Jane Birkin

Arabesque [DVD]

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The luscious companion to Jane Birken's career-reinvigorating Arabesque live album, the DVD of the same title captures the same performance as it was on the night at L'Odeon-Theatre de l'Europe in March 2002. It is an electrifying performance; though the DVD adds only four songs (three further Serge Gainsbourg compositions among them) to Arabesque's own 16-track running order, still Birken herself is a sight to behold, teasing and seducing the audience through both her pre-song introductions and the songs themselves.

Familiarity with the album itself renders the track listing unsurprising. But still the visual dimension adds a great deal. Birken herself is mesmerizing, but her actual stage performance is nevertheless intercut with a few minutes' worth of nostalgic home video, while the bonus material serves up a 15-minute offstage interview with Birken and the band. The 5.1 surround sound mastering, too, is spectacular, all adding up to a DVD that is worth so much more than the four extra songs that are its initial calling card.

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