Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I discovered Pink Martini a couple of years ago while taking lindy hop lessons at Jitterbugs in Singapore.

I was introduced to them via PM's former male vocalist's band, Pepe and the Bottle Blondes. Pepe Raphael, the aforementioned male vocalist, had left Pink Martini to set up Bottle Blondes, the group responsible for the one song which will never fail to make me laugh even when I'm completely serious about dancing - "I Want Some Lovin'". The song is a mixture of Mandarin lyrics and Louis Prima's "I Want Some Lovin'" and while the singer does a commendable job in singing the Mandarin parts, she does so with such a Caucasian accent that I can't help but be amused whenever I hear it.

While scouring the Internet for more information regarding this song, I stumbled across Pink Martini and fell in love with their most famous song to date, "Sympathique", and promptly picked up a copy of their album, also titled Sympathique, from Djangos (a highly recommended store which also had The Bottle Blondes' Latenight Betty in stock). From then on, Sympathique became a listening staple of mine. The title track helped get me through days when I was feeling thoroughly unmotivated (if you don't get it, just translate the French lyrics into English) while I fell in love with the haunting melody of "Que Sera Sera" and was entranced by the sheer joy that is "Brazil".

So it was with bated breath that I awaited the release of their second album, Hang On Little Tomato, coming seven years after their debut album. Hang On is a little more melancholic as compared to Sympathique, but on the whole, it's just as strong and mesmerising a listen as their debut effort. I especially liked the title track (inspired by a ketchup ad) which helped get me through a recent episode of heart-bruise.

All in all, Pink Martini is a fantastic band who I would love to see given half a chance. Don't make me wait another seven years for the next album!

CDs (at
Pink Martini - Sympathique
Pink Martini - Hold On Little Tomato
Pepe and the Bottle Blondes - Latenight Betty

Pink Martini - Sympathique (Album review at Epinions)
Chic combo 'Pink Martini' mixes up a musical cocktail (Album review at
Pepe and the Bottle Blondes - Latenight Betty (Album review at CD Baby)

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