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Morrissey: 25: Live Blu-ray Review

morrissey-25-live-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

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The Performance

[Rating:4.5/5]

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Enigmatic singer/songwriter Morrissey, formerly of The Smiths, marked his 25th anniversary as a solo artist with this one off intimate live concert performance at the 1,800 seat auditorium at Hollywood High School on March 2, 2013, a concert that sold out in just 12 seconds. The intimate performance was in stark contrast to the sold out performance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles just the night before.

The show would take 25 songs from the length of Morrissey’s brilliant career, both solo and with The Smiths, including the catchy “You’re the One for Me, Fatty”, “Meat is Murder”, “Irish Blood, English Heart” and the plaintive and self-pitying “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”, here turned into in an even more melancholy, arpeggiated, mid-tempo ballad.

Morrissey himself seemed in top form throughout the night, vocals only occasionally missing a note here or there, but his laid back attitude, several shirt changes, and cynical lyrics all make up for it, and bring flashes of the man in his prime, during the ’80s and early ’90s.

Track Listing:

  1. Alma Matters
  2. Ouija Board, Ouija Board
  3. Irish Blood, English Heart
  4. You Have Killed Me
  5. November Spawned A Monster
  6. Maladjusted
  7. You’re The One For Me Fatty
  8. Still Ill
  9. People Are The Same Everywhere
  10. Speedway
  11. That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
  12. To Give Is The Reason I Live
  13. Meat Is Murder
  14. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
  15. Action Is My Middle Name
  16. Everyday Is Like Sunday
  17. I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
  18. Let Me Kiss You
  19. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

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Morrissey: 25: Live is the rare live concert video with a 1080p encodement on Blu-ray Disc. The image is crisp, with strong contrast and very little in the way of anomalies given the amount of lights, fast motions, and edits.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

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There’s a marked difference in quality between the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) track and the LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit) stereo track, which is rather unusual. The lossless 5.1 has a balanced and dynamic sound with good low frequency extension, clear dialogue with distinct instrumental separation between the electric guitars. The high frequencies are reserved and airy. By contrast, the LPCM 2.0 sounds very shrill, with tweaked high frequencies and a thin midrange. At first I thought that perhaps the boosted LFE in the 5.1 mix may have been masking this, but even turning LFE to 0 in the 5.1 track had a smoother sound. The mastering is completely different and inferior for the PCM version.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

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There’s an excellent “live” in studio set, a brief behind-the-scenes featurette, and a featurette with comedian Russell Brand offering his thoughts on Morrissey. Without a doubt, the live set is the strongest extra included.

The supplements:

  • Studio in Session (1.78:1; 1080i/60):
    • The Kid’s a Looker
    • Scandinavia
    • Action is My Middle Name
    • People Are the Same Everywhere
  • Behind the Scenes at Hollywood High (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:48)
  • Grissle Bandage Presents Lord Mudslide (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:13)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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Morrissey delivers a fantastic performance in this intimate venue, 25 years into is solo career for the truly devoted fans. This is one for all those true believers who’ve been following Morrissey and The Smiths for years.

Additional Screen Captures

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