The title of the Planets' debut album, Classical Graffiti
, aptly encapsulates the latest project by Mike Batt, whose career has long steered a path between camp and classical, from serious orchestral concerts to pop hits, from film scores to masterminding the Wombles. Recently Batt gave the world Bond
, and the Planets are even more of the same--four classically trained young women, this time partnered by four classically trained young men. The result is 16 Batt-arranged and produced tracks, both originals and covers of famous classical melodies, some acoustic, most given a polished MOR rock-dance twist. The Planets made their public debut supporting Deep Purple's 2002 UK tour and there's more than a hint of 1970s prog-rock, which, combined with an energetic feel, should go down a storm with an enthusiastic audience. Opening with an up-tempo, beat-laden "Adagio" from Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez
, the set includes "Contradanza", a Vivaldi-influenced Batt dance originally penned for Vanessa Mae, and a beautiful, slightly adapted version of the traditional "She Moved Through the Fair". Built on the lineage of Hooked on Classics
and Sky this is a prefabricated cross-over project perfectly pitched for a world of manufactured bands and shows such as Pop Idol
.--Gary S Dalkin
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