Wednesday, December 07, 2011

live from paris - review

The Live from Paris DVD+CD arrived yesterday - ordered from Germany as Sony UK is being hopeless again. In the UK you can only get the DVD this week, the double pack is due to be released next week. And as track 2 says: "Why wait?" Here are my first thoughts on the new release:

This is Shakira’s fourth live DVD, so you may wonder whether she can add something new to the series, but as someone who knows the first three by heart I can reassure you that the new offering is a combination of the reassuringly familiar with the new and inventive.

Very familiar and mostly unchanged are the songs at the hard core of her repertoire from the 90s albums Pies descalzos and Donde estan los ladrones. As far as I can tell, she hasn’t changed a note in her own favourite, Inevitable, since the MTV unplugged concert, and Si te vas, and Ciega sordomuda are similarly steadfast reminders of the good old days.

A lovely new feature is the medley made of A'tini al-Nay (an Arabic song she used to sing as a child), the Metallica cover Nothing else matters, and her own Despedida from the Love in the times of cholera soundtrack. Travel around the world in just a few minutes. Within the same “acoustic” setting is a much-improved version of Gipsy.

Since I saw the show at Paris in December 2010, she added a lovely French song (Je l’aime a mourir by Francis Cabrel) and switched a few more of her announcements to French, which is a nice touch. My only moan about the programme is that none of the collaborators showed up (while Alejandro Sanz and Wyclef Jean did, the last time round).

The DVD with 99 minutes of concert footage and 20 mins “behind the scenes” extras is perfect as always. The CD contains as much of the concert as fits on a single audio CD (big improvement on the 5-track CD from last time!), which means all announcements and a couple of songs (Si te vas, Gordita) were dropped, and the A'tini al-Nay snippet was cut too. The sound editing on the CD is different from the DVD version; there were a couple of places where I think I heard things that weren’t so prominent in the DVD soundtrack.

Her last words on the concert recordings are “a la prochaine” (until the next time), so I’m very much looking forward to the next tour and the 5th DVD. After New York, Rotterdam, Miami, and Paris, maybe we'll hear her "live from Beirut" in four years time, complete with a full-length version of A'tini al-Nay?

(Cover of the DVD+CD pack, which comes in a CD case)

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