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  • Widescreen 1.66:1
  • English: Linear PCM Stereo
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  • Isolated music score - 2 alternate mixes as audio-only streams.
Madonna - What it Feels Like For A Girl (DVD Single)
Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 5 mins . PG . PAL


There's been a pattern emerging in the last year or two when it comes to music video clips from the mainstream industry's golden geese. First Kylie Minogue lands on the network news with the supposedly controversial "banning" of one of her recent clips in the UK; the clip, once aired, proved to be tamer than much of her softer-than-soft-porn video clip library. And then we hear the same network news broadcasts - as well as chat shows - trumpeting the fact that Madonna's video clip for What It Feels Like For A Girl, directed by new husband and Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels director Guy Ritchie, is up for a solid "banning" due to its "violent content".

Suspicious? You should be. Welcome to marketing in the 21st century.

There is of course nothing remotely controversial about this video clip, unless you count a sign proclaiming a retirement home as the "Ol Kuntz Guest Home" (we'd prefer to smile politely and think of TV's Blankety Blanks, but your mileage may vary). Madonna and a granny driving around town doing minor crime might be offensive to people who put Madonna in the "role model for teenagers" category, but then, people like that deserve what they get. Oh, and yes, it's rated PG. How very controversial.

Politics aside, this latest Madonna clip is amusing and well-made, if a little stodgily edited for such an insistent song. Fans will love it; others may prefer to wait for the next video compilation, given that the video content here only runs for a little over four and a half minutes.

Two audio-only tracks are included, both of them remixes of the title song; Madonna completists will probably want these regardless.


Framed at around 1.66:1 and of course non-anamorphic, the video clip portion of this disc is encoded at a startlingly high bitrate, which is partly explained by the use of Linear PCM audio. Visually, this is a broadcast-quality rendering of the master tape, completely free of compression artefacts. The audio, though, is mastered at a very low level for this type of presentation, with the average level a good 10dB below that of the CD version of the same song, and peaks still 6dB down. That indicates that the audio here (both in the video clip and in the two audio-only remixes) is not from the "mastered" version used for audio CD, which of course sits fairly constantly at 0dB thanks to the audio limiting and compression that's such a mainstay of modern music mastering. That said, the lack of compression results in a far cleaner sound, and a far better representation of the master tape of these mixes than you'll get on audio CD. Tape hiss is virtually non-existant, indicating that post-production on this clip was digital from start to finish.

One complaint: while this DVD single starts playing without needing menu selection, the inclusion of a copyright screen, a Warner Music Video trailer and a Reprise trailer (the latter two hopelessly outdated) means that you have to wait a fair while after pressing "play" before you actually see the clip. And people that buy audio CDs just aren't going to be happy about that, especially when this intrusion is not skippable.

Warner are getting closer to perfecting the concept of the DVD Single, and this is their best attempt yet - but with its $20 retail price (more than double that of the audio-only single) this one is likely to sit on the shelves as long as the Music DVD Single did. Still Madonna fans are going to snap this one up, and in artistic terms this is one of the best video clips she's come up with since the eye-opening Frozen.

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