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Escala

4.6 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 23, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 debut by the British female electric string quartet. Escala, comprised of violinists Victoria Lyon and Izzy Johnston, viola player Chantal Leverton and cellist Tasya Hodges were finalists on Britain's Got Talent 2008. The four girls became close friends after being recruited as part of a large string section for a UK arena tour by boyband McFly, and decided to work together to create a new musical phenomenon. Escala's debut album features the girls' personal twist on tracks such as 'Live And Let Die' by Wings, 'Kashmir' (featuring Slash) by Led Zeppelin and Escala's signature tune, 'Palladio.' The album was produced by Grammy-Award winning British musician Trevor Horn (Cher, Seal, Paul McCartney, Pet Shop Boys, Charlotte Church).
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia
  • Run Time: 39 minutes
  • ASIN: B001XURI1U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,054 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Holmes VINE VOICE on March 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The comparisons between "Bond" and "Escala" are inevitable and well covered in other Amazon reviews--each group is a "pop" string quartet consisting of four beautiful and talented young musicians. Although I enjoy the work of both groups, I find Escala's work to be more intense and haunting.

Bond often offers a cheerful, upbeat interpretation of the piece they are playing--not a bad thing, but a little different from what Escala does. Escala displays a darker and, to me at least, more moving sensibility. Pieces like "Requiem for a Tower," "Sarabande," and "Adagio for Strings" are powerful and intense, and you can get a sense of what I mean just by listening to Amazon's sampler for this album. My favorite track is the quartet's relentless version of "Palladio", the piece composed by Karl Jenkins (of Adiemus fame) for de Beer's "Diamonds are Forever, People are Just Shadows" commercials. To hear how Escala differs from Bond, compare each group's version of "Kashmir," the Led Zeppelin standby.

I'm looking forward to future offerings from Escala and highly recommend this CD!
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There are several all female string quartets out there, but as for music, this one is the cream of the crop. I like their careful blend of classical style and modern, without the drone of dance style music. There is a good mix of soft and loud, slow and fast music. I also like that I can hear all of the stings due to the really good music arrangements. I cant wait for their next CD to come out and even better yet if they will go on tour.
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Very exciting music! It rocks!
I am not educated in music, but I do like a wide variety of genres. I really enjoy this whole CD, especially PALLADIO and KASHMIR. I would call it Classical Rock.
I did get a BOND CD Explosive: The Best of Bond, since it was reviewed as being better. I thought there to be much more variety in the sound of the songs in ESCALA.
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I got Escala AFTER I had Bond and Vanessa Mae, so, starting from there. I LOVE BOND. They have incredible showmanship, artistry, and presence. Their song selections are for the most part brilliant and showcase their strengths. Whatever they lack in technique (they lack very little!), the work around until they improve it. They start from strong traditional their classical training roots and take a flying leap into fun. Having said that, Escala seems less all around to me. Escala just hasn’t grown into their craft yet, and they don’t have the advantage of surprise. The song selections are good, unless you know the originals; they need more original music and longer tracks. Some of the selections are too over-powering for their level of technique in free-style, and frankly need more orchestration. Their improvisation is a work in progress. And enviable talent that will age gracefully. My only issue with the band is not them as much as the hoopla made over them when there are better acts. I suspect that with time, they will grow into their promise as they mature along with their audience. Nonetheless, Kudos to beautiful women who make beautiful music! Looking forward to the next album.
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While I love the music, it is destroyed by the poor recording quality. I think much of the recording is clipping and it sounds muddy. I do much of my listening at work with a good pair of headphones and a very good external headphone DAC. I ripped the CD to flac format and all I can say is the audio quality is terrible with poor to nonexistent imaging. The problem with good equipment is it makes good recordings sound fantastic, but it also makes poor recordings sound terrible. Sadly this falls into the latter category.

If it weren't for the bad audio quality I would rate this five stars.

I've heard FM radio that sounds better than this CD.
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I absolutely LOVE this album!! The mix of rock and classical is wonderful. These are some talented ladies!! I have played this album at least once, maybe twice, at a sitting and almost daily. It really gets my blood flowing because it's so energetic. They have a new album (available in the UK) which is only available on MP3. We more senior citizens don't have MP3's so I fervently hope this new album comes out on CD very, very soon and that Amazon will carry it. A must-have for any diversified collection.
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Honestly, I love Amazon's sales when you can download the MP3 and receive the CD as well. I haven't upgraded the car stereo system yet and it's still CD based. Amazon's prices also tend to be lower than iTunes so I always look here first. The music is not on par with David Garrett but they're catchy and enjoyable. Even the slower pieces. It's not quite too mellow and that's why I enjoy it. Just enough zip for someone like me who prefers classical-crossover versus classical unto itself. For those who like that it's worth a try. It's also their only album I believe as well. Is odd as it was popular so I would've assumed at least another album or two.
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I have heard Nina Simone's classic ballad "Feeling Good" sung by some truly wonderful performers but it never occurred to me that it could also be a stirring instrumental... until I heard Escala do it. The idea that a string quartet - an English string quartet at that - could bring such heartfelt emotion to a song that was made to be sung in a smokey club somewhere down by the harbor just knocked me out. Escala, in fact, knocks me out every time I hear them play. These four young women play with precision, which you'd expect from classically trained musicians, but they add something vibrant to their arrangements that elevate them, in my opinion, far above most of their contemporaries. If you haven't heard these four women play then you should.
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