Includes the bonus track Viva not on the USA version.
, the debut album by four conservatoire-trained young women has little to do with classical music. It's a gimmick, fusing a string quartet of frivolous femmes, spicy girls who all want to be "Posh", with dance beats, a big production mixing their violins, viola and cello with polished electronics. Add an enormous marketing budget and watch them top the charts. Taking themselves less than seriously--they played the James Bond
theme at their Royal Albert Hall debut gig--pop "Victory" looks assured. This single bounces along with a dash of Rossini's Barber of Seville
and a real sense of pop melodrama, in spirit little different from what guitarist John Williams did with his rather less photogenic band Sky in the late 1970s. What may surprise is that tracks such as the frenetic world-dance "Quixote" are penned by the film composer Magnus Fiennes, brother of the more famous Ralph and Joseph. "Winter" adds Jean Michel Jarre-style synth and voice-over to the ghost of Vivaldi and the infectious beat goes on, and on, and on. Sex sells, and Bond's success seems assured: this is a state-of-the-art product, but with Mike Batt of Wombles fame's bonus remix of "Victory" just don't expect it to be art. --Gary S Dalkin