2CELLOS review by 2CELLOS

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  • Released: Jul 19, 2011
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.9 (17 votes)
2CELLOS: 2CELLOS
0

Sound — 9
With the popularity of an act like Apocalyptica, hearing a buzz about the up-and-coming Croatian cellist duo 2CELLOS didn't seem like a huge stretch at first. The words "at first" need to be emphasized. Upon listening to 24-year-olds Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser on their debut record on Sony Masterworks, it's obvious that the musicians aren't trying to cater to any particular audience and are simply focused upon creating quality music. The tracklist is an eclectic one to be sure, but the cellists handle a good number of genres easily. Although the duo's debut album is chock-full of covers, 2CELLOS isn't trying to create replicas of metal favorites and perhaps to the chagrin of some out there the duo is also most definitely not afraid to find its softer, more sentimental side.

If you haven't seen any clips of ulić and Hauser, do yourself a favor and look some up on the trusty YouTube. Their performance on Ellen Degeneres' talk show is indicative of the youthful energy that the cellists pour into every performance, and the novelty of playing "Smooth Criminal" as a classical (and yet still pretty funky) piece is a big lure. With Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" and Guns N' Roses' "Welcome To The Jungle" you instantly hear the creativity poured out into the arrangements, particularly with the latter song's "Sha-na-na-na serpentine" moments. The cover of Dick Dale's "Misirlou" is infectious in its own right, and oddly enough the cello version becomes more cinematic than the original that landed in the film "Pulp Fiction".

For every hip "Smooth Criminal" offering there is another handful of more subdued tracks that are certainly not trying to cause a huge stir. The arrangements of Kings Of Leon's "Use Somebody", Sting's "Fragile", and Coldplay's "Vida La Vida" are tasteful to the nth degree. The format is essentially true to the original, only 2CELLOS' obvious classical influence is thick. This shouldn't obviously be a shocker, but because of acts like Apocalyptica you often expect something on the more dramatic side. Instead, 2CELLOS isn't afraid to stay quiet for the good of the song. Other covers included on the album are Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Muse's "The Resistance", and NIN's "Hurt".

The record opens and closes with U2 tracks ("Where The Streets Have No Name" and "With Or Without You"), which couldn't be more fitting. The duo's approach to the majority of the songs is more about texture or a percussive quality, which is often present within the work of U2. 2CELLOS' resistance against flashy, over-the-top tracks may not connect with those who might have issues with straightforward classical music, but the talent of ulić and Hauser is undeniable to anyone who can embrace the solemn moments on the debut record.

Lyrics — 10
Although the original versions of the 12 tracks did feature vocals, the debut record from 2CELLOS is completely instrumental.

Overall Impression — 9
2CELLOS made some interesting musical choices on their debut record, with Sting's "Fragile" finding a home next to the seedy grit of GN'R's "Welcome To The Jungle". You can possibly use the words "awesome" or "intense" to describe a few of the tracks, but "beautiful" or "classy" are more apt adjectives for the tracks on the album. It's true that a song like "Use Somebody" might stay way too faithful to the original (without adding in any rock flavor) and doesn't produce the same "wow" factor, but the awe-inspiring musicianship cannot be denied even in the slowest, quietest moments.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Keifer#19
    For me, an un-original cover is when the guitarist plays all of the exact same notes as the original song, the singer sings the exact same melody and so on. They became famous by putting up videos of them playing covers when they were just two dudes jammin' to songs they liked jam to, and just like every other thing that has gone viral, they made an album (eg. Bo Burnham, that kid that sang that Lady Gaga song, etc.). Settle down kids. I hope the rest of your menstrual cycle goes better than this, you big whiners.
    EpiExplorer
    Iommianity wrote: I don't understand these comments. Might as well label them sellouts for trying to make any kind of money playing the cello outside of a symphony. How much money is there to be made from playing ensemble cello originals, or obscure covers? Maybe they'd like to have an in for people to give their playing a fair shake? Ah well. Some people have a hard time understanding the concept of a professional musician doing things to make money other than writing and playing original music.
    Its the easiest concept to understand.. They're musicians playing other peoples songs, so they're not 'artists' in the real sense. Covers are all well and good, but basing an entire career around them is like re-painting a Van Gogh and calling it 'new and innovative' and to some degree 'my own original work'. Then doing that for the rest of your career. Which is why I really hope they do some original material, maybe even some genre crossover. Maybe they should collab with Submotion Orchestra..
    lightdark
    Well, if the solos aren't the same or if they have different phrasing than the original songs then it's fine, actually, playin' an album of alot of cover songs is a good thing because people are like what song are they goin' to cover next. I'd probably do that, then slowly they can start putting their own songs on their cds. It's just a matter of gettin' people to know you(For your actual talent) when it comes to this stuff so they're just trying to get their money, but think about it, if you were to release a cd wouldn't you really like to make a few dollars off of a cd, because I know I would, just cause they're making money doesn't mean they're sellouts, is Bon Jovi a sellout, is Slash a sellout, is Alter Bridge a sellout, cause they've all done well in the music industry because if it does mean that then everyone who's ever been sucessful is a sellout, but we know that the people I listed aren't sellouts, at least I don't think so, so This should give you another point of view on what you're sayin'.
    Iommianity
    I don't understand these comments. Might as well label them sellouts for trying to make any kind of money playing the cello outside of a symphony. How much money is there to be made from playing ensemble cello originals, or obscure covers? Maybe they'd like to have an in for people to give their playing a fair shake? Ah well. Some people have a hard time understanding the concept of a professional musician doing things to make money other than writing and playing original music.
    celticstorm84
    These guys are talented. I like their work and hopefully they do original stuff. They have a different sound than Apocalyptica and as much as I like them, it's good to hear more talent.
    Nickpocalypse
    I can't believe the amount of hate for these guys! The differences between these guys and Apocalyptica is as clear as, well, the difference between Master of Puppets and Smooth Criminal. They play the same instruments... do all Guitar bands sound the same?? People just don't have an ear for Cello these days... yeesh.
    Zan595
    If you have the nerve to criticize these guys, at least be respectful of their talent.
    damillion
    Not having listened to the album I won't make a comment about if it's good or bad, but I'm looking at the list of songs and the only words that spring to mind is "sell-out at first attempt". I mean, they could have chosen to do something more interesting and adventerous instead of just playing songs everybody and their mom and their moms cat have already heard. :\
    justfang
    You have a point, although I want to suggest you to listen first. These songs are not simply instrumental covers.
    GenerationKILL
    damillion wrote: Not having listened to the album I won't make a comment about if it's good or bad, but I'm looking at the list of songs and the only words that spring to mind is "sell-out at first attempt". I mean, they could have chosen to do something more interesting and adventerous instead of just playing songs everybody and their mom and their moms cat have already heard. :\
    Right. They sold out. Because the Cello is the most marketable form of music out there right now. Gimme a break, if they sold out, they'd be dressing like urban hoods, making songs about their criminal exploits and how they mistreat women.
    mitchell.minami
    I happen to think they play very well, and just because they only did covers on this album doesn't mean they won't do originals later on in their career. Between the Buried and Me had a cover album. It's not like they just continued doing covers after that. Obviously if they have the talent to turn these pop songs into awesome cello madness they can probably write their own material.
    Loki_37
    If it had all been original their name wouldn't be out here, of course. But it wouldn't hurt to throw in a few original pieces near the end of the album. It's quite possible they'll grow and become much more, but I've no interest in hearing something I personally could play, or hear somewhere else. (not saying I can play the cello)
    explorerdude
    i'm from croatia and they are probably the best musicians in my country because everything else is garbage
    Tune my fork
    yeah they're sell outs i think, Tryin to be all cool with there carbon fibre cellos. They're obviously good players, but you can only play covers for so long...
    syncuervo
    EpiExplorer wrote: IYanoplathizoI wrote: " Not having listened to the album I won't make a comment about if it's good or bad, but I'm looking at the list of songs and the only words that spring to mind is "sell-out at first attempt". I mean, they could have chosen to do something more interesting and adventerous instead of just playing songs everybody and their mom and their moms cat have already heard. :\" Possibly they were playign what the wanted to play? nothing wrong with playing popular music well... But they've automatically set themselves up as a cover band. Cover bands are either for laughs or for money, otherwise there's no point. They play their stuff well though, so credit where its due.
    Apocalyptica's first album was nothing but Metallica covers and their second album had only three original songs. I like 2Cellos, I think they play very well, but I also realize that if it weren't for playing covers I wouldn't have heard of them. If they had recorded an album of originals would YOU have listened to them then? I know I don't go strolling past the Classical section in the attempts to find the hot new classical artists of the year.
    EpiExplorer
    IYanoplathizoI wrote: " Not having listened to the album I won't make a comment about if it's good or bad, but I'm looking at the list of songs and the only words that spring to mind is "sell-out at first attempt". I mean, they could have chosen to do something more interesting and adventerous instead of just playing songs everybody and their mom and their moms cat have already heard. :\" Possibly they were playign what the wanted to play? nothing wrong with playing popular music well...
    But they've automatically set themselves up as a cover band. Cover bands are either for laughs or for money, otherwise there's no point. They play their stuff well though, so credit where its due.
    IYanoplathizoI
    " Not having listened to the album I won't make a comment about if it's good or bad, but I'm looking at the list of songs and the only words that spring to mind is "sell-out at first attempt". I mean, they could have chosen to do something more interesting and adventerous instead of just playing songs everybody and their mom and their moms cat have already heard. :\" Possibly they were playign what the wanted to play? nothing wrong with playing popular music well...