Now, either I'm a keen 20-something male or this MTV Unplugged is a very good show (probably both). If you liked Laundry Service (which I'm guessing is probably how most readers will have got here) you might not like the simpler, semi-acoustic (they're stretching the word "unplugged") sound here, but I expect most people will love it, given the chance to hear it. All the songs are in Spanish - this was three years ago, before she wrote in English and dyed her hair blonde. People I've shown this DVD to have been surprised how good it is (how good she is). Not your average pop, and don't worry if you don't speak Spanish either - the tone, body language and accompaniment are all so expressive it's barely a handicap (there are subtitles, which is a great addition, but it's worth learning some Spanish 'cos IMHO they are distracting and a little weird).
You come away from this with the feeling that she's a decent, humble person who happens to sing and dance in a unique and beautiful way. And I don't say that about... pretty much any other star I can think of. 50 minutes goes quickly, but the repeat value is high... add the chapter stops and audio quality and it's just what DVD is made for. Only downside I can think of is you want to get involved, but can't... if anyone knows how to enjoy a concert video without looking like a prat, and without sitting there like a lump of wood, I'd love to know.
The DVD (for geeks and the really curious)
Short run time means nice low compression - they've almost filled a single layer disc with two high bitrate audio streams - you can choose from LPCM 2.0 1536kbps and Dolby Digital 5.1 448kbps. It all sounds excellent to me, but I don't have a 5.1 setup to try surround. Video is around 6Mbps 4:3 aspect, on a widescreen TV I've got borders at the sides, which is about the only thing not to like. Menus not too annoying, but a bit cute (flowers!). There are subtitles - English, French, Portuguese and German. (Side note - I wonder who translated her lyrics, some of the phrasing is a bit dodgy; but then music and poetry never translate simply). Extras are Timeline (she started young), Albums (just track lists with cover art), Photo Gallery (a dozen stills from the video, seems pointless), 24 minute 'Making Of' documentary which has interviews with several of the musicians and is worth one watch (also subtitled), and "DVD instructions", which if followed give you options of wallpaper and screensaver (can't say I've tried either). These bonus features are just that - bonus features, the show is what you should be wanting. DVD was clearly made for the Spanish market, box text is all in Spanish (menus give English or Spanish option at start). Region free PAL. And that's about all I can say, other than "Why did it take 3 years to release?".
I haven't even mentioned the tight leather pants or funny faces she pulls have I. No seriously, this is great music from a great person and a great show on a great DVD. Not a purchase to regret.
As far as the features are concerned the behind the scenes 15 minute video has shakira, Emilo Estafan, Luis Fernando Ocha and Tim Mitchell talking about Shakira and the production of this performance. Shakira herself goes into a large amount of detail about how she was able to transform her original tunes from her then previous album into acoustic versions. There is so much more to this DVD I don't want to give it away. There is a subtitles function so in my opinion it does not matter much that the bulk of the DVD is in Spanish.
I hope in future that Shakira continues to produce such outstanding music and continues to rock the musical world.
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