Hey Eugene!

Studio Album by released in 2007
Hey Eugene!'s tracklist:
Everywhere
Tempo perdido
Mar desconocido
Taya Tan
City of Night
Ojala
Bukra Wba'do
Cante e dance
Hey Eugene
Syracuse
Dosvedanya mio bombino
Tea for Two

Hey Eugene! review

Pink Martini are inspired with pre-rock'n'roll era

Probably the easiest way to describe Pink Martini's music would be posing it as a modern representation of old black and white movie soundtracks. However, even though this comparison is quite suitable, in reality the matter is much more complicated. First of all this 12-piece mini orchestra doesn't confine within one musical direction, this is rather a mix of jazz, swing, classics, latin and God knows what else. Secondly the musicians are using a so to say international approach in songwriting process, one can find traces of Italian, Spanish, American, French music, they take the aesthetics of different cultures, blend it in different proportions and frequently perform songs in the original languages. Still the main feature of the band is their strong inspiration with pre-rock'n'roll era – a rare phenomenon nowadays – but it brought Pink Martini a worldwide recognition and growing commercial success, the band used to appear in numerous film soundtracks, including The Sopranos. In this year Pink Martini released their third album Hey Eugene! – another gorgeous collection of lounge retro songs that showcase a new geography of the band's musical borrowings and enriched sounding.

Pink Martini expand their musical focus

The first thing to mention about Hey Eugene! is Pink Martini's expanded musical focus. Though the album still carries a Latina/bossa nova driven songs, which marked their first two albums the number of different cultural influences has notably increased. For example, Burka Wbado is the band's first attempt to dive into Arabic music's legacy and Dosvedanya Mio Bambino features elements of Italian and Russian tunes. However the core of Hey Eugene! remains on the territory of retro styles. All the songs, no matter of what origins they are, represented in the light of this genres. Taya Tan for example was meant to be a Japanese song, but its national characteristics are conveyed quite weakly, yet on the other hand retro feel was done just perfectly. The song reminds a gentle lullaby especially when strings and fairy xylophone chime comes up in the chorus. At times the band blends styles together, for instance in Franco-lingual track Ojala, which sounds as a cabaret song from 30's you can find purely Mexican trumpet phrases. Yet many of the songs stick to definite genres. The brightest stylistically stable pieces are probably Latin American Tempo Perdido and great jazzy Tea For Two where Pink Martini's songstress China Forbes duets with 81-year-old jazz legend Jimmy Scott.

Hey Eugene! represents a vast range of retro styles

The most significant advantage of the album lies in the diversity of the songs. Yes, they all have the same retro sprit but for all that they represent the whole range and breadth of genres of that time. Golden age Hollywood splendor, magnificence and grandeur of Broadway musicals, old movie charm – you may find all these things here and everything is represented in all possible variants, slow and up-tempo, loud and gentle, but always highly professional, there are no trite musical missteps. The most special thing that should be noted is unbelievable talent of China Forbes. Her voice sounds simply perfect, it suites to every song and she sings in all languages without any difficulty. She is a phenomenal singer. It is impossible to describe - the songs just need listening. Pink Martini is a mater of taste. But still, the material of this really unique band is worth acquaintance, even you're not a big fan of this kind of music. The more so because the record is made in a very good quality, it sounds close to retro, it seems like they used the same approach in mixing and effects usage. The quality, of course, is higher than in 50's. So don't waste your time, turn it on and listen, Pink Martini deserve the closest attention. 

(24.05.2007)
Rate review3.75
Total votes - 12


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