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Portland Cello Project

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
From the album title and group name Portland Cello Project, one might assume this is a contemporary classical recording, which turns out to be partly correct, although it might be more accurate to describe the music as a hybrid of contemporary classical and indie chamber pop. The inner sleeve of the CD package proclaims, "The Portland Cello Project on this album is," followed by 14 names, suggesting that the group members may be different next time around. This time, the massed celli manage some varied sounds, augmented here and there by piano, guitar, and percussion. Two-thirds of the tracks have vocals, by a number of different vocalists, transforming them into indie pop-oriented art songs. "Toxic" (featuring John Brophy of the Gingerbread Patriots) finds the singer lamenting, "I'm addicted to you/Don't you know that you're toxic?" On "Stay," the singer is accompanied by an arrangement consisting of the celli playing pizzicato for a highly percussive, energetic effect. The overall style may not be quite punk-classical, but it takes the sort of eclectic approach embraced by the Kronos Quartet a step further. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi