Entertainment :: Music

MDNA: World Tour

by Kevin Taft
Contributor
Tuesday Sep 17, 2013
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For the six months it took Madge to edit her concert into "Madonna: The MDNA World Tour" concert film extravaganza she professes, one would wish she got her vocals to match her lips. After an extended opening sequence taken from her sold out 2012 tour, Madonna appears to the roars of the crowd. You can imagine the deafening boom that accompanied it and the surround-sound music that would fill the concert venue. But instead - when Madonna opens her mouth - out pops a paper-thin voice that is so disembodied it doesn’t even match her lip movements. This makes it seem like she re-recorded the vocals after the fact. The choice to have the backing track turned down so low doesn’t help much either. In fact, it makes it sound as if Madonna is on a cabaret stage with a five-piece band.

I know these comments will have me shunned by the legion of Madonna worshippers, but please note: I am not commenting on the performance or the show itself. I saw the show. It’s fantastic despite the fact that much of the music performed was from her less than stellar last album. What I’m commenting on is the sound mixing and editing on the Blu-ray. While it looks great, the sound is uneven and it’s so over-edited it doesn’t allow us to focus on the great choreography and staging.

Die-hard fans won’t care, but I’m a little shocked that this also has a companion CD which features the badly mixed songs. There are some interesting arrangements of her classic hits here that could have stood some studio alterations to make them agreeable when played as a standalone audio-only CD.

While it looks great, the sound is uneven and it’s so over-edited it doesn’t allow us to focus on the great choreography and staging.

If you didn’t see Madonna’s MDNA tour or if you enjoyed it and want to experience it again, this is certainly still worth watching. There’s electricity and technical dazzle on display. I just wish the audio sounded more like an actual concert and the editing wasn’t so fast and furious. This is a pop concert tour, not an art film.

Special features include only a 20-minute documentary on the dancer’s auditions. It’s interesting, but we expect a bit more.

Madonna: MDNA World Tour
Blu-ray
$19.99

by Madonna

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to ’Star Wars’ and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg. He can be seen in the flesh on the weekly PBS movie review series "Just Seen It."

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