Sony Music Video/Sony BMG .
R4 . COLOR . 82 mins .
E . PAL
Ah, the ballad, designed to tug at the old heartstrings and make people go all squooshy inside, and many a chartbuster has come in the shape of such a beast.
Here a selection of the sweet (Cyndi Lauperís Twue Cowors), the soulful (The Chimesí cover of U2ís I Still Havenít Found What Iím Looking For) and the tasteful (Monique Brumbyís sweet The Change in Me)
Celine Dion pictured in safe mode...
share time with the bizarre (Munchener Freiheitís Keeping the Dream Alive, disembodied clip and all), the comical (Bad English wailing through When I See You Smile (which we might suggest would only be after a serious bout of hairdressing)) and the downright overwrought (Celine Dionís histrionic assault on The Power of Love) in what is a peculiarly compiled affair that takes a somewhat lottery-like approach to delving into the massive Sony Music archives.
Sadly the chance for some much needed variety and credibility is overlooked - the likes of Oasisí Wonderwall or Travisí Why Does it Always Rain on Me? pop to mind just for starters - and little in the way of classics, or even memorable hits for that matter, are on offer. This leaves many an obscure choice taking up disc space, which can only raise questions as to the brief for the compilation of Ballads Never Looked So Good Ė Iíll admit it, personally I think Toto suck harder than my Dyson, however surely any ballad-loving punter would rather clap ears upon their smash Africa rather than the little known Georgy Porgy? Would anybody be worse off for never hearing Shazza OíNeilís Maybe again (if indeed they ever heard it in the first place)? Does anybody even remember Rick Price, let alone want to relive him? Still, at least somebody had a sense of humour; the disc does come to its conclusion with Air Supplyís Love and Other Bruises. Whatís truly disturbing is that itís actually one of the few classic ballads thatís on offer here.
As with previous releases in this deceptively named Never Looked So Good series, vision is all over the place depending upon the age of the various sources. The usual culprits are out in force at various times; grain, speckles and blobs, whilst colour goes on a trip between being decently saturated on newer clips, to delivering that dated, washed-out, somewhat fuzzy look that will be quite familiar to anybody who grew up watching shows like Countdown and Sounds on others.
Audio has a better time of things, seemingly being re-dubbed from decent sources without causing anything major in the way of synch issues Ė after all, most clips are mimed and some poppets are better at it than others. Itís only in Dolby Digital stereo, but this delivers what is close to CD quality sound, and should satisfy most who venture into a pact with this particular disc.
Nothing in the way of extra bits and bobs has been included; itís just ballads and 20 of them.
Ultimately, DVD music compilations are a fabulous idea, however so is putting a little thought into their assembly. At the end of the day that simply hasn't happened here.
Jack & Sarah "Proving that simplicity is no obstruction to brilliance, this is an ultimately sweet (but not sickeningly so) tale that gives all those bigger English films out there a more than respectable run for their money... "