Simply Red – Home Live In Sicily
C+ Sound: B Extras: C+ Concert: C+
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
Positively 4th Street
Home Loan Blues
A New Flame
Something For You
You Make Me Feel Brand New
Money In My Pocket
The Right Thing
Something Got Me Started
Holding Back The Years
Money's Too Tight To Mention
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.
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.
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