Fanfare Ciocarlia – Queens and Kings
Reviewed by Sadie O., 3/5/08
Romanian gypsy brass band with multinational Romani guest vocalists and a significant dose of sheer wildness. Like all Fanfare Ciocarlia CDs, this is gonzo, nuts, delicious, excellent – do NOT pass this by! It might just be the best damn thing your ears ever knew.
FCCs? Nothing in English! Check tracks 3, 5, 6, 14 – but play it all!
1. **big build up, then nicely syncopated midtempo strut. Vocals on chorus are particularly nice.
2. ***uptempo wiggle with flamenco vocals. Schweeet!
3. ****uptempo and a bit goofy sounding – like the soundtrack to an old Merrie Melodies cartoon. Wild!
4. **slow ooom-pah, quite serious and dramatic, female vocals, quite exotic sounding.
5. ****a bit uptempo with some gorgeous flamenco guitar and singing.
6. *****wow! Vocal tabla intro, then insanely cool midtempo crawl, female vocals – this is so great it’s making me cry! Serious!
7. ***hyperspeed with fine female vocals with a cry in them. This woman is a star – read the guest biographies at the end of the booklet. Mad horn solo, too!
8. **very slow and slinky with passionate male vocals – this one will steal your girlfriend if you’re not careful.
9. ***very uptempo and high energy, with yells and general wildness, more terrific female vocals.
10. ***more of the superstar female vocals as track 7, with plenty of drama. Oooh, goosebumps! Hyperspeed chorus between vocal bits.
11. ***downtempo and very slinky, basically a sexy tango, male vocals. gets a twist in the rhythm with the clarinet solo, turns belly-dancey... whew!
12. **hyperspeed with whoops, high male vocals. Coolest clarinet solo ever.
13. **dramatic horn intro, equally dramatic male vocals. Never does get a beat, rather like a dirge. Ends a few seconds shy.
14. ****uptempo ooom-pah with insane vocals. You wouldn’t know it’s a cover until the chorus more than a minute along. Utterly mad!