“Gessle over Europe” the review
LJUSDAL - First there was nothing, then there was "Wings over America." Now there's "Gessle over Europe"! The live CD/DVD combo awaited by many a fan. Was it worth the wait?
Yes. Yes it certainly was!
The CD is amazing, crystal clear sound, heavy bass and with a live feeling that puts you right back into the audience again. If you were there in the first place, that is… Kudos to Christoffer Lundqvist! The packaging is identical to the Roxette re-releases; a high glossy "eco" pack that looks like a small vinyl LP. Speaking of which, the album comes as a double LP with three bonus tracks as well, not reviewed here though.
The tracks on the album come from the best concerts available, and from what I can understand, some concerts were better than others. "Gessle over Europe" isn't mixed together to sound like one homogeneous concert so there are some fade ins and outs. This only affects the crowd noises though.
I won't review the concert again, so if you want to read about that, check that review out here.
In short: This album is a must have. I would recommend it to non-fans even. However, I have to mention some of the better tracks (and this is hard): "Doesn't Make Sense" is out of this world on this album, and so is "It Must Have Been Love" and "Listen to Your Heart." I can go on and on, but I'll limit myself to these three. What I keep wondering is if they've cut the last part out of "Listen to Your Heart" as I want to remember it from the concert that Per sings "you tell her goodbye…" yet another time.
Now, Capitol is marketing this as a CD with a bonus-DVD, while I think the audience may see it the other way around.
Overall the DVD is one of Per's nicer releases, and I'm glad they left off the two promo interviews that otherwise would've stolen another 30 min of precious disc space. There are some technical aspects I will mention later.
Anyway, the picture quality is most of the time very nice, not to say even perfect at times. While at times it's very pixelated with both macro blocking and digital banding. That's what you get when you compress the material too much. The concert is recorded in hi def, and I would've loved a blu-ray of this! This is reviewed on a 46" LCD monitor by the way, and I know for a fact that it will look a lot better on a smaller TV.
The average bitrate per second is 6.41 MB/sec which is fair, but not excellent. The bitrate of the Unplugged DVD was 6.16, while the "HITS" DVD was 3.57 and "All Videos Ever Made" 3.4 (that's very bad)! So you can see it has gotten better over the years.
The concert has been interspersed with an interview with Per sitting by the ocean where he talks about the concerts, fans et cetera. Nice bits and pieces. The DVD is subtitled, a first! Both in English and in German. The German subtitles have a problem though; the letter ß (double s) has for some reason been changed to ü (y). I also see some problems with the English subtitles that could've been avoided. Didn't anyone watch this before the pressing?
Another, more annoying problem is that running the DTS audio track there are a few audio drop-outs, while the Dolby Digital track is spotless. There is also a plain stereo track.
Per's solo videos are included after 12 years. I never liked Jonas Åkerlunds Gessle videos, but here they are, and they look decent. Son of a Plumber's videos are here as well, they are of the same quality as the older ones.
Finally, the 100 tribal videos are actually not all available on YouTube, so that's good. And they've solved the lower resolution of Per's home videos by showing them picture in picture. A fine solution indeed.
Enough moaning, the DVD is "free" and is very worth its price, when you don't knitpick it, but as a reviewer it's my job to knitpick.
Technical errors may occur.
October 20th, 2009
Internal reference code for TDR's Good Reporters: [tdr 111239]
This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:
Archive, TDR:Editorial, TDR:Exclusive, TDR:Per Gessle, TDR:Releases, vintage.