After listening to this album, I did not think the songs are from the same album or even the same band because the styles are so different. They have Latin, jazz, classic pop, folk, pop, and classical. They also have different languages such as English, French, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese. I was so excited about listening to Chinese because my mother language is Chinese. It is really good to hear somebody who sings in your own language when you study abroad.
Pink Martini is a band originally from Portland, Oregon that started playing in 1994 by pianist Thomas Lauderdale. Describing itself as a “little orchestra,” its music crosses genres just like I mentioned before. The main songwriter and lead vocalist for Pink Martini is China Forbes. I think the lead vocal is very important because with so many different kinds of music, the singer should be like an actress. Her voice should fit in every kind of music. For instance, in the song “Sway”, China Forbes’ voice is very lazy but mellow. In the song “Ich Dich Liebe”, her voice is jazzy and upbeat, it makes me want to move and dance.
There are two very special songs which are “Zundoko” and “I’m Waiting for You.” They caught my attention because the languages are Japanese and Chinese which are both from Asia. The song “I’m Waiting for You” is actually an old song from Shanghai. The time can go back to 1949. Every Chinese, Taiwanese or even people who speak Chinese know this song. This song is extremely popular.
I respect the pianist, Thomas Lauderdale, who also does a lot of arranging. I think people who can arrange or compose a song are very talented. In my opinion, writing lyrics is easier than composing. I also like the way he arranged the song called “Yo Te Quiero Siempre.” It is like vocal music but not dull. The piano in the very beginning made me want to keep listening to it.
In short, you can enjoy this album when you are reading, working on your papers or trying to relax. This is a kind of music that you can treat just as background music or you can pay close attention to. The fantastic combination of music, instruments and languages always bring me surprises.
Tina (Yun-Chen) Wu