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Erstwhile Neville Brother gets religion...

AARON NEVILLE Believe Silverline DVD-A 288131-9 (2003) Aaron Neville

One of the first batch of European releases from Silverline Records who have trailblazed the DVD-Audio format in the States and, in the process, they have picked up awards and critical acclaim. Essentially, they have reissued some classic albums with the benefit of enhanced mastering and, crucially, 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound.

Those cynics among you will probably liken this to the coming of the CD which was an instant saviour for a flagging music industry. Along with conventional DVD Video it is possible that DVD-A will have a similar effect. For no more than the price of a normal album, this format is very much cutting edge allowing you to use your TV (or computer monitor) to view lyrics, photo galleries and in some cases exclusive performance video.

This album from Aaron Neville includes bonus video footage, biography and an artist profile featuring ace producer Barry Beckett. The music, from the award-winning singer songwriter and one-time member of the legendary Neville Brothers, is unashamedly spiritual. It is what might be called gospel soul and because of this spiritual content it won't appeal to all ears.

However, those who want to savour a genuinely uplifting album will warm to this offering, with its sentiment of unity and compassion. In fact, it makes a refreshing change, and the musicianship is faultless with crisp arrangements and Stax-sound brass interjections. Neville's distinctive vibrato is well displayed on the standard 'I Believe' among several others. There's also a bonus track not on the CD release. Think of a religious album from Lionel Richie, and you'll get the general idea of "Believe": essentially well-crafted, sincere, and palatable.



Review by David Randall


***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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