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"No matter how Pink Martini gets described, there's always an element being overlooked, a reliance on phrases such as lounge, cosmopolitan rumba, or neo-classical that only tells part of this rich story. Impressive at every musician's station, this ensemble produces music that's charming and elegant." -- VARIETY
Pink Martini--the genre-bending, best-selling, supremely talented, and raucously fun twelve-piece ensemble that the New Yorker calls simply "beautiful," sophisticated," and "breathtaking"--returns with Hey Eugene! a twelve-track sonic journey anchored by deft songwriting and a no-holds-barred dose of cabaret showmanship. "We're kind of like musical archaeologists, bringing melodies and rhythms from different parts of the world together to create something that is modern," explains bandleader, artistic director, and founder Thomas Lauderdale.
Delivered with sultry grace by lead singer China Forbes, Hey Eugene! shines throughout--from the golden-era Hollywood melody of "Everywhere" to the French cabaret of "Ojala." Other collaborations anchor the set as well: the pan-world "Dosvedanya, Mio Bombino" with its Latin-meets-Russian beat and globetrotting subject matter, plus the Forbes-Lauderdale-penned sexy sway of "City of Night." Peruvian percussionist Martin Zarzar debuts the romantically complex "Mar Desconocido" and bassist Phil Baker adds the quiet beauty of "Cante e Dance." The group also mines the past for hidden gems, including the Japanese-language track "Taya Tan" and their first-ever recording in Arabic, "Bukra wba'do." Meanwhile, clever lyricism leads to an empowering dose of pop perfection on the title track by Forbes (about a boy she met at a party who asked for her number and never called). Finally, jazz legend Jimmy Scott makes a stunning vocal guest appearance in a duet with Forbes on the closing song "Tea for Two."
With Hey Eugene! Pink Martini has returned with an exhilarating album full of uncompromising musicianship, hope, beauty, and joy!
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Cool cover, too!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Where have I been the last 20 yrs
& not heard about this amazing group
If You never have heard "Pink Martini" then You are in for a treat.Published 4 months ago by Anthony Peale