36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Talented musician... and funny too!,
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This review is from: Best of Chris Isaak (CD + DVD) (Audio CD)
I'm a latecomer to the music of Chris Isaak. Sure, I saw the video for "Wicked game" and thought it was good, but I never bought any albums until about a year ago. While going through a break up, I was seeking out music to drown my sorrow, and was given the suggestion to check out Isaak. I bought one album, and after a couple of listenings, went back and bought three more. I swear, he was writing about my particular situation in several songs. For those that wish to know that they are not alone when feeling the pain of unrequited love, or if you feel that you were "done wrong" by your girl, these are your songs. Besides the subject matter, it doesn't hurt that the band can actually play, and Isaak can actually sing. In a world of manufactured "stars", it is nice to know that some musicians can actually do music.
As for the DVD part of this combo set, it is very well done. Technically, it is basic 2.0 stereo, which was a bit of a let down in a world of 5.1 surround sound, but this is not a limitation. I played the disc in 2.0 and it sounded pretty good. I then set my receiver to Dolby Pro-Logic II, and the sound got even better. It might not be true 5.1, but the music engulfed me and was very balanced from all of the speakers. In short, as I said, the rendering is not a limitation for listening enjoyment. One very unusual thing for a music DVD is the inclusion of Isaak's commentary for each song. I thought this might be some ego driven thing, but no. Chris Isaak is very funny. He has a dry, self-depreciating style of humor that is devoid of ego. The music alone is great, but the commentary is also terrific. Besides the commentary during the songs, also check out the "preamble", where Isaak very cleverly makes light of the production value. While watching very low tech pencil drawings of Isaak and his band in the studio, hear Issak's voice saying, "we were going to use film, and then hand puppets, then they gave me this pencil." And his request to the viewer about to watch the videos which span many years, "While watching the videos, see if you can see when in out career we became bitter." Funny stuff in the context of the visual.
The bottom line, this is a fine "get to know Chris Isaak" set for the uninitiated, and for fans, a chance to hear and watch the music from this talented group. You might also find, as I have, that he is also a very funny guy.
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Initial post: Sep 29, 2006 9:23:36 AM PDT
Daniel R. Kueck says:
This review reflects my thoughts almost exactly. Thanks for a well-done review and the tip on the Dolby Pro Logic setting.
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