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Paul McCartney: Live Kisses Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English Dolby Digital 5.1; PCM Stereo
  • Subtitles: None
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • List Price: $34.98

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Performance
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:3/5]

After all of these years, Paul McCartney returns to Capitol Studios, the home of the label that released the original US versions of the Beatles albums. Recording producer Tony LiPuma put it all together and Jonas Ackerland’s directed, resulting in the Live Kisses BD. These studio sessions will be for some a musical journey down memory lane, particularly for those whose memories go back many decades. The 13-song playlist has some real chestnuts and a new song by Sir Paul himself.

  1. I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
  2. Home (When The Shadows Fall)
  3. It’s Only A Paper Moon
  4. The Glory of Love
  5. More I Cannot Wish You
  6. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me)
  7. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
  8. My Valentine
  9. Always
  10. My Good Friend The Milkman
  11. Bye Bye Blackbird
  12. Get Yourself Another Fool
  13. My One And Only Love

Between the songs, there are on-location commentaries by McCartney, several of the players, the production crew, and rock legends Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton. We also get some nice documentary footage of the Capitol Studios and its legendary recording artists. The main value added to this program comes from the excellent musicians who populate this BD, including pianist Diana Krall, vibes guy Mike Maineri, guitar men John Pizzarelli and Anthony Wilson, bassist John Clayton with a cameo sit-in by the Eagles’ Joe Walsh.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

It is puzzling that a 2012 video would go B&W but image quality is excellent and, unless you are are Technicolor junkie, you won’t feel short changed. A number of good session shots are delivered, showing the players at work and adding a sense of intimacy to the program.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The soundtrack is lively and offers the studio experience that every Mcfan would want. For better or worse, we get the 2012 McCartney voice, applauded after nearly every number by those on hand. The sidemen contribute mightily to this program and the sound engineers allow us to hear just about everything they do so well. The dts HD Master Audio track is the way to go although the lossy Dolby Digital and the somewhat less engaging 2-channel versions are still enjoyable.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

We get five (!) versions of the “My Valentine” music video featuring Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman who make various signing gestures in time to the lyrics. There is also a 12-minute “Making My Valentine” featurette, and two versions of the Kisses On The Bottom Album Photo Shoot. Frankly, this seems much ado for a new McCartney number that, while pleasant enough, suffers in comparison with most of the other selections on the playlist.  Interviews with McCartney and Tommy LiPuma and a souvenir booklet with notes by Elvis Costello (Diana Krall’s hubby) complete the package.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Taking on tried and true standards must have sounded like a good idea to Paul McCartney at some time, particularly when incredibly talented sidemen (and a sidewoman) are tossed into the deal.  After all, aging rocker Rod Stewart has turned to “the great American songbook” with a certain measure of success. But Live Kisses will likely get a mixed reception from the fans that remember the Beatle era with its often wild and crazy pop hits. McCartney still has good musical instincts; however, successful delivery of the present material requires more than an instinctive performance. Perhaps, Sir Paul summed it up best himself: “ These great jazz musicians around me; it was a bit intimidating. I thought… they played with people who really know how to do this. And I don’t really know what I’m doing.”  As I watched his performance, I found myself in complete agreement with McCartney’s own self appraisal.  Live Kisses presents some iconic songs memorialized by singers with much better chops than those that McCartney currently possesses. The McCartney voice is merely a shadow of its former self with limited range, dynamics, and variety of expression.While I admire Mac’s courage for pursuing such a different musical path so late in his career, this BD will appeal mostly to aging Beatlemaniacs who simply must have the complete McCartney catalog, good or bad or, in this case, indifferent.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0091LS0BU[/amazon-product]

Purchase Paul McCartney: Live Kisses on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B0091LS0BU[/amazon-product]

Purchase Paul McCartney: Live Kisses on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Performance
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]


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2 COMMENTS

  1. On the contrary, it was precisely Macca’s 2012 voice — his old man voice — that gives the songs on this Kisses Album the emotional depth that is entirely lacking in Rod Stewart’s cheesy, embarrassing Vegasy style of deliverly on his “songbooks.” Paul’s Kisses album is a quiet surprisingly lovely album. So I can’t agree with this review AT ALL about the vocal aspect.

    It’s Paul’s misfortune that critics refuse to give him room to be the artist he is NOW. They always are looking back 50 years ago to the artist he was then.

    • This is a case of different strokes for different folks. Without calling your tastes into question, the renditions of these songs by artists who actually can perform them, and their names are legion, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett, and the list goes on, shows the vacuousness of this current effort. Most artists eventually acquire a sell by date and McCartney was stamped with his quite some time ago. I have no problem with performers reinventing themselves and there is a successful track record for this. I do have a problem with a marquee name artist trying to convince consumers that their recent products have a validity comparable to their fame-setting work that is worthy of public attention. Caveat emptor.

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