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Born, the debut album by four conservatory-trained young women, has little to do with classical music. It's a gimmick, fusing a string quartet of frivolous femmes, spicy girls who all want to be "Posh," with dance beats, a big production mixing their violins, viola, and cello with polished electronics. Taking themselves less than seriously--they played the James Bond theme at their Royal Albert Hall debut--pop "Victory" looks assured. This single bounces along with a dash of Rossini's Barber of Seville and a real sense of pop melodrama, in spirit little different from what guitarist John Williams did with his rather less photogenic band Sky in the late 1970s. What may surprise is that tracks such as the frenetic world-dance "Quixote" are penned by the film composer Magnus Fiennes, brother of the more famous Ralph and Joseph. "Winter" adds Jean Michel Jarre-style synth and voice-over to the ghost of Vivaldi and the infectious beat goes on, and on, and on. Sex sells, and Bond's success seems assured. This is a state-of-the-art product, but with a bonus remix of "Victory" by Mike Batt of Wombles fame, just don't expect it to be art. --Gary S. Dalkin
Asian edition of the classical crossover act's 2001 album includes one bonus track, 'Viva!', which is not included on the domestic version. Decca. 2001.
Includes the bonus track 'Viva' not on the USA version.
I was very surprised to hear the way they played. I listened with
very intense interest in the music of there choice. I enjoyed them very much.
- A first rate disc
I thoroughly enjoyed this CD. I read a review of it in a magazine over two years ago and I acted on a whim and bought it. I couldn't stop listening to it.
Though I had never heard of Bond, I knew this was the kind of music to pass to my siblings, parents and friends.
Once they heard it, they all went out and bought it. Next thing you know, these girls are on the "Today Show" and Leno and everywhere else.
The driving rhythms are simply an electronic stage upon which these classical artists stand.
This CD is a delicious mix of your favorites, updated to meet modern electronica....more info
- A must have for die-hard fans
I fell in love with Bond from the moment I first saw them on CNN's World Beat almost a year ago. The group's pop-infused version of "Victory" woke my ears up from a deep sleep caused by the stagnate of today's music. When I saw that there was another version of "Born" with bonus track "Viva!" and a different version of "Winter" (called "Wintersun"), I immediately had to acquire this other copy of one of my favorite albums of 2001. For me money is not an issue. I am on a quest to acquire anything and everything the group puts out from singles to this new edition of "Born". I was definitely not disappointed in what I heard. "Wintersun" is awesome. I found myself liking the more techno-influenced version of this song over "Winter" on the US release, although "Wintersun" is just over three minutes long. "Viva!" totally rocks. Based on the production and the intro, this track was recorded live. I wished this song was included on the US release but that wasn't my decision to make. All my favorite songs from "Born" is on this cd, from "Belladonna" to "Victory". What gets me the most about Bond is that they have been criticized for plagurizing classical music, well what about Vanessa Mae, Yo Yo Ma and Sarah Brightman? I dont' see people harping about them about plagurizing classical music. Bond just makes classical music more interesting by fusing it with elements of pop and dance music. They make it more accessible and enjoyable for those who normally don't care for classical music. I love classical but frankly it gets rather boring at times listening to it and Bond livens the genre up by combining it with pop music....more info
This album is sheerly amazing. There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe the wonder of the music on this cd. It combines classical themes with a modern beat--a winning combination. I am in awe and envy of the talent displayed by these ladies (and their composers) and will continue to listen.
Keep up the good work! :)...more info
- Fast moving
I heard this group play on TV and decided to pick up a CD. In the process I discovered a new favorite. The selections are up-beat and make for great listening. I am convinced this Great Group of Girls will be around for along time. I applaud their choice and style of music, their appearence and their supurb ability.
Beverly J Scott author of RIGHTEOUS REVENGE and RUTH FEVER...more info
- Awesome Instrumental for Modern Listeners
Bond has transformed the expected sounds of stringed instruments into heavenly tunes for the modern listener. Fans of classical music may well be turned off by their unique sound, but pop, new age, and other open-minded listeners may appreciate their daring use of classic instruments....more info
- Music that u rarely find now
This kind of good music is rarely found now.I have been looking & looking for good modern violin music that combines feelings and life till I found that CD.It combines the modern & classic violin in one strong live, sensetive & emotional Cd
If u are a true sensetive music listener u will adore this Cd.When u see the girls u will love the CD even more.
I consider it one of the best releases lately...more info
- Don't be fooled! There is more to this CD than the girls!
This CD is not just about looking @ the artists! At first, I just borrowed the CD from a friend, which has a rather bland cover. This is the best techno-classical music I have ever heard! In fact, I was confused when I saw the CD in the store; I thought there'd be quite a few musicians, and certainly wasn't expecting four models! This CD doesn't need the artists' looks to b good; just listen to it!...more info
- Great arrangements
I love this CD. I reminds me of Vanessa-Mae's debut CD. I love how the ladies re-create classical hits into electrifying numbers.
Great CD!...more info
- Classical with a twist
The Bond Cd's are great! I got to hear Bond for the first time when I was with a friend of mine and I really didn't know what to make of the sounds of the music at first so I said to my friend "What the heck are you listening to?"...and she was like "Its a group called Bond, they play classical music with funky twist" From then on I was totally psyched! I love it, its got such an arragement of different songs on the cds its just very different from anything you would normally hear. I like it alot!! But then again I love every type of music there is out there......more info
- Whoever thought classical music could be boring?
This CD is perhaps the most exciting I've ever heard. I've listened to "Victory" 10 times after purchasing the CD and will go on playing it. All the other songs are wonderful quality as well. I hope they come out with another CD and SOON!...more info
- Bond Girls Rock!!
The Bond Girls are sensational!!! They capture the audience with their powerful songs. Most songs are in minor keys. Riveting and special, they are wonderfully blessed ....more info
- Energetic crossover classical
The first time I ever heard this group was in a truck stop restroom in Ohio. I knew immediately that this was one CD that I just had to have. I have become very interested in classical music spruced up by modern beats. I first got into this through the recordings of violinist Vanessa Mae. I used to play a string instrument, but I was a cello player, not a violin player; what makes Bond special to me is that this is a group of four string players, one of whom plays cello! The others play violin and viola.
The album is energetic, taking various classical pieces and putting a mostly driving beat behind them. Nothing close to the masterpiece album "Storm" (by Vanessa Mae), but more exciting than Vanessa Mae's follow-up "Subject To Change."...more info
- One of the best instrumentals I have ever heard.
These Bond girls sure know how to play their instruments. You just want to get up and dance. I could listen to it all day. I just wish there were more to purchase. The finest music I have heard in a long time. Come on Bonds, record some more....more info
- Millenium Bonds Classical and Pop/Dance
At the start of the new Millenium a group of professional musicians Classicly trained on violins, a viola, and cello, realized there was only one way to hit it big...
Violinists Haylie Ecker and Eos, violist Tania Davis, and celloist Gay-Yee Westerhoff fused their Classical background to that of Pop/Dance music. With the release of their debut album, Bond hit the Mainstream ears with a vengence all their own. Performing pieces with the basis of Classical music adding Pop/Dance beats, sounds, and feels, it was clear that old music would never be lost; it would simply be updated to present times. Everything from Classical music is here: the sounds, effects, beats, times, counterpoint, choral voices, movenment of musical lines and voices, but with the addition of Pop/Dance instrumentation. The most interesting piece off this album has to be "The 1812", which is Bond's interpretation of The 1812 Overature. This album is a work of art with a great display of how music changes over a vast period of time....more info
- I'm Born again with Bond! Thanks, ladies!
A review of Bond's Born in A+ major
Allegro con brio (150 BPM)
Bond provide the missing link between techno and classical music. The difference between this and albums like the Never Mind The Beethoven compilation is that Bond's album is techno-classical. The other is classical-techno. Get it? Got it? Good.
The techno blast and the way the form a backbeat to the strings is simply outstanding and amazing, especially in "Quixote", and the lovely and danceable "Winter."
Both the original version of the vivacious "Victory" and the truncated Mike Batt remix serve as breath of much needed fresh air. It was seeing the video for this song, the novelty of their sound, and the impish smile of one of the girls that led me to buy Born.
Gay-Yee has a noteworthy cello solo in the middle of the epic "Oceanic." I'm not sure what the original tune to this was, but the way she and her comrades do this fantasy-like tune is sweet. "Kismet" is done in the same vein.
Andante (175 BPM)
Go! "Alexander The Great" is a majestic 2:59 burst of strings and techno, whose energy and brief running time parallels the all-too brief life of the Macedonian warlord who conquered the known world at that time.
The violin, presumably Haylie, and Tania on the viola are the stars of "Duel." The melodic Eos-composed "Bella Donna" leads into their own take on Tchaikovsky's "The 1812," complete with the crash boom bam of the kettle drum/cannon finale. I'm not sure that Piotr Ilyich foresaw electric guitar and techno synthesizers as part of his overture. Wonder what he would think.
Scherzo (200 BPM)
"Dalalai" opens with an electric sitar, and has vague influences of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. "Hymn" is an soothing elegiac tune that should be played while one is relaxing in a patio chair sipping tea or lemonade, looking at the tranquil back garden.
Second violinist Eos' quote in her profile coincides with me: "I love music that pushes boundaries..." Bond's music does just that, as she further affirms. Having played before the Queen and several Heads of States in her native Australia, she impresses me the most. Wait! I'm impressed with the others too!
In her profile in Born's album sleeve, violist Tania Davis explains who this album is for: "Bond will appeal to people who would normally be intimidated by a classical concert." In other words, people who are put off by the black tie and tails, high art image of classical music. However, I wouldn't recommend Bond to white trash either. But getting back to Tania's statement, here are four talented ladies wearing summer dresses, tank tops, and jeans. Now if that isn't a more welcoming and disarming image, what is? Well, actually, Bond did try that, but their Puritan album company, Decca, nixed a nude cover of them, so...
Finale (250 BPM)
Unfortunately, the bourgeois, snobbish, nose-in-the-air and up-their-you-know-what neophytes do not count this as classical. What's more, they were snubbed by the British Classical Awards earlier this spring. So, is Bond classical? Heck yes! What about the techno in there? Who cares? Just put on your T-shirt, shorts, whatever, lose the penguin suits, and get ready for with Bond, strings, shaken and stirred, and sassy! You are invited!...more info
- A very upbeat kind of classical crossover
There are well over a hundred reviews on the CD page for this album, with widely varying evaluations. Some people hate it (including the Amazon editor), and some love it. My wife would hate the strong dance beat, but I appreciate the addition of rhythm instruments to Classical Crossover, even if it is a synthesizer. In the case of "Born" the beat seems to dominate the music a bit too much, but some people will like that. So if you want to listen to a fast-paced string quartet with a strong dance beat, this is your ticket.
- How to make money with "classical" music out of school...
This album is not bad, but it didn't reach me the way I thought it would... The ladies are good players I'm sure, and the music is not so bad either, but I got tired of those series of harmonics sequence without a melody, almost always starting with the same string only introduction, followed by an upbeat backing of techno bass and rythm. For me, it's better to stick to the original form of either classic, and if you want disco or techno, get Daft Punk or the Chemical Bros...!...more info
I am a lover of recognizable classical music. These gals give a lighthearted lift to the music produced on instruments referred to as "classical music makers". It's a great CD to listen to while commuting to and from the workplace....more info
- Now, that's more like it!
Having purchased Bond's "Remixed" CD as my initial exposure to the group (see my review, "Junk", for that CD), I took a number of other reviewers' advice and bought the "Born" CD. This is what I had in mind!
While still relying to a considerable extent on "techno" augmentation, the group's individual artistic talents are more evident and highlighted on this CD. Going in, you have to understand and accept that Bond's style is not in strict adherence to typical classical motifs. But the "Born" CD demonstrates a significant level of innovation,energy and dedication to this particular style.
Not every track is a winner. "Kismet", "Korobushko" and "Alexander the Great" are especially unique and memorable in their combining of various ethnically evocative themes. You'll sense a bit of Greek, Gypsy, Russian and Yiddish influences. On the other hand, the "1812" track is pointless and a waste of plastic.
If you have an awareness of and an interest in the style represented by the Bond group, this CD is recommended....more info
- Great Album with some flaws...
01. Quixote - 9/10 This is a really cool song, whose only flaw is the annoying vocal in the beginning-- but that's just my opinion. Great way to start of album.
02. Winter - 8/10 Catchy, and the part at the end is good
03. Victory - 2/10 This song is so annoying and I hate it! I can't believe this was the first single...
04. Oceanic - 10/10 This song is EXTREMELY good... that's all I could say...
05. Kismet - 7/10 This song would be better without the weird sound effects (like a UFO landing) without the sound effects, it would be a 10/10... Excellent job by Gay-Yee!
06. Korobushka - 7/10 It is pretty good, but it takes too long to speet up.
07. Alexander The Great - 9/10 It is really really good!
08. Duel - 10/10 I LOVE THIS SONG! ESPECIALLY THE PIZZCATO (sp?)PARTS
09. Bella Donna - 5/10 It is okay, but it isnt their greatest song.
10. 1812 Overture - 11/10 THIS IS THE BEST SONG EVER!! it starts slow and it speeds up perfectly, but the only flaw is the pitch and speed drop. The live version (on the DVD) is so much better because they cut it out.
11. Dalalai - 7/10 It is pretty much an okay song with a slow beat.
12. Hymn - 9/10 It is really good, and it is pretty much the only track without percussion.
13. Victory (mike batt mix) - Like I said, I hate this song, and the electric guitar doesn't help either.
If it was possible, i would have given it 4.5 stars. Bond is great!...more info
- BORN to listen to their kind of MUSIC
I first seen Bond in T.V. It's their live concert in London at the Royal Albert Hall. It was a very great one, having string quartet playing classical melodies and modern type of music whatever you call it. Their album Born which sells over two and a half million copies especially around asia.
I think everyone who goes with different types of music should really have one especially now that they already have their second album....more info
- a glossy package, with not much substance
Someone really cooked up a dish here, with a fine concoction of ingredients, simmered to a glossy shine. It is "Lite" all the way, with a mixture of gypsy-Spanish-new-age-classical-Middle-Eastern-pop, and borrows from so many sources it makes one's head spin.
With four beautiful women as soloists: Haylie Ecker/First Violin; Eos/Second Violin; Tania Davis/Viola; Gay-Lee Westerhoff/Cello, and a large orchestra to back them, this reminds me a little bit of Yanni's Acropolis venture, but with less cohesion, less genuine creativity, and more packaging.
All the tracks are pleasant and would make terrific background music, with the exception of # 10, "The 1812". I find the original Tchaikovsky composition hard to take, and this version is over six minutes of aural pain.
There are 2 cuts of "Victory", the marvelous tune used for the television ad that made Bond so famous. It was perhaps the only ad in history that many of us increased the volume on, rather than using the mute button.
I give this CD 4 stars for production, polish, and sheer chutzpah. The insert booklet has profiles and photos of the four lovely musicians, and the total time is 61:27....more info
- ordinary man on the street loves the bond DVD/CD
I was surprised to see the amazon.com review of this Bond-Born CD. I have both the CD and the DVD-Live at Royal Albert Hall and have shared it with friends and we all love it immensely. I call it high-adreneline classical music. My only negative critique is that on the DVD, the voice-interviews with the girls is of such poor sound quality that it is hard to hear what they are saying. I highly recommend both the CD and the DVD to music lovers. Perhaps if you only love traditional classical music you may not love it but if you like good music in all its forms you'll love this....more info
- Excellent New-Ageish Classical Album
Bond's debut albumn "Born" offers an interesting fusion of classical and pop sounds with a new age spin. Bond, a "created" group of four classically-trained instrumentalists, performs excellent music for a wide audience.
Though many may be drawn to the albumn by the supermodel looks of Bond's members, their musical talents are well-demonstrated by their performances on the albumn. Although classical purists may be dismayed, fans of Vanessa-Mae's arranged violin pop albumns will appreciate the sound of Bond, and the blend of electronic sounds and classical strings ensures a broad appeal....more info
- Not necessarily "classical," but still excellent
As a maniacal fan of "true" classical music, I bristled when pop charts hailed Bond's "Born" as "the best classical CD to come out in years." After hearing the music on this CD, however, I've changed my tune on the pop quartet. While I still don't consider this music truly "classical," it definitely draws its influence from classical structure and classical style (the string players all display a very Romantic-era technique), and specifically includes several classical motifs--"Winter," for example, is based off a theme from the Vivaldi concerto of the same name; "Victory" employs the theme from the "Barber of Seville" overture, and the main line in "Duel" is another classical motif (whose name, unfortunately, is escaping me at the moment). Initially I was opposed to using these fine works as the basis for what's essentially technopop music, but the sheer energy and style of the performers made me take another listen. This music doesn't quite have a counterpart anywhere else, and that's what makes it so fascinating--as I mentioned, it's clearly classical/romantic in structure, and yet the energetic rhythms and pulsating drive are a nod to the music of today. Happily, Bond avoids synthesized techno drumbeats and most of the other gimmicks, using techno rhythms as a background to underscore the string playing--which is, indeed, virtuosic. What impresses me most is the range of musical influence the players were able to showcase--"Winter" and "Victory" are cut from the German/Italian classical mold, while "Korobushka" is a brash Russian piece (starting softly and building to an energetic climax, a la Gliere's "Russian Sailors' Dance") and the veiled strains of "Kismet" and more upbeat "Dalalai" showcase a definite Eastern influence. On the other hand, the haunting "Oceanic" and the solemn "Hymn" could have been pulled out of English or American contemporary life. I still found some sticking points with this CD, most notably that the tracks I didn't mention all seemed to blend together for me, with only the six or seven tracks noted above standing out in my mind. I particularly didn't take to Bond's reworking of Tchaikovsky's "1812" overture (in the aptly titled "The 1812,") which was more or less techno-ized motifs from the Tchaikovsky piece with no real originality. Still, seven good tracks out of fourteen is a good bargain for me, with "Victory" being a particular standout--of all of Bond's experiments with "modernizing" and innovating classical music, this track is easily the biggest success. It pulses with energy, clearly connected musical motives and, above all, incredible instrument playing from everyone involved. Overall, this CD could either offend or attract lovers of 18th and 19th century music, but the bottom line is that no one else has brought classical music into the new millennium the way the four women of Bond have, and that, if nothing else, makes this CD worth owning....more info
- Great Bond
I'm new at enjoying instrumental music but I really like this cd. I think I will be buying more like it....more info
- amazing music
This is an amazing cd that incorporates a love for gorgeous classical music with a modern, vivacious, vibrant twist. I rarely buy cd's and listening to this inspired me to buy the next one, 'Shine.' I highly reccommend this alubum!...more info
I read all of the 1 and 2 star rating on this CD and just had to laugh. "Bond" could have recorded this in a more traditional classical music manor and most likely it would have faded into the back ground making them little money. Guess what musicians need to eat, they like nice things just every body else dose. This style draws in a greater number of listeners to enjoy their music and they can make a few "bucks" along the way. So get over your self. The is a truly an OUTSTANDING CD and I highly recommend it to all, even if classical music is not your style, you just might like this....more info
This is the most non talented group of hussies I've ever heard....more info