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Explosive: The Best of Bond [DualDisc]

Explosive: The Best of Bond [DualDisc]

4.7 13
by Bond

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If the women of crossover string quartet Bond have anything to say about it, the classical music of the 21st century will never sound -- or look -- the same again. Ever since releasing their danceable debut, Born, in 2001, they've been shaking up the music world with their fresh and exuberant approach, augmenting


If the women of crossover string quartet Bond have anything to say about it, the classical music of the 21st century will never sound -- or look -- the same again. Ever since releasing their danceable debut, Born, in 2001, they've been shaking up the music world with their fresh and exuberant approach, augmenting their sound with techno beats, sitar, Spanish guitar, and full orchestra, and always sounding larger than life. If you've been resisting Bond's charms so far, Explosive is the album for you. It's impossible not to smile -- and start tapping your feet -- when you hear what they've done with bits of Rossini (the Barber of Seville overture on "Victory") or Vivaldi (The Four Seasons on the irrepressible "Viva"). There's enough new material here to make it a must for Bond's diehard fans, too. Taking highlights from the group's first three releases and adding in two songs in previously unreleased versions, the set concludes with three brand-new tracks, and the dual-disc package also offers a DVD of videos showing the fab foursome in action. In fact, the three new songs are among the group's finest moments, especially the Nutcracker spin-off "Sugar Plum," which plays with glitchy electronica in one of their most clever arrangements yet. Add in the jazzy "Caravan" and the ominous "Carmina," and it seems Bond have enough tricks up their sleeves -- make that sleeveless gowns -- to keep on exploding the pop/classical boundary for a long time to come.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
Explosive gathers 12 highlights from Bond's three studio albums. It also includes the previously unreleased "Carmina," "Caravan," and "Sugar Plum." It's kind of a strange time for the U.K. quartet to put out a collection like this. For one thing, discounting the new material, it's relatively brief. On the other hand, Explosive might be a way for Bond to further establish their slick amalgam of classical instrumentation, worldbeat, and dance music flourish. In that sense Explosive is a primer, a guidebook, a showcase; for Bond's established fans, it's a succinct album survey with the incentive of bonus content. Released in DualDisc format, the set includes music videos for the title track, "Victory," and "Fuego," as well as a photo gallery and the entire album in 5.1 Surround Sound. As usual, in the artwork and photography Bond have refused to be staid or classical. Explosive features Haylie Ecker, Eos Chater, Tania Davis, and Gay-Yee Westerhoff dressed to the hilt and surrounded by vibrant flora. As they've always done, particularly with 2003's Classified, the quartet stands boldly behind its style, no matter the naysayers. Of course, the usual criticisms do apply. Pieces like "Duel," "Viva!," and "Caravan" move well. But their gleaming intersection of flighty chamber instruments and relentlessly jaunty electronics tries so hard to be irrepressible that it can have the opposite effect. When that happens, Bond's music ends up at the border between the ultramodern and sounds for the background. (Much of Explosive would be perfect scene-setting music for the arrival of Lara Croft or a certain gentleman spy in some far-flung urban locale.) But Bond fans don't struggle with these questions of validity, and for them (or the casual, curious listener) Explosive is a worthy pickup.

Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bond   Primary Artist
Beatmasters   Synthesizer
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Track Performer
Tim Bran   Keyboards
Dave "Clem" Clempson   Guitar,Electric Sitar
Anita Kelsey   Vocals
London Session Orchestra   Track Performer
Guy Pratt   Bass
Craig Pruess   Conductor,Sitar,Tamboura,Mandola
Paul Spong   Trumpet
Philip Todd   Saxophone,EWI
Gavyn Wright   Conductor
Gareth Cousins   Synthesizer
Rony Barrak   Percussion,Darbouka
Matt Dunkley   Conductor
Eduardo Alarcón Leal   Keyboards
Julian Kershaw   Conductor
Gay-Yee Westerhoff   Cello,Group Member
London Metropolitan Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Haylie Ecker   Violin,Group Member
Tania Davis   Viola,Group Member
Eos Chater   Violin,Group Member
Adam Pickard   Keyboards
Ben Gant   Trumpet
Kuljit Balma   Percussion,Tabla
Eduard Botric   Keyboards
Niksa Bratos   Guitar
Pavlos Doukanares   Bouzouki
Peter Huntington   Percussion,Keyboards
Ivica Murat   Flute
Shashi Pandit   Vocals
Damir Somen   Drums

Technical Credits

Carl Orff   Composer
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky   Composer
Antonio Vivaldi   Composer
Beatmasters   Programming,Producer
Mike Batt   Arranger
Duke Ellington   Composer
Clive Goddard   Engineer
Peter Lazonby   Arranger,Programming,Producer
Craig Pruess   Arranger,Director,String Arrangements
Juan Tizol   Composer
Gavyn Wright   Orchestra Leader
Gareth Cousins   Producer,Audio Production
Adam Brown   Engineer
Matt Dunkley   Arranger
Magnus Fiennes   Composer,Programming,Producer,Audio Production
Eduardo Alarcón Leal   Programming,Producer
Gill Brown   Composer
Ric Featherstone   Programming,Engineer
Keith Uddin   Engineer
Mitch Jenkins   Cover Photo
Yoad Nevo   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Jane Harrison   Producer
Paul Chessell   Art Direction
Adam Pickard   Programming
Saffie Ashtiany   Director
Andrej Bako   Programming
Eduard Botric   Arranger,Programming,Producer
Niksa Bratos   Producer
Tonci Huljic   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Peter Huntington   Programming
Remi Kazinoti   Arranger,String Arrangements
Charlie Langella   Cover Photo
Denise Larkin   Producer
Paul Morgans   Director
Nenad Siskov   Arranger
Thomas Bowes   Orchestra Leader
Bond   Arranger,Composer
Phil da Costa   Engineer
Wil Malone   Arranger,String Arrangements

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Explosive: The Best of Bond 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Tama2toe More than 1 year ago
An amazing group with a new sound that people are not trying to duplicate. A friend introduced me to this and fell for the passionate songs they wrote or covered. They could never be placed in a category, classical, instrumental, etc. Nothing fit and they just kept playing not caring their fans did not care either just as long as they, we could get a hold of their music.