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Diana Krall shines through in glorious SACD 5.1
on 27 April 2004
I always thought that Diana Krall was nice to listen to, but with nothingextra that made me buy any records of her. That was until I saw and heardher Live in Paris DVD, where the Canadian singer stepped out from theformer slick and almost icy approach and delivered that extra. Suddenlyyou could feel the warmth in her voice, her ultra sensual charisma camethrough with full force - I was hooked. Still feel though that her albumsare too polished for my taste, I stick with the fantastic live DVD.
Now Mrs Krall has made a studio album that connects to the feeling on theLive DVD. The musical setting is much more intimate than on her previousalbums. Basically you have one tight band, where the two most impressivemusicians to my ears are Anthony Wilson on guitar and Christian McBride onbass. Diana Krall herself sings like a goddess and plays a very goodpiano. The songs are a mix of jazz, blues and pop, with a more rootsyfeeling than her usual repertoire. There are also a mixture of covers andoriginal songs. The originals are all written by Diana Krall and ElvisCostello, though Costello has only contributed to the music on themajestic title track, otherwise he has stuck to the words. There is anatural flow to the song sequence on the album and the originals stand upvery good to the covers.
There are in my opinion no weak songs on the album, and my favourites(today) are the title track (Krall/Costello) and Temptation (TomWaits).
Audiowise the album is very good recorded and produced. The SACD layeradds that extra HiFi dimension with crispy treble and a deep and tightbass. But the real winner here is clearly the multichannel mix. Diana'svocal is placed in the front channels and center and all instruments arespread in all channels in a rather aggressive but still very tasteful way.In my opinion a perfect 5.1 mix, compared to i.e. Norah Jones Come awaywith Me which has a very wimpy 5.1 mix. The only negative to say about thesound quality is that from time to time you can hear some harschness tothe s-sounds.