Sound — 6
2Cellos are a band made up of (you guessed it) two cello players named Luka and Stjepan. The band seems to be especially popular in their home country of Croatia, in Italy, where it seems they've been able to play a large concert space of over 10, 000 people, and in Japan, where their second album topped the charts. Otherwise, most of their success seems come from YouTube, where they are famous for their covers of rock and metal songs. Their biggest hit is "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC. They have also done some popular rock and mashups, two of their most popular being Beethoven's "5th Symphony" with Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" and a mashup between the "William Tell Overture" and "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden. The particularly fun part of that last one is the galloping rhythm which is a very distinguishable feature in both the "William Tell Overture" and "The Trooper."
On this album though, they take a different approach. This time they teamed up with the London Symphony Orchestra to produce covers of TV show theme songs and movie soundtracks. Since these works are symphonic to begin with, the 2Cellos cover versions do not represent the sort of major adaptation that changing a guitar-driven metal song does.
The defining question for this album then, is what's so special?
The answer (or rather, the anti-answer) can be found in a trail of YouTube comments on the band's videos. On most of their rock/metal videos, the comments say something like "how many bows do they go through in one evening" or something else that relates to the ferocity with which they are playing their cellos. However, these comments are absent from the music videos from this album. Actually, one of the highest rated comments on one of the new videos was something like "no bows were harmed in the production of this song."
The point of all this is that the raw energy of their previous songs is gone with these new ones. Instead of being the guys filling a niche, now they're just two guys making vanilla covers of TV theme songs.
It makes sense that Luka and Stjepan would want to do something like this and I suppose anyone can add a new flavor to by changing up a little just like that done previously, but I guess for the rock or metal fan who appreciated the work they did before there isn't much particular Appeal on this album. I guess the better way of putting it that's why these two?
So the album is not unique what's similar to a 2Cellos are famous for, but to the band's credit, it's still pretty good music. 2Cellos are as good at covering movie soundtracks as anyone else. But their music doesn't feel unique anymore. They are now just one of the crowd whereas with their rock/metal covers they were the only ones who could do it so well.
Lyrics — 6
As with all of the band's work, this album is completely instrumental. On previous albums, they would play the vocal melodies of the rock songs on the cello. There are similar melodies in the songs they cover on this album, so on this subject, the band's treatment of the songs has not changed from previous albums.
Overall Impression — 6
At the end of the day, this is peaceful symphonic music that sounds good, kind of like the stuff you might put in an elevator or hear in a restaurant. In fact, this album might be the type of thing you would play at your house when you have guests over; the music is calm but at the same time it is recognizable enough to make the guests smile when they figure it out.
The performances and adapted arrangements on this album sound good, but they do not sound exceptional. The theme that keeps popping up is that the band loses their unique flair with this album, that now they just sound like two regular cello players instead of 2Cellos. As I play this album into the sunset, I hope the 2Cellos I know from the past is the one that arrives when dawn breaks over the horizon.