- Various Artists
Review: Mister Bond: A Jazzy Cocktail of Ice Cold Themes
2 / 5 Stars
Comprised of one orchestral and ten vocal tracks, Mister Bond: A Jazzy Cocktail of Ice Cold Themes is an interesting German concept album that nevertheless fails in execution. The singers are all excellent and perform with distinction. However, the arrangements for most of the album would help an insomniac fall asleep, which is not a feeling one normally associates with James Bond.
The standouts are four tracks. First, Pat Appleton\'s cover of "Goldeneye" is the best song on the disc. It\'s lively with a rockabilly feel and swinging brass section. Rick Washington transforms "Nobody Does It Better" to an R&B jam, complete with church organ and gospel choir. Jutta Gückel\'s "Tomorrow Never Dies" is a sultry quasi-Latin lounge number. Lastly, "The World is Not Enough" is molded into a bittersweet ballad by the voice of Vanessa Ekpenyong.
However, the rest of the album feels like it comes straight from a department store\'s elevator. The "Dr. No Theme" is a very slow instrumental that saps the life and excitement from the familiarly bombastic melody. "View to a Kill" is calm, adult-contemporary jazz that\'s great for a dentist\'s office. "License to Kill" shares the soprano sax of the other "Kill," causing me to yawn twice. The finger-picked guitar is very relaxing in "The Living Daylights," but it counterpoints the idea of a suave secret agent. Its presence in "For Your Eyes Only" made me yawn three times. Though she has a great voice, this album\'s "Goldfinger" is a tango of funereal tempo, a pale relation to Shirley Bassey\'s rendition. "Die Another Day" morphs into a waiting room bossa nova, far removed from its technopop origins. There\'s nothing wrong with slow-paced music, but transforming James Bond themes into watered-down strains negates their origins. I would rate this a mere two stars out of five. However, this would be three out of five for those with a restless toddler who are looking for new lullabies.
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