joel and Freddie Mercury of Queen.  The religious material is more in their element by default, while the Classical work is interesting since that usually requires so many instruments.


As for the more current pieces, Honeypie and Blackbird are two lesser-known Beatles compositions that make for interesting choices, so they have more latitude in what they do with them.  Ellington’s Creole Love Call is somehow less “Creole” and the Mercury song is Seaside Rendezvous.  That leaves their best performance on the disc, of Joel’s Lullabye.  At first, some will think this is a joke or comedy TV show skit, but these guys are for real.  This offers the viewer to either enjoy the program, or laugh at (and not with, since they are not trying to be funny much) the performers because their takes on most of the music is so offbeat to begin with.  Either way, their talent is undeniable and we’ll see if this release takes the group anywhere commercially.


The anamorphically enhanced, videotaped 1.78 X 1/16 X 9 image is not bad, but has softness and color limits despite being a recent production.  The sound is available in PCM 2.0 16bit/48kHz Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1, with the DTS clearly outdoing the other tracks.  This is Acorn’s first DTS DVD and definitely the best sounding, though it is more about its richness than any surrounds, since this is still six men singing together, restricted to the stage and not out in the rafters.  Extras include an amusing bonus clip where the group sings Masterpiece and a print piece inside the DVD case with notes and contents.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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