Thursday, June 5, 2008

My New Love

Two new CDs came yesterday in the mail and one of them instantly clicked with me. “Latenight Betty-Pepe & The Bottle Blondes” heavily leans towards Latin beats, so it was not very surprising. But for almost a year I have been avoiding those tunes because they tend to make me blue, bringing memories of people with whom we parted our ways. But from the first notes of “Latenight Betty" the boys and I were dancing and laughing ourselves silly. I think it is impossible not to move or at least not to start smiling while listening to this CD. It has rumba and cha-cha, jazz and swing, tango and salsa, old familiar tunes and new unexpected twists. It is bursting with fun and joy. There are quirky sound effects there- cows, and march and galloping horses, and equally fun lyrics. I think it’s lightness that what did it for – it is playful and humorous, which provides much needed break after reading “Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful” Even reaching the end of this title will make you run for cover..

Today, enjoying the CD again, I was not able to shake off the feeling that I have heard the voice of the singer before. Somewhere between five and six in the evening it dawned on me - he is Pepe Raphael, who sings “La Soledad” in one of the albums of Pink Martini. The arrangement of this song – somnambulistic start of the piano, joining of the cello, the deep voice of the singer - is mesmerizing. Pink Martini was introduced to me by one of my friends about three years ago, and I am very grateful for that. Their first album “Sympathique” remains among my favourites, but I was utterly disappointed with “Hang on Little Tomato.” I liked a few songs there, but overall it seems like a pale shadow of the first one, plus some of the lyrics are nauseating.

Back to Pepe and those Blondes – it is the first CD in several months where I like all the songs. Perhaps after a few weeks my infatuation will wear off, but at the moment as an introduction to the first song goes, “… ladies and gentlemen shake your booties.”

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