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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Soul > Simply Red - Home Live In Sicily

Simply Red – Home Live In Sicily

 

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

 

 

Mick Hucknall still has the voice, but where has he taken it since his peak years in Simply Red?  That is the question raised by the new DVD release of Home Live In Sicily.  For starters, there was no new material that really stood out.  For another, those expecting a Rock or Soul concert get something more akin to Yanni or Tom Jones in mood, which will surprise those fans of 1980s music in general.  Hucknall certainly has showmanship and good taste, though.  Songs include:

 

Someday In My Life

Ocean

Home

Positively 4th Street

Lost Weekend

Home Loan Blues

A New Flame

Night Nurse

Something For You

You Make Me Feel Brand New

Stars

Money In My Pocket

Fake

Thrill Me

The Right Thing

Something Got Me Started

Holding Back The Years

Money's Too Tight To Mention

Fairground

Sunrise

 

The song will be most familiar to diehard Simply Red fans, but the one that always strikes me as interesting is the cover of The Stylistics’ You Make Me Feel Brand New.  Not only does Hucknall do all the voice parts, but he has such a large voice that he does not need to do any falsetto.  That is also not to be confused with his chart-topping remake of If You Don’t Know Me By Now, which is missing from the playlist.  The last major pop hit from 1991 is also here: Something Got Me Started, which offered a new Simply Red at the tine.  The musicians he has for this concert are pretty good too.

The problem is that there are no surprises, nothing especially memorable, just a solid-at-best concert that offers a good viewing.  Hucknall still has energy, but not much to say.  His take on R&B has been questionable by some, but though it is not first-generation authentic, it is sincere and interesting overall.  The use of Hall & Oates’ I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) as the background of Sunrise is the ironic conclusion of the set, as post-modern as any other Hip Hop recycling and makes it feel like Hucknall ran out of ideas beyond remakes.  It feels like another nail in the coffin of original R&B, whether he intended it that way or not.  We can only hope the next concert is more alive, awake, and in consideration of the implications of the material.  Home Live In Sicily is safe, smart music entertainment at best that fans in the neighborhood of the material will enjoy.

The anamorphically enhanced 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 image is from the original videotaped materials, but that has its usual limits.  Director Andy Morahan does an average job with the situation, despite his Music Video background, though you can choose from two angles when watching the concert.  This is also available under the “Mick Cam” option.  The sound has 5.1 options for the main concert and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo for all selections on the entire DVD.  The 2.0 has some Pro Logic surrounds at best, but the main concert has the best sound.  The 5.1 options are Dolby Digital and the better DTS mixes.  The DTS gives more of a soundstage and range, especially in the low end, where the R&B really comes from.  Extras include a behind-the-scenes documentary (about 20 minutes), the Mick Cam, and two bonus songs:  The Right Thing (Live In Montreux) and You Make Me Feel Brand New (Live In Croatia).  Too bad they are not DTS, but this is a nicely loaded section of options that are fun.  When the concert does not work, these are nice goodies to turn to.

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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