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98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything New Is Old Again
With their third album, Pink Martini continues their magical multicultural musical tour. Unlike the first two albums, which began with a Latin-flavored number, "Hey Eugene" begins with "Everywhere," an original song which evokes 1920's musical theater, or a film musical from the 30's or 40's. Harps, strings, and trombone accompany lead singer China Forbes' romantic...
Published on May 15, 2007 by Exguyparis

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hey Eugene not up to par
I have been a big fan of Pink Martini since I heard them first on NPR and bought their first album. I loved their second album, too; these two albums are among my listening favorites. When I attened a live Pink Martini concert in July, 2007, I really looked forward to hearing new songs from "Hey Eugene." The concert was great, but the new songs didn't seem to match the...
Published on July 25, 2007 by David J. Robertson


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98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything New Is Old Again, May 15, 2007
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This review is from: Hey Eugene! (Audio CD)
With their third album, Pink Martini continues their magical multicultural musical tour. Unlike the first two albums, which began with a Latin-flavored number, "Hey Eugene" begins with "Everywhere," an original song which evokes 1920's musical theater, or a film musical from the 30's or 40's. Harps, strings, and trombone accompany lead singer China Forbes' romantic delivery... very sweet and nostalgic.

It doesn't take long for the Latin theme to surface, however! "Tempo Perdoto," a samba written by Brazilian composer Ataulpho Alves, features peppy brass and a high school gospel choir. It will put you in a Carnival mood (and move).

"Mar Desconocido (uncharted sea)" is by Martin Zarzar, one of the percussionists in Pink Martini, with a sample of Chopin's Waltz in C Minor woven in. Someone in the group must love Frederic Chopin, as this is the second time one of his melodies artfully surfaces in a Pink Martini song. "Taya Tan" takes us back to Japan, a land Pink Martini first explored on their second album, "Hang on Little Tomato." Singing in Japanese, China Forbes delivers a pleasing, mellow blend of pop and mystery. The sparse accompaniment is seductive and soothing.

"City of Night", a romantic, Spanish-sounding number written by China Forbes and group founder Thomas Lauderdale, highlights the guitar skills of Dan Faehnle, Robert Taylor's horn talents, and Lauderdale's keyboard prowess. Next, "Olaja" provides a paradox of mood and message. If you don't listen to the words (which is relatively easy as the song is sung in French), it sounds like a light, frivolous number. However, read the translation which is provided, and the song becomes a dark, tragic tale: "My regrets are like stains on the shores of my hidden soul; I wish I could dry your tears and hold you desperately in my arms..."

Never one turn down a language challenge, China Forbes next covers a song originally performed by Abdel Halim Hafez, an Egyptian musical superstar-- in Arabic-- "Bukra wba'do (tomorrow and the day after). The musical backing is both sexy and at times Merrie Melody cartoonesque. "Cante e Dance" is a superbly soothing duet by China Forbes and Timothy Nishimoto, guaranteed to calm your nerves and warm your soul.

The funky title tune, "Hey Eugene," written by China Forbes, recounts a real-life encounter she had in New York City. Pink Martini performed this song in concert for some time before the album was released, and I had the pleasure to hear it live. I fell in love with the song instantly when I heard the lyric "I'm that chick you danced with two times through the Rufus album." The song features some superb back-up singing.

Reaching back to France of the mid 1960's, the musicians of Pink Martini next tackle "Syracuse," the hit song sung by Henri Salvador (who, about to turn 90, is still huge in France). "Dosvedanya Mio Bombino (farewell my bumblebee)," an original song, is a delightful operetta that morphs into "The Happy Wanderer." It tells a tale of cultural schizophrenia and lost love.

And we end, in a sense, where we started, with a song that really IS from musical theater of the 1920's and film musicals from the 30's and 40's: "Tea for Two" from "No No Nanette." The Pink Martini twist: slow things down, and have China perform the song with eighty-one year old jazz legend Jimmy Scott, who sounds eerily like an aged Billie Holliday.

Pink Martini's third venture continues their unique musical mixology. Take 15 outstanding musicians, throw in a dash or two of additional orchestras, marching bands, and high school choirs; choose a remarkably diverse spectrum of musical genres; pour in lots of intelligence and wit. Shake and be stirred!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hey Eugene not up to par, July 25, 2007
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This review is from: Hey Eugene! (Audio CD)
I have been a big fan of Pink Martini since I heard them first on NPR and bought their first album. I loved their second album, too; these two albums are among my listening favorites. When I attened a live Pink Martini concert in July, 2007, I really looked forward to hearing new songs from "Hey Eugene." The concert was great, but the new songs didn't seem to match the quality and intensity of the music from the previous two albums. There's nothing new in "Hey Eugene," and some of the music is actually trite (especially the title song). The best song on the album is the Portugese song "Sing and Dance"--it matches the best of the former two collections. "Hey Eugene" is not a bad album, it's just a disappointing follow up.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply beautiful., May 20, 2007
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This review is from: Hey Eugene! (Audio CD)
Elegant. Enchanting. Seductive. Timeless. Simply beautiful.

Hey Eugene! is one of those rare CDs that, upon first listen, I sat in front of the stereo speakers, jaw agape in amazement, relishing every note from start to finish. Pink Martini's superb musicianship, complex song composition, and mesmerizing lyrics result in an album so stunningly beautiful that this will undoubtedly be one of my favorite CDs for years, if not decades, to come.

The lyrics are dreamy and romantic (in a Joni Mitchell kind of way), occasionally sorrowful, occasionally playful, and always smart. I appreciate the CD booklet's English translation of the foreign language songs (7 out of 12 tracks), so you know what they're singing about. I highly recommend reading the lyrics while listening the first time around, for full effect.

My only qualm is that the CD is only 45 minutes long (shorter than their previous two CDs). Given the extended time periods between albums, I wish they'd added a few extra tracks (perhaps a live track?).

Overall, a stellar release.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy Sympathetique instead!, September 13, 2007
This review is from: Hey Eugene! (Audio CD)
There are a few good tunes in "Hey Eugene". But for the most part, I can't recommend it. China Forbes and bandleader Thomas Lauderdale do their best to keep the boat afloat with their cozy blend of pop cabaret, jazz, and latin-tinged tunes. You could do a whole lot worse than "Hey Eugene". If you want your senses dazzled buy Sympathique. It's marvelous!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars China, my China! I wandered around you're still here!, June 2, 2007
By 
Steven Guy (Croydon, South Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hey Eugene! (Audio CD)
... which I guess you should be proud of.

I must say that I wasn't quite sure what to make of this album when I first heard it. It is kind of like Doris Day mixed up with World Music. No, I am not kidding. I guess one could describe it as modern Lounge Music with an eye on international styles (China Forbes sings in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese).

Pink Martini describe themselves as "a mini orchestra" and that is what they are. The have a string section and a number of other instruments. China Forbes, the lovely lady in the dunny on the front cover, sings with a lovely clean, clear and appealing voice. She would have done well in the 1950s!

If you have the other Pink Martini albums (I do), and enjoy them (I do), then you should drop everything and run out and buy "Hey Eugene!' The whole thing is a wonderful diversion and full of stylish musical tomfoolery - as usual.

Recommended!

Cool cover, too!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sophistication, June 13, 2007
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This review is from: Hey Eugene! (Audio CD)
Pink Martini's previous album, the long awaited HANG ON, LITTLE TOMATO, was as musically accomplished as their first (SYMPATHIQUE), but seemed in some ways a bit of a step backwards. While their fascination with dreamy first love and a romantic touristic worldview seemed delightful when the band were in their twenties, it seemed a bit forced for the band members to be indulging in the same naÔveté in their mid-thirties. Now two years later with HEY EUGENE! the band seems to have grown up quite a bit. Their music is as lush and sophisticated as ever, and the orchestrations as dazzlingly perfect; but their songs are less about a nostalgia for childhood fantasies of what it would be like to be a grown-up and more genuine and heartfelt. The very funny and catchy title tune perfectly captures this sense that the band members can now see romantic fantasies can lead as easily to disappointment as anything else. It's rewarding to see their lyrics and overall approach become as sophisticated as their technical accomplishments.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talented musicians, fun music, catchy tunes, June 26, 2007
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This review is from: Hey Eugene! (Audio CD)
You have to hear this CD, if only for the title song. That one song alone is worth the price of the CD. It's funny! Several songs are in languages other than English which makes it a bit of a stretch for those of us who are accustomed to only our own tongue. Try it, you'll like it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, June 19, 2007
This review is from: Hey Eugene! (Audio CD)
I really like this CD. I have the first two - Hang on Little Tomato and Sympathique - both are really good but I like this one the best. It has the different styles of music that Pink Martini is known for mixing up on their CD's but has a nicer blending of those styles than the other CD's. I enjoy listening to this CD and of course I always enjoy listening to China Forbes wonderful voice.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, May 16, 2007
By 
Inna (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hey Eugene! (Audio CD)
I got this album after hearing their interview on the public radio and wasn't disappointed. The songs are delightful, passionate, with just the rust touch of whimsy. My new summer favorite!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey Eugene - Pink Martini, June 26, 2007
By 
Thomas X. Scott "Tom from France" (Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hey Eugene! (Audio CD)
Pink Martini's third CD is just as good as the other two; eclectic and multi-language, it is a joy to hear. The title track 'Hey Eugene' is a fun story to listen to as well. Too bad this group is not more well-known.
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Hey Eugene!
Hey Eugene! by Pink Martini (Audio CD - 2007)
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