about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_eklipse_anightinstrings001006.jpg
First thing to point out is that this album was never going to work for me. String arrangements of pop songs were never going to be a winner: it’s an affront to classical music and good pop to degrade them both in such a way. On the plus side, I wouldn’t complain if I looked like any one of them. What you should be aware of is that there’s nothing “alternative” about this at all; there are thousands of albums like this made by classical session musicians. The only thing that makes this even vaguely “gothic” is the fact these session musicians are clad in PVC and corsets: this is their niche. Stylistically, they’re a very attractive bunch and I’m sure that they’ll gain legions of fans on the back of that (protest if you wish but that is how it works) and they know as much because 98% of their schtick seems to come from their image with the odd “oh, and they can play their instruments” thrown in for good measure when it’s all getting a bit too saccharine.

I’d love to pick out a song and say that they did a blisteringly good job at it but, truth be told, they’ve taken ten well-known songs and managed to make them all sound pretty much indistinguishable, which is almost a gift in itself. In all fairness, I’m not familiar with the theme songs they’ve covered so they could be amazing versions but as stand-alone tracks they just blend in with the rest. That in itself suggests not. It’s all instrumental lift music with, and I think this might be the thing that riles me most about this genre as a whole; the vocals also performed using twee strings. The best way to describe it is sounding, and essentially being, one of those albums they play in hotel restaurants when they’re trying to be “cool” but then it just ends up ruining your meal because your entire conversation is based around “this sounds really familiar… don’t tell me, I’ll get it in the minute”. If you like this sort of thing though, I’d advise you to go on Amazon and type in “String Quartet Tribute to” and you’ll find enough of the same to keep you going.
Review by Siân Williams
30th March 2012
1) Wonderful Life
2) In the End
3) New Moon - Them
4) Home
5) Cry Me a River
6) Cloudbusting
7) Paparazzi
8) Run
9) Mumbai - Theme
10) Clocks
"String arrangements of pop songs were never going to be a winner: it’s an affront to classical music and good pop to degrade them both in such a way."