Michael Bolton: Live at Royal Albert Hall 2009 (Blu-ray) 2010 DTS-HD Master Audio

Michael Bolton: Live at the Royal Albert Hall was recorded in October, 2009. In front of a sold-out crowd, Bolton performed an array of songs, including such hits as "How Can We Be Lovers", "Said I Loved You But I Lied", "Soul Provider" and "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You", as well as terrific covers of Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind", Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman", George Gershwin's "Summertime", and Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay".

Bolton also performed the popular "Murder My Heart", a song he co-wrote with Lady Gaga, which appears on his latest album One World One Love (2009).

From start to finish, Bolton's singing is terrific. His voice is as strong and convincing as it was more than twenty years ago. When he sings "When A Man Loves A Woman" and "Crazy Love", you can't help but smile - the man might have aged but his voice has not. The new material is also great. I particularly enjoyed the upbeat "Hope It's Too Late". The backup singers are also outstanding.  

Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080i "live" transfer, Michael Bolton: Live at the Royal Albert Hall arrives on Blu-ray courtesy Eagle Rock Entertainment. 

The show has been recorded with multiple strategically positioned cameras that follow Micheal Bolton and his band from a variety of different angles. Clarity is pleasing and contrast adequate. I noticed mild motion-judder here and there, but I don't believe that the majority of you would be bothered by it. During selected scenes, mild noise is also present, but, again, I don't believe that your viewing experience would be affected by it. There are no serious shadow issues; the stage lighting is convincing throughout the entire show. Finally, there are no serious transfer-related technical flaws to report in this review. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. 

There are three audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English LPCM 2.0 and English Dolby Digital 5.1. I opted for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and later on did a few random comparisons with the other two tracks for the purpose of this review. 

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is solid. The bass is potent, the rear channels intelligently used and the high-frequencies not overdone. The separation between Bolton's voice, the backup singers and the band is excellent. The crowd's presence is definitely felt, but it is never overpowering.

The LPCM 2.0 track is also solid. It does lack the strong dynamic amplitude of the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, but its fidelity is still pleasing. The strong hall effect that is present on the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, however, is practically non-existent here. 



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