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|3.0 good||Nick Butler STAFF | February 21st 08|
It kind of annoys me that most people these days will only encounter Cathy Berberian through this album, mostly by proxy - tracks from here show up on compilation albums with such tasteful titles as The Weird Beatles, The Funny Beatles, Crap Beatles, whatever. Man, this is the woman behind Stripsody and Omaggio A Joyce and Aria With Fontana Mix and however many other pieces. John Cage and Igor Stravinsky both wrote tributes to her, she was that respected in the classical world. Whatever.
So basically it's an album of Beatles covers, sung in an operatic style, with basic backing provided mostly by harpsichord and a string quartet. Okay, in fairness, it's pretty unbearable unless you're really in the mood for it, and you can't imagine that anyone in the world would listen to this over the originals, any other arias, or any other Cathy Berberian offerings (depending on why you're investigating this). But it's fun and it's funny, and if you take it for what it is then it's a very well made record. The only reworking that's 'bad' per se is "Eleanor Rigby", but that's balanced out by "Ticket To Ride" and "Help!", which are both near-genius. Your enjoyment of this will depend almost entirely on your appreciation for, and tolerance of, novelty, but if you can get over yourself and enjoy this at face value then it's certainly worth a listen.
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