Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Annie Lennox – Live in Central Park

Annie Lennox – Live in Central Park is exactly what it’s name implies, a free concert recorded live in New York’s Central Park in 1995.  The DVD presents concert footage that lasts for roughly an hour followed by Live in Central Parksome post-concert live camera bits that lead into three videos interspliced with interview segments.  The concert can be played with or without lyrics onscreen and the individual concert tracks can be selected and played either randomly or in the viewer’s preferred order.  Sound options are Dolby stereo or Dolby surround.  The stereo mix sends the left and right channels to both the front and rear speakers.

The concert is good but not great.  Lennox is a better than average songwriter and an extremely talented vocalist with an extraordinary voice.  She does not disappoint on Live in Central Park.  She tends toward songs of great emotional weight and she delivers them with the emotional power they deserve.  There are moments of real magic here where she takes the audience to that special place that only exceptional live music can realize.  Watching Lennox perform live it becomes instantly apparent that she is deeply synched to the groove.  She moves beautifully and you could drop the rhythm track out of the mix and “hear” it anyway just by watching her.  In this day of Pro Tooled divas who lip synch concerts amidst extravagant sets and pyrotechnics replete with by-the-numbers choreography designed to shake as much booty, cleavage and big hair as possible, it’s refreshing to see a woman dominate a stage and captivate an audience on nothing but her innate sense of rhythm and arresting ability to sing.  And not a costume change in sight. 

The concert’s main limitation is that it peaks before it ends which is what keeps it from being great.  It is also quite short with just about an hour of live footage.  A version of Lennox’s album Medusa released with bonus tracks from the Central Park concert contains one song from the gig, “Here comes the rain again”, that is not on the DVD so it seems the DVD presents an edited version of the concert.

Annie Lennox fans will almost certainly enjoy Live in Central Park and have probably already seen it.  It is also recommended to listeners who may not be as familiar with Lennox but who enjoy powerful talented female vocalists who can bring it live.  If you’re in the latter group, also consider Lennox’s terrific current album Songs of Mass Destruction.

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05/15/2008 - Posted by | DVD reviews, music, music reviews

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