The name Caro Emerald is one that is not largely familiar in the mainstream music world right now. This is the case despite the Dutch singer having already released two full length studio albums since 2010. But with the release of her new live DVD and Blu-ray, Caro Emerald in Concert, the young singer’s name may start to spread like wildfire. That’s because the new live release from Eagle Rock Entertainment presents the best of those two albums in one complete concert. It’s an excellent introduction to the talents of the young artist and her band mates. The very first thing that audiences will notice in listening to the band music crafted by Emerald and her band mates is the band’s “jazz-hop” style. For those that might be scratching their heads, it’s a mix of old school swing jazz mixed with the occasional modern hip-hop vibe. Still confused? Imagine mixing Adele, Amy Winehouse, Nelly Furtado, and the Squirrel Nut Zippers. That is the interesting hybrid sound crafted by Emerald and her band mates. Ironically enough, Emerald notes in the concert’s bonus interview that Amy Winehouse was indeed one of her influences. That is something that will be discussed later. Getting back to the music in this concert, there is not one bad moment in the entire performance. Every song in this concert has its own flare that is sure to have anyone dancing along in their own living rooms and bedrooms. From the up-tempo opener, ‘Just One Dance’ to ‘Paris’ to the show’s closer, ‘Stuck’, Ms. Emerald and company prove over and over again why it won’t be long before they break out in the United States.
The songs included in the band’s new live recording show just why American audiences should expect to hear more from the unit provided program directors give the band the support that it deserves. On a deeper level, the songs become even more interesting after listening to Caro discuss her musical upbringing in the recording’s bonus interview. She explains in the interview that it was classical music, not pop music, on which she was raised as a child. She laughs as she admits that she was hardly a fan of classical music. This is interesting to note because of her vocal range. She has such control over her voice from one song to another. Whether in the performance’s softer moments or those that are more upbeat, she does such a wonderful job accenting the song’s energy level with her vocal control. And as noted already, she adds during her interview that the late Amy Winehouse was one of her influences. That is also evident in her singing. There is a certain almost cabaret style vibe about some of her songs. While not as gritty as Winehouse’s vocals, she still has such power in said songs. It’s something that audiences can only appreciate when they check out this recording for themselves.
The set list and the performance presented in Caro Emerald in Concert both play important roles in the enjoyment of this recording’s overall presentation. No examination of a live concert would be complete though, without an examination of the recording’s audio and video. And this critic is pleased to say that those charged with managing the show’s audio and video mix did an excellent job. Director Helen Scott got the best out of her camera crew, catching some amazing shots. Those with HDTVs will love the wide shots of the BBC Radio Theatre. They show just how “intimate” the setting was for the recording as was noted on the back of the disc’s case. Just as interesting were the close-up shots captured by the videographer manning the stage. Emerald comes right up to him more than once and looks right into the camera as she sings. Again, having an HDTV, the quality of the footage is crystal clear. Viewers can see every single detail of her face as she sings into the camera. The audio mix is just as impressive. Every part of the recording is balanced all the way down. None of the performers overpower the other at any one point throughout the show. Together with the expertly shot and edited video, the performance of the band and the show’s set list, it all combines to make Caro Emerald in Concert one more reason that Eagle Rock Entertainment continues to be a leader if not the leader in live recordings. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other live releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://www.eaglerockent.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.