Favorite

Portland Cello Project: The Thao and Justin Power Sessions (Kill Rock Stars) 

The Portland Cello Project is made up of anywhere from eight to 10 Oregon-based, classically trained cellists who get together and put a cello spin on all kinds of nonclassical music, from Justin Timberlake to Salt-N-Pepa—basically, what you'd expect from a group that calls themselves an "indie cello orchestra." So, it follows that a record from the group would be fabulous: After all, cello versions of indie, pop, metal and/or rock songs, and new arrangements of traditional/classical songs, can't be boring.

But The Thao and Justin Power Sessions is, sadly enough, a little boring. On it, the Project's second CD, they add their cello touch to a few songs by both titular artists (who are, incidentally, married) as well as a Pantera song ("Mouth for War"), a tango piece ("Por Una Cabeza"), a choral work based on a William Blake poem (John Tavener's "The Lamb") and a Norfolk and Western song ("Turkish Wine"). At times, the result is striking, as with the cello smacks and tumult on "Mouth for War," and the high-pitched crying on Power's "Hungry Liars."

But Thao's songs sound merely like near-Muzak versions with the vocal track accidentally left on. "Geography" is a little drunker, "Violet" a little prettier, and "Tallymarks" a little sadder, but the operative word here is "little."

Mostly, The Thao and Justin Power Sessions is a great showcase for Powers' excellent songs, but more dramatic interpretations or new collaborations would have elevated this from a nice record into something much more interesting.

More by Annie Holub

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In The Next 10 Days

Nine Questions: DJQ

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Guitar Hero

    Tucson-raised Robby Lochner always managed to earn a living with his guitar. Then his discipline inspired new life in a suicidal nostalgia act.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Vintage Vinyl Tucson

    This week: The Spiders 'Don’t Blow Your Mind' b/w 'No Price Tag'
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation