Monday, February 25, 2008


A year or more ago, my friend, ME, put me onto Pink Martini. I've since become a devotee. I absolutely love their music. And part of what makes their music so enjoyable is vocalist China Forbes. Her vocal range is enchanting, her abilities as a lyricist / songwriter are amusing, and her personality is warm. Combine her talents with those of Harvard classmate Thomas Lauderdale and you have a selection of music that is fun, lively, and easy on the ear.

I wish I could say the same of Ms. Forbes' recently released solo album '78. She certainly retains all that makes her enchanting, but this album just feels flat on the ear. The lyrics are poetic, but the delivery isn't there. '78 brings anticipation of originality and delivers redundancy; each successive selection sounds the same as the one that preceded it.

I'd love to give this album five stars, but I can't and I'm being generous giving it two stars. Maybe my opinion will change with a few more listens, but right now, I'm just not groovin' on this album.

All that said, it's not going to stop me from enjoying this Friday's performance by Pink Martini at the Kennedy Center. I'm going with my sister! Yeah!


Anonymous said...

Yeah! You'll have fun, I'm sure.

I always wonder how musical artists keep coming up with original and at the same time great numbers. Apparently, it doesn't always happen. I have made a mental note to look for one of the Pink Martini CDs next time I'm shopping for music.

I stumbled onto an obscure, original, fantastic band called "Taarka" the other day. My favorite songs from their concert aren't even recorded onto CDs yet. The violinist/lead singer was great with child, and I'm afraid they might disappear for a while after the baby is born.

Oh well. It was kind of fun "discovering" them, though.

ME said...

Wow, didn't know China Forbes was doing solo stuff. Sad to hear it's not as All That as her work with Pink Martini.

Hope you feel better by concert time!

D.C. Confidential said...

Phoebe, I presume? It is interesting how artists' work seems to fluctuate. You get an album that's outstanding and then you get one that sounds like they phoned it in. I'll check out Taarka; the name alone intrigues me...

ME: Yeah, she's got her own album. I may be missing something deeper and more nuanced with her solo work and may be too hasty in my assessment. Still... Maybe she'll perform a number or two from her new material this weekend. It may be much better live, just like Pink Martini is so much better live...

I'll return and report.

ME said...

Please do!

I listened to the solo version of "Hey, Eugene" on the web site and it just didn't connect the same way pared down as it does with the whole roiling little orchestra backing her up.

Maybe it's having all different band members? I dunno. I'm sad I didn't like China's solo work better. Loves me the PM, though.