does not yet have a rating on IMDb
1080p in MPEG-2 on a 25gb disc
Linear PCM 2.0 Stereo
include 2 audio-only tracks
– 120 minutes
– Music Gate (Warner)
This uses 9.15GB for the feature out of 11.5GB total.
Overall Verdict – A Bland Release
— Review written by: Danielle Byington —
The Concert Itself is performed by singer Hiromi Kanda, accompanied by the members of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.
The Blu-ray release is basically a streaming collection of videos of her performance consisting the following songs:
“That Old Feeling”
“When I Fall In Love”
“Someone To Watch Over Me”
“Always Here For You”
“My Funny Valentine”
“In the Wee Hours of the Morning”
“I’ll Never Smile Again”
“The Second Time Around”
In closing, this release, and its various other accompanying products, seem on one hand rather pushy in publicity for the Japanese star as an attempt to drastically build her fan-base on this side of the water. It is sincerely in no disrespect to Hiromi Kanda, whose biography really gives the impression that she does have quite the passion for American “Songbook” music. However, keep in mind that though talented in her own way, she did get her start in the industry by winning Japan’s knock-off “American Idol” television show. This is the one quality that is a little confusing when you look at it, as Hiromi portrays a modest character and mannerisms, keeping it suitably classy to the content she performs, yet she opted in the past to draw for the “golden ticket” to stardom with a venture that does not really favor such qualities. I really do believe the young woman has a passion for the American classics as well as the jazzy style she performs them in, and is simply sticking to performing what she loves. However, unfortunately for her, this strong campaign of publicity for her career probably will not carry her far in our country, as to be a famous star in America it is required of you to have no class, be an inch away from nudity, and perform pseudo acts of bi-curious sexuality on stage.
Her vocal style is interesting, and such as in many cases of a singer with any given dialect/accent, it seems to give her vocal performance of the English language a different intonation, with only a few particular words training out in a “Hooked-On-Phonics” way. While not the definitive embodiment of jazz and soul, she does have the right idea when carrying her voice out in said style, pulling-off a more contemporary pop-jazz essence. As I mentioned above, I’m sure Hiromi was exposed to and influenced by great American classics early-on in life, however, this is more or less an artist pursuing something they solely desired to performed, rather than an invasion of a new artist that violates and brainwashes pop-culture.
The release itself primarily consists of the singer giving a variety of costume changes per song with on-stage performances that are shadowed by music video pieces, that are mostly irrelevant to the song; an example of this randomness that ensues includes the Japanese star portraying a housekeeper spending the day in the salon. Some of these music video styled segments do exhibit a fair significance to the relevance of the song being performed, but mostly are a little unusual. All together, Hiromi Kanda’s voice is nice to listen to as she performs her soft jazz-like renditions of the material, and though an attractive young woman, her product is more worthy as audio-only, earning the concert video a “2.5 Star Rating”
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the MPEG-2 codec on a BD-25 (25 gigabyte single-layer Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio. It is disappointing that the video quality here is not quite as pristine as the promotional photography accompanying Kanda’s North American publicity campaign. The basics of what the music videos offer include shots from both the artist’s on stage performance of each song, as well as accompanying shots from “music video” type storylines. Other concert titles that have made it to Blu-ray, such as “Jewel: The Essential Live Songbook“, and “John Mayer: Where the Light is (Live in Los Angeles)“, prove that even with the confusion of stage lighting, superb video quality is achievable. While unsure of the precise model, and exactly which pieces of content were shot with it, the Red Camera is listed in the credits. This is a bit surprising, as previous features using the Red One Camera have been far from a let down in visual quality. However, this release has other things working against it, such as the use of the MPEG-2 codec, and the lack of breathing room on a 25GB disc.
The general look of both the on-stage and storyline shots reads anywhere from rather soft, to moderately above average as you can compare amongst the provided screenshots. The black level comes almost close to a solid appearance, never quite reaching a potential inkiness. The fleshtone of Hiromi herself comes across as more sallow and weak than the lush off-ivory seen in her promotional photos, as the less-than video quality portrays a subdued nature in a colors available in its palette. On the other hand, vibrancy stands out in a few of the “music video” pieces, such as the brightly colored wardrobe of the singer, ranging from a loud orange dress, to a bright yellow raincoat. The usual subjects regarding detail are left to the imagination at times, which is again a let down, being that the singer adorns some interesting period-relevant attire through her performances; yet, other sequences provide a rather decent amount of distinguishable definition. Overall, the video quality for this release sits at a “3.5 Star Rating“, having pushed at times a half of a star above, and a half of a star below at times.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in Linear PCM 2.0 Stereo. This stereo track portrays the content of Hiromi Kanda‘s performances in a tone at least suitable to the jazz-era style being induced, though a stereo track is not exactly the most ideal for a concert video. It is safe to say that when it comes to such a release, the example of a concert video’s audio track lacking its own confined channel for vocals and/or bass seems like a lost cause in even releasing the title.
The largest highlight of the audible performance is Hiromi’s voice itself, and this lossless stereo track does a decent job in conveying her vocals. The orchestral music conducted and arranged by Matt Catingub, and performed by the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, provides a lot of brass tones and shrills from strings amongst other instrumental sounds, and though the orchestra’s performance could have had a more fulfilling presence with a 5.1 track, it is overall worthy of a “3 Star Rating“, offering what it has in a slightly above average fashion.
Bonus materials are audio-only tracks, presented in Linear PCM 2.0 Stereo.
- “How Deep is the Ocean” (3:37)
- “All the Way” (3:27)
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please bear with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.