Home Records (www.homerecords.be)
This record came together on the occasion of the Ambrozijn's tenth anniversary and reworks a selection of the Belgian ensemble's 70 or so songs using a string orchestra and a rhythm section and utilising a number of guest vocalists including Sylvie Berger, Vera Coomans, Soetkin Collier, Ludo Vandeau and Gabriel Yacoub. Tom Theuns, nowadays also a member of Aurélia, is the composer of these songs, and band mate Aurélie Dorzée is part of the string orchestra.
This record has been a welcome surprise for me. Usually those huge projects tend to backfire or sound pompous and bloated. Still, 10 differs in the quality of the songs, the detail of the arrangements, the dedication of the singers and the musicianship involved. Not all of the arrangements work equally well, but "Schoon lief," "Le Cyprès" and "Nooit meer niets meer" stand out.
Although this record is not innovative enough to win any record of the year accolades, it is a strong ensemble project that delivers warmth, interesting arrangements and great performances. It would be a must for fans of the band, but it is also a highly enjoyable record for everyone else interested in unique string arrangements of folk music. - Nondas Kitsos
The ensemble's web site: www.ambrozijn.be
CD available from cdRoots